The press review catalogues press articles related to la Quadrature's issues, compiled by its volunteers.
See also our French press review.
When it comes to fundamental rights, the internet has two faces. In a nutshell, this is what Jean-Marc Sauvé, vice-president of the French Conseil d’Etat (CE) - the highest legal adviser of the executive branch and Supreme Court for administrative justice in France - writes in the preface to the CE’s most recent report, Le numérique et les droits fondamentaux (“Digital affairs and fundamental rights”). The CE’s report, an imposing volume close to 500 pages in length, includes fifty proposals of measures that would contribute to the evolution of the French legal system into a more ‘digitally-suited’ direction. […]
The CE’s study, published in early September 2014, comes at a delicate time for debates related to digital matters in France where a new ‘anti-terrorism’ law is about to become reality. The project for a new ‘anti-terrorism’ law, championed by French Minister of Internal Affairs Bernard Cazeneuve, has now been passed on to the Senate. This follows its approval at the National Assembly, which happened amidst great controversy (and a critical recommendation from the Commission on Rights in the Digital Age or ComNum, of which I am a member). The government is also in the process of launching a wide-ranging consultation on the ‘big questions’ of our digital times; the consultation should result in a project of a ‘digital law’ (loi numérique) in early 2015. […]
(London) – A counterterrorism bill before the French parliament would provide overly broad and vague powers that would breach rights to free movement and expression, Human Rights Watch said today. The bill, proposed by the French government in July 2014 under an accelerated procedure, was adopted by the National Assembly in September and is now before the senate. [...]
Under article 12 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), to which France is a party, everyone has a right to leave any country, including their own. Any restrictions on that right must be provided by law; necessary for national security, public order, public health or morals, or the rights or freedom of others; and proportionate to achieving that aim. By enabling the government to bar people from leaving France on such broadly and vaguely worded grounds, the bill does not meet the requirements of proportionality under article 12 of the ICCPR. [...]
Human Rights Watch research has found that the existing criminal offense in France of “criminal association in relation to a terrorist undertaking,” based on a broad definition that allows the authorities to intervene long before any offense has been committed, has already led to people being charged and convicted on the basis of weak and circumstantial evidence. There is a real risk that the offense of “individual terrorist undertaking” under the new bill would lead to similar abuses. [...]
Adobe’s Digital Editions e-book and PDF reader—an application used by thousands of libraries to give patrons access to electronic lending libraries—actively logs and reports every document readers add to their local “library” along with what users do with those files. Even worse, the logs are transmitted over the Internet in the clear, allowing anyone who can monitor network traffic (such as the National Security Agency, Internet service providers and cable companies, or others sharing a public Wi-Fi network) to follow along over readers’ shoulders. […]
DE [ndlqdn: Digital Edition] reported back each EPUB document opened and the navigation within the document, recording each page number viewed in a stream of activity data back to an application called “datacollector.” The XML data is logged locally by the application, and then transmitted each time the application is opened—likely as part of Adobe’s DRM enforcement within DE. No data was transmitted for PDF documents opened. […]
Techdirt has been covering the "Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement" (CETA) between the EU and Canada for a while now. Or rather, trying to, given the obsessive secrecy that has surrounded the negotiations, just as it does for TAFTA/TTIP and TPP. However, the agreement's text has now been officially released (pdf) -- on the day that those negotiating it declared it finished. […]
It turns out that CETA contains many other deeply worrying aspects. That's doubtless why the negotiators were so keen to keep the text secret, but now that we have it, detailed analyses are coming through. The first in-depth look at what's lurking among CETA's 1500 pages comes from the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA), which has produced a document called "Making Sense of the CETA: An analysis of the final text of the Canada–European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement". Even that runs to over a hundred pages; what follows are some of the key points that it highlights. […]
[TechDirt] Newly Released Emails Raise Questions Of Whether EU Politicians Sold Out To US On Privacy
Glyn Moody's short article on the suspicions raised by Access that the European Commission, actively worked to weaken the proposed EU Regulation on data protection by collaborating with the US mission in the EU. Moreover, Cecilia Malmström, the current head of the DG Home, who is implicated "has been proposed as the new EU commissioner for trade, who would therefore take over the negotiation of TAFTA/TTIP from Karel De Gucht."
Back in June, the United Kingdom outlined new copyright rules that would allow citizens to make backups of their music, movies, and e-books. Previously, making copies of media was illegal.
Today, those laws officially go into effect.
It is, however, still illegal to share those backups with friends or family, and making copies of rented media, or media that a person pays a subscription for (like Rdio or Netflix), likewise remains illegal. Media consumers are allowed to change formats—burning MP3s on a CD, for instance—but media vendors are allowed to use all kinds of DRM to keep users from doing just that (like Amazon does with its e-books, for example). [...]
An article by the weekly magazine The New Yorker on the Right to be Forgotten. Gives an interesting historical perspective on the matter and compares recent demands put on Google to those already in place to safeguard copyright.
"Google has long had a system in place to block copyrighted material from turning up in its searches. Motion-picture companies, among others, regularly complain about copyright infringement on YouTube, which Google owns, and Google has a process for identifying and removing these links. [...] Lawyers for one of the women [whose photos were leaked] established copyrights for all the photographs they could, and then went to sites that had posted the pictures, and to Google, and insisted that the material be removed. Google complied, as did many of the sites, and now the photographs are difficult to find on the Internet, though they have not disappeared."
Government data collection is scary for many reasons. But least understood: what it does to our personal creativity [...]
The usual response to this information is: “I have nothing to hide. It doesn’t matter if the state has my information.” Critics like Glenn Greenwald point out one response, along the lines of “OK, hand over your passwords to your email and bank accounts and credit card information.” This is certainly right. [...] Yet, it doesn’t exhaust the other reasons why data collection and invasion of privacy is a problem about which many of us should be disturbed.
Another reason why privacy is important [...] is that privacy is crucial to personal exploration, creativity, dissent — those interests and thoughts that reflect the complexity of human beings and their ability to flourish and lead meaningful lives. But as we also know, creativity and dissent can be disruptive to the smooth functioning of society — making the lives of bureaucrats and autocratic politicians much harder because their authority would be constantly challenged. [...]
A proposed anti-terrorism law in France has freedom of expression advocates concerned. The bill, as our friends at La Quadrature du Net frame it, “institutes a permanent state of emergency on the Internet,” providing for harsher penalties for incitement or “glorification” of terrorism conducted online. Furthermore, the bill (in Article 9) allows for “the possibility for the administrative authority to require Internet service providers to block access to sites inciting or apologizing for terrorism” without distinguishing criteria or an authority to conduct the blocking. […]
The federal government has concluded there's a new leaker exposing national security documents in the aftermath of surveillance disclosures by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, U.S. officials tell CNN. [...]
The Intercept article focuses on the growth in U.S. government databases of known or suspected terrorist names during the Obama administration. The article cites documents prepared by the National Counterterrorism Center dated August 2013, which is after Snowden left the United States to avoid criminal charges. Greenwald has suggested there was another leaker. In July, he said on Twitter "it seems clear at this point" that there was another. [...]
The biggest database, called the Terrorist Identities Datamart Environment, now has 1 million names, a U.S. official confirmed to CNN. [...] The report said that as of August, 2013, 5,000 Americans were on the TSD watchlist. Another 15,800 were on the wider TIDE list.
A smaller subset, 16,000 names, including 1,200 belonging to Americans, are listed as "selectees" who are subject to more intensive screening at airports and border crossings. [...]