At a glance.
- Surveillance tools as loss leaders for market capture in Latin America.
- DHS on social media oversight, threat landscape.
Surveillance tools as loss leaders for market capture in Latin America.
Rest of World summarizes a new Access Now report, “Surveillance Tech in Latin America,” which examines the growing influence of Chinese and Israeli companies in Argentina, Brazil, and Ecuador. Local politicians happily accept free or discounted gear to combat crime, enforce pandemic measures, or monitor classrooms. Tech companies, in turn, benefit from long-term regional business relationships, with the possibility for expansion into adjacent markets, as with Huawei’s 5G bids. Besides historical abuses of surveillance technology, there’s also concern about data collection and processing safeguards.
Access Now notes that Covid-19 has “given governments a new excuse to deploy dangerous surveillance tools in the name of public safety, even as they fail to protect human rights,” and worries about the results when “neither government officials nor the public understands how these technologies actually work, and no one has built in or enforced the transparency and accountability necessary to protect people.”
DHS on social media oversight, threat landscape.
The US Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the Wall Street Journal reports, is thinking about farming out social media analysis to private sector firms in the wake of January 6 intelligence failures. The initiative would look into “online narratives that might provide leads on developing attacks” and “warning signs of extremist violence” from foreign or domestic sources. Critics are raising civil liberties concerns as the Government weighs enlarging its social media oversight capacities. “What we’re talking about now is dramatically expanding our focus,” commented project lead and senior DHS official John Cohen.
American Security Today has an account of DHS’ most recent National Terrorism Advisory System Bulletin. The bulletin highlights threats from grievance-based groups and foreign and domestic terrorists with an eye to the rising role of digital platforms in inspiring and instructing potential threat actors. Foreign intelligence services are also in on the game, as China, Iran, and Russia in particular continue to disseminate disinformation online. While advising citizens to beef up their digital literacy, DHS commits to addressing “false narratives” and to “advancing authoritative sources of information.”