The press review catalogues press articles related to la Quadrature's issues, compiled by its volunteers.
See also our French press review.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) told a federal court today that there was no doubt that the government has destroyed years of evidence of NSA spying – the government itself has admitted to it in recent court filings. In a brief filed today in response to this illegal destruction, EFF is asking that the court make an "adverse inference" that the destroyed evidence would show that plaintiffs communications and records were in fact swept up in the mass NSA spying programs. [...]
"EFF and our clients have always had the same simple claim: the government's mass, warrantless surveillance violates the rights of all Americans and must be stopped. The surveillance was warrantless under the executive's authority and it is still warrantless under the FISA court, as those orders are plainly not warrants." said Cohn. "The government's attempt to limit our claims based upon their secret, shifting rationales is nothing short of outrageous, and their clandestine decision to destroy evidence under this flimsy argument is rightly sanctionable. Nevertheless, we are simply asking the court to ensure that we are not harmed by the government's now-admitted destruction of this evidence." [...]
[TheIntercept] Data Pirates of the Caribbean: The NSA Is Recording Every Cell Phone Call in the Bahamas
According to documents provided by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, the surveillance is part of a top-secret system — code-named SOMALGET — that was implemented without the knowledge or consent of the Bahamian government. Instead, the agency appears to have used access legally obtained in cooperation with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration to open a backdoor to the country’s cellular telephone network, enabling it to covertly record and store the “full-take audio” of every mobile call made to, from and within the Bahamas — and to replay those calls for up to a month. […]
By targeting the Bahamas’ entire mobile network, the NSA is intentionally collecting and retaining intelligence on millions of people who have not been accused of any crime or terrorist activity. Nearly five million Americans visit the country each year, and many prominent U.S. citizens keep homes there, including Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), Bill Gates, and Oprah Winfrey. […]
The new European Parliament that was voted into office over the weekend, despite having a different political makeup, is widely expected to reach a final agreement this year on stricter online privacy rules that have long been in the works. [...]
The legislation is expected to be completed in the first half of next year. It has gained momentum since the revelations from Edward J. Snowden, the former National Security Agency contractor, about the spying activities of American and British intelligence agencies. Before the rules go into effect, though, each country in the union must reach a final agreement with the European Commission, the union’s executive arm, and the European Parliament. [...]
Industry groups have raised fears that the new laws would add extra costs, because companies must explicitly tell consumers on a regular basis how their data is used, and limit what information is sent to countries that do not comply with Europe’s privacy rules. Yet companies have supported giving one regulator sole control over interpreting European rules. That, they say, adds regulatory certainty because companies will be responsible to just one authority across the region. [...]
One of the great questions for the future of the net is: to what extent this extraordinary freedom will be allowed to remain in the hands of the people, and to what extent will it be limited and regulated? If a recent ruling by the European Court of Human Rights is anything to go by, perhaps we should expect more of the latter. [...]
For Eric Barendt, Goodman Professor of Media Law at University College London from 1990 until 2010, the ruling doesn’t adequately balance freedom of speech against an individual’s right to protect his or her reputation. “I wouldn’t stick my neck out to say the ECtHR’s judgment was ridiculous,” he tells me, “but I know many people who would. How bizarre that this case could be the straw that breaks the camel’s back.”
The judgment will not only affect whistleblowers, says Aidan Eardley, a London-based barrister specialising in data protection and media-related human rights law. “It’s also bad news for people who want to comment about sensitive personal issues such as domestic abuse, sexual identity, religious persecution, etc.” [...]
This is probably the most action-packed update so far - a reflection of the fact that we are now deep in the TAFTA/TTIP negotiations, which have been running for nearly a year. Of course, information about what exactly is happening behind the closed doors is still thin on the ground. To its credit, the European Commission has recently published its negotiating positions in five areas: chemicals, cosmetics, pharmaceutical products, motor vehicles, textiles and clothing. Significantly, though, it did not publish its proposals for energy. That's because they are far more contentious than for those other sectors. [...]
That's a key point: by its own admission, most of TTIP's possible gains will come in the regulatory sphere; regulations are about want kind of society we want to live - what the rules are. Changing those behind closed doors is simply subverting basic democratic principles. [...]
With the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) decision to move forward with a controversial proposal that threatens net neutrality and the open Internet, lobbying activity looks like it has reached a fevered pitch. But for the companies involved—especially the telecom companies that are eager to be allowed to charge more for a “fast lane” of Internet service—lobbying has been at a fevered pitch for almost a decade.
To better understand the lobbying dynamics around net neutrality, we took the long view and tallied up the 20 lobbying organizations that mentioned “net neutrality” or “network neutrality” most often in their lobbying reports between 2005 and 2013. [...] The top pro-neutrality organizations filed 176 lobbying reports mentioning net neutrality. But the top anti-neutrality organizations far outpaced them, filing 472 reports that mentioned net neutrality. That’s a 2.7-to-1 ratio. [...]
The five most active organizations on the issue since 2005—Verizon, AT&T, Comcast, the National Cable and Telecommunications Association and the National Music Publishers Association—are all opposed to neutrality. Verizon and AT&T are heads and shoulders above everyone else, each with an estimated 119 reports mentioning net neutrality. [...]
[…] Disclosures by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden about the agency’s vast capability for spying on Americans’ electronic communications prompted a number of tech executives whose firms cooperated with the government to insist they had done so only when compelled by a court of law. […]
The challenge facing government and industry was to enhance security without compromising privacy, Granick said. The emails between Alexander and Google executives, she said, show “how informal information sharing has been happening within this vacuum where there hasn’t been a known, transparent, concrete, established methodology for getting security information into the right hands.” […]
When telcos zero-rate data used by their apps and their partners’ apps, they are engaging in price discrimination and threatening net neutrality. The practice should be banned in U.S. and Europe. […]
Zero-rated mobile traffic is blunt anti-competitive price discrimination designed to favor telcos’ own or their partners’ apps while placing competing apps at a disadvantage. A zero-rated app is an offer consumers can’t refuse. If consumers choose a third-party app like Dropbox or Netflix, they will either need to use it only over Wi-Fi use or pay telcos hundreds of dollars to use data over 4G networks on their smartphones or tablets. […]
[…] “Canadians willingly put onto social media all sorts of information, so it should not be a surprise that corporations, individuals, good guys, bad guys, and governments are collecting the freely available information they put on social media sites,” Clement said. […] “This is all publicly available information. People freely make that choice.” […]
Privacy lawyer David Fraser said the information Canadians offer online could be used in a variety of ways by a variety of authorities. One of the problems for Fraser is that, in the absence of an explanation from authorities, Canadians are left with hypothetical scenarios. […]
While the debate over net neutrality continues to rage in the United States, the British government is planning to block European Union legislation on the matter.
It’s a surprising turn of events. Just last month, the European Parliament voted to place the principles of net neutrality into law. However, before it becomes law throughout Europe, each member country must also pass the legislation. On Thursday, the British government indicated it may veto it instead.
At issue is a new provision that critics argue would restrict the British government’s “ability to block illegal material.” The amendment made it so that only a court order would allow for the banning of content, and not a legislative provision, as originally proposed, according to RT. [...]