On the other hand, Gamma International maintains that when it sold the spyware system to Bahrain, it hadn’t formulated a human rights policy and that it would not intentionally supply those spyware systems that would hamper the civil rights of the society, according to Privacy International.
Meanwhile, UK charity Privacy International warns that the public simply needs to be wary of what information it chooses to share with any internet company.
In an encouraging first response to our complaint against surveillance company Gamma International (Gamma), the UK National Contact Point (NCP) of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) announced that it will further investigate our claim against Gamma, as the evidence submitted appears to substantiate our allegations.
A complaint filed with the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) against Gamma International, a UK-based company accused of selling surveillance spyware for governments, will proceed and has been accepted for consideration, the UK National Contact Point (NCP) for the OECD announced.
Britain's spy agency, GCHQ, is secretly conducting mass surveillance by tapping fibre optic cables, giving it access to huge amounts of data on both innocent citizens and targeted suspects, according to a report in the Guardian.
Trade has often been a positive driver in encouraging countries to adopt data protection laws, to ensure compliance and ability to conduct business with the European Union and other privacy-respecting partners. However, when free trade agreements are negotiated in secret and influenced by powerful business interests, the result is a severe watering down of existing privacy protections.
Privacy International is looking for volunteers to help its Communications team, specifically researching and writing for Privacy International's blog. Areas of focus would be on breaking news, investigative reporting, and thoughtful analysis on technology and human rights, surveillance, and privacy. If you are interested in journalism or writing, this is a great opportunity to build your portfolio.
The government of Pakistan has repeatedly shown it is relentless when it comes to deploying measures to censor and spy on its own citizens. Today, a report released by Citizen Lab reveals another repressive tool being used to control and prevent information being accessed on the internet -- this time with help from the Canadian web-filtering company, Netsweeper.
Below is an excerpt of an article that recently appeared in Melbourne, Australia's The Age, written by Carly Nyst, Head of International Advocacy at Privacy International:
"Mass surveillance of a country's citizens by its government can no longer be said to be the preserve of authoritarian and dictatorial states.
“The foreign secretary has told us that if you are a law-abiding citizen, then you have nothing to fear. We’ve heard this excuse before; it’s the sorry line the governments trot out to appease the public," said Mike Rispoli, spokesman for Privacy International.
Carly Nyst, Head of International Advocacy at Privacy International, joins "Have Your Say" to talk about the impact on privacy when governments use mass surveillance for intelligence gathering.
Flourishing surveillance abroad may have a surprising impact back home. As more communications are stored on servers far from the citizens who created them, domestic intelligence services are increasingly trying to track activity overseas, says Carly Nyst of Privacy International.
Privacy International's Head of International Advocacy Carly Nyst sits down with GloboNews in Brazil to talk about government surveillance and data protection laws around the world.
Remember when the world didn't know what Prism was? Those were the days. While privacy advocates, civil libertarians, and technologists had suspected or posited the existence of an extensive surveillance regime operated by the U.S. government, few knew the details and the extent of the operation.
Simply put, the National Security Agency is an intelligence agency. Its purpose is to monitor the world's communications, which it traditionally collected by using spy satellites, taps on cables, and placing listening stations around the world.
Privacy International is looking for volunteers to help with its Big Brother Incorporated project, an investigation into the global surveillance industry focusing on the sale of technologies to brutal and oppressive regimes intent on using them as tools of political control. We're looking for volunteers who are able to help us with factual and legal research in relation to our casework.
This was the core message at the side event on the side-lines of the on-going United Nations Human Rights Council 23rd Session, hosted by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Privacy International and Association of Progressive Communications which sought to address some of the challenges in promoting privacy and freedom of expression in light of new means and modalities of surveillance and technological advances in communications.
However privacy concerns about information uploaded to the internet have been around for almost as long as the internet itself, and campaign group Privacy International says the reported existence of Prism confirms its "worst fears and suspicions".
Mike Rispoli at campaign group Privacy International says Snowden’s actions were "very brave," but that it's hard to predict what Snowden's fate will be.
For more on the consequences Snowden may face and the role of private contracting firms in government national security, we turned to Mike Rispoli, the communications manager for Privacy International.
Privacy International said: "Let's not forget: without the release of these classified documents, Mr Hague would not have had to make his statements before the Commons today, and it remains unlikely the news of this programme and the UK's involvement with Prism would have come to light. It should not take a whistleblower releasing classified information for the government to be forthright with its citizens about what data they collect and in what manner.
"There is spy technology that we see on James Bond movies that we know have been bought by Germany, the Netherlands, and elsewhere, and we know that it's being used," said Carly Nyst, head of international advocacy at Privacy International.
Mike Rispoli, spokesman for Privacy International, added: "The foreign secretary has told us that if you are a law-abiding citizen, then you have nothing to fear. We've heard this excuse before; it's the sorry line the governments trot out to appease the public."
A landmark United Nations report outlines the link between state surveillance and freedom of expression. While the news that the National Security Agency is collecting phone records of Verizon customers is shocking, the U.S. is far from alone. Carly Nyst, Head of International Advocacy at Privacy International, joins.
Eric King, head of research at Privacy International – a charity focused on the right to privacy – said: "Keeping the public in the dark about secretive and potentially unlawful programmes must stop, and greater oversight is needed to ensure human rights are not being trampled."
You are actually in a worse position, says Mike Rispoli, of UK-based charity Privacy International, because protections that exist for US citizens do not apply to foreigners.
“Essentially anyone who participates in our interconnected world and uses popular services like Google or Skype can have their privacy violated through the Prism programme,” warned Mike Rispoli, a spokesman for Privacy International on its blog.