Regarding Rights

Academic and activist perspectives on human rights

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Corporate Gatekeepers on the Internet

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By Natasha Tusikov, Baldy Centre for Law and Social Policy, University of Buffalo at the State University of New York

Who makes the rules that govern how we use services and technologies on the Internet, and how are those rules implemented and enforced? Public concern over Internet surveillance peaked in 2013 with Edward Snowden’s dramatic disclosure of highly classified files. The Snowden files reveal that the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) and its allies are highly reliant upon large, U.S.-based Internet firms, particularly Google, Yahoo, Microsoft, and Facebook, among others. These firms are ideally suited to facilitate mass surveillance as many of their applications and services are premised upon sharing personal information and cultivating ever-expanding social and professional networks. Continue Reading →