NSA leaker Edward Snowden has picked a helluva country to hide in and avoid the intrusive invasion of privacy being perpetrated on American citizens by the U.S. government.
Can you say “phony”?
Exclusive: Documents Illuminate Ecuador’s Spying Practices
The country where anti-surveillance hero Edward Snowden wants to take refuge spent half a million dollars on an Israeli-made “GSM interceptor” in a deal brokered by a U.S. middleman. Seeking the capacity to “intercept text messages, falsify and modify the text messages” among other tricks.
WASHINGTON — The intelligence agency of Ecuador appears to have sought in recent months to obtain new equipment for a large-scale surveillance, according to confidential government documents obtained by BuzzFeed.
The capabilities sought by Ecuador resemble the National Security Agency practices revealed by Edward Snowden, who is reportedly seeking asylum in the left-leaning Latin American republic.
The Ecuadorian documents — stamped “Secret” — obtained by BuzzFeed appear to show the government purchasing a “GSM Interceptor” system, among other domestic spying tools, and they suggest a commitment to domestic surveillance that rivals the practices by the United States’ National Security Agency that are at the center of a fierce national debate. They include both covert surveillance capacities and the targeting of President Rafael Correa’s enemies on social media. According to the files, SENAIN keeps close tabs on the Facebook and Twitter accounts of journalists, opposition politicians and other individuals, some with few followers.
Ecuador, which has been harboring WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange for over a year at its embassy, has been internationally criticized for a recent communications law that is widely seen as a gag order for the media and includes prohibitions on “media lynching.”
Ecuador also has a record of being ahead of the game in domestic surveillance. Last year, it became the first country in the world to implement a nation-wide facial and voice recognition system.
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