NSA domestic phone spying program illegal by appeals court
Thu 7 May 2015, 19:42

A US federal appeals court ruled on Thursday that the NSA spying program that collects data about millions of Americans' phone calls is illegal. The court's ruling is adding pressure on lawmakers to decide quickly whether to end or replace the program, which was intended to help fight terrorism.

Second High-level Conference on the EU Cybersecurity Strategy
Fri 22 May 2015, 14:20

The conference is organised on the 28 May by the European Commission and it will discuss trust and security in the digital world. The conference will be opened by Gunther Oettinger, Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society.

The Conference will be an opportunity to explore the way forward regarding the proposal for a Network and Information Security Directive, the EU cybersecurity industrial strategy and the next steps for capacity building for cyber defence and fighting cybercrime.

Registration is open and the agenda is available here.
France approves surveillance bill despite UN concerns
Fri 31 Jul 2015, 14:00

The constitutional council approved the surveillance bill, a law that gives new spying powers to intelligence agencies. The Socialist government justified the bill, which allows intelligence agencies to tap phones and emails, and hack computers without permission from a judge, in the wake of terrorist attacks in Paris in January. The bill was passed in June by an overwhelming number of French MPs, despite opposition from green and far-left parliamentarians and human rights activists.

In a report published on Friday, the 18-strong United Nations committee for human rights warned that the surveillance powers granted to French intelligence agencies were “excessively broad”.

EDPS criticises air passenger bill
Mon 27 Jul 2015, 20:20

Giovanni Buttarelli criticizes the Passenger Names Records (PNR) law saying it makes more sense to target specific categories of flights, passengers, and countries and declaring it as too invasive and unlikely to stop terrorism. “I’m still waiting for the relevant evidence to demonstrate, even in terms on the amount of money, and years to implement this system, how much it is essential,” he said.

His comments come after MEPs in the civil liberties committee on 15 July agreed a legislative proposal that will allow the collection of detailed information – such as credit card details and addresses – of all people flying in and out of the EU. Buttarelli is due to give a formal opinion on it in September.

UK told to review counter-terrorism legislation by UN human rights committee
Fri 24 Jul 2015, 00:20

The UN human rights committee, a body of 18 international experts who monitor the implementation of the international covenant on Civil and political rights, issued a series of recommendations for UK to review its counter-terrorism legislation.

The report raised concerns that the current legal regime governing the interception of communications and data “allows for mass interception” and “lacks sufficient safeguards against arbitrary interference with the right to privacy”.

Proposal for new legislation against terrorism and privacy protection
Wed 25 Mar 2015, 16:08

A new piece of legislation (Decreto Legge 18 February 2015 no.7) concerning urgent measures against terrorism and for International missions of peace-keeping and participation building was approved by both Italian Chambers of representatives. The new text changes the previous legislation against terrorism. The new norms consider equal those who perform activities leading to a terrorist act with those who conduct the act. The text contains also norms against the use of the web for supporting terrorism and foreign fighters. It allows to carry out preventive interceptions to counteract terrorism, using special software and technologies and availing of the possibilities to obtain data and documents from foreign bodies. It foresees also the possibility to close websites disseminating pro-terrorism information and request the Police to constantly update the websites black lists. The new norms also extended the duration of retention of data on telephonic and communication traffic (in contrast with the new EU sentence on data retention). The itinerary of the approval of the new norms has been followed by comments and remarks by politicians, lawyers and scholars.

More information is available in Italian here and here.