Feeds

Reporters without Borders confirms, yes, lots of nations are spying on their citizens

Welcome to the club, US and UK

Gartner critical capabilities for enterprise endpoint backup

Revelations of domestic and international phone and web surveillance operations by US and UK spies have earned the two countries a dubious distinction on the Reporters Without Borders' "Enemies of the Internet" list.

The press freedom and privacy activist group said the two nations earned a place on the 2014 edition of the list thanks to their spying efforts, such as tracking the online activities of citizens en masse.

"The NSA and GCHQ have spied on the communications of millions of citizens including many journalists. They 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 Quantum Insert and GCHQ’s Tempora," the group alleged in its report [PDF].

"The internet was a collective resource that the NSA and GCHQ turned into a weapon in the service of special interests, in the process flouting freedom of information, freedom of expression and the right to privacy."

The placement on the list puts the US and UK into a rather dubious group of nations that have been called out for censoring web access and cracking down on journalists. Other nations shamed on the list include Russia, Iran, North Korea, Bahrain, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Vietnam. Reporters Without Borders also highlighted the surveillance activities of the government in India and efforts by China to include the censorship and monitoring capabilities of its notorious Great Firewall system.

"The mass surveillance methods employed in these three countries [US, UK and India] ... are all the more intolerable because they will be used and indeed are already being used by authoritarian countries such as Iran, China, Turkmenistan, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain to justify their own violations of freedom of information," Reporters Without Borders noted.

"How will so-called democratic countries be able to press for the protection of journalists if they adopt the very practices they are criticizing authoritarian regimes for?"

The group noted that in 2012, the UN Human Rights Council passed a resolution which asks member nations to enforce human rights protections on the internet just as they would in the real world.

Additionally, Reporters Without Borders encourages businesses to follow similar guidelines and "establish mechanisms for informing personnel about human rights and increasing their awareness of human rights issues." ®

Gartner critical capabilities for enterprise endpoint backup

More from The Register

next story
'Stop dissing Google or quit': OK, I quit, says Code Club co-founder
And now a message from our sponsors: 'STFU or else'
Top beak: UK privacy law may be reconsidered because of social media
Rise of Twitter etc creates 'enormous challenges'
Uber, Lyft and cutting corners: The true face of the Sharing Economy
Casual labour and tired ideas = not really web-tastic
Ex US cybersecurity czar guilty in child sex abuse website case
Health and Human Services IT security chief headed online to share vile images
Don't even THINK about copyright violation, says Indian state
Pre-emptive arrest for pirates in Karnataka
The police are WRONG: Watching YouTube videos is NOT illegal
And our man Corfield is pretty bloody cross about it
Oz biz regulator discovers shared servers in EPIC FACEPALM
'Not aware' that one IP can hold more than one Website
prev story

Whitepapers

Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Backing up distributed data
Eliminating the redundant use of bandwidth and storage capacity and application consolidation in the modern data center.
The essential guide to IT transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIOs automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.