Surveillance & Privacy

19 June 2017

The Guardian view on digital giants: they farm us for the data: Editorial The Guardian

An astonishing project is under way to build a “digital time machine” that will show us in fine detail the lives of ordinary Venetians across a thousand years of history. It is made possible by the persistence of the republic’s bureaucracy, which, when Napoleon extinguished the Republic of Venice in 1797, left behind 80km of shelving full of records of births, deaths, trades, building, land ownership, private letters, ambassadors’ reports and even medical information. All this is now to be digitised, cross-referenced, and analysed, and all its secrets laid bare to provide a picture in unprecedented richness and detail of the lives of individuals and the development of society over many centuries. Obviously, this is wonderful for historians and indeed anybody with an imagination alive today. One wonders, though, what the Venetians would have made of it, had they known their lives and letters would be so carefully anatomised after their deaths.

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16 June 2017

Australian government and George Brandis must learn from data retention mess with encryption Australian Financial Review

As Canberra turns its attention to the issue of accessing encrypted communications between potential terrorists, nobody's opposed to the principle that national security demands a technology strategy. On the other hand, we learnt valuable lessons from this government's 2014 data retention law, that should inform our approach to new laws.

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17 May 2017

Facebook Gets Slap on the Wrist From 2 European Privacy Regulators New York Times

Facebook suffered a setback on Tuesday over how it uses the reams of information it collects about users worldwide, after two European privacy watchdogs said that the social network’s practices broke their countries’ data protection rules.

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10 May 2017

How Privacy Became a Commodity for the Rich and Powerful New York Times

Recently I handed over the keys to my email account to a service that promised to turn my spam-bloated inbox into a sparkling model of efficiency in just a few clicks. Unroll.me’s method of instant unsubscribing from newsletters and junk mail was “trusted by millions of happy users,” the site said, among them the “Scandal” actor Joshua Malina, who tweeted in 2014: “Your inbox will sing!” Plus, it was free. When a privacy policy popped up, I swatted away the legalese and tapped “continue.”

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05 May 2017

How to Protect Your Privacy as More Apps Harvest Your Data New York Times

In the real world, your personal life is a private space. But in tech, your personal data is a ripe resource for businesses to harvest in their own interests.

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28 April 2017

Facebook sees rise in government requests for user data The Hill

Facebook revealed on Thursday that it saw an increase in government requests for user data from the first half of 2016 to the second.

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27 April 2017

German court upholds WhatsApp-Facebook data transfer ban PC World

Facebook must obtain the permission of German users of WhatsApp before processing their personal data, a German court confirmed on Tuesday.

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25 April 2017

Service Faces Backlash Over a Widespread Practice: Selling User Data New York Times

For months, Uber has paid a public price for some of the questionable tactics it has used to conquer the transportation industry. Now another company is experiencing some of the fallout for working with Uber.

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21 April 2017

Google is seeing more requests for user data worldwide, but it's responding to fewer Recode

Google received the most government requests for user data it has received in any six-month period, according to the company’s latest transparency report. The requests were made in the second half of 2016.

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31 March 2017

Porn websites beef up privacy protections days after Congress voted to let ISPs share your Web history Washington Post

As you may have heard, Congress recently voted to repeal Internet privacy protections that otherwise would have gone into effect later this year. The move effectively permits Internet providers such as Verizon and AT&T to mine and sell your browsing history, location information, and in some cases even the content of your communications, similar to what Google and Facebook do now.

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26 March 2017

End-to-end encryption on messaging services is unacceptable - UK Home Secretary Reuters

Home Secretary Amber Rudd said on Sunday end-to-end encryption of messages offered by services like Whatsapp are "completely unacceptable" and there should be no "secret place for terrorists to communicate".

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09 March 2017

With Claims of C.I.A. Hacking, How to Protect Your Devices New York Times

WikiLeaks this week published a trove of documents that appears to detail how the Central Intelligence Agency successfully hacked a wide variety of tech products, including iPhones, Android devices, Wi-Fi routers and Samsung televisions.

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08 March 2017

WikiLeaks publishes 'biggest ever leak of secret CIA documents' The Guardian

The US intelligence agencies are facing fresh embarrassment after WikiLeaks published what it described as the biggest ever leak of confidential documents from the CIA detailing the tools it uses to break into phones, communication apps and other electronic devices.

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05 March 2017

How Uber Deceives the Authorities Worldwide New York Times

Uber has for years engaged in a worldwide program to deceive the authorities in markets where its low-cost ride-hailing service was resisted by law enforcement or, in some instances, had been banned.

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08 February 2017

Google to appeal against order to hand over user emails stored outside US The Guardian

Google has said it will appeal a ruling by a US judge to hand over the emails of Gmail users stored outside of the country - which puts the privacy of non-US citizens at risk.

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05 February 2017

Google, unlike Microsoft, must turn over foreign emails: U.S. judge Reuters

A U.S. judge has ordered Google to comply with search warrants seeking customer emails stored outside the United States, diverging from a federal appeals court that reached the opposite conclusion in a similar case involving Microsoft Corp.

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25 January 2017

Microsoft victory in overseas email seizure case is upheld Reuters

An equally divided federal appeals court refused to reconsider its landmark decision forbidding the U.S. government from forcing Microsoft Corp and other companies to turn over customer emails stored on servers outside the United States.

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17 January 2017

'Private' messaging not so private InternetNZ

Many messaging apps are not as private and secure as people think. Every message sent could be read by service providers, advertisers and other organisations - an invasion of people's privacy rights.

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15 January 2017

As WhatsApp becomes latest victim, are any messaging apps truly secure? The Observer

Is there a truly secure messaging app? One could spend hours examining all the encrypted communications tools available, from popular services such as WhatsApp and Facebook's Messenger to newcomers such as Signal and Wire. But while experts agree that some of these options are more secure than others, there always seems to be another flaw waiting to be discovered. This makes the search for a perfect app resemble the hunt for the goose that laid the golden egg.

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14 January 2017

The Guardian view on internet privacy: technology can't fix it: Editorial The Guardian

For anyone who is really concerned about keeping their thoughts private there is only one piece of reliable technology: write with a pen on paper, and burn what you've written when you're done. For the rest of us, who want to get things done, there is an inevitable trade-off which we still don't entirely understand. We now carry with us everywhere devices that give us access to all the world's information, but they can also offer almost all the world vast quantities of information about us. The sense of personal integrity and boundaries that seems self-evident is actually the product of particular social arrangements which are profoundly affected by technology even though it doesn't determine them. Technological change could move us towards our better selves or our worse ones, but things can't stay as they are.

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12 January 2017

Cookie banner frustration to be tackled by EU BBC News

Plans to cut down on the "annoying" cookie banners that web users face have been released by the European Union.

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11 January 2017

WhatsApp, Facebook and Google face tough new privacy rules under EC proposal The Guardian

Messaging services such as WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger and Gmail will face tough new rules on the tracking of users under a revision to the ePrivacy Directive proposed by the European Commission on Tuesday.

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Data Could Be the Next Tech Hot Button for Regulators New York Times

Wealth and influence in the technology business have always been about gaining the upper hand in software or the machines that software ran on.

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05 January 2017

Australia's data retention laws: Experts warn against opening up metadata to civil cases as telcos renew bid to change laws ABC News

Private phone and internet metadata collected under the Government's data retention scheme could be used in divorce cases or to combat internet piracy, law experts have warned, as the telecommunications industry launches a fresh push to change the laws.

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22 December 2016

EU's highest court delivers blow to UK snooper's charter The Guardian

"General and indiscriminate retention" of emails and electronic communications by governments is illegal, the EU's highest court has ruled, in a judgment that could trigger challenges against the UK's new Investigatory Powers Act - the so-called snooper's charter.

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