Tag: Privacy

How Compulsive Privacy Has Lead to Atrocious Oppression

As humans we’ve become indoctrinated to keep our desires private. The obsession with privacy has induced a hysteria wherein we spread war like fever and ascend authority onto a pedestal from which we worship it. This practice has become the norm of civilized social and political structures. The following is a breakdown of the problem.

Case Takes UK Privacy Tribunal to European Court

Human Rights Watch and six individuals lodged a challenge with the European Court of Human Rights, demanding that the UK Investigatory Powers Tribunal confirm whether or not they were subject to surveillance by GCHQ. The challenge, filed on November 4, 2016, also seeks to know whether or not any such surveillance was unlawful and comes after claims filed with the UK tribunal in 2015.

In the earlier case, the tribunal dismissed the claims of those applicants that were not UK residents. It issued a “no determination” finding for Human Rights Watch and other claimants who were present in the UK, without revealing whether they were subjected to surveillance that was lawful or they were simply not spied on.

There is too much at stake for this to be a PR stunt

This week, from 17th-20th October 2016, the Kingdom of Morocco will be hosting the 38th International Conference of Data Protection and Privacy Commissioners (ICDPPC).

And two scenarios could play out…

Scenario one — like many other occasions, this will be used as wonderfully strategic PR stunt, whereby participants will be whisked directly from the airport to their hotel to the conference venue, and will be enchanted by the genuinely warm Moroccan hospitality. But they will leave with little or no clue of the grave human rights situation in Morocco. We are especially focused on the right to privacy (but that is not to detract from the wider human rights issues that Morocco must deal with).

Why PIA doesn’t fly a warrant canary: it’s solving the wrong problem

Private Internet Access doesn’t have a warrant canary. That’s because warrant canaries alert somebody to damage that has already happened. The right way to go about the problem is to prevent the damage from happening in the first place.

At PIA, privacy is at the soul of what we do. Our business partners have occasionally been surprised when we say upfront that we’re in privacy first, business second – but that’s the passion we have. Making money is a matter of being able to continue pursuing the primary goal, privacy, on a sustainable basis.

What Facebook Knows About You

We live in an era of increasing automation. Machines help us not only with manual labor but also with intellectual tasks, such as curating the news we read and calculating the best driving directions. But as machines make more decisions for us, it is increasingly important to understand the algorithms that produce their judgments.

We’ve spent the year investigating algorithms, from how they’ve been used to predict future criminals to Amazon’s use of them to advantage itself over competitors.

Five EFF Tools to Help You Protect Yourself Online

Do you get creeped out when an ad eerily related to your recent Internet activity seems to follow you around the web? Do you ever wonder why you sometimes see a green lock with “https” in your address bar, and other times just plain “http”? EFF’s team of technologists and computer scientists can help. We engineer solutions to these problems of sneaky tracking, inconsistent encryption, and more. Our projects are released under free and open source licenses like the GNU General Public License or Creative Commons licenses, and we make them freely available to as many users as possible. Where users face threats to their free expression, privacy, and security online, EFF’s technology projects are there to defend them.

Police Around the Country Regularly Abuse Law Enforcement Databases

For more than a year, EFF has been investigating how police in California misuse the state’s law enforcement database with little oversight from officials. An investigation published by the Associated Press today shows that abuse of law enforcement systems is a nationwide problem.

The AP’s investigation analyzed records from all 50 states and three dozen of the country’s largest cities. The reporters found that officers have routinely used law enforcement and driver databases to stalk ex-partners, dig up dirt on their neighbors, and even spy on journalists.

Playpen: The Story of the FBI’s Unprecedented and Illegal Hacking Operation

In December 2014, the FBI received a tip from a foreign law enforcement agency that a Tor Hidden Service site called “Playpen” was hosting child pornography. That tip would ultimately lead to the largest known hacking operation in U.S. law enforcement history.

The Playpen investigation—driven by the FBI’s hacking campaign—resulted in hundreds of criminal prosecutions that are currently working their way through the federal courts. The issues in these cases are technical and the alleged crimes are distasteful. As a result, relatively little attention has been paid to the significant legal questions these cases raise.

Sudanese Authorities Use ‘Pornography’ as Evidence in Criminal Trial of Human Rights Advocates

Human rights activists in Sudan are being prosecuted in what critics are calling a “morality” trial.

Six activists, all of whom are affiliated with Khartoum Center for Training and Human Development (TRACKS), have been charged with undermining the constitutional system, waging war against the State, espionage, and terrorism. If convicted, they could be sentenced to life in prison, or death.

Friends, Followers, Police Officers, and Enemies: Social Surveillance in Thailand

This report examines the emergence of social media based surveillance in Thailand, carried out potentially by people’s own networks of friends and family. It looks at the severe impact this has on personal privacy and points to potential solutions.

In May 2014, Thailand experienced a military coup – its second in eight years. A military government led by General Prayut Chan-o-cha seized power and overthrew the administration of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra. The Army declared martial law, which was maintained for the following 10 months, and an interim constitution was adopted in July 2014. The declaration of martial law allowed the Thai authorities to take strict public order measures, including reportedly closely monitoring of ‘delinquent’ behaviour such as eating sandwiches in the street or reading George Orwell’s books.

Snowden Tried to Raise Concerns Over Mass Surveillance, Documents Reveal

Whistleblower Edward Snowden raised concerns about mass surveillance to his superiors at the NSA before publicly releasing thousands of classified documents, Vice News revealed.

But he did not get a response.

After leaking the documents, the agency repeatedly tried to find evidence, or lack thereof, of Snowden’s claims. However, each time there were reasons to return a negative — and false — response to reporters from various outlets.

The methods the NSA used to cover up Snowden’s accusations varied, the story says. On one occasion, high-ranking NSA officials did not inform the Media Leaks Task Force (an internal NSA group tasked with Snowden’s case investigation) about interactions Snowden had with agency employees. The official later explicitly apologized for not providing actual information to the task force.