In and out nsa

Added: Tyshon Brewington - Date: 25.11.2021 03:54 - Views: 20827 - Clicks: 3731

Latest denounces of a massive surveillance scheme performed by the USA National Security Agency NSA have brought privacy issues to the headlines of international media. Believe it or not, just like in the movies or conspiracy theories, programs such as PRISM, Fairview and XKeysScore and even satellite interception have been used by the US government to access not only our metadatabut also the content from s and phone calls from citizens all over the world.

Due to subsequent events, Latin America was particularly in focus. When Mr. Snowden left Hong Kong and arrived in Russia, many speculated he would ask for asylum in a Latin American country, probably having in mind Julian Assange, founder of WikiLeaks, asylum at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London. Eventually, those hunches proved to be true: Venezuela, Bolivia and Nicaragua offered Snowden asylum.

In the same time period, Gleen Greewald, journalist from The Guardian who received about 20, secret files from Snowden, wrote an article denouncing that Brazil was a priority nation for surveillance, along with China, Russia, Iran and Pakistan. In a subsequent public hearing at the Brazilian SenateGreenwald also mentioned that while the pretexts for espionage were terrorism and national security, the NSA had been collecting strategic data for economic reasons from several countries in Latin America.

Besides Brazil, he specifically mentioned data collection on oil and military purchases in Venezuela and on energy and narcotics in Mexico and Colombia. Indeed, all these revelations gave rise to inflamed statements within the region. The country has also made considerations about proposing changes in the field of Internet regulation, both nationally and internationally, specifically mentioning the wish to address the issue at the Human Rights Council and the International Telecommunications Union.

Something similar has been reflected during Mercosur meeting, where leaders have expressed the desire to push for an international regulation of the internet, with an emphasis on cyber-security to guarantee the protection of communications and preserve the sovereignty of States.

While on one hand these reactions are good news for a region with many shortcomings in terms of privacy protection, on the In and out nsa hand, the discourse of sovereignty and cybersecurity can be dangerous, as it serves both ways. It could be used for national protection, but also as an argument for implementing hasty solutions, in disregard of the architecture of the web.

In and out nsa

Even worst, it could lead on promoting an exaggerated increase on the role of States in internet governance, not taking into other stakeholders. Such reaction could jeopardize ificant innovations and increase the availability of tools for national surveillance. In Brazil, for instance, this possibility is already coming true by recent proposals for nationalization of data centers. In this brief essay, we want to highlight some of the privacy-related-issues we see in some Latin American countries. Even in face of such outstanding revelations of mass surveillance by US and allies, it is always important to remember that many — if not all — countries in Latin American face their own problems in terms of State surveillance.

In Argentina, for instance, the oversight mechanisms of security agencies face huge challenges. Several In and out nsa have been documented in the past, which range from the infiltration of a news agency by the Federal Police intelligence division to the surveillance of left-leaning activists and the public disclosure of personal s belonging to politicians, journalists and businessmen. In response to a critical scenario, two civil society organizations have called for reform and demanded more transparency from the parliamentary commission in charge of controlling the intelligence activities.

Luckly, due to public protests about the unconstitutionality of such decree, the text was changed to include the need of a judicial order.

In and out nsa

Nevertheless, even in the shadow of NSA criticisms, it became public that the Brazilian Intelligence System — ABIN has recently built a scheme for monitoring social networks to collect citizens data, allegedly to foreseen protests, specially during the In and out nsa of the Pope.

However, national laws regulating what would constitute the necessary, legitimate and proportional State involvement in communications surveillance are often inadequate or non-existent. Inadequate national legal frameworks create a fertile ground for arbitrary and unlawful infringements of the right to privacy in communications and, consequently, also threaten the protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression.

Indeed, sometimes, abuses of privacy rights by national intelligence agencies, and even by a hide range of other public bodies and private companies, happen in legal frameworks which —in many cases— follow European standards in terms of data protection. Sadly, these laws are not enough to guarantee that citizens living under them are not being surveilled or their data is not being used for unknown purposes, without users consent.

In Argentina, for instance, the authorities in charge of enforcing data protection guarantees lack resources and powers to do so efficiently. At the same time, most of these laws do not address issues concerning the specific nature of the Internet. Just last week, a scoop revealed that the Superior Electoral Court in Brazil had an agreement with Serasa a company that manages a database on the credit situation of consumers to provide information of million voters to that private company.

Luckily again, after public outcry, the agreement got suspended.

In and out nsa

Nevertheless, they could also be harmful to the architecture of the Internet, causing a fragmentation, a Balkanization process of the web. We should be aware to avoid the NSA scandal to be used to simply shift the approach for very nationalistic one, in total disregard of the threats of national surveillance. Unlike today, Governments have never been able to collect a huge amount of data for such a low cost, even using companies infrastructure to do so. In this context, there is a mutual interest for disrespecting privacy rights, either for commercial interests or intelligence purposes.

Besides these technological and political economic aspects against privacy protection, there is also a socio-cultural one: privacy has become a fuzzy right as consequences of new social practices and habits. What before was deemed private, now is shared with millions on social networks. And as we spend substantial parts of our lives on the Internet, everything we do leaves traces behind us: data that could be tracked, stored, analyzed and processed by powerful actors, companies and States which are —to a great extent— unable.

In and out nsa

The issue is serious and forces us to insist on some old truths. Privacy has been a fundamental right in the consolidation of the first constitutional regimes. It was deemed as a pre-requirement to the exercise of fundamental democratic freedoms such as the freedom of expression, assembly and association. A government which controls what their citizens do, who they talk to and what they say is the opposite of the kind of government enshrined in our Constitutions.

As the right to privacy is indeed under threat by powerful governments and corporate actors, it needs to be defended by those who depend on the right to privacy to give democracy a breathing space: us, internet users. These are the only ones who can demand better practices from companies and better policies from their governments, such as, updating and passing Data Protection Bills in coherence with the online environment. Complete studies of how these laws are enforced are also needed to shed light upon its strengths and shortcomings.

In and out nsa

In the meantime, at the everyday life, users could also benefit from technical solutions. For instance, fostering the wide use of encryption tools in order to make surveillance activities more difficult. That would increase the diversity of internet services and applications providers, decentralizing even more the communication flows of the web. Privacy will only be guaranteed by decentralization.

In the international scenario, these governments should also address regional and international human rights bodies, such as the Inter-American Commission of Human Rights and the Human Rights Council, which may prove to be fruitful venues to present claims about our rights and the demand their protection.

In and out nsa

Only with the combination of these strategies we may have bigger chances to succeed in the the fight for the future of privacy. Latin America is a region where democracy is growing strong, but democracies cannot remain so without adequate privacy protections.

In and out nsa

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