by Our Defence Correspondent
( April 29, 2017, Colombo, Sri Lanka Guardian) The government of Sri Lanka which claimed for the practice of “Good Governance” has ordered the new shipment of ultra-technological tools produced by companies based in Israel to monitor, restore and analysis the data on any type of communications instruments (devices) used by anyone within the Sri Lankan territory. Most of those tools are well functioning since the beginning of this year.
According to well-informed sources, with these new tools, the authority will have the facility to read, store and share any type of email communication shared or stored by third parties through any Internet Service Providers (ISPs) in the country.
“This, I believe, is a new era of surveillance on any person and major development of the deep state in Sri Lanka”, a reliable source told the Sri Lanka Guardian.
There are larger numbers of private as well as semi-government entities in Israeli produced larger scales of tools for the surveillance. Many authorities around the globe including National Security Agency (NSA) frequently used to visit Tel Aviv to buy their products.
Sooner after the Declaration of the State of Israel in 1948, the authority has created the clear-cut path for the innovation of advanced technologies. Most of them later focused on the Surveillance Technology, and the country turned into the hub on that particular technology in recent past.
According to the Privacy International’s Annual Report; “There are 27 surveillance companies with headquarters in Israel in the SII (Surveillance Industry Index). Out of the top five countries represented in SII, Israel is home to by far the largest amount per capita, with 0.33 companies per 100,000 people located in Israel, compared to 0.04 in the United States and 0.16 in the United Kingdom.”
Unconfirmed sources informed the Sri Lanka Guardian that the officials have signed the contracts with the companies such as Mer Group, Ability Inc.
‘Mer Group’, a company which was first established as a metal workshop later turned into the Surveillance Product Company. It is one of the best companies run by retired security persons in Israel.
In an investigative article originally appeared on The Intercept, one of the best US-based independent journals, “The Company’s CEO, Nir Lempert, is a 22-year veteran of Unit 8200, the Israeli intelligence unit often compared to the National Security Agency, and is also the chairman of Unit’s alumni association. The Mer Group’s ties to Unit 8200 are hardly unique in Israel, where the cyber sector has become an integral aspect of the Israeli economy, exporting $6 billion worth of products and services in 2014.”
Meanwhile, “In the age of Social Media and Big Data, the difficulties of intelligence work lie not so much in obtaining information as in making sense of the huge quantities of information that are already available. Identifying the relevant information and piecing together a picture of real world threats is the key to preventing and investigating crime, fraud and terrorism in the 21st century,” Mer Group has noted in its introduction to the Mer Group’s SAIP suite.
“Mer Group’s SAIP suite was created by the intelligence experts who rely on proven experiences and best practices developed in Israel to deliver excellent intelligence and investigations solutions for law enforcement forces, intelligence agencies and corporations. The SAIP suite contains 3 innovative systems based on the cutting edge technology and know-how developed to deal with the critical tasks of analysing and managing data from disparate sources, leveraging the power of social media and countering cyber threats,” the compnay’s memoranda SAIP suite further noted.
“SAIP offers a suite of solutions consisting of:
OSCAR – Open Source Collection, Analysis and Response
ECAROS – Enterprise Collection, Analysis for Real-time Operations System
CIFER – Content Intelligence – Fact Finding, Evolution & Rating
CARTA – Cyber Analytics for Risks and Threats Assessment
Combining these capabilities together, SAIP suite delivers the right information to the right person at the right time.”
“It is unclear that the Government of Sri Lanka has already ordered Mer Group’s SAIP suite but the officials have unanimously expressed the concern of buying,” reliable sources from Mer Group has disclosed.
“Despite all flourished words to restore the rule of law the Government of Sri Lanka is continuing their old path to eliminate the people who fight against injustice”, a key player who fought to bring the new Government, said.
However, according to the Defence establishment, these new tools can be used to identify the threats which could help to prevent crimes as well as acts against the State.
Nonetheless, restoring third party communications without a proper Court order or consent of the subject is illegal and all member states of the United Nations are obliged to respect the rights to privacy of its citizen. Despite the law, the many authorities are practising the surveillance while breaking fundamentals of rights to privacy.
Therefore, the global resistance against the illegal surveillance has erupted. The global resistance has led the United Nations to establish a new mandate holder on this subject. Joseph A. Cannataci, the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Privacy (SRP) has appointed last year (2016) and his first report was issued on March 2016.
Seven key thematic areas were identified for his mandate, to be prioritised throughout consultations:
- Privacy and personality across cultures;
- Corporate online business models and personal data use;
- Security, Surveillance, Proportionality and Cyberspace;
- Open Data and Big Data analysis: impact on Privacy;
- Genetics and Privacy;
- Privacy, dignity and reputation;
- Biometrics and Privacy.
“Sri Lanka as a country claimed to defeat the ‘authoritative regime’ and established true principles of democracy, is now exercising same strategies to eliminate the possible political challenges under the pretext of national security,” a retired defence source told the Sri Lanka Guardian.