Archive | Europol

The NSA SWIFT hack

Reuters: Hacker documents show NSA tools for breaching global money transfer system »

Documents and computer files released by hackers provide a blueprint for how the U.S. National Security Agency likely used weaknesses in commercially available software to gain access to the global system for transferring money between banks, a review of the data showed.

On Friday, a group calling itself the Shadow Brokers released documents and files indicating NSA had accessed the SWIFT money-transfer system through service providers in the Middle East and Latin America. That release was the latest in a series of disclosures by the group in recent months.

Told you so.

Below, video from the hearings on NSA and mass surveillance in the European Parliament, 24 September 2013 – where Europol and many others try to steer clear of the SWIFT issue. (Some translation problems during a few minutes in the video, but it soon gets better.)

Youtube »


And now… automated web censorship

Automated systems to identify child abuse material (and flag it for removal) on the Internet is now going to be used to combat “extremist” and “hateful” content on social media.

“However, the definition of “extremist content” is everything but clear; CEP’s algorithm does not (and logically cannot) contain this definition either. Even if it were to use a database of previously identified material, that still would create problems for legitimate quotation, research and illustration purposes, as well as problems regarding varying laws from one jurisdiction to another.”

“The Joint Referral Platform has the potential to automate Europol’s not-formal-censorship activities by an automatic detection of re-upload. However, it remains unclear whether any investigative measures will be taken apart from the referral – particularly as Europol’s activities, bizarrely, do not deal with illegal material. There is obviously no redress available for incorrectly identified and deleted content, as it is not the law but broad and unpredictable terms of service that are being used.”

What could possibly go wrong..?

EDRi: Algorithms – censorship à la carte? »


Europols web censorship under fire

Europol’s Internet Referral Unit (IRU) celebrated its first birthday at the weekend, but civil liberties organisations are worried that it goes too far in its efforts to keep the Web free from extremist propaganda. (…)

However AccessNow a global digital rights organisation said Europe’s approach to dealing with online extremism is “haphazard, alarming, tone-deaf, and entirely counter-productive.”

According to AccessNow, “the IRU is outside the rule of law on several grounds. First, illegal content is just that—illegal. If law enforcement encounters illegal activity, be it online or off, it is expected to proceed in dealing with that in a legal, rights-respecting manner.”

Ars Technica: Europol’s online censorship unit is haphazard and unaccountable says NGO »


Europol, Facebook & Twitter

Will the European Police Office’s (Europol’s) database soon include innocent people reported by Facebook or Twitter? The Europol Regulation, which has been approved on 11 May 2016, not only provides a comprehensive new framework for the police agency, but it also allows Europol to share data with private companies like Facebook and Twitter.

EDRi – Europol: Non-transparent cooperation with IT companies »