The press review catalogues press articles related to la Quadrature's issues, compiled by its volunteers.
See also our French press review.
In Europe, a coalition of privacy and civil rights groups, known as EDRi, is pushing to keep digital rights and privacy a hot button issue through a new online petitioning platform, WePromise, strategically using the political momentum of the EU's upcoming parliamentary elections: 28 EU countries are currently immersed in electoral campaigning and between May 22nd and 25th, citizens from all over Europe will elect 751 new (and old) Members of the European Parliament. [...]
EDRi is a group of 35 privacy and civil rights organizations from all over the EU. The WePromise platform is two-sided, aimed at engaging both parliamentary candidates and EU citizens. The candidates are encouraged to sign a ten point 'Charter of Digital Rights' that supports an open digital environment: promotion of transparency, data protection and privacy legislation, reform of copyright, and control of surveillance techniques are among the key points. [...]
Once again, we need to save net neutrality. This time, there is a crucial vote in the European Parliament's industry committee (ITRE) next Monday. La Quadrature du Net, which has been following this area more closely than anyone, has a good summary of what is happening […]
As you can see, the central problem is still that of "specialised services" that would be given priority over other Internet traffic. Such "specialised services" are a way for telecoms companies to charge premium prices, but that necessarily implies that non-premium services are degraded in comparison (otherwise why would anyone pay more?) That, by definition, kills Net neutrality.
The good news is that we can concentrate on getting one key point across: that specialised services of this kind must not be allowed. Here's the best way we can do that according to La Quadrature:
European citizens must tell the members of the Industry committee that the only deserving approach is to reject Mrs. Pilar del Castillo Vera's so-called ''compromise amendments'' and that they should adopt the same amendments to articles 2(15) and 23 as in the LIBE committee. To preserve the Internet's contribution to innovation and freedom of communication, European law should clearly ban telecom operators from marketing specialised services that are functionally equivalent to online services delivered on the Internet, thereby bypassing Net neutrality. […]
When even the experts are struggling, it should set off alarm bells. The net neutrality issue is hotting up in the European Parliament, but who really understands what is happening? It has been under scrutiny from the various committees and is now with the Industry committee for a vote in a couple of weeks time. The signs are that the rapporteur, Pilar Del Castillo, is being challenged, but there are concerning indications that MEPs will give in to amendments that put at risk not only the structure of the Internet, but of the whole telecoms market. […]
The French citizens advocacy group, La Quadrature du Net says that ‘by refusing to ban specialised services’ the Connected Continent regulation would ‘bypass the net neutrality principle and undermine fair competition in the digital economy’. […]
La Quadrature du Net has more information on the secret ‘compromise’ negotiations in the ITRE committee. Its campaign site is savetheinternet.eu […]
[Techdirt] Apparently We Are All Confused And Killing Net Neutrality Will Be Just GREAT For Startups
What if I told you that the ham-fisted attempts by giant telecom corporations to abuse their gatekeeper positions anti-competitively are actually great for startups and consumers? Yes, I'd slap me too. Still, this appears to be the central thesis of a new Wired editorial by TechFreedom's Berin Szoka and George Mason University’s Mercatus Center's Brent Skorup, who insist that killing off net neutrality is just what Internet underdogs need. [...]
Whether it's pretending that an [Federal Communications Commission] FCC with a history of apathy, incompetence and deregulatory tendencies is a bigger threat than predatory monopolies or the insistence that incumbent ISPs are faultless for any part of the country's broadband competition problems, you'll notice one common refrain: the nation's giant telecom companies can do no wrong and it's always somebody else that's to blame
It's still early days for TAFTA/TTIP, but already there are some signs that senior politicians are becoming aware that transparency is no longer some minor aspect of these trade talks, but a hugely important issue in itself. We know this thanks to an earlier fight by the European Digital Rights (EDRi) group to obtain from the European Parliament various documents relating to ACTA -- the result of an infamously opaque process. [...]
However, in [the ACTA] case the European Parliament explained that it was bound by a confidentiality agreement that had been negotiated by the European Commission, and was therefore unable to release the requested ACTA documents. [...]
That advice [by the European Ombudsman] itself is noteworthy, since it specifically discourages the use of confidentiality agreements that might hamper transparency. In reply, the President of the European Parliament, Martin Schulz, [...] wrote that [...] [H]e promised to keep reminding the Commission that a pro-active approach is needed to keep the public informed about the state of play in all such negotiations.
[...] The Berlin court [...] found that Facebook’s Friend Finder violated German law because it was unclear to users that they imported their entire address book into the social network when using it.
[...] the Higher Court of Berlin [...] contended that Facebook’s data processing is actually handled in the U.S. [...] and not by its Irish subsidiary [...] [otherwise] German data protection law would probably not have been applicable, because Facebook Ireland would have been responsible for handling user data in the E.U. [...].
But because Facebook U.S. is located outside of the E.U., German data protection laws can apply, she added.
As the Higher Court of Berlin and Administrative Court of Appeals of the State of Schleswig-Holstein are equals, it is difficult to say which decision will prevail [...].
[TheIntercept] Snowden Documents Reveal Covert Surveillance and Pressure Tactics Aimed at WikiLeaks and Its Supporters
Top-secret documents from the National Security Agency and its British counterpart reveal for the first time how the governments of the United States and the United Kingdom targeted WikiLeaks and other activist groups with tactics ranging from covert surveillance to prosecution.
The efforts – detailed in documents provided previously by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden – included a broad campaign of international pressure aimed not only at WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, but at what the U.S. government calls “the human network that supports WikiLeaks.” The documents also contain internal discussions about targeting the file-sharing site Pirate Bay and hacktivist collectives such as Anonymous.
New leaked documents from whistleblower Edward Snowden reveal that the NSA authorized the monitoring of torrent sites including "malicious foreign actor" The Pirate Bay. The internal discussions further indicate that tracking people through multiple proxies is possible and suggest that once a release is made on Pirate Bay it's possible to go back over old traffic to see where it originated from.
Angela Merkel’s proposal to create a pan-European communications network is really a political stance and not something that will protect European citizens’ communications, Benjamin Sonntag, co-founder of La Quadrature du Net, told RT.
Benjamin Sonntag: […] So basically, if you look at the communication today between the European countries, they are already going between them and not through America. It’s almost a nonsense to ask for pan-European network. It’s already the case. […]
The only solution we can see, La Quadrature, to protect the communications of the European citizens will be to ask for less collaboration with NSA from their own services and ask their services to protect our citizens and to protect the companies in Europe from this mass surveillance. […]
[Fracturing the internet] could be done, it would need a great expanse of really impressive [anti-Constitutional] laws in every European country to be able to do that, and it will be certainly not happen unless the people are forced to understand the usual bulls**t about the fight against terrorism or whatsoever. Unless they do that, it will be clearly impossible in Europe because we have a lot of decentralized operators mainly.
[...] Viviane Reding, Vice-President of the European Commission, and EU Justice Commissioner, [...] said: [...] This is why I warn against bringing data protection to the [TTIP] trade talks. Data protection is not red tape or a tariff. It is a fundamental right and as such it is not negotiable. [...]
The European Parliament has no power to demand that data protection be removed from TTIP, so instead the [Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE)] committee committee wants to apply some pressure indirectly. [...]
However, the US has been adamant that data protection must be included in TTIP: that's because all the most powerful US Internet companies - Google, Microsoft, Facebook etc. - need it so that they can continue to take data about European citizens out of Europe and use it as they wish. They do this currently under the so-called Safe Harbour scheme, which is, in fact, not very safe for Europeans [...].