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The press review catalogues press articles related to la Quadrature's issues, compiled by its volunteers.
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[TheRegister] REVEALED: GCHQ's BEYOND TOP SECRET Middle Eastern INTERNET SPY BASE

Above-top-secret details of Britain’s covert surveillance programme - including the location of a clandestine British base tapping undersea cables in the Middle East - have so far remained secret, despite being leaked by fugitive NSA sysadmin Edward Snowden. Government pressure has meant that some media organisations, despite being in possession of these facts, have declined to reveal them. Today, however, the Register publishes them in full. [...]

The CIRCUIT installation at Seeb is regarded as particularly valuable by the British and Americans because it has direct access to nine submarine cables passing through the Gulf and entering the Red Sea. All of the messages and data passed back and forth on the cables is copied into giant computer storage “buffers”, and then sifted for data of special interest. [...]

It was this which lay behind the British government’s successful-until-today efforts to silence the Guardian and the rest of the media on the ultra-classified, beyond Top Secret specifics of Project TEMPORA - the places and names behind the codewords CIRCUIT, TIMPANI, CLARINET, REMEDY and GERONTIC. ®

http://www.theregister.co.uk/Print/2014/06/03/revealed_beyond_top_secret...

[BoingBoing] It's not Net Neutrality that's at stake, it's Cable Company Fuckery

John Oliver was incandescent on the subject of Net Neutrality, Time Warner and Comcast on Saturday, and he has a new, less-boring term for Net Neutrality: "Cable Company Fuckery." This is not only brilliant, it's hilarious. John Oliver is a perfect blend of Jon Stewart and Charlie Brooker. A reminder: you can reach out and touch the FCC on the subject of Cable Company Fuckery, and EFF can explain how to do it. [...]

On Internet Fast Lanes: “If we let cable companies offer two speeds of service, they won’t be Usain Bolt and Usain Bolt on a motorbike. They’ll be Usain Bolt and Usain Bolted-to-an-anchor.” [...]

On the Appointment of Former Cable/Wireless Industry Front Man Tom Wheeler As FCC Chair: “The guy who used to run the cable industry’s lobbying arm is now running the agency tasked with regulating it. That is the equivalent of needing a babysitter and hiring a dingo.” [...]

http://boingboing.net/2014/06/02/its-not-net-neutrality-that.html

[TechCrunch] Orange Gives All Of Its Data To France's NSA

Orange has been cooperating allegedly illegally for years with France’s main intelligence agency (the DGSE). According to a newly found report by Edward Snowden and an investigation by Le Monde, the DGSE was given access to all of Orange’s data (not just metadata). [...]

Orange employees help the DGSE create and develop new tools to collect and analyze data. Contrarily to PRISM, it’s not just an agreement between the government and big Internet companies, it’s an implicit “joint venture” that has been going on for around 30 years. [...]

http://techcrunch.com/2014/03/20/orange-gives-all-of-its-data-to-frances...

[NYTimes] N.S.A. Collecting Millions of Faces From Web Images

The National Security Agency is harvesting huge numbers of images of people from communications that it intercepts through its global surveillance operations for use in sophisticated facial recognition programs, according to top-secret documents. [...]

The agency intercepts “millions of images per day” — including about 55,000 “facial recognition quality images” — which translate into “tremendous untapped potential,” according to 2011 documents obtained from the former agency contractor Edward J. Snowden. While once focused on written and oral communications, the N.S.A. now considers facial images, fingerprints and other identifiers just as important to its mission of tracking suspected terrorists and other intelligence targets, the documents show. [...]

Civil-liberties advocates and other critics are concerned that the power of the improving technology, used by government and industry, could erode privacy. “Facial recognition can be very invasive,” said Alessandro Acquisti, a researcher on facial recognition technology at Carnegie Mellon University. “There are still technical limitations on it, but the computational power keeps growing, and the databases keep growing, and the algorithms keep improving.” [...]

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/06/01/us/nsa-collecting-millions-of-faces-fr...

[EFF] EFF to Court: There's No Doubt the Government Destroyed NSA Spying Evidence

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) told a federal court today that there was no doubt that the government has destroyed years of evidence of NSA spying – the government itself has admitted to it in recent court filings. In a brief filed today in response to this illegal destruction, EFF is asking that the court make an "adverse inference" that the destroyed evidence would show that plaintiffs communications and records were in fact swept up in the mass NSA spying programs. [...]

"EFF and our clients have always had the same simple claim: the government's mass, warrantless surveillance violates the rights of all Americans and must be stopped. The surveillance was warrantless under the executive's authority and it is still warrantless under the FISA court, as those orders are plainly not warrants." said Cohn. "The government's attempt to limit our claims based upon their secret, shifting rationales is nothing short of outrageous, and their clandestine decision to destroy evidence under this flimsy argument is rightly sanctionable. Nevertheless, we are simply asking the court to ensure that we are not harmed by the government's now-admitted destruction of this evidence." [...]

https://www.eff.org/press/releases/eff-court-theres-no-doubt-government-...

[TheIntercept] Data Pirates of the Caribbean: The NSA Is Recording Every Cell Phone Call in the Bahamas

According to documents provided by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, the surveillance is part of a top-secret system — code-named SOMALGET — that was implemented without the knowledge or consent of the Bahamian government. Instead, the agency appears to have used access legally obtained in cooperation with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration to open a backdoor to the country’s cellular telephone network, enabling it to covertly record and store the “full-take audio” of every mobile call made to, from and within the Bahamas — and to replay those calls for up to a month. […]

By targeting the Bahamas’ entire mobile network, the NSA is intentionally collecting and retaining intelligence on millions of people who have not been accused of any crime or terrorist activity. Nearly five million Americans visit the country each year, and many prominent U.S. citizens keep homes there, including Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), Bill Gates, and Oprah Winfrey. […]

https://firstlook.org/theintercept/article/2014/05/19/data-pirates-carib...

[NyTimes] E.U. Debates Which Nation Will Regulate Web Privacy

The new European Parliament that was voted into office over the weekend, despite having a different political makeup, is widely expected to reach a final agreement this year on stricter online privacy rules that have long been in the works. [...]

The legislation is expected to be completed in the first half of next year. It has gained momentum since the revelations from Edward J. Snowden, the former National Security Agency contractor, about the spying activities of American and British intelligence agencies. Before the rules go into effect, though, each country in the union must reach a final agreement with the European Commission, the union’s executive arm, and the European Parliament. [...]

Industry groups have raised fears that the new laws would add extra costs, because companies must explicitly tell consumers on a regular basis how their data is used, and limit what information is sent to countries that do not comply with Europe’s privacy rules. Yet companies have supported giving one regulator sole control over interpreting European rules. That, they say, adds regulatory certainty because companies will be responsible to just one authority across the region. [...]

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/05/27/technology/with-european-data-rules-co...

[FinancialTimes] The threat facing online comments

One of the great questions for the future of the net is: to what extent this extraordinary freedom will be allowed to remain in the hands of the people, and to what extent will it be limited and regulated? If a recent ruling by the European Court of Human Rights is anything to go by, perhaps we should expect more of the latter. [...]

For Eric Barendt, Goodman Professor of Media Law at University College London from 1990 until 2010, the ruling doesn’t adequately balance freedom of speech against an individual’s right to protect his or her reputation. “I wouldn’t stick my neck out to say the ECtHR’s judgment was ridiculous,” he tells me, “but I know many people who would. How bizarre that this case could be the straw that breaks the camel’s back.”

The judgment will not only affect whistleblowers, says Aidan Eardley, a London-based barrister specialising in data protection and media-related human rights law. “It’s also bad news for people who want to comment about sensitive personal issues such as domestic abuse, sexual identity, religious persecution, etc.” [...]

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/2/9c0cf256-e197-11e3-b7c4-00144feabdc0.html

[ComputerworldUK] TTIP Update XXVI

This is probably the most action-packed update so far - a reflection of the fact that we are now deep in the TAFTA/TTIP negotiations, which have been running for nearly a year. Of course, information about what exactly is happening behind the closed doors is still thin on the ground. To its credit, the European Commission has recently published its negotiating positions in five areas: chemicals, cosmetics, pharmaceutical products, motor vehicles, textiles and clothing. Significantly, though, it did not publish its proposals for energy. That's because they are far more contentious than for those other sectors. [...]

That's a key point: by its own admission, most of TTIP's possible gains will come in the regulatory sphere; regulations are about want kind of society we want to live - what the rules are. Changing those behind closed doors is simply subverting basic democratic principles. [...]

http://blogs.computerworlduk.com/open-enterprise/2014/05/ttip-update-xxv...

[Dailydot] These companies spend the most money to kill net neutrality

With the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) decision to move forward with a controversial proposal that threatens net neutrality and the open Internet, lobbying activity looks like it has reached a fevered pitch. But for the companies involved—especially the telecom companies that are eager to be allowed to charge more for a “fast lane” of Internet service—lobbying has been at a fevered pitch for almost a decade.

To better understand the lobbying dynamics around net neutrality, we took the long view and tallied up the 20 lobbying organizations that mentioned “net neutrality” or “network neutrality” most often in their lobbying reports between 2005 and 2013. [...] The top pro-neutrality organizations filed 176 lobbying reports mentioning net neutrality. But the top anti-neutrality organizations far outpaced them, filing 472 reports that mentioned net neutrality. That’s a 2.7-to-1 ratio. [...]

The five most active organizations on the issue since 2005—Verizon, AT&T, Comcast, the National Cable and Telecommunications Association and the National Music Publishers Association—are all opposed to neutrality. Verizon and AT&T are heads and shoulders above everyone else, each with an estimated 119 reports mentioning net neutrality. [...]

http://www.dailydot.com/politics/lobbyists-net-neutrality-fcc/

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