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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.

[Politico] The phone call that saved safe harbor

Negotiations were at a stalemate and running out of time. Officials from the European Union and America could not break through a couple roadblocks to forge an agreement to give legal cover for companies to transfer data across the Atlantic. The official January 31 deadline had already passed. [...]

EU sources say the Americans didn’t use the Paris attacks to push the Europeans to back down on safe harbor.

And by all accounts the EU’s line also remained firm: Terrorists or no, Europeans’ right to privacy and the European Court of Justice’s ruling weren’t going anywhere. [...]

The Judicial Redress Act finally passed the Judiciary Committee on January 28. But an amendment by Senator John Cornyn made the privacy protections in the bill conditional on the Europeans signing on to a new safe harbor deal. [...]

The Article 29 Working Party met in Brussels on February 2 and 3 to discuss their next steps. With nothing on paper to look at, the DPAs adopted a wait-and-see approach. The Commission promised to deliver the full text of the agreement by the end of February. In late March, the authorities will meet again to decide if the shield is strong enough. [...]

[Wired] It's Been 20 Years Since This Man Declared Cyberspace Independence

When digital dystopians and critics of Internet libertarians need a rhetorical dart board, they often pull out a document written by John Perry Barlow, co-founder of the nonprofit Electronic Frontier Foundation, a former cattle rancher and Grateful Dead lyricist. On this day in 1996, Barlow sat down in front of a clunky Apple laptop and typed out one very controversial email, now known as the “Declaration of Independence of Cyberspace,” a manifesto with a simple message: Governments don’t—and can’t—govern the Internet. [...]

In essence, Barlow argues that the arc of the Internet’s history is long, but bends towards independence. His strongest example, perhaps, is found in the copyright wars: Yes, Napster and Megaupload can be sued into oblivion or shut down. But the file-sharing protocol bittorrent has thrived in spite of Hollywood and the recording industry’s best efforts. “I said this whole notion of property [in cyberspace] is going to get hammered,” Barlow says. “It has been hammered.

Barlow admits that what he describes as the “immune system” of the Internet isn’t exactly automatic. It requires effort on the part of activists like himself. “It wasn’t a slam dunk and it isn’t now. I wouldn’t have started the EFF and the Freedom of the Press Foundation” if it were, he says. But he nonetheless believes that there is a kind of inexorable direction of the Internet’s political influence toward individual liberty. [...]

[TheIntercept] NSA Chief Stakes Out Pro-Encryption Position, in Contrast to FBI

National Security Agency Director Adm. Mike Rogers said Thursday that “encryption is foundational to the future,” and arguing about it is a waste of time. [...]

[T]echnologists pretty much universally agree that creating some sort of special third-party access would weaken encryption to the point that it would threaten every internet transaction we make, from online banking to filling out our health records to emailing our friends and significant others. A hole in encryption for special FBI access would be a hole that criminals could sneak through, too. [...]

The White House has decided not to pursue legislation to outlaw unbreakable end-to-end encryption, following pressure from privacy advocates and scientists. But the intelligence community’s top lawyer, Bob Litt, privately advised the administration that a major terrorist attack could be an opportune moment to do so.
And the White House has not issued a statement in defense of encryption [...] Meanwhile, Sens. Richard Burr, R-N.C., and Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., are reportedly planning their own proposed legislation to require law enforcement access. [...]

[TheGuardian] Shari Steele on online anonymity: Tor staff are 'freedom fighters'

Steele comes to Tor after 15 years as executive director of the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), an organization she joined as a staff lawyer in 1992 shortly after it was founded. [...]

Perhaps most significantly, it was her decision, as head of the EFF in 2004, to take Tor under the foundation’s wing that is the reason Tor exists in its current shape today, according to Roger Dingledine, who helped found the Tor Project in 2006. Steele won’t take the credit for that decision, but it earned her the loyalty of Tor staff and devotees. [...]

Earlier in 2015, assistant attorney general of the Justice Department Leslie Caldwell told Washington’s State of the Net conference that as much as 80% of the traffic on Tor involves child abuse material.

Wired immediately said the statistic was wrong; Caldwell was misrepresenting research that had found that 80% of hidden traffic involved child abuse, not 80% of all Tor traffic. Hidden sites account for around 2% of all Tor traffic. [...]

Steele describes the people who work on Tor as “freedom fighters”. “The people who are working on the Tor project are doing it because they care desperately about the technology and they care desperately about what the technology means to the world,” said Steele. [...]

[TheGuardian] Privacy watchdog attacks snooper's charter over encryption

Information commissioner warns encryption ‘is vital’ for personal security, and attempts to weaken it should not be in new investigatory powers bill.

The information commissioner’s office has heavily criticised the draft Investigatory Powers bill for attacking individuals’ privacy, particularly in relation to the apparent requirement on communication providers to weaken or break their data encryption at the government’s request.

The privacy watchdog also told the parliamentary committee responsible for scrutinising the bill that “little justification” was given for one of the most controversial aspects of the proposed legislation: a new requirement on communications providers to store comms data for 12 months. [...]

For the most secure types of communication, known as “end to end” encryption, the communications provider cannot read encrypted messages even if they are served with a government warrant. Messaging providers including Apple, Facebook and Telegram all use this sort of encryption, but the draft IP bill suggests they could be forced by a government warrant to change to a weaker standard. [...]

The British government is not alone in moving against consumer use of encryption, however. In early January, an amendment was introduced into the French national assembly which sought to enforce similar requirements on equipment manufacturers to ensure that any information can be given to the police with a judicial warrant. [...]

And China introduced its own snooper’s charter in December, with a bill requiring tech companies to decrypt messages at the government’s request.

[TheGuardian] 'Snooper's charter' will cost British lives, MPs are warned

Former NSA security chief-turned-whistleblower says plan for bulk collection of communications data is ‘99% useless’ [...] The “snooper’s charter” legislation extending the mass surveillance powers of the intelligence agencies will “cost lives in Britain”, a former US security chief has warned MPs and peers. [...]

The former NSA director testified that while targeted data collection operations could help prevent terror attacks, “overcollection” of mass data undermined security and had consistently cost lives because of this “analysis paralysis”.
Binney told MPs that the 9/11 attacks on the US could have been prevented if the NSA had filtered the relevant data and not attempted to collect everything.[...]

At the same time, it reduces the privacy burden affecting the large number of innocent and suspicion-free persons whose communications are accessible to our systems.” [...]

[TheGuardian] Former Guantánamo detainee speaks to hacker conference by video link

Moazzam Begg stresses the importance of encryption programs while convert Cerie Bullivant says ‘Muslims are the canaries in the mine’ of civil liberties [...]

Moazzam Begg, the former Guantánamo Bay detainee, was unable to address Europe’s largest hacker convention in person because the British government confiscated his passport. The British Pakistani who spent two years at the US detention facility – but who has been declared not guilty of terrorism charges – spoke to the event by video link, urging developers to continue building free software encryption tools for political resistance. [...]

This is what is so important about encryption programs. It isn’t because we have anything to hide. It is because we have experience of those people who are mastered in the arts of torture and abuse. Any of the information that they can use and get a hold of about you, they will use against you,” said Begg. [...]

[France24] Are French civil liberties another victim of Paris attacks?

In the wake of the terrorist attacks in Paris, France has enacted a three-month state of emergency, widening the powers of police and security agencies. It has done so with relatively little public debate about the deterioration of civil liberties. [...]

The change in legislation effectively means that France will be in a state of emergency in December when voters cast ballots in regional elections. It also doubles-down on a law granting French authorities sweeping powers to eavesdrop on Internet and mobile phone users that was adopted as recently as June. [...]

Police have banned public gatherings and marches in Paris citing ongoing security concerns. Last week officials formally put the brakes on two so-called “citizen marches” in Paris meant to coincide with the start and the closure of the upcoming UN climate summit. More recently, authorities called off a rally in support of refugees in central Paris on Sunday. [...]

[Arstechnica] It’s illegal to make private copies of music in the UK—again

You're also forbidden from format-shifting or uploading to the cloud. [...]

The UK's new private copying exception had been in a state of legal limbo following a judicial review of the legislation in June, which had been sought by the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors, the Musicians’ Union, and UK Music. In his review, the High Court judge mostly found in favour of the UK government, except for one crucial aspect. He said the UK government's decision to bring in the new copyright exception was "flawed" because "the evidence relied upon to justify the conclusion about harm was inadequate/manifestly inadequate." [...]

In other words, killing the personal copying exception will bring the music industry very little financial benefit, while turning the UK public into scofflaws for making backup copies, format-shifting or uploading music to the cloud. And as The 1709 Blog points out, it's not as if the music industry is going to use the fact that the exception has been withdrawn to pursue anyone caught doing any of these things: "I think it is fair to say that they will, privately, continue with their old policy of not seeking to sue or prosecute anyone for personal format shifting. To do otherwise would undoubtedly alienate the buying public and strengthen the argument that the record labels are out of touch with what music fans want." [...]

[WashingtonPost] These 3 judges hold the fate of the Internet in their hands

Next week, a federal appeals court in Washington will hear one of its biggest cases of the year, one whose outcome will directly affect how Internet providers can alter your experience online.

At stake are the government's net neutrality rules banning telecom and cable companies from unfairly discriminating against new or potential rivals. Using their power in the marketplace to control what services consumers can access from their smartphones, tablets and PCs, Internet providers could be granted more latitude to favor preferred Web sites — if the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit says so. [...]

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