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  • Centre for Social Sciences Research, University of Cape Town | Privacy International
    Briefings Investigations Research Reports Submissions to the UN Legal Actions About Us Staff Trustees Financial Opportunities Contact Donate You are here Home Centre for Social Sciences Research University of Cape Town The Centre for Social Science CSSR is an interdisciplinary research centre at the University of Cape Town UTC dedicated to conducting and building capacity for systematic policy relevant social science research in South Africa the region and across Africa

    Original URL path: https://privacyinternational.org/node/289 (2016-04-27)
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  • Zimbabwe Human Rights Forum | Privacy International
    Investigations Research Reports Submissions to the UN Legal Actions About Us Staff Trustees Financial Opportunities Contact Donate You are here Home Zimbabwe Human Rights Forum The Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum the Forum is a coalition of nineteen human rights NGOs in Zimbabwe who while having their own objectives are concerned with the level and nature of organized violence and torture in the country perpetuated mainly though not exclusively by

    Original URL path: https://privacyinternational.org/node/290 (2016-04-27)
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  • Communications surveillance | Privacy International
    mobile networks One of the most common forms of mobile phone monitoring is through the use of IMSI Catchers IMSI catchers when deployed in a specific area work by presenting themselves as powerful base stations enticing all phones in that given area to join its network and then capture unique identification numbers from your phone known as IMSIs In some cases the most sophisticated forms of IMSI catchers have the capability to intercept calls and even send messages to each registered phone There is a strong suggestion that this took place in Ukraine during anti government protests early in January 2014 Fixed Line Interception Fixed line interception entails the capture of information as it travels across public switched telephony networks PSTN which forms the backbone of our international communication networks The historical view of this form of surveillance involved crocodile clips being attached to the physical line Modern surveillance technologies of PSTN still fundamentally operate in that way where a physical probe is placed on the phone network which allows for the interception of phone calls As the computers that join networks together have become more sophisticated and the speed and throughput of communications has dramatically grown so has the scale at which the interceptions can take place Nowadays commercial surveillance companies are selling technologies allowing for a whole country s network to be tapped simultaneously Intrusion Intrusion technologies clandestinely deploy malicious software malware on mobile phones and computers The malware or Trojan allows operators to take complete control over the target s device by embedding itself in all system functions Intrusion technologies are some of the most invasive forms of surveillance available As devices become more connected to communication networks and become integral to our lives we become increasingly dependent on them to hold our intimate details Intrusion technologies give operators full access to these devices and everything held on them collecting and transmitting data to the operator of the Trojan while the user is unaware of all of this as the infected device operates normally All this time the intrusion technologies can monitor everything that appears on the individual s screen track keyboard entry and other input monitor content of communications sent from the device including historic communications such as old e mails or chat conversations Intrusion technology can collect much more than merely what is on the devices The data returned to the operator of the intrusion tool can include real time recordings of live audio and video feeds from the device s camera or microphone The user s device thereby becomes spy in itself capturing information around the individual including conversations with others and monitoring his or her online and offline activities Who are the actors performing communications surveillance Anyone with these types of technologies can perform communications surveillance It is often the case that these actors include law enforcement agencies intelligence agencies private company or a malicious actor While some countries such as the United States and United Kingdom develop these types of technology in

    Original URL path: https://privacyinternational.org/node/10 (2016-04-27)
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  • Export Controls | Privacy International
    While it shows that the WA states have recognised the need to include surveillance technology in control lists it is a small start and there needs to be a lot more categories included This is only the beginning of effective action It s also up to individual states themselves to implement the controls The WA is not the only international forum however Member states of the European Union can similarly agree controls on items as can the United Nations or even an international treaty outside of any formal institution Once surveillance equipment is actually included within control lists it becomes an issue of making sure that specific license applications are refused if its export would mean that end users could use it for repression This requires two things Firstly a policy must exist that stipulates an export will not be approved if there are human rights concerns and the criteria used to judge this risk needs to be appropriate Countries need to guarantee that their export control systems through their licensing authorities are effective enough to assess applications correctly and make sure that they are able to identify the risks in the first place This commitment can be the result of purely national policy or a result of international obligations prescribed by treaties or regulations Secondly countries must have sufficient capacity to enforce the controls through their customs network intelligence agencies and law enforcement bodies This means understanding how companies exporting surveillance technologies can skirt export controls and developing an enforcement policy to stop them Other international efforts have involved the use of sanctions on specific equipment The EU for example has put an embargo on any equipment that could be used for internal repression in Syria which includes equipment that is used for the monitoring and surveillance of the Internet and telecommunications Similar EU restrictive measures exist with relation to Iran While useful the difficulty in negotiating sanctions at international and even regional level makes their use highly selective and their purpose inherently retroactive and temporary But hang on aren t all governments entitled to use such technology legitimately to stop terrorists and crooks It is generally accepted that countries have a right to self defense and a need to provide security for their citizens Surveillance technology can have legitimate purposes similar to other security equipment that Governments can use to legally fight organised crime and counter perceived and real terrorist threats The issue however is that surveillance should only be conducted within a robust legislative framework containing an appropriate system of safeguards and oversight and in keeping with the principles of proportionality and necessity Often the use of surveillance technology has no real safeguards in which case authorities can use surveillance technology for any purpose they wish including spying on citizens for political control There is already evidence that surveillance technology has been used by some Governments to silence political dissent as well as secretly monitor and intimidate journalists and civil rights activists Governments that permit these technologies

    Original URL path: https://privacyinternational.org/node/50 (2016-04-27)
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  • Mass Surveillance | Privacy International
    cell tower through bulk access to data held by mobile phone companies often referred to as a cell tower dump We are also seeing an increase in the use of mobile surveillance tools that allow authorities to monitor all communications and identify all devices within a localised area for instance at a public protest by setting up fake mobile base stations Having started as mechanisms to administer and control large populations then moving to capture public actions mass surveillance techniques are no longer restricted to public facing activities For instance governments have passed laws mandating that all communications transactions are logged and retained by service providers to ensure that they are accessible to government authorities upon request However numerous courts have called this type of surveillance policy an interference with the right to privacy The technologies of mass surveillance are becoming more prevalent and as resource limitations disappear the capabilities for governments become endless Now it is possible to monitor and retain an entire country s communications content and directly access communications and metadata from undersea cable companies telephone companies and internet service providers There are practically no limits on what governments can do with this broad access and the power that comes with unaccountable surveillance For instance in conducting fibre optic cable interception States can collect and read any the content of any unencrypted communication flowing through that cable including phone calls voice over IP calls messages emails photos and social networking activity They can then apply a range of analysis techniques and filters to that information from voice text and facial recognition to the mapping of networks and relationships to behavioural analysis to emotion detection Mass surveillance will be applied beyond communications surveillance As we move towards smart devices and cities more and more of our activities will be collected and analysed Smart meters report on our electricity usage while smart cities track individuals and vehicles using cameras and sensors Laws must keep up to date with these innovations that seek to monitor and profile us all As the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights noted in 2014 the technological platforms upon which global political economic and social life are increasingly reliant are not only vulnerable to mass surveillance they may actually facilitate it What are the legal frameworks around mass surveillance Mass surveillance is an indiscriminate measure Human rights laws require that any interference with privacy is legitimate necessary in a democratic society and proportionate Even where it can be shown to meet a legitimate aim mass surveillance is unlikely to meet the tests of proportionality and necessity Key to this is that governments are often reluctant to introduce necessary safeguards to minimise the information that is collected ID programmes are increasingly collecting more information and being required for more transactions DNA database laws resist the deletion of unnecessary information including the samples and profiles of innocent people and communications surveillance programmes are increasingly trying to collect it all In judging whether mass surveillance

    Original URL path: https://privacyinternational.org/node/52 (2016-04-27)
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  • Metadata | Privacy International
    service provider However these distinctions are no longer appropriate for measuring the degree of the intrusion that Communications Surveillance makes into individuals private lives and associations While it has long been agreed that communications content deserves significant protection in law because of its capability to reveal sensitive information it is now clear that other information arising from communications metadata and other forms of non content data may reveal even more about an individual than the content itself and thus deserves equivalent protection Even though governments want to downplay the value of this information as they rush to gain access to it the former head of the CIA Michael Hayden remarked in 2014 We kill people based on metadata Why do companies and governments want metadata By generating a profile of an individual s private life and his or her interactions companies are able to more accurately target marketing and advertising With 96 of Google s 37 9 billion revenue in 2011 coming from advertising our information is the life blood that sustains that industry It is no wonder then that governments are doing all they can to get their hands on our metadata Leaked classified NSA documents show that the US government has acquired access to phone metadata from most major US phone providers In effect then the government can generate a complete profile of every single person who communicates within to or via the US Even if as we re told the NSA is only interested in analysing the private lives of terrorists this nevertheless places an extraordinary amount of power in the hands of the US government The NSA is not the only ones getting their hands on our metadata In Britain and Australia governments seek access to metadata held by domestic phone companies and ISPs around 500 000 times a year In South Korea there were around 30 million requests for metadata in 2011 2012 alone Since metadata reveals relationships access requests for this information are often broad They are used to generate a picture of interactions by looking at a number of hops away from you usually three in total So this means that innocently associating with someone who associates with someone being investigated using this type of surveillance automatically places you within the net without any suspicion of wrong doing on your part Furthermore since you have no control over other people s activities you may be powerless to prevent the state from inspecting every detail of your life The companies who are part of the global surveillance industry are marketing and developing tools to analyse metadata ETI A S Evident provides in a basic package 1 000 selectors relating to metadata including IP address Chat nickname Email address User login name Webmail login name and more With so many points of data available to be selected and analysed the digital trail that we generate and our devices make available taken together all the pieces give a more accurate picture of our lives than even

    Original URL path: https://privacyinternational.org/node/53 (2016-04-27)
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  • What is Privacy | Privacy International
    the rules governing the conduct of commerce and the restraints we place upon the power of the state Technology has always been intertwined with this right For instance our capabilities to protect privacy are greater today than ever before yet the capabilities that now exist for surveillance are without precedent We can now uniquely identify individuals amidst mass data sets and streams and equally make decisions about people based on broad swathes of data It is now possible for companies and governments to monitor every conversation we conduct each commercial transaction we undertake and every location we visit These capabilities may lead to negative effects on individuals groups and even society as it chills action excludes and discriminates They also affect how we think about the relationships between the individual markets society and the state If the situation arises where institutions we rely upon can come to know us to such a degree so as to be able to peer into our histories observe all our actions and predict our future actions even greater power imbalances will emerge where individual autonomy in the face of companies groups and governments will effectively disappear and any deemed aberrant behaviour identified excluded and even quashed Perhaps the most significant challenge to privacy is that the right can be compromised without the individual being aware With other rights you are aware of the interference being detained censored or restrained With other rights you are also aware of the transgressor the detaining official the censor or the police Increasingly we aren t being informed about the monitoring we are placed under and aren t equipped with the capabilities or given the opportunity to question these activities Secret surveillance done sparingly in the past because of its invasiveness lack of accountability and particular risk to democratic life is quickly becoming the default Privacy International envisions a world in which privacy is protected respected and fulfilled Increasingly institutions are subjecting people to surveillance and excluding us from being involved in decisions about how our lives are interfered with our information processed our bodies scrutinised our possessions searched We believe that in order for individuals to participate in the modern world developments in laws and technologies must strengthen and not undermine the ability to freely enjoy this right Is privacy a right Privacy is a qualified fundamental human right The right to privacy is articulated in all of the major international and regional human rights instruments including United Nations Declaration of Human Rights UDHR 1948 Article 12 No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy family home or correspondence nor to attacks upon his honour and reputation Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights ICCPR 1966 Article 17 1 No one shall be subjected to arbitrary or unlawful interference with his privacy family home or correspondence nor to unlawful attacks on his honour or reputation 2 Everyone has the right

    Original URL path: https://privacyinternational.org/node/54 (2016-04-27)
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  • Internet Monitoring | Privacy International
    The interesting point here is that such metadata can be gathered at close to every point in the OSI Model Content can even be gathered too providing the intercepter of the information is willing to extract and reassemble the communication although that would require real time packet reconstruction not a trivial process Each layer from Data Link to Session provides different kinds of information as our packets travel through the network The final layer of the OSI Model is physical Interception at this layer requires a return to the crocodile clips approach where substantial hardware needs to be in place to gather information that way and requires a greater degree of reconstruction of the packets than if the interception was taking place closer to the Application and Presentation level A distinction is made when discussing technology that monitors the internet is it targeted or massive Targeted communications surveillance is the process of seeking specific IP addresses or unique signatures of a target ignoring all traffic that doesn t meet those criteria It can also involve the enticing of signals towards the point of interception When the target is discovered the traffic is copied intercepted and stored In some cases targeted communications surveillance is used to identify an individual s traffic and inject a trojan into the packet travelling to their system placing the trojan on their machine Massive communications surveillance casts a much wider net A number of surveillance companies advertise their technology as providing passive interception which can lead to massive communications surveillance It can mean two things which lead to massive communications surveillance one the collection of all the traffic passing through selected service providers depending on where the system is placed The further up a countrys communication network towards national Internet Service Providers or undersea cable landing stations the greater the level of information that will be caught up in the technologies net It could also involve surveillance of all the traffic throughout a country if the system is suitably capable The second meaning of passive interception is its non intrusiveness on the network Technologies providing passive interception are designed to be invisible which means that it could be installed on a network and the operator would have no knowledge of it being in operation These two aspects of passive interception can exist together or separately The first meaning defines massive communications surveillance the second can help facilitate massive surveillance with its non intrusiveness and inability for a network operator to detect In many cases the interception of emails over the internet for sought after content and metadata of the communication needs to take place at the email server for the sender of the message Otherwise the message may use a relay server a point between the sender and the recipient that would then mean that the identity of the sender could be hidden The information gathered from the sent mail includes both the content of the email and the various pieces of metadata that come with

    Original URL path: https://privacyinternational.org/node/12 (2016-04-27)
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