A reporter from the Wall Street Journal visited the Libyan’s Surveillance center in Tripoli after the city’s fall and observed that the authorities had been monitoring everything such as mobile and satellite phones and the internet. Emails and online conversations between Gaddafi’s rivals were included in some files.
Likewise, in Syria US equipment assists Bashar al-Assad’s regime to gag the internet and recover passwords and logins to get into people’s emails, Twitter or Facebook pages. This tool is especially helpful in tracking the exchanges opponents have with internal or foreign links.
- This technology is called ‘Deep Packet Inspection (DPI). When a person sends an email, a number of servers pass it on to the recipient. Every server transmits the message on to the next, only looking at the address of the recipient but not the contents.
- DPI technology enables people to read the content of internet communication, revise it and even send it to a different person.
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- The latest Wikileaks publication of various internal credentials from these companies indicates that communications network monitoring is being undertaken secretly in 25 countries.
- DPI was in the limelight in 2006 when a former technician with US internet provider AT&T revealed the fact that DPI technology had been installed in the center of the country’s internet network. This was in collaboration with the US National Security Agency.
- The stream of data over the internet is inclusive of the web, instant messaging, emails, phone conversations, and many more. Many of these messages are not encrypted therefore it is simple for it to be monitored by state security services.
- DPI technology is also utilized in legal surveillance. In France, police may monitor a suspect’s exchanges when conducting an investigation. This is done with the authority of a judge and the National Committee for the Control of Security Interceptions.
- Concerned about the high number of European companies using these technologies, the European parliament is trying to pass a ban on the sale of systems for monitoring text messages, phone calls or presenting targeted internet supervision, if this information is used to contravene democratic rights.
- In 2011 the EU council became more restrictive with Syria, and banned the export of software and equipment meant to be used in the supervision of internet and telephone interactions by the Syrian government.
- Surveillance software can undergo testing in governments of police states who want to monitor their whole population. This can be done in real conditions.
- It is common nowadays to see security cameras installed at different places. A number of nations worldwide have discovered the great potential these devices possess, especially in fighting crime.
- Because crime has risen drastically, security and agencies for law enforcement require being alert on illegal, antisocial and immoral crimes. Security cameras are normally installed at different public places and streets, so as to monitor all that happens in their vicinity. This ensures the safety of premises and the people surrounding it.
- It has been noted that the availability of security cameras at strategic points in public places deters crimes such as robbery and murder.
Many Countries implement the monitoring of citizens as a means of curbing crime.
This is especially important in this age of terrorism.