Feeds

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

Welcome to the club, US and UK

Reducing security risks from open source software

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." ®

Maximizing your infrastructure through virtualization

More from The Register

next story
Yorkshire cops fail to grasp principle behind BT Fon Wi-Fi network
'Prevent people that are passing by to hook up to your network', pleads plod
Major problems beset UK ISP filth filters: But it's OK, nobody uses them
It's almost as though pr0n was actually rather popular
UK government officially adopts Open Document Format
Microsoft insurgency fails, earns snarky remark from UK digital services head
ITC: Seagate and LSI can infringe Realtek patents because Realtek isn't in the US
Land of the (get off scot) free, when it's a foreign owner
HP, Microsoft prove it again: Big Business doesn't create jobs
SMEs get lip service - what they need is dinner at the Club
MPs wave through Blighty's 'EMERGENCY' surveillance laws
Only 49 politcos voted against DRIP bill
EU's top data cops to meet Google, Microsoft et al over 'right to be forgotten'
Plan to hammer out 'coherent' guidelines. Good luck chaps!
US judge: YES, cops or feds so can slurp an ENTIRE Gmail account
Crooks don't have folders labelled 'drug records', opines NY beak
prev story

Whitepapers

Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.