The Bahamas is a stable democracy, rated highly for its strong protections for fundamental freedoms. Civic space is well respected, allowing people to form associations, conduct peaceful protests and assemblies and share views openly, even if those views are critical of the government. Some isolated use of force by the police and the retention of criminal defamation and sedition laws have raised cause for concern however. More worryingly, a 2014 report stemming from the Edward Snowden leaks revealed the National Security Agency in the United States routinely records and stores data from all mobile phone conversations in the Bahamas, raising serious concerns about freedom of expression and privacy in the country.