Everyone’s Rights are at Stake: Global Reach of US Surveillance Programs – Global Voices Advocacy

Last week’s revelations about phone and Internet surveillance programs of the US government’s National Security Agency (NSA) sent shock waves throughout the United States and the western media, but also around the globe. While in the US, many privacy-minded lawmakers and even digital rights advocates used the news as an opportunity to demand better protections for Americans’ online privacy, Internet users worldwide were left wondering how to protect their own data, short of closing their Google accounts, packing up their Facebook profiles and heading for the woods.

Documents leaked by Booz Allen employee and NSA contractor Edward Snowden have now confirmed that customer call data from telecommunications companies like Verizon and AT&T was being passed to the NSA through a system where accountability was scarce and secrecy ruled. Reports indicate that the agency applies a vague standard of “foreignness” when determining whether or not a person’s communications would be subject to surveillance under the US Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) and Section 215 of the PATRIOT Act– users who spoke with individuals in other countries, for any reason from hatching terrorist plots to catching up with relatives — could come under watch.

via Everyone’s Rights are at Stake: Global Reach of US Surveillance Programs – Global Voices Advocacy.

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