Press review about Privacy - Personal Data

[WashingtonPost] NSA collects millions of e-mail address books globally

The National Security Agency is harvesting hundreds of millions of contact lists from personal e-mail and instant messaging accounts around the world, many of them belonging to Americans, according to senior intelligence officials and top-secret documents provided by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden. […]

[Wired] Stallman: How Much Surveillance Can Democracy Withstand?

Editor’s Note: Given Richard Stallman’s longtime role in promoting software that respects user freedom (including GNU, which just turned 30), his suggested “remedies” for all the ways technology can be re-designed to provide benefits while avoiding surveillance — like the smart meters example he shares below — seem particularly relevant.

[EurActiv] Big data pitches the EU against US government and corporates

The benefits of big data are being squashed under a steamroller of short-term corporate interests and the privacy abuses of security infrastructure, argues Joe McNamee. [...]

In the European Parliament, the vast majority of the approximately 4,000 amendments tabled by our representatives seek to add complexity, decrease predictability and undermine privacy rights. All the core elements of individuals' control of their own data are being attacked. [...]

[EUObserver] Hundreds of US companies make false data protection claims

Hundreds of US-based companies handling EU citizens' data have lied about belonging to a data protection arrangement known as the Safe Harbour Framework

Christopher Connolly, a director at Galexia, an Australian-based consulting company on internet law and privacy, told the European Parliament’s civil liberties committee on Monday (7 October) that “many claims of Safe Harbour membership are false.”. […]

[DW] 'Snowden's revelations had very little impact'

The EU plans to reform its data protection law. The new rules propose to include the right to be forgotten, and access to personal data. But crucial principles could be watered down by policymakers, Joe McNamee told DW. [...]

It's quite extraordinary how little impact those revelations1 have actually caused. There is a little bit of movement with regard to issues concerning export of data to third countries, in particular in respect to export to the US.

  • 1. Snowden's revelations.

[Motherboard] Jacob Appelbaum's Utopia

Jacob Appelbaum has been called the "most dangerous man in cyberspace". But he's not, and it's a tag that pisses him off. Because, in reality, Appelbaum is merely a renowned cyber-security expert who happens to be one of the developers for the Tor Project, a collaborator with WikiLeaks (he's co-authoring a book with Julian Assange), and a trusted confidante of Edward Snowden confidante Laura Poitras, with whom he's working on the NSA leaks for Der Spiegel. [...]

[TheGuardian] Russia to monitor 'all communications' at Winter Olympics in Sochi

nvestigation uncovers FSB surveillance system – branded 'Prism on steroids' – to listen to all athletes and visitors. [...]

[TheGuardian] GCHQ faces legal challenge in European court over online privacy

The UK spy agency GCHQ is facing a legal challenge in the European courts over claims that its mass online surveillance programmes have breached the privacy of tens of millions of people across the UK and Europe. […]

[TheGuardian] Email surveillance could reveal journalists' sources, expert claims

Phil Zimmermann, the creator of the email encryption software PGP, has warned that anyone who uses consumer email services needs to be aware of the threats of exposing their metadata to eavesdroppers. [...]

The US government insisted that that data was not private, but in aggregate it can build a detailed picture of people’s lives.

[NYTimes] N.S.A. Gathers Data on Social Connections of U.S. Citizens

Since 2010, the National Security Agency has been exploiting its huge collections of data to create sophisticated graphs of some Americans’ social connections that can identify their associates, their locations at certain times, their traveling companions and other personal information, according to newly disclosed documents and interviews with officials. [...]

[DeutscheWelle] 'EU citizens are not protected at all'

European Union citizens have no protection from NSA activities whatsoever, net activist Jérémie Zimmermann told DW - and he is backed up by a new report presented to the EU parliament.

[TheIndependent] After Edward Snowden's revelations about the NSA, what is the EU doing to ensure our online privacy?

What’s happened to Edward Snowden and his revelations about the National Security Agency’s surveillance programme? [...] Clearly the balance has tipped much too far in favour of default data gathering. So how do we move it back? [...]

[MotherJones] Here's How Twitter Can Track You on All of Your Devices

Facebook gets all the bad press, but the bigger threat to your online privacy these days might be your Twitter account. Twitter knows you much better than you may realize. And as it prepares for an IPO, it's taking steps that may allow it to profit from your data in ways that would provoke howls of protest were Mark Zuckerberg to try the same. [...]

[TheHindu] NSA targets Indian politics, space & n-programmes

The public assertions made by Indian and American officials that no content was taken from India’s internet and telephone networks by U.S.’s National Security Agency (NSA) and that the American surveillance programs just looked at “patterns of communication” as a counter-terrorism measure are far from the truth, if not outright misleading. [...]

[EurActiv] Edward Snowden nominated for EU human rights award

Edward Snowden was nominated by the Greens and GUE/NGL leftist groups in the European Parliament to receive the Sakharov Prize for freedom of thought, an idea that was first floated by a Swedish professor in August this year. [...]

“Edward Snowden has risked his freedom to help us protect ours and he deserves to be honoured for shedding light on the systematic infringements of civil liberties by US and European secret services," says the Greens/EFA in a statement.