The press review catalogues press articles related to la Quadrature's issues, compiled by its volunteers.
See also our French press review.
The major record labels continue their efforts to drive The Pirate Bay underground with France being the next in line. A local music industry group has informed several ISPs that it has requested a court blocking injunction against the popular torrent site. In addition, more than a hundred Pirate Bay proxies are also being targeted. […]
Whether the French blockade, if granted, will be successful remains to be seen. There are still plenty of alternatives and circumvention tools available. This includes TPB’s own PirateBrowser which has been downloaded millions of times since its release last summer.
Google could be forced to remove links to news stories about individuals from its search results, following a ruling today (13 May) by the European Court of Justice, backing the EU's drive to introduce a "right to be forgotten" on the Internet. [...]
Joe McNamee of European Digitial Rights (EDRi) said, "In the recent Telekabel case, the ECJ ruled that ISPs can have non-specific injunctions placed on them, and they have to work out the balance between a resonable effort to implement the injunction and the ISPs' responsibilities to defend citizens' fundamental rights. There are, however, no such legal responsibilities."
"In this case, the ECJ ruled that Google can be held liable for failing to remove content, taking into account 'the information in question and its sensitivity for the data subject’s private life and on the interest of the public.' When Google has an obligation on one side - delete to avoid a breach of the law - but no obligation regarding the interest of the public, there is clearly an imbalance that needs to be addressed."
"So, we now have two cases from the ECJ where private companies are asked to find a balance between legal obligations on the one hand and freedom of communication on the other." [...]
Future versions of the open-source Firefox browser will include closed-source digital rights management (DRM) from Adobe, the Mozilla project’s chief technology officer, Andreas Gal, announced on Wednesday. [...]
The plug-in architecture is a security nightmare, and a source of numerous breaches through which buggy or malicious code was able to reach into users’ computers and compromise them. Now that browsers run in computers that we carry around in our pockets, connected to microphones and video cameras, and manage everything from our finance to our thermostats, abolishing plug-ins was an inevitable and welcome step. [...]
Still, Mozilla has taken some admirable pains to minimise the harms from its DRM. The open sandbox in which Adobe’s software operates very strictly limits the DRM’s access to the computer’s other processes and systems. This is crucial, because the Adobe module is not only closed source, it is also protected by controversial global laws that threaten security researchers who publish information about its security flaws. [...]
Trade watchers are worried that pushback over European Union trade negotiations with the United States could be spilling over into the EU’s trade talks with Canada. [...]
But as EU-US talks got into full swing, the European public “woke up” to the possible inclusion of an investor-state dispute settlement section, which was already included in CETA. That part lets companies seek compensation from states if government policies hurt their business interests.
There has been growing opposition to having such a section in the EU-US trade deal. The European Commission launched a public consultation on the issue, set to remain open until June.
The investment-related text the Commission released as part of that consultation comes from the approach Canada and the EU took in their agreement. [...]
“The fact that the EU-US talks started...put some of the decisions that they made within [CETA] in a different light and then delayed the finalization of that process a bit more,” said Amy Verdun, a University of Victoria political science professor who focuses on the EU. [...]
The NSA has been covertly implanting interception tools in US servers heading overseas – even though the US government has warned against using Chinese technology for the same reasons, says Glenn Greenwald, in an extract from his new book about the Snowden affair, No Place to Hide [...]
But while American companies were being warned away from supposedly untrustworthy Chinese routers, foreign organisations would have been well advised to beware of American-made ones. A June 2010 report from the head of the NSA's Access and Target Development department is shockingly explicit. The NSA routinely receives – or intercepts – routers, servers and other computer network devices being exported from the US before they are delivered to the international customers.
The agency then implants backdoor surveillance tools, repackages the devices with a factory seal and sends them on. The NSA thus gains access to entire networks and all their users. The document gleefully observes that some "SIGINT tradecraft … is very hands-on (literally!)". [...]
The incoming Italian presidency of the European Union is ready to support the European Parliament-backed overhaul of EU telecoms rules, despite widespread criticism of the plan from governments and leading operators. […]
Italy, whose presidency of the EU will start in July and will run until the end of the year, seems ready to go against the tide of other member states.
A diplomatic source confirmed that the objective of the incoming presidency is to defend the parliament's text and have it approved by the council. […]
The most controversial part of the reforms concern net neutrality, the freedom for Internet users to access different services without seeing their connections slowed down to favour alternative paid offers. […]
In an early update, I wrote about the leak of the European Commission's communication strategy for "overcoming public scepticism" about TAFTA/TTIP. The key section was probably the following: "Making sure that the broad public in each of the EU Member States has a general understanding of what TTIP is (i.e. an initiative that aims at delivering growth and jobs) and what it is not (i.e. an effort to undermine regulation and existing levels of protection in areas like health, safety and the environment)." [...]
This is something else I had not appreciated. The removal of "non-tariff barriers/measures" is one of the most contentious areas of TTIP since those "barriers" are things like health and safety regulations. The fact that their removal is being treated as "welfare-enhancing" - improving the lot of society - is a truly outrageous redefinition of both society and welfare. It might well boost the bottom lines of companies that pollute the environment, say, but that can hardly been called "welfare enhancing". Thus what are currently being counted as benefits are probably actually costs, as the Austrian economists go on to point out [...]
As I hope you can see, this [study, pdf here] is a really important contribution to the TTIP debate, since it not only examines existing studies, and subjects them to an extremely detailed analysis running to dozens of pages, but it also raises crucial issues that have so far been almost completely ignored. Key among those are the costs of TTIP - which turn out to include aspects that somehow have been magically transformed into benefits, simply by ignoring their true impact on the public. [...]
With Facebook and Google cited by consumers as “worst abusers” of private data, is this week's White House report on big data and privacy — and its discrimination concerns — too little, too late? […]
While the U.S. government gets ready to state the obvious later this week, and privacy profiteers dive into swimming pools of our personal data like Scrooge McDuck, telling us to stop sharing isn't the answer. […]
A complaint to the Irish Data Protection Commissioner regarding the transfer of Facebook user data from Europe to the US National Security Agency (NSA) was “extremely important” in light of the Edward Snowden allegations, the High Court was told today.
The court heard arguments that Commissioner Billy Hawkes wrongly refused to investigate a complaint that an Irish arm of social network giant Facebook could not permit the mass transfer of personal data to US intelligence services operating the Prism surveillance programme.
The Data Protection Commissioner was not entitled to “turn a blind eye” to the allegations by the former NSA contractor Snowden , the court was told by Paul O’Shea BL, counsel for Austrian law student Max Schrems. [...]
The Federal Communications Commission, America's telcoms regulator, has formulated a plan to allow internet service providers (ISPs) to charge companies for the right to “premium” access to its customers. This is the worst internet policy news imaginable. It should strike terror into the heart of anyone who cares about fairness, politics, the widening gap between the rich and the poor, fair trade, entrepreneurship, or innovation. The FCC now stands as the world's foremost symbol for “regulatory capture,” and its chairman — a former cable executive lobbyist — is the poster child for an unhealthy relationship between industry and its regulators. […]
And the networks are not the carriers' alone. The carriers may pay to dig the trenches and drop the conduit and copper, but they run their wires through our dirt. If carriers had to negotiate for every linear metre of roadway, pavement, and car-park in order to run their wires, the legal bills alone would bankrupt them, to say nothing of the actual fees land owners and cities would be able extract from them. We're talking trillions, here. The only viable way to build a telcoms network infrastructure is by securing a priceless public subsidy in the form of free access to rights-of-way.