Revue de presse
The press review catalogues press articles related to la Quadrature's issues, compiled by its volunteers.
See also our French press review.
The end of the Canada-EU trade agreement (CETA) technical negotiations are “in sight” [...] EU Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht said Tuesday. [...]
[...] the EU’s position on ISDS [investor state disupte settlement] — which essentially allows investors to sue governments outside of domestic courts for unfair treatment — has evolved as a result of their Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) talks with the U.S.
And a European public consultation that ended on July 13 could ultimately result in its exclusion from TTIP. [...] The main concern in Europe appears to be that American corporations — as in NAFTA’s Chapter 11 — could use offices in Canada to file claims. [...] A TTIP exclusion, in other words, might not end up mattering; in many cases, American investors could use CETA, making its final outcome that much more important.
De Gucht addressed that Tuesday. [...] “We have been negotiating that agreement on the basis of a mandate that has been given to us by the Council of Ministers: a unanimous one. And as a result of that, ISDS is in that agreement,” [...].
[...] A new, extremely persistent type of online tracking is shadowing visitors to thousands of top websites, from WhiteHouse.gov to YouPorn.com. [...]
[It] works by instructing the visitor’s Web browser to draw a hidden image. Because each computer draws the image slightly differently, the images can be used to assign each user’s device a number that uniquely identifies it.
[...] They can’t be prevented by using standard Web browser privacy settings or using anti-tracking tools such as AdBlock Plus.
The researchers found canvas fingerprinting computer code [...] on 5 percent of the top 100,000 websites [...]
Controversial emergency laws will be introduced into the Commons next Monday to reinforce the powers of security services to require internet and phone companies to keep records of their customers' emails and calls. [...]
There will be no power to look at the content of phone calls, only location, date and the phone numbers. Government sources say they have been forced to act due to European court of justice ruling in April saying the current laws invaded individual privacy. The government says if there had been no new powers there would have been no obligation on phone and internet companies to keep records if there was a UK court challenge to the retention of data. [...]
Labour backbencher Tom Watson [...] added: "The government was aware of this ECJ ruling six weeks ago and what they are doing is railroading this through. No one in civil society has got a chance to be consulted." The shadow cabinet had not seen the proposals until this morning, he added.
The secretive British spy agency GCHQ has developed covert tools to seed the internet with false information, including the ability to manipulate the results of online polls, artificially inflate pageview counts on web sites, “amplif[y]” sanctioned messages on YouTube, and censor video content judged to be “extremist.” The capabilities, detailed in documents provided by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, even include an old standby for pre-adolescent prank callers everywhere: A way to connect two unsuspecting phone users together in a call.
The tools were created by GCHQ’s Joint Threat Research Intelligence Group (JTRIG), and constitute some of the most startling methods of propaganda and internet deception contained within the Snowden archive. Previously disclosed documents have detailed JTRIG’s use of “fake victim blog posts,” “false flag operations,” “honey traps” and psychological manipulation to target online activists, monitor visitors to WikiLeaks, and spy on YouTube and Facebook users. [...]
After weeks of broadcasting his intention to “name names” and publish the identities of specific Americans targeted by the NSA and FBI for surveillance, journalist Glenn Greenwald finally made good on his promise.
Greenwald spoke with WIRED prior to publication of his story late Tuesday night to talk about it. In the story, Greenwald and colleague Murtaza Hussein identified five Muslim-Americans whose email addresses appeared on a lengthy surveillance target list that NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden provided to Greenwald last year. The list included more than 7,000 email addresses, at least 200 of which were tagged by the government as being “U.S. persons.” In naming five of those on the list, it’s the first time that American targets of the government’s surveillance who were never arrested or accused of terrorist activity have been identified. [...]
“There’s a huge discrepancy between how American Muslims are treated and how non-Muslims are treated. Because there are so many similarly situated non-Muslims who have done as much, if not more, to end up on the list [but] who aren’t on the list.” [...]
Ordinary Internet users, American and non-American alike, far outnumber legally targeted foreigners in the communications intercepted by the National Security Agency from U.S. digital networks, according to a four-month investigation by The Washington Post. [...]
The surveillance files highlight a policy dilemma that has been aired only abstractly in public. There are discoveries of considerable intelligence value in the intercepted messages — and collateral harm to privacy on a scale that the Obama administration has not been willing to address. [...]
Many other files, described as useless by the analysts but nonetheless retained, have a startlingly intimate, even voyeuristic quality. They tell stories of love and heartbreak, illicit sexual liaisons, mental-health crises, political and religious conversions, financial anxieties and disappointed hopes. The daily lives of more than 10,000 account holders who were not targeted are catalogued and recorded nevertheless. [...]
Remember UK Prime Minister David Cameron's China Lite® web blockade, the one that was set up to keep British children from stumbling across Internet Pornography™ and other assorted subjectively objectionable material? While being ostensibly "for the children," the default settings (applied by ISPs at the request of the Foster State) are blocking a whole lot of non-porn. [...]
So, while the UK works hard to keep porn and piracy blocked, the blocking of actual technical threats (malware, phishing, etc.) to users' devices still remains completely optional and, in most cases, unimplemented. Compliance with the government's wishes has basically disappeared a full fifth of the most popular sites on the internet, of which pornography only contributes 4% of the total. [...]
One of the other problematic aspects is that the filtering system is actively being made worse in order to service a few choice industries. Adding corporate pressure to an already terrible idea is a recipe for full-blown disaster. [...]
[TechDirt] Eli Lilly Raises Stakes: Says Canada Now Owes It $500 Million For Not Granting A Patent It Wanted
A few months ago we wrote about the extraordinary -- and worrying -- case of Eli Lilly suing Canada after the latter had refused to grant a pharma patent. Eli Lilly's contention was that by failing to grant its patent (even if it didn't meet the criteria for a patent in Canada), Canada had "expropriated" Eli Lilly's property -- and that it should be paid $100 million as "compensation". [...]
This shows that the initial action was no one-off, and that if Eli Lilly's action succeeds, we can expect it and many other companies to avail themselves of this method of extracting money from the public purse, as provided for under NAFTA's investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) clauses.
What's troubling is that similar ISDS schemes are being negotiated for both TPP and TAFTA/TTIP. That will give corporations even more opportunities to sue nations for supposed "expropriation", and to challenge perfectly legitimate local laws that dare to stand in the way of bigger profits.
European Union citizens whose personal data is transmitted to U.S. law enforcement authorities could soon have the same legal protections as U.S. citizens, the European Commission said Wednesday. [...]
There are however more hurdles besides equality in judicial redress. The EU also seeks to ensure that data is only transferred for specified law enforcement purposes, and then processed in a way compatible with these purposes. Data of a victim of human trafficking for instance should not be dealt with in the same way as the data of a suspect of human trafficking.
In parallel, negotiations with the U.S. are ongoing to make the "safe harbor" agreement safer. The safe harbor framework gives U.S. companies the ability to process personal data from E.U. citizens while providing data protection as strong as required by EU legislation. [...]
[TechDirt] Why The European Commission's Consultation On Corporate Sovereignty Is A Sham (And How To Respond To It Anyway)
One measure of the resistance to the inclusion of corporate sovereignty provisions in TAFTA/TTIP is that the European Commission unexpectedly announced that it would be holding a three-month public consultation on this aspect in an attempt to defuse public anger. [...]
As the closing date of the consultation (6 July 2014) approaches, a number of organizations have put together handy guides to filling it in -- it's open to everyone, not just EU citizens. Here, for example, is the Answering Guide from EDRi (pdf), which helpfully explains what exactly the often opaque questions mean, then suggests a number of points you might like to mention in your reply. A new site with the self-explanatory name of "No 2 ISDS!" also runs through each question in turn, but offers rather more forthright suggestions [...]
This gives an indication of the quality and thoughtfulness of the responses that are currently being made to the corporate sovereignty consultation, and of the rich materials that citizens can draw upon in making their own comments. The European Commission certainly won't be able to claim that no one cares whether ISDS is included in TAFTA/TTIP -- the level of public interest in this previously obscure aspect of international trade law is unprecedented. Whether Karel De Gucht, the European Commissioner responsible for the negotiations on the EU side, is willing to take note of all the important points raised above and act on them, is quite another matter, though.