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Carly Nyst's picture

This post originally appeared on the blog for Association for Progessive Communications, written by Shawna Finnegan and Carly Nyst, for APCNews and Privacy International:

Blast
Mike Rispoli's picture

Privacy International is looking for volunteers to help with its Big Brother Incorporated project, an investigation into the global surveillance industry focusing on the sale of technologies to brutal and oppressive regimes intent on using them as tools of political control. We're looking for volunteers who are able to help us with factual and legal research in relation to our casework.

In the media
Mike Rispoli's picture

This was the core message at the side event on the side-lines of the on-going United Nations Human Rights Council 23rd Session, hosted by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Privacy International and Association of Progressive Communications which sought to address some of the challenges in promoting privacy and freedom of expression in light of new means and modalities of surveillance and technological advances in communications.

In the media
Mike Rispoli's picture

However privacy concerns about information uploaded to the internet have been around for almost as long as the internet itself, and campaign group Privacy International says the reported existence of Prism confirms its "worst fears and suspicions".

In the media
Mike Rispoli's picture

Mike Rispoli at campaign group Privacy International says Snowden’s actions were "very brave," but that it's hard to predict what Snowden's fate will be.

In the media
Mike Rispoli's picture

For more on the consequences Snowden may face and the role of private contracting firms in government national security, we turned to Mike Rispoli, the communications manager for Privacy International.

In the media
Mike Rispoli's picture

Privacy International said: "Let's not forget: without the release of these classified documents, Mr Hague would not have had to make his statements before the Commons today, and it remains unlikely the news of this programme and the UK's involvement with Prism would have come to light. It should not take a whistleblower releasing classified information for the government to be forthright with its citizens about what data they collect and in what manner.

In the media
Mike Rispoli's picture

"There is spy technology that we see on James Bond movies that we know have been bought by Germany, the Netherlands, and elsewhere, and we know that it's being used," said Carly Nyst, head of international advocacy at Privacy International.

In the media
Mike Rispoli's picture

Mike Rispoli, spokesman for Privacy International, added: "The foreign secretary has told us that if you are a law-abiding citizen, then you have nothing to fear. We've heard this excuse before; it's the sorry line the governments trot out to appease the public."

In the media
Mike Rispoli's picture

A landmark United Nations report outlines the link between state surveillance and freedom of expression. While the news that the National Security Agency is collecting phone records of Verizon customers is shocking, the U.S. is far from alone. Carly Nyst, Head of International Advocacy at Privacy International, joins.

In the media
Mike Rispoli's picture

Eric King, head of research at Privacy International – a charity focused on the right to privacy – said: "Keeping the public in the dark about secretive and potentially unlawful programmes must stop, and greater oversight is needed to ensure human rights are not being trampled."

In the media
Mike Rispoli's picture

You are actually in a worse position, says Mike Rispoli, of UK-based charity Privacy International, because protections that exist for US citizens do not apply to foreigners. 

In the media
Mike Rispoli's picture

“Essentially anyone who participates in our interconnected world and uses popular services like Google or Skype can have their privacy violated through the Prism programme,” warned Mike Rispoli, a spokesman for Privacy International on its blog.

In the media
Mike Rispoli's picture

"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.

Blog
Mike Rispoli's picture

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."

In the media
Mike Rispoli's picture

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.”

Blog
Mike Rispoli's picture

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.

Blog
Sam Smith's picture

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.

Event
Mike Rispoli's picture

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.

In the media
Mike Rispoli's picture

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.

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Mike Rispoli's picture

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.

In the media
Mike Rispoli's picture

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.

In the media
Mike Rispoli's picture

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.

In the media
Mike Rispoli's picture

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.

Opinion piece
Kevin Donovan's picture

Below is an excerpt of an article that recently appeared on Slate, written by our partner Kevin Donovon, a researcher at the University of Cape Town, and Carly Nyst, Head of International Advocacy at Privacy International:

In the media
Mike Rispoli's picture

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”.

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Mike Rispoli's picture

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: 

In the media
Mike Rispoli's picture

The campaign group Privacy International (PI) in November reported that Gamma International is selling surveillance technology without a proper license.

In the media
Mike Rispoli's picture

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.

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