Map of surveillance societies

January 8, 2008 at 1:00 am Leave a comment

Privacy International has just published a map of surveillance societies around the world. There’s also an accompanying report that details surveillance and privacy protection issues. The colour-coded map shows societies with the best privacy laws, with the privacy-hostile societies highlighted in black. There are 7 colour-coded levels.If you don’t want to wade your way through the report and map, I’ll provide you with some tasty tidbits:

  • I’m still looking for an area on the map highlighted in Blue (consistently upholds human rights).
  • the 2007 rankings indicate an overall worsening of privacy protection across the world, reflecting an increase in surveillance and a declining performance of privacy safeguards.
  • there is an increasing trend for governments around the world to archive data on the financial, geographic and communication records of its citizens, leading to the conclusion that citizens are under suspicion.
  • there is a substantial decline in privacy protection across Europe following surveillance initiatives coming out of Brussels
  • the lowest ranking countries are (big surprise, not!) – Russia, Malaysia and China
  • the highest ranking countries for 2007 are Greece, Romania and Canada (always loved Canada, where’s that emigration application I once was about to fill out!)
  • the worst ranking EU country is? the UK, which you’ll see on the map has fallen into the black (endemic surveillance society)
  • no surprise that the US  is in the black area 
  • the really astute amongst us will see Australia is in the red, two levels up from black. This means we’re sitting at level 5 and Australia’s rank is “systematic failure to uphold safeguards”. 
  • Australian ranks worse than South Africa and New Zealand
  • Australia ranks badly when it comes to constitutional protection
  • Argentina scored higher than 18 of the 27 EU countries
  • Venezuela requires your fingerprints just to get a phone
  • South Korea requires a government registration number linked to your identity before you can post on message boards.

Okay, off for a lie down!

Entry filed under: Cartography, Privacy, Surveillance society, Useful resources.

Civil liberties: are they melting away? Creeping fascism

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