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The Snowden Snowball Effect: The New International Internet Security Laws

 

A monumental campaign is growing stronger following a powerful letter sent to Washington, D.C. from US tech superpowers, who have formed an invincible alliance calling for reform of government surveillance practices around the globe.The Edward Snowden leaks have created a snowball effect not just here in the US but around the world, in both the private and public sectors, creating outrage and demanding the creation and enforcement of new International Internet Security Laws. This is nothing short of history in the making.

Edward Snowden’s Snow Ball Effect

Snowden Snow ball effect

Edward Snowden
Photo By: www.youtube.com/user/TheWikiLeaksChannel CC-BY-3.0

First it was The Guardian, next the arguably suspicious death of Michael Hastings, and then a wave of e-mail providers and internet search engines and soon after cell phone and telecom giants-all of which have admitted being pressured if not bullied into allowing the NSA (and GCHQ) access, take and use whatever information they wanted -for the good of the people of course. One of the first coalitions to use social media to propel anti spying sentiments was “Stop Watching Us” in which over a dozen celebrities were featured in an Oliver Stone directed PSA, encouraging the general public to sign a petition against this basic violation of rights from the NSA’s intrusive spying and blatant lying. The petition websites states that if true, these (spying) actions, “represent a stunning abuse of our basic rights.”

If you have not seen the video yet, here it is:

Besides celebrity endorsements (and more impacting), it’s impossible for the US Government to ignore the most recent Open Letter to Washington from Apple, AOL, Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, Microsoft, Twitter and Yahoo, which calls for immediate and drastic reform of government surveillance on the internet.

In part the open letter states concern for constitutional rights violations, and states that all entities will be “pushing back” surveillance requests unless they are both “legal and reasonable” in nature.

The coalition “Reform Government Surveillance” formed by the largest tech giants in the US is not a public petition, but is definitely a symbol of throwing around weight, and a message impossible to ignore.

Since that letter went out just days ago, a new international charter is being proposed to the United Nations that is intended to protect all nations’ civil rights with regards to the internet, including sweeping privacy and security laws to keep and help restore trust in the US government and internet service providers.

This new charter will be the most historical document in America since the United States Constitution.

Now there’s even more leverage (as if necessary) with five Nobel prize winners along with over 500 influential cultural international icons from all over the world rallying  to join the crusade against illegal and unethical human rights violations on the internet.

There may be many separate and individual groups against the NSA’s  surveillance techniques, but all are united in putting an end to privacy violations and establishing fair practices for security purposes. If there were to be new International Internet Security Laws they would have to include the following points that all groups and coalitions agree on so far:

  1. Limiting the Governments Authority to Collect User’s Information

  2.  Establish an Oversight and Accountability Committee

  3. Transparency of all Governmental Demands

  4. Not Hindering and Accepting a Free and Open Flow of Information

  5. Avoid Governmental Conflicts Among Nations with a type of Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty

A complete copy of the letter to Washington has been made public and available to view  in it’s entirety here.

About Tonya O'Dell


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