Whistle-blowers like Edward Snowden
and Julian Assange
are hounded – not by autocratic but by democratic governments – for revealing the truth about grave human rights violations. Nobel peace prize winner, writer and political activist Liu Xiaobo
is currently languishing in a Chinese prison while the killing of Egyptian protestor, poet and mother Shaimaa al-Sabbagh
, apparently by a masked policeman, in January this year continues to haunt us.
In a highly anticipated speech on Friday, President Barack Obama introduced a series of reforms that will place new limits and safeguards on U.S. intelligence gathering, including additional protections for foreign nationals overseas.
If people outside the United States are looking for answers why Americans often seem so clueless about the world outside their borders, they could start with what the three major U.S. television networks offered their viewers in the way of news during 2013.
When the U.N. Correspondents Association (UNCA) held its annual award ceremony last week, one of the video highlights was a hilarious skit on the clumsy attempts to bug the 38th floor offices of Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.
As the first formal probe by an international rights body into allegations of U.S. mass surveillance began here Monday, privacy advocates from throughout the Americas accused Washington of violating international covenants and endangering civil society.
When the 193-member General Assembly adopts a resolution next month censuring the illegal electronic surveillance of governments and world leaders by the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA), the U.N.’s highest policy-making body will spare the United States from public condemnation despite its culpability in widespread wiretapping.
When Clare Short, Britain's former minister for international development, revealed that British intelligence agents had spied on former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan by bugging his office just before the disastrous U.S. invasion of Iraq in March 2003, the U.N. chief was furious that his discussions with world leaders had been compromised.
Press freedom advocates here charge that the administration of President Barack Obama is engaged in a war on “leaks” of secret information that is without parallel in this country.
Governments of countries that engage in large-scale electronic espionage, like the United States, and companies that develop spying software could theoretically face legal action for violating the Convention on Cybercrime.
Throwing diplomatic protocol to the winds, Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff launched a blistering attack on the United States for illegally infiltrating its communications network, surreptitiously intercepting phone calls, and breaking into the Brazilian Mission to the United Nations.
Reported U.S. spying on Brazil’s Petrobras oil firm revived the controversy over opening up the company, a symbol of Brazilian sovereignty since the 1950s, to foreign investment.
Non-governmental organisations are urging the United Nations Human Rights Council to demand explanations from the Mexican state for the weak protection it provided its citizens from large-scale spying by the United States.
After more than two years of fighting to prevent their release, the Department of Justice has released numerous documents related to domestic spying on U.S. citizens by the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) and the previously-secret court opinions that authorised the NSA’s controversial programmes to go forward.
James Bimen Associates of Virginia and Harris Corporation of Florida have contracts with the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to hack into computers and phones of surveillance targets, according to Chris Soghoian, principal technologist at the American Civil Liberties Union's Speech, Privacy and Technology Project.
How do U.S. intelligence agencies eavesdrop on the whole world? The ideal place to tap trans-border telecommunications is undersea cables that carry an estimated 90 percent of international voice traffic.
Glimmerglass, a northern California company that sells optical fibre technology, offers government agencies a software product called "CyberSweep" to intercept signals on undersea cables.
When the Cold War peaked in the late 1960s and '70s, the United States and the then-Soviet Union were armed with one of the most effective non-lethal weapons in their diplomatic arsenal: a veto in the U.N.'s most powerful body, the Security Council.
THESIS ONE: The leaks are not about "whistle-blowing", but about a nonviolent, civil disobedient fight against huge social evils.
Civil liberties advocates are expressing doubt that promised reforms to a vast and controversial U.S. surveillance programme will allay concerns that the spying infringes on certain rights.
The growing political rift between the United States and Russia triggered by the granting of temporary asylum to U.S. whistleblower Edward Snowden, who is now holed up in Moscow, is threatening to further undermine relations between the two superpowers at the United Nations.
Party allegiances apparently mean little in the U.S. when it comes to the debate over domestic government surveillance.