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The press review catalogues press articles related to la Quadrature's issues, compiled by its volunteers.
See also our French press review.

[WashingtonPost] Obama administration opts not to force firms to decrypt data — for now

After months of deliberation, the Obama administration has made a long-awaited decision on the thorny issue of how to deal with encrypted communications: It will not — for now — call for legislation requiring companies to decode messages for law enforcement.

Rather, the administration will continue trying to persuade companies that have moved to encrypt their customers’ data to create a way for the government to still peer into people’s data when needed for criminal or terrorism investigations. [...]

[P]rivacy advocates are concerned that the administration’s definition of strong encryption also could include a system in which a company holds a decryption key or can retrieve unencrypted communications from its servers for law enforcement. [...]

To Amie Stepanovich, the U.S. policy manager for Access, [...] the status quo isn’t good enough. “It’s really crucial that even if the government is not pursuing legislation, it’s also not pursuing policies that will weaken security through other methods,” she said. [...]

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/obama-administrat...

[TheGuardian] GCHQ can monitor MPs' communications, court rules

MPs’ and peers’ private communications are not protected from interception by the so-called Wilson doctrine that was widely thought to provide special privileges for parliamentarians, according to a court ruling. [...]

Downing Street described the Wilson doctrine first expressed in 1966 as a political statement, without legal force, and pointed out that the intelligence agencies might be monitoring an individual who was in contact with an MP. [...]

Matthew Rice, of Privacy International, said: “Today’s tribunal ruling that MPs should have no special protection from having their communications intercepted, confirms what Privacy International have been arguing for a long time: mass surveillance affects us all.”

Anyone who has exchanged emails with their MP about a sensitive matter should be aware that government snoopers may have access to this personal information. From charity workers to politicians, lawyers to refugees, it is of great concern that the UK’s surveillance regime cannot function without interfering with everyone’s right to privacy, regardless of their need for professional confidentiality.”

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/oct/14/gchq-monitor-communications...

[Arstechnica] Fallout from EU-US Safe Harbor ruling will be dramatic and far-reaching

Article that summarises the effects of the CJEU (Court of Justice of the European Union) on the Safe Harbour agreement. In particular, it points out that since the court makes appeal to the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights, any future agreements, in particular TTIP (TAFTA) or TISA, would have to take these into consideration.

http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2015/10/fallout-from-eu-us-safe-harbo...

[WallStreetJournal] Facebook Goes On Privacy Offensive in Europe

Facebook Inc. is gearing up to fight a cascade of privacy investigations in Europe, arguing that regulators are overreaching in ways that could hurt the social network’s ability to protect users against hacking and fraud. [...]

The two sides dispute whether the process is necessary for Facebook’s security. The firm says it uses the information from that cookie only to weed out browsers being piloted by a machine rather than a human, and discards the browsing data after 10 days. Machine-driven browsers are often used to hack into users’ Facebook pages, the company says. [...]

Belgium’s privacy commission however, says the cookie isn’t necessary to protect users. A spokeswoman declined to provide further details but referred instead to a research report which it commissioned that found Facebook was violating European privacy law. Facebook has disputed those conclusions.

http://www.wsj.com/article_email/facebook-goes-on-privacy-offensive-in-e...

[ABC] Majority of ISPs not ready for metadata laws that come into force today

The vast majority of Australian internet service providers (ISPs) are not ready to start collecting and storing metadata as required under the country's data retention laws which come into effect today. [...]

"The way that the legislation is drafted doesn't provide us with all of the detail about what exactly is required in all of their services.
There are a thousand different nuances that I've seen flying around as to what needs to be retained in respect of a particular service
" [...]

Internet Australia, an organisation that represents internet users and also smaller ISPs, has called for an immediate review of the metadata laws. [...]

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-10-13/majority-of-isps-not-ready-to-star...

[TheIntercept] The NSA's Secret Role in the U.S. Assassination Program

The National Security Agency is using complex analysis of electronic surveillance, rather than human intelligence, as the primary method to locate targets for lethal drone strikes – an unreliable tactic that results in the deaths of innocent or unidentified people. [...]

[T]he NSA often locates drone targets by analyzing the activity of a SIM card, rather than the actual content of the calls. Based on his experience, he has come to believe that the drone program amounts to little more than death by unreliable metadata. [...]

The Bureau of Investigative Journalism, which uses a conservative methodology to track drone strikes, estimates that at least 273 civilians in Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia have been killed by unmanned aerial assaults under the Obama administration. [...]

There is a saying at the NSA: ‘SIGINT never lies.’ It may be true that SIGINT never lies, but it’s subject to human error.” [...]

Whether or not Obama is fully aware of the errors built into the program of targeted assassination, he and his top advisors have repeatedly made clear that the president himself directly oversees the drone operation and takes full responsibility for it. Obama once reportedly told his aides that it “turns out I’m really good at killing people.” [...]

https://theintercept.com/2014/02/10/the-nsas-secret-role/

[TheGuardian] GCHQ spied on Amnesty International, tribunal tells group in email


The government’s electronic eavesdropping agency GCHQ spied illegally on Amnesty International, according to the tribunal responsible for handling complaints against the intelligence services. [...]

Responding to the revelation, Salil Shetty, Amnesty International’s secretary general, said: “It’s outrageous that what has been often presented as being the domain of despotic rulers has been done on British soil, by the British government. [...]

“After 18 months of litigation and all the denials and subterfuge that entailed, we now have confirmation that we were in fact subjected to UK government mass surveillance. The revelation that the UK government has been spying on Amnesty International highlights the gross inadequacies in the UK’s surveillance legislation.

“If they hadn’t stored our communications for longer than they were allowed to, we would never even have known. What’s worse, this would have been considered perfectly lawful.” [...]

The organisation is calling for an independent inquiry into how and why a UK intelligence agency has been spying on human rights organisations. [...]

http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2015/jul/01/gchq-spied-amnesty-intern...

[BBC] Edward Snowden interview: 'Smartphones can be taken over'

Smartphone users can do "very little" to stop security services getting "total control" over their devices, US whistleblower Edward Snowden has said. [...]

Mr Snowden talked about GCHQ's "Smurf Suite", a collection of secret intercept capabilities individually named after the little blue imps of Belgian cartoon fame. [...]

Once GCHQ had gained access to a user's handset, Mr Snowden said the agency would be able to see "who you call, what you've texted, the things you've browsed, the list of your contacts, the places you've been, the wireless networks that your phone is associated with. [...]

The NSA is understood to have a similar programme to the Smurf Suite used by GCHQ on which it is reported to have spent $1bn in response to terrorists' increasing use of smartphones.
Mr Snowden said the agencies were targeting those suspected of involvement in terrorism or other serious crimes such as paedophilia "but to find out who those targets are they've got to collect mass data". [...]

http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-34444233

[Netzpolitik] Strategic Initiative Technology: We Unveil the BND Plans to Upgrade its Surveillance Technology for 300 Million Euros


Fiberglass tapping, real-time Internet traffic analysis, encryption cracking, computer hacking: Germany’s foreign intelligence agency Bundesnachrichtendienst is massively expanding its Internet surveillance capabilities. [...]

The BND now wants to be able to perform wiretapping on its own. The Snowden revelations about skills and financial resources of the Five-Eyes Intelligence Services aren’t seen as a warning but rather transformed into a wish-list for the BND: The German agency wants to play „on an equal level with the western partner services“ [...]

According to BND head of department Pauland, who testified before the parliamentary investigatory committee, the interception of „routine traffic“ is causing almost 50 per cent of notifications – in other words, the so-called groundless mass surveillance of entire channels of communication, such as entire fibreglass lines. This field is now going to be expanded and modernised. [...]

Despite the fact that the BND already massively wiretaps Internet communication from fibre optic cable lines at (at least) twelve different locations, another such „measure in intelligence gathering“ was scheduled to start in 2014. [...]

https://netzpolitik.org/2015/strategic-initiative-technology-how-bnd-wan...

[Telegraph] EU's data sharing deal with US is invalid, European Court's Advocate-General says

15-year-old 'Safe Harbour' agreement between the US and EU should not stop data transfers being suspended, legal counsel says. [...]

It marks a major departure from the “Safe Harbour” data sharing agreement between the European Commission, US and Switzerland reached in 2000, with potentially far-reaching consequences. While Wednesday's statement is only a recommendation, in practice, the Advocate-General is rarely overruled by the court. [...]

The ECJ can be expected to make a final decision in a few months’ time. If it agrees with the Advocate General, it could have widespread consequences for how data is collected and used by American technology companies. [...]

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/internet/11884432/EUs-data-sharing...

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