SOPA, PIPA, ACTA, CISPA, TPP and a long list of draft laws, international treaties, and practices seek to impose the idea that the Internet is a wild space that must be controlled at all costs. At the same time, governments around the world increasingly claim their sovereignty on the Internet, and in turn interfere with Internet architecture, leaving its protagonists, from users to intermediaries, with new responsibilities [including legal ones].
These initiatives, sometimes driven by good intentions and other times (as we know) not so much, look to control the free flow of Internet content in some way. This can have profound implications for the rights of citizens.
Online surveillance: What does monitoring and detecting content on the Internet mean? (download pdf in Spanish) is a new study by the Center for Studies on Freedom of Expression and Access to Information (CELE) of the University of Palermo, Argentina, which seeks to delve into the consequences of these measures.
First, it offers a conceptual overview of the architecture of the Internet. Then, it analyzes the concept of control on the Internet, putting an emphasis on intermediaries and the use of technologies such as deep packet inspection. Finally, it discusses the tension between national security and the prevention of violence, and rights such as freedom of expression and privacy.
In a context where users increasingly understand the threats that such policies can pose for free expression online, in both international (The Internet Defense League) and local spheres (No Temas a Internet [es]), this text is essential reading.