Saturday, 28 June 2014

Poland's citizens need to know the impact of Prism on their lives

Today a coalition of three Polish NGOs are submitting 100 detailed questions to the prism polish authorities relating to the Prism affair. We are asking about the reaction of Polish diplomats to various disclosures made by Edward Snowden, measures taken to protect civil rights and the confidentiality of governmental communication, secret agreements between security agencies and the documentation of Snowden's asylum proceedings. Up to now, the authorities have avoided any serious discussion of the issue, in contrast to their German counterparts. We hope to change this.

Surveillance remains a major human rights concern, no matter how developed the democracy concerned. However, those countries that carry totalitarian baggage, such as Poland, find an open public debate on this issue particularly challenging. Urgent problems such as an ineffective judiciary, overcrowded prisons and the discrimination of marginalised minorities make privacy concerns not less relevant but certainly more abstract. Polish citizens will not take to the streets to protest against abuses by the secret services, mass surveillance or the proliferation of CCTV. Even those who remember what it meant to live under total surveillance are now ready to accept the argument that national security has to prevail over individual freedoms. Poor education, low social capital and a popular belief that politics no longer matters pave the way for a new surveillance society.

No comments:

Post a Comment