Press review

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The press review catalogues press articles related to la Quadrature's issues, compiled by its volunteers.
See also our French press review.

[PcWorld] Europe and US edge closer to data protection deal

European Union citizens whose personal data is transmitted to U.S. law enforcement authorities could soon have the same legal protections as U.S. citizens, the European Commission said Wednesday. [...]

There are however more hurdles besides equality in judicial redress. The EU also seeks to ensure that data is only transferred for specified law enforcement purposes, and then processed in a way compatible with these purposes. Data of a victim of human trafficking for instance should not be dealt with in the same way as the data of a suspect of human trafficking.

In parallel, negotiations with the U.S. are ongoing to make the "safe harbor" agreement safer. The safe harbor framework gives U.S. companies the ability to process personal data from E.U. citizens while providing data protection as strong as required by EU legislation. [...]

[TechDirt] Why The European Commission's Consultation On Corporate Sovereignty Is A Sham (And How To Respond To It Anyway)

One measure of the resistance to the inclusion of corporate sovereignty provisions in TAFTA/TTIP is that the European Commission unexpectedly announced that it would be holding a three-month public consultation on this aspect in an attempt to defuse public anger. [...]

As the closing date of the consultation (6 July 2014) approaches, a number of organizations have put together handy guides to filling it in -- it's open to everyone, not just EU citizens. Here, for example, is the Answering Guide from EDRi (pdf), which helpfully explains what exactly the often opaque questions mean, then suggests a number of points you might like to mention in your reply. A new site with the self-explanatory name of "No 2 ISDS!" also runs through each question in turn, but offers rather more forthright suggestions [...]

This gives an indication of the quality and thoughtfulness of the responses that are currently being made to the corporate sovereignty consultation, and of the rich materials that citizens can draw upon in making their own comments. The European Commission certainly won't be able to claim that no one cares whether ISDS is included in TAFTA/TTIP -- the level of public interest in this previously obscure aspect of international trade law is unprecedented. Whether Karel De Gucht, the European Commissioner responsible for the negotiations on the EU side, is willing to take note of all the important points raised above and act on them, is quite another matter, though.

[Fr-Online] Freihandelsabkommen TTIP: Hinter verschlossenen

Geheimniskrämerei – welche Geheimniskrämerei? Bundeskanzlerin Angela Merkel (CDU) versteht nicht, was die vielen Kritiker der geplanten Freihandelsabkommen mit den USA und Kanada umtreibt. „Die Heimlichkeit ist einer der Mythen, die über die Verhandlungen genährt werden“, betonte Merkels Sprecher Steffen Seibert am Montag in Berlin. [...]

Dafür sollen die letzten Zollschranken im Warenaustausch zwischen Amerika und Europa fallen. Vor allem aber sollen Standards und Regulierungen vereinheitlicht werden, damit Autobauer für ein Pkw-Modell nicht eine Zulassung in der EU und eine in den USA brauchen. Kritiker fürchten dadurch einen Verlust an Demokratie. Sie warnen, dass Europäer nicht mehr strengere Bestimmungen erlassen könnten, wenn die Abkommen die Standards festlegen. [...]

[DataGuidance] Ireland: High Court asks EU to review US/EU Safe Harbor framework

The High Court of Ireland referred to the European Court of Justice (CJEU) - on 18 June 2014 - a number of questions around the US/EU Safe Harbor Framework ('the Framework'), as part of the case Schrems v Data Protection Commissioner (DPC).

In particular, the High Court is asking whether the Framework needs to be re-evaluated, following revelations by Edward Snowden in 2013 that the US National Security Agency (NSA) was monitoring and accessing communications in Europe, and following the introduction of Article 8 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the EU after the Framework. [...]

The DPC welcomed the decision of the Court, stating in a press release that 'because of the data privacy issues raised by the Snowden revelations are so serious, it is appropriate that the [CJEU] should be asked to consider the critical issues of whether the proper interpretation of the 1995 [Data Protection] Directive and the 2000 Commission Decision [on the Framework] should be re-evaluated in light of the subsequent entry into force of Article 8 of the Charter.'

[TheIntercept] NSA Turned Germany Into Its Largest Listening Post in Europe

The National Security Agency has turned Germany into its most important base of operations in Europe, according to a story published by Der Spiegel this week. […] The German magazine reports that documents provided by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden “paint a picture of an all-powerful American intelligence agency that has developed an increasingly intimate relationship with Germany over the past 13 years while massively expanding its presence.” The magazine adds, “No other country in Europe plays host to a secret NSA surveillance architecture like the one in Germany… In 2007, the NSA claimed to have at least a dozen active collection sites in Germany.

The story also delves into the growth of facilities that house the NSA’s Special Collection Service, which is a joint operation with the CIA to collect targeted communications. There are more than 80 SCS stations around the world, and the Snowden documents indicate two sites are located in Germany—in the U.S. consulate in Frankfurt, and the U.S. embassy in Berlin, which is where the SCS is believed to have recorded Chancellor Merkel’s phone calls. […]

[ProPublica] It’s Complicated: Facebook’s History of Tracking You

Facebook is launching an aggressive technique to track people across the Web. For years people have noticed a funny thing about Facebook's ubiquitous Like button. It has been sending data to Facebook tracking the sites you visit. Each time details of the tracking were revealed, Facebook promised that it wasn't using the data for any commercial purposes. No longer. Last week, Facebook announced it will start using its Like button and similar tools to track people across the Internet for advertising purposes. […]

It's a bold move. Twitter and Pinterest, which track people with their Tweet and PinIt buttons, offer users the ability to opt out. And Google has pledged it will not combine data from its ad-tracking network DoubleClick with personally identifiable data without user's opt-in consent. Facebook does not offer an opt-out in its privacy settings. [...]

[TheGuardian] Pentagon preparing for mass civil breakdown

A US Department of Defense (DoD) research programme is funding universities to model the dynamics, risks and tipping points for large-scale civil unrest across the world, under the supervision of various US military agencies. The multi-million dollar programme is designed to develop immediate and long-term "warfighter-relevant insights" for senior officials and decision makers in "the defense policy community," and to inform policy implemented by "combatant commands." [...]

Minerva is a prime example of the deeply narrow-minded and self-defeating nature of military ideology. Worse still, the unwillingness of DoD officials to answer the most basic questions is symptomatic of a simple fact – in their unswerving mission to defend an increasingly unpopular global system serving the interests of a tiny minority, security agencies have no qualms about painting the rest of us as potential terrorists. [...]

[TheIntercept] How Secret Partners Expand NSA’s Surveillance Dragnet

Huge volumes of private emails, phone calls, and internet chats are being intercepted by the National Security Agency with the secret cooperation of more foreign governments than previously known, according to newly disclosed documents from whistleblower Edward Snowden. [...]

The partnership deals operate on the condition that the host country will not use the NSA’s spy technology to collect any data on U.S. citizens. The NSA also agrees that it will not use the access it has been granted to collect data on the host countries’ citizens. One NSA document notes that “there ARE exceptions” to this rule – though does not state what those exceptions may be. [...]

[Time] Net Neutrality: T-Mobile's Unlimited Music Streaming Is the Worst

"Music freedom" looks like a benefit for subscribers, and that's the most dangerous part. [...]

Instead of treating all music services equally, T-Mobile has decided that the most popular streaming music services should get better treatment. If you have a limited data plan on T-Mobile, you won’t come any closer to your monthly cap when using Spotify, Pandora, Rhapsody, iTunes Radio, iHeartRadio, Slacker Radio and Samsung Milk Music. [...]

T-Mobile is well aware that it’s picking winners and losers, so it’s telling users to vote on other services that they’d like to make the cut. This by itself is messed up — why should I have to petition T-Mobile to give preferential treatment to a particular music service? — but it also underscores why net neutrality is so important. New or obscure streaming music services will remain at a disadvantage for as long as T-Mobile doesn’t recognize them. This, in turn, makes it harder for these services to take off, enforcing a vicious cycle. [...]

And there’s nothing you can do about it. We currently don’t have any net neutrality protections in the United States, and it’s unclear whether wireless Internet will even be included as the FCC draws up new rules that can withstand legal scrutiny. Besides, if enough people feel good about what T-Mobile is doing, it’s hard to imagine regulators getting in the way. T-Mobile tries hard to look like it’s putting an arm over your shoulder, but “music freedom” is actually more of a stranglehold.

[TechDirt] UK Government Ignores European Court Ruling On Data Retention: Tells Telecom Companies To Carry On Spying

One of the interesting issues arising out of the important ruling from the European Union Court of Justice that the EU's Data Retention Directive was invalid, is what the member states will now do as a result. The UK government, one of the principal cheerleaders for storing all this data in the first place, has no doubts about what it should do - it will completely ignore that judgment for the moment, as the Guardian reports [...]

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