Archive | January, 2017

Sweden to label piracy »organized crime«?

Authorities in Sweden are mulling new measures to deal with evolving ‘pirate’ sites. As part of a legislative review, the government wants to assess potential legal tools, including categorizing large-scale infringement as organized crime, tougher sentences, domain seizures, and site-blocking.

TorrentFreak: Swedish Govt. Mulls Tougher Punishments to Tackle Pirate Sites »


Told you so

Do criticize and protest against president Trump. He deserves it.

But do not forget that you were warned against mass surveillance and other forms of Bigbrotherism long before Trump.

When people now react to the Trump-administrations ideas of having all who travel to the US to hand over social media information and cell phone contacts…

Miller also noted on Saturday that Trump administration officials are discussing the possibility of asking foreign visitors to disclose all websites and social media sites they visit, and to share the contacts in their cell phones. If the foreign visitor declines to share such information, he or she could be denied entry.

…they should remember that this is the brainchild of the Obama administration. Then it was voluntarily, but none the less.

A bad idea is a bad idea, whoever comes up with it. This should have been stopped in its tracks, from the beginning.

It’s not about liking or trusting a certain politician or a political party. It’s a matter of principle.

You should never give government tools for mass surveillance (or other tools that can be used to oppress the people) that wouldn’t be safe regardless of whose hands it ends up in.

Ignorance and partisanship brought us here.

And yet, we have no idea of how President Trump is going to use or abuse the powers of the CIA and the technical capabilities of the NSA.



Germany going after whistleblowers

EDRi observer Gesellschaft für Freiheitsrechte’s (GFF) most recent Constitutional Court case in Germany concerns an anti-whistleblowing provision threatening the freedom of the press. Part-time journalists and bloggers, as well as the legal or IT experts on which journalists rely, now risk a prison sentence of up to three years for handling “leaked” data. (…)

Prohibiting the trade in stolen data may make sense for stolen credit card information or login credentials. The new law, however, is so broadly worded that it also encompasses information “leaked” by whistleblowers, which is an obvious threat to the freedom of the press that systematically relies on such information. For example, under the new law, the documents leaked by Edward Snowden arguably can no longer be legally used on German soil.

EDRi » Germany: Fighting the anti-whistleblower provision »


Authorities: Regulate digital currencies

On January 16-18 in Doha, Qatar, a large group of representatives from the Basel Institute on Governance, Europol, Interpol, and authorities from Qatar met to discuss money laundering and digital currencies. The event, filled with investigators from all around the world, focused on ideas on how to tackle regulatory concerns tied to these emerging technologies.

Basel Institute: “Take Action Against Digital Currency Mixers/Tumblers” »


EU Data Protection – what about it?

How will EU data protection be noticed for ordinary people? Euronews puts the question to Jan Philipp Albrecht, Green member of the European Parliament from Germany.

The improvement in substance is that there’s far more transparency under the new rules, which means that you will have more detailed information policies about what your data are processed for, which purposes if they are given to others, and there will be also in general more possibilities to get a view of which data are there about you. And you have new rights like data portability and the right to be forgotten. So it will be far easier for consumers to control their personal data.

Euronews interview »


Trump executive order might freeze all transfer of personal data from the EU to the US

This is interesting. US President Trumps executive order on »public safety« directs all federal agencies to exclude non-US citizens / non-permanent residents from the Privacy Act protection from mass surveillance.

It is very unclear what this will lead to when it comes to transfer of European personal data to the US. Under the so-called EU-US Privacy Shield, such data shall enjoy adequate privacy protection. There is already criticism that the arrangements in this agreement are too weak. And today’s executive order might invalidate them altogether.

If so, there can be no transfer of personal data from the EU to the US. This would have far-reaching consequences for US companies, from e.g. retail business to social networks.

The EU Commission seems to hope for special US legislation related to the Privacy Shield. But the question is if the above executive order doesn’t trump any such schemes.


Update / more input:
• Techcrunch: Trump order strips privacy rights from non-U.S. citizens, could nix EU-US data flows »
• Engadget: Trump signs executive order stripping non-citizens of privacy rights »
• EU Observer: Trump’s anti-privacy order stirs EU angst »
• Techdirt: Already Under Attack In Top EU Court, Privacy Shield Framework For Transatlantic Data Flows Further Undermined By Trump »