Friday, November 20, 2015

Internet of Things to create security risks, EU cyber expert says

The popularisation of the so-called Internet of Things will be accompanied with an increase in cyber threats.

“I can predict there will be applications which are not secure, because they are done by inexperienced people, and statistically you will then hear of more threats,” Udo Helmbrecht, executive director of the European Union Agency for Network and Information Security (Enisa) said in an interview in Brussels.

By Peter Teffer
read full article at EUObserver

Net neutrality protestors bundled out of UN conference

Efforts to protest Facebook's project at the annual Internet Governance Forum (IGF) being held in Brazil this week were shut down by United Nations security staff.
A video of the protest – carried out during an opening speech by Brazil's communication minister André Figueiredo – shows around 10 protestors holding up messages in Portuguese and English complaining that the service was a violation of net neutrality.
When a second group tries to unfurl a large banner that reads "free basic = free of basic right" with a large Facebook thumb pointing down, UN security staff appear on the scene and start to pull all the signs down.
The protest did not interrupt the minister's speech and the protestors were escorted from the room and their banners confiscated. However, the fact that the protest was shut down prompted complaints online, especially since other protests over the controversial service in Brazil have been allowed to carry on unimpeded.

read full article at  TheRegister

Tech companies fail to make the grade on privacy

The Corporate Accountability Index 2015 ranked 16 international technology and telecommunications companies on their commitment to human rights including privacy and freedom of expression.

To compile the digital rights ranking, researchers combed through user agreements, privacy policies, terms of service and corporate reports of companies such as Facebook, Vodaphone and Bharti Airtel.

Google ranked the highest, followed by Yahoo, while the Asian telecommunications company Axiata and the Emirates-based Etisalat ranked lowest.

Rebecca MacKinnon is the director of Ranking Digital Rights, the non-profit research initiative behind the study. MacKinnon has long been active in the fields of freedom of expression and privacy, and is a founding member of the Global Voices Online citizen media network. She is also the author of Consent of the Networked: The Worldwide Struggle for Internet Freedom, which came out in 2012.

read full article at DW 

Facebook's Global Government Requests Report

[Today] we are releasing our Global Government Requests Report as part of a broader effort to reform government surveillance in countries around the world by providing more transparency.
This report, which covers the first half of 2015, provides information about the number of government requests we receive for data, as well as the number of pieces of content restricted for violating local law in countries around the world where we provide service. The report also includes updated information about the national security requests we received from US authorities under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act and through National Security Letters.
Overall, we continue to see an increase in content restrictions and government requests for data globally. The amount of content restricted for violating local law increased by 112% over the second half of 2014, to 20,568 pieces of content, up from 9,707. Government requests for account data increased across all countries by 18% over the same period, from 35,051 requests to 41,214. For more details, including a country-by-country breakdown of the data, please read the full report.
As we have emphasized before, Facebook does not provide any government with “back doors” or direct access to people’s data. We scrutinize each request we receive for legal sufficiency, whether from an authority in the U.S., Europe, or elsewhere. If a request appears to be deficient or overly broad, we push back hard and will fight in court, if necessary.
Over the last two years, we’ve regularly published information about the nature and extent of the requests we receive. To protect people’s information, we will continue to apply a rigorous approach to every government request we receive. We’ll also keep working with partners in industry and civil society to push governments around the world to reform surveillance in a way that protects their citizens’ safety and security while respecting their rights and freedoms.

read full article at  Facebook 

EU Justice Chief Vera Jourova Speaks on Negotiating New Safe Harbor Pact

In a ruling that has created legal uncertainty for thousands of companies, the European Union’s top court last month scrapped a trans-Atlantic data-transfer framework, known as Safe Harbor, which allowed firms to transfer Europeans’ personal data to U.S.-based servers. The European Court of Justice said that data is unprotected when it lands on American soil because U.S. intelligence services can get their hands on it.
The EU and U.S. have been racing to seal a deal on a new data-transfer framework that meets the court’s requirements but clarity for European officials over the extent to which U.S. national security services have access to Europeans’ data is still outstanding.
By Natalia Drozdiak and Stephen Fidler

read full article at  WSJ 

President Obama pitches Trans Pacific Partnership to eBay sellers

President Barack Obama is hoping to rally support from hundreds of thousands of eBay sellers as part of his campaign to promote the controversial Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement.
In a letter posted to eBay Mainstreet, President Obama implored eBay's online business community to research the benefits of the TPP and how it stands to "help you and small business owners like you across the country."
read full article at ZDNet 

Safe Harbour 2.0 framework begins to capsize as January deadline nears

Safe Harbour 2.0, currently being drawn up by the EU and US authorities, "will not provide a viable framework for future transfers of personal information" across the Atlantic according to a group of human rights and privacy organisations. In a letter sent to the European Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality, Věra Jourová, and to the US Secretary of Commerce, Penny Pritzker, the 20 EU and 14 US NGOs instead urge the politicians "to commit to a comprehensive modernization of privacy and data protection laws on both sides of the Atlantic."
Time is running out to come up with a replacement for the original Safe Harbour framework, which was effectively struck down by the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) in October. The important Article 29 Working Party, composed of representatives from the national data protection authorities in EU countries, warned that they would not wait for long before acting on the CJEU decision: "If by the end of January 2016, no appropriate solution is found with the US authorities and depending on the assessment of the transfer tools by the Working Party, EU data protection authorities are committed to take all necessary and appropriate actions, which may include coordinated enforcement actions."

By Andree Stephan

read full article at ArsTechnica

Edward Snowden and spread of encryption blamed after Paris terror attacks

As Paris reels from terrorist attacks that have claimed 129 lives, fierce blame for the carnage is being directed toward American whistleblower Edward Snowden and the spread of strong encryption catalyzed by his actions. 
The latest deadly terror attack is bringing the "crypto wars" further toward the spotlight. The crypto wars refers to a decades-long political battle over the legality and popularity of encryption around the world.
By Patrick Howell O'Neill
read full article at  DailyDot

Paris Attacks Fuel Debate Over Spying

WASHINGTON—A growing belief among intelligence officials that the terrorists behind Friday’s Paris attacks used encrypted communications is prompting a far-ranging re-examination of U.S. policy on data collection and surveillance.
Sen. Richard Burr (R., N.C.), chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, said Tuesday his panel will launch a review of encryption use. Sen. Tom Cotton (R., Ark.) introduced a bill to extend a sweeping telephone data-collection program due to expire at month’s end.

By Damian Paletta And Siobhan Hughes                  
read full article at  WSJ

Paris Attacks Help Build Case for Stiffer U.K. Snooping Rules

The terrorist attacks in Paris may make it harder for the technology industry and privacy advocates to resist proposed rules that would require Web, software and phone companies to aid in wide-ranging U.K. surveillance efforts.
"The attacks make it incredibly difficult to argue for individual privacy,” said Emily Taylor, an associate fellow at the London-based public policy think tank Chatham House. “That seems like a ridiculous thing to argue for when people are being mowed down on a night out."

read full article at Bloomberg