Gus Hosein

is visiting fellow in the department of information systems at the London School of Economics and senior fellow at Privacy International, where he directs the Terrorism in the Open Society programme.


Cover for: Age of insecurity

Cooperation between the communications industry and governments creates unprecedented opportunities for surveillance. Lets not repeat the mistakes of the past and allow companies to assume that users are uninterested in what happens to their data, urge Gus Hosein and Eric King of Privacy International.

“It is almost as though freedom and flexibility is being designed out of the Internet, where previously they were essential.” Gus Hosein of Privacy International on how the Internet is turning into a data goldmine for governments that want to keep track of their citizens.

International cooperation became a key feature in politics with the growth of global communication networks and globalization of trade in the 1990s. After 9/11, international cooperation hit a new level, with all the major international bodies supporting cross-border anti-terrorism measures. Agreeing was so easy that governments increasingly have policies that are unpopular on the domestic front ratified at international gatherings, then re-introduce them at home, where they can be justified as fulfilling international standards. Civil society and democratic procedures meanwhile are left out of the picture entirely. The process has become known as “policy laundering” and has made inroads into daily life more than is generally known. An overview of the new political landscape.

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