"If the government can get phone numbers of two parties, unique identifiers like IMSI and IMEI, trunk identifiers, and time and duration of call, all listed within the court order, then the Obama administration's justification of 'We don't access content' does not matter," said Mike Rispoli, spokesman for Privacy International.
UPDATE: The Guardian has just reported that "The UK's electronic eavesdropping and security agency, GCHQ, has been secretly gathering intelligence from the world's biggest internet companies through a covertly run operation set up by America's top spy agency."
The rights group Privacy International heralded the report as a “landmark” piece of work. “The report marks the first time the U.N. has emphasised the centrality of the right to privacy to democratic principles and the free flow of speech and ideas,” it said. “[It] breaks a tradition long-held by U.N. human rights mechanisms to remain relatively silent on state surveillance.”
The revelations of the US government's massive and indiscriminate surveillance program are absolutely frightening, putting before the public's eyes the breadth of a secret, dragnet spying regime which casts every US citizen as a suspect.
Compulsory data on every state school pupil in the country can now be used for research “promoting the education or well-being of children in England”, according to UK Department for Education.
Privacy International, with the support of the Association for Progressive Communications and the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, will be hosting a side-event to the Human Rights Council on State surveillance and human rights, to discuss issues raised in the upcoming report of the UN Special Rapporteur of freedom of opinion and expression.
One activist who took part in the protests says she was targeted with surveillance software, or spyware, created by Andover-based Gamma International. The company has denied breaking any UK export laws. Now a legal challenge by Privacy International may force the government to reveal the extent of its investigations into the company.
Are you looking to join a small charity that punches above its weight in holding governments and corporations to account? We are seeking creative and passionate people who are keen to work on meaningful projects at the cutting edge of human rights and technology.
Then you're in luck. Privacy International is seeking to hire two new full-time positions to work with the Big Brother Incorporated project team, a Policy Officer and a Research Officer.
Finspy, UK-developed software that spies on computers and how they're used, has allegedly been sold to Bahrain - a regime accused of human rights abuses by pro-democracy campaigners.
Matt Perault, Facebook’s public policy manager, declined to commit to releasing transparency reports...and questioned whether the reports were “the most useful way to highlight” censorship and surveillance. Eric King of rights group Privacy International responded by asking Perault what would be a better way to highlight these issues than though transparency reports.
A new report finds that spy technology from a UK-based company was used to target a British citizen who became a leading light in Bahrain's Arab spring. Why is technology produced in Western democracies used to suppress democracy activists abroad? Eric King, Head of Research at Privacy International, joins HuffPo Live to discuss.
Confidential personal information, including passports, bank details, court documents and the health data of vulnerable care patients, has been left on computers at internet cafes...Mike Rispoli, spokesman for Privacy International, said the internet cafes who fail to wipe customer data were “lazy”.
Privacy International is building a comprehensive resource of the world's surveillance and privacy laws, and we need your help. As part of the Global Surveillance Monitor project, recent tasks undertaken by volunteers have included: researching the right to privacy in constitutions around the world, locating and analyzing the EU's data retention laws, and researching global data protection regimes. We need additional help on two of these projects, in the form of:
The campaign group Privacy International (PI) in November reported that Gamma International is selling surveillance technology without a proper license.
Last November, the campaign group Privacy International provided a dossier of evidence against Gamma International to HM Revenue and Customs, urging it to investigate whether there had been any breach of the export control regime.
A longer version of this article was previously published in Wired on 10 May 2013.
We all know surveillance is big in Putin’s Russia. What you may not know is that Russia’s surveillance tech is being used all over the world, even in the U.S.
Privacy International welcomes the absence of a Communications Data Bill in the Queen's Speech. The Communications Data bill was originally set to significantly expand the powers of communications surveillance in the UK and set another bad standard globally. Because of the work by Parliamentarians, a concerted effort by civil society groups and some within industry, this expansion was avoided, for now. However the Queen's Speech did include a mention of new proposals:
We very much welcome today's announcement by Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt that people will be allowed to opt out of having their medical records shared in the NHS England centralised information bank.
The current iteration of the UK's "Communications Data Bill" is now dead.
Today, a coalition of civil rights groups, including Privacy International, launched a report and campaign website, http://nakedcitizens.eu, which calls on EU Members of Parliament (MEPs) to protect fundamental rights to privacy in a crucial vote next month. Concerned citizens and consumers are able to contact their MEPs directly via the website.
After a successful investigation by the US government into the illegal reselling of over a million dollars worth of surveillance equipment to the Syrian regime, Dubai distribution company Computerlinks FZCO has agreed to pay the maximum civil penalty of $2.8 million.
The latest attempt by the British government to control and monitor online communications is arguably the most frightening to date and could be copied by authoritarian regimes - warns Privacy International.
Anna Fielder, a trustee at Privacy International, a group based in London that supports strong data protection laws, said the existing legal regimes in Europe and much of the world were ill equipped to meet the challenges of protecting personal information.
“Germany has the strongest data protection laws in Europe, and this is all they could do,” Ms. Fielder said. “Most businesses are not complying with data protection laws because the costs of noncompliance — I mean these tiny penalties — are so low.”
Out of concern for the potential international ramifications of the Communications Data Bill, fifteen of Privacy International's partner activists and organisations have signed a joint letter urging the UK to consider the detrimental impact this law will have around the world.
The letter reads:
Privacy International welcomes the news that the UK NHS Data Spine is being replaced. We have fundamental privacy concerns about the existing infrastructure, and the proposed changes have the potential to enable the necessary privacy protections to be implemented in a meaningful way.
Privacy International have filed an application for judicial review of HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) refusal to release information about the potentially unlawful export of Gamma International's FinFisher surveillance technology.
Are you looking to join a small charity that punches above its weight in holding governments and corporations to account? We're seeking a Research Officer to play a key role in the Privacy in the Developing World programme, and in PI's regional and international human rights advocacy.
Privacy challenges loom large amidst the continuing innovation of Big Data, cloud computing, the convergence of mobile phones and the internet, and social networking.