[IRPCoalition] [governance] A message from R2K to Britain's spies at GCHQ

Chris Prince Udochukwu Njoku udochukwu.njoku at unn.edu.ng
Wed Jun 24 23:49:20 EEST 2015


You see? Many governments, especially those who believe they rule the
world, are desperate to take charge of the Internet. They feel threatened
by the fact that the Internet is unlike their physical kingdoms where they
easily fill the streets with heavily armed devouring security personnel
against peaceful road marches for good governance, transparency,
anti-corruption, no torture and human rights protection. They feel
threatened by the fact that the Internet allows unrestrictive freedom of
expression and make it easy for the world to unearth and timeline cry out
against their secret arrests, executions and other misdemeanors. They
attempt to distract further discussions on multi-stakeholder Internet
governance and to probably mar impending universal endorsement of the
approach. These are why civil society and those nation states (like Brazil)
who stand on multi-stakeholderism (emphasized in ITU's briefing papers:
"Supporting Multistakeholderism in Internet Governance" and "The Enhanced
Cooperation Process") must step up efforts against government control of
the Internet.

The 6 opinions regarding fundamental issues of Internet governance,
endorsed by World Telecommunication/ICT Policy Forum on 14-16 May 2013, are
still valid. Brazil's 7th opinion: "Operationalising the role of
governments in the multi-stakeholder model for internet governance" still
needs to be discussed and endorsed.

I agree "in toto cubidem" with Jean-Louis that the contents of the
agreement between the governments of South Africa (SA) and China on
Internet governance and cybersecurity should be made public. It might not
be ruled out that SA is moving to "import" Chinese Internet censorship

The forthcoming WSIS+10 Review is a critical exercise (which ought not
overlook WSIS+10 Visioning Challenge Document produced during 2013 World
Summit on the Information Society Forum) and should be an opportunity to
showcase (NOT hypothesize) the positive impact of the Internet in light of
UN Declaration of Human Rights, Millennium Development Goals and good
governance in many countries.

It's noteworthy that all that the Internet had achieved in human and
community development wouldn't have been possible if governments had been
in charge of the Internet.

>From Amnesty International and One.org's online petitions that had secured
people's rights, through ISOC's Community Grants that had come a long way
in bridging the digital divide, to Massachusetts Institute of Technology's
Open Courseware, United Nations University's online degree programs and
Coursera + EdX + other MOOCs that had enabled knowledge/skills improvement
for many people who were hitherto educationally disabled, there are people
with live stories of how the Internet and other ICTs transform lives and
shape personal and communal directions. These are the people who should be
brought in to paint the real (or, if you like, sharpen the) picture of ICTs
in development. Someone had expressed this line of thought in one of our
Internet Policy List discussions on WSIS+10 preparatory process. That
colleague was right on.

The borderlessness of the Internet MUST not be abused for international
electronic espionage and cross-border invasion of people's rights and
privacy. So, mass surveillance, in whatever guise, is unacceptable to me
and should be so to all.



University of Nigeria

​[image: Inline image 1]​

On Jun 23, 2015 10:48 AM, "Jean-Louis FULLSACK" <jlfullsack at orange.fr>

> Thanks, Anriette,
> for this expression of "outrage" against NGO spying. I strongly support
> this protest.
> I'd also add another opportunity for NGO's outrage that Right2Know
> mentioned recently : the ICT Partnership between South Africa and China. It
> includes Internet governance and cyber-security. The NGO demands that the
> terms of the cooperation agreement are made public Moreover, the NGO
> mentions i.a. that for the Chinese governement Internet censorship is the
> rule and standard.
> Best regards
> Jean-Louis Fullsack
> > Message du 23/06/15 11:03
> > De : "Anriette Esterhuysen" <anriette at apc.org>
> > A : irp at lists.internetrightsandprinciples.org, "Internet Governance" <
> governance at lists.igcaucus.org>, "bestbits at lists.bestbits.net" <
> bestbits at lists.bestbits.net>
> > Copie à :
> > Objet : [IRPCoalition] A message from R2K to Britain's spies at GCHQ
> >
> > Dear all I am sure many of you saw the news yesterday about GCHQ spying
> on South African and Egyptian human rights organisations. Here is our
> response (our being South African activists). Anriette *A message from R2K
> to Britain's spies at GCHQ* Online: http://www.r2k.org.za/?p=5076 We are
> outraged to learn that the UK’s Gov­ern­ment Com­mu­ni­ca­tions
> Head­quar­ters (GCHQ), the British spy agency, has spied on email
> communications of the Legal Resources Centre <
> http://lrc.org.za/press-releases/3520-press-release-lrc-emails-intercepted-by-british-intelligence>.
> This emerged on Monday in a ruling by the UK’s secretive Investigative
> Powers Tribunal. The ruling confirmed that another human rights
> organisation, the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR), was also
> spied on in breach of GCHQ’s internal policies. It seems there are no
> limits to what GCHQ and its allies are willing to do. The ruling found that
> this surveillance was illegal, even by GCHQ's own very lax standards,
> although this was described as a "technical" breach. This is further
> evidence of the extent to which governments across the world seem willing
> to use surveillance policies to invade the privacy of human rights
> defenders and ordinary citizens alike. The LRC provides pro bono legal
> support to many civil society groups and communities across South Africa,
> including the Right2Know Campaign. This surveillance has potentially also
> violated the rights of the LRC’s clients to attorney-client
> confidentiality, although no information has been provided in the ruling
> about precisely what communications were intercepted. We applaud the LRC
> for its continued efforts to protect the rights of its clients. We call on
> the British Embassy in Pretoria to explain how its government came to spy
> on South African human rights lawyers! And we send a message to the GCHQ,
> which they can plug into Google Translate in their own time: *Sidikiwe!
> Voetsek! * For more information see the LRC's press release <
> http://lrc.org.za/press-releases/3520-press-release-lrc-emails-intercepted-by-british-intelligence>
> and Privacy International's briefing <
> https://www.privacyinternational.org/?q=node/601>.
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