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
via Google News
The Latest on: Dark Clouds Over the Internet
- India’s future F&B fare: Dawn of the cloud kitchen revolutionon February 23, 2021 at 2:31 am
The food again was prepared in age-old kitchen equipment which often lacked many standards when it came to safety and food security. Moreover, the usual marketing channel was word-of-mouth to make or ...
- Practicing the Changeon February 18, 2021 at 9:51 pm
Practicing the Change By Glenn Coles, CIO, Yamaha Motor Corporation - The world of engineering is all about data and the technologies that jazz around it. Various research analysts ...
- These two technologies could supercharge our privacy on the interneton February 10, 2021 at 12:00 am
In recent years, the negative impacts of social media and other global technology platforms have become a top concern for people around the world. The danger seems to grow by the day: Recently, we ...
- Here's Why You Should Expect a 20% Stock Market Crash in 2021on February 6, 2021 at 4:06 am
The unprecedented nature of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic turned societal norms on their heads, brought an end to the traditional work environment, and cast a dark cloud over ...
- The Dark Web Continues to Bring Woes to Businesseson February 6, 2021 at 2:13 am
Following this, India’s combined dark web searches hit over 250,000 in the past year, with the UK coming in third place eager to learn more about it. In Europe, excluding the UK, internet users ...
- AI and APIs: The A+ Answers to Keeping Data Secure and Privateon February 5, 2021 at 6:37 am
To be sure, the Internet of Things (IoT), application programming interfaces (APIs), cloud-based analytics ... "We see deals and alliances escalating over the next four years as companies compete ...
- The Pink Cloud Is a Dark Sci-Fi Take on Quarantine, Made Before the Pandemicon January 30, 2021 at 4:35 pm
The internet ... dark conversations with her kid sister Júlia (Helena Becker) and best friend Sara (Kaya Rodrigues). Júlia and her friends were having a sleepover when the cloud hit, and are ...
- Security's Inevitable Shift to the Edgeon January 27, 2021 at 7:06 am
That optimal location is the edge of the Internet, which will be close to any ... using heterogeneous capabilities available at various cloud security providers (CSPs). Another driver for SASE ...
- Social media platform Parler goes dark after Amazon cloud suspensionon January 22, 2021 at 10:54 am
Alternative social media platform Parler went down early Monday following Amazon Web Services' decision to suspend Parler from its cloud hosting ... to get back on the internet, you know ...
- Ondo Ultimatum to Herdsmen: Yoruba group tackles Presidencyon January 21, 2021 at 9:14 am
The Yoruba Summit Group (YSG) has said that with the statement credited to the presidency, it is evident that dark clouds are all over Nigeria. YSG, which is the umbrella body for all Yorùbá ...
via Bing News