Press review

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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.

[TheRegister] US government fines Intel's Wind River over crypto exports

The US Government has imposed a $750,000 fine on an Intel subsidiary for exporting encryption to China, Russia, Israel and other countries. [...]

Senior FBI and US government law officers have repeatedly complained over recent weeks about plans by Apple and Google to incorporate enhanced security into smartphones. Now, as Techdirt notes, the conflict between government regulation and the tech industry is moving onto the renal original turf of the first crypto wars of the late 90s - the export of strong encryption.

Strong cryptography was classified as a weapon and subject to export controls back in the 90s. This approach fell into disfavour for several good reasons that are even more relevant today than they were 20 years ago.

[Blogs.Wsj] Rip It Up and Start Again: The Plan For EU Telecoms Legislation?

The new European Commission looks like it could seriously change direction in some policy areas, according to a letter sent from new commission president Jean-Claude Juncker [...] including a major reworking of the Digital Single Market package, the EU’s proposed overhaul of European telecommunication rules. The letter, a copy of which has been seen by Real Time Brussels, says:

“You are also invited to examine all pending proposals in your area and to signal those which we should review together, for example because they have no realistic chance of being adopted in the near future, or because the degree of ambition achievable does not match the objectives sought.” [...]

In any case, telecoms executives are sounding like it’s Christmas come early. They have long been lobbying for regulatory changes — such as eased merger rules and “a level playing field” between telecoms companies and so-called over-the-top operators like Google, Apple and Facebook [...]

[Gigaom] EU net neutrality law, almost a done deal, may face restart

Back in April, the European Parliament approved [...] telecommunications reforms that would bring in net neutrality [...]. This “Telecom Package” is currently approaching its final hurdle – approval by EU member states, who are negotiating it with the new European Commission – but it now looks like the Commission is about to hit rewind or worse.

[...] The Wall Street Journal reported Friday that it has seen a “working document” sent by new European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker to the various commissioners that indicates a potential revamp of not-yet-finalized laws, which would include the Telecom Package. [...]

An annex to the letter recommends “a major new initiative” called the “Digital Single Market (DSM) Package.”

[TheGuardian] UK ISPs to introduce jihadi and terror content reporting button

BT, Virgin, Sky and Talk Talk all sign up for online initiative following intervention from Downing Street. […]

The UK’s major Internet service providers – BT, Virgin, Sky and Talk Talk – have this week committed to host a public reporting button for terrorist material online, similar to the reporting button which allows the public to report child sexual exploitation. […]

The UK is the only country in the world with a Counter Terrorism Internet Referral Unit (CITRU) - a 24/7 law enforcement unit, based in the Met, dedicated to identifying and taking down extreme graphic material as well as material that glorifies, incites and radicalises. […]

In an average week the unit is removing over 1,000 pieces of content that breaches the Terrorism Act 2006. Approximately 800 of these are Syria/Iraq related and posted on multiple platforms. […]

[PcWorld] German spy agency seeks millions to monitor social networks outside Germany

Germany’s foreign intelligence agency reportedly wants to spend €300 million (about US$375 million) in the next five years on technology that would let it spy in real time on social networks outside of Germany, and decrypt and monitor encrypted Internet traffic. […]

The system for real time social network monitoring is still in the construction phase. But a prototype is expected to be launched next June with the aim of monitoring publicly available data on Twitter and blogs. The program should filter out and discard data in the German language. […]

[Mediapart] France's new internet anti-terror law branded "ineffective" and "dangerous"

The French Parliament this week formally adopted a new anti-terrorism law, part of which aims to stop terrorists using the internet to attract recruits and plot attacks. It will allow the authorities to block websites that “condone terrorism” and will create a new offence of “individual terrorist enterprise”. One key objective is to stop the “preparation” of attacks via the web. The government, which has rushed these measures through, says they are needed to combat the growing use of the internet and social media by terror groups and in particular to tackle the threat of so-called “lone wolf” terrorists operating in France and elsewhere. But civil liberties groups, judges and the state body that oversees the impact of digital technology have condemned the law as an attack on freedom, ineffective and unworkable. Jérôme Hourdeaux details the new measures. […]

The internet freedom campaign group Quadrature du net has meanwhile attacked the law as “harmful ... dangerous ... and intrusive”. The group's co-founder Philippe Aigrain said: “Democratic states harming fundamental rights by adopting ineffective measures in the name of fighting the glorification of terrorism is exactly what the terror groups are looking for.” […]

However, in a joint MP-Senate committee examining the text, parliamentarians added a new element that could also turn an internet user into a potential terrorist, namely “the fact of producing, transporting, distributing by whatever means and by whatever medium” a message inciting terrorism and which might be “susceptible of being seen or received by a minor”. This measure directly targets social networks and the practice of re-tweeting on Twitter or sharing items on Facebook. […]

[ES][Pagina12] En la era de la democracia digital

Hoy acecha el espionaje masivo de las agencias de seguridad, el robo sistemático de los datos en las redes sociales y la radiografía permanente de nuestros actos y costumbres. […]

Jérémie Zimmermann, el animador del grupo francés La Quadrature du Net y coautor, junto a Jacob Appelbaum y Andy Müller, del libro de Julian Assange Cyberpunks advierte: “Hay que comprender que estamos asistiendo a la aparición y a la difusión masiva de una tecnología antisocial y anticiudadana”. Frente a esta amenaza polifónica surgió como respuesta una nueva forma de resistencia que consta de tres ramas que terminaron por unirse en un naciente movimiento político. Son, a su manera, los nuevos apóstoles de la transparencia de los Estados, un contrapoder que creció, en parte, en el corazón del poder: se trata, por un lado, de los antiguos militares, diplomáticos y agentes secretos norteamericanos o británicos, de los especialistas de la seguridad informática, de los funcionarios o empleados de las multinacionales. A ellos se les sumaron hombres como Julian Assange o Edward Snowden y una galaxia de jóvenes compuesta por hackers, militantes por los derechos cívicos y los derechos humanos en Internet, abogados, militantes por la privacidad de la red y una Internet libre, neutra y humanista. […]

Filtradores hay muchos más, pero la novedad radica en lo que produjo el caso Snowden. Se trata de una convergencia entre todos hacia la defensa global de la democracia digital y la otra. Como lo recuerda el francés Jeremy Zimmermann, “en la intimidad emerge de nuestras conciencias lo que define nuestra individualidad, nuestra identidad. Eso es justamente lo que está amenazado cuando nos espían”. Zimmermann es un genuino representante de la nueva generación que se alió con los antiguos filtradores y los más recientes. Este link pasa por tres capitales: Londres, Berlín y París. Londres, porque allí está Assange; París, porque el grupo de Zimmermann, la Quadrature du Net, es híper activo y Berlín porque allí fueron a exiliarse varios jóvenes que trabajaron en el entorno de Assange y Edward Snowden. […]

[Arstechnica] Cops' use of facial recognition technology expands north of the border

The article writes that the use of facial technology by law enforcement is spreading fast, but that there are many doubts about its effectiveness and how public bodies will use the information gathered.

Privacy advocated, it writes, "remain concerned that facial recognition technology will become deployed too widely, too fast, and with too few restrictions as to how and where the facial data is kept."

As an example, the article points out that "Vigilant Solutions, the California company that maintains the [US'] nation’s largest private license plate reader database announced last month a mobile app for police officers to scan license plates and faces with just the tap of a button."

[EUobserver] Belgian and French copyright laws ban photos of EP buildings

[...] The EU’s 2001 information society directive contains a clause that says photos of architectural projects in public spaces can be taken free of charge. [...] But the clause is optional. France, Belgium and Italy decided not to transpose it into national law. [...]

People can now take photos of the Eiffel tower during the day but not at night. This is because the architect has been dead so long that the copyright rules no longer apply. But they have since installed lights.

[TheGuardian] Spyware exports will need a licence under new EU rules

[...] Officially referred to as “intrusion software”, the software will now be included on the EU’s list of “dual use” items, defined as “goods, software and technology normally used for civilian purposes but which might have military applications or contribute to the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.”

The restriction means that companies will have to apply for a licence to export spyware, although it doesn’t affect the sale of the software within the UK. Inclusion on the dual-use list places the technology alongside nuclear reactors, ultra-high-resolution cameras, and rocket fuel. [...]

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