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Violent Voyeurism: Surveillance, Spyware and Human Rights .

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Offline sr john

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Violent Voyeurism: Surveillance, Spyware and Human Rights .
« on: November 05, 2019, 07:00:17 PM »
26 June 2019 .

Surveillance is merely a variant of violent voyeurism, the human behind the camera or visual apparatus observing behaviour in a setting, often private. Its premise is privacy’s violation; its working assumption is privacy’s irrelevance; officially tolerated such a concept is unofficially repudiated. Studies on surveillance do as much to reveal its problems as accommodate them: the great, all seeing commissar of email, letters and conversations remains persuasive .

Those who have put pen to paper on this have not always been very sympathetic. Judith Jarvis Thomson tended to see matters of privacy as a secondary interest: privacy rights are bundled up, as it were, with others, a second order of concern. The violation of privacy comes after more salient breaches. But mass market surveillance, much of it manufactured in the private sector, the ubiquity of spyware, and the ease with which such material can be acquired, has eclipsed such quibbles .

The innovations on the market have proven to be devastatingly effective. Canadian privacy research group Citizen Lab’s work in this field has shed light on a range of manufacturers pushing such products as FinFisher, the Remote Control System (RCS) of Hacking Team, and Israel’s own NSO Group’s Pegasus. As Sarah McKune and Ron Deibert observed in 2017, “business is booming for a specialized market to facilitate the digital attacks, monitoring, and intelligence-cum-evidence-gathered conducted by government entities and their proxies.”

Pegasus spyware remains one of the NSO Group’s most damnably and dangerously effective products, used to target individuals in 45 countries with impunity. Human rights activists such as Ahmed Mansoor can testify to its spear-phishing qualities, having been a target of various SMS messages with links intended to infect his iPhone. Had he actually clicked on those links instead of passing them on to experts at Citizen Lab and the cybersecurity firm Lookout for examination, surveillance software would have been installed .

An even more high profile instance where Pegasus is alleged to have been deployed is the case of slain journalist and occasional Riyadh critic Jamal Khashoggi, who was brutally dismembered in the Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul on October 2, 2018. A suit against NSO was subsequently filed in Tel Aviv by fellow dissident critic Omar Abdulaziz, claiming that communications between him and Khashoggi had been monitored by Saudi authorities deploying NSO software .

https://www.counterpunch.org/2019/06/26/violent-voyeurism-surveillance-spyware-and-human-rights/ .


 
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