Articles about surveillance

Death

BAE accused of flogging mass-spying toolkits to assh*le autocrats

A year-long investigation has uncovered evidence that British armaments conglomerate BAE Systems has been selling internet surveillance equipment to Middle Eastern regimes with questionable human rights records. BAE has its fingers in many pies, including the online sphere, and in 2011 it bought Danish firm ETI and added it to …
Iain Thomson, 15 Jun 2017
MI5 headquarters as seen from the Thames. Pic by shutterstock - editorial use only

Ex-MI5 boss: People ask, why didn't you follow all these people ... on your radar?

Former MI5 boss Stella Rimington says complex communications "make it very difficult for our intelligence services" to keep pace against "hideous ideologies" whose sole aim is to kill, while cyber espionage is something "no one really knows effectively how to deal with". It was a bleak picture she painted of the threat …
Kat Hall, 7 Jun 2017

Break crypto to monitor jihadis in real time? Don't be ridiculous, say experts

Calls by a former special advisor to ex UK Prime Minister David Cameron to allow the circumvention of end-to-end encryption to monitor terrorist suspects have come under fire from security experts. Rohan Silva, government policy consultant turned co-founder at Shoreditch-based tech incubator/workspace startup Second Home, …
John Leyden, 6 Jun 2017

UK surveillance law raises concerns security researchers could be 'deputised' by the state

Provision in the UK's controversial surveillance laws create a potential means for the UK government to press-gang "any" UK computer expert into working with GCHQ. Computer scientists and researchers are concerned about the provision - even though the consensus is that it is unlikely to be applied in practice because it would …
John Leyden, 31 May 2017

Tech firms sends Congress checklist of surveillance reforms

More than 30 big internet companies including Google, Facebook, Amazon and Microsoft have sent a letter to the chair of the House Judiciary Committee asking for specific reforms to the law used for carrying out mass surveillance. The letter [PDF] concerns Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, which has to …
Kieren McCarthy, 26 May 2017

Venezuela increases internet censorship and surveillance in crisis

Venezuela is increasingly censoring its internet and expanding online surveillance of citizens. The country is currently in a state of emergency after two months of anti-government protests that have caused the deaths of over 50 people and led to violent confrontations with the police. Citizens are furious with president …
Kieren McCarthy, 25 May 2017

NSA takes one-two punch to the face

The US National Security Agency has been hit by two legal losses that may put the last part of its controversial spying program on US citizens under threat. In one case, brought by customers of AT&T and run by the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), the NSA was ordered [PDF] to provide relevant evidence that would prove or …
Kieren McCarthy, 23 May 2017

Lib Dems pledge to end 'Orwellian' snooping powers in manifesto

The Liberal Democrats have pledged to end the "Orwellian nightmare" of mass-snooping powers in the Investigatory Powers Act ahead of their manifesto launch. They will propose to roll back state surveillance powers by ending the indiscriminate bulk collection of communications data and internet connection records. The party …
Kat Hall, 15 May 2017
Image composite Alex Yeung, NesaCera, NesaCera Shutterstock

Leaked: The UK's secret blueprint with telcos for mass spying on internet, phones – and backdoors

The UK government has secretly drawn up more details of its new bulk surveillance powers – awarding itself the ability to monitor Brits' live communications, and insert encryption backdoors by the backdoor. In its draft technical capability notices paper [PDF], all communications companies – including phone networks and ISPs …

UK drops in World Press Freedom Index following surveillance and anti-espionage threats

The UK has dropped two places on the World Press Freedom Index following the passing of the Investigatory Powers Act and threats to pursue journalists reporting on national security. The World Press Freedom Index for 2017 was published today by Reporters Without Borders (Reporters sans frontières), the Paris-based …
CCTV camera trained on a garden. Photo by Shutterstock

US surveillance court declined less than 2 per cent of applications

The US Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) has published its annual report, revealing that less than 2 per cent of surveillance applications made under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) were declined in 2016. As part of the USA Freedom Act of 2015, statistical information on FISC is published annually …
Trump

Trump's lips sealed on surveillance, complains EU privacy chief

The US administration has been keeping schtum regarding President Trump's plans to adhere to promises made by Obama's government on how EU citizens' data would be protected from the NSA's mass-surveillance activities. Giovanni Buttarelli, the EU's data protection supervisor, has complained that his office is "waiting for a …

Home Office accused of blocking UK public's scrutiny of Snoopers' Charter

The UK's Home Office has been accused of making "it near to impossible to provide a meaningful response" to the public consultations which campaigners fought legal battles to have included in the Investigatory Powers Act. In an open letter to Amber Rudd, the Home Secretary, lawyers and civil society campaigners complained that …

Ex-military and security firms oppose Home Sec in WhatsApp crypto row

UK government ministers calling for increased surveillance abilities in the wake of last Wednesday's terrorist attack have encountered opposition from a somewhat unexpected quarter. Home Secretary Amber Rudd went on TV at the weekend to say it was "completely unacceptable" that authorities were unable to look at the encrypted …
John Leyden, 27 Mar 2017
whitehall_648

Home Office admits it's preparing to accept EU ruling on surveillance

The UK Home Office has acknowledged that it is preparing to accept a landmark EU ruling from last year which restated that access to retained data must only be given in cases of serious crime, unlike the range of cases provided for under the new Investigatory Powers Act. When the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) …
Trump

GCHQ dismisses Trump wiretap rumours as tosh

UK intelligence agency GCHQ has dismissed US reports - cited by the White House press secretary - that it was involved in running a surveillance operation on Donald Trump before last year's US election as "utterly ridiculous". During a press conference on Thursday, White House press Secretary Sean Spicer cited a Fox News story …
John Leyden, 17 Mar 2017
CCTV camera trained on a garden. Photo by Shutterstock

New strategy to curb officials' drone, phone and CCTV snoop jollies

A national surveillance camera strategy for England and Wales has today been published in an attempt to curb public authorities from excessive meatspace snooping. While the UK's recent Investigatory Powers Act has established a regime for the various arms of the state to follow when snooping on citizens' computer …
Zuckerberg

Facebook, Instagram: No, you can't auto-slurp our profiles (cough, cough, border officials)

Facebook and its snap-sharing app Instagram have updated their terms and conditions to bar developers from scanning profiles for surveillance purposes. On Friday a report from the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) showed that border patrol officers had tried automatically scanning visa applicants' social media profiles …
Iain Thomson, 13 Mar 2017

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