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El Salvador Government Denies It Is Spying on Major Corporations

By: Adriana Peralta - @AdriPeraltaM - Jan 27, 2017, 7:50 am
El Salvador Government Denies It Is Spying
El Salvador’s government has been accused of spying on major business corporations and unions. (Starmedia)

EspañolSeveral major economic and business groups in El Salvador have spoken out about spying by the government, which officials denied this week.

The El Salvador government denied claims that The Salvadoran Foundation for Economic and Social Development (FUSADES), the National Association of Private Enterprise (ANEP) and the Chamber of Commerce (Camarasal) had found evidence of espionage in the form of hidden microphones in their facilities.

“This government in no way is linked to this type of illicit behavior,” President Spokesman Eugenio Chicas told the media this week. “If it has occurred as it has been described, this government joins in on the demand for investigation of such crimes.”

“As a government with great firmness, we have condemned any kind of intimidating activity, persecution or violation of the rights that any institution may have in this country,” Chicas added. “We have condemned this type of practice wherever it comes from.”

Chicas said officials were surprised at the type of technology that was found in those facilities, since one of the wired devices was inferior to current digital technology.

 

On January 10, Fusades reported espionage in one of its offices.

“This lamentable fact confirms for us that these presumptions are correct, that sadly espionage and political harassment in El Salvador are real,” President of Fusades Miguel Ángel Simán Simán said.

“To hide behind a microphone and then manipulate information and to then accuse and discredit us is unacceptable,” Simán said. “We do not hide like the cowards … we do not need hidden microphones to avoid debating ideas.”

Screen Shot 2017-01-26 at 18.47.04

After that discovery, Camarasal reviewed its facilities and reportedly  found a device that measured approximately four centimeters.

“The union hopes that the investigations will clear things up and show how, by whom and for what purposes this espionage device was being used,” said President of Camarasal Javier Steiner.

ANEP reportedly found telephone spying systems at its headquarters.

According to its spokesman, the device found is a factory microprocessor containing a microphone, with a transmitter frequency of 900 Mhz, with transmission capacity of more than 600 meters and was connected to the cables of the surveillance camera system in their offices.

Sources: El Diario de Hoy, EDH

Adriana Peralta Adriana Peralta

Adriana Peralta is a freedom advocate from El Salvador and a @CREO_org board member. She is a PanAm Post reporter and blogger, a 2005 Ruta Quetzal scholar, a trained engineer, and an SMC University masters student in political economy. She is also a Pink Floyd fan. Follow @AdriPeraltaM.

Education Is Not a Public Good and We Should Stop Treating It Like One

By: Guest Contributor - Jan 27, 2017, 7:36 am
Empty Classroom

By Corey DeAngelis Critics of the proposed policy to expand private school choice in the United States argue that the government must fund and control schooling since it is a “public good.” This may sound accurate, as we label some schools as “public” and some as “private.” Since we have public schools, schooling must be a public good, right? The Economic Definition Schooling fails both parts of the "public good" definition. However, what does “public good” even mean? A public good, according to the economic definition, must satisfy two conditions: 1.) nonrival in consumption, and 2.) non-excludable. In other words, one person consuming the good will not reduce another’s ability to consume the good, and those controlling the good are unable to exclude those that do not pay. Schooling fails both parts of the definition. Why Schooling Fails the Requirements If one student is in a seat in a classroom, they take up another child’s ability to sit in the same seat. As a result, schooling fails the first part of the definition. Second, and perhaps most importantly, it is not difficult to exclude a person from a school, or any other type of institution. If someone does not pay you to educate them, you can simply deny him or her that service. This already occurs with private schools and tutoring services. googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display('div-gpt-ad-1459522593195-0'); }); Private schools and tutoring services operate effectively because they do not suffer from the free rider problem. Critics argue that since we are all forced to go to school in the United States through compulsory education laws, schooling meets the non-excludability condition. This is a simple confusion of the economic definition. The definition does not state whether children are or are not excluded from the service in present day. On the other hand, the definition states that nonpayers can be excluded. This is an important distinction because it rids us of the basic free rider problem. In a true public good scenario, everyone knows they can benefit from the good or service by getting others to pay for it, so no one pays. Read More: Venezuelan Congress to Impeach Maduro over “Coup” Against Elections Read More: FARC Guerrillas to Participate in Politics, Despite Crimes Against Humanity An example of a true public good is radio and national defense. It is very difficult to exclude people that do not pay to use the radio service. This is also true with national defense: how can you exclude people from benefitting from keeping the country safe? (Although some argue that even national defense can be considered a private good). We do not suffer from the free rider problem with schooling because there is the ability for an institution to exclude, if necessary. That is why private schools and tutoring services can operate effectively today. What is the Role of Government in Education? A third party benefits from the transaction between educator and student. It would be more accurate to claim that schooling may have positive externalities. However, this simply means that a third party benefits from the transaction between educator and student. As a result, government may have an interest in funding schooling. However, this is not a sufficient argument for government to operate schools as well. Because of the third-party consideration, individuals may consume less than the socially optimal level of schooling. Additionally, schooling may have negative externalities as well (since education is not the same as schooling), so the size, and the sign, of the overall effect of schooling is unclear. Since schooling fails both parts of the public good definition, the free rider problem does not exist, and we do not need the government to operate schools. If government is not necessary for the operation of schools, we should not promote policies towards that end. Government’s current monopoly on schooling leads to a lower quality product, at an exorbitant cost. Instead, we should recognize the problems with the existing government monopoly on schooling and promote access to private school choice for all children, regardless of their income. Corey DeAngelis is a Distinguished Doctoral Fellow, University of Arkansas.This article was originally published on FEE.org. Read the original article.

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