During the International Day against Cyber Censorship, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) spoke about its updated list of “enemies of Internet”: the RSF points out the methods of some countries, for their internet surveillance and censorship, although they are said to be democratic countries.
RSF has identified 31 institutions that it considers to act as “enemies of the Internet” for their surveillance or censorship. Three of these institutions – namely the NSA in the United States and its British and Indian counterparts – are yet located in so- called democracies.
In its 2014 report, published on March 12th, RSF points out more specifically the U.S. NSA methods as well as the British GCHQ (Government Communications Headquarters) practices. These governmental structures have “knowingly introduced security flaws into devices and software used to transmit requests on the Internet. And they have hacked into the very heart of the Internet using programmes such as the NSA’s Quantam Insert and GCHQ’s Tempora. “says RSF. The association estimates that they have violated both freedom of information and freedom of expression as well as the right to privacy. ”
Monitoring methods in these three countries , some of which have been unveiled by NSA former consultant Edward Snowden are ” all the more intolerable as they have been and are still used as an argument by authoritarian countries such as Iran, China , Turkmenistan, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain to justify their own violations of freedom of information, “said RSF.
Indeed, one can wonder how supposedly democratic states can now give lessons to “Governments particularly in relation to the protection of information actors when they adopt the practices they condemn in these anti regimes?”said the NGO.
“This trend to exploit national security to justify human rights abuses can be found in institutions other than those pinned in this report,” said RSF quoting various examples. In France for instance, military planning law and its Article 20, has been recently adopted by the parliament despite the protests of many advocacy organizations and Human Rights activists: “allows the authorities to spy on phone and Internet communications in real time without asking a judge for permission.”
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