Articles by date
19 June 2013
Prism: how can this level of state surveillance be legal? (The Guardian)
In the late 18th century the philosopher Jeremy Bentham developed a new type of institutional establishment which had a singular advantage over its predecessors: it allowed the authorities to observe inmates without their being able to tell in any particular moment whether or not they were being watched. The name given to this new architectural form of state control was Panopticon, literally meaning "watch all".
N.S.A. Chief Says Surveillance Has Stopped Dozens of Plots (New York Times)
Top national security officials on Tuesday promoted two newly declassified examples of what they portrayed as "potential terrorist events" disrupted by government surveillance. The cases were made public as Congress and the Obama administration stepped up a campaign to explain and defend programs unveiled by recent leaks from a former intelligence contractor.
Google on Tuesday filed a motion with the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, asking permission to publish data on national security requests that were made to it and authorized by the court.
Google, BT and Yahoo! agree plan to tackle child porn on the web (The Independent)
Computer experts are to track down and block online child abuse images in an attempt to reverse the spread of sites used by paedophile groups, the Government announced today.
Microsoft Corp said that an assault it led earlier this month on one of the world's biggest cyber crime rings has freed at least 2 million PCs infected with a virus believed to have been used to steal more than $500 million (320 million pounds) from bank accounts worldwide.
Privacy Officials Worldwide Press Google About Glass (New York Times)
Ten government privacy and data protection officials from seven countries have asked Google to address privacy concerns related to its wearable computing device, Glass.
Google's Effort to Skirt Regulation May Invite More Scrutiny (New York Times)
Google's motto is "don't be evil." But its recent acquisition of Waze, reportedly for $1 billion in cash, shows that just because you're not evil, it doesn't mean you can't be aggressive in pushing the boundaries of the law.
18 June 2013
Protecting Europe's Privacy by Viviane Reding (New York Times)
Here we go again: Another violation of the basic right to privacy. Another public outcry. Another blow to citizens' trust in the security of their personal data. Yet more evidence that something fundamental has to change if we want to stop citizens from worrying about somebody watching every time they visit a Web site or write an e-mail.
More Data on Privacy, but Picture Is Still Fuzzy (New York Times)
Technology companies, the custodians of reams of personal data from hundreds of millions of people around the world, have been under fire after recent revelations that they secretly handed over customer information, including e-mails, in response to requests by the federal government made in the name of national security.
Messaging app WhatsApp is the latest social networking service to face the wrath of the Saudi Arabian government, and could be blocked in the country within weeks.
Edward Snowden, who became famous for leaking top-secret U.S. government documents, said today that the National Security Agency can get a look at information from Americans' domestic phone calls without a warrant.
Yahoo reveals US surveillance requests (The Guardian)
Yahoo has joined the increasing number of technology companies publishing details of how many requests US law enforcement agencies have made for data on their users.
The German Prism: Berlin Wants to Spy Too (Der Spiegel)
The German government has been largely silent on revelations of US Internet spying. Berlin profits from the program and is pursuing similar plans.
At a time when cyber security is high on the international agenda, Australian scientists are at the forefront of providing a more secure future.
17 June 2013
A new set of classified documents disclosed Sunday suggested that Edward J. Snowden, the former National Security Agency contractor who has provided a trove of documents to The Guardian newspaper, had obtained a wider range of materials about government surveillance than had been known, including one document revealing how American and British intelligence agencies had eavesdropped on world leaders at conferences in London in 2009.
Google Calls U.S. Data Request Disclosures a Step Backward for Users (New York Times)
Even as tech companies were given permission to publish some data on national security requests for users' data, Google said the authorization did not go far enough.
Germany's foreign intelligence agency (BND) plans to spend 100 million euros expanding its monitoring of the Internet, the weekly Der Spiegel reported on Sunday, saying the money would go on staff and technology.
Archivists in France Fight a Privacy Initiative (New York Times)
As a European proposal to bolster digital privacy safeguards faces intense lobbying from Silicon Valley and other powerful groups in Brussels, an obscure but committed group has joined in the campaign to keep personal data flourishing online.
New figures show Australians reported losing more than $93 million to scams last year, and the consumer watchdog warns the figure may be just the tip of the iceberg.
Saudi Arabia plans to block Internet-based communication tool WhatsApp within weeks if the U.S.-based firm fails to comply with requirements set by the kingdom's telecom regulator, local newspapers reported this week.
A Closer Look at Microsoft's FISA Disclosure Numbers (All Things D)
Late last night, software giant Microsoft joined Facebook in disclosing the total number of requests for information it received from government agencies in the U.S.
Secrets, lies and America's spies: A government's first job is to protect its citizens. But that should be based on informed consent, not blind trust (The Economist)
Constant vigilance: that is the task of the people who protect society from enemies intent on using subterfuge and violence to get their way. It is also the watchword of those who fear that the protectors will pursue the collective interest at untold cost to individual rights. Edward Snowden, a young security contractor, has come down on one side of that tussle by leaking documents showing that the National Security Agency (NSA) spied on millions of Americans' phone records and on the internet activity of hundreds of millions of foreigners.
Deutsche Telekom waters down online data throttling plans (Deutsche Welle)
Public protests against Deutsche Telekom's recent announcement to introduce online data throttling for some users have made an impact. The company said the limited speed would be higher than originally planned.
16 June 2013
The NSA has us snared in its trap - and there's no way out (The Observer)
A boycott of Facebook, Microsoft, Google et al is easy to talk about, but almost impossible to achieve
U.S. surveillance architecture includes collection of revealing Internet, phone metadata (Washington Post)
On March 12, 2004, acting attorney general James B. Comey and the Justice Department's top leadership reached the brink of resignation over electronic surveillance orders that they believed to be illegal.