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  • The steady drip of the erosion of the right to privacy | Privacy International
    material times the powers conferred by section 94 included a power to require CSPs to provide BCD The principles of legality does not arise given the statutory context the use of the power in this way was plainly within the contemplation of Parliament Unless Parliament was making a bizarre homage to George Orwell it is hard to see that the way section 94 was used some 14 years later could have in anyway been contemplated by Parliament The Amberhawk blog pointed out that in 1984 there were few networked computers thus there could have been no Parliamentary discussions about communications data collection in terms of the Internet or modern day networked computers Former MP Julian Huppert writing in August 2015 noted that the astonishingly broad power of clause 94 was So well tucked away in the miscellaneous provisions that it was never even debated in Parliament He stated that he spent considerable time as an MP pushing on this trying to find out how often these extraordinary powers were used and who was checking they were being used appropriately He got nowhere with the then security Minister James Brokenshire saying If the question relates to section 94 of the Telecommunications Act then I am afraid I can neither confirm nor deny any issues in relation to the utilisation or otherwise of section 94 At the same Home Affairs Select Committee session where this statement was made by Brokenshire BT refused to deny it had handed over data to the Intelligence Agencies It is also notable as stated in the Amberhawk blog that section 94 was updated in a very minor way by paragraph 70 of Schedule 17 Minor and Consequential Amendments of the Telecommunications Act 2003 for instance replacement of the words requisite or expedient by the word necessary in Section 94 So there was an opportunity to provide a full explanation to Parliament of the intended impact of Section 94 at this point but was not taken by the then Home Secretary David Blunkett It was not until November 2015 that use of section 94 to require telecommunications companies to provide bulk access to communications data outside the protections of the RIPA regime Gordon Corera Intercept The Secret History of Computers and Spies 2105 p 332 was avowed Has this power been used for hacking or intercept of content It was always believed that section 94 was only used to obtain communications data However a confusing paragraph in the amended response to our legal challenge states 198 For the avoidance of doubt no directions have ever been made under section 94 authorising the obtaining of the content of communications and or the carrying out of equipment or property interference The Respondents contend that such conduct can only be lawfully undertaken when authorised under the relevant provisions of respectively RIPA 2011 ISA 1994 and Part III of the Police Act 1997 For completeness the Respondents do contend that directions under section 94 can lawfully be made to require CSPs to

    Original URL path: https://privacyinternational.org/node/854 (2016-04-27)
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  • REVEALED: Privacy International Releases Trove of Documents That Proves Staggering Reach of Surveillance Agencies | Privacy International
    billing data or subscriber details content of communications including with lawyers MPs or doctors and records from government departments The Intelligence and Security Committee reported paras 156 158 that there are hundreds of millions of records which may be linked together The datasets are likely to contain significant quantities of information about British citizens None of the intelligence agencies have been able to provide statistics about the volume of personal information about British citizens included in the datasets The extent of abuses of personal sensitive data has also been revealed for the first time In recent years only three cases of non compliance or misuse resulted in staff being disciplined It is not apparent that any victims have been notified The documents also describe the intelligence agencies use of Section 94 of The Telecommunications Act 1984 to access data in bulk The Telecommunications Act is pre internet legislation that was never intended to enable this level of intrusion in a digital age Until November 2015 that use of Section 94 to require telecommunications companies to provide bulk access to communications data outside the protections of the RIPA Regulation of Investigatory Powers Bill regime was unknown Millie Graham Wood Legal Officer at Privacy International said The information revealed by this disclosure shows the staggering extent to which the intelligence agencies hoover up our data This can be anything from your private medical records your correspondence with your doctor or lawyer even what petitions you have signed your financial data and commercial activities This data is integrated into databases that could be used to build detailed profiles about all of us The agencies themselves admit that the majority of data collected relates to individuals who are not a threat to national security or suspected of a crime This highly sensitive information about

    Original URL path: https://privacyinternational.org/node/853 (2016-04-27)
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  • Bulk Personal Datasets Challenge | Privacy International
    re amended on 8 January 2016 following disclosures regarding the use of section 94 of the Telecommunications Act 1984 to include a challenge to the use of section 94 of the Telecommunications Act A detailed Request for Further Information was also sent on 8 January 2016 The Respondents provided an amended response which provides detail on the use of section 94 and significant avowals relating to the use of section 94 by GCHQ and the Security Service to acquire Bulk Communications Data since 1998 and 2005 respectively and their Response to the Claimant s Request for Further Information Disclosure Following legal proceedings in closed hearings where Privacy International was not permitted to be present we have received the following disclosure 1 Policies procedures and safeguards operated by the Respondents since June 2014 Redacted and gisted versions of these documents were provided initially on 4 March 2016 and updated versions where some redaction had been removed following legal proceedings in closed were served on 11 and 12 April 2016 We have listed these documents here 2 Historical documents including policies and procedures in place from June 2005 to May 2015 We have listed these documents here 3 Respondents closed response and exhibits Further to proceedings in closed the Respondent has served their Closed Response which includes parts of their Closed Response that the Court has directed be disclosed We have listed these exhibits here 4 Closed Response to Request for further information These documents substantial additional avowals and detail about acquisition use and so on of Bulk Personal Datasets and Bulk Communications data One document disclosed notes the increased level of scrutiny and debate on use of bulk personal data by the Security Intelligence Service as a result of Privacy International s challenge At the very least we should expect increased

    Original URL path: https://privacyinternational.org/node/843 (2016-04-27)
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  • Reports of the death of communications privacy are greatly exaggerated: reflections on recent UN Human Rights Committee’s findings on South Africa | Privacy International
    citizens were also crime weary after a massive crime spike in the late 1990 s As a result many were more open to rights reducing laws like RICA But more people are realising that in their freedom they may have given an important element of their freedom away namely the privacy of their communications In the past when there has been political ferment in the ruling party different factions have abused their access to the communications surveillance capacities of the state to spy on their perceived opponents The full extent of these problems came to light in 2008 when a ministerial report into these abuses was leaked to the press known as the Matthews Commission report The Matthews Commission proposed wide ranging reforms to prevent similar abuses from occurring again However there is little reason to believe that these reforms have been implemented One of the practices the Matthews Commission criticised was that mass surveillance did not fall under RICA The UN Committee has amplified this criticism in its report There are two interception centres in South Africa The Office for Interception Centres OIC which is established by RICA to undertake communication interception and The National Communications Centre NCC which undertakes mass surveillance and which isn t established or regulated by any law This lack of regulation and oversight renders such mass surveillance unlawful and unconstitutional After the Matthews Commission report was released the then Ministry of Intelligence developed two Bills to regulate the activities of the NCC However once the Jacob Zuma Presidency assumed office both Bills were shelved This means that the most powerful mass surveillance machine of the state is the one that is least regulated an issue that should concern South Africans greatly as the Government has a track record of abusing such power Other abuses have come to light despite of the lack of transparency around government spying Sunday Times journalist Mzilikazi wa Afrika had his communications intercepted by members of the Crime Intelligence Division of the police on suspicion that his frequent trips to neighbouring Mozambique meant that he was gun running Yet in fact he was pursuing a story for the paper Perversely the Inspector General of Intelligence tasked with oversight of South Africa s intelligence services declared the interception of wa Afrika s communications legal as the police had followed the RICA process This situation arose because the grounds for the issuing of interception warrants in RICA are vague and speculative This was another concern in the UN Committee report The Committee also expressed concern over weak safeguards lack of oversight and lack of remedies against unlawful interference The RICA judge marks his or her own homework in that s he signs off on interception applications while also being the sole party responsible to report on such decisions in an annual report to Parliament s intelligence committee The Committee also noted that RICA is also weak on metadata protections RICA requires communications service providers to retain all metadata or what it calls

    Original URL path: https://privacyinternational.org/node/850 (2016-04-27)
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  • Jane Duncan | Privacy International
    Financial Opportunities Contact Donate You are here Home Jane Duncan Jane Duncan is a professor in the Department of Journalism Film and Television at the University of Johannesburg She is a member of the Right 2 Know Campaign R2K and the Media Policy and Democracy Project MPDP and was part of a delegation to the recent UN Human Rights Committee hearings on South Africa representing R2K Privacy International and the

    Original URL path: https://privacyinternational.org/node/849 (2016-04-27)
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  • Mexican Supreme Court’s unique opportunity to stand against mass surveillance | Privacy International
    Telecom The injection was first denied in February 2015 by district court No 2 on Administrative Matters Specialized in Economic Competition Broadcasting and Telecommunications Following this R3D filed a recourse of revision leading to the case being referred to the Mexican Supreme Court by the First Collegiate Court on Administrative Matters Specialized in Economic Competition Broadcasting and Telecommunications in August 2015 Under the Ley Telecom companies are required to retain vast amounts of metadata for a period of 24 months This disproportionate and unnecessary regime violates the right to privacy of millions of Mexicans and further contradicts international human rights law as it allows for warrantless access to such data Privacy International has joined R3D and other national and international organisations in calling upon the Mexican Supreme Court to take a strong stand against disproportionate mass interferences with the right to privacy by revoking mandatory data retention in the Ley Telecom The Mexican Supreme Court has a unique opportunity to ensure that Mexico adheres to its international human rights obligations to protect the right to privacy and uphold the highest data protection standards If it fails to do so it will fail to uphold its human rights obligation by permitting unchecked disproportionate interferences with the right to privacy of its citizens Data retention has been at the centre of many controversies and the subject of various judgements in both national and regional courts The European Court of Justice issued an important decision in April 2014 when it declared the EU Directive on Data Retention was invalid and noted that metadata may allow very precise conclusions to be drawn concerning the private lives of the persons whose data has been retained Further it concluded that the retention of metadata relating to a person s private life and communications is in itself

    Original URL path: https://privacyinternational.org/node/851 (2016-04-27)
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  • Discussion on Cyber Security in Colombia | Privacy International
    scandal The Colombian army had mounted a front operation in the form of a security hackerspace where besides asking young people to solve technical challenges it apparently involved interception of the communications of negotiators attending talks with the guerilla group FARC This new scandal coupled with a story about an interception of the email account of the current president and the fact that the layout plan in the 2011 CONPES had already been 90 developed according to the deputy minister of Ministry of ICT raised the need to develop new public policy guidelines on issues of digital security The process began in March 2014 The new CONPES draft was only released publicly in January 2016 and consultations in sectoral working groups were held the following week The final version is yet to be published Present The creation of a new digital security CONPES is an opportunity to introduce a human rights approach into the public policy discussion on cyber security With this in mind the current CONPES draft has made some advances However Karisma the Foundation for the Freedom of the Press FLIP in Spanish the Colombian Commission of Jurists CCJ and a handful of citizens presented comments and criticis ms to the January document As if more evidence of the urgency of this discussion was needed in late 2015 a new scandal was uncovered involving the possible abuse of surveillance mechanisms by some members of the police against journalists As part of a journalistic investigation into possible prostitution corruption and illicit enrichment involving the former director of the National Police General Palomino it was revealed that journalists working on the story were placed under surveillance had their communications intercepted and were targeted with remote control software The capacity to use these tools was denied in public statements by General Palomino However the complaints by journalists have led to the beginning of several investigations including one from the Inspector General in which Karisma was officially requested to send the original version of the Privacy International report Shadow State Surveillance Law and Order in Colombia Future While in recent years there has been progress incorporating civil society concerns in addressing issues of cybersecurity in domestic politics while considering human rights there are still several outstanding discussions especially against the issue of the protection of privacy in the country As already noted the absence of oversight mechanisms on intelligence and counterintelligence activities is perhaps one of the most important recurring points whenever the issue of possible reforms to the intelligence systems in Colombia is raised However it is not the only one It is a concern as mentioned by Dejusticia in its analysis of communications surveillance in Colombia that the definition of monitoring of the electro magnetic spectrum contained in the Intelligence Act allows for the collection processing analysis and dissemination of information to prevent and combat threats of internal or external origin to the democratic constitutional and legal regime and against security and national defense Monitoring is not considered by current

    Original URL path: https://privacyinternational.org/node/847 (2016-04-27)
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  • Universally Unpopular: Pakistan’s ‘Prevention of Electronic Crimes Bill’ passes National Assembly | Privacy International
    Bill which is almost universally acknowledged as controversial had been criticised by opposition members industry and civil society at numerous stages Civil society organisations from around the world released two joint statements in April and December last year expressing their concerns Despite the chorus of criticism very little has changed in the Bill during its passage to National Assembly approval The problems with the most recent publicly available draft of the Bill are many and varied Mandating retention of all Pakistani people s internet traffic data for a minimum of one year freedom for the Federal Government to share information with any other government if they so desire without the need for oversight and vague powers to require the decryption of information We have to say most recent publicly available draft because the version of the Bill that was voted on by the National Assembly on 13th April is yet to be released to the public This is the most recent of a number of highly dubious events that have emerged during the Bill s drafting process The gestation of the Bill is a guide on how not to do legislation drafting Criticised for not consulting stakeholders in April 2015 the Standing Committee on Information Technology reluctantly opened up the consultation Next the Chair of the Committee forced a draft of the Bill through to the National Assembly in December 2015 that many of his fellow committee members had not even had the opportunity to review This was inevitably met with derision from civil society and other stakeholders but this time even those within the committee criticised the process How this Bill with such a closed drafting process made it through a vote in the National Assembly is anyone s guess However all is not lost The Bill now has

    Original URL path: https://privacyinternational.org/node/838 (2016-04-27)
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