The press review catalogues press articles related to la Quadrature's issues, compiled by its volunteers.
See also our French press review.
Here's one flight delay that European Union citizens might appreciate: The European Parliament has grounded an agreement that would have sent more passenger data winging its way to Canadian law enforcers. And like other flight delays, it could have huge repercussions -- in this case for similar data exchange deals with the U.S. and Australia [...]
Parliament is concerned that building such a database to retain and share passengers' personal data could be illegal in the light of a ruling by the CJEU in May. That judgment invalidated EU laws requiring communications providers to retain metadata -- in much the same way as flight data would be retained under the PNR agreement -- because the laws interfered with fundamental privacy rights. [...]
It doesn't stop there though. The court ruling could also affect the EU-U.S. Terrorist Finance Tracking Program (TFTP) Agreement under which some data from the SWIFT international bank messaging system is transmitted to U.S. authorities, again to fight terrorism. "That deal is really similar to the PNR agreement, and I'm really sure that we have to rethink it as well," if the CJEU's opinion on the deal is in line with the April data retention ruling, Sander said. […]
Former EU digital tzar Neelie Kroes’ net neutrality plans for the Continent may be chucked out by national governments. […]
EDRi head Joe McNamee says the draft waters down proposed protections, claiming that “without meaningful and enforceable net neutrality provisions” the law would achieve exactly the opposite of an open internet. […]
Advocacy group La Quadrature du Net (QdN) described the revised draft as a “betrayal” and a “slap in the face” to everyone who fought to preserve the open internet. “EU governments are giving in to the shameless lobbying of dominant telecom operators,” said Félix Tréguer, co-founder of QdN. […]
Here come more leaks, and more reasons to suspect that the European Union is not going to get the hard-won net neutrality law it seemed likely to get just months ago. […]
After last week’s letter from new European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker to his commissioners, suggesting that former digital agenda commissioner Neelie Kroes’s “Telecom Package” will be pulled and started again as a “Digital Single Market Package”, digital rights group EDRi has published documents that appear to show the neutering of that legislative package’s net neutrality provisions. […]
Gone: The definition of “net neutrality”. Gone: The definition of “specialized services”. Instead, the documents say that discussions are “converging” around a “principles-based approach, in order not to inhibit innovation and to avoid technological developments making the regulation obsolete.” […]
PS — In a public Q&A session this afternoon, new digital economy commissioner Günther Oettinger (who bailed on the session after a surprisingly short 40 minutes) said: “Our proposal for internal market telecommunications legislation is aimed at clearly defining what is meant by network neutrality.” In the context of the Council removing such clear definitions from the Telecom Package, this may again suggest that the compromise will be torn up and the legislative process rebooted.
In the ongoing saga of patent trolls, here is an article on a victory against them in the US:
"It's no secret in the tech world that there have been a lot of ridiculous software patents over the years, but the one taken to court by patent-holding company Ultramercial stands out. The patent, invented by Dana Howard Jones, basically describes a process of watching an online ad in exchange for viewing a video. An appeals court opinion (PDF) out this morning has invalidated the Jones patent."
The US Government has imposed a $750,000 fine on an Intel subsidiary for exporting encryption to China, Russia, Israel and other countries. [...]
Senior FBI and US government law officers have repeatedly complained over recent weeks about plans by Apple and Google to incorporate enhanced security into smartphones. Now, as Techdirt notes, the conflict between government regulation and the tech industry is moving onto the renal original turf of the first crypto wars of the late 90s - the export of strong encryption.
Strong cryptography was classified as a weapon and subject to export controls back in the 90s. This approach fell into disfavour for several good reasons that are even more relevant today than they were 20 years ago.
The new European Commission looks like it could seriously change direction in some policy areas, according to a letter sent from new commission president Jean-Claude Juncker [...] including a major reworking of the Digital Single Market package, the EU’s proposed overhaul of European telecommunication rules. The letter, a copy of which has been seen by Real Time Brussels, says:
“You are also invited to examine all pending proposals in your area and to signal those which we should review together, for example because they have no realistic chance of being adopted in the near future, or because the degree of ambition achievable does not match the objectives sought.” [...]
In any case, telecoms executives are sounding like it’s Christmas come early. They have long been lobbying for regulatory changes — such as eased merger rules and “a level playing field” between telecoms companies and so-called over-the-top operators like Google, Apple and Facebook [...]
Back in April, the European Parliament approved [...] telecommunications reforms that would bring in net neutrality [...]. This “Telecom Package” is currently approaching its final hurdle – approval by EU member states, who are negotiating it with the new European Commission – but it now looks like the Commission is about to hit rewind or worse.
[...] The Wall Street Journal reported Friday that it has seen a “working document” sent by new European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker to the various commissioners that indicates a potential revamp of not-yet-finalized laws, which would include the Telecom Package. [...]
An annex to the letter recommends “a major new initiative” called the “Digital Single Market (DSM) Package.”
BT, Virgin, Sky and Talk Talk all sign up for online initiative following intervention from Downing Street. […]
The UK’s major Internet service providers – BT, Virgin, Sky and Talk Talk – have this week committed to host a public reporting button for terrorist material online, similar to the reporting button which allows the public to report child sexual exploitation. […]
The UK is the only country in the world with a Counter Terrorism Internet Referral Unit (CITRU) - a 24/7 law enforcement unit, based in the Met, dedicated to identifying and taking down extreme graphic material as well as material that glorifies, incites and radicalises. […]
In an average week the unit is removing over 1,000 pieces of content that breaches the Terrorism Act 2006. Approximately 800 of these are Syria/Iraq related and posted on multiple platforms. […]
Germany’s foreign intelligence agency reportedly wants to spend €300 million (about US$375 million) in the next five years on technology that would let it spy in real time on social networks outside of Germany, and decrypt and monitor encrypted Internet traffic. […]
The system for real time social network monitoring is still in the construction phase. But a prototype is expected to be launched next June with the aim of monitoring publicly available data on Twitter and blogs. The program should filter out and discard data in the German language. […]
The French Parliament this week formally adopted a new anti-terrorism law, part of which aims to stop terrorists using the internet to attract recruits and plot attacks. It will allow the authorities to block websites that “condone terrorism” and will create a new offence of “individual terrorist enterprise”. One key objective is to stop the “preparation” of attacks via the web. The government, which has rushed these measures through, says they are needed to combat the growing use of the internet and social media by terror groups and in particular to tackle the threat of so-called “lone wolf” terrorists operating in France and elsewhere. But civil liberties groups, judges and the state body that oversees the impact of digital technology have condemned the law as an attack on freedom, ineffective and unworkable. Jérôme Hourdeaux details the new measures. […]
The internet freedom campaign group Quadrature du net has meanwhile attacked the law as “harmful ... dangerous ... and intrusive”. The group's co-founder Philippe Aigrain said: “Democratic states harming fundamental rights by adopting ineffective measures in the name of fighting the glorification of terrorism is exactly what the terror groups are looking for.” […]
However, in a joint MP-Senate committee examining the text, parliamentarians added a new element that could also turn an internet user into a potential terrorist, namely “the fact of producing, transporting, distributing by whatever means and by whatever medium” a message inciting terrorism and which might be “susceptible of being seen or received by a minor”. This measure directly targets social networks and the practice of re-tweeting on Twitter or sharing items on Facebook. […]