The prototype real time social media monitor will only look at publicly available data though, according to the plans. Germany's foreign intelligence agency reportedly wants to spend €300 million (about US$375 million) in the next five years on technology that would let it spy in real time on social networks outside of Germany, and decrypt and monitor encrypted Internet traffic.
EDRi-member Effi ry has launched a web service for citizens to request the data protection authorities to verify that any records in various law enforcement and secret services registries are filed according to the relevant regulations. Previously, this kind of request required detailed knowledge of relevant registers, leaving the process practically unavailable for the majority of citizens. The service created by Effi ry provides citizens with an immediate and easy-to-use tool to submit their request to check the legality of any records connected to them in these databases that are otherwise inaccessible.
Several months after EPIC filed a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit against the Central Intelligence Agency, the agency has released the Inspector General's report on the agency's surveillance of Congress. The Inspector General launched an investigation after the Senate accused the CIA of improperly accessing the computers of Senate staff who were investigating CIA torture practices. The Inspector General found that CIA personnel improperly accessed Senate computers multiple times. The Inspector General also found that the CIA's accusations that Senate staff had improperly removed CIA files were baseless.
Last week, the updated version of the Dutch secret service bill has been published for public consultation. Ronald Plasterk, the Dutch Minister of the Interior, wants to make sure that the Dutch secret services have the powers to spy on the behaviour of all citizens and gain insight in all of their communications: phone calls, emails, chat messages and website visits.
The secret services will gain the power to use a dragnet form of surveillance. The Minister has given assurances that the dragnet will only be used for specific purposes, but has not provided adequate safeguards limiting the mass surveillance of unsuspected citizens. A second issue in the proposed bill is access to this bulk data by foreign services. Data which has been intercepted in bulk by the Dutch secret services can be shared in bulk with foreign services, even before the data has been evaluated.
The online consultation will be open till September 1st, 2015.