Too much information: Links for week ending 19 October

US: Supreme Court terminates warrantless wiretapping case
Wired reports that the United States Supreme Court have ended the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF)’s bid to hold telecoms provider AT&T to account for allegedly cooperating with the United States government in the illegal surveillance of US citizens after 9/11, upholding a lower court decision that the company enjoyed “retroactive immunity” from prosecution thanks to a law passed by Congress two years after the EFF first filed suit. The EFF’s fight against warrantless wiretapping will continue in the form of a class action lawsuit it is helping to bring against the US National Security Agency (NSA) on behalf of AT&T customers.
Wired | Jewel vs. NSA

Malawi: E—Bill puts online freedom of expression in cross—hairs
Malawi’s Nyasa Times reports on a proposed law to regulate and control online communications in the country that media commentators are arguing will have a negative impact on freedom of expression.

Canada—EU Trade Agreement contains same “outrageous” criminal sanctions as ACTA
La Quadrature du Net expresses outrage at the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) currently being negotiated between Canada and the European Union. The treaty contains provisions on copyright infringement including criminal sanctions, private enforcement by internet service providers and punitive damages, which have been directly lifted from another controversial treaty — the Anti—Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) — that was ultimately rejected by the European Parliament earlier this year in response to widespread public opposition.

Portugal: Court declares filesharing legal
TechWeek Europe reports that prosecutors in Portugal have ruled that sharing copyrighted files for personal use is legal: “Prosecutors added that the right to culture, education and freedom of expression on the internet should not be restricted in cases where copyright infringements are clearly non—commercial.”

Project on surveillance in Russia launched
Privacy International and Agentura.Ru, the Russian secret services watchdog, have announced a joint project “to undertake research and investigation into surveillance practices in Russia, including the trade in and use of surveillance technologies.”

Debate: Should industry face more cybersecurity mandates?
 “Is the threat of cyber attacks on crucial industries as serious as the government has claimed?”: Panellists drawn from industry, government and civil society — including noted security expert Bruce Schneier — discuss appropriate responses to rising fears about cybersecurity in this US—focussed New York Times “Room for Debate” special.

The Google Civic Information API
On the eve of the US elections, Google has launched a freely available and reusable data resource (otherwise know as an API) to help anyone developing websites and services that rely on civic information like candidate data and polling places. Google hope to eventually extend the service to other countries.

Report: Hacking Team and the Targeting of Dissent
This Citizen Lab report examines Italian company Hacking Team’s role in supplying backdoor surveillance products that were “used to compromise a high—profile dissident residing in the United Arab Emirates.”

A Data Journalist’s Life: Interview with Sarah Cohen
The Data—Driven Journalism blog publishes an interview with Pulitzer Prize—winning data journalist Sarah Cohen: “Pay attention to your gut feelings and critically question the data. The big risk is that, when you go back to the government with something they don’t know, they have to believe you.”

Interview: Bill Maris, Google Ventures
The Wall Street Journal interviews Bill Maris, head of Silicon Valley venture capitalists Google Ventures, about the state of start—up funding and his next big investments.

Comments are closed.