Battles for democracy. Week 28
The NSA merely pursues total population control. Turkey is trying to block Twitter…again. TPP will put an end to free expression online. UK might dodge Europe’s top court ruling reinstating and expanding its spying powers.
Citizens abused or killed, liberties and rights cut
The ultimate goal of the NSA is total population control. At least 80% of all audio calls, not just metadata, are recorded and stored in the US, says whistleblower William Binney – that’s a ‘totalitarian mentality’. “At least 80% of fibre-optic cables globally go via the US”, Binney said. “This is no accident and allows the US to view all communication coming in. At least 80% of all audio calls, not just metadata, are recorded and stored in the US. The NSA lies about what it stores.”
Turkey is trying to block Twitter….again?! This time the government of Turkey is in negotiations with Swedish censorship company, NetClean, to block content on Twitter. If they buy the program, they could block any Twitter content within seconds of posting.
Say bye bye to free expression online. Under proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership censorship rules your comments on mobile platforms, content on YouTube, and posts on Facebook could be censored. Whole websites could even be blocked. Citizens across the globe, will be denied the democratic right of sovereign countries to make their own laws, and everyday users of the Internet will be the ones who suffer most.
UK fast-tracks communications data retention law in attempt to expand powers overseas. The Data Retention and Investigation Powers (DRIP) Act will reinstate powers taken away from the government in a ruling by Europe’s top court. However, it would also expand those powers in terms of territory and scope — despite what the government is saying.
Citizens unite, react and take action, institutions support them
[Italy] A coalition of more than 30 organisations asks the Italian government for a true Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA). The European Court of Human Rights has recognized access to information held by governments as a right: today more than 90 democratic countries have a FOIA but Italy is not among them.
Tools For Democracy
Tools to either increase awareness of the threats to democracy, protect yourself against them or to leverage democracy to new levels.
Cryptocat is an accessible app for having encrypted chat right in your browser and mobile phone. “Cryptocat is not a magic bullet. Even though Cryptocat provides useful encryption, you should never trust any piece of software with your life, and Cryptocat is no exception”.
The Digital First Aid Kit aims to provide preliminary support for people facing the most common types of digital threats. The Kit offers a set of self-diagnostic tools for human rights defenders, bloggers, activists and journalists facing attacks themselves, as well as providing guidelines for digital first responders to assist a person under threat.
Note: If you know of a battle that should be reported next week you can tell me using this address: battlesfordemocracy at piratetimes.net
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.