Governments Are Using The Pandemic To Crack Down On Digital Rights, Report Finds; #COVID19 #App #Privacy #Surveillance

(CNN) — In their fight against the coronavirus, some governments are introducing digital surveillance and data collection tools that could pose a lasting threat to citizens' rights, according to a new report by research institute Freedom House.

In their fight against the coronavirus, some governments are introducing digital surveillance and data collection tools that could pose a lasting threat to citizens' rights, according to a new report by research institute Freedom House.

The Freedom on the Net 2020 report, an assessment of 65 countries released Wednesday, found that the pandemic has accelerated a decline in free speech and privacy on the internet for the tenth consecutive year, and accused some governments of using the virus as a pretext to crack down on critical speech.

Following China's lead, governments from Bangladesh to Belarus blocked reporting and websites that contradicted official sources, revoking credentials and detaining journalists who challenged their statistics. In Venezuela, for example, the government barred a website with information about Covid-19 created by the opposition, while journalists were detained and forced to delete online content about the virus' spread in hospitals.

In at least 30 countries, governments have invoked the pandemic to tap into telecommunications data for mass surveillance with little oversight, Freedom House said. In Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Nigeria, among other places, that work is being carried out by or in tandem with national security and military agencies. Eliza Mackintosh, CNN/@CNN

Source: CNN, full story

 

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