The press review catalogues press articles related to la Quadrature's issues, compiled by its volunteers.
See also our French press review.
[Information] For the NSA, espionage was a means to strengthen the US position in climate negotiations
At the Copenhagen Climate Summit in 2009, the world's nations were supposed to reach an agreement that would protect future generations against catastrophic climate change. But not everyone was playing by the rules. A leaked document now reveals that the US employed the NSA, its signals intelligence agency, to intercept information about other countries' views on the climate negotiations before and during the summit. According to observers, the spying may have contributed to the Americans getting their way in the negotiations [...]
»It gives them incredible opportunities. In many contexts, they will know other countries’ internal agreements on how far they are willing to go. And they will know where to apply pressure, and whether to align themselves with the Danes, the Brazilians, or with some other country with shared interests. This gives them a unique position from which to manipulate things in their direction,« he says. [...]
Freihandelsabkommen: Das Märchen vom Jobmotor
Das MONITOR-Interview mit EU-Handelskommissar Karel De Gucht in der Langfassung
Extract interview about effects of TAFTA
Dutch court finds piracy increased after 'ineffective' Pirate Bay block. [...]
“Victory for the free internet!” proclaimed Niels Huijbregts, spokesman for XS4All in a blog post. “We are very pleased that the court ruled in favour of the freedom of information, protecting a fundamental right of all Dutch citizens.” [...]
The appeal judges ruled that blocking the Pirate Bay at the ISP level had not deterred users from using the BitTorrent network and the illegal downloading of copyrighted content, and had had the opposite effect. The ruling notes that the use of BitTorrent and "magnet" torrent links for piracy had actually increased since the blockade was implemented in 2012. [...]
Two Norwegian politicians say they have jointly nominated the former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden for the 2014 Nobel peace prize.
The Socialist Left party politicians Baard Vegar Solhjell, a former environment minister, and Snorre Valen said the public debate and policy changes in the wake of Snowden's whistleblowing had "contributed to a more stable and peaceful world order".
[...] The National Security Agency and its UK counterpart GCHQ have been developing capabilities to take advantage of "leaky" smartphone apps, such as the wildly popular Angry Birds game, that transmit users' private information across the internet, according to top secret documents.
The data pouring onto communication networks from the new generation of iPhone and Android apps ranges from phone model and screen size to personal details such as age, gender and location. Some apps, the documents state, can share users' most sensitive information such as sexual orientation – and one app recorded in the material even sends specific sexual preferences such as whether or not the user may be a swinger.
[Techdirt] Canadian Government Refuses To Release Any Text Of CETA, While Claiming It's Mostly Finished
Back in November, we reported that the EU and Canada were claiming that "a political agreement" on the key elements of the Canada-EU trade agreement, CETA, had been reached. One of the supposed reasons why the negotiations were being conducted in secret was that it was "obviously" not possible to release texts while talks were still going on -- even though that is precisely how WIPO operates. So, now that key parts of the CETA have been agreed upon, presumably the public will finally get to see at least those sections of the text, right? Apparently not, as the Council of Canadians found when it put in a freedom of information request to the Canadian government:
The federal government has denied an access to information request from the Council of Canadians for the working text of the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA).
Millions of people in the Netherlands will soon be able to regain access to The Pirate Bay after two local Internet providers won their appeal against the Hollywood-funded anti-piracy group BREIN. The Court of The Hague ruled today that the blockade is disproportionate, ineffective, and hinders the Internet providers’ entrepreneurial freedoms.
[Techdirt] Feds Reach Settlement With Internet Companies Allowing Them To Report Not Nearly Enough Details On Surveillance Efforts
It appears that the lawsuit that a bunch of big internet companies had filed against the NSA in an attempt to reveal just how often they get FISA court information requests and how many of their users are impacted is now over, as the government has reached a settlement with the companies, allowing them slightly more leeway in sharing information, but in a very limiting way. [...]
Furthermore, the agreement has a ridiculous clause that says if a FISA court order covers a "new capability" [...], the companies cannot share that information for two years. The thinking here is rather obvious. Say, for example, a company launches a new voice communications service, like Skype -- and then gets hit with a FISA court order demanding that the NSA be able to listen in. The companies would be blocked from revealing that for two years.
[Techdirt] European Court Of Human Rights Fast-tracks Case Against GCHQ; More Organizations Launch Legal Challenges To UK Spying
The European Court of Human Rights has fast-tracked "a legal action that a group of digital rights activists had brought against GCHQ, alleging that the UK's mass online surveillance programs have breached the privacy of tens of millions of people across the UK and Europe." [...]
Any hopes the UK government may have had that the case would amble slowly through the legal system until people had forgotten about it have now been dashed. [...]
"Nor is this the only legal challenge to GCHQ's activities. [...] Amnesty International [is] using the UK's Investigatory Powers Tribunal to argue that spying on communications breaches the UK's Human Rights Act." Two other groups, Privacy International, from the UK, and Bytes for All, from Pakistan, joined them.
The battle over online privacy, and how personal data should be treated as it moves over the Internet, is being fought between the US and EU points of view in multiple ways. There is the EU's Data Protection Regulation, currently grinding its way through the legislative process; there are the discussions about the NSA's spying program, and how it impacts Europeans; and finally, there are various court cases involving US companies and the personal data of EU citizens. One of these is in the UK, where The Telegraph reports that an important decision has been handed down [...]
Google has said it will appeal, so it's too early to tell what the impact of the UK court's decision will be. But if it is allowed to stand, it will create a hugely important precedent for future legal actions against US companies providing services involving the handling of personal data in the EU.