Monday, November 22, 2004

Internet Surveillance & Privacy Reports

Two massive country-by-country reports with loads of information on internet surveillance and privacy:

1) Reporters without Frontiers
reports on worldwide internet surveillance. The Netherlands is one of the few states missing on the long list, not because there's no drive for surveillance here (see 2). To taste the tone of the report, the introduction to the United States:
The world's dominant Internet player, the United States sees itself as the champion of online free expression. But US legislation has increasingly trampled on the civil liberties of Internet users since the 11 September 2001 attacks on the United States. And US senators, while launching a programme to combat Internet censorship worldwide, refuse to rein in US companies that help equip dictatorships with online surveillance and filtering equipment.
2) The Electronic Privacy Information Centre (EPIC) and Privacy International have released their annual global privacy study:

Privacy International's Director, Simon Davies, said the report highlighted a 'disturbing' trend toward greater state power. 'Governments are systematically removing the right to privacy. Surveillance of every type is being instituted throughout society without any thought about the need for safeguards.' 'The spectre of terrorism has at last become the device that any government can deploy to entrench the powers they always sought. The situation has become a dangerous farce,' he added.
A highlight for The Netherlands, again recognized for its leadership in wiretapping. Old news, but carried with pride:
A survey by the Dutch Ministry of Justice in 1996 found that law enforcement in the Netherlands intercept more telephone calls than their counterparts in the United States, Germany or Britain. According to a 2003 report by the German Max Planck Institute for Foreign and International Criminal Law, Italy and the Netherlands are the wiretap champions of the Western world.


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