Index on Censorship is appalled at the reports of alleged US mass surveillance programmes sweeping up data from internet and communications firms.
CEO Kirsty Hughes said “Mass surveillance is never justified — democracies should be standing up for digital freedom at a time when it is under threat from countries like China and Iran, not undermining it.”
The Guardian and the Washington Post have reported on PRISM — a “top secret program that claims to have direct access to servers of firms including Google, Facebook and Apple.” The program allows officials to snoop into a range of web content — live chats, emails, file transfers and video calls, the papers wrote, drawing from a classified document about PRISM. The Guardian previously reported that the government had seized numbers from Verizon’s network.
Caught in the Web: How free are we online?
The internet: free open space, wild wild west, or totalitarian state? However you view the web, in today’s world it is bringing both opportunities and threats for free expression — and ample opportunity for government surveillance.