Germany is dealing with children’s surveillance watches in the right way

The internet of things comes with all kinds of privacy worries, and one country in particular is keen to address them. Having earlier this year banned an internet-connected talking doll for its lack of proper security, Germany’s Bundesnetzagentur (Federal Network Agency, or BNA), has now turned its attention to smartwatches that are marketed for use … Continue reading “Germany is dealing with children’s surveillance watches in the right way”

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Get ready for a whole lot more site blocking in the EU, thanks to a new consumer protection law

European Union lawmakers have approved a new consumer protection regulation that, among other things, allows for the wholesale blocking of websites without the need for judicial authorization. The reasoning seems innocuous enough on the surface. More than a third of online shops and booking websites were found to be breaching EU consumer laws, when a … Continue reading “Get ready for a whole lot more site blocking in the EU, thanks to a new consumer protection law”

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  • Nov 13, 2017
  • Glyn Moody
  • News, Privacy, Programming, Security,

Welcome to the brave new world of workplace surveillance

Here on Privacy News Online, we write a lot about government surveillance and its impact on privacy. Sadly, constant spying has been normalized to such an extent that workplace surveillance is a thriving new business sector that startups and established companies are rushing to serve. For example, InterGuard promises “complete end-user auditing and control”, and … Continue reading “Welcome to the brave new world of workplace surveillance”

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  • Nov 10, 2017
  • Caleb Chen
  • Governments, Networking, News, Privacy,

New Italian data retention laws forces ISPs to store phone usage and internet history for six years

Italian internet service providers (ISPs), and telecommunication companies are now forced to store the logs of your electronic communications data (telephone traffic data, electronic communications traffic data and data related to unsuccessful calls) for at least 6 years. Lexology poignantly calls this development in Italian law the “shadow of mass surveillance.” The Italian Senate has recently passed the final … Continue reading “New Italian data retention laws forces ISPs to store phone usage and internet history for six years”

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  • Nov 9, 2017
  • Glyn Moody
  • Governments, News, Privacy, Security,

What the Sci-Hub saga and DNA testing services can teach us about privacy

Privacy News Online has just written about an “unprecedented” injunction granted by a US judge against the site Sci-Hub. The reach of that injunction is clearly deeply problematic for lots of reasons, and creates a very troubling precedent. But there’s an aspect of the story that merits further consideration, since it has broader implications for … Continue reading “What the Sci-Hub saga and DNA testing services can teach us about privacy”

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  • Nov 6, 2017
  • Caleb Chen
  • Copyright, Governments, News,

US Judge grants “unprecedented” injunction which forces search engines and ISPs to block site over copyright case

A US Judge has granted an injunction that forces search engines and internet service providers (ISPs), not just domain registrars, to block Sci-Hub. Sci-Hub is a free, online archive that shares research articles; it was founded by Alexandra Elbakyan. The site, which hosts many academic papers which are otherwise behind paywall, has faced fire from … Continue reading “US Judge grants “unprecedented” injunction which forces search engines and ISPs to block site over copyright case”

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Indonesia threatens WhatsApp blockage as Afghanistan backs down from its threat

WhatsApp is really getting under the skin of the authorities in certain Asian and African countries. Just in the last couple days, there has been a move to block the service in Indonesia, and Afghan authorities have had to deny reports that they were planning to do the same. Last month it was China, and … Continue reading “Indonesia threatens WhatsApp blockage as Afghanistan backs down from its threat”

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  • Nov 6, 2017
  • Glyn Moody
  • Governments, News, Privacy,

US Senate hearing confirms Facebook is the perfect surveillance machine: what can we do about it?

Last week’s hearings before US lawmakers has provided us with new insights into the workings of companies like Facebook, Google and Twitter, and how they have been subverted by Russia to further its political aims. In his opening remarks, the Vice Chairman of the Senate intelligence committee, Mark Warner, said that 120 Russian-backed pages on … Continue reading “US Senate hearing confirms Facebook is the perfect surveillance machine: what can we do about it?”

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France, Spain, Portugal pushing new bill that considers file-sharing a more serious crime than terrorism and child exploitation

France, Spain, and Portugal are now arguing that people sharing music and movies together is a more serious threat to society than terroristic mass murder or child exploitation. This becomes apparent when looking at leaked position papers regarding the ongoing revision of European copyright law. Statewatch leaked the documents first, followed by Julia Reda in … Continue reading “France, Spain, Portugal pushing new bill that considers file-sharing a more serious crime than terrorism and child exploitation”

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  • Nov 2, 2017
  • Glyn Moody
  • Governments, News, Privacy, Security,

Privacy is constantly under threat; here are ways communities can help to protect it locally

Stories about privacy have a depressing tendency to be about its loss, and the increasing threats to it in the future. Perhaps we need to spend more time thinking about how to protect it, to prevent the loss and head off the threats. That’s easier said than done, since the latter come from many quarters, … Continue reading “Privacy is constantly under threat; here are ways communities can help to protect it locally”

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