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As Communications Manager, Mike handles all of Privacy International's external communications. He is the point-person for the media and also develops strategy for public engagement. Before joining PI, Mike was the Campaign and Media Strategist for Access, an international NGO that defends and extends the digital rights of at-risk users around the world. In a past life, Mike was a researcher at Columbia University's Institute for TeleInformation, as well as a political journalist in the US. Mike received his master's degree in Media Studies and Media Management at The New School in New York City, and his bachelor's degree in Journalism and Philosophy at Marist College.
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In another case, an Ethiopian refugee in London is asking British police to investigate evidence that FinSpy software known as “FinFisher” was used to hack his computer.
Tadesse Kersmo, who identified himself as a member of the executive committee of the Ethiopian opposition group Ginbot 7, filed a complaint Monday asking for a probe of Gamma Group, a Britain-based company that produces the FinFisher software.
Privacy International, one of the most respected and important organisations in the world that defend the right to privacy, wrote two letters including to the Minister and to President of Lombardy asking Roberto Maroni as to why they are financing Hacking Team.
Queste scoperte hanno suscitato a livello internazionale richieste di regolamentazione delle aziende che, come Hacking Team, producono software di sorveglianza. Da ultimo, l’associazione internazionale per la tutela del diritto alla riservatezza, Privacy International, ha inviato ieri una lettera al ministro per lo sviluppo economico, Federica Guidi, chiedendo che il governo italiano faccia chiarezza sull’azienda milanese e stabilisca un efficace sistema di licenze per l’esportazione di questi software.
Privacy International will die National Cybercrime Unit dazu bringen, eine Untersuchung im Fall Tadesse Kersmo einzuleiten. Der Äthiopier soll auch nach seiner Flucht nach Grossbritannien im Jahr 2009 mittels der einschlägig bekannten Spionagesoftware FinSpy des britisch-deutschen Anbieters Gamma Group abgehört worden sein. Wie die britische Bürgerrechtsorganisation in einer Medienmitteilung schreibt, verstösst das Abhören der Kommunikation durch einen ausländische Staat im Inland gegen diverse Gesetze.
Privacy International, an advocacy group based in Britain, filed a criminal complaint there Monday urging an investigation of the alleged use of FinSpy against an Ethiopian political refugee based in the United Kingdom.
Carly Nyst, Privacy International's legal director, said the revelation underlined the importance of democratic societies being able to limit the activities of intelligence agencies.
"Today we've found out that the way we now use technology to stay in touch with friends, family and loved ones means many of our most private thoughts and experiences are available for viewing by GCHQ. How can collecting and storing these intimate moments possibly help protect national security?
Ora, però, a muoversi è una delle più importanti e rispettate organizzazioni del mondo per la difesa della privacy. Si chiama “Privacy International” (PI), appunto, e ha sede a Londra. PI ha appena inviato una lettera al ministro Federica Guidi, a capo dello Sviluppo economico del governo Renzi, e al presidente della regione Lombardia, Roberto Maroni, per chiedere spiegazioni sull'azienda milanese (la lettera è disponibile qui).
Hacking Team ancora nel mirino degli attivisti per i diritti digitali. A pochi giorni di distanza dal rapporto di Citizen Lab (dato in anteprima su Wired.it) che mappava l’infrastruttura nascosta di server governativi che utilizzerebbero il software dell’azienda milanese per intercettare tutte le comunicazioni dei loro target, arriva ora una campagna lanciata da Privacy International.
The Don't Spy On Us Campaign, a coalition between UK and international civil liberties groups – including Privacy International and Big Brother Watched, welcomed the talk.
When it comes to new technologies such as facial recognition, there really are no meaningful protections in place. Carly Nyst from Privacy International agrees: “Without clear and strict regulation of the use of facial recognition and fingerprint technology, it is very difficult to ensure that individuals' privacy will be protected,” she told me.
“Conveniently for these companies,” said Edin Omanovic, a research officer with Privacy International, “the fact that they sell to government agencies who demand non-disclosure means that they can continue to operate under a shroud of secrecy away from public scrutiny and any form of real accountability.”
Privacy International has lodged a criminal complaint to the United Kingdom’s (UK) National Cyber Crime Unit (NCCU) of the National Crime Agency for the allegedly unlawful interception of personal communications of an Ethiopian political refugee living in the UK.
The charity Privacy International has made a criminal complaint to the agency’s National Cyber Crime Unit following the detection of the surveillance software FinSpy on a computer belonging to Tadesse Kersmo, who fled to Britain from Ethiopia in 2009.
Despite both companies denying a special relationship with each other, some including Eric King, head of research at advocacy group Privacy International, are skeptical of their claims.
Tadesse Kersmo and lobby group Privacy International filed the complaint with the cyber crime unit of the UK National Crime Agency, asking it to investigate the allegedly illegal interception of communications through the use of a little-known malware used by governments around the world.
Gus Hosein of lobby group Privacy International said, "Schedule 7 is a law intended to fight terrorism, and was not drafted to target people like David Miranda.In this instance however the government used it to seize the devices of journalists to intimidate the reporting of mass and unlawful surveillance practices of the British government. To equate journalism with espionage, as the government has, is truly shameful.
But privacy advocates question such assurances. “How could targeting an entire website’s user base be necessary or proportionate?” says Gus Hosein, executive director of the London-based human rights group Privacy International. “These are innocent people who are turned into suspects based on their reading habits. Surely becoming a target of a state’s intelligence and security apparatus should require more than a mere click on a link.”
Liberty, Big Brother Watch and Privacy International have described the inquiry as “deeply flawed” in an open letter to the ISC with copies to the prime minister and his deputy.
"While the IPT has a history of siding with Government, today the Tribunal expressed well-founded scepticism of several of the government's positions, which were built upon continued refusals to acknowledge the existence of the Tempora programme, despite the reams of material to the contrary that are now in the public domain.
"The Government's continuing insistence on neither confirming nor denying Tempora borders on the absurd and blocks us from having a full and robust debate about whether such mass surveillance is lawful."
Privacy International said : "All internet and telephone communications, without meaningful limits, are being collected, stored and analysed by the security and intelligence services, regardless of any grounds for suspicion. This raises important issues of law and principle."
In response to the ruling against David Miranda over his detention at Heathrow, Privacy International Executive Director Dr. Gus Hosein said:
Schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act of 2000 is a law intended to fight terrorism, and was not drafted to target people like David Miranda. In this instance however the government used it to seize the devices of journalists to intimidate and obstruct the reporting of mass and unlawful surveillance practices of the British government. To equate journalism with espionage, as the government has, is truly shameful.
Today there are also live demonstrations planned in Denmark, Stockholm and the US. In London this evening there will be an event including lectures on how to improve your online security as well as the launch of a campaign called Don’t Spy on Us, backed by Liberty and Privacy International, which calls for an inquiry into mass surveillance in the UK.
In the UK, the protest was launched at 11:30 with a thunderclap, a mass call on social media for wider opposition to spying. That opening strike was supported by users including Owen Jones, Graham Linehan, and Tom Watson MP, and was organised in co-operation with a range of civil liberties organisations including Liberty, English PEN, Privacy International, Article 19 and Big Brother Watch.
Don't Spy On Us is a coalition of organisations that focus on defending privacy, freedom of expression and digital rights in Europe. These include: Open Rights Group, English Pen, Liberty, Privacy International, Big Brother Watch and Article 19.
Here in the UK, the Open Rights Group is also launching a new campaign today, called "Don't Spy on Us":
As part of this global day of action against mass surveillance, Open Rights Group, Liberty, English PEN, Privacy International, Article 19 and Big Brother Watch are coming together to launch Don't Spy on Us.
Here in the UK we have the coalition group Don't Spy On Us, which is directing its protests at GCHQ. Its members include Privacy International, Big Brother Watch and the Open Rights Group. Citizens are asked to add their support on its pages.
"At no point do we see the level of accountability that we would expect from an institution providing surveillance services," said Matthew Rice from Privacy International. In fact, he continued, the only people who keep these guys in check are those with a financial stake in their performance. "The general public, voters or a constituency base are not the ones who ultimately hold private companies accountable, but shareholders who want to make sure they are getting a good value for their investment."
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