NSA practices could inspire a global boom in intrusive surveillance

MIT Technology Review: Reports of the National Security agency’s surveillance programs based on documents leaked by Edward Snowden have been embarrassing for some, enraging to others. But to governments and security services in developing economies they will prove inspirational, according to a report (PDF) from the University of Toronto’s Citizen Lab, which studies online security and privacy.

The report warns that governments that already impose authoritarian controls on the Internet, such as China, India, and Saudi Arabia, may now seek to boost those efforts with NSA-style bulk collection programs that trample on civil liberties.

Ron Deibert, director of Citizen Lab, writes in the report that:

“No doubt one implication of Snowden’s revelations will be the spurring on of numerous national efforts to regain control of information infrastructures through national competitors to Google, Verizon, and other companies implicated, not to mention the development of national signals intelligence programs that attempt to duplicate the US model.”

Deibert says that many companies already face “complex” and “frustrating” requests from “newly emerging markets” for data on their users. He believes that the NSA revelations will cause those to become even more common, with unwelcome results. [Continue reading…]

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One thought on “NSA practices could inspire a global boom in intrusive surveillance

  1. delia ruhe

    TECHNO-DETERMINISM: The Doctrine of the “Technological Imperative”

    Technological determinists assume that technological developments, once under way, are unstoppable. Their ‘progress’ is inevitable, unavoidable and irreversible.

    The doctrine:

    – If we CAN do something (if it is technically possible),
    – then we OUGHT to do it (as a moral imperative),
    – indeed, we MUST do it (as an operational requirement),
    – because inevitably it WILL be done (in time).

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