Young people attack computer networks to impress friends and challenge political system, crime research shows
Edward Snowden won the majority of Guardian readers’ votes in our online poll, with Malala Yousafzai, joint official winner, in second place
Edward Snowden should have won the 2014 Nobel peace prize, according to Guardian readers who put the NSA whistleblower ahead of official winners Malala Yousafzai and Kailash Satyarthi.
Snowden, who leaked documents revealing global surveillance by the US and UK to the Guardian and others last year, received 47% of reader votes, with educational campaigner Malala gaining 36% and Snowden’s fellow American whistleblower Chelsea Manning at 15%.
Guardian reader Norbert Schuff explained the reasoning behind his vote:
Snowden is the only one on this list who deserves the peace price. His revelations of the broad government surveillance of digital communications not only had the most global impact but will also shape actions for freedom of expression and right of privacy for years to come.
Readers’ hopes were dashed when the Norwegian Nobel Committee awarded the prestigious and often controversial prize to Malala and Satyarthi for “their struggle against the suppression of children and young people and for the right of all children to education”.
The committee prides itself on its independence, but, headed by Norway’s former prime minister Thorbjørn Jagland and chosen by Norway’s parliament, its members are keenly aware of the political ramifications of their decisions.
“Giving it to Snowden would run against all political instincts. He is, after all, considered a traitor to one of Norway’s closest allies,” Kristian Harpviken, director at the Peace Research Institute in Oslo, told the Christian Science Monitor.
We must demand answers on NZ’s role in Five Eyes to ensure important values are upheld.
Since the release of documents by Edward Snowden nearly a year ago, New Zealand has often been seen as a passive participant in the Five Eyes intelligence-sharing alliance, not unlike a good kid hanging out with the wrong crowd.
However, Snowden documents released last month and the news that New Zealand appears to be sharing intelligence used in drone strikes shows this perception is far from the truth.
The Government is an active participant in this secretive surveillance alliance between the United States, Britain, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.
The Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB), our representative, is keyed into US National Security Agency (NSA) programmes that have caused controversy abroad: spying on close allies, mass surveillance of foreign populations and weakening our ability to protect our privacy online.
Sadly, we aren’t just following the poor examples of some bullies. We are one of the bad kids.
Mucho se ha hablado últimamente sobre “neutralidad de la red”, aunque probablemente no tengas idea en qué consiste. ¿Por qué es una idea que vale la pena defender? Francisco Vera lo explica y analiza un caso puntual en Chile.
La neutralidad de la red es un principio, una importante idea bajo la cual se ha desarrollado Internet desde sus inicios, que dicta que las empresas proveedoras de conexión a Internet deben tratar todos los contenidos de la misma manera. No importa si se trata de una película, una conversación de chat o una imagen publicada en una red social, todos deben ser transmitidos en igualdad de condiciones.
¿Por qué es buena la neutralidad de la red?
La neutralidad de la red garantiza que todos los usuarios de Internet puedan acceder a cualquier servicio de la red, independiente del contenido, la plataforma o el protocolo usado para intercambiar información en Internet. Este principio nos permite acceder a la amplia gama de posibilidades que nos ofrece Internet: podemos jugar en línea desde cualquier dispositivo; podemos descargar una distribución de Linux por descarga directa o usando el protocolo Bittorrent; podemos usar Skype en lugar del teléfono, Hangouts como alternativa a Skype, y podremos usar al sucesor de ambas cuando aparezca en el mercado.
La neutralidad de la red garantiza que podamos usar nuevos y mejores servicios en Internet, sin que los proveedores de conexión puedan fijar condiciones que perjudiquen a unos sobre otros, especialmente en los casos donde esos proveedores también ofrecen contenidos propios que pueden querer privilegiar. La neutralidad de la red defiende la libertad de competir y, al mismo tiempo, nuestra libertad de elegir.
Thanks to Edward Snowden, we know the apparatus of repression has been covertly attached to the democratic state. However, our struggle to retain privacy is far from hopeless
In the third chapter of his History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Edward Gibbon gave two reasons why the slavery into which the Romans had tumbled under Augustus and his successors left them more wretched than any previous human slavery. In the first place, Gibbon said, the Romans had carried with them into slavery the culture of a free people: their language and their conception of themselves as human beings presupposed freedom. And thus, says Gibbon, for a long time the Romans preserved the sentiments – or at least the ideas – of a freeborn people. In the second place, the empire of the Romans filled all the world, and when that empire fell into the hands of a single person, the world was a safe and dreary prison for his enemies. As Gibbon wrote, to resist was fatal, and it was impossible to fly.
The power of that Roman empire rested in its leaders’ control of communications. The Mediterranean was their lake. Across their European empire, from Scotland to Syria, they pushed roads that 15 centuries later were still primary arteries of European transportation. Down those roads the emperor marched his armies. Up those roads he gathered his intelligence. The emperors invented the posts to move couriers and messages at the fastest possible speed.
Using that infrastructure, with respect to everything that involved the administration of power, the emperor made himself the best-informed person in the history of the world.
That power eradicated human freedom. “Remember,” said Cicero to Marcellus in exile, “wherever you are, you are equally within the power of the conqueror.”
The empire of the United States after the second world war also depended upon control of communications. This was more evident when, a mere 20 years later, the United States was locked in a confrontation of nuclear annihilation with the Soviet Union. In a war of submarines hidden in the dark below the continents, capable of eradicating human civilisation in less than an hour, the rule of engagement was “launch on warning”. Thus the United States valued control of communications as highly as the Emperor Augustus. Its listeners too aspired to know everything.
We all know that the United States has for decades spent as much on its military might as all other powers in the world combined. Americans are now realising what it means that we applied to the stealing of signals and the breaking of codes a similar proportion of our resources in relation to the rest of the world.
The US system of listening comprises a military command controlling a large civilian workforce. That structure presupposes the foreign intelligence nature of listening activities. Military control was a symbol and guarantee of the nature of the activity being pursued. Wide-scale domestic surveillance under military command would have violated the fundamental principle of civilian control.
Instead what it had was a foreign intelligence service responsible to the president as military commander-in-chief. The chain of military command absolutely ensured respect for the fundamental principle “no listening here”. The boundary between home and away distinguished the permissible from the unconstitutional.
The distinction between home and away was at least technically credible, given the reality of 20th-century communications media, which were hierarchically organised and very often state-controlled.
When the US government chose to listen to other governments abroad – to their militaries, to their diplomatic communications, to their policymakers where possible – they were listening in a world of defined targets. The basic principle was: hack, tap, steal. We listened, we hacked in, we traded, we stole.
In the beginning we listened to militaries and their governments. Later we monitored the flow of international trade as far as it engaged American national security interests.
I questioned the Russian president live on TV to get his answer on the record, not to whitewash him
On Thursday, I questioned Russia’s involvement in mass surveillance on live television. I asked Russia’s president, Vladimir Putin, a question that cannot credibly be answered in the negative by any leader who runs a modern, intrusive surveillance program: “Does [your country] intercept, analyse or store millions of individuals’ communications?”
I went on to challenge whether, even if such a mass surveillance program were effective and technically legal, it could ever be morally justified.
The question was intended to mirror the now infamous exchange in US Senate intelligence committee hearings between senator Ron Wyden and the director of national intelligence, James Clapper, about whether the NSA collected records on millions of Americans, and to invite either an important concession or a clear evasion. (See a side-by-side comparison of Wyden’s question and mine here.)
Clapper’s lie – to the Senate and to the public – was a major motivating force behind my decision to go public, and a historic example of the importance of official accountability.
In his response, Putin denied the first part of the question and dodged on the latter. There are serious inconsistencies in his denial – and we’ll get to them soon – but it was not the president’s suspiciously narrow answer that was criticised by many pundits. It was that I had chosen to ask a question at all.
I was surprised that people who witnessed me risk my life to expose the surveillance practices of my own country could not believe that I might also criticise the surveillance policies of Russia, a country to which I have sworn no allegiance, without ulterior motive. I regret that my question could be misinterpreted, and that it enabled many to ignore the substance of the question – and Putin’s evasive response – in order to speculate, wildly and incorrectly, about my motives for asking it.
Edward Snowden calls in to ask a question of the Russian president, Vladimir Putin, during a televised phone-in. Putin denies Russia is involved in ‘mass, indiscriminate’ surveillance but says they use modern means to fight terrorism. Whistleblower Edward Snowden was granted asylum in Russia in 2013