Loss of Privacy

Keeping you informed on recent losses to privacy and civil rights worldwide.

Browsing Posts in Politics

President Obama is at Stanford University today, hosting a cybersecurity summit. He and about a thousand guests are trying to figure out how to protect consumers online from hacks and data breaches.

Meanwhile, in the cyber underworld, criminals are trying to figure out how to turn every piece of our digital life into cash. The newest frontier: health records.

Security experts say health data is showing up in the black market more and more. While prices vary, this data is more expensive than stolen credit card numbers which, they say, typically go for a few quarters or dollars.

More at NPR.

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The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is the largest–and worst–trade deal you’ve never heard of and Republicans in Congress want to work with the Obama administration to “fast track” its passage.

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In the latest “think of the children” idea to come out of the United Kingdom, a new bill proposes that nursery school staff and registered childminders must report toddlers they think are at risk of becoming terrorists.

The directive is contained in a 39-page consultation document issued by the Home Office in a bid to bolster its Prevent anti-terrorism plan.

Critics said the idea was “unworkable” and “heavy-handed”, and accused the Government of treating teachers and carers as “spies”.

The document accompanies the Counter-Terrorism and Security Bill, currently before parliament. It identifies nurseries and early years childcare providers, along with schools and universities, as having a duty “to prevent people being drawn into terrorism”.

The consultation paper adds: “Senior management and governors should make sure that staff have training that gives them the knowledge and confidence to identify children at risk of being drawn into terrorism and challenge extremist ideas which can be used to legitimise terrorism and are shared by terrorist groups.

David Davis, the Conservative MP and former shadow home secretary, said: “It is hard to see how this can be implemented. It is unworkable. I have to say I cannot understand what they [nursery staff] are expected to do.

“Are they supposed to report some toddler who comes in praising a preacher deemed to be extreme? I don’t think so.

“It is heavy-handed.”

Headteachers’ union NAHT, said it was “uneasy” with the new guidance. General secretary Russell Hobby, said: “It’s really important that nurseries are able to establish a strong relationship of trust with families, as they are often the first experience the families will have of the education system.

“Any suspicions that they are evaluating families for ideology could be quite counterproductive.

“Nursery settings should focus on the foundations of literacy and socialising with other children – those are the real ‘protections’.”

Schools and nurseries, he said, should not be required to act as a police service.

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In 2010, after two years of preparation and a fierce battle, the Dutch
parliament accepted a change to the Telecommunications Act which made net neutrality a principle that was protected by law. In this talk we will take stock after two years of legal protection of net neutrality in The Netherlands. Did it work and do the Dutch now have undiscriminated access to all services on the internet? Has the doomsday scenario of the providers, that subscriptions would become outrageously expensive, become reality? In which cases was the Dutch law enforced?

Are there any loopholes in the Dutch implementation? If others are to fight for net neutrality, what are the pitfalls to avoid? And, on a more meta-level, is it enough? Will net neutrality protect your freedom to access websites and services, or do we need a broader type neutrality?

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After years of debate, EU copyright law is finally being revisited. The Commission will present a proposal for reform within 4 months of 31c3. And it’s high time: There has never been a bigger discrepancy between the technical feasibility to share information and knowledge across all physical borders and the legal restrictions to actually do so. This talk outlines the unique opportunity and the challenge to bring copyright into the 21st century that lies in front of us. Hackers ensured that people were heard during last winter’s public consultation. Can they now also ensure a progressive outcome of the reform process?

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