Monday, March 17, 2014

Reporters Without Borders has added the US NSA and UK GCHQ to their list of "Internet enemies."

Reporters Without Borders has published their 2014 Enemies of the Internet report. The report names 31 specific national agencies and the US National Security Agency (NSA) and UK Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) are on the list.

The report considers surveillance, censorship, imprisonment and disinformation in characterizing a nation as an Internet enemy. The NSA was cited for surveillance and imprisonment and the GCHQ for surveillance.

There are reports on each offending nation. Here are quotes from the UK and US reports:

United Kingdom: World champion of surveillance
“They are worse that the U.S.” – Edward Snowden

The widespread surveillance practices of the British and U.S. governments, unveiled by Edward Snowden in June last year, put Britain’s Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) and its U.S. equivalent, the National Security Agency (NSA), at the centre of a worldwide scandal. As part of its project “Mastering the Internet”, GCHQ has developed the world’s biggest data monitoring system. Supported by the NSA and with the prospect of sharing data, the British agency brushed aside all legal obstacles and embarked on mass surveillance of nearly a quarter of the world’s communications.
NSA symbolises intelligence services’ abuses
In June 2013, computer specialist Edward Snowden disclosed the extent of the surveillance practices of the U.S. and British intelligence services. Snowden, who worked for a government sub-contractor and had access to confidential documents, later exposed more targeted surveillance, focusing on the telecommunications of world leaders and diplomats of allied countries. Activists, governments and international bodies have taken issue with the Obama administration, as the newspapers The Guardian and The Washington Post have revealed the extent of the surveillance. The main player in this vast surveillance operation is the highly secretive National Security Agency (NSA) which, in the light of Snowden’s revelations, has come to symbolize the abuses by the world’s intelligence agencies. Against this background, those involved in reporting on security issues have found their sources under increasing pressure.