Monday, July 22, 2013

NSA snooping provides cover for repressive regimes

"Internet experts say Washington's covert program to track the online activity of foreigners by tapping into the servers of Facebook, Google, Skype, and other U.S. companies could play directly into the hands of repressive regimes. The revelation could provide them with potentially powerful justification for existing programs that restrict online freedoms -- as well as cover for implementing new measures.

EXPLAINER: What Are U.S. Surveillance Programs Spying On?

Ronald Deibert, the director of the University of Toronto's Citizen Lab, one of the world's foremost research centers on how cyberspace, global security, and human rights interrelate, says the United States has now largely ceded the moral high ground on Internet freedom.

'As countries realize that a lot of the structural power conferred on the United States and other countries comes from their ability to essentially coerce domestic telecommunications carriers into colluding with their intercept and wiretap programs, countries around the world will quickly look to rectify that by building and encouraging their own national networks and subjecting them to their own territorialized controls,' Deibert says. 'That naturally leads to a spiral towards a more Balkanized Internet. It is really a kind of perverse set of unintended consequences that we're nurturing.'"

   Either we're living in a 1984 world where our government spies on us 24/7, or we are free.  I prefer the latter.

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