Archive | Intelligence

PI to court over »Five Eyes« transparency

Privacy International has filed a federal lawsuit seeking to compel disclosure of records relating to a 1946 surveillance agreement between the US, UK, Australia, Canada and New Zealand, known as the “Five Eyes alliance”.* We are represented by Yale Law School’s Media Freedom and Information Access Clinic (MFIA). The most recent publicly available version of the Five Eyes surveillance agreement dates from 1955. Our complaint was filed before the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.

PI: Privacy International Files Lawsuit To Compel Disclosure Of Secretive 1946 Surveillance Agreement »


Court case to bring light to »Five Eyes« intelligence cooperation?

“We hope to find out the current scope and nature of the Five Eyes intelligence sharing agreement – and how much has changed since the 1955 version,” Privacy International legal officer Scarlet Kim tells WIRED. “We’d also like to know the US rules and regulations governing this exchange of information – what safeguards and oversight, if any, exist with respect to these activities?”

Wired: The US government is being sued for info on the secretive Five Eyes intelligence group »


Why more mass surveillance will not protect us

Although the immediate political fallout of the London attack focused on Theresa May’s cuts to policing, reductions in the number of staff who analyse intelligence is perhaps the area most deserving of scrutiny. Professor Philip Davies, director of the Brunel Centre for Intelligence and Security Studies, believes the UK’s security apparatus is suffering from what those in signals intelligence call information overload.

The Guardian: How a crippling shortage of analysts let the London Bridge attackers through »


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?



War on terror: We are doing it wrong

Time and time again it turns out that terrorists have been known to authorities before their attacks.

In the tragic Manchester case, there had been numerous reports on the perpetrator. But these warnings were ignored. (This also happened under PM Theresa Mays watch as UK Secretary of State for the Home Department.)

• Manchester attack: UK authorities missed several opportunities to stop suicide bomber Salman Abedi »
• Manchester Bomber Was Repeatedly Reported to Authorities Over Five Years »
• Manchester attacks: MI5 probes bomber ‘warnings’ »

Despite of this – governments insist that the way to fight terrorism is more mass surveillance, infringing on ordinary, decent peoples right to privacy.

This approach is counterproductive – and will make us all less safe.

Clearly, surveillance should be focused on people we have reason to believe are dangerous to others.

And most of these people can be identified, e.g. by their association with others or after having traveled to places of certain types of war and conflict.

Authorities refusal to take a reasonable approach to this issue raises questions about the real purpose of government surveillance schemes.



Wikileaks to give tech companies heads up

WikiLeaks will give technology companies access to information it has about the CIA’s hacking tools, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange said Thursday.

Assange said the organization will give details to let technology companies “develop fixes” before the information is published more widely, USA Today reported.

The Hill: WikiLeaks will give info on CIA hacking to tech companies »


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?