Human rights protection in cyberspace is grossly ignored world over, including India. While violating the civil liberties in cyberspace, governments around the world have failed to maintain a balance between civil liberties and national security requirements.
Recently, FBI national security letters (NSLs) with gag orders were declared unconstitutional by U.S. district judge. Further, recently the U.S. national security agency (NSA) denied allegations of e-surveillance and eavesdropping through its Utah data center. The cyber intelligence sharing and protection act (CISPA) of U.S. has been passed by house of representatives. The only solace is in the form of a threat to veto the same by the White House.
Further, the use of FinFisher around the world has reaffirmed the growing hunger of governments around the world. The desire to have n Internet kill switch to control online sharing of information is another hint in this regard.
In India, problematic issues like e-surveillance in India, cell site location based e-surveillance in India, surveillance of internet traffic in India, central monitoring system (CMS) for telephone tapping in India, etc are well known.
Now it has been reported that Japan has directed the ISPs to block Tor if the same is used for illegal purposes. It would be interesting to observe how Japan would determine that Tor has been abused for illegal purposes. Further, it would also be relevant to note that a single exit node of Tor can be used by thousand of users.
How would Japanese law enforcement authorities determine the authorship attribution for cyber crimes committed by using even a single exit node of Tor much less the entire Tor network? Assuming for a moment that law enforcement authorities would use the deep packet inspection method to block Tor but then we have the solution of Obfsproxy. So the idea mooted by Japan’s national police agency (NPA) seems to be far from perfect and not desirable.
Unfortunately we have no harmonised international legal frameworks for tackling cyber crimes and cyber attacks. For instance an international cyber law treaty is required on an urgent basis. Similarly, international cyber security treaty is required on priority basis. The United Nations must protect human rights in cyberspace so that civil liberties can be suitably protected. Otherwise self defense in cyberspace to protect civil liberties would be the only option left.
Let us see whether Japanese citizens would succumb to the Tor censorship or they would fight for protection of human rights in cyberspace.