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The press review catalogues press articles related to la Quadrature's issues, compiled by its volunteers.
See also our French press review.

[TheGuardian] GCHQ spied on Amnesty International, tribunal tells group in email

The government’s electronic eavesdropping agency GCHQ spied illegally on Amnesty International, according to the tribunal responsible for handling complaints against the intelligence services. [...]

Responding to the revelation, Salil Shetty, Amnesty International’s secretary general, said: “It’s outrageous that what has been often presented as being the domain of despotic rulers has been done on British soil, by the British government. [...]

“After 18 months of litigation and all the denials and subterfuge that entailed, we now have confirmation that we were in fact subjected to UK government mass surveillance. The revelation that the UK government has been spying on Amnesty International highlights the gross inadequacies in the UK’s surveillance legislation.

“If they hadn’t stored our communications for longer than they were allowed to, we would never even have known. What’s worse, this would have been considered perfectly lawful.” [...]

The organisation is calling for an independent inquiry into how and why a UK intelligence agency has been spying on human rights organisations. [...]

[BBC] Edward Snowden interview: 'Smartphones can be taken over'

Smartphone users can do "very little" to stop security services getting "total control" over their devices, US whistleblower Edward Snowden has said. [...]

Mr Snowden talked about GCHQ's "Smurf Suite", a collection of secret intercept capabilities individually named after the little blue imps of Belgian cartoon fame. [...]

Once GCHQ had gained access to a user's handset, Mr Snowden said the agency would be able to see "who you call, what you've texted, the things you've browsed, the list of your contacts, the places you've been, the wireless networks that your phone is associated with. [...]

The NSA is understood to have a similar programme to the Smurf Suite used by GCHQ on which it is reported to have spent $1bn in response to terrorists' increasing use of smartphones.
Mr Snowden said the agencies were targeting those suspected of involvement in terrorism or other serious crimes such as paedophilia "but to find out who those targets are they've got to collect mass data". [...]

[Netzpolitik] Strategic Initiative Technology: We Unveil the BND Plans to Upgrade its Surveillance Technology for 300 Million Euros

Fiberglass tapping, real-time Internet traffic analysis, encryption cracking, computer hacking: Germany’s foreign intelligence agency Bundesnachrichtendienst is massively expanding its Internet surveillance capabilities. [...]

The BND now wants to be able to perform wiretapping on its own. The Snowden revelations about skills and financial resources of the Five-Eyes Intelligence Services aren’t seen as a warning but rather transformed into a wish-list for the BND: The German agency wants to play „on an equal level with the western partner services“ [...]

According to BND head of department Pauland, who testified before the parliamentary investigatory committee, the interception of „routine traffic“ is causing almost 50 per cent of notifications – in other words, the so-called groundless mass surveillance of entire channels of communication, such as entire fibreglass lines. This field is now going to be expanded and modernised. [...]

Despite the fact that the BND already massively wiretaps Internet communication from fibre optic cable lines at (at least) twelve different locations, another such „measure in intelligence gathering“ was scheduled to start in 2014. [...]

[Telegraph] EU's data sharing deal with US is invalid, European Court's Advocate-General says

15-year-old 'Safe Harbour' agreement between the US and EU should not stop data transfers being suspended, legal counsel says. [...]

It marks a major departure from the “Safe Harbour” data sharing agreement between the European Commission, US and Switzerland reached in 2000, with potentially far-reaching consequences. While Wednesday's statement is only a recommendation, in practice, the Advocate-General is rarely overruled by the court. [...]

The ECJ can be expected to make a final decision in a few months’ time. If it agrees with the Advocate General, it could have widespread consequences for how data is collected and used by American technology companies. [...]

[TheRegister] In EU-US data sharing we trust - but can we have that in writing, say MEPs

Signs of split between EU apparatchiks and elected reps [...]

On Tuesday evening, the so-called Umbrella Agreement was presented to the European Parliament’s civil liberties committee by Paraskevi Michou, acting director general of the EU Commission’s justice department, which led negotiations from the east of the Atlantic. [...]

Dutch MEP Sophie in ’t Veld (ALDE) was also in favour of having the lawyers look at the small print, as she appeared to disagree with Michou's assertion that the deal would go further than the EU's own data protection proposals.

“I think we need a little more time to look at the text in detail,” she said. “It is not just me; it is also the citizens of Europe who are entitled to know the status of this document. The protections are lower than the EU rules that we hope to adopt." [...]

[EconomicTimes] A lucky accident: Net neutrality changed the world for the better, let's keep it that way

The concept of network neutrality was unplanned, an accident even, but a lucky one that did more to encourage internet innovation. [...]

Net neutrality was born not through any conscious design, but because the internet was incapable of being anything but neutral. This best-effort nature of the early internet's design, however, did have a profound effect on competition and innovation within the internet. [...]

Google, Facebook and other companies succeeded because the network neither hindered them nor helped their competition. [...]

Central to today's debate is the effort by ISPs to undermine net neutrality in order to make more money than they can do by simply transmitting packets. [...]

Network neutrality has served as a platform where companies compete based on ideas, and no competitive advantage is provided to anyone based on either quality of service or pricing. It should remain that way. [...]

[DutchNews] KPN joins criticism of Dutch government's new phone tap rules

Former state monopoly KPN has become the latest organisation to slam the government’s plans to give far greater powers to the security services to tap phone and internet traffic. […]

KPN said the new rules conflict with the right to privacy in communication as laid down in the Dutch constitution and will prove very expensive to implement. It also pointed to the lack of legal controls on mass surveillance. […]

British privacy watchdog Privacy International has already described the proposals as among the most far-reaching in the world and says they will provide a poor example for companies without strong democratic traditions.

‘We would strongly urge the Dutch government not to expand surveillance beyond what is necessary and reasonable in a democratic society’, the organisation said.

[AlJazeera] Vice News fixer 'charged over encryption software'

Three staff members from Vice News were charged with "aiding an armed organisation" because one of the men was using an encryption system on his personal computer which is often used by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), a senior press official in the Turkish government has told Al Jazeera. […]

On Monday, the three men were charged by a Turkish judge in Diyarbakir with "deliberately aiding an armed organisation", the driver was released without charge. [...]

In Brussels, EU spokeswoman Maja Kocijancic said on Tuesday: "Any country negotiating EU accession needs to guarantee the respect for human rights, including freedom of expression." [...]

[Zeit] XKeyscore: A Dubious Deal with the NSA

Internal documents show that Germany's domestic intelligence agency, the BfV, received the coveted software program XKeyscore from the NSA – and promised data from Germany in return. [...]

Politically and legally, however, the accord is extremely delicate. Nobody outside of the BfV oversees what data is sent to the NSA in accordance with the "Terms of Reference," a situation that remains unchanged today. Neither Germany’s data protection commissioner nor the Parliamentary Control Panel, which is responsible for oversight of the BfV, has been fully informed about the deal. [...]

[TheGuardian] Digital surveillance 'worse than Orwell', says new UN privacy chief

Joseph Cannataci describes British oversight as ‘a joke’ and says a Geneva convention for the internet is needed [...]

The appointment of a UN special rapporteur on privacy is seen as hugely important because it elevates the right to privacy in the digital age to that of other human rights. As the first person in the job, the investigator will be able to set the standard for the digital right to privacy, deciding how far to push governments that want to conduct surveillance for security reasons, and corporations who mine us for our personal data. [...]

“[The Snowden revelations] were very important. Snowden will continue to be looked upon as a traitor by some and a hero by others. But in actual fact his revelations confirmed to many of us who have been working in this field for a long time what has been going on, and the extent to which it has gone out of control.” [...]

We have a number of corporations that have set up a business model that is bringing in hundreds of thousands of millions of euros and dollars every year and they didn’t ask anybody’s permission. They didn’t go out and say: ‘Oh, we’d like to have a licensing law.’ No, they just went out and created a model where people’s data has become the new currency. And unfortunately, the vast bulk of people sign their rights away without knowing or thinking too much about it,” he said.

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