The press review catalogues press articles related to la Quadrature's issues, compiled by its volunteers.
See also our French press review.
Campaigners have raised privacy concerns over a facial recognition database being developed by the FBI that could contain 52m images by 2015.
The civil liberties group Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) obtained information about the project through a freedom of information request. [...] The facial recognition database is part of the bureau's Next Generation Identification (NGI) programme which is a large biometric database being developed to replace the current Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System (IAFIS). [...]
"This means that even if you have never been arrested for a crime, if your employer requires you to submit a photo as part of your background check, your face image could be searched - and you could be implicated as a criminal suspect, just by virtue of having that image in the non-criminal file," said the EFF. [...]
[CorporateEurope] Still not loving ISDS: 10 reasons to oppose investors’ super-rights in EU trade deals
At the end of March, the European Commission launched a public consultation over its plan to enshrine far-reaching rights for foreign investors in the EU-US trade deal currently being negotiated. In the face of fierce opposition to these investor super-rights, the Commission is trying to convince the public that these do not endanger democracy and public policy. See through the sweet-talk with Corporate Europe Observatory’s guide to investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS). [...]
In January, in response to growing public concern over the proposed EU-US trade deal (Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, TTIP), the European Commission announced it was halting negotiations over the deal’s controversial investor rights to conduct a public consultation on the issue. This was an important success for the growing anti-TTIP movement, which is unanimously opposed to the corporate powers in the deal. [...]
Nonetheless, the consultation period does create space for real debate and pressure. And people in Europe should use this space to tell the Commission, as well as MEPs (especially in the run-up to the EU elections in May) and member states, to axe the extreme corporate rights once and for all – not only in the proposed transatlantic trade deal, but also in other international agreements under negotiation with countries such as Canada, China, Myanmar, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and Japan, for example. [...]
While AT&T, Comcast, and Verizon have argued -- with incredible message discipline -- that network neutrality is "a solution in search of a problem," that's simply not true.
There are many concrete examples of network neutrality violations around the world. These network neutrality violations include ISPs blocking websites and applications, ISPs discriminating in favor of some applications and against others, and ISPs charging arbitrary tolls on technology companies. [...]
Even in the U.S., there have been some major violations by small and large ISPs. These include:
*The largest ISP, Comcast, secretly interfering with peer-to-peer technologies, including some of the most popular basic technologies used to distribute online TV and music (2005-2008);
*A small telephone ISP called Madison River blocking Vonage, a company providing competing telephone service online (2005);
Glyn Moody considers a proposal described by Alan Cox on how to deal with the problem in open source code exemplified by the Heartbleed bug. A step to solving the problem, he writes, would be "that those providing software should accept liability for the problems it causes." Moreover, "only attach liability where money is involved", i.e. those charging money for software used, including those integrating open source code into their products, should be liable though the "people who write the code - even if they are paid for doing so - don't need to worry about being held personally responsible."
He quotes Simon Phipps: "Unlike pretty much any other kind of commercial venture, the deployers of software are able to disclaim all liability for harm caused by their code. Fix that, and the magic of market forces will fix everything else."
The Guardian and the Washington Post have been awarded the highest accolade in US journalism, winning the Pulitzer prize for public service for their groundbreaking articles on the National Security Agency’s surveillance activities based on the leaks of Edward Snowden. [...]
Snowden, in a statement, said: "Today's decision is a vindication for everyone who believes that the public has a role in government. We owe it to the efforts of the brave reporters and their colleagues who kept working in the face of extraordinary intimidation, including the forced destruction of journalistic materials, the inappropriate use of terrorism laws, and so many other means of pressure to get them to stop what the world now recognises was work of vital public importance." [...]
"We are truly honoured that our journalism has been recognised with the Pulitzer prize," said Alan Rusbridger, the editor-in-chief of the Guardian. "This was a complex story, written, edited and produced by a team of wonderful journalists. We are particularly grateful for our colleagues across the world who supported the Guardian in circumstances which threatened to stifle our reporting. And we share this honour, not only with our colleagues at the Washington Post, but also with Edward Snowden, who risked so much in the cause of the public service which has today been acknowledged by the award of this prestigious prize." [...]
Netflix's decision to pay Comcast for a direct connection to the Comcast network has resulted in significantly better video streaming performance for customers of the nation's largest broadband provider.
Netflix has bemoaned the payment, asking the government to prevent Comcast from demanding such interconnection "tolls."
[...] Comcast's increased speed allowed it to pass Time Warner Cable, Verizon, CenturyLink, AT&T U-verse, and others in Netflix's rankings. Comcast remains slower than Cablevision, Cox, Suddenlink, Charter, and Google Fiber.
According to Facebook’s latest transparency report, India and Turkey are the most frequent censors of the social network, blocking thousands of users’ content, while the US is the country that has requested most information about user accounts.
Between July and December 2013, Indian authorities censored 4,765 Facebook posts which allegedly violated Indian laws that forbid criticizing religions or the government. [...]
While India leads the world in total content blocked from users, Turkey came in a close second with 2,014 pieces of restricted material, most of which level criticism against the Turkish government, a practice which is against the law. Germany censored 84 pieces of user content that ran afoul of laws on promoting Neo-Nazi ideology, as did the authorities in France (80 restrictions) and Austria (78 restrictions).
Microsoft has been given the stamp of approval from Europe for data security. The Article 29 Working Party, which represents the 28 national data protection agencies across the European Union, has determined that Microsoft’s enterprise cloud contracts meet the standard for privacy protection set forth in Europe’s data protections regulations. [...]
He went on to note that should the EU suspend the Safe Harbor Agreement with the US, as called for recently by the European Parliament, Microsoft enterprise customers’ use of cloud services on a worldwide basis won’t be interrupted or curtailed. And, even if the Safe Harbor Agreement remains in place, it covers only transfers from Europe to the US. The Microsoft approved contractual commitments, by contrast, enable transfers globally. [...]
[...] It’s no surprise that a small bug would cause such huge problems. What’s amazing, however, is that the code that contained this bug was written by a team of four coders that has only one person contributing to it full-time. And yet Henson’s situation isn’t an unusual one. It points to a much larger problem with the design of the internet. Some of its most important pieces are controlled by just a handful of people, many of whom aren’t paid well — or aren’t paid at all. [...] We need a dedicated and well-funded engineering task force overseeing not just online encryption but many other parts of the net.
[...] Mozilla, maker of the Firefox browser, reported revenues of more than $300 million in 2012. But the OpenSSL Software Foundation, which raises money for the project’s software development, has never raised more than $1 million in a year; its developers have never all been in the same room. And it’s just one example. [...]
[Zeit] Sigmar Gabriel lehnt Investorenschutz im TTIP-Abkommen ab – und akzeptiert ihn im Freihandelsvertrag mit Kanada. Glaubt er, dass keiner den Doppelstandard bemerkt?
[...] Besonders beim umstrittenen Investorenschutz schafft die EU-Kommission mit großen Tempo Fakten. Ein offizielles Dokument der Kommission dazu liegt ZEIT ONLINE vor (siehe unten). Es belegt, dass die Ceta-Regeln schon in großen Teilen fertig ausgehandelt sind. Sollten sie in Kraft treten, werden kanadische Unternehmen künftig die EU oder Deutschland vor internationalen Schiedsgerichten verklagen können – und damit genau das tun, was die Bundesregierung im amerikanischen Fall ablehnt.