The press review catalogues press articles related to la Quadrature's issues, compiled by its volunteers.
See also our French press review.
One of the great questions for the future of the net is: to what extent this extraordinary freedom will be allowed to remain in the hands of the people, and to what extent will it be limited and regulated? If a recent ruling by the European Court of Human Rights is anything to go by, perhaps we should expect more of the latter. [...]
For Eric Barendt, Goodman Professor of Media Law at University College London from 1990 until 2010, the ruling doesn’t adequately balance freedom of speech against an individual’s right to protect his or her reputation. “I wouldn’t stick my neck out to say the ECtHR’s judgment was ridiculous,” he tells me, “but I know many people who would. How bizarre that this case could be the straw that breaks the camel’s back.”
The judgment will not only affect whistleblowers, says Aidan Eardley, a London-based barrister specialising in data protection and media-related human rights law. “It’s also bad news for people who want to comment about sensitive personal issues such as domestic abuse, sexual identity, religious persecution, etc.” [...]
This is probably the most action-packed update so far - a reflection of the fact that we are now deep in the TAFTA/TTIP negotiations, which have been running for nearly a year. Of course, information about what exactly is happening behind the closed doors is still thin on the ground. To its credit, the European Commission has recently published its negotiating positions in five areas: chemicals, cosmetics, pharmaceutical products, motor vehicles, textiles and clothing. Significantly, though, it did not publish its proposals for energy. That's because they are far more contentious than for those other sectors. [...]
That's a key point: by its own admission, most of TTIP's possible gains will come in the regulatory sphere; regulations are about want kind of society we want to live - what the rules are. Changing those behind closed doors is simply subverting basic democratic principles. [...]
With the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) decision to move forward with a controversial proposal that threatens net neutrality and the open Internet, lobbying activity looks like it has reached a fevered pitch. But for the companies involved—especially the telecom companies that are eager to be allowed to charge more for a “fast lane” of Internet service—lobbying has been at a fevered pitch for almost a decade.
To better understand the lobbying dynamics around net neutrality, we took the long view and tallied up the 20 lobbying organizations that mentioned “net neutrality” or “network neutrality” most often in their lobbying reports between 2005 and 2013. [...] The top pro-neutrality organizations filed 176 lobbying reports mentioning net neutrality. But the top anti-neutrality organizations far outpaced them, filing 472 reports that mentioned net neutrality. That’s a 2.7-to-1 ratio. [...]
The five most active organizations on the issue since 2005—Verizon, AT&T, Comcast, the National Cable and Telecommunications Association and the National Music Publishers Association—are all opposed to neutrality. Verizon and AT&T are heads and shoulders above everyone else, each with an estimated 119 reports mentioning net neutrality. [...]
[…] Disclosures by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden about the agency’s vast capability for spying on Americans’ electronic communications prompted a number of tech executives whose firms cooperated with the government to insist they had done so only when compelled by a court of law. […]
The challenge facing government and industry was to enhance security without compromising privacy, Granick said. The emails between Alexander and Google executives, she said, show “how informal information sharing has been happening within this vacuum where there hasn’t been a known, transparent, concrete, established methodology for getting security information into the right hands.” […]
When telcos zero-rate data used by their apps and their partners’ apps, they are engaging in price discrimination and threatening net neutrality. The practice should be banned in U.S. and Europe. […]
Zero-rated mobile traffic is blunt anti-competitive price discrimination designed to favor telcos’ own or their partners’ apps while placing competing apps at a disadvantage. A zero-rated app is an offer consumers can’t refuse. If consumers choose a third-party app like Dropbox or Netflix, they will either need to use it only over Wi-Fi use or pay telcos hundreds of dollars to use data over 4G networks on their smartphones or tablets. […]
[…] “Canadians willingly put onto social media all sorts of information, so it should not be a surprise that corporations, individuals, good guys, bad guys, and governments are collecting the freely available information they put on social media sites,” Clement said. […] “This is all publicly available information. People freely make that choice.” […]
Privacy lawyer David Fraser said the information Canadians offer online could be used in a variety of ways by a variety of authorities. One of the problems for Fraser is that, in the absence of an explanation from authorities, Canadians are left with hypothetical scenarios. […]
While the debate over net neutrality continues to rage in the United States, the British government is planning to block European Union legislation on the matter.
It’s a surprising turn of events. Just last month, the European Parliament voted to place the principles of net neutrality into law. However, before it becomes law throughout Europe, each member country must also pass the legislation. On Thursday, the British government indicated it may veto it instead.
At issue is a new provision that critics argue would restrict the British government’s “ability to block illegal material.” The amendment made it so that only a court order would allow for the banning of content, and not a legislative provision, as originally proposed, according to RT. [...]
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. [...]