September 14, 2012 | By Katitza Rodriguez

Freedom Not Fear: Argentina Edition

NOTE: On Sept. 14 – 17, activists with the Freedom Not Fear movement will stage an international week of action to oppose various forms of surveillance. EFF is spending this week examining surveillance trends and spotlighting movements that have sprung up in opposition. You can follow our series here.

In Buenos Aires, Argentinian privacy activists have joined the Freedom not Fear Global Week of Action alongside with Freedom Not Fear events in Brussels, Sydney and Luxembourg. On Saturday, Sept. 15th, Fundacion Via Libre will host a workshop dedicated to training journalists and activists on secure communications: anonymous browsing, email and desktop encryption. Fundación Vía Libre is a civil rights advocacy group working to protect human rights, access to knowledge and due process in cyberspace. In the last few years, the Argentinean Foundation has campaigned against mandatory data retention regimes, opposed a mandatory biometric system, and promoted encryption technologies and the use of free software by the Argentinean government.

As Beatriz Busaniche of Fundacion Via Libre noted, the Argentinean government has enhanced its mass surveillance capabilities in the last few years:

“In the name of public security, Argentina has adopted State mass surveillance policies, including the heightened monitoring of public spaces, mandatory national biometrics ids, government-issued bus card allowing the tracking of bus riders. We need the right to know how government surveillance technologies are being used against us, and what type of information is being collected. More than ever, the protection of privacy and transparency is particularly vital for our country. This is why we are joining the International Week of Action as to call attention to Argentinean surveillance program.”

The Freedom Not Fear movement comes at a time when there is a need for increased international awareness of mass surveillance practices, which are ascendant as our personal data becomes easier to collect, store, and trade.  Privacy rights activism and government transparency have never been more crucial than now in Argentina. This is why EFF is glad to see Fundacion Via Libre joining the movement.

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