Digital technologies and platforms are connecting people across space and time in new and disruptive ways.
Amazon is the world’s largest shopping platform. We buy books, clothes, shoes, and shortly groceries on the Amazon platform, and we do it with this powerful computer that we hold in our hand, our smartphone. We have access to more information, and goods and services, more quickly and more easily than we have ever had in human history.
But there’s a dark side to all this digital activity. We are sharing more information about ourselves, our likes, and dislikes, our activities, with digital providers. What is private is no longer clear.
We are, in other words, leaving a digital footprint every time we go on the web. And we are vulnerable to those who seek to spy on us, to ensnare us into digital traps with a simple click of our mouse.
Who’s watching? How are they watching? And are our democracies and human rights at risk?
To help us answer these questions, Janice spoke with Ron Deibert, the Director of the Citizen Lab at the Munk School of Global Affairs at the University of Toronto. For years, the Citizen Lab has sounded the alarm about the abuse of commercial spyware. It has shown how surveillance technology, allegedly restricted to government agencies for criminal, terrorism, and national security investigations, is used against civil society.
The Citizen Lab recently released a new report, “Reckless Exploit: Journalists, Lawyers, Children Targeted in Mexico with NSO Spyware.” The Report documents how the Government of Mexico spied on its own citizens using commercial software.