The petition urges President Barack Obama and the leadership of both parties to foster more transparency after disclosures about a widespread surveillance program conducted by the National Security Agency. In the letter, signed by Apple, Microsoft, Yahoo, and others, the companies said Americans "are entitled to have an informed public debate" about what their government is doing. The letter also presses Congress to enact laws forcing the government to provide "… Read more
AT&T and Verizon will no longer be able to keep the wraps on any special deals with bandwith providers in France.
France's Conseil d'Etat ruled yesterday that French regulator ARCEP does have the power to investigate the dealings between the two carriers and bandwidth providers. Both AT&T and Verizon had filed a complaint in June of 2012 asking for an annulment of a new regulation that requires operators to provide ARCEP with semi-annual reports on their Internet traffic practices. But the latest ruling found in favor of the legality of collecting such information.
The … Read more
The French government has scrapped a provision that could cut off Internet access for those who downloaded copyrighted files illegally.
The so-called "three strikes" law brought first written warnings for infringement, then ultimately suspension of Internet access. The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) and Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) applauded the law.
But the French government is now taking a new approach, focusing its antipiracy efforts on commercial piracy, such as Internet sites that profit from infringing, rather than individuals, according to a statement by the French Ministry of Culture and Communication Tuesday.
Although suspended Net … Read more
The Washington Post published on Saturday a set of slides regarding PRISM, revealing more details about the National Security Agency's controversial surveillance program and how it operates.
The new slides, which come nearly a month after former NSA employee Edward Snowden leaked classified documents to the press about the program, appear to confirm that the NSA and FBI have the ability to perform real-time surveillance of e-mail and stored content.
The slides also seem to contradict denials from tech companies such as Google, Apple, Yahoo, and Microsoft about their level of participation in the program. The program "uses … Read more
Google cannot be forced to remove "damaging" material from its search engine that was legally posted elsewhere, according to an adviser to the top court in Europe.
The senior adviser to the European Court of Justice (ECJ), whose job it is to present a public and impartial opinion on cases the court receives, also said there is no general "right to be forgotten" under existing EU data and privacy laws.
In an opinion published on Tuesday, advocate-general Niilo Jaaskinen said that Google cannot be considered the "controller" of personal data from other Web sites … Read more
Edward Snowden, who became famous for leaking top-secret U.S. government documents, said today that the National Security Agency can get a look at information from Americans' domestic phone calls without a warrant.
In an online discussion organized by the Guardian newspaper this morning, the 29-year-old former intelligence analyst said, when it comes to the contents of e-mail and phone calls, "Americans' communications are collected and viewed on a daily basis on the certification of an analyst rather than a warrant."
Intelligence analysts at the NSA, CIA, FBI, the Defense Intelligence Agency, and other similar arms of the … Read more
The head of the National Security Agency hinted Wednesday that logs of Americans' e-mails and Web-site visits may be secretly vacuumed up by the world's most powerful intelligence group.
During a U.S. Senate hearing, NSA director Keith Alexander was asked specifically about whether "e-mail contacts" are ingested under the Obama administration's secret interpretation of the Patriot Act's surveillance powers.
"I don't want to make a mistake" and reveal too much, Alexander said, adding that disclosing details about such surveillance would cause "our country to lose some sort of protection." … Read more
When Internet companies were recently accused of allowing the National Security Agency direct access to their servers, they strenuously denied it. But when AT&T was accused of allowing the NSA direct access to its network, it did the opposite.
Mark Klein, who worked as an AT&T technician for over 22 years, disclosed in 2006 (PDF) that he met with NSA officials and witnessed domestic Internet traffic being "diverted" through a "splitter cabinet" to secure room 641A in one of the company's San Francisco facilities. Only NSA-cleared technicians were allowed to work … Read more
The U.S. Department of Justice confirmed Tuesday that it is considering requests from Google, Facebook, and Microsoft that would let them clear their names after allegations they opened their networks to government spies, although U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder has not yet issued a decision on the matter.
In response to queries from CNET, the Justice Department said late this afternoon: "The department has received the letter from the chief legal officer at Google. We are in the process of reviewing their request."
Eight U.S. senators today seized on leaks from the National Security Agency to call for an end to a "secret law" that governs how intelligence agencies electronically spy on Americans.
Secret laws may seem like Kafkaesque jurisprudence borrowed from Soviet Russia, but last week's leak of a secret court order revealed the Obama administration has a secret interpretation of the Patriot Act that allows it to vacuum up logs of all domestic phone calls on a daily basis.
"It is impossible for the American people to have an informed public debate about laws that are … Read more