Loss of Privacy

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

Browsing Posts tagged Censorship

freedom of speech and express

The Turkish government continues its push to have more control over the Internet. A new bill would give the prime minister and communication minister the ability to block webpages without court order for 24 hours, providing those webpages threaten national security and public order.

“According to this study, if a situation concerning public order is in question, on matters concerning public order and national security, upon a demand by the related minister or the prime ministry, TİB [Telecommunications Directorate] will be able to temporarily remove content or block access. However, still, there is an obligation to file for a court within 24 hours and an obligation for the implementation of the court order,” said Transportation, Maritime Affairs and Communications Minister Lütfi Elvan told reporters yesterday during a visit to the Black Sea province of Bartın.

“The decision of the authorized agency shall be submitted for approval by the judge having jurisdiction within 24 hours. The judge shall announce his decision within 48 hours from the time of [action]; otherwise, the [prohibition] shall automatically be lifted. Public establishments or institutions where exceptions to the above may be applied are defined by law,” said the same article.

“It is an arrangement which is completely in line with Article 22 of our Constitution,” Elvan said, when asked whether the Constitutional Court might return the new legislation as well.

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Criminals aren’t the only people who desire privacy. The United Nations recognizes privacy as a fundamental human right, and many countries protect their citizens’ privacy rights explicitly in their constitutions. As the ACLU says, “Privacy is a fundamental part of a dignified life.” It enables freedom of expression and individual autonomy without fear of reprisal.

The “nothing to hide” argument also goes against the principle of “innocent until proven guilty,” a principle which the justice systems of many countries in the world follow. Instead, constant government surveillance of its citizens assumes that all of them are criminals who have something to hide.

Add to all that the fact that we don’t even know for sure why they’re watching us, and what they’re doing with all our data, and we have even more reasons to be suspicious of the constant surveillance.

But there is something you can do to protect your information while browsing online, and it doesn’t require you to be an IT expert or technical genius. Using the TOR browser, you can remain anonymous online and protect your right to privacy. Here’s how to get started.

TOR for Newbies: How & Why to Use it - Via Who Is Hosting This: The Blog

Source: WhoIsHostingThis.com

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Los Angeles police have asked the city attorney’s office and county prosecutors to explore whether they can legally prohibit civilians from flying drones with cameras over department-owned parking lots.

The inquiry was sparked after a South Bay man who routinely films police activity and posts the footage on his website flew his drone over the parking lot of the LAPD’s Hollywood station this week and filmed squad cars going in and out.

He then posted the video on YouTube.

The police aren’t too happy about it.

“What concerns us is that they are filming over private property and it’s gated – you’re looking at the layout of the police station, how we operate, personnel license plates,” said police Lt. Michael Ling. “It’s kind of like if it was your house, if they’re flying over your backyard you’d start asking questions about it.”

The police seem to think that because their police parking lot is gated, it’s trespassing if someone photographs or records the cars. The police, their vehicles, and the parking lot are paid for by the taxpayers. Theoretically, it’s all owned by the citizens, so citizens should be able to be photograph it. It’s not private property.

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A Day to Remember from Freewaves on Vimeo.

A Day to Remember
by Liu Wei

Biography: Liu Wei was born in in the People's Republic of China. He lives and works in Beijing.

China’s suppression of the memory of the June 4 massacre of demonstrators in Beijing in 1989 is a perennial and important subject of commentary. Much written on the subject is excellent, but little I’ve seen describes repressed memory in action as powerfully or succinctly as this 13-minute film, which was shot in 2005 in Beijing on the campus of Peking University and in Tiananmen Square.

Perhaps appropriately, the film which is titled 忘却的一天 or “A Day Forgotten,” is called “A Day to Remember” in the English version I found on Vimeo. Filmmaker Liu Wei spends the day of June 4, 2005 simply asking passersby, “Do you know what day it is today?” What results are conversations not easily forgotten


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