The press review catalogues press articles related to la Quadrature's issues, compiled by its volunteers.
See also our French press review.
The National Security Agency’s ability to spy on vast quantities of Internet traffic passing through the United States has relied on its extraordinary, decades-long partnership with a single company: the telecom giant AT&T. [...]
AT&T’s cooperation has involved a broad range of classified activities, according to the documents, which date from 2003 to 2013. AT&T has given the N.S.A. access, through several methods covered under different legal rules, to billions of emails as they have flowed across its domestic networks. It provided technical assistance in carrying out a secret court order permitting the wiretapping of all Internet communications at the United Nations headquarters, a customer of AT&T. [...]
The companies’ sorting of data has allowed the N.S.A. to bring different surveillance powers to bear. Targeting someone on American soil requires a court order under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. When a foreigner abroad is communicating with an American, that law permits the government to target that foreigner without a warrant. When foreigners are messaging other foreigners, that law does not apply and the government can collect such emails in bulk without targeting anyone.
AT&T’s provision of foreign-to-foreign traffic has been particularly important to the N.S.A. because large amounts of the world’s Internet communications travel across American cables. AT&T provided access to the contents of transiting email traffic for years before Verizon began doing so in March 2013, the documents show. They say AT&T gave the N.S.A. access to “massive amounts of data,” and by 2013 the program was processing 60 million foreign-to-foreign emails a day. [...]
Google, the internet search giant, took a strong stance against the censorship of its search results, telling French regulators in a blog post that it will not implement so-called “right to be forgotten” requests on a worldwide basis.
Google applied a May 2014 ruling by the European Court of Justice that allows users to ask search engines to delist links with personal information about them. It has since then set up a platform allowing anyone who wishes to be delisted from links to do so. The CNIL, the French data protection authority, asked Google to apply this globally and not only for google.fr and other European sites. [...]
“This is a very difficult debate because in many cases, it is important to protect the right to privacy and to do so at a global level, but it can also be difficult to make a judgment” said Felix Treguer, from the Squaring of the Net, an advocacy group that promotes digital rights and freedoms of citizens.
“For instance, when countries such as Iran, or other countries with little respect for freedom of expression decide that, for example, content regarding homosexual practices for example, is illegal, and order Google in Iran to take down that content at a global level, we, in western democracies, and many people around the world would think this goes too far.”
It begs the question of freedom of speech, but also of how much privacy a person is allowed to have as well. [...]
Facebook Inc. was ordered by a German privacy watchdog to allow users to have accounts under pseudonyms on the social network. [...]
Tuesday’s order is based on a complaint by a user who’d sought to prevent her private Facebook account from being used by people wishing to contact her about business matters. [...]
The social network in 2013 was able to fend off an attack by another German regulator by convincing national courts that only the Irish authority has jurisdiction over the issue. [...]
Surveillance laws being debated around the world should avoid the recent fate of the French – and the scorn of Franz Kafka. [...]
The French case shows that the long-cherished secrecy of communications – a notion dating at least as far back as the French Revolution – has no constitutional priority. It shows the gripping appeal of laws that, in Kafka’s terms, provide a false sense of security and leave the people – particularly people in certain communities – helplessly exposed. On Sunday 26 July, the law came into effect. [...]
Effective intelligence is critical to the challenges we face. But that intelligence must be targeted, and it must be subject to due process, transparency and meaningful independent oversight. Measures that inhibit all of our freedoms must be subject to open, fair, evidenced-based debate, rather than cynical emergency procedures. And even if an individual is prepared to surrender all privacy in order to accept a minute reduction in risk of a catastrophic event, what safeguards are in place to prevent even greater catastrophes, in the hands of a state, oft-captured and oft-brutal, knowing and seeing all?
The tools that France and Britain are currently seeking are too blunt and intrusive for modern democracies. They stifle dissent with the same chilling turn uttered by Robespierre, one of the main leaders of the Reign of Terror during the French Revolution in condemning his former friend and close ally Danton to the guillotine for alleged counter-revolutionary activities: “anyone who trembles at this moment is guilty; for innocence never fears public surveillance”. [...]
UN says powers given to intelligence agencies, which include phone-tapping and computer-hacking, are ‘excessively broad’ and intrusive. [...]
Intelligence agencies can also place “keylogger” devices on computers that record keystrokes in real time. Internet and phone service providers will be forced to install “black boxes” – complex algorithms – that will alert the authorities to suspicious behaviour online. The same companies will be forced to hand over information if asked. [...]
On Friday, after considering the legislation, The UN human rights committee concluded: “The committee is particularly concerned that the law on intelligence, adopted the 24 June 2015, grants overly broad powers for very intrusive surveillance on the basis of vast and badly defined objectives, without prior authorisation of a judge and without adequate and independent controls.” [...]
The non-profit association La Quadrature du Net, which defends the rights and privacy of internet users, described the law as “wicked” and issued a statement headlined “Shame on France”.
“By validating almost all surveillance measures provided in the surveillance law adopted on 25 June, the French constitutional council legalises mass surveillance and endorses a historical decline in fundamental rights,” it said, branding the decision “extremely disappointing”. [...]
[TechDirt] Germany's Leading Digital Rights Blog Netzpolitik.org Accused Of 'Treason' After Leaking Bulk Surveillance Plans
Netzpolitik.org is arguably the most influential German blog in the realm of digital rights. It played a key role in marshalling protests against ACTA three years ago. You'd think the German government would be proud of it as an example of local digital innovation, but instead, it seems to regard it as some kind of traitor [...]
What makes this kind of bullying doubly outrageous is that there is a rather bigger story regarding the press in Germany: the fact that both the NSA and CIA spied on the news magazine Der Spiegel. And yet rather than investigate that fact, or that other newspapers seem to have been victims too, the German government is more concerned about intimidating journalists that dare to report on its own plans to spy on millions of its citizens. [...]
EU officials jubilantly announced a deal on setting internet rules and ending roaming surcharges early Tuesday morning but the details of the deal contain several loose ends. [...]
While the agreement promises that it will “safeguard equal and non-discriminatory treatment of traffic in the provision of internet access services”, several critics are not so sure that the text is legally sound. [...]
However, the text also said internet providers “shall be free to offer services other than internet access services which are optimised for specific content, applications or services, or a combination thereof, where the optimisation is necessary in order to meet requirements of the content, applications or services for a specific level of quality.” [...]
This distinction creates “the opposite of net neutrality”, Austrian Green MEP Michel Reimon told this website, adding that he believes net neutrality in the EU is “dead”. [...]
Negotiations rule out dropping personal data protection below mid-1990s level. Phew! [...]
The chairman of the EU parliament’s justice committee, British Labour MEP Claude Moraes, said the proposed Data Protection Regulation is an urgent priority for the Parliament, but added that “any provisions [on protecting personal data] that go below the current 1995 directive would be a red line.” [...]
But he admitted there are still some problems to deal with, including the rights of consumers, duties of data controllers and limitations on further processing of data for incompatible purposes. However, having steered the text through more than 4,000 amendments to a unified position in the EU parliament, Albrecht is confident of reaching agreement: “The devil is in the detail, but I don’t see any real danger in not achieving our aim.” [...]
EU lawmakers sat down for their first meeting yesterday (24 June) to work out details on the EU's data protection reform. Facing bumps ahead, negotiators said they were still committed to wrapping up the legislation package this year. [...]
Parliament, the Commission and the Council have signalled in recent weeks that compromise isn't far away. But divisive issues still need to be ironed out, such as the processing of personal data for reasons other than what users agree to and sanctions against companies that break rules. [...]
Member states' objections could pose a threat to the negotiations on the data protection regulation. The European Council's draft proposal going into trialogue talks has already drawn criticism for leaving too many details up to member states' discretion. [...]
Trade chief acknowledges more controversial TTIP will not happen this year. [...]
Malmström said the legal experts from Brussels and Ottawa are “basically done” with the so-called “legal scrubbing,” the final stage for the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement between the EU and Canada, or CETA. [...]
The investor arbitration system at issue lets foreign investors sue states on claims that their investments are jeopardized through sudden changes in national law or discriminatory measures. Critics see this as a chance to undermine democratic legislation, but the Commission argues that the draft Canadian agreement already includes a revised version of the dispute settlement mechanism.
Malmström recently proposed to revamp the ISDS even further in the EU deal, and she is now trying to bring at least some of these reforms also into the Canadian pact. [...]