The press review catalogues press articles related to la Quadrature's issues, compiled by its volunteers.
See also our French press review.
A European data protection watchdog has added its voice to growing criticism of proposed anti-piracy legislation. [...] The European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS) said that the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (Acta) might have "unacceptable side effects" on individual rights. [...]
David Martin, the Parliament's rapporteur on Acta, said last week that politicians would not be able to "guarantee adequate protection for citizens' rights" if the treaty was ratified. [...]
"While more international co-operation is needed for the enforcement of IP rights, the means envisaged must not come at the expense of the fundamental rights of individuals," said Giovanni Buttarelli, assistant European data protection supervisor. [...]
The European data protection supervisor (EDPS) has added his weight to those opposed to the contentious Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) proposals, warning that it may infringe on individuals' fundamental human rights. [...]
Opponents of ACTA should use this decision to persuade their MEPs to reject ACTA, said Jérémie Zimmermann, spokesperson of the privacy group La Quadrature du Net. “Whereas the Commission and pro-ACTA members of the EU Parliament keep pretending that ACTA respects EU law and is harmless to fundamental rights, here comes yet another independent analysis stressing on the contrary that ACTA could lead to general monitoring and filtering of online communications,” he added. [...]
The European commissioner responsible for regulating the Internet warned Web service providers on Thursday against tampering with customers' Internet access based on how much they pay or which services they use.
In an effort to preserve what they call "net neutrality", European Union governments have considered enforcing laws preventing providers from offering differentiated tiers of access, but so far only the Netherlands has succeeded. [...]
Internet activists who say they are frustrated by the Commission's slow pace of digital reform have reported 162 cases of blocked or slowed services since 2011 and have called on the EU's executive to take sterner action against ISPs.
"We have strong evidence, including on our reporting platform RespectMyNet.eu, that infractions are widespread," said Jeremie Zimmermann of La Quadrature du Net, an NGO. [...]
Censorship of internet content can take many forms and ranges from governments blocking the dissemination of political opinion to blacklisting pornographic and pirate websites. [...]
According to the ONI data, Iran was the worst ranked, with "pervasive" filtering in the political, social and internet tools categories and "substantial" for conflict/security filtering. Tested in 2011, Iran's filtering was rated as being "highly" consistent and had "medium" transparency. [...]
After Iran was China, which had "pervasive" political and conflict/security filtering, along with "substantial" internet tools and social filtering. In addition to highly consistent filtering, China also had a lower transparency score than Iran. [...]
However, Deibert feels governments are moving away from widespread blacklists of websites to filter and towards what the ONI calls "next-generation filtering," which includes targeted surveillance and "just in time" filtering, or temporarily filtering content only when it's valuable – for instance, during an election. [...]
Last week we saw the Socialists and Democrats, the second-largest bloc in the European Parliament, turn against ACTA. Combined with the stated position of the Green party there, that means ACTA is closer to being thrown out when the vote for ratification takes place in Brussels this summer.
The deciding factor is how politicians in the centre-right coalition of Liberals and Conservatives will vote, and there are now signs that they too are contemplating rejection [...]
The fact that even the centre-right parties are now seriously thinking about rejecting ACTA, and what to do next, means that while ACTA may not be dead in Europe yet, it is looking increasingly moribund.
The recommendation to the European Parliament will be to reject ACTA. The rapporteur, David Martin, has today made an official announcment to that effect. The announcement moves ACTA fate one step closer to its coffin, but it would be foolish to think that its fate is finally sealed. [...]
The US government is not happy about ACTA, and is already taking steps to introduce what it really wants by another back door. In a document leaked today by the European Digital Rights group (EDRi), a new plan for intellectual property enforcement is revealed. Where ACTA was vague, the new plan is explicit. [...]
Millions of Internet users in Iran will be permanently denied access to the World Wide Web and cut off from popular social networking sites and email services, as the government has announced its plans to establish a national Intranet within five months. [...]
Unveiling a six-point plan to implement the Iranian Intranet, Taghipour said last March that the Internet "promotes crime, disunity, unhealthy moral content, and atheism," and that government's goal is to eliminate the online "scourges." In October last year, an Iranian official - who called Facebook users a threat to Islamic values - expressed concern that expansion of social media networks was harming the nation and society. [...]
By creating a complete blockade on free Internet, Tehran could be setting a dangerous precedent for authoritative nations that may harbor similar plans in the future. In fact, the Iranian government has already announced its plans to "export" the winning formula for an isolated Intranet to the rest of the world.
Fears that software similar to that which government wants to use in Britain is being sold to monitor dissidents abroad. [...]
It is the responsibility of manufacturers to ensure their technology is not used to perpetrate human rights abuses. But there are now calls for them to be subject to stringent export controls requiring a licence to sell abroad.
Privacy International also argues that, in order to prevent dangerous technologies reaching authoritarian regimes through middlemen, there is a need for "end-use" controls that would make it illegal for companies to provide their products when they know or suspect they will be used in human rights abuses.
In a letter to Privacy International, Downing Street said the government was "actively looking at this issue" and was working within the EU to introduce new controls on surveillance.
ACTA and TPP have much in common. That's no coincidence, since they are both born of a common desire to move away from multilateral forums like WIPO that are relatively open to scrutiny, to invitation-only groups negotiating behind closed doors. That lack of transparency has allowed all kinds of extreme measures to be proposed without any countervailing arguments being heard about why they are neither fair nor sensible. [...]
Under ACTA, a country may give its authorities the power to force an ISP to identify an infringer to rightholders, subject to certain conditions. Under TPP, a country shall establish administrative or judicial procedures for forcing an ISP to identify an infringer to rightholders, without ACTA’s conditions. [...]
As these excerpts make clear, TPP effectively tidies up all the lose ends that ACTA left dangling -- generally imposing far harsher penalties, adding back patents, and making everything compulsory rather than optional. It also provides us with a clear sense of what ACTA 2.0 will be like unless it is negotiated with real transparency that allows all parties, including civil groups and the general public, to have their voices heard.