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<nettime> Security is not a crime


Security is not a crime
6 Jan, 2015

On Tuesday December 16th, a large police operation took place in the
Spanish State. Fourteen houses and social centers were raided in
Barcelona, Sabadell, Manresa, and Madrid. Books, leaflets, computers
were seized and eleven people were arrested and sent to the Audiencia
Nacional, a special court handling issues of "national interest", in
Madrid. They are accused of incorporation, promotion, management, and
membership of a terrorist organisation. However, lawyers for the defence
denounce a lack of transparency, saying that their clients have had to
make statements without knowing what they are accused of. "[They] speak
of terrorism without specifying concrete criminal acts, or concrete
individualized facts attributed to each of them" 2. When challenged on
this, Judge Bermúdez responded: "I am not investigating specific acts,
I am investigating the organization, and the threat they might pose in
the future"[1]; making this yet another case of apparently preventative

Four of the detainees have been released, but seven have been jailed
pending trial. The reasons given by the judge for their continued
detention include the posession of certain books, "the production of
publications and forms of communication", and the fact that the
defendants "used emails with extreme security measures, such as the RISE
UP server"[2].

We reject this Kafka-esque criminalization of social movements, and the
ludicrous and extremely alarming implication that protecting one's
internet privacy is tantamount to terrorism.

Riseup, like any other email provider, has an obligation to protect the
privacy of its users. Many of the "extreme security measures" used by
Riseup are common best practices for online security and are also used
by providers such as hotmail, GMail or Facebook. However, unlike these
providers, Riseup is not willing to allow illegal backdoors or sell our
users' data to third parties.

The European Parliament's report on the US NSA surveillance program
states that "privacy is not a luxury right, but the foundation stone of
a free and democratic society"[3]. Recent revelations about the extent
to which States violate everyone's right to privacy show that everything
that can be spied upon will be spied upon[4]. Furthermore, we know that
criminalizing people for using privacy tools also has a chilling effect
on everybody, and human-rights defenders, journalists, and activists, in
particular. Giving up your basic right to privacy for fear of being
flagged as a terrorist is unacceptable.





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