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Press review about Privacy - Personal Data

[TheGuardian] Edward Snowden to broadcast Channel 4's alternative Christmas Day message

NSA whistleblower records message from Russia, filmed by Laura Poitras, warning of the dangers of a loss of privacy. [...]

Snowden says: [...] "A child born today will grow up with no conception of privacy at all. They'll never know what it means to have a private moment to themselves an unrecorded, unanalysed thought. And that's a problem because privacy matters; privacy is what allows us to determine who we are and who we want to be." [...]

[TheGuardian] GCHQ and NSA targeted charities, Germans, Israeli PM and EU chief

British and American intelligence agencies had a comprehensive list of surveillance targets that included the EU's competition commissioner, German government buildings in Berlin and overseas, and the heads of institutions that provide humanitarian and financial help to Africa, top-secret documents reveal.

[BBC] Spain levies maximum fine over Google privacy policy

Google has been fined 900,000 euros (£751,000) for breaking Spanish data protection laws. The fine is the maximum it is possible to levy on a firm that has broken the nation's privacy laws. It was imposed after Google changed its privacy policy and started combining personal information across its online services. Google said it had co-operated with the Spanish inquiry and would act once it had seen the agency's full report. [...]

[WashingtonPost] UN votes to protect privacy in digital age

The U.N. General Assembly unanimously adopted a resolution [introduced by Brazil and Germany] aimed at protecting the right to privacy against unlawful surveillance in the digital age on Wednesday in the most vocal global criticism of U.S. eavesdropping.

[ArsTechnica] Updated: Federal judge finds NSA phone spying likely unconstitutional

[A federal judge in Washington D.C. has ruled that the National Security Agency (NSA) spying revealed this year violated and violates the U.S. constitution. This might force some NSA programmes to be shut down.]

In Leon's reading of the record, the government isn't merely trying to investigate possible terrorists. It's trying to do so as fast as it possibly can. [...] "But the Government can't cite a single instance where the bulk metadata program" actually stopped an imminent attack. [...]

[NYTimes] Judge Questions Legality of N.S.A. Phone Records

A federal district judge ruled on Monday that the National Security Agency program that is systematically keeping records of all Americans’ phone calls most likely violates the Constitution, describing its technology as “al most Orwellian” and suggesting that James Madison would be “aghast” to learn that the government was encroaching on liberty in such a way.

[Reuters] Opponents of French surveillance law race to get support for review

Opponents of a new law in France that expands government powers to monitor phone and Internet connection data without judicial review scrambled for support on Thursday to force a review by the Constitutional Council.

The measure, tucked in a military budget law passed on Tuesday, grants monitoring powers to more agencies such as tax and finance authorities, broadens the grounds for surveillance, and strips judges of the power to review monitoring requests. […]

[NYTimes] France Broadens Its Surveillance Power

For all their indignation last summer, when the scope of the United States’ mass data collection began to be made public, the French are hardly innocents in the realm of electronic surveillance. Within days of the reports about the National Security Agency’s activities, it was revealed that French intelligence services operated a similar system, with similarly minimal oversight.

[NYTimes] Domestic Spying, French Style

On Wednesday, the French Senate voted to adopt a law giving government broad powers to monitor just about anything a person in France does on a cellphone or through an Internet connection. The timing of this move is troubling, given the French government’s outrage in October over revelations of spying on the French by the United States through the National Security Agency. […]

[BoingBoing] France's new surveillance law creates a police state

Jeremie from La Quadrature du Net writes, "France just turned into a surveillance state, adopting a sneaky surveillance framework in article 13 of its Defense Bill (Loi de programmation militaire). It drastically extends the exceptional regime of extra-judicial surveillance against terrorism, for broad motives, including for the purpose of 'preserving scientific and economic interests of France' which could enable total.surveillance of political activists, journalists, corporate watchdogs, etc." […]

[WashingtonPost] By cracking cellphone code, NSA has ability to decode private conversations

The cellphone encryption technology used most widely across the world can be easily defeated by the National Security Agency, an internal document shows, giving the agency the means to decode most of the billions of calls and texts that travel over public airwaves every day. [...]

[SCMagazineUK] France under-fire for new digital surveillance law

France is attracting widespread criticism after introducing a new law which allows the government to gather even more digital information than before.

The country's government has pushed through a new law that extends the scope of telecoms and internet surveillance by the state, even though it has since been heavily criticised by various authorities, including the country's data protection watchdog and the employers' federation.

[TheGuardian] French officials can monitor internet users in real time under new law

French intelligence and government officials will be able to spy on internet users in real time and without authorisation, under a law passed on Wednesday.

The legislation, which was approved almost unnoticed, will enable a wide range of public officials including police, gendarmes, intelligence and anti-terrorist agencies as well as several government ministries to monitor computer, tablet and smartphone use directly.

[RT] France mulls new internet spying powers

The French National Assembly has adopted a bill allowing the authorities to access and gather internet user data without judicial approval. The bill has been slammed by activists as going “against the principles of democracy.”

[Telerama] Glenn Greenwald : “I intend to publish Edward Snowden’s documents to the very last”

From the morros of Rio de Janeiro, Glenn Greenwald, 46, has been publishing his revelations on a daily basis for five months. The former lawyer and blogger turned combat journalist for The Guardian eventually became a media superstar. Edward Snowden, the former NSA analyst, provided him with the documents which help him reveal how the most secret of intelligence agency is spying on the world. [...]