The press review catalogues press articles related to la Quadrature's issues, compiled by its volunteers.
See also our French press review.
Almost 15 years ago, as I was just finishing a book about the relationship between the Net (we called it “cyberspace” then) and civil liberties, a few ideas seemed so obvious as to be banal: First, life would move to the Net. Second, the Net would change as it did so. Gone would be simple privacy, the relatively anonymous default infrastructure for unmonitored communication; in its place would be a perpetually monitored, perfectly traceable system supporting both commerce and the government. That, at least, was the future that then seemed most likely, as business raced to make commerce possible and government scrambled to protect us (or our kids) from pornographers, and then pirates, and now terrorists.
But another future was also possible, and this was my third, and only important point: Recognizing these obvious trends, we just might get smart about how code (my shorthand for the technology of the Internet) regulates us, and just possibly might begin thinking smartly about how we could embed in that code the protections that the Constitution guarantees us. Because—and here was the punchline, the single slogan that all 724 people who read that book remember—code is law. And if code is law, then we need to be as smart about how code regulates us as we are about how the law does so. […]
Foreign politicians and officials who took part in two G20 summit meetings in London in 2009 had their computers monitored and their phone calls intercepted on the instructions of their British government hosts, according to documents seen by the Guardian. Some delegates were tricked into using internet cafes which had been set up by British intelligence agencies to read their email traffic.
The revelation comes as Britain prepares to host another summit on Monday – for the G8 nations, all of whom attended the 2009 meetings which were the object of the systematic spying. It is likely to lead to some tension among visiting delegates who will want the prime minister to explain whether they were targets in 2009 and whether the exercise is to be repeated this week.
The disclosure raises new questions about the boundaries of surveillance by GCHQ and its American sister organisation, the National Security Agency, whose access to phone records and internet data has been defended as necessary in the fight against terrorism and serious crime. The G20 spying appears to have been organised for the more mundane purpose of securing an advantage in meetings. Named targets include long-standing allies such as South Africa and Turkey. […]
Millions of people use the tool Ghostery to block online tracking technology—some may not realize that it feeds data to the ad industry. [...]
“Anything that gives people more transparency and control is good for the industry,” says Meyer, who says it’s fine with him that most Ghostery users opt not to share data with Evidon. Meyer points out that those who want to block online advertising are unlikely to respond to it, making Ghostery use good for both sides. Meyer also says that Ghostery users are presented with clear disclosures about how the company uses their data if they opt in. However, MIT Technology Review found that it was possible for a user to opt in without seeing the disclosures. [...]
Meyer says that Evidon’s dual role will continue, and says the company is now working on a similar service to unmask the ad tracking built into many mobile apps. This month it acquired Mobilescope, a project started by privacy researchers that lets a smartphone user see the data that apps transfer and flags when sensitive data such as an e-mail address is transmitted (see “How to Detect Apps Leaking Your Data”). Techniques that profile a person’s use of apps on his phone to figure out how to target him with ads are booming, says Meyer, and so far it is mostly impossible to detect. “Nobody has any visibility into what happens in these apps,” he says. [...]
In their book Cypherpunks, Julian Assange and three other Internet activists predicted much of what Edward Snowden revealed about the NSA. [...]
Zimmerman offered hope from a different angle: “I’m convinced that there is a market in privacy that has been mostly left unexplored, so maybe there will be an economic drive for companies to develop tools that will give users the individual ability to control their data and communication.” It seems clear, too, that a public educated to the dangers of total surveillance will reward investment in the next iteration of privacy protections. In part, this is a matter of patient and careful explanation on the part of experts and the press. Whatever else we may hope for from the Snowden leaks, they have already opened a window here. [...]
Parental filters for pornographic content will come as a default setting for all homes in the UK by the end of 2013, says David Cameron's special advisor on preventing the sexualization and commercialization of childhood, Claire Perry MP. [...]
The move is part of a government effort to force ISPs to make filtering a standard option across industry and to make the technology easier for consumers to use. As ISPs are voluntarily rolling out filtering technology, it will require no new legislation or regulations. [...]
Features such as time-limited deactivation of filtering and email updates when filter settings are changed are expected to become widespread. "We will have automatic put on, so if you turn the filter off at 9pm, it turns on again at 7am," said Perry.
[WashingtonPost] U.S. surveillance architecture includes collection of revealing Internet, phone metadata
The U.S. government is accessing top Internet companies’ servers to track foreign targets. Reporter Barton Gellman talks about the source who revealed this top-secret information and how he believes his whistleblowing was worth whatever consequences are ahead. [...]
After a mystery disappearance yesterday it has now been confirmed that KickassTorrents’ domain name has been seized by the Philippine authorities. The action was taken following a complaint from local record labels who argued that the second largest torrent site on the Internet was causing “irreparable damages” to the music industry. KickassTorrents, however, appears undeterred by the intervention and is continuing business as usual under a new domain name. [...]
While the case is presented as a local action aimed at preventing piracy of original Filipino music, it wouldn’t be much of a surprise if U.S. forces have also been applying pressure. In its latest Special 301 Report the U.S. Government listed the Philippines on its copyright “watch list,” demanding further action against so-called rogue sites.
“The United States looks to the Philippines to take important steps to address piracy over the Internet, in particular with respect to notorious online markets,” the Office of the United States Trade Representative wrote in its report. [...]
The Obama administration successfully lobbied the European Commission to strip its data-privacy legislation of a measure that would have limited the ability of US intelligence agencies to spy on EU citizens, according to three senior EU officials. The measure – which was known within the EU as the “anti-Fisa clause”, after the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act that authorises the US government to eavesdrop on international phone calls and emails – would have nullified any US request for technology and telecoms companies to hand over data on EU citizens, according to documents obtained by the Financial Times. […]
According to EU officials, the move came after repeated visits to Brussels by senior Obama administration officials, including Cameron Kerry, the commerce department’s top lawyer and brother of US secretary of state John Kerry, who chairs an inter-agency task force responsible for vetting EU data-exchange laws. […]
Leading US tech companies, who have worked closely with the Obama administration on trying to weaken the EU data protection legislation, were also fearful of the measure, since it would have forced them to choose between two competing government mandates – the US demand for data and the EU law forbidding it. […]
[…] The Internet is a surveillance state. Whether we admit it to ourselves or not, and whether we like it or not, we're being tracked all the time. Google tracks us, both on its pages and on other pages it has access to. Facebook does the same; it even tracks non-Facebook users. Apple tracks us on our iPhones and iPads. One reporter used a tool called Collusion to track who was tracking him; 105 companies tracked his Internet use during one 36-hour period.
Increasingly, what we do on the Internet is being combined with other data about us. Unmasking Broadwell's identity involved correlating her Internet activity with her hotel stays. Everything we do now involves computers, and computers produce data as a natural by-product. Everything is now being saved and correlated, and many big-data companies make money by building up intimate profiles of our lives from a variety of sources. […]
In today's world, governments and corporations are working together to keep things that way. Governments are happy to use the data corporations collect -- occasionally demanding that they collect more and save it longer -- to spy on us. And corporations are happy to buy data from governments. Together the powerful spy on the powerless, and they're not going to give up their positions of power, despite what the people want. […]
The High Court in Ireland has made its decision in a copyright infringement case brought by the major recording labels against several top ranking ISPs. The labels said that the service providers should be prohibited from facilitating subscriber access to The Pirate Bay and today the Court agreed. UPC, Imagine, Vodafone, Digiweb, Hutchison 3G and Telefonica O2 now have 30 days in which to block the infamous torrent site. [...]
Despite being innocent parties, the ISPs will have to swallow the costs of initiating the blockade. In line with IRMA’s demands they have just 30 days to do so, meaning that by mid July the majority of Ireland’s Internet users will have to find a new way to access the site, whether that be via proxies or VPNs.
It remains to be seen whether the ISPs will also block proxy sites as they did in the UK this week, but it is likely that the labels have learned from their past experiences making this a distinct possibility.