The Internet is routinely described as borderless, and that is often how it feels. Tweet a photo or post a comment, and it is instantly viewable in nearly every country in the world. But a global Internet unbounded by territorial limits is pure fantasy.
Down where the cables lie and the servers spin, territory still matters.
Take user data. While 90 percent of the Internet’s users are outside the United States, the web is dominated by American firms. As a result, a great deal of non-American data is held on American servers. This was tolerable when trust in the United States was high. But after Edward J. Snowden peeled back the curtain on the National Security Agency’s Internet surveillance efforts, that trust withered.
In response, other nations are increasingly exercising their territorial control over the Internet, often in ways that mimic America’s worst practices.
Earlier this month, the British Home Secretary introduced a bill known as the Snoopers’ Charter that would broadly expand the government’s ability to collect user data — from authorizing the police to hack into phones and computers, to mandating that Internet companies decrypt encrypted communications. The bill goes too far and privacy advocates are right to oppose it.
But governments do have legitimate reasons to seek user data beyond their territorial reach, and privacy advocates ignore that need at their peril.
Ask a police officer anywhere outside of the United States and he’ll tell you that evidence for routine crimes — murder, theft, burglary — is very often stored in the cloud, typically in another jurisdiction. Last year alone, British law enforcement agents made nearly 54,000 requests for data from just five American firms: Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Twitter and Yahoo.
These requests often go nowhere because America’s 1986 Electronic Communications Privacy Act only allows technology firms to release American-held data in response to orders from an American judge. So if a British cop is investigating a murder in London, and he has good reason to believe that Google or Facebook has evidence about the crime, he must satisfy an American judge using an American constitutional standard to obtain the evidence. This cross-border process is notoriously slow. Requests take an average of 10 months — an eon in a criminal investigation — and many languish for years.
Exasperation with this process was a key motivation behind the Snoopers’ Charter, and Britain is hardly alone.
Because American law has made it nearly impossible to obtain digital evidence through legitimate channels, foreign police are turning to illegitimate ones. I recently attended a conference for purveyors of surveillance software — an event unofficially known as the “Wiretappers’ Ball.” I asked one vendor if he was aware of law enforcement’s frustrations with American tech firms. The salesman grinned and told me that police departments now buy his malware precisely because they’re tired of waiting for evidence through established diplomatic channels. This is alarming: Making it harder for the police to get criminal evidence lawfully may actually incentivize them to seek that data by snooping.
Read more: Dark Clouds Over the Internet
The Latest on: Dark Clouds Over the Internet
[google_news title=”” keyword=”Dark Clouds Over the Internet” num_posts=”10″ blurb_length=”0″ show_thumb=”left”]
via Google News
The Latest on: Dark Clouds Over the Internet
- The dark cloud over Indonesia’s pledge to achieve net zero emissions by 2060on February 25, 2024 at 3:59 pm
Over the past five years, Indonesia’s incremental RE contributions to the primary energy and electricity generation mix increased only 1 to 2 per cent per year. The current share of RE in the ...
- 'KeyTrap' DNS Bug Threatens Widespread Internet Outageson February 20, 2024 at 10:30 am
Thanks to a 24-year-old security vulnerability tracked as CVE-2023-50387, attackers could stall DNS servers with just a single malicious packet, effectively taking out wide swaths of the Internet.
- Dark clouds over weather forecast: Agromet units to wind up on March 1on February 14, 2024 at 2:27 pm
Gonikoppa: The district agromet unit at Gonikoppa, which was providing agrometeorological advisory service to hundreds of farmers, will stop functioning on March 1. The union government has ...
- How to Catch A Criminal: A Dark Cloud Follows Her (Part 2)on February 11, 2024 at 3:59 pm
Judy Buenoano's life was marred by tragedy, over and over again. But police discovered that she was the architect of some of these misfortunes. Reeling from the loss of her Son Michael ...
- Clouds disappear quickly during a solar eclipse, shows studyon February 11, 2024 at 3:59 pm
Cumulus clouds over land start to disappear almost instantly during a partial solar eclipse. Until recently, satellite measurements during the eclipse resulted in dark spots in the cloud map ...
- Haley: Trump casts a dark cloud over the Republican Partyon February 7, 2024 at 4:00 pm
Ms. Haley “was crushed by ‘none of these candidates’ by over a 2-1 margin, which led to some devastating headlines mocking her ridiculous campaign.” Things will likely get worse for Ms ...
- [OPINION] The dark clouds over the Luminare Awardson November 3, 2023 at 11:19 pm
fe, its parent company and affiliates, or its staff. This article [OPINION] The dark clouds over the Luminare Awards was originally published in PhilSTAR L!fe ...
- Dark clouds over China as banking sector begins to failon October 13, 2023 at 6:10 pm
The Shanghai Composite index had plummeted over 40%, and an effort to boost the shares of the largest banks proved futile, with declines continuing well into 2016. Now, the pieces are eerily ...
- Ominous dark cloud over Chiefs camp brings shades of 'Independence Day'on July 31, 2023 at 9:29 am
Los Angeles Chargers head coach Brandon Staley shares his excitement for wide receiver room, quarterback Justin Herbert. Seattle Seahawks rookie wide receiver Jaxon Smith-Njigba discusses what he ...
- ‘Dark cloud’ over communities after crash deaths of three friends, funeral toldon January 1, 2022 at 8:24 am
Mourners at both funerals heard how the tragedy has cast a dark cloud over Tyrone and has left people shocked and bewildered. Left to right, Nathan Corrigan, Peter Alexander Finnegan and Petey ...
via Bing News