Al Jazeera recently published an investigation into the shadowy trade of communications surveillance technologies. Their undercover reporter revealed four companies offering to illegally sell highly intrusive surveillance technologies to the governments of South Sudan and Iran, both of which are subject to extensive international sanctions.
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PRESS RELEASE: Privacy International Sends Warning Briefing and Anti-Surveillance Phone Pouch to Brexit Negotiators to Help Them Stay Secure
Please find attached a copy of the briefing along with promotional photographs with the briefing.
Privacy International has today sent top EU and UK Brexit negotiators* a briefing on their vulnerability to potential surveillance by each other, and others. Brexit negotiations are to begin today.
Privacy International v Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs et al. (Bulk Personal Datasets & Bulk Communications Data challenge)
Date: 5-9 June 2017
Time: from 10:00 onwards
Location: Royal Courts of Justice, The Strand, London WC2A 2LL United Kingdom
The past few years have seen a huge rise in the number of attacks both active and passive, against organisations big and small. Attacks against organisations happen for a multitude of reasons: extortion via "ransomware", exfiltration of commercial secrets, or just "the lulz". While this can be crippling to a commercial business, it can potentially be devastating to an NGO, especially those which work to hold powerful institutions to account. The types of information held by such NGOs could potentially lead to arrests, kidnappings, or even deaths, if it were to be released.
The WannaCry ransomware attack exposed truths about cyber security that should serve as an urgent warning to governments, policy makers, companies and institutions globally.
Image source: AFP
Earlier this month, the Kenyan daily The Star reported that UK-based data analytics firm Cambridge Analytica had been quietly contracted by President Uhuru Kenyatta’s party in a bid to win himself a second term in office. State House officials were quick to deny the claims, while the company itself issued no comment.
These days it seems that no election can go by without fears of foul play, whether it is the hacking of a candidate or party’s e-mail or the spread of fake news and other misinformation to support or discredit a particular party or politician.
On 15 March 2017, the Italian Senate voted on a Bill, put forward by Justice Minister Andrea Orlando, that will reform the criminal justice system, including amending the Code of Criminal Procedure. Among the many provisions contained in DDL Orlando, currently pending approval by the Italian House of Representatives, the Government is mandated to regulate, via a legislative decree, the utilisation of malware (commonly referred to as ‘Trojans’ in Italian discourse) to engage hacking for criminal investigations.
Dear Minister Dr. Wolfgang Brandstetter,
Dear Minister Mag. Wolfgang Sobotka,
Dear Minister Dr.in Pamela Rendi-Wagner, MSs,
Dear Minister Mag. Hans Peter Doskozil,
We look at our smartphone first thing in the morning to check the weather, and our to-do list for the day. During breakfast, we read the news and learn about what is going on in the rest of the world. In our commute to work or college, we scroll through our social media feeds to check on our friends, family, and acquaintances. We might download a new app, or listen to a new song.
Why would we ever let anyone hack anything, ever? Why are hacking tools that can patently be used for harm considered helpful? Let's try to address this in eight distinct points:
1) Ethical hacking is a counter proof to corporate claims of security.
The financial services industry is eager to gather more and more data about our lives. Apart from mining the data they have historically collected such as credit history, they are looking to use our social media profiles to reach into our friendships and social interactions. They are using these data in new and unexpected ways, including personality profiling to determine the risk of lending to you, and thus the price you will pay.
This week the United States Congress voted to strip away one of the country’s few safeguards of the right to privacy by repealing rules which would have limited internet service provider’s ability to use or share customers’ data without customers’ approval.
Technologists hoped the “Crypto Wars” of the 1990s – which ended with cryptographers gaining the right to legally develop strong encryption that governments could not break – was behind them once and for all. Encryption is a fundamental part of our modern life, heavily relied on by everything from online banking and online shopping services to the security our energy infrastructure.
On a hot day in Nairobi, our researcher is speaking to an officer of Kenya’s National Intelligence Service (NIS). The afternoon is wearing on and the conversation has turned to the presidential elections, taking place in August this year. He has just finished describing the NIS’ highly secret surveillance powers and the disturbing ways in which these powers are deployed.
Privacy International Executive Director Dr Gus Hosein said: