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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.

[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 [...]

[EDRi] Neelie Kroes’ campaign to kill net neutrality

[…] Rather than sitting back and waiting for the Council to carry out its work, Vice President of the Commission Neelie Kroes has been working hard to dissuade Council members from supporting net neutrality, something she was not able to stop in the European Parliament despite her (sometimes highly dubious) tactics. […]

At the June 6 Telecoms Council, Commissioner Kroes first acknowledged the importance of ensuring net neutrality on the EU level, “as expected by citizens”. Immediately after, she asked the Council to “ensure the proper balance between protecting the open internet and allowing and encouraging innovation on online services”. The open internet that facilitated the avalanche of innovation, creation and social and economic benefits around the globe is now, inexplicably, portrayed by Kroes as a barrier to innovation. […]

This could be the summary of the French position on the Telecoms Single Market. When she took office two month ago, Axelle Lemaire, the French Secretary of State on Digital Affairs, announced that she was going to support legislation guaranteeing net neutrality. However, since the French Secretary met with Commissioner Kroes two week ago, her commitment to net neutrality seems to have weakened. Lemaire is now asking for “telcos to have a regulatory framework favourable to investment and competitiveness”; a statement, somehow similar, to Neelie Kroes’ speech in the Telecoms Council. […]

[EUobserver] Google faces no EU-level fines if it ignores “right to be forgotten” verdict

Google won’t risk financial penalties from the EU’s top court if it chooses to ignore a recent “right to be forgotten” judgement. “The [European] Court of Justice has no power to fine a company in this context, competition law yes, but not here,” a contact at the Luxembourg-based legal arbiter told this website on Thursday (15 May). Fines would instead be handed out at member state level. […]

The case stems back to 2012 when Spanish citizen Mario Costeja Gonzalez filed a complaint against Google. Gonzalez demanded Google filter out his name from search queries linked to the repossession of his homes in a story first published in the Spanish newspaper La Vanguardia. The Court agreed with Gonzalez. The verdict has been both vilified and celebrated by pro-rights civil society groups. The London-based Index on Censorship says it will “open up the flood gates” with the BBC reporting the US internet giant has already received “right to be forgotten” requests from a pedophile and a British former politician seeking re-election. […]

[TheGuardian] Government's defence of surveillance unconvincing, says ex-watchdog

In his first interview since standing down, Lincoln told the Guardian that such intrusive powers were necessary tools, but reforms were needed to the law and to the watchdogs overseeing surveillance systems. He said steps had to be taken to ensure public trust and that regulation could keep pace with new Big Brother technologies. [...]

The investigatory powers tribunal, which adjudicates complaints, should also be part of a new single oversight commission, said Lincoln, who believes the terms of reference should be reexamined: "The terms of reference would benefit from a review given the opaqueness of the system." [...]

He said security chiefs need to be more willing to explain and engage with the public: "The approach of 'why are you challenging us, we are the good guys' doesn't wash … The 'looking for a needle in a haystack' argument has so far been unconvincing. I haven't been convinced." [...]

[Spiegel] The NSA in Germany: Snowden's Documents Available for Download

In Edward Snowden's archive on NSA spying activities around the world, there are numerous documents pertaining to the agency's operations in Germany and its cooperation with German agencies. SPIEGEL is publishing 53 of them, available as PDF files. [...]

The documents show that the NSA, while focusing on counter-terrorism and other areas of importance to national security, has also established systems that allow it to monitor vast amounts of digital and other forms of communications in Germany and elsewhere. The agency can intercept huge amounts of emails, text messages and phone conversations. The NSA even monitored the mobile phone of German Chancellor Angela Merkel. [...]

Below are PDF files of the most important documents pertaining to that cooperation. SPIEGEL has redacted them to obscure the identification of BND and NSA agents, phone numbers, email addresses and other information that could put lives in danger. A glossary explaining many of the abbreviations found in the documents can be found here. SPIEGEL's editorial explaining why we have elected to publicize the documents can be read here. [...]

[TechDirt] License Plate Reader Company Sues Another State For 'Violating' Its First Amendment Right To Build A 1.8-Billion-Image Database

Private companies engaging in large-scale surveillance are pushing back against the push back against large-scale surveillance… by filing lawsuits alleging their First Amendment right to photograph license plates is being infringed on by state laws forbidding the use of automatic license plate readers by private companies. [...]

So, Vigilant's point remains that what it does in terms of collection is not a violation of privacy because it does not have access to DMV databases holding personally-identifiable information. It glosses over the fact that it provides access to hundreds of law enforcement agencies around the US, all of which can acquire the connecting data. But that does seem to put the onus on law enforcement agencies to provide adequate privacy protections, including timely disposal of non-hit data. So far, very few agencies have attempted to so. [...]

In the singular (as Vigilant's argument goes), this isn't a privacy violation -- no different that someone taking a picture of a vehicle in public. But several months of time and location data creates something that can only be achieved through dedicated surveillance, something that does raise privacy questions, especially in light of the recent court decision finding that law enforcement officers need warrants to track cell phone users' locations. This is the same principle. [...]

[iTWire] One year after Snowden, it's business as usual for the NSA

Nearly one year on from the first revelations by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, it is still business as usual. The NSA continues to scoop up all the data it wants, while the technology companies which have co-operated with it all along continue to try and convince the public that they are doing what they can to curtail such activity. [...]

There has been systematic lying by the NSA about its data collection but in the face of its own graphics and the gobbledygook that it has devised to draft its memos being published there is little the agency can indulge in apart from weasel words that would have done that grand old practitioner of the art, Donald Rumsfeld, proud. [...]

The technology companies - Apple, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Skype, and Yahoo! - are no better. They have tried to convince people that they are on the side of the public. Microsoft even went so far as to say that it would be willing to store data of foreign customers in their own countries, and not in the US. But the US courts promptly came down with a judgement that any data stored anywhere by a US company would be subject to the jurisdiction of the US government. [...]

[TechDirt] License Plate Reader Company Sues Another State For 'Violating' Its First Amendment Right To Build A 1.8-Billion-Image Database

Private companies engaging in large-scale surveillance are [...] filing lawsuits alleging their First Amendment right to photograph license plates is being infringed on by state laws forbidding the use of automatic license plate readers by private companies.

[...] Vigilant [a private company] has filed another lawsuit, this time against the state of Arkansas, arguing that a state law curbing the use of LPRs [licence plate readers] by private companies tampers with its free speech rights. [...]

[NYTimes] British Spy Agencies Are Said to Assert Power to Intercept Web Traffic

In a broad legal rationale for collecting information from Internet use by its citizens, the British government has reportedly asserted the right to intercept communications that go through services like Facebook, Google and Twitter that are based in the United States or other foreign nations, even if they are between people in Britain. The British position is described in a draft summary of a report to be released Tuesday by Privacy International and other advocacy groups. The summary, seen by The New York Times, says the findings are based on a government document that the groups obtained through a lawsuit. […]

When revelations surrounding Prism and the other surveillance activities first occurred last year, the British government said the country’s intelligence agencies abided by local rules aimed at protecting citizens’ privacy. But the legal defense reflected in the draft summary of the privacy groups’ report would be the most detailed discussion that has surfaced of the government’s approach to collecting individuals’ communications on some of the most popular Internet services.

[CIO] What Does the New EU Parliament Mean for Tech?

More than 400 candidates to the Parliament pledged to defend net neutrality and data privacy, signing a 10-point digital rights charter called WePromiseEU. Votes were still being counted Monday, but by late afternoon, 55 candidates for Pariament who had signed WePromiseEU were confirmed as elected. [...]

The WePromiseEU pledge includes a commitment to fight against the idea of service providers being held accountable for monitoring illegal downloads, and against blanket, unchecked surveillance measures. It also includes a pledge to try to ensure that European surveillance technology is not sold to despotic regimes. [...]

Meanwhile questions are being asked about which MEPs will sit on which Parliamentary committees and how that will affect tech policy. Along with copyright reform, the new Parliament will also have to negotiate a new data protection regulation and a new telecom package, which comprises rules on roaming charges. This could prove a challenge for privacy advocates and those who support measures to ensure low roaming charges, as many member states, in particular the U.K., want to water down current rules. [...]

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