Meagan Bell argues that surveillance capitalism, the data-driven business model driving Google, Facebook and other Internet companies, weakens Canadians’ ability to defend democracy, human rights and the human future.
Data analytics firm Cambridge Analytica’s scandalous harvesting and use of Facebook user data highlights the urgent need for robust public debate on the emerging problem of “surveillance capitalism” in our increasingly digital society, suggests Jennifer Cobbe, the co-ordinator of Cambridge University’s Trustworthy Technologies strategic research initiative.
WikiLeaks’ “Vault 7” leak reveals the CIA’s dangerous global hacking arsenal. The dump confirms that encrypted messaging apps such as Signal and WhatsApp remain ordinary citizens’ first line of defence against government spying.
Unites States President Donald Trump’s powerful Executive Order, the “Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior of the United States”, issued at the end of January, jeopardizes the privacy and digital rights of Canadians based in the U.S. Meanwhile, information-sharing agreements between Canadian and U.S. governments already grant the Americans substantial access to Canadians’ online data and lives.
Reporters Without Borders is appalled by recent revelations that Montreal police secretly monitored the mobile phone of La Presse columnist Patrick Lagacé. A coalition of Canadian rights groups links the Lagacé case to Canadian police and security services’ growing hunger for new powers and investigative capabilities.
Telecommunications giant AT&T’s spying on Americans for profit on behalf of law enforcement agencies is “more terrifying than the illegal NSA surveillance programs that Edward Snowden exposed,” says rights group Fight for the Future.