Battles for Democracy. Week 23.
Reset The Net initiative is pushing the use of encryption to new levels; German and British spy stations discovered; Egypt will acquire a brand new system for mass surveillance.
Citizens abused or killed, liberties and rights cut
Above-top-secret details of Britain’s covert surveillance programme – including the location of a clandestine British base tapping undersea cables in the Middle East – have so far remained secret, despite being leaked by Edward Snowden.
Germany admits it operates nationwide spy stations. Germany’s Foreign Intelligence Agency (BND), in an effort to come clean in these compromised post-Snowden times, has revealed that a number of mysterious facilities dotting Germany are in fact used as spy stations.
Egypt’s plan for mass surveillance of social media an attack on internet privacy and freedom of expression. A recent leak describes a call for tenders to introduce a new system to carry out indiscriminate mass surveillance of social media in Egypt just a few months after the adoption of a new constitution guaranteeing the right to privacy.
Citizens unite, react and take action, institutions support them
Reset the Net to take your privacy back. A year after the first NSA revelation, the US Congress has failed to protect American’s rights. Starting 5 June, we’re taking steps to directly block government surveillance on the Internet. US technology companies have made security advancements their top priority, adopting tools that make blanket interception of Internet activity more difficult.
[Spanish] Podemos is a new Spanish party that obtained 5 MEPs and 1.2 million votes in the past European Elections that is challenging the traditional power balance in Spain. The party proposes, again, the use of Agora Voting, a liquid democracy tool, to let everyone participate in the election of the party organizational structure.
Access to Youtube was restored in Turkey on 3 June. The website was blocked on 27 March after leaked conversations of government officials were posted on the website, including one from a security meeting on Syria.
Tools For Democracy
Tools to either increase awareness of the threats to democracy, protect yourself against them or to leverage democracy to new levels.
The Privay Pack by Reset The Net. A selection of free software and tips tailored to common computers, phones, and tablets that literally anyone can use. However, the selection is not recommended if you believe you may be the specific target of surveillance. Still, these tools are effective against passive mass surveillance.
Index on Censorship’s regional correspondents are monitoring media across the continent. Here are incidents that they have been following: Mapping media freedom report one.
Featured image: CC BY-SA gerlos
About Pedro Gutierrez
The certainty that a World War on Democracy was going on and we, the people, were unaware of it was keeping me up at night. The fact, crystal clear now after Snowden's revelations, that the new battlefield is your mobile, your laptop, your data and so, that every citizen (i.e. you) is being considered a target was inconceivable for me. And it became worse when I realized that most people just didn't care about it: "I don't mind a bit of spying? I'm a good citizen I've nothing to hide". So when Pirate Times let me write about it in this blog I was happy to finally take action. But dear reader be warned because it may happen to you what already happened to me. Reporting week after week about the battles for democracy has changed my perception of the magnitude of this conflict. I already thought when I started that the situation was terrible and the conflict was not winding down but, no matter what, at the end of every week when I submit my post I realize again that I had underestimated it all.