The press review catalogues press articles related to la Quadrature's issues, compiled by its volunteers.
See also our French press review.
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.
House representative Mike Rogers (R-MI) introduced a bill back in November called the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (H.R. 3523) or CISPA. It has since been referred to and reported by the appropriate committees. Since then, according to Representative Rogers’ own web site, over 100 members of congress have already announced their support for the bill [...]
Under CISPA, the Director of National Intelligence would decide who in the private sector should be given high level security clearance and the ability to work closely with federal intelligence services to monitor, collect, and share online activity that is deemed to be a “cyber threat”. [...]
CISPA is a direct affront to civil liberties but “cyber threats” have less to do about copyright infringement and more to do with the well-being of information/communication infrastructures and what is commonly referred to as “national security.” Facebook, Microsoft and others are not nearly as concerned about CISPA and (I believe) it is safe to assume that the provision that protects private entities from law suits has a lot to do with that change of heart.
The plan would allow secret trials and tracking of calls and online activities for national security reasons. Critics see an attack on freedom and privacy. [...]
Some of the strongest criticism has come from his ruling coalition, including from his No. 2. Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg heads the Liberal Democrats, the junior partner in government and a party that traditionally has been a strong supporter of civil liberties. [...]
The government's proposal for greater surveillance powers, as outlined in the British media, would permit authorities to track virtually any resident's use of the cellphone system and the Internet. Intelligence-gathering units could see what numbers someone called or texted and what websites he or she visited, and how often.[...]
The European Commission took a stance yesterday (4 April) in favour of a quick adoption of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA), against the will of the European Parliament, which plans to reject it in a plenary vote by the summer. [...]
The statement comes in response to noises from the Socialist and Green groups in the European Parliament, which vowed to "bury" ACTA by the summer, before the Court would have a chance to issue a verdict. [...]
According to the draft ACTA treaty, the agreement can enter into force after ratification by six signatory states. None has ratified it so far. It is generally agreed that a negative vote in Parliament would "kill" ACTA.