The press review catalogues press articles related to la Quadrature's issues, compiled by its volunteers.
See also our French press review.
Wikileaks has published a draft of the chapter on Intellectual Property (IP) of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement dated 30 August.
The article quotes heavily from an analysis by Knowledge Ecology International, highlighting that, "access to life-saving medicines would be curtailed, while the scope of patents would be extended to include surgical methods, for example", the proposal would moreover greatly extend the number of years that copyrighted material is protected.
TPP would strengthen actions against copyright infringement and furthermore, it proposes stronger restrictions on what is exempted from copyright and would make it "illegal to circumvent DRM even if it has been applied to materials that are in the public domain".
In summary the article writes that, "TPP builds on ACTA directly, while the other measures discussed above show how it goes well beyond it in many respects."
"That's the bad news. The good news is that we now have a very recent draft of what is perhaps the most contentious section of the agreement. [...] The hope has to be that [...] they will make their feelings known to their political representatives as they did with SOPA and ACTA -- and with the same final result. "
Microsoft, Google and Facebook managers denied giving the NSA or any government in the world direct or unfettered access to their servers, at the ninth NSA inquiry hearing on the mass surveillance of EU citizens held at Parliament on Monday. [...]
As concerns over the Internet security are at their highest, in an interview to Voice of Russia, Jeremie Zimmermann,founder and spokesperson for La Quadrature du Net, a citizen advocacy group defending fundamental freedoms online, talked about how tech companies handle personal data and how they cooperate with surveillance schemes. [...]
The sad truth is that we cannot trust those US companies anymore and that we cannot trust closedown software and hardware to protect our freedoms and our communications online. Only free [libre] software that users can understand, that users can share, that users can modify – only free [libre] software gives us the potentiality to be able to control the machine and, therefore, restore trust and gain control over our personal communications back. This is the major democratic issue.
Over 50 US officials are in Brussels to negotiate the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), which, if signed, will create the world’s largest free-trade area. [...]
By limiting health, safety and environmental regulations in order to boost trade, the US and EU are “putting the corporation above the nation,” Glyn Moody, journalist and author, told RT in an on-air interview. [...] There would be fewer constraints and companies will benefit, but “the public will pay in terms of regulation reduced protection and that is never calculated in these trade agreements, it’s always about the bottom lines of the big companies,” Moody said. [...]
The feasibility of the deal came under question after NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden leaked information showing the extent of espionage on allies abroad. [...] The spying row shouldn’t affect US-EU trade talks, US Secretary of State John Kerry said as the trade partnership is “really separate from any other issues".
Frustrated by the lack of copyright reform in Europe, several Members of European Parliament have started a coordinated platform to urge the European Commission to update its outdated policy. The MEPs are looking for a more flexible copyright system which benefits European citizens and businesses, including the decriminalization of file-sharing for personal use. The first steps towards these goals are to be made during an event in Brussels on Tuesday. […]
Talking to TorrentFreak, hostess and Pirate Party MEP Amelia Andersdotter explains that the current copyright directive is heavily outdated. It restricts people’s ability to enjoy and share culture, as they constantly have to worry about the legal ramifications. […]
Decriminalization of file-sharing is one of the issues that’s on the agenda. This directly affects over hundred million Europeans and will facilitate the development of new business models. […]
[TechDirt] South Africa Plans To Terminate And Renegotiate Treaties That Include Corporate Sovereignty
Despite the growing evidence that corporate sovereignty clauses in international treaties pose considerable risks to nations that sign them, such "investor-state dispute settlement" (ISDS) mechanisms are present in both TPP and TAFTA/TTIP -- at least as far as we know: it's hard to be sure given the obsessive secrecy surrounding them. [...]
Freed from the necessity to accept whatever terms other countries might seek to impose on it, South Africa is now able to renegotiate bilateral agreements that are fair and that preserve its right to pass laws as it sees fit, unconstrained by legal threats from foreign investors. [...]
If that proves to be the case, it could be that those countries signing up for one-sided and inequitable ISDS clauses in TPP and TAFTA/TTIP will come to regret not choosing to preserve their sovereignty as South Africa has done.
Analyse des Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), und den damit zusammenhängenden Verhandlungen der Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) und der Transatlantic Free Trade Area (TAFTA).
Der Artikel beschäftigt sich mit mehreren Themen aber beschreibt auch den Effekt das es auf den Schutz privater Daten haben könnte. "Eine anonyme Koalition von Internet- und IT-Unternehmen, die sogenannte Digital Trade Coalition, wünscht, dass die EU-Datenschutzregeln nicht den Abfluss von persönlichen Daten in die USA behindern. Diese Lobby der Internetbranche erklärt, die aktuelle Einschätzung der EU, dass die USA keinen angemessenen Schutz der Privatsphäre gewährleisten würden, sei für sie "nicht einsichtig". Angesichts der immer neuen Enthüllungen über die massive Datenspionage ist eine solche Äußerung besonders aufschlussreich. Auch der mächtige U.S. Council for International Business (USCIB) mahnt an, das Tafta-Abkommen müsse Ausnahmeklauseln im Bereich Sicherheit und Privatsphäre sehr eng fassen, "damit diese nicht als verkappte Handelshindernisse benutzt werden können". Dazu muss man wissen, dass dem USCIB Unternehmen wie Verizon angehören, die der NSA massenhaft personenbezogene Daten zugeliefert haben. "
The authors of a new study on mass-scale surveillance [Sergio Carrera, a Spanish jurist, and Francesco Ragazzi, a professor of international relations at Leiden University in the Netherlands] have accused the intelligence services of the US and EU countries of violating European law and urged the European parliament to take action. [...]
[The authors] also called for new EU laws to stop internet companies giving information to intelligence services, to protect whistleblowers such as the NSA leaker Edward Snowden, and to form a permanent oversight body on intelligence matters. [...]
They said the EU parliament should threaten to block an EU-US free trade agreement unless the NSA and GCHQ disclose the full nature of their surveillance programmes. [...]
"The C.I.A. is paying AT&T more than $10 million a year to assist with overseas counterterrorism investigations by exploiting the company’s vast database of phone records [...]. "
"AT&T has a history of working with the government. It helped facilitate the Bush administration’s warrantless surveillance program by allowing the N.S.A. to install secret equipment in its phone and Internet switching facilities, according to an account by a former AT&T technician made public in a lawsuit."
One of the key issues during the ACTA negotiations was transparency - or rather the lack of it. Despite a few token gestures from the European Commission initially, TAFTA/TTIP looks like it will be just as bad. Here's a rather cheap trick the negotiators have just played :
Surprise! The second round of negotiations for the massive Trans-Atlantic Free Trade Agreement (TAFTA) won’t be happening in Washington, DC in December as planned. It will be happening in six days. In Belgium. [...]
The recent move of the National Assembly of South Korea to mandate the HRIA was influenced by the efforts of the UN human rights bodies. The lawmaker, Mr. Buh, proposed a bill to amend the Law on the Treaty-Making Process and Implementation of Trade Agreements (Trade Process Act), which includes an amendment making compulsory the HRIA on every trade pacts that are likely to be agreed upon with trade partners.
This is an important move, because it begins the long journey of re-balancing trade agreements around the world so that they take in account human rights and therefore, by implication, the public interest as well as corporate profit. Although it's not clear whether the Korean initiative will succeed, it does at least raise the issue in a political context. We now need to start similar conversations here in the EU and in the US regarding TAFTA/TTIP if that agreement is to have any claim to fairness and legitimacy.
"As concerns over the Internet security are at their highest, in an interview to Voice of Russia, Jeremie Zimmermann, founder and spokesperson for La Quadrature du Net, a citizen advocacy group defending fundamental freedoms online, talked about how tech companies handle personal data and how they cooperate with surveillance schemes."
In response to a question on whether efforts by Tech companies to be more transparent about their data sharing habits, he said:
"This is crisis management communication [by Tech companies – Microsoft, Google, Facebook] mostly, because their customers are losing trust in their products. [...]
The reality is that we cannot trust them anymore, because a whole bunch of US laws forces them into cooperating with mass surveillance and forces them in the way where they can never reveal the truth about it."