It’s not shocking to hear about federal routine surveillance of those who draw official attention in 2021. It is a sad time in which freedom seems pathetic and unsaved, even in liberal democracies. A record number of journalists have been arrested. It is not good news for the United States or anyone else around the globe that the routine practice of running names through multiple databases from different government agencies appears to be commonplace.
Jana Winter stated in a blog post that Yahoo News had obtained “documents including an inspector General report that covers more than 500 pages”, which exposes spying by Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP’s) Counter Network Division. December 11, 2009 report. The division still exists today. It had very few rules. They routinely used our most sensitive databases to get travel records as well financial and personal data of journalists, government officials, members of Congress, their staff, workers for NGO’s, and others.
Jeffrey Rambo, CBP agent was originally implicated in inquiries regarding Ali Watkins. A reporter at The New York Times. This included pulling email addresses, telephone numbers, and photos from passport applications, and then checking the information through a variety of sensitive government databases including the terrorist watchlist. He quickly realized that this was not the normal way of doing things within federal government.
Winter states that such vetting is a standard practice in the division, based on records found in the inspector general’s report.
The number of tools the federal government has at their disposal is no surprise. It’s not worth having huge, albeit unreliable, databases of people’s activity if they aren’t being used. Add geotagging data to the database and information gleaned from social media sites by contractors. Although it may seem creepy to run background checks on applicants as an everyday practice, it is not impossible to visualize it. It is notThis information can be made standard when it is easily accessible to agents.
Hugh Handeyside of the ACLU stated that he has seen for over two decades how post-9/11’s “collect-it all, share-it” philosophy floods law enforcement agencies with personal data on millions of Americans. Yahoo News‘s Winter. Agency employees have unlimited access to information. This is especially true if they are not trained or monitored closely.
Because of this, surveillance has been ubiquitous. National security is being fetishizedIt’s easy to find information about almost everyone, not only because this is a major concern. It’s nearly impossible for professional spy to keep covert within a digital world full of “digital barriers that are the hallmarks modern life: omnipresent surveillance camera and biometric borders controls, as well as smartphones and watches that continuously ping out their locations,” even professional spies. The Wall Street Journal Recently noted.
Individuals like The New York TimesIn an age of easy surveillance, Watkins became targets and official attention often turns against those who view the powerful with hostility. The Associated Press asked why one of their reporters had been targeted for snooping after the surveillance story was published. This is the Similar storyThe Justice Department of former President Donald Trump had seized records that belonged to journalists and Democratic members, along with their aides and a former White House Counsel, Don McGahn.” Federal investigators secretly seized records that were used by some reporters and editors for the AP. These were not only cellphones but also office and home telephone lines.
While governments don’t like being criticized and scrutinized, free nations expect them to be in the limelight as a cost of maintaining the safety of their state apparatus. They don’t have to like it. It is a sign that other countries are in worse straits than the United States, which enjoys First Amendment protections for freedom of speech and press.
The Norwegian Nobel Committee stated that “they are representative of all journalists who stand for this ideal in an environment in which democracy freedom and press freedom face increasing adverse conditions.” CommentMaria Ressa was awarded the 2021 Nobel Peace Prize, while Dmitry Muratov was presented with the Prize. Both were resistance to the oppressive actions of Russia and the Philippines governments.
Committee to Protect Journalists reports that in 2021, the number of journalists imprisoned all over the world broke another record. AnnoucedIt was just days ago. “Using new security and tech laws, oppressive regimes across Asia, Europe, and Africa harshly punished independent media.”
The worst form of such repression occurs in countries with explicit authoritarian governments. 56 journalists were detainedThe U.S. has more people this year than 2017-2019.
Journalists do not exist in bubbles. My observation in Recent article about mistreatmentJulian Assange, Wikileaks founder, was praised by Britain and America for his journalism. Journalism is not a profession, it’s an activity that anyone can participate in. The effective way of holding the powerful accountable and getting beneath their skin is to report and comment on their missteps. Angering powerful people is now a dangerous and perilous activity, even though it used to be safe.
Sweden’s Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance says, “The world is becoming increasingly authoritarian as autoritarian regimes become more brazenly in their repression.” Last month (Other groupsTake the following steps: Similar points). Many democratic governments are falling behind and adopting autoritarian strategies by restricting freedom of speech and weakening rule-of-law, which is a trend that was aggravated by the Covid-19 pandemic.
This was the result of a backsliding economy. Former President Donald TrumpHe attacked the credibility of media outlets critical and threatened to take legal action against them. It’s not stopping. Vice President BidenWho set his own Justice Department against parentsCriticisms of school policies. If presidents threaten law enforcement with the use of force against critics, government agents will not hesitate to probe and track anyone who comes to their attention.
The goal of reducing surveillance on journalists, activists and high-profile figures isn’t something that can be achieved by itself. In order to free critics of the powerful, we must reaffirm the importance of liberty over any national security or public health concerns, and all other considerations that politicians may have. Only then will it be possible to live in a world that views those in government offices as legitimate subjects for scrutiny and not the ones who are responsible.