Recent reports that China has imposed further restrictions on Gmail. This loophole has now been closed, which means determined Chinese users have had to turn to more advanced circumvention tools.
And it’s not just the Chinese. A new law that came into effect last summer obliges all internet companies to store Russian citizens’ data on servers inside the country. This has already prompted Google to close down its engineering operations in Moscow. The Kremlin’s recent success in getting Facebook to block a page calling for protests in solidarity with the charged activist Alexey Navalny indicates that the government is rapidly re-establishing control over its citizens’ digital activities.
Brazil toyed with the idea of forcing American companies to store user data locally – an idea it eventually abandoned. However, Russia, China and Brazil are simply responding to the extremely aggressive tactics adopted by none other than the US.
EFF has joined 26 civil society organizations and 22 computer security experts in a letter that calls on the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence to reject the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act of 2015 (CISA).
CISA, currently only available in draft form, is yet another iteration of the infamous Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA), first introduced in 2011. These pieces of legislation have all been introduced under the auspices of increased computer and network security. But instead of providing increased funding for security research, providing funding for security training for federal government employees, or any of the other ways computer and network security could be made better, they have focused on information sharing, without addressing the privacy and civil liberties implications that entails.
On 11 of February 2015, Italian Constitutional Court starting to review the landmark case regarding the constitutionality of the Italian Communication Authority’s (‘AGCOM’) Regulation on Online Copyright Enforcement. AGCOM granted itself copyright enforcement power without any previous Parliamentary debate.
Consumer’s and small business associations (Altroconsumo, Movimento di difesa del Cittadino, Assoprovider and Assintel) filed action against this Regulation for violation of civil and fundamental rights (freedom of expression and to be informed and economic initiative), protected by the Italian Constitution, before the Regional Administrative Court of Lazio and then before Constitutional Court.
Today, the Paraguayan House of Representatives postponed for eight days a mandatory data retention proposal. The bill, if passed, will require Paraguayan telecom providers to store highly personal information about their customers Internet use, for one year, for possible future access by law enforcement agencies.
The bill was introduced last year under the flimsy pretext that this measure is urgently needed to prevent crime. These weak, but repeated arguments are a tried and tested technique, fomenting a culture of fear of ceaseless war or terrorism, in order to justify arbitrary and totalitarian incursions on civil liberties.
Today, the Wikimedia Foundation is filing suit against the National Security Agency (NSA) and the Department of Justice (DOJ) of the United States. The lawsuit challenges the NSA’s mass surveillance program, and specifically its large-scale search and seizure of internet communications — frequently referred to as “upstream” surveillance. Wikimedia aim in filing this suit is to end this mass surveillance program in order to protect the rights of our users around the world. Wikimedia are joined by eight other organizations and represented by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).
Among the new aspects included in the new Citizen Security Law is the possibility of holding someone responsible for a street rally if he or she makes a public statement or a call for participation, like a simple Tweet.