No limits to surveillance? crime, internet, secret agencies, and police forces’ wishes to hack

  1. The following interview is extremely interesting in terms of technical aspects of surveillance and implied human rights/ethics breaches. First, F-secure as an anti-virus company never received information from Government when police forces use Trojan. In other words, F-secure blocks Trojans without discrimination on their origing. So the question is: can police forces overcome the barrier anti-virus softwares create? I wonder who will answer that one.
    Secondly, hacking if used by police forces creates technical difficulties: how do you cypher through the mass of data? how do you comply with basic procedural rules if you do not want evidence to be later discarded? The answer is our third point: the interviewee suggests that the main reason for wanting to hack would be organised crime like drug-trafficking. For those, there are often specific rules about covert investigations.

    Privacy vs protection: Police and the right to hack” (ZDnet.co.uk, 17 March 2009)

  2. Overall, what is surprising is how the internet and its characteristics seem to be used to justify a level of surveillance that simply never existed and a breach of basic human rights that is unthinkable outside the world of cybercrime/ technology-based crime. Why that fear of crime?

Even the creator of the web opposes it: “Berners-Lee says no to internet ‘snooping’ ” (ZDnet.co.uk, 11 March 2009)

Gov’t may track all UK Facebook traffic” (ZDnet.co.uk, 18 March 2009) and Facebook’s response”Facebook attacks gov’t web-monitoring plans” (ZDnet.co.uk, 24 March 2009)

Does ‘Cyber-Security’ Mean More NSA Dragnet Surveillance?” (TechDirt, 17 March 2009)

White House Says Feds Should Have Unfettered Access To Mobile Phone Location Info” (TechDirt, 18 March 2009)

3. Lastly, the study by Cl. Guerrier (in French – abstract in English) shows that in the US, Germany, and France, interception of communications is at the same time authorised and controled by the creation of an agency. The problem is the effectiveness of the control done.

Aux USA, en Allemagne, en France, quelle protection de la vie
privée en matière d’interceptions de télécommunication ?
” (Juriscom, 9 March 2009)

About Audrey Guinchard

Senior Lecturer @ University of Essex (UK)
This entry was posted in censorship, Investigation-2- Interception of communication, Prevention - Security. Bookmark the permalink.

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