Archive | Data Retention

No to (some) secret EU court proceedings

The European Court of Justice (ECJ) in Luxembourg today ruled in favour
of the German civil liberties activist and pirate party member Patrick
Breyer (Commission vs. Breyer, C-213/15 P): It ordered the Commission
to give the press and the public access to the pleadings exchanged in
completed court proceedings. In the present case Breyer successfully
demanded the Commission disclose Austrian pleadings concerning the
non-transposition of the controversial EU Data Retention Directive.
However the Court fined Breyer for publishing the written submissions in
his own case on his homepage.

Pirate Times: EU Court rules on transparency of EU justice »


UK Snoopers Charter to be challenged in court

It’s become clearer than ever in recent months that this law is not fit for purpose. The government doesn’t need to spy on the entire population to fight terrorism. All that does is undermine the very rights, freedoms and democracy terrorists seek to destroy.

The Register: Civil rights warriors get green light to challenge UK mass surveillance »


One wiretap order – 3.29 million calls intercepted

US authorities intercepted and recorded millions of phone calls last year under a single wiretap order, authorized as part of a narcotics investigation.

The wiretap order authorized an unknown government agency to carry out real-time intercepts of 3.29 million cell phone conversations over a two-month period at some point during 2016, after the order was applied for in late 2015.

ZDnet: With a single wiretap order, US authorities listened in on 3.3 million phone calls »


The real cost of free WiFi?

EU Observer:

The European Commission, Parliament and Council (representing member states) agreed on Monday to a €120-million plan to install free wi-fi services in 6,000 to 8,000 municipalities across the EU by 2020. The scheme had been proposed by EU commission president Jean-Claude Juncker last September. How the system will be funded will have to be discussed and agreed before local authorities can start applying to it.

How kind. I guess a lot of people will be happy. But there might be unintended and unwanted consequences.

First of all, there is no such thing as a free lunch. In the end, this is €129M that somehow, forcefully will be taken from taxpayers.

Second, there must be much merriment within various mass surveillance organizations. This will make controlling the people that much easier.

And if you read the parliaments statement, there is mention of a »single authentication system valid throughout the EU«. This will have huge privacy implications. Can we please have a discussion about this first?

Third, it usually doesn’t end well when politicians start to meddle with what is supposed to be a free market. Is this at all fair competition? What will the consequences be when it comes to developing better and quicker commercial connections?

Finally, communal WiFi run by your local bureaucracy. What can possibly go wrong? Will it even work? How will surplus metadata that you generate be used? By whom? Wich web pages will be blocked?



Big Brothers little helpers

“It’s like this perfect test case,” says Andrew Ferguson, a professor of law at the University of the District of Columbia. “Alexa is only one of the smart devices in that guy’s house. I don’t know if all of them were on or recording, but if you were going to set up a hypothetical situation to decide if the internet of things could be used as an investigative tool, you’ve got this mysterious hot tub murder.”

Techcrunch: Can your smart home be used against you in court? »


US: No reform of mass surveillance

The Trump administration does not want to reform an internet surveillance law to address privacy concerns, a White House official told Reuters on Wednesday, saying it is needed to protect national security.

• Reuters » White House supports renewal of spy law without reforms: official »
• Techdirt » Trump Administration Wants A Clean Reauthorization For NSA Surveillance »

An anonymous comment at Techdirt: This wouldn’t be the same guy who was screaming bloody murder about Trump towers being under surveillance, would it?


Big Brother in Austria

New legislation in Austria:

  • Networked CCTV monitoring
  • Automatic license plate recognition
  • Government spyware
  • Data Retention Directive 2.0
  • Registration of prepaid SIM cards
  • Electronic tags for non-convicted “endangerers”
  • The government wants to establish a criminal offense for the expression of opinions which undermine the authority of the state

EDRi: Proposed surveillance package in Austria sparks resistance »


Politicians vs. human rights

The European Court of Justice (ECJ) has – once again – ruled that data retention (storage of data on everybody’s phone calls, text messages, e-mails, Internet connections, mobile positions etc.) is in breach of fundamental human rights.

Nevertheless, politicians in several EU member states are trying their hardest to ignore the court. For them, Big Brotherism carries more weight than human and civil rights.

Let that sink in.

Politicians are more interested in controlling the people than defending its rights. They are more interested in treating ordinary people as potential criminals than upholding principles that are pivotal to a democratic society. They degrade citizens to subordinates, to be ruled over and supervised.

Never, ever expect politicians to defend civil rights. Their agenda is a very different one.