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infosec and human rights
From: Mark Carey-Smith <m.careysmith () student qut edu au>
Date: Fri, 7 Apr 2006 13:28:02 +1000 (EST)


I've just started a PhD looking at how information security effects human rights. My interest was sparked by the issue 
of the Chinese journalist Shi Tao, who was sentenced to 10 years in prison for "providing state secrets to foreign 
entities". His crime was to send an email message detailing a censorship order by the Chinese authorities from a 
supposedly anonymous Yahoo! Hong Kong account. There are many other similar cases.

Human rights such as freedom of expression, freedom of opinion and privacy are obviously degraded by Internet 
censorship and surveillance such as China's regime. There are plenty of other nation states engaging in similar 
censorship regimes, though not as well organised or funded.

Human rights can also be aided by hacktivism and infosec mechanisms such as the use of anonymizing proxies like Tor & 
The Circumventor (some of which are being specifically used to help citizens inside China etc.), the training of human 
rights activists in infosec skills (e.g Privaterra) and crypto software developed specifically for human rights 
activists/workers (e.g CryptoRights & Martus).

I think DRM could be used in the future as a very effective mechanism to stop censorship circumvention techniques such 
as client-side anonymizing proxies or to force the use of client-side content filtering mechanisms.

My reason for posting to the list is to ask if anyone has any brilliant ideas they'd like to share with me on this 



Mark Carey-Smith
PhD Candidate
Faculty of Information Technology
Queensland University of Technology

The ideals which have lighted my way, 
and time after time given me new courage
to face life cheerfully, have been 
kindness, beauty, and truth. The trite 
subjects of life - possessions, outward 
success, luxury - have always seemed 

Albert Einstein

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