” A high-level Internet freedom conference, that concluded in the Tunisian capital on Tuesday, was overshadowed by the recent U.S. internet surveillance scandal.
The U.S. government, a founding member of the Internet Freedom Coalition, and U.S.-based tech giant Google came under attack by dozens of human rights activists, internet researchers and computer engineers who attended the two-day conference.
The attacks came in response to this month’s revelation that the American National Security Agency (NSA) has been running a large-scale international surveillance program gathering data on internet users around the world by accessing the serves of tech-giants such as Google and Apple. Some of the most targeted countries are located in the Middle East and include Iran, Egypt and Jordan.
The NSA access, according to The Guardian newspaper, is part of a previously undisclosed program called Prism. The program allows U.S. officials to collect information on internet users, including search history, the content of emails, file transfers and live chats, according to an official document obtained by the newspaper.
In light of the extensive program of surveillance, many called into question the credibility of the U.S. government and Google’s longtime advocacy for an Internet environment free of censorship and surveillance.”