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Big Siblings, Big Hackers (pun intended)

Tuesday, 16 June 2015 Manolo Palao Posted in iTTi Views

The following are quotes from the Opening Statement by Ms. Flavia Pansieri Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights at the United Nations Panel Discussion on the Right to privacy in the digital age [i]: 

[D]igital platforms are vulnerable to surveillance, interception and data collection. Deep concerns have been expressed as policies and practices that exploit this vulnerability have been exposed across the globe.” 

[P]ractices in many States reveal a sometimes deliberate lack of adequate national legislation and enforcement; weak procedural safeguards; and ineffective oversight. All of this contributes to widespread impunity for arbitrary or unlawful interference in the right to privacy.” 

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This other quote is from a video clip [ii] by Mr. Ben Wizner, Director, ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union) Speech, Privacy & Technology Project [iii]: 

[S]urveillance technologies have outpaced democratic controls… [G]overnments have placed mass surveillance ahead of cyber-security.

And I think that this is something that perhaps the broader public has not sufficiently understood… that there's actually a tension between the government's surveillance efforts, which include creating and exploiting vulnerabilities in communication systems, and the government's cyber security mission which is aimed at protecting us from malicious attacks from hackers, from foreign governments, from criminals.

That in effect, governments —particularly the US government and the British government, but not only those two governments— have made the strategic decision to weaken communication systems for everyone in order to facilitate mass surveillance.

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[i] United Nations. (12 September 2014). Salle XX, Palais des Nations. url: http://www.ohchr.org/en/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=15022&LangID=E retrieved 16/06/2015. 

[ii] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sBFDaeaI7s4&feature=youtu.be retrieved 16/06/2015

[iii] https://www.aclu.org/bio/ben-wizner retrieved 16/06/2015

 

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