L'ONG Privacy International s'en alarme, et vient d'ailleurs de lancer une campagne auprès de la Confédération visant à bloquer les demandes et renforcer les contrôles pour ce type d'exportations.
“The issue is on the radar now more than ever due to Edward Snowden’s revelations and the recent developments,” said Carly Nyst, head of international advocacy at Privacy International (PI), a UK-based registered charity that defends and promotes the right to privacy across the world.
L'ONG Privacy International a écrit à 70 parlementaires suisses et au Secrétariat d'Etat à l'économie (SECO), pour demander que soient refusées les demandes d'autorisation d'exportation récemment faites par Gamma Group.
Civil society organisations today called upon the members of the Human Rights Council to assess whether national surveillance laws and activities are in line with their international human rights obligations.
The Snowden revelations have confirmed that governments worldwide continue to expand their spying capabilities, at home and abroad. Widespread surveillance is being conducted in violation of individuals’ rights to privacy and free expression, and is seldom regulated by strong legal frameworks that respect human rights.
For some time now, Gamma International has been criticised for exporting dangerous surveillance technologies from the UK to repressive regimes. Now, we are learning that the company is taking its show on the road, as recent reports have said that Gamma are now attempting to export its products, including the spyware FinFisher, out of Switzerland.
It was only a year ago when the UK Home Office repeatedly made statements about how their capability to collect intelligence was degrading, and how new laws such as the Communications Data Bill were necessary to protect citizens.
In hindsight, given the revelations about the UK domestic mass surveillance programs, these once desperate cries for more crime- and terrorism-fighting tools now look like nothing more than attempts to illegitimately spy more on all citizens. Quotes from those debates look rather different now.
“This is clearly not an ad-hoc process within a small industry, but a calculated and considered business deal in a global trade with profits made off the suffering of individuals,” says Page. “As the Wikileaks release today has shown, the business procedure behind the sale of surveillance technology is as well laid out as any other international trade - including proposals and presentations, site and country visits, contracts, and costing packages.”
According to Privacy International (PI) the mechanics of state-sponsored surveillance are increasingly being privatised. "Unequivocally," it said, "the newest SpyFiles documents show that this dark industry only continues to grow, in both technical capability and customer base, all while amassing billions in profits from the suffering of individuals.
"Tempora would not have been possible without the complicity of these undersea cable providers," says Eric King, head of research at Privacy International. “What we, and the public, deserve to know is this: To what extent are companies cooperating with disproportionate intelligence gathering, and are they doing anything to protect our right to privacy?”
Through our Big Brother Incorporated project, Privacy International over the past two years has been campaigning against the export of surveillance technologies by Western companies to repressive regimes.
"The biggest problem which we've seen in the region is that the legislation is very weak with little to no judicial oversight," Michael Rispoli from Privacy International tells Wired.co.uk.
Compared to what we have recently learnt about US and UK services, European intelligence agencies still operate in total darkness, says Eric King, head of research at London-based Privacy International. "And I think that that in itself is a significant problem."
Privacy International, a London-based charity which is concerned about Dr Shehabi's safety and the sale of the Finfisher software to intolerant regimes, has now filed a complaint against British HM revenue & customs.
But whether they have any meaning is open for debate following the disclosures by NSA leaker Edward Snowden. That’s because the government has direct access to the internet and scoops up millions of communications annually.
“We are now aware of a terrifying reality — that governments don’t necessarily need intermediaries like Facebook, Google, and Microsoft to get our data. They can intercept it over undersea cables, through secret court orders, and through intelligence sharing,” Privacy International said in a statement.
Rights group Privacy International welcomed the publication but had wider concerns.
"Given Facebook's ever-growing presence in the lives of people around the world, we commend them for releasing this report today - a release that has been a long time coming," it said.
"However, we are left with a disturbingly hollow feeling regarding Facebook's gesture, and it has little to do with Facebook itself.
Privacy International weighed in on the release of Facebook’s first Global Government Requests Report with the following statement...
"The usefulness of transparency reports hinges on governments abiding by the rule of law. We now know that these reports only provide a limited picture of what is going on, and it is time that governments allow companies to speak more freely regarding the orders they receive."
Privacy International “commended” Facebook for the disclosure, which it said had been a “long time coming”, but noted that leaks from the US intelligence whistleblower Edward Snowden suggested that governments were collecting user data from telecoms networks and other means that may not require web companies’ co-operation.
“The usefulness of transparency reports hinges on governments abiding by the rule of law,” Privacy International said.
Privacy International, a U.K.-based privacy group, applauded Facebook for releasing the numbers, but said recent leaks about data collection at the U.S. National Security Agency show that these kinds of transparency reports have limited use.
While London privacy-rights organization Privacy International praised Facebook for releasing the data, it questioned whether such transparency reports are useful.
"We are left with a disturbingly hollow feeling regarding Facebook's gesture, and it has little to do with Facebook itself," the organization said.
The report was welcomed by Privacy International, but the human rights group said it was left feeling "disturbingly hollow" with regard to Facebook's gesture. The group said in a statement: "Since documents leaked by Edward Snowden have been published and analysed, the veil has been lifted on what information governments actually collect about us.
Transparency reports have traditionally played a critical role in informing the public on the lawful access requests made by governments to companies like Facebook. These reports have provided a useful accountability mechanism for users to know what governments are asking for and how often. Transparency reports also inform users as to what intermediaries are doing to protect their privacy when it comes to sharing data with governments.
Privacy International will soon be launching a research and advocacy project entitled Aiding Surveillance that will focus on the role of international development, humanitarian and funding organisations in promoting privacy and data protection. Click here to join our mailing list to find out more about this project and all of PI's activities.
The development agenda is heralding a new cure-all for humanitarian and development challenges – data.
The calculated detention, interrogation, and search of David Miranda brings into sharp relief the draconian legal frameworks that define security and policing in the United Kingdom. These events highlight not only the imperilled state of privacy rights and free expression in Britain, but the breakdown of the democratic institutions that should be protecting individuals not only from terrorists, but from unrestrained government power.
“Many surveillance technologies are created and deployed with legitimate aims in mind, however the deploying of IMSI catchers sniffing mobile phones en masse is neither proportionate nor necessary for the stated aims of identifying stolen phones,” Eric King of Privacy International told Ars.
Privacy International criticised the climate that had led to Jones's decision. "The closing of Groklaw demonstrates how central the right to privacy is to free expression. The mere threat of surveillance is enough to [make people] self-censor", it said in a statement.
Privacy International told PC Pro that Groklaw's closure was a "clear demonstration" of the chilling effect of undue surveillance. "The right to privacy is central to the democratic principles of the free flow of speech and ideas," said a spokesperson. "The mere threat of surveillance is enough for citizens to alter their behaviour and censor themselves."
Filed in the Investigatory Powers Tribunal (IPT), the claim challenges Whitehall along with BT, Vodafone Cable, Verizon Business, Global Crossing, Level 3, Viatel and Interoute, who were all recently identified as collaborating with GCHQ's Tempora mass surveillance programme.