Reports of the National Security agency’s surveillance programs based on documents leaked by Edward Snowden have been embarrassing for some, enraging to others. But to governments and security services in developing economies they will prove inspirational, according to a report (PDF) from the University of Toronto’s Citizen Lab, which studies online security and privacy.
The report warns that governments that already impose authoritarian controls on the Internet, such as China, India, and Saudi Arabia, may now seek to boost those efforts with NSA-style bulk collection programs that trample on civil liberties.
Ron Deibert, director of Citizen Lab, writes in the report that:
“No doubt one implication of Snowden’s revelations will be the spurring on of numerous national efforts to regain control of information infrastructures through national competitors to Google, Verizon, and other companies implicated, not to mention the development of national signals intelligence programs that attempt to duplicate the US model.”
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