Imagine a government with the power to spy on any critic, reporter or activist. A state with the capacity to extort or silence by tracking not just a person’s movements but her conversations, contacts, photos, notes, emails … the entire content of one’s digital life.
This may sound like something from dystopian fiction, but such targeted surveillance is a grim reality of the digital age. It is increasingly a tool of repressive governments to stifle debate, criticism and journalism. Over and over, researchers and journalists have been uncovering evidence of governments, with the help of private companies, inserting malware through surreptitious means into the smartphones, laptops and other devices belonging to people they are seeking to suppress: people who play essential roles in democratic life, facilitating the public’s right to information.
David Kaye is the UN special rapporteur on freedom of expression
Article submitted by, Great Gazoo.