The press review catalogues press articles related to la Quadrature's issues, compiled by its volunteers.
See also our French press review.
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.
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. […]
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."