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The World After Snowden, as Seen from Colombia

Colombian activist Pilar Sáenz [es] writes on Las 2 Orillas [The two shores] an article titled Year 1 AS (after Snowden) [es], in relation to the first anniversary of the leakings by Edward Snowden.

El 5 de junio de 2013 fue el día en que algunas de las teorías de conspiración más descabelladas se tornaron realidad, cuando los paranoicos supieron a ciencia cierta y con evidencias irrefutables que tenían la razón. Ese día sentimos que la ficción de Orwell plasmada en 1984 podría ser dolorosamente superada por la realidad. Hace un año confirmamos que el miedo y la falta de control llevan fácilmente al abuso del poder y que el gran peligro que acecha a las democracias no es el terrorismo sino el autoritarismo que justifica la violación permanente de los derechos humanos en la búsqueda de una supuesta seguridad nacional.

On June 5, 2013 was the date when some of the most ridiculous conspiracy theories came true, when paranods knew for sure and with irrefutable evidence that they were right. That day we all felt, painfully, that Orwell's fiction captured on [his book] 1984 could easily be surpassed by fiction. A year ago, we confirmed that fear and lack of control might easily result in power abuse and that the great danger that stalks democracies is not terrorism but authoritarianism that justifies a permanent violation of human rights in pursuit of an alleged national security.


Edward Snowden, by AK Rockefeller on flickr. Used with a Creative Commons license (CC BY-SA 2.0).

After noting that Colombia itself was one of the most surveiled countries [es] in the region, Pilar reviews the cases of intern surveillance known in that country.

En 2009 se reveló el escándalo conocido como “las chuzadas del DAS“, cuando ese organismo interceptó ilegalmente las comunicaciones de periodistas, políticos, jueces y ONG […] En 2013, apareció Puma, la Plataforma Única de Monitoreo y Análisis de comunicaciones para investigaciones criminales, parte de la implementación de la Ley de inteligencia […] En febrero de 2014 un nuevo escándalo expuso la fachada de una operación de inteligencia militar denominada “Andrómeda“. Su objetivo principal: periodistas, opositores políticos, el gobierno y los negociadores del proceso de paz con la guerrilla en La Habana.

In 2009 the scandal known as “the DAS wiretapping“ [DAS is the Spanish acronym of the Administrative Department of Security], when this entity illegally intercepted communications of journalists, politicians, judges and NGOs […]. In 2013, Puma [es] was released, a Platform for Communications Monitoring and Analyzing for criminal investigations which is part of the implementation of the intelligence Legislation […]. In February 2014, a new scandal disclosed the facade of a military intelligence operation known as “Andrómeda“ [es]. Its main target: journalists, opposition políticians, government and negotiators for the peace process with guerrilla in Havana.

At the end, she reflects: “On Year 1 AS the only clear thing is that there is still a long way to go to guarantee the rights of the citizens who also live in the cyberspace”.

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