In today’s world, digital surveillance is a reality that many people face, especially those who are considered as persons of interest by nation states. Persons of interest are individuals who have some kind of influence, power, or access to sensitive information that may pose a threat or an opportunity to a nation state’s interests. They may include journalists, activists, dissidents, whistleblowers, business leaders, politicians, diplomats, researchers, lawyers, environmentalists and NGO workers.
Nation states may use various methods and tools to monitor and track the activities, communications, and movements of persons of interest. These may include:
- Hacking into their devices and accounts to access their data, contacts, messages, emails, photos, videos, etc.
- Installing malware or spyware on their devices to record their keystrokes, screen activity, microphone input, camera output, etc.
- Intercepting their network traffic to analyze their browsing history, online searches, social media posts, etc.
- Using facial recognition, biometric scanning, or RFID chips to identify them in public places or at border crossings.
- Deploying human agents or informants to follow them, befriend them, or infiltrate their circles.
- Using satellites, drones, cameras, or other sensors to track their location and movements.
These methods and tools may pose serious risks to the privacy, security, and safety of persons of interest. They may expose their personal information, compromise their sources or contacts, reveal their plans or intentions, or endanger their lives. Therefore, it is important for persons of interest to take precautions and countermeasures when travelling abroad to avoid or minimize the effects of digital surveillance by nation states.