Angelica Rebeca Gonzalez-Garcia (Guatemala)
Backstory: The 31-year-old mother fled domestic abuse with her then seven-year-old daughter.
Testimony: “On May 10, 2018, the day after our arrest, Officers came into the room and told me that they intended to take my daughter away from me… Most devastating of all, the Officers said I would never see my daughter again. When the Officers told me this, I felt like collapsing and dying. I cannot express the pain and fear I felt at that point. My daughter was only seven years old and she was much too young to be taken from me.
“When I asked why, the Officers said that I had ‘endangered’ her by bringing her here… During this same conversation one of the officers asked me ‘In Guatemala do they celebrate mother’s day?’ When I answered yes he said, ‘Then Happy Mother’s Day,’ because the next Sunday was Mother’s day. I lowered my head so that my daughter would not see the tears forming in my eyes. That particular act of cruelty astonished me then as it does now. I could not understand why they hated me so much, or wanted to hurt me so much.”
Again, as a parent… as a HUMAN, I am grief-stricken. How can we be treating people with this level of cruelty?! I feel so helpless. I feel sick.
The surveillance landscape is far worse than it has ever been and I feel like everything we do is now observable. All of our transactions and communications are all fused together into total information awareness apparatus. I don’t think any of this can be fixed merely by the application of cryptography. It is going to require some push back in the policy space. We are going to have to have Congress react to this and we need to get the population to react, perhaps through the economic consequences we face of losing a lot of business for American internet companies. Maybe American internet companies can push back because of economic harm that comes with the rest of world turning its back on us.
The primary business model of the Internet is built on mass surveillance, and our government’s intelligence-gathering agencies have become addicted to that data. Understanding how we got here is critical to understanding how we undo the damage.