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.

[RT] Battle for a fair Internet begins

Web fighters battling for Internet equality. Assange ally Jeremy Zimmerman explains why it's such an important clash to win.

[Techdirt] Open Licenses And Freedom Of Panorama Recognized In Russian Law

[...] The Wikimedia blog reports on some important changes to Russia's Civil Code, including the following: [...]

The new law directly recognizes free licenses (which are fundamental for projects like Wikipedia or Linux). The authors of free content will be able to have legal protection from misuse of their works.

Now it is allowed to take photos in any public territory. The photographers are no more formally offenders, as before when nobody was allowed to sell postcards with modern buildings without the permission of the architect or his successors [...] [...]

[Gigaom] Google is sitting out the net neutrality fight. Here are 4 possible reasons

The FCC is moving closer to announcing new net neutrality rules and yet Google — the most influential company on the subject — still won’t step into the debate. Here’s four popular theories why it won’t. […]

If broadband providers like Comcast are allowed to charge websites to reach consumers, a company like Google could be on the hook for coerced payments of the sort Netflix is confronting. So why isn’t Google raising hell? Some say a key reason is that Google is itself a broadband provider, through its Fiber program that is available in places like Kansas City and Provo, Utah, and is supposed to expand to 34 cities. […]

That 2010 fight saw Google caving to Verizon on the important decision to exempt wireless carriers from net neutrality rules (Google likely did this because it needed the carrier to promote its Android phones), and it was branded as a sell-out by its public interest allies. In this view, Google’s decision to sit out net neutrality redux is informed by its experience last time around: it took a bruising with no palpable gains and burned bridges with Republicans who might have helped the company on other issues. […]

[OpenDemocracy] Battle Royal in Brussels - backroom 'trade' deals under fire

Europeans are in uproar at chaotic attempts by the EU presidency to rush through 'secret courts' for investors to sue governments who try to protect their citizens and public services. […]

Across Europe there has been mounting outrage against the idea that public courts aren’t good enough for corporations, and that they should they enjoy a parallel, secret and hugely powerful legal system of their very own. […]

For a democratic and legitimate trade policy, any mandate given to the Commission must be publicly debated in all member states, and agreed in open parliamentary debates. Nothing should be negotiated that the peoples of Europe do not want. All negotiation papers must be open and accessible. And if the Commission and the US Trade Representative say we cannot negotiate such treaties publicly, then there will be no negotiations. […]

[TorrentFreak] Finland Wants to Kill Crowdsourced Copyright Law

The future of copyright amendments crowdsourced by the Finnish public appear to be in doubt. The citizen-drafted proposals, which received 50,000 signatures, seek to decriminalize file-sharing, but Finland's Education and Culture Committee now wants to reject the historic initiative. […]

As late as last week, Electronic Frontier Finland (Effi), the Finnish Pirate Party and the Open Ministry submitted complaints to the Chancellor of Justice over the way the Education and Culture Committee has been handling changes to copyright law.

The complaints allege that drafting has been carried out in secret, contrary to the Committee’s obligations under the Finnish Freedom of Information Act. Furthermore, the criteria to be applied in web-blocking cases had not been made available. […]

[Techdirt] TPP Leak Confirms Measures To Criminalize Corporate Whistleblowing

As Mike has reported, the core of the newly-leaked TPP chapter is about granting Big Pharma's wish-list, with other worrying stuff for the copyright industry's benefit thrown in for good measure. But hidden away in the chapter's 70+ pages there's something very different -- and very dangerous. Here's how the Australian newspaper The Age explains it:

The draft text provides that TPP countries will introduce criminal penalties for unauthorised access to, misappropriation or disclosure of trade secrets, defined as information that has commercial value because it is secret, by any person using a computer system.

That's clearly an incredibly broad definition of trade secret, [...]

That's a clear signal that trade secrets will indeed be part of TAFTA/TTIP. Unfortunately, the latest TPP leak gives a pretty good idea of just how bad they are likely to be.

[NYTimes] Google Is Target of European Backlash on U.S. Tech Dominance

A top German official called for Google to be broken up. A French minister pronounced the company a threat to his country’s sovereignty. A European publishing executive likened it to a Wagnerian dragon. [...]

Anger over mass data collection by the American government has only amplified the concerns. Jérémie Zimmerman, a co-founder of the French Internet activist group La Quadrature du Net, said that when people told him now that they worked for Google, he says, “How do you like working for the N.S.A.,” referring to the National Security Agency.

“Many users were lured by the convenience and comfort of the services,” he said, but he added that the revelations by the former N.S.A. contractor Edward J. Snowden revealed that Google was part of a “massive breach of our security, of our data and of our sovereignty.” [...]

[Techdirt] Revealed: ISPs Already Violating Net Neutrality To Block Encryption And Make Everyone Less Safe Online

One of the most frequent refrains from the big broadband players and their friends who are fighting against net neutrality rules is that there's no evidence that ISPs have been abusing a lack of net neutrality rules in the past, so why would they start now? That does ignore multiple instances of violations in the past, but in combing through the comments submitted to the FCC concerning net neutrality, we came across one very interesting one that actually makes some rather stunning revelations about the ways in which ISPs are currently violating net neutrality/open internet principles in a way designed to block encryption and thus make everyone a lot less secure. The filing comes from VPN company Golden Frog and discusses "two recent examples that show that users are not receiving the open, neutral, and uninterrupted service to which the Commission says they are entitled." […]

As Golden Frog points out, this is "conceptually similar" to the way in which Comcast was throttling BitTorrent back in 2007 via packet reset headers, which kicked off much of the last round of net neutrality concerns. The differences here are that this isn't about blocking BitTorrent, but encryption, and it's a mobile internet access provider, rather than a wired one. […]

[PolicyReview] French Council of State: for a more “digitally-suited” law?

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. […]

[HumanRightsWatch] France: Counterterrorism Bill Threatens Rights

(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. [...]

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