Archive | Transparency

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 »

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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 »

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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 »

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Fake news – are they for real?

There is a lot of buzz about »fake news«. But there is very little discussion about what it is that is supposed to be fake.

Maybe, there isn’t that much real fake news. (Dissent doesn’t qualify as fake.) Maybe it’s about stuff we don’t really want to know about. Or are not supposed to.

»Fake news« seems to be a mirage that will vanish if you try to pin it down.

It might also be that we are already so entangled in lies that we can no longer recognize the truth, even in its presence.

/ HAX

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Wikileaks – Truth is not a crime

The U.S. administration is raising its voice when it comes to Wikileaks and its editor in charge, Julian Assange.

According to CNN Attorney General Jeff Sessions said at a news conference Thursday that Assange’s arrest is a “priority.” (Link»)

We’ve already begun to step up our efforts and whenever a case can be made, we will seek to put some people in jail. (…)

“Julian Assange has no First Amendment freedoms. He’s sitting in an Embassy in London. He’s not a US citizen,” Pompeo said.

But there is opposition…

Ben Wizner, director of the American Civil Liberties Union’s Speech, Privacy and Technology Project, argued that US prosecution of Assange sets a dangerous precedent.

“Never in the history of this country has a publisher been prosecuted for presenting truthful information to the public,” Wizner told CNN. “Any prosecution of WikiLeaks for publishing government secrets would set a dangerous precedent that the Trump administration would surely use to target other news organizations.”

So, what is it that Wikileaks have done to stir the wrath of Washington?

Wikileaks has published »war diaries« from U.S. wars in Irak and Afghanistan: Exposing what has been done in the name of the American people, paid for by American taxpayers – to the American public.

This is how it should be in a democratic society. Without transparency, it will become impossible to hold those in power accountable. And it will make democratic elections pointless, as voters cannot make informed choices without the relevant information.

Wikileaks also has published U.S. Embassy cables, exposing the U.S. administration having double standards and lying to other countries (many of them allies) as well as to the American public.

Once again, exposing this is a democratic undertaking. In a democratic society, it is a significant problem if the government holds one set of policies in public and a different one behind the scenes. Power should be carried out in public, not in secret.

Wikileaks and Julian Assange have provided a remarkable service to society, to the American people, and to the world.

Going after Assange is going to war against transparency, the truth, the people – and democracy itself.

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The »EU Internet Forum« and transparency

How the EU set up a private-public forum to censor the Internet – and denied EDRi access to documents, as it would expose the bureaucracy’s »decision-making process«.

Which pretty much is the whole idea. You should not have extrajudicial censorship, especially not without democratic accountability.

EDRi: The tale of the fight for transparency in the EU Internet Forum »

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Assange on Fox: Governments hate transparency

“We’re in the business of publishing information about power,” Assange said. “Why are we in the business of publishing information about power? Because people can do things with power, they can do very bad things with power. If they’re incompetent, they can do dangerous things. If they’re evil, they can do wicked things.”

In Part III of the interview, which aired Thursday on the Fox News Channel, Assange also said that governments “hate transparency. They loathe it. Because they have to work harder.” (…)

Governments are “full of incompetent people,” Assange told Hannity. “And the more secretive the area is, the more incompetent it becomes because there’s no proper oversight.” (…)

“If you don’t know what’s happening in the world with powerful individuals, corporations and governments … immoral actors within the state or within those big corporations prosper,” Assange said at the conclusion of the interview.

Fox: ‘Hannity’ Exclusive: Wikileaks’ Assange: Governments ‘Hate Transparency. They Loathe It’ »

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