Wednesday Apr 04, 201207:51 AM GMT
‘US provides dictators with most suppressive online tools’
Wed Apr 4, 2012 7:6AM
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A new article reveals the US hypocrisy in supplying tyrant regimes with the most sophisticated online suppression tools and software while propagating “Internet freedom.”


The article published by Foreignpolicy.com draws on a speech by US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton declaring "Internet freedom" to be a touchstone of the US foreign policy and then argues, with evidence, that the most sophisticated gadgets for strangling online free speech and choking dissent around the world are basically made in America.

According to foreignpolicy.com, American corporations are major suppliers of software and hardware to all sorts of governments, including dictatorships in the Middle East and North Africa.

It also says the US government remains the biggest customer of American-made surveillance technology, shaping the development of those technologies as well as the business practices and norms for public-private collaboration around them.

The US technologies for Internet censorship strongly propped pre-revolution authoritarian rules in Tunisia and Egypt, and have helped uphold similar reigns in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia while Washington admonishes other non-conforming governments for failing to protect their citizens’ online liberties, it added.

The world's dictators will remain well supplied as long as the US government continues to support the development of a surveillance-technology industry that clearly lacks concern for the human rights and civil liberties implications of its business-- even rewarding secretive and publicly unaccountable behavior by these companies, the article goes on to read.

Recently, a report published by the monthly magazine Wired, said that the United States National Security Agency (NSA) is building the biggest spy center for intercepting and storing electronic communications collected from American citizens and all over the world.

The center, located in Bluffdale, a remote valley in the state of Utah, can process yottabytes (a million billions of gigabytes) of data.

The facility of USD two billion is designed to “intercept, decipher, analyze, and store vast swaths of the world’s communications including the contents of telephone calls, private e-mails, mobile phone text messages and Internet searches.”

According to the report, the facility is “the most covert and potentially most intrusive intelligence agency ever,” and it will use 65 megawatts of electricity a year, with an annual bill of USD 40 million.

The spy center intercepts commutation signals as they zap down from satellites and zip through the underground and undersea cables of international, foreign, and domestic networks.

The facility is to provide technical assistance to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), collect intelligence on cyber threats and carry out cyber-security objectives.

GHN/MA
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