More details have emerged on the censorship apparatus operated by Spain's Socialist Party (PSOE)-Podemos government. A new cyber-monitoring tool, known as ELISA, has been rolled out across the country, which will scour the internet for supposed instances
of disinformation and report them to Spain's central government for further action.
ELISA began by monitoring only a few dozen web pages. However, its surveillance operation has now expanded to around 350 sites. It has been described as a Digital
Observatory, designed to facilitate the monitoring of open sources, as well as the profiling of media and social networks.
To avoid any judicial oversight, ELISA will supposedly only monitor open source data, rather than private communications. It
will nonetheless mine vast quantities of information on online sources, social media usage, news platforms and other internet content.
ELISA's development and implementation is the latest in a series of internet-monitoring and censorship measures
recently made public in Spain. Revelations about the CCN's ELISA tool come hot on the heels of a new protocol, the Procedure for Intervention against Disinformation. It allows the state to monitor and suppress internet content, under the pretext of
combatting fake news and disinformation.
This gives the Spanish government full decision-making power to determine what is or is not fake news, and makes legal provision for constant state surveillance of social media platforms and the media more
broadly to detect disinformation and formulate a political response.
The Spanish government has quietly begun censoring the entirety of GitHub in response to mounting Catalan protests, causing problems for those developers that use the Microsoft-owned service for their work projects.
While the issue is easily
remedied by using a VPN, the fact that the Spanish government has been quick to try to censor such a valuable tool speaks volumes for the increasingly prominent but authoritarian idea that mass censorship is the best way to crush dissent.
pro-independence group, Tsunami Democratic, organizes digitally online and is known for the mass occupation of Barcelona's El Prat airport by an estimated 10,000 protesters. In addition to other social media it has a website hosted on Github as well as
an encrypted communication app that's also available on Github.
The Android app uses geolocation and end-to-end protocols to make sure that only trusted and verified users have access. Verification takes place through the scanning of a QR code of
an already-verified member. The app isn't available via Playstore so the APK file containing the app needs to be downloaded and manually installed on a phone.
It's for this reason that the Spanish government has begun to block GitHub in the
country, cutting off access to all users. Over the last week, several Spanish internet service providers have blocked access to the service.
AN MP in Spain is leading an initiative to force porn websites operating in the country to install strict age verification systems.
The recently elected 26-year-old Andrea Fernandez has called to end the culture of porn among young people. The
limitation of pornographic contents online was included in the electoral programme of the the newly elected Prime Minister, Pedro Sanchez (Social Democrats). The goal of the new government is to implement a new strict age verification system for these
kind of websites.