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The press review catalogues press articles related to la Quadrature's issues, compiled by its volunteers.
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[Cio] Romanian version of EU cybersecurity directive allows warrantless access to data

More than a dozen Romanian non-governmental organizations are protesting new cybersecurity legislation passed by the parliament last week that would force businesses to provide the country’s national intelligence agencies with access to their data without a court warrant. […]

An amended version of the proposed NIS Directive was approved by the European Parliament in March. It requires member states to develop national cybersecurity strategies and appoint central authorities in charge of coordinating the response to cyberthreats and incidents. […]

Unlike the NIS Directive, which focuses on operators of critical infrastructure, the Romanian bill applies to all organizations, public or private, that own, administer, operate or use cyberinfrastructures. Cyberinfrastructure is defined in the law as “infrastructure in the field of information technology and communications, consisting of information systems, related applications, networks and electronic communication services.” […]

http://www.cio.com/article/2863633/romanian-version-of-eu-cybersecurity-...

[ArsTechnica] BT, Sky, and Virgin “hijacking” browsers to push porn blocks

BT, Sky, virgin hijacking browsers to push porn blocks

Measures are "completely unnecessary, heavy handed," say Internet rights groups.

[...] BT, Sky, and Virgin Media are hijacking people's web connections to force customers to make a decision about family-friendly web filters. The move comes as the December deadline imposed by prime minister David Cameron looms, with ISPs struggling to get customers to say yes or no to the controversial adult content blocks.

The messages, which vary by ISP, appear during browser sessions when a user tries to access any website. BT, Sky,TalkTalk and Virgin Media are required to ask all their customers if they want web filters turned on or off, with the government saying it wants to create a "family friendly" Internet free from pornography, gambling, extreme violence and other content inappropriate for children. But the measures being taken by ISPs have been described as "completely unnecessary" and "heavy handed" by Internet rights groups. [...]

http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2014/12/bt-sky-and-virgin-hijacking-b...

[OpenMedia] We won! Here are the top 3 ways Big Telecom will face financial penalties if they break the rules

we won

[...] [New powers] will allow the government to impose financial penalties on Big Telecom giants that break the rules and mistreat Canadians. And we’re talking BIG penalties: up to $10 million per infraction on a first offence, up to $15 million per infraction for subsequent offences.

The decision comes in response to a key request made by the hundreds of thousands of Canadians who participated in our crowdsourced Casting An Open Internet action plan. In the plan, we called on government to create powers that would allow them to level penalties against companies who violate rules designed to protect Canadian Internet users. [...]

https://openmedia.ca/blog/we-won-here-are-top-3-ways-big-telecom-will-fa...

[Arstechnica] "Shadowy" anti-net neutrality group flooded FCC with comments

arstechnica

"A shadowy organization with ties to the Koch Brothers" spearheaded an anti-net neutrality form letter writing campaign that tipped the scales against net neutrality proponents, according to an analysis released today by the Sunlight Foundation. […]

"In marked contrast to the first round, anti-net neutrality commenters mobilized in force for this round, and comprised the majority of overall comments submitted, at 60 percent," the Sunlight Foundation wrote. "We attribute this shift almost entirely to the form-letter initiatives of a single organization, American Commitment, who are single-handedly responsible for 56.5 percent of the comments in this round." […]

We previously wrote about the anti-net neutrality form letter campaign. The Sunlight Foundation describes American Commitment as "a 501(c)(4) social welfare group founded in 2011, [which] has gotten money from and given money to a variety of groups with ties to Charles and David Koch, mega-wealthy siblings who have underwritten many conservative campaigns and candidates." […]

http://arstechnica.com/business/2014/12/shadowy-anti-net-neutrality-grou...

[TheVerge] Project Goliath: Inside Hollywood's secret war against Google

project goliath

SOPA was just the beginning. What is "Goliath" and why are Hollywood’s most powerful lawyers working to kill it? […]

At the beginning of this year, the MPAA and six studios — Universal, Sony, Fox, Paramount, Warner Bros., and Disney — joined together to begin a new campaign against piracy on the web. A January 25th email lays out a series of legally and technically ambitious new tools, including new measures that would block infringing sites from reaching customers of many major ISPs. Documents reviewed by The Verge detail the beginning of a new plan to attack piracy after the federal SOPA efforts failed by working with state attorneys general and major ISPs like Comcast to expand court power over the way data is served. If successful, the result would fundamentally alter the open nature of the internet. […]

"We start from the premise that site blocking is a means to an end," says MPAA general counsel Steven Fabrizio. "There may be other equally effective measures ISPs can take, and that they might be more willing to take voluntarily." According to the email, the group has retained its own technical experts and is working with Comcast (which owns Universal) to develop techniques for blocking or identifying illegally shared files in transit. […]

http://www.theverge.com/2014/12/12/7382287/project-goliath

[TheIntercept] Operation AURORAGOLD : How the NSA Hacks Cellphone Networks Worldwide

auroragold

[...] According to documents contained in the archive of material provided to The Intercept by whistleblower Edward Snowden, the NSA has spied on hundreds of companies and organizations internationally, including in countries closely allied to the United States, in an effort to find security weaknesses in cellphone technology that it can exploit for surveillance. [...]

[...] Codenamed AURORAGOLD, the covert operation has monitored the content of messages sent and received by more than 1,200 email accounts associated with major cellphone network operators, intercepting confidential company planning papers that help the NSA hack into phone networks. [...]

https://firstlook.org/theintercept/2014/12/04/nsa-auroragold-hack-cellphones/

[EurActiv] TTIP elephants hiding behind ISDS

The controversy surrounding the inclusion of the Investor-State Dispute Settlement clause in the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) is seen by some as a smokescreen for ideological opposition to the treaty, and is perceived as a way to divert attention from other likely hotspots in the negotiations. [...]

Various clauses within the proposed regulation would effect the larger US companies offering so-called “over-the-top” data services, such as Google and Amazon, and more significantly the burgeoning cloud computing sector. [...]

With Germany and France – and new Digital Affairs Commissioner Günther Oettinger – notably hardening their stance on Google in recent weeks, and calling for a stronger EU response to perceived competition abuse by the US giant, the scope for data issues yet to effect TTIP is immense.
One source close to the US industry who spoke on condition of anonymity told EurActiv last year: “At the moment, it is looking like a trade dispute over the data sector is as likely to emerge between the US and EU before any trade agreement emerges.” [...]

In the end, data flows will have to come onto the table. The TTIP cannot be agreed before that happens,” one senior negotiator close to the TTIP talks told EurActiv last month on condition of anonymity. [...]

http://www.euractiv.com/sections/ttip-and-arbitration-clause/ttip-elepha...

[Firstlook] Operation Socialist: How GCHQ Spies Hacked Belgium's Largest Telco

operation socialist

When the incoming emails stopped arriving, it seemed innocuous at first. But it would eventually become clear that this was no routine technical problem. Inside a row of gray office buildings in Brussels, a major hacking attack was in progress. And the perpetrators were British government spies. [...]

Last year, documents from National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden confirmed that British surveillance agency Government Communications Headquarters was behind the attack, codenamed Operation Socialist. And in November, The Intercept revealed that the malware found on Belgacom’s systems was one of the most advanced spy tools ever identified by security researchers, who named it “Regin.” [...]

The glitch was left unresolved until June 2013, when there was a sudden flare-up. After a Windows software update was sent to Belgacom’s email exchange server, the problems returned, worse than before. The administrators contacted Microsoft for help, questioning whether the new Windows update could be the reason for the fault. But Microsoft, too, struggled to identify exactly what was going wrong. There was still no solution to be found. (Microsoft declined to comment for this story.) [...]

https://firstlook.org/theintercept/2014/12/13/belgacom-hack-gchq-inside-...

[EuObserver] EU commission bans public scrutiny on US data talks

euobserver

BRUSSELS - The European Commission is imposing gag orders on MEPs and preventing journalists access to discussions at the parliament’s civil liberties committee. […]

A minor protest erupted at the Safe Harbour session in the committee last week when far-left MEP German Cornelia Ernst along with Dutch liberal Sophie In't Veld voted to suspend the so-called in-camera session. In-camera sessions are not open to the public. It also means MEPs are under threat of sanctions should they discuss the issue outside the room. […]

Data law in question:

Safe Harbour is enforced by the US Federal Trade Commission and is supposed to ensure US firms follow EU data protection laws when processing the personal data of EU citizens. […]

The Americans are unhappy with the commission’s proposal to require companies to publish the privacy conditions of any contract they conclude with subcontractors.[…]

Companies, under certain US Patriot Act provisions, are banned from notifying the data subject or the data protection authority in Europe should US authorities request access to the personal details of an EU national. […]

http://euobserver.com/justice/126876

[TorrentFreak] Swedish Police Raid The Pirate Bay, Site Offline

tpb_blocked

Police in Sweden carried out a raid in Stockholm today, seizing servers, computers, and other equipment. At the same time The Pirate Bay and several other torrent-related sites disappeared offline. Although no official statement has been made, TF sources confirm action against TPB. […]

“There has been a crackdown on a server room in Greater Stockholm. This is in connection with violations of copyright law,” read a statement from Paul Pintér, police national coordinator for IP enforcement. […]

While it seems certain that The Pirate Bay has been targeted today, it was not the only casualty. Several other torrent related sites including EZTV, Zoink, Torrage and the Istole tracker are also down. […]

http://torrentfreak.com/swedish-police-raid-the-pirate-bay-site-offline-...

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