How Spyware and Social Media Threaten Democracy

From Foreign Affairs:

The world is undergoing a “spyware revolution,” with advances in surveillance technology enabling states and private actors to surveil almost anyone, anywhere in the world, through their mobile phones. Autocratic regimes increasingly use spyware to spy on citizens, neutralize political opposition, and suppress dissent—but the use of such technology is not limited to authoritarian governments. Many democracies have started to use advanced spyware technology, as well.

What will happen if the adoption of predatory spyware continues to grow unchecked? The proliferation of this technology threatens to erode many of the institutions, processes, and values on which the liberal order depends.” If elites in any country can wield spyware technology to consolidate power, then the future of democracy “may soon be no more secure than the passwords on our phones.”

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