The press review catalogues press articles related to la Quadrature's issues, compiled by its volunteers.
See also our French press review.
Back in March, national ministers set out a common position on the proposal for an EU law to combat terrorism. The original draft of the law from the European Commission focused on preventing terrorist attacks by criminalising preparatory acts, such as training and travel abroad for terrorist purposes, and made no mention of Web blocking. This was unsurprising, given that it was about criminalising particular offences and not specific obligations on companies.
However, ministers added a note in their version saying “it seems appropriate for member states to take measures to remove or to block access to webpages publicly inciting to commit terrorist offences.” Now, one MEP seems to have taken that idea and is running with it. [...]
“This leaves the door wide open for private companies to police content and very likely over-block or delete any content they are unsure about,” EDRi (European Digital Rights) head Joe McNamee told Ars. He added that European law requires that any blocking or content restriction measures “must be provided for by law, subject to initial judicial control and periodic review.”
The US government has asked to be joined as a party in the Irish High Court case between the Austrian privacy activist and lawyer Max Schrems, and the social network Facebook. In a press release, Schrems called this "an unusual move" [...].
Schrems speculated that the US government has made this move because it wanted to defend its surveillance laws before the European Courts [...]. Schrems told Ars that he hopes to use this unexpected opportunity to grill the US government to the maximum [...].
However, as Schrems points out, "this shift in the legal basis does not remedy the fact that Facebook is still subject to US mass surveillance laws and programs, which the CJEU already found to be conflicting with EU law" [...].
Courts across the country are grappling with a key question for the information age: When law enforcement asks a company for cellphone records to track location data in an investigation, is that a search under the Fourth Amendment?
By a 12-3 vote, appellate court judges in Richmond, Virginia, on Monday ruled that it is not — and therefore does not require a warrant. [...]
Research clearly shows that cell-site location data collected over time can reveal a tremendous amount of personal information — like where you live, where you work, when you travel, who you meet with, and who you sleep with. And it’s impossible to make a call without giving up your location to the cellphone company. [...]
In a move that has surprised no one, Europe’s privacy chief has slammed the planned EU-US agreement to facilitate the flow of personal data across the Atlantic [...].
On Monday evening the European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS), Giovanni Buttarelli, said that while he appreciates “the efforts made to develop a solution to replace Safe Harbour”, “the Privacy Shield as it stands is not robust enough to withstand future legal scrutiny before the court” [...].
Buttarelli also said “significant improvements are needed should the European Commission wish to adopt an adequacy decision. Moreover, it’s time to develop a longer term solution in the transatlantic dialogue” [...].
Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales has backed the principle of net neutrality, even as he admitted it was a complicated topic and that getting access to knowledge for poor people is equally important. [...]
In an exclusive interview to ET NOW from London, Wales also defended Wikipedia Zero, a project to provide internet free of cost on mobile phones in developing markets.
“Wikipedia zero follows a very strict set of principles such as no money is ever exchanged and so on. Net neutrality is such a complicated topic, it is something that I am extremely passionate about and I think is incredibly important. And at the same time I think getting access to knowledge for poorest people of world is also very important. Sometimes those two things can be in tension and we have to be really careful about it. I think fundamental thing is that we maintain and open and free Internet,” he said. [...]
The European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS) will issue his opinion on the controversial Privacy Shield proposals on Monday and negotiators shouldn't expect an easy ride.
Speaking at the presentation of the EDPS annual report on Tuesday, Giovanni Buttarelli said that his view was “in full synergy with the A29 working group opinion” that was issued last month. [...]
The A29—or Article 29—group is made up of data protection authorities from across the EU and its report was extremely critical of the planned Privacy Shield deal to facilitate the transfer of EU citizens personal data to the US. The Privacy Shield plan was drawn up after the European Court of Justice ruled the Safe Harbour agreement invalid last year, saying that there were not sufficient safeguards for personal data under the voluntary scheme.
The A29 group acknowledged that the proposed Privacy Shield arrangement was an improvement on Safe Harbour, but demanded clarifications on many points. Buttarelli argued that while, certainly, clarifications are needed, Safe Harbour should not “define the parameters” of the debate—the measure by which Privacy Shield should be judged is the current data protection directive he said. [...]
Writing a bad review online has always run a small risk of opening yourself up to a defamation claim. But few would expect to be told that they had to delete their review or face a lawsuit over another part of the law: copyright infringement.
[...] censorship using the DMCA is common online. The act allows web hosts a certain amount of immunity from claims of copyright infringement through what is known as the “safe harbour” rules: in essence, a host isn’t responsible for hosting infringing material provided they didn’t know about it when it went up, and took it down as soon as they were told about it.
In practice, however, this means that web hosts (and the term is broadly interpreted, meaning sites like YouTube, Twitter and Google count) are forced to develop a hair-trigger over claims of copyright infringement, assuming guilt and asking the accused to prove their innocence.
As such, a very easy way to remove something from the internet is to accuse its creator of infringing copyright. Worse, the potential downside of such a false claim is minimal. [...]
As time has gone on, The Intercept has sought out new ways to get documents from the archive into the hands of the public, consistent with the public interest as originally conceived. [...] Today, The Intercept is announcing two innovations in how we report on and publish these materials. [...]
The first measure involves the publication of large batches of documents. We are, beginning today, publishing in installments the NSA’s internal SIDtoday newsletters, which span more than a decade beginning after 9/11. We are starting with the oldest SIDtoday articles, from 2003, and working our way through the most recent in our archive, from 2012. Our first release today contains 166 documents, all from 2003, and we will periodically release batches until we have made public the entire set. The documents are available on a special section of The Intercept. [...]
The other innovation is our ability to invite outside journalists, including from foreign media outlets, to work with us to explore the full Snowden archive. [...]
The next few months will be a critical time for net neutrality in the EU, according to the chief of Europe's digital rights' lobby group.
Joe McNamee, executive director of EDRi, told Ars that it was crucial to engage people about the issue over the course of the next few months. Draft net neutrality guidelines are due to be presented by the European Commission on June 6, followed by a consultation for 20 working days on those proposed rules. [...]
At the beginning of this month, EDRi—together with 72 other NGOs—sent a letter to the Body of European Regulators of Electronic Communication (BEREC) calling on it to safeguard the open Internet in forthcoming negotiations. [...]
The NGOs want "careful consideration" of "specialised services," and for so-called zero rating to be outlawed. Alongside its campaign for strong net neutrality guidelines, EDRi has also set up a website (RespectMyNet.eu), where Internet users can report supposed net neutrality violations. [...]
The director of national intelligence on Monday blamed NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden for advancing the development of user-friendly, widely available strong encryption“As a result of the Snowden revelations, the onset of commercial encryption has accelerated by seven years,” James Clapper said during a breakfast for journalists hosted by the Christian Science Monitor. [...]
Technologists have been tirelessly working to strengthen encryption for decades, not just the past few years. But Snowden’s revelations about the pervasiveness of mass surveillance clearly accelerated its more widespread availability. And technologists say the threat of law enforcement “going dark” has been overhyped. For instance, there are almost always ways to hack around encryption, even if you can’t break it. [...]