The press review catalogues press articles related to la Quadrature's issues, compiled by its volunteers.
See also our French press review.
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. [...]
Initial interceptions lawful but retention and examination of communications illegal, rules IPT in case brought following Edward Snowden revelations
The IPT upheld complaints by the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights and the South African non-profit Legal Resources Centre that their communications had been illegally retained and examined. The tribunal made “no determination” on claims brought other NGOs – including Amnesty International, Liberty and Privacy International – implying that either their emails and phone calls were not intercepted or that they were intercepted but by legal means. [...]
Welcoming the ruling, Eric King, deputy director of Privacy International, said: “If spying on human rights NGOs isn’t off limits for GCHQ, then what is? Clearly our spy agencies have lost their way. For too long they’ve been trusted with too much power, and too few rules for them to protect against abuse. How many more problems with GCHQ’s secret procedures have to be revealed for them to be brought under control?” [...]
PARIS — On Wednesday, France woke up to find that the National Security Agency had been snooping on the phones of its last three presidents. [...]
Yet also today, the lower house of France’s legislature, the National Assembly, passed a sweeping surveillance law. The law provides a new framework for the country’s intelligence agencies to expand their surveillance activities. Opponents of the law were quick to mock the government for vigorously protesting being surveilled by one of the country’s closest allies while passing a law that gives its own intelligence services vast powers with what its opponents regard as little oversight. But for those who support the new law, the new revelations of NSA spying showed the urgent need to update the tools available to France’s spies. [...]
Until the law was passed, France’s intelligence services operated almost without any laws to regulate them. Although the new law delivers a much-needed framework, its safeguards are regarded by many critics as insufficient. The powers of the oversight body in charge of the intelligence agencies have been slightly strengthened and it will be possible, if a citizen suspects she is being surveilled, to take her case before the Conseil d’Etat, France’s highest court. But other parts of the law have drawn controversy, including the way it defines the purposes the government can invoke to surveil French residents. The categories extend well beyond terrorism. Many opponents of the law think these guidelines are so broad that they could enable political surveillance. But the key point of disagreement is what the government calls “black boxes.” The law allows the use of government equipment inside Internet Service Providers and large web companies to analyze streams of metadata and find “terrorist” patterns and behaviors. [...]
Study finds significant degradations of networks for five largest ISPs, including AT&T and Time Warner, representing 75% of all wireline households in US [...]
The findings come weeks after the Federal Communications Commission introduced new rules meant to protect “net neutrality” – the principle that all data is equal online – and keep ISPs from holding traffic speeds for ransom. [...]
In Atlanta, for example, Comcast provided hourly median download speeds over a CDN called GTT of 21.4 megabits per second at 7pm throughout the month of May. AT&T provided speeds over the same network of ⅕ of a megabit per second. When a network sends more than twice the traffic it receives, that network is required by AT&T to pay for the privilege. When quizzed about slow speeds on GTT, AT&T told Ars Technica earlier this year that it wouldn’t upgrade capacity to a CDN that saw that much outgoing traffic until it saw some money from that network (as distinct from the money it sees from consumers). [...]