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The press review catalogues press articles related to la Quadrature's issues, compiled by its volunteers.
See also our French press review.

[Computing] GCHQ admits £1bn spend on cyber security 'hasn’t worked'

GCHQ is losing the cyber security war, according to director of cyber security at CESG (Communications-Electronics Security Group) Alex Dewedney, who admitted that, despite a £1bn spend over the past five years, "the bottom line is it hasn't worked". [...]

"We can't just pass information on threats to businesses and tell them to go and deal with it themselves," said Dewedney, who added that 90 per cent of UK enterprises suffered cyber security breaches last year.

Dewedney also criticised the UK government for "not... spending money on fixing legacy IT issues" that have left a situation that, he said, "is killing us". [...]

The problem is "not so much a money issue as it is a human resources issue", he said.

[Techdirt] From Dingo To Net Neutrality Hero: FCC Boss On Why Everybody Had Him Wrong

When FCC boss Tom Wheeler was first appointed to head the agency, few expected much. After all, here was yet another FCC revolving door regulator with a history of lobbying for both the cable and wireless industries -- now tasked with heading an agency that oversees both. Yet the one-time "dingo" surprised everybody by fighting for tougher net neutrality rules, raising the standard definition of broadband, standing up for municipal broadband and improved broadband competition, and now fighting to unlock the cable industry's stranglehold over the cable set top box. [...]

It remains entirely possible Wheeler chooses not to act on zero rating whatsoever. After all, the agency has a history of treating usage caps (despite their obvious anti-competitive implications) as little more than "creative pricing," and Wheeler's on-record calling T-Mobile's zero rating of some video services "innovative" and "pro competition". Public pressure's also not particularly high, since the majority of the public doesn't understand the potential threat zero rating poses to a level playing field. [...]

[TheIntercept] How a Small Company in Switzerland Is Fighting a Surveillance Law — And Winning

A small email provider and its customers have mobilized to force the Swiss government to put its new invasive surveillance law up for a public vote in a national referendum in June. [...]

By gathering its users and teaming up with political groups including the Green and Pirate parties, as well as technological and privacy advocates including Chaos Computer Club Switzerland and Digitale Gesellschaft Switzerland, ProtonMail was able to contribute to the effort to collect over 70,000 signatures before the deadline. [...]

The new law is the first of two surveillance laws that have been circulating through the Swiss Parliament. The NDG law was fully passed in September, but can’t take full effect until after the referendum vote in June.[...] the second law, known as the “BÜPF,” might come up for a vote in the Parliament’s spring session, but may be revised or delayed. [...]

[TheGuardian] GCHQ hacking does not breach human rights, security tribunal rules

Investigatory powers tribunal says computer network exploitation, such as activating cameras on devices without permission, is legal. [...]

Part of the legal dispute focused on whether such activity is permissible under thematic warrants that do not identify targeted individuals. Responding to the decision, Privacy International said it would “challenge this undermining of the fundamental right that a warrant should identify a specific property or person”. There is no right of appeal to any higher UK court, but cases can be taken to Europe. [...]

In relation to the authorisation of actions outside Britain, the IPT ruling said there might be circumstances in which an individual claimant may be able to claim a breach of their rights under articles 8 or 10 of the convention, which relate to the right to private and family life and freedom of expression. However, it said this does not lead to a conclusion that the regime is non-compliant with the articles. [...]

[Politico] The phone call that saved safe harbor

Negotiations were at a stalemate and running out of time. Officials from the European Union and America could not break through a couple roadblocks to forge an agreement to give legal cover for companies to transfer data across the Atlantic. The official January 31 deadline had already passed. [...]

EU sources say the Americans didn’t use the Paris attacks to push the Europeans to back down on safe harbor.

And by all accounts the EU’s line also remained firm: Terrorists or no, Europeans’ right to privacy and the European Court of Justice’s ruling weren’t going anywhere. [...]

The Judicial Redress Act finally passed the Judiciary Committee on January 28. But an amendment by Senator John Cornyn made the privacy protections in the bill conditional on the Europeans signing on to a new safe harbor deal. [...]

The Article 29 Working Party met in Brussels on February 2 and 3 to discuss their next steps. With nothing on paper to look at, the DPAs adopted a wait-and-see approach. The Commission promised to deliver the full text of the agreement by the end of February. In late March, the authorities will meet again to decide if the shield is strong enough. [...]

[Wired] It's Been 20 Years Since This Man Declared Cyberspace Independence

When digital dystopians and critics of Internet libertarians need a rhetorical dart board, they often pull out a document written by John Perry Barlow, co-founder of the nonprofit Electronic Frontier Foundation, a former cattle rancher and Grateful Dead lyricist. On this day in 1996, Barlow sat down in front of a clunky Apple laptop and typed out one very controversial email, now known as the “Declaration of Independence of Cyberspace,” a manifesto with a simple message: Governments don’t—and can’t—govern the Internet. [...]

In essence, Barlow argues that the arc of the Internet’s history is long, but bends towards independence. His strongest example, perhaps, is found in the copyright wars: Yes, Napster and Megaupload can be sued into oblivion or shut down. But the file-sharing protocol bittorrent has thrived in spite of Hollywood and the recording industry’s best efforts. “I said this whole notion of property [in cyberspace] is going to get hammered,” Barlow says. “It has been hammered.

Barlow admits that what he describes as the “immune system” of the Internet isn’t exactly automatic. It requires effort on the part of activists like himself. “It wasn’t a slam dunk and it isn’t now. I wouldn’t have started the EFF and the Freedom of the Press Foundation” if it were, he says. But he nonetheless believes that there is a kind of inexorable direction of the Internet’s political influence toward individual liberty. [...]

[TheIntercept] NSA Chief Stakes Out Pro-Encryption Position, in Contrast to FBI

National Security Agency Director Adm. Mike Rogers said Thursday that “encryption is foundational to the future,” and arguing about it is a waste of time. [...]

[T]echnologists pretty much universally agree that creating some sort of special third-party access would weaken encryption to the point that it would threaten every internet transaction we make, from online banking to filling out our health records to emailing our friends and significant others. A hole in encryption for special FBI access would be a hole that criminals could sneak through, too. [...]

The White House has decided not to pursue legislation to outlaw unbreakable end-to-end encryption, following pressure from privacy advocates and scientists. But the intelligence community’s top lawyer, Bob Litt, privately advised the administration that a major terrorist attack could be an opportune moment to do so.
And the White House has not issued a statement in defense of encryption [...] Meanwhile, Sens. Richard Burr, R-N.C., and Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., are reportedly planning their own proposed legislation to require law enforcement access. [...]

[TheGuardian] Shari Steele on online anonymity: Tor staff are 'freedom fighters'

Steele comes to Tor after 15 years as executive director of the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), an organization she joined as a staff lawyer in 1992 shortly after it was founded. [...]

Perhaps most significantly, it was her decision, as head of the EFF in 2004, to take Tor under the foundation’s wing that is the reason Tor exists in its current shape today, according to Roger Dingledine, who helped found the Tor Project in 2006. Steele won’t take the credit for that decision, but it earned her the loyalty of Tor staff and devotees. [...]

Earlier in 2015, assistant attorney general of the Justice Department Leslie Caldwell told Washington’s State of the Net conference that as much as 80% of the traffic on Tor involves child abuse material.

Wired immediately said the statistic was wrong; Caldwell was misrepresenting research that had found that 80% of hidden traffic involved child abuse, not 80% of all Tor traffic. Hidden sites account for around 2% of all Tor traffic. [...]

Steele describes the people who work on Tor as “freedom fighters”. “The people who are working on the Tor project are doing it because they care desperately about the technology and they care desperately about what the technology means to the world,” said Steele. [...]

[TheGuardian] Privacy watchdog attacks snooper's charter over encryption

Information commissioner warns encryption ‘is vital’ for personal security, and attempts to weaken it should not be in new investigatory powers bill.

The information commissioner’s office has heavily criticised the draft Investigatory Powers bill for attacking individuals’ privacy, particularly in relation to the apparent requirement on communication providers to weaken or break their data encryption at the government’s request.

The privacy watchdog also told the parliamentary committee responsible for scrutinising the bill that “little justification” was given for one of the most controversial aspects of the proposed legislation: a new requirement on communications providers to store comms data for 12 months. [...]

For the most secure types of communication, known as “end to end” encryption, the communications provider cannot read encrypted messages even if they are served with a government warrant. Messaging providers including Apple, Facebook and Telegram all use this sort of encryption, but the draft IP bill suggests they could be forced by a government warrant to change to a weaker standard. [...]

The British government is not alone in moving against consumer use of encryption, however. In early January, an amendment was introduced into the French national assembly which sought to enforce similar requirements on equipment manufacturers to ensure that any information can be given to the police with a judicial warrant. [...]

And China introduced its own snooper’s charter in December, with a bill requiring tech companies to decrypt messages at the government’s request.

[TheGuardian] 'Snooper's charter' will cost British lives, MPs are warned

Former NSA security chief-turned-whistleblower says plan for bulk collection of communications data is ‘99% useless’ [...] The “snooper’s charter” legislation extending the mass surveillance powers of the intelligence agencies will “cost lives in Britain”, a former US security chief has warned MPs and peers. [...]

The former NSA director testified that while targeted data collection operations could help prevent terror attacks, “overcollection” of mass data undermined security and had consistently cost lives because of this “analysis paralysis”.
Binney told MPs that the 9/11 attacks on the US could have been prevented if the NSA had filtered the relevant data and not attempted to collect everything.[...]

At the same time, it reduces the privacy burden affecting the large number of innocent and suspicion-free persons whose communications are accessible to our systems.” [...]

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