30 de janeiro de 2014
on January 28, 2014 9:52 AM
Deborah Meier continues her conversation with CitizenshipFirst's Robert Pondiscio.
Hurrah. Yes, we agree about immersing kids in a community that finds the world a fascinating place. As a graduate of Central Park East once said to Alice Seletsky* (his former 5th/6th grade teacher): "I had a decent job, but it wasn't interesting, and I remembered how you said over and over to us how interesting the world was, so I'm going back to school hoping to get interested again."
We started the secondary school for a similar reason. Graduates of our 6th grade complained that they managed to cope with junior high and high school, but they rarely found anything that truly intellectually interested them again. Maybe we could agree that high on our list of purposes for education should be preparation for living an interesting life!
But part of the reason for this sad history of curriculum is that we were pounded over the head with programs that promised to raise test scores—without teaching any content. Just teaching how to read, for example. (P.S. The analogy between food and reading isn't the greatest. We eat no matter what, but not so for reading.) Nor was it teachers who invented all these programs and theories about "learning to think" rather than actually "thinking." The new wave is teaching kids to read nonfiction without expecting, even allowing, them to delve into the background knowledge. Bringing out background knowledge is how we make sense of anything we encounter in the world. In reading nonfiction it is even more essential (and the background knowledge requires spending more than a few minutes of pre-reading exercises). My reading ability in astronomy is limited by my lack of knowledge of astronomy, not my lack of reading skill.
The skill/drill stuff wasn't "invented" by teachers. But, of course, since they were insufficiently well-educated about the nature of learning and insufficiently self-confident in their own expertise they either fell for it or were coerced into it. It was primarily progressive educators who resisted.
The Workshop Center in Open Education at Teachers College (led by Lillian Weber) was alive and well when I came to New York City in the late 1960s, as a place where teachers explored subject matter and also (in the process of their own learning) figured out ways to teach aspects of it to kids. It focused on science and history. City College closed it about a decade ago.
Ted Sizer noticed this phenomenon in his study of secondary education in the United States (Horace's Compromise). The difference between schools for the rich and poor was both how and what was taught. Rich kids were far more likely to be expected to delve deeply into material and have their own ideas.
That's my critique of the current press for earlier schooling. It's focused on isolated skills, too. Half a day—at least—is spent on reading skills. Even when books are read to kids, the focus is on specific skills rather than appreciation for the narrative story or the illustrations. Teachers are taught to stop and ask questions about phonics and content—over and over. It destroys the literary strengths and wonder of the story itself. Even nonfiction is focused on reading skills rather than subject matter. Ugh.
Science and history and social studies have been crowded out of early childhood—and elementary school—in the interest of raising test scores. For poor kids.
And part of the argument is that since "those kids" need to catch up, they can't afford the kind of learning that good subject-matter immersion rests on, as though depriving them of a rich education helps them catch up. Teachers are told to directly teach science words, devoid of science, to expand their vocabularies.
Maybe we agree?
I started teaching (subbing actually) in the early '60s in Chicago elementary schools—largely in low-income and African-American communities. They were not OK. It's our misunderstanding of the impact of poverty that partly led us astray. I believe they needed more—not less—of precisely the kind of schooling the rich could afford. The gap in how much money we spent on them, and the quality and quantity of materials, and the nature of the professional development between rich and poor schools was and remains enormous. It may be even greater today than it was in 1967, when I came to NYC.
The gap between per-pupil costs in private and suburban schools vs. low-income schools continues to grow. But equally sad was the way we taught. And test scores are precisely the wrong tool for changing this. Tests encourage more rote teaching, not more in-depth teaching.
Sadly, too, the best college education I know of—with small classes, seminars, etc. are the hardest for poor kids to get into. Imagine if City College did what Brandeis does—encourages students to invite faculty to lunch (in the faculty lunch room) by making such encounters free!
The students in the school I was part of developing learned about the whole wide world. We wanted to make them feel "at home," anywhere. We used the city a lot—so that the museums got to know our kids and our kids thought these museums belonged to them. They do.
In the secondary school we sent kids into workplaces with interesting adults for a half-day a week to widen their network: That was foremost. We started visiting colleges in 7th grade—alongside introducing them to other locations in the (primarily) Northeast. We made sure every kid also took a course (sometimes just audited) at one of the public colleges in New York City. We hoped we made our work seem like fun, a fascinating way to spend one's life—and a powerful occupation. And, no surprise, a disproportionate number of our Central Park East graduates are now teaching K-12.
That was precisely the point of the kind of graduation exams we developed—ones that valued what we valued: being able to present oneself and one's work, and defend it, orally and in writing, before a real-life adult audience.
But none of that happens easily, and most of it rests upon a profound respect for the children, their families, and their communities; for their ability to cope with much that we have never had to cope with ourselves. And to appreciate the love they have for their children (which we can't compete with). The relationship between families and schools has always—historically—been complicated by class differences, and by deciding who is to blame (teacher or mother). Even for the rich (although in reverse in terms of their social class). Breaking these barriers is essential, and more so if the children are the less economically advantaged (vs. more advantaged) than their teachers. And having a structure that enables one to get to know families and students better makes this feasible.
So I start with those two: small class sizes, smaller (surely under 1,000 students) schools, and a schedule that gives teachers time to collaborate with each other and with their students and their families. (I visited a public school in Brooklyn—New American Academy—that provides more than six hours a week for faculty to meet together in teams during the school day, plus one meeting a week after school. And the adult teaching load (K-5) is 22 to one, or less.
Of course, one can have a 5-to-1 ratio and still stand in front of a row of desks and lecture as though facing 3,005.
So, let's talk more about teaching!
P.S. I think that—and especially given the present job market (fewer jobs)—young people will still go into teaching. But I think they'll leave earlier. It's no longer a "career" choice, but a "start-up" occupation.
P.S. 2. Read My Name is Alice: Collected essays by *Alice Seletsky. To find the book, go to lulu.com, click on "Bookstore," and search for "Alice Seletsky."
Postado por Jorge Werthein às 11:36
All of a sudden, early childhood education is really, really popular. Everybody’s favorite. If early childhood education were an actor, it would be Tom Hanks or Meryl Streep. If it were a video game, it would be Candy Crush or Angry Birds, minus the spyware.
The other night at the State of the Union speech, President Obama mentioned “high-quality early education” and John Boehner applauded. Boehner applauded early education! Paul Ryan likes it, too. Prekindergarten is so in, the guys on “Duck Dynasty” would probably have a good word for it.
Kudos, guys! We certainly don’t want to complain about this. Early education is one of the best tools for breaking the poverty-to-poverty trap. Unfortunately, it only works if it’s high quality, and high quality is expensive. Yet very little of this newfound enthusiasm comes with serious money attached.
“Everybody seems to agree we need some sort of national effort to provide preschool education to our kids. What we don’t have is any discussion about how to pay for it,” said Senator Patty Murray who is, I am pretty sure, the first former preschool teacher ever to run the Senate Budget Committee.Last year, in his State of the Union speech, President Obama called for universal preschool for 4-year-olds, to be paid for by a tobacco tax that would raise $78 billion over 10 years. The prekindergarten idea was hailed throughout the nation. The tax part did not go anywhere. To say it was dead on arrival at Congress is an insult to the word “dead.”
When President Obama’s detailed budget proposal comes out, he’ll presumably include some way of paying for his universal preschool idea. Perhaps it will be the tobacco tax again. Perhaps you will never know because, in recent years, the presidential budget has all the traction and clout of a small mouse attempting to cross a frozen lake. During a windstorm. While wearing bedroom slippers.
Here in New York, we’re having a political dispute that pits the let’s-just-cheer camp against the pick-a-tax crowd. Mayor Bill de Blasio wants to pay for universal prekindergarten for New York City 4-year-olds with an increase in the income tax rate for high income city residents. He got elected on this issue, but he needs the state’s permission.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo says he’ll just give de Blasio some money out of the state budget. This is an election year, and Cuomo is definitely not targeting any taxpayers, even if the ones in question are jumping up and down and waving their arms to get attention.
The mayor wants money the city can count on to keep coming every year. It’s a very interesting argument. If New York is lucky, the nation will find the debate so fascinating that everyone will forget about the fact that on Tuesday, shortly after Obama called for more quality prekindergarten classes, a congressman from New York City threatened to throw a reporter off the Capitol balcony. This had nothing to do with early childhood education, but you know how people talk.
Cuomo’s estimate of how much it would cost to do preschool for the entire state is lower than de Blasio’s estimate for just New York City. Which is, on a per-pupil basis, much lower than the amount New Jersey spends on a much-praised prekindergarten program. (Cheers to New Jersey for your effort to provide quality early education to the state’s poorest children. We are so impressed that we will leap right over the fact that you only did it because a judge made you.)
One way to dodge the responsibility for coming up with actual cash for a great leap in preschool financing is to argue, as Cuomo does, that you need to roll these things out slowly. “To do it on a large scale is very difficult,” said Ron Haskins of the Brookings Institution, a former adviser to the Bush administration. But Haskins thinks poor children’s needs are so great, and so immediate, that it’s worth the risk. “We’re desperate. These kids are coming into school already a grade behind,” he said.
A quarter of the youngest Americans are poor. We need to get to them quickly, and do the job right, well before they’re 4. And while we should start with the neediest families, if the programs are good, middle-class parents are rightfully going to point out that they need help, too.
It’ll be a huge number of kids, and the classes have to be really small. Also, the teachers have to get much better pay. They go into the business out of love, but when you are talking about medial salaries of $27,000 a year, sometimes love is not enough. All in all, we’re talking about a ton of money.
So here’s the question: How much of the new enthusiasm for early childhood education is real, and how much is just an attempt to dodge the whole inequality debate? Maybe we could agree that no politician is allowed to mention pre-k without showing us the money.
Postado por Jorge Werthein às 11:24
I had a conversation with a friend* last week about the two posts detailing my failures as a teacher with three students I have had over the years. He has practiced Family Medicine for over a half-century in Pittsburgh and for years helped resident physicians in doing medical research and now works with hospital residents in improving communication with patients. He pointed out to me how similar teachers experiencing failures with students is to physicians erring in diagnoses or treatments (or both) of their patients.
I was surprised at his making the comparison and then began to think about the many books I have read about medicine and the art and science of clinical practice. In my library at home, I had two with well-thumbed pages authored by doctors who, in the first dozen pages, detailed mistakes either they had made with patients or errors committed by other physicians on them or their families.
In one, Jerome Groopman, an oncologist, described what occurred with his 9-month old child after a series of doctor misdiagnoses that almost caused his son's death. A surgeon, who was a friend of a friend, was called in at the last moment to fix an intestinal blockage and saved his son.
In the other book, surgeon Atul Gawande described how he almost lost an Emergency Room patient who had crashed her car when he fumbled a tracheotomy only for patient to be saved by another surgeon who successfully got the breathing tube inserted. Gawande also has a chapter on doctors' errors. His point, documented by a paper in the New England Journal of Medicine (1991) and subsequent reports is that nearly all physicians err.
If nearly all doctors make mistakes, do they talk about them? Privately with people they trust, yes. In public, that is, with other doctors in academic hospitals, the answer is also yes. There is an institutional mechanism where hospital doctors meet weekly called Morbidity and Mortality Conferences (M & M for short) where, in Gawande's words, doctors "gather behind closed doors to review the mistakes, untoward events, and deaths that occurred on their watch, determine responsibility, and figure out what to do differently (p. 58)." He describes an M & M (pp.58-64) at his hospital and concludes: "The M & M sees avoiding error as largely a matter of will--staying sufficiently informed and alert to anticipate the myriad ways that things can go wrong and then trying to head off each potential problem before it happens" (p. 62). Protected by law, physicians air their mistakes without fear of malpractice suits.
Nothing like that for teachers in U.S. schools. Sure, privately, teachers tell one another how they goofed with a student, misfired on a lesson, realized that they had provided the wrong information, or fumbled the teaching of a concept in a class. Of course, there are scattered, well-crafted professional learning communities in elementary and secondary schools where teachers feel it is OK to admit they make mistakes and not fear retaliation. They can admit error and learn to do better the next time. In the vast majority of schools, however, no analogous M & M exists (at least as far as I know).
Of course, there are substantial differences between doctors and teachers. For physicians, the consequences of their mistakes might be lethal or life-threatening. Not so, in most instances, for teachers. But also consider other differences:
*Doctors see patients one-on-one; teachers teach groups of 20 to 35 students four to five hours a day.
*Most U.S. doctors get paid on a fee-for-service basis; nearly all full-time public school teachers are salaried.
*Evidenced-based practice of medicine in diagnosing and caring for patients is more fully developed and used by doctors than the science of teachingaccessed by teachers.
While these differences are substantial in challenging comparisons, there are basic commonalities that bind teachers to physicians. First, both are helping professions that seek human improvement. Second, like practitioners in other sciences and crafts, both make mistakes. These commonalities make comparisons credible even with so many differences between the occupations.
From teachers to psychotherapists to doctors to social workers to nurses, these professionals use their expertise to transform minds, develop skills, deepen insights, cope with feelings and mend bodily ills. In doing so, these helping professions share similar predicaments.
*Expertise is never enough. For surgeons, cutting out a tumor from the colon will not rid the body of cancer; successive treatments of chemotherapy are necessary and even then, the cancer may return.
Some high school teachers of science with advanced degrees in biology, chemistry, and physics believe that lessons should be inquiry driven and filled with hands-on experiences while other colleagues, also with advanced degrees, differ. They argue that naïve and uninformed students must absorb the basic principles of biology, chemistry, and physics through rigorous study before they do any “real world” work in class.
In one case, there is insufficient know-how to rid the body of different cancers and, in the other instance, highly knowledgeable teachers split over how students can best learn science. As important as expertise is to professionals dedicated to helping people, it falls short—and here is another shared predicament--not only for the reasons stated above but also because professionals seeking human improvement need their clients, patients, and students to engage in the actual work of learning and becoming knowledgeable, healthier people.
*Helping professionals are dependent upon their clients’ cooperation.Physician autonomy, anchored in expertise and clinical experience, to make decisions unencumbered by internal or external bureaucracies is both treasured and defended by the medical profession. Yet physicians depend upon patients for successful diagnoses and treatments. If expertise is never enough in the helping professions, patients not only constrain physician autonomy but also influence their effectiveness.
While doctors can affect a patient’s motivation, if that patient is emotionally depressed, is resistant to recommended treatments, or uncommitted to getting healthy by ignoring prescribed medications the physician is stuck. Autonomy to make decisions for the welfare of the patient and ultimate health is irrelevant when patients cannot or do not enter into the process of healing.
For K-12 teachers who face captive audiences among whom are some students unwilling to participate in lessons or who defy the teacher’s authority or are uncommitted to learning what the teacher is teaching, then teachers have to figure out what to do in the face of students’ passivity or active resistance.
Failure and error occur in both medical and teaching practices.
Both doctors and teachers, from time to time, err in what they do with patients and students. Patients can bring malpractice suits to get damages for errors. But that occurs sometimes years after the mistake. What hospital-based physicians do have, however, is an institutionalized way of learning (Mortality and Morbidity conferences) from their mistakes so that they do not occur again. So far, among teachers there are no public ways of admitting mistakes and learning from them (privately, amid trusted colleagues, such admissions occur). For teachers, admitting error publicly can lead directly to job loss).
So while doctors, nurses, and other medical staff have M & M conferences to correct mistakes, most teachers lack such collaborative and public ways of correcting mistakes (one exception might be in special education where various staff come together weekly or monthly to go over individual students' progress).
Books and articles have been written often about how learning from failure can lead to success. Admitting error without fear of punishment is the essential condition for such learning to occur. There is no sin in being wrong or making mistakes, but in the practice of schooling children and youth today, one would never know that.
* Dr. Joel Merenstein and I have been close friends since boyhood in Pittsburgh (PA)
Postado por Jorge Werthein às 11:21
Postado por Jorge Werthein às 02:15
29 de janeiro de 2014
Legislação, aprovada na esteira das manifestações de junho, entra em vigor hoje com a figura de “pena de morte” a empresas que corrompem servidores públicos para obter benefícios
- 28 JAN 2014 - El País
As manifestações de junho do ano passado continuam rendendo frutos, e a lei anticorrupção, que punirá empresas envolvidas em atos ilícitos contra o poder público, é um deles. A nova legislação passa a valer neste dia 29 e pretender ser mais uma ferramenta para estancar o dreno de recursos que a corrupção representa no Brasil. Um estudo da Federação das Indústrias do Estado de São Paulo (Fiesp), elaborado em 2012, projetava que entre 1,38% e 2,3% do Produto Interno Bruto (PIB) se perdiam entre ações corruptas no país. Levando em conta o último PIB consolidado disponível, do ano de 2012, que fechou em 4,4 trilhões de reais, isso equivale a, no mínimo, uma perda nominal entre 61,7 bilhões reais e 101,2 bilhões de reais.
Não se sabe ao certo se esse número é próximo da realidade, até porque é difícil captar atos ilícitos que estão em andamento neste exato momento, nos subterrâneos do poder e das corporações. Mas, independentemente dos valores envolvidos, a corrupção é uma praga que revolta os brasileiros, que pagam impostos compulsoriamente, e não recebem seus benefícios de volta. O quadro atual coloca o país na posição 72, entre 177 países no mundo, no Índice de Percepção da Corrupção (Corruption Perception Index), de 2013, elaborado pelo grupo Transparency International. A lei, inaugurada hoje, vai punir empresas envolvidas em atos que venham a lesar o erário do Estado, em todas as esferas, como suborno de funcionários do poder público.
Ou seja, com anos de atraso, o Brasil passa a punir também as empresas que corrompem, e não só o agente corrupto. “Esta lei vem fechar um quebra-cabeça fundamental”, afirma Pierpaolo Cruz Bottini, professor-doutor de direito penal da Universidade de São Paulo. “Até agora as punições estavam direcionadas à pessoa física. Processava-se o funcionário, o dirigente público e a empresa ficava impune. Agora, ela será punida de forma objetiva, não importa se sabia ou não das falcatruas em andamento. Se foi beneficiada, ela será multada”, explica Bottini.
Inspirada nas regras já vigentes em países como os Estados Unidos (com o Foreign Corruption Practice Act) e a Inglaterra (Bribery Act), a nova legislação estabelece multas de que variam de 0,1% a 20% do faturamento bruto da empresa processada, nunca abaixo da vantagem obtida, caso esta seja auferida. Se não for possível levantar essa cifra, a previsão é de aplicação de multa variável entre 6.000 reais e 60 milhões de reais. E no limite, instaura a figura da “pena de morte” da pessoa jurídica, ou seja, estabelece a possibilidade de dissolver uma empresa envolvida em delitos. “É uma lei extremamente pertinente ”, celebra Leo Bottini, da Amarribo, organização sem fins lucrativos de combate à corrupção.
Mais do que isso, passa a punir os agentes da cadeia de valor de uma companhia. Se algum fornecedor estiver envolvido em ações nebulosas, a sua contratante é alvo da lei. Assim, a atuação de consultorias, despachantes, ou empresas fictícias criadas com o único fim de obter vantagens financeiras torna-se evidência objetiva, passível de pena severa. Esse aspecto da nova lei é elogiado pelo promotor Marcelo Mendroni, do Grupo de Atuação Especial de Repressão à Formação de Cartel e à Lavagem de Dinheiro e de Recuperação de Ativos (Gedec), do Ministério Público de São Paulo. “A lei vem preencher uma lacuna importante. As empresas fictícias são o meio mais utilizado para a lavagem de dinheiro no Brasil”, diz o promotor, que cuida do caso de formação de cartel de empresas fornecedoras de material para o metrô de São Paulo, que inclui as multinacionais Siemens e Alstom.
O cartel do metrô no Estado paulista foi denunciado, em delação premiada, pela própria Siemens no ano passado, revelando supostos subornos a agentes públicos, e também a atuação de empresas prestadoras de serviço que faziam a ponte entre a multinacional e funcionários públicos. Também em São Paulo, está em curso uma investigação, levantada pela Corregedoria Municipal, sobre a atuação de 30 construtoras suspeitas de terem pago 29 milhões de reais em propinas para auditores fiscais da Prefeitura de São Paulo, em troca de um desconto de 50% no valor total de um imposto municipal.
Para José Ricardo Roriz Coelho, diretor do Departamento de Competitividade e Tecnologia da a corrupção afeta negativamente a atividade econômica e a competitividade do país como um todo. “Ela aumenta o custo do investimento produtivo, prejudica a estabilidade do ambiente de negócios, inibe os investimentos externos, diminui a arrecadação e altera a composição dos gastos governamentais, além de distorcer a concorrência, e abalar a confiança no Estado”, afirma. O estudo da Fiesp aponta que, no mínimo, a corrupção equivale a 7,6% do investimento produtivo na economia, ou a 22,6% do gasto público em educação nas três esferas.
A nova legislação já movimenta o mundo corporativo brasileiro, que vai procurar se adaptar às novas exigências. Para Pablo Cesário, gerente-executivo da Confederação Nacional da Indústria, as empresas, a partir de agora, devem adotar programas de combate à corrupção. Mas, Cesário chama a atenção para um fato importante para onde a legislação precisa avançar. “Compete ao Estado proteger empresas que denunciem atos de corrupção praticados por agentes públicos, prevenindo eventuais retaliações”, diz Cesário. Ou seja, as empresas devem ter espaço para denunciar um gestor público que venha a solicitar dinheiro em troca de alguma autorização ou licença que compete ao poder público liberar para a companhia.
No Brasil, várias empresas que tentaram denunciar achaques de funcionários públicos, inclusive na mídia, passaram a ser “perseguidas” por fiscalizações exageradas. Além disso, a falta de punição frustrava empresários, que preferiam aceitar o pedido de suborno a atrasar projetos em andamento por falta de algum documento. Uma pesquisa sobre corrupção revela que só 50% das empresas no país acreditam que denunciar pedidos de propina de funcionários públicos surtem efetivamente efeito.
O promotor Marcelo Mendroni também sublinha a necessidade de fortalecer o próprio corpo da Justiça e o treinamento de seus funcionários lei para que ela possa ser aplicada. “As três engrenagens precisam funcionar juntas: legislação, estrutura e treinamento”, diz. Cabe também à sociedade o papel de cobrar a sua execuação, avalia o cientista político Wagner Pralon. “Muitas vezes a vontade popular coloca alguns itens, como este, na pauta, mas é preciso manter a antenas ligadas”, afirma. Em outras palavras, a nova lei anticorrupção é um passo muito importante, mas é só o começo de um caminho longo pela frente.
Postado por Jorge Werthein às 05:18
28 de janeiro de 2014
Adam Blenford y Christine Jeavans
Internet fue diseñada para ser libre y abierta. Ocho meses después de las primeras filtraciones de Edward Snowden, ¿sigue siendo el caso?
Los pioneros de la tecnología que diseñaron los protocolos originales del sistema vieron su creación como una manera de compartir información libremente a través de una red de redes.
No se trata simplemente de que exploten las actualizaciones de las redes sociales y la información que ya damos a las empresas. Las agencias de inteligencia supuestamente han aprovechado la estructura misma de internet.Sin embargo, las filtraciones de Edward Snowden de documentos clasificados de la Agencia Nacional de Seguridad de Estados Unidos (NSA por sus siglas en inglés) revelaron que espías estadounidenses y sus homólogos británicos usan esa misma internet para recoger grandes cantidades de información del rastro digital que dejamos todos los días.
Al igual que el universo a raíz del Big Bang, internet se está expandiendo. Desde sus humildes inicios como un proyecto dentro del Departamento de Defensa de EE.UU., la red ha crecido con cada avance tecnológico.
Este crecimiento ha requerido una infraestructura física cada vez mayor de routers, cables, centros de datos y otros componentes del hardware. Entre 1994 y 2013 se multiplicaron varias veces más.
Los gigantes de la red son las empresas y organizaciones que ofrecen la denominada red troncal de internet, que transfiere datos a través de cables de fibra óptica de alta capacidad.
Esta red, confeccionado con datos del mapa de internet de Peer 1, muestra la conexión relativa de las organizaciones en línea. Los mayores blobs (objetos binarios grandes) -aquellos con el mayor número de conexiones- son las empresas centrales, que superan la talla de Google y Amazon.
¿Cómo se transfieren los datos?
Casi todo lo que hacemos en línea pasa a través de una conexión troncal.
Si, por ejemplo, un estudiante envía desde Londres un correo electrónico a un amigo en Brasil, el mensaje saltará por toda la red y, a menudo, viajará a través de una conexión troncal como Level 3 Communications en EE.UU., que se describe como "proveedor de redes para gran parte de la infraestructura de comunicaciones del mundo".
Así que si se interceptaran los cables de las empresas como Level 3, los organismos de seguridad tendrían acceso a una enorme cantidad de tráfico mundial de internet.
En noviembre de 2013, el diario The New York Times informó que la NSA podría haber accedido a Google y a Yahoo a través de cables de Level 3.
En un comunicado, la empresa dijo a la BBC: "Cumplimos con las leyes aplicables en cada uno de los países donde operamos. En muchos casos, las leyes nos prohíben revelar detalles relacionados con ese cumplimiento de nuestra parte y convierten en delito la discusión de cualquier acceso a la información.
"Algunos medios de comunicación han especulado incorrectamente que tenemos acuerdos con gobiernos, según los cuales proporcionamos voluntariamente acceso a datos de la red, incluso cuando no estamos obligados a hacerlo. Eso es incorrecto. La privacidad del cliente es primordial para nuestro negocio. No permitimos el acceso no autorizado a nuestra red por cualquier entidad y nuestra red seguirá funcionando para proteger y asegurar la información de nuestros clientes, mientras nos adherimos a las leyes que se aplican a Level 3, así como a los demás proveedores de telecomunicaciones".
Los documentos de Snowden publicados en el diario británico The Guardian en junio pasado indican que los programas de espionaje de EE.UU. y Reino Unido destinados al "dominio de internet" incluyen aprovechar los cables submarinos a través de los cuales fluyen datos y llamadas telefónicas.
Los documentos sostienen que uno de los servicios de inteligencia británicos, el GCHQ, fue capaz de monitorear hasta 600 millones de comunicaciones diarias. La información que describe el uso telefónico y de internet fue supuestamente almacenada durante unos 30 días, para ser examinada y analizada.
GCHQ se negó a comentar sobre las afirmaciones, aunque indicó que cumplió "escrupulosamente" con la ley.
La magnitud de la recopilación de datos de la NSA es difícil de comprender. Y las opiniones sobre su legitimidad están divididas: algunos creen que es un baluarte fundamental contra los ataques terroristas, mientras que otros insisten en que los programas son violaciones peligrosas de las libertades civiles.
Las revelaciones de Snowden podrían llevar a un cambio en el modo en que los gobiernos y las grandes organizaciones utilizan internet.
Se ha hablado de una "división" en internet, de modo que, por ejemplo, las comunicaciones que se inician y terminan en Europa sólo viajan por cables europeos.
"La información es poder y es dinero", señaló a la BBC el experto en seguridad Bruce Schneier, quien analizó los documentos de Snowden para el periodista Glenn Greenwald.
"Estas discusiones acerca de quién tiene el control de los datos son más grandes que la NSA y que la vigilancia, y son las cuestiones clave de la era de la información".
Pero los expertos en tecnología dicen que esto haría que los negocios fueran más difíciles de realizarse en línea y podrían hacer que el acceso global fácil al que nos hemos acostumbrado se convierta en algo del pasado.
"No creo que sepamos en lo que se va a transformar internet a causa de esto", sentenció Schneier.
Postado por Jorge Werthein às 14:52