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EU Moves To End Surveillance Tech Sales To Repressive Regimes

samzenpus posted more than 2 years ago | from the these-customers-are-never-right dept.

Privacy 132

superglaze writes "The European Union is asking companies that sell surveillance and law enforcement tech to repressive regimes to stop doing so. The EU is not taking concrete action yet, but has warned that sanctions may be applicable. All this comes little more than a week after Wikileaks published the Spy Files, a name-and-shame list of the companies offering tools for mass surveillance and interception to despotic regimes, but also to Western governments."

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132 comments

Repressive? (4, Insightful)

retech (1228598) | more than 2 years ago | (#38312602)

Who exactly defines repressive and from which side is this judgment passed?

Re:Repressive? (4, Insightful)

jd (1658) | more than 2 years ago | (#38312642)

I thought that was public knowledge. The world is divided into the righteous and the unrighteous, with the righteous always the ones doing the dividing.

Re:Repressive? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38313478)

Actually it is. It's just that non-retarded people know that reality is relative. So everyone is righteous from his perspective.

Also, obviously the EU likes to be the only repressive regime with that surveillance tech. ^^

Re:Repressive? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38313578)

So everyone is righteous from his perspective.

You not should have used an universal quantifier as I am not.
Sometime, I lie, I deceive and even I betray, I don't feel especially righteous about it but I am not ashamed either as everyone (note the use of a universal quantifier) does it from time to time it's just that most of them (qualified quantifier) are not aware of it...

Re:Repressive? (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38312656)

Whoever has almost as much streetside camera surveilance and warrantless wiretapping as us is repressive.

Re:Repressive? (4, Insightful)

AmiMoJo (196126) | more than 2 years ago | (#38312658)

Repression involves restricting free speech, journalism and internet access. Nice to see our EU politicians taking a moral stand when our own governments won't.

Re:Repressive? (3, Funny)

517714 (762276) | more than 2 years ago | (#38313012)

US politicians generally take amoral stands.

Re:Repressive? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38313034)

That's no true. US Politicians ONLY take moral stands.

They just happen to be taking a stand based on morals that the vast majority of US non-politicians don't agree with or disagree with...

Re:Repressive? (2)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | more than 2 years ago | (#38313058)

In US politics, 'moral' has come to mean 'social conservative.' They hijacked the word to justify their policies, most of which seem to revolve around fighting anything to to with sex.

Re:Repressive? (1)

RogerWilco (99615) | more than 2 years ago | (#38313992)

In US politics, 'moral' has come to mean 'social conservative.' They hijacked the word to justify their policies, most of which seem to revolve around fighting anything to to with sex.

Or science.

Re:Repressive? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38313238)

But how much restriction of free speech (neo-nazi-talk in Germany), journalism (license requirements in Italy) or internet access (various web site blocks in every country imaginable) is still ok?

Re:Repressive? (2)

Ihmhi (1206036) | more than 2 years ago | (#38314146)

But how much restriction of free speech

Don't forget about the hilariously strong libel laws in UK. That, the lack of the ability to legally own and carry a firearm, and the difficulty in justifying defending yourself with reasonable force are the three major reasons I would never live there. (And if it weren't for those three big things, I'd have moved there a long time ago.)

Re:Repressive? (1)

tburkhol (121842) | more than 2 years ago | (#38313318)

Repressive technology also includes surveillance technology. In fact, it's mostly surveillance technology.

This is an extremely hypocritical move, implying that only a few enlightened countries are capable of using CCTV, face recognition software, network and cell phone monitors "properly." If they want to make a statement about repressive technology, the first step they should take is at home, removing or sharply limiting their own police forces' access to such repressive, undemocratic technologies.

Lead by example. Make your country the place everyone wants to go. Make your country the model for developing nations. The "do as I say, not as I do" crap stopped being credible when I turned 14.

Re:Repressive? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38313470)

The problem is that this technology really does catch a lot of real criminals.

In the 70s you could walk into an empty convenience store, kill the clerk, steal the cash out of the register, and so long as nobody saw you and you didn't leave fingerprints you could just go on with your life.

Is catching all of these extra criminals worth the loss of freedom? I'd say no, but I might feel differently if I worked at 7-11.

Re:Repressive? (2)

Alex Belits (437) | more than 2 years ago | (#38313516)

What freedom? Store cameras are not available for mass-surveillance fishing expeditions by police and businesses, so what is the problem?

It's hugely cost-ineffective (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38314114)

I can't find the link any more (a few years ago, so sue me...), but the cost of the CCTV network was totalled and the criminals caught because of the CCTV footage (i.e. there would have been no case without it) were counted up and the cost per arrest was VASTLY higher than the average cost to apprehend a criminal.

So rather than pay for the CCTV network, they could have spent the money on other procedures and caught more criminals or saved the money.

Re:Repressive? (1)

Richard_at_work (517087) | more than 2 years ago | (#38313508)

I take it France and Germany are fucked then...? Aren't they?

Re:Repressive? (1)

impaledsunset (1337701) | more than 2 years ago | (#38313536)

So EU should stop selling surveillance equipment to the US (SOPA), France (HADOPI) and Sweden (Assange)?

Re:Repressive? (1)

LordLimecat (1103839) | more than 2 years ago | (#38313980)

SOPA hasnt passed.

HADOPI doesnt involve government surveillance, as much as it may bug you to hear this. It also doesnt require "surveillance tech"'; an ISP can monitor any non-encrypted communication you make pretty trivially with a $30 router and a $150 switch, or 2 $20 USB ethernet devices bridged.

Assange is being accused of a rape crime, which has absolutely NOTHING to do with repression or surveillance; 2 witnesses are accusing him of a crime and the courts are trying to go through their process. Im not clear what surveillance tech you think is involved here.

Re:Repressive? (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 2 years ago | (#38314002)

Oh, so like the US crack down on Occupy Wall Street, the journalists arrested during the crackdown, and the US confiscation of domain names they have no jurisdiction over?

Re:Repressive? (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | more than 2 years ago | (#38314494)

Just to be clear I am European and would advocate bringing sanctions against the US for its actions over the past decade. Additionally the EU has been taking legal action against member states for, for example the spying conducted by BT and Phorm.

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Re:Repressive? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38312780)

"If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds, and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart?" -- Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

Re:Repressive? (1)

Alex Belits (437) | more than 2 years ago | (#38313530)

...and then he proceeded to write a massive pseudo-autobiographical piece of fiction where he paints the government of the country where he was wrongfully imprisoned as pure evil, mixing facts with fantasy as it fits his agenda.

Re:Repressive? (4, Funny)

Theophany (2519296) | more than 2 years ago | (#38312784)

The West. Everybody else is too repressive to define and judge, obviously.

Re:Repressive? (1)

Ihmhi (1206036) | more than 2 years ago | (#38314166)

I believe in right-ism. That is, the more someone is to your right, the more evil they are. Europe is bad, but Russia and the Middle East are worse because they're farther to the right (from our perspective.)

Don't even get me started on those Samoan bastards.

Re:Repressive? (2)

Hentes (2461350) | more than 2 years ago | (#38312834)

The Declaration of Human Rights.

Re:Repressive? (1)

Alex Belits (437) | more than 2 years ago | (#38313538)

US violates almost everything in it (not surprising considering that country was originally based on "rights" like slavery and genocide). EU countries are only marginally better.

Re:Repressive? (1)

Hentes (2461350) | more than 2 years ago | (#38313592)

True, but there are major differences in the degree of violation. The problem is, the human rights are too broad, but there is a core of them that most civilized countries respect (for example, th one against slavery). No treaty is unviolable, but as I recall the torture of prisoners generated a great shitstorm in America, which is how it works.

Re:Repressive? (2)

Alex Belits (437) | more than 2 years ago | (#38313972)

And yet in US it's OK to refuse long-term medical treatment whenever insurance companies can predict that a person will be unprofitable for them.
By severity of consequences, benefits gained and resources necessary to avoid such violations, it's many orders of magnitude worse than torture. Americans refuse to recognize this for the same reason why they prefer murderers to rapists despite murder having far worse consequences than rape -- one is a "hot button", another is not.

Re:Repressive? (5, Insightful)

allcoolnameswheretak (1102727) | more than 2 years ago | (#38312888)

Is it really that hard? If there is a concentration of power with lack of democratic structure and widespread censorship, I think those are pretty good indicators.

I'm getting a little tired of this schizophrenic attitude of finger pointing at western governments for their foreign policy and dealings. There is always going to be corruption and power abuse and western governments are not exempt from that. But there are far, far worse things going on in most of the rest of the world. If anyone has the moral authority to define what constitutes a repressive regime and gang up on them to limit the harm they can cause their own people, than it is western Europe. We have our share of problems, but we are also the most important stronghold of democracy and civil rights in the world (I consider the U.S. with its two party system and rampant lobbyism more as an oligarchy as a truly functional democracy). We will make mistakes along the way, but if we don't send signals and push back against what we consider to be repressive regimes, nobody else will because nobody else cares. So stop nitpicking at every action that is taken. At least there are some democratically elected institutions thinking about and trying to deal with these issues.

that was pretty hilarious (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38313006)

Italy is about to throw democracy down the toilet so that they can implement 'austerity measures' to pay for Berlusconi's corrupt decade+ rule (a dude who ruthlessly censored the media, put protestors into the hospital, helped the US invade Iraq, etc etc).

European companies like Deutschebank, UBS, Credit Suisse First Boston, NYSE Euronext, etc, are every bit participants in the US 'oligarchy' and in the crash of 2008 and the bailouts. All of those Credit Default Swaps were invented in London, AIG's FP group was in London, JP Morgans derivatives group was in London, because London has virtually no regulation of finance, because it is just as corrupt as New York City, or, say, Bombay or Zaire, when it comes to the crimes of the super rich.

those 'far far worse' things in the rest of the world are often happening for the benefit of European and US corporations - Coltan mining in Africa for example, or the sweatshops in China that directly support Wal-Mart and , basically every other retailer on the planet.

Re:that was pretty hilarious (1)

allcoolnameswheretak (1102727) | more than 2 years ago | (#38313208)

Yes, obviously Berlusconi and what was going on in Italy is one of the worst corruption cases in the world. That is a result of combined media and political control which in my opinion should be prohibited.

Apart from that, the rest what you're talking about is a result of unconstrained capitalism. That's a whole different discussion. I'm sure it's not due to european companies that Assad has killed 4000 people in Syria and Gaddhafi was doing the same until he was finally stopped, with air support from NATO.

There are many things wrong with the world, but if we start to blindly criticise even the little that is done to support oppressed people, because of our own problems with corruption or some double standards that may sometimes apply or not, then the world will truly never get anywere.

Re:Repressive? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38313368)

Oh, hell. Let's just keep it out of the hands of all governments, since "Absolute power corrupts absolutely".

Re:Repressive? (1)

Alex Belits (437) | more than 2 years ago | (#38313546)

What about countries where majority of population does not want democracy? They are not idiots -- for example, I honestly don't want democracy anywhere close to myself until at least 80% of Earth population will have college education with mandatory course on recognizing propaganda techniques.

Re:Repressive? (2)

LordLimecat (1103839) | more than 2 years ago | (#38314020)

You have a problem with propaganda, but you want a government-implemented education system?

Brilliant.

Re:Repressive? (1)

Alex Belits (437) | more than 2 years ago | (#38314514)

Imagine that!

Re:Repressive? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38312960)

The people in the country. Ask Chinese netizens or Syria iphone owners. Saying the "west" decides is gutless

Re:Repressive? (1)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 2 years ago | (#38313130)

It's easy, just ask Them who we've always been at war with.

Re:Repressive? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38313690)

pedos. and badgers. next question!

Re:Repressive? (2, Interesting)

daem0n1x (748565) | more than 2 years ago | (#38313262)

I think this is a great move on the part of the EU. Only democratic regimes should be allowed to illegally spy on its citizens, torture them in secret prisons and finally "disappear" them! I feel much safer now the vicious tyrants have their hands tied.

Re:Repressive? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38313780)

What a clever comment. Get modded up by both, those who understood the sarcasm, and those who didn't.

Re:Repressive? (1)

Ihmhi (1206036) | more than 2 years ago | (#38314186)

One of the major differences, though, is that people can fight against the illegal spying and torturing without being horribly murdered for "falling out of line".

Largely symbolic (4, Interesting)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | more than 2 years ago | (#38312626)

They'll find a way. If you can't buy direct, buy via proxy - and failing that, it only takes one oppressive state with the resources to design and manufacture their own and a willingness to sell to the others. China comes to mind as the ideal supplier, as they already have extensive experience with censorship and surveillance technology, government-controled telecoms and networking companies with engineering knowledge and the manufacturing capability to produce it for export.

Re:Largely symbolic (5, Insightful)

Hentes (2461350) | more than 2 years ago | (#38312856)

They will certainly be able to get around it, but not helping them is still the right thing to do.

Re:Largely symbolic (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38312980)

Name them, shame them. Most have something about ethics in their written aims. Let their shareholders and competitors know.

Re:Largely symbolic (1)

Ihmhi (1206036) | more than 2 years ago | (#38314214)

Exactly! Investors clearly care about ethics when they're factoring in where to spend their money, and not the oh-so-unimportant profit margins!

What about buying it from oppressive regimes? (1, Insightful)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 2 years ago | (#38312630)

You can buy GPS trackers from China.

Indeed, much of what you buy from China supports slavery.

Hypocritical move is hypocritical.

Re:What about buying it from oppressive regimes? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38312820)

So you'd rather do nothing and just say "it isn't going to amount anyway"?

Re:What about buying it from oppressive regimes? (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 2 years ago | (#38313008)

So you'd rather do nothing and just say "it isn't going to amount anyway"?

I'd rather they stop being hypocrites and do something substantive.

Why buy ANYTHING from oppressive regimes (2)

Shivetya (243324) | more than 2 years ago | (#38313174)

I would be more enthused if they would take the action of not allowing any trade with repressive regimes. No aid, no trade, nothing.

The problem is, some repressive regimes are excused based on their status in the world either financially or militarily

Don't waste such pretty tech. on evil regimes... (3, Interesting)

captainpanic (1173915) | more than 2 years ago | (#38312672)

Why sell it to the evil regimes of the world when you can much better use all those pretty toys at home to check what your own citizens are doing?

In all fairness, some of the countries in the EU (esp. the UK) have the highest density of surveillance cameras and other equipment in the world - both per capita and per surface area. It's sad that the EU don't see a need to stop doing that, but wish the situation in dictatorships to improve.

Re:Don't waste such pretty tech. on evil regimes.. (4, Insightful)

Gordonjcp (186804) | more than 2 years ago | (#38312860)

Don't kid yourself. Cities in the US have got just as much CCTV, *and* you've got armed police everywhere too. Not to mention the proliferation of metal detectors in public buildings.

Scary stuff.

Re:Don't waste such pretty tech. on evil regimes.. (1)

captainpanic (1173915) | more than 2 years ago | (#38312870)

Yeah, it's not so lonely at the top when it comes to having the most surveillance.

Re:Don't waste such pretty tech. on evil regimes.. (1)

LordLimecat (1103839) | more than 2 years ago | (#38314084)

Not to mention the proliferation of metal detectors in public buildings.

Thats neither "surveillance" (what are they seeing? What right is being violated?) nor is it government (theyre almost all privately owned buildings).

Surveillance in the US is nowhere near at the level that you are saying it is, unless DC is some anomaly and other cities are very different. I have never seen a surveilance camera in DC, and I actually look for that kind of thing.

Go to Shanghai, and THEN try to tell me "the US is just as bad". And there, the government really DOES listen to everything you say, and have access to all the cameras.

Re:Don't waste such pretty tech. on evil regimes.. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38312956)

If you are recorded doing something criminal in front of a CCTV camera in Britain, you will (maybe, if the police can be bothered to deal with it, or if they don't just give you a warning) be hauled off to a justice system that is the product of a reasonably fair democracy.

The article talks about surveilance software that identifies disloyalty so that the local goon squad can have their daily list of victims.

Comparing the two is a huge insult to people who live under genuinely repressive regimes. "Oh so you were tortured for your political views were you? Well we have it almost as bad here! I keep getting this creepy feeling that somebody's watching me! Oh, and we're not free to stab people in public either, because the cameras are watching! It's terrible!"

Re:Don't waste such pretty tech. on evil regimes.. (3, Insightful)

captainpanic (1173915) | more than 2 years ago | (#38313118)

I get so sick of the people who say that "I have nothing to hide, so I don't care about my privacy".
Time and time again, this crappy argument shows up again in a different form.

My point was (a sarcastic remark) about the EU's desire to check on its own citizens. I did not condone torture or dictatorships, and I said nothing about any comparison. The fact that there are worse regimes out there than the EU does not mean that we're doing a good job in the EU.

Re:Don't waste such pretty tech. on evil regimes.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38313322)

I have no expectation of privacy when I am in public spaces. You know... the outdoors, where people are allowed to travel with their eyes open, where private citizens are allowed to watch other people, or even take photos of them!

Re:Don't waste such pretty tech. on evil regimes.. (1)

LordLimecat (1103839) | more than 2 years ago | (#38314162)

Thats not what he said, he was pointing out the fact that most surveillance in democratic countries is at the behest of a worried population. That doesnt mean the surveillance is a good thing, or that parent was condoning it (in fact, he stopped short of that in his comment); its just that its not in the same ballpark as cameras in China or a truly repressive country.

Re:Don't waste such pretty tech. on evil regimes.. (1)

Ihmhi (1206036) | more than 2 years ago | (#38314272)

Aren't the majority of CCTV cameras in Britain (and most other places) private, though?

I mean, a lot of this seems like an unfortunate collusion of events. Businesses want to protect their property and therefore they will install security cameras on the interior and/or exterior of their buildings. (I'm 90% certain that there are bonuses in insurance coverage for having a functional CCTV system, so there is yet another incentive.) There are very few places where businesses have exactly 0 presence (such as the suburbs or rural areas), so there would naturally be a large area of CCTV coverage under a lot of different private entities. If a crime were committed under the view of a camera, wouldn't it be irresponsible of the police not to try to legally acquire the video as evidence?

Now if we're talking a situation where there's a government-owned camera on nearly every street corner, then yes we have a problem. But for the majority of places, it seems less like a government conspiracy to watch everyone and more like the government (of whatever country you may choose) electing to make use of the CCTV cameras that are already there anyway.

Re:Don't waste such pretty tech. on evil regimes.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38313782)

If you are recorded doing something criminal in front of a CCTV camera in Britain, you will (maybe, if the police can be bothered to deal with it, or if they don't just give you a warning) be hauled off to a justice system that is the product of a reasonably fair democracy.

More likely the police won't even bother reviewing the tapes - "because they'll just be kids wearing hoods so we can't make out their faces anyway. We've got far more important things to do than look for your stolen motorcycle" (like stopping people from taking photos of buildings from public places for example).

Re:Don't waste such pretty tech. on evil regimes.. (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | more than 2 years ago | (#38313264)

Those cameras are in public spaces and private businesses, the latter operated by the property owner. These are not places where you have any reasonable expectation of privacy.

Irony (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38312702)

Are they going to pack up sales of cameras in Brussels then? Bloody hypocrites in their democratic vacuum stealing power away from the people of Britain who were never asked if they wanted to join a United States of Europe, and who aren't deemed worthy of knowing the intent of their "project".

The EU is a steaming pile of corruption, inefficiency and half arsed compromise. British independence, NOW!

Re:Irony (1)

captainpanic (1173915) | more than 2 years ago | (#38312758)

Funny that you are British, and you say you never asked for a Unites States of Europe.

With statements such as Winston Churchill's 1946 call for a "United States of Europe" becoming louder, in 1949 the Council of Europe was established as the first pan-European organisation. In the year following, on 9 May 1950, the French Foreign Minister Robert Schuman proposed a community to integrate the coal and steel industries of Europe - these being the two elements necessary to make weapons of war. (See: Schuman declaration).

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_the_European_Union#1945.E2.80.931957:_peace_forged_from_cold_steel [wikipedia.org]

I believe Winston Churchill was the democratically elected representative of the British people at the time?

Re:Irony (1)

advocate_one (662832) | more than 2 years ago | (#38313036)

That was before it was set up... and had we joined then we'd be up there as a senior member, but the French wouldn't let us join... finally, when we are now in, a large number of us in the UK want out, but they won't let us have a referendum as they know how we'd vote on it... we really want to go back to how it should be; a common market... not an EUSSR which it is turning out to be dominated by unelected and unaccountable committees and where Merkel and Sarkozy cozy up in secret little conversations while the EU President is basically a Bilderberger figurehead who doesn't actually seem to have any say in the current crisis

Re:Irony (1)

LordLimecat (1103839) | more than 2 years ago | (#38314190)

EU President is basically a Bilderberger

Ok, I think we're done here.

Revealing text in TFA (1, Troll)

advocate_one (662832) | more than 2 years ago | (#38312706)

After the Tunisian regime fell this year, Wikileaks published a cable showing that Microsoft had trained law enforcement officials serving ousted Tunisian president Zine El-Abidine Ben Ali. The company had set up a "program on cyber criminality" to cover the training, in a bid to get the Tunisian government to drop its open-source policy.

Any shills care to defend Microsoft then?

What is a dictator? (4)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 2 years ago | (#38312994)

In Tunisia right now a Muslim party has one the elections and this leaves women in fear that they will LOOSE the freedoms GAINED under the OPPRESSIVE regime of Ben Ali. Freedom is not a simple on/off switch. Are the people in Russia now better or worse off then when it was the USSR? What time period of the USSR? What people?

Cuba is rather famous for having better healthcare then the US and a far lower infant death rate. If you are a dying infant, communism apparently can save your life but that life will be less free. Then again, if you were the suspicious kind you might wonder whether the higher infant death rate is evenly distributed or concentrated in certain groups/classes of people. Free but only if you are rich?

The images of a cop peperspraying sitting protestors made the world. Does that make the west un-free? The cops were suspended and while true justice might not be done, there are far far worse examples.

Microsoft dealed with a regime that in western eyes wasn't terribly nice but a LOT better then a lot of other places and we yet have to see what the alternative will turn out to be. In many ways, if you want to blame companies for dealing in oppression they not only have to boycot the entire world but often themselves. Oops, Windows 8 is closed source, that is not free, so MS has to boycot its own software!

Of course, by accepting these exceptions you pretty soon are on a slippery slope were everything becomes an exception.

Re:What is a dictator? (1)

Lluc (703772) | more than 2 years ago | (#38314462)

Cuba is rather famous for having better healthcare then the US and a far lower infant death rate. If you are a dying infant, communism apparently can save your life but that life will be less free.

Allow me to post a counterargument from Wikipedia, emphasis from me:

According to Katharine Hirschfeld, criticizing the government is a crime in Cuba, and penalties are severe.[81] She noted that "Formally eliciting critical narratives about health care would be viewed as a criminal act both for me as a researcher, and for people who spoke openly with me".[81] According to Hirschfeld the Cuban Ministry of Health (MINSAP) sets statistical targets that are viewed as production quotas. The most guarded is infant mortality rate. The doctor is pressured to abort the pregnancy whenever screening shows that quotas are in danger.[81] Once a doctor decides to guard his quotas, patients have no right to refuse abortion.[81]

Sometimes I wonder if people have consumed a bit too much Michael Moore Kool-Aid when they start claiming that Cuba's health care system is the best in the world. Michael Moore does have many useful criticisms of the establishment within his work, but he pads it with a lot of manipulated fact / propaganda.

http://www.loundstore.com (0)

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Amd the United States is... (1)

Genda (560240) | more than 2 years ago | (#38312742)

Despotic... yes?... no?... We only do surveillance in the name of the baby Jebus and the sanctity of apple pie. In fact its not even surveillance... we only watch the little brown people because we care... and we hug them with our laser guided missiles.

Re:Amd the United States is... (1)

migla (1099771) | more than 2 years ago | (#38312808)

>we only watch the little brown people because we care... and we hug them with our laser guided missiles.

It's called tough love. Really really tough love.

The EU is not taking concrete action yet? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38312750)

They are trying but sweden vetoed it, and I think it's a good thing. How would protesters organise and send videos etc without cellphones (and internet)?
These comes with "surveillance tech" as standard.

http://www.stockholmnews.com/more.aspx?NID=8116 [stockholmnews.com]

Re:The EU is not taking concrete action yet? (1)

migla (1099771) | more than 2 years ago | (#38312838)

But they all ready have mobiles and internet in Syria, don't they?

Aren't Ericsson in there with huge Euro-signs in their eyes, selling more advanced big brother tech to the government, as other countries/corporations are out of the game since they claim to frown upon locating and disappearing dissidents?

Re:The EU is not taking concrete action yet? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38312900)

But they all ready have mobiles and internet in Syria, don't they?

Yes, but sometimes stuff breaks and/or needs to be upgraded to keep it operational.

Aren't Ericsson in there with huge Euro-signs in their eyes, selling more advanced big brother tech to the government, as other countries/corporations are out of the game since they claim to frown upon locating and disappearing dissidents?

Then make a sanction against that. The sanction they voted on was like slowly sawing of somebodys thumb because they have a wart on it.

Re:The EU is not taking concrete action yet? (1)

Ihmhi (1206036) | more than 2 years ago | (#38314310)

How would protesters organise and send videos etc without cellphones (and internet)?
These comes with "surveillance tech" as standard.

There is a very, very important distinction between surveillance tools in the hands of a private citizen and surveillance tools in the hands of a corporation or private government.

Fuck Sweden! (1, Flamebait)

migla (1099771) | more than 2 years ago | (#38312800)

The "conservative" government of Swedens wants Ericsson to make lots of money selling mobile networks to Syria:

http://www.stockholmnews.com/more.aspx?NID=8116 [stockholmnews.com]

http://www.thelocal.se/37720/20111203/ [thelocal.se]

PEN club is diappoint:

http://www.pen-international.org/12/2011/ericsson-in-syria-statement-from-swedish-pen/ [pen-international.org]

Fuck you, Swedish government.

Re:Fuck Sweden! (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38312858)

Point the finger where the finger is due.

LI (Lawful interception) has been a requirement from the major western governments since the dawn of cellphone networks. You are not allowed to sell to the major customers without including it.
Are you surprised this functionality is included as standard in all systems now?

Swedens government wanting a major swedish company to be successful, yeah, big woop.

Re:Fuck Sweden! (2)

indeterminator (1829904) | more than 2 years ago | (#38313414)

Point the finger where the finger is due.

Agreed.

Why isn't EU proposing to ban use, sales and manufacturing of all surveillance tech in it's own member countries? There's something to think about.

Re:Fuck Sweden! (1)

BlueParrot (965239) | more than 2 years ago | (#38313678)

Oh bollocks. Ericsson would be just fine without Syria, and Finland didn't complain because of Nokia.

Our government just needs to grow a spine.

Wrong! (1)

Grindalf (1089511) | more than 2 years ago | (#38312830)

Most of these boxes are made BY the repressive regimes! Stupid! Stupid! Stupid!

Weapons sales will continue (1)

kawabago (551139) | more than 2 years ago | (#38312854)

Hey, it's a bear market!

because "good" countries wouldn't misuse this tech (4, Insightful)

iampiti (1059688) | more than 2 years ago | (#38312876)

The funny thing is that if they allow selling the tech to countries without "repressive regimes" how can they be sure is not used for evil?
Or are "good" countries allowed to use surveilance tech for all the purposes they want including spying their own citizens even if its for the "noble" goal of combating intellectual property theft?
Yes, I am cynical

Re:because "good" countries wouldn't misuse this t (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38313120)

While 'we' in the west (and on slashdot) may see many freedom of speech and surveillance problems, comparing them to more serious situations isn't fair to citizens of countries like Burma and Syria. Just because the west isn't perfect, doesn't mean that we should just sit by and watch while people are killed and tortured. Rather than invading them and telling them how to live their lives, European politicians are trying to at least make it more difficult for these governments to obtain what they need.

Re:because "good" countries wouldn't misuse this t (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38313366)

The funny thing is that if they allow selling the tech to countries without "repressive regimes" how can they be sure is not used for evil?

That easy! You just include "shall be used for Good, not Evil" in your EULA like jsmin

http://wonko.com/post/jsmin-isnt-welcome-on-google-code

Re:because "good" countries wouldn't misuse this t (1)

Tim C (15259) | more than 2 years ago | (#38313604)

They can't, just like they can't be 100% sure that repressive regimes won't find ways around this restriction. That doesn't mean it's not still right to take a stand.

No worries (1)

MemoryDragon (544441) | more than 2 years ago | (#38312912)

Certain US companies will happily step in.

hedge funds squeal in delight (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38312946)

now they can 'arb' the 'spread' between morality-free tech producers in the US and the pantywaists in Europe.

Th. Standard is the citizens within the country. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38313072)

Ask about the beatings and imprisonment for Chinese netizens grumble continuously about the restrictions on the net and some, beaten or imprisoned for discussing AIDS infections from dirty hospital syringes, and the way hany discussion about train crashes, parents not being able to discuss the earthquake safety of schools in Sichuan or safety of high speed trains.

Or Syrians who have been arrested or beaten for having an iphone.

The standard is universal, and if persecution happens to you or people you know you will have no doubt at all.

Where this is assisted by Western technology the companies should be named and shamed. A few weeks ago a big USA networking company was found to be assisting the Chinese with software to identify particular net users who talk about specific subjects.

Naming and shaming them makes shareholders, suppliers, distributors and CUSTOMERS consider the extra information.

Homeland security budget 1 Trillion Dollars (1)

Deliveranc3 (629997) | more than 2 years ago | (#38313092)

They're spying on something.

Oh and by the by... Quantum Computers + wiretapping = http://isohunt.com/torrents/?ihq=sneakers [isohunt.com] .

Re:Homeland security budget 1 Trillion Dollars (2)

pla (258480) | more than 2 years ago | (#38313302)

Homeland security does not have a budget of a trillion dollars. They don't even have a budget of 100 billion. In 2011, they had a budget of $55 billion.

The entire US military doesn't have a budget of a trillion dollars (though depending on which defense-like categories you throw in, you can get it up over 900 billion).

Now, I will readily agree that we could FAR better spend that by sending it directly to 3rd world dictators and Taliban militants, who would do less to oppress the US populace with the same money. But the DHS' budget really only amounts to one more tiny drop of blood pulled from our veins.

Re:Homeland security budget 1 Trillion Dollars (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38313556)

Yet the creation of DHS was perhaps the single most important step toward fascism ever taken by the US.

Re:Homeland security budget 1 Trillion Dollars (1)

RogerWilco (99615) | more than 2 years ago | (#38314286)

Homeland security does not have a budget of a trillion dollars. They don't even have a budget of 100 billion. In 2011, they had a budget of $55 billion.

The entire spending of the Greek government is about $110 billion. Croatia, Syria, Ecuador or Luxembourg have a GDP of around $55 billion.

Sure those countries are a lot smaller, but $55 billion is still a lot of money.

Russia and has a total government budget of about $300 billion, and is about half the size of the USA in population, if you want to put things into perspective. India and Canada get run on about $270 billion.

Re:Homeland security budget 1 Trillion Dollars (1)

Ihmhi (1206036) | more than 2 years ago | (#38314340)

To be fair, though, that's just the budget on the books.

I mean, wasn't the CIA basically propping up cocaine lords in the 70s/80s in exchange for funding? What's to say that that exact thing is not happening in another fashion elsewhere? It's not as if you can look up the national budget and see "Afghanistan heroin sales: $230,241,532,000" as a line item.

Yeah just stop it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38313152)

I agree completely, stop selling cameras and drones to the UK already, there are more of them than people.

So does this mean... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38313210)

... we're going to stop exporting technology to the US?

Wrong place (1)

bytesex (112972) | more than 2 years ago | (#38313352)

People - dissident or otherwise - should not for their safety rely on technology that can be listened to.

So they'll stop selling to the UK? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38313808)

Happy, happy, joy joy!

ITAR (1)

colsandurz45 (1314477) | more than 2 years ago | (#38313818)

They should use ITAR [wikipedia.org] as a model. Though the A stands for Arms, it covers a lot more than firearms from my experience.

No sales to repressive regimes? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38314246)

Does that include the U.S.?

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