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  • Colombian police built a shadow surveillance state outside of lawful authority, Privacy International investigation reveals | Privacy International
    agencies in an environment that demanded immediate results During the development of this system DIPOL was involved in scandals relating to the abuse of surveillance powers In 2007 eleven police generals were dismissed following revelations that the agency had tapped influential opposition politicians journalists lawyers and activists While it is not suggested that the IRS was the system used for this unlawful spying questions go unanswered about who was protecting the Colombian people from abuse by such systems The Administrative Department of Security DAS had surveillance capabilities until its dissolution in 2011 The report also reveals that the DAS the infamous intelligence agency that had to be dissolved in 2011 had independent surveillance capabilities separate from the Esperanza system The agency was dissolved after a string of revelations that the agency had been spying on journalists judges opposition politicians and human rights activists who were critical of the Government of the then President Alvaro Uribe The DAS was procuring tactical interception devices and maintaining a network probe throughout the scandal up until the spy organisation s dissolution The ongoing investigation into the DAS illegal surveillance is focused on the misuse of the Esperanza surveillance system Privacy International hopes the revelation of DAS surveillance capabilities will expand the remit of the investigation to include its role in human rights abuses Tactical surveillance technologies purchased by DIPOL and DAS in the past While DAS and DIPOL were purchasing and developing their large network surveillance systems the agencies were also in the process of procuring tactical equipment In 2005 DIPOL are revealed to have purchased at least one IMSI Catcher The DAS were also looking to purchase this technology in 2010 from British company Smith Myers while the scandal of its illegal spying was unfolding The report also confirms Colombia as a customer of the Italian intrusion company Hacking Team Hacking Team was hacked earlier this year and details of the company s customers were released to the public The list included Colombia s national police Privacy International s report contains a rigorous analysis of current laws in Colombia the majority of which were passed after the dissolution of DAS The report points out a number of concerning interpretations of power in Colombia and calls into question what oversight is in place to protect against further abuse Currently these extensive powers are in the shadows so it is difficult to know whether or not innocent Colombians data is being collected and their right to privacy is being violated Matthew Rice Advocacy Officer Privacy International said We all thought that Colombia s history of illegal surveillance and abuses of power was well documented This report shows that there are still practices to expose systems to reveal and questions to be answered Colombian citizens have for many years suffered from seeing their law enforcement and security services acting against principles of democracy and interfering with their right to privacy Once again we have seen a key Colombian institution the Directorate of Police Intelligence shown to

    Original URL path: https://privacyinternational.org/node/637 (2016-04-27)
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  • News | Page 12 | Privacy International
    of surveillance in Morocco United Nations establishes landmark role for expert to investigate and report on right to privacy Date 26 March 2015 The UN s top human rights body the Human Rights Council today has passed a landmark resolution endorsing the appointment of an independent expert on the right to privacy For the first time in the UN s history an individual will be appointed to monitor investigate and report on privacy issues and alleged violations in States across the world Read more about United Nations establishes landmark role for expert to investigate and report on right to privacy Human rights organisations alarmed by bill that will give surveillance agencies dangerous new powers Date 25 March 2015 Privacy International Amnesty International FIDH the French League for Human Rights and Reporters Without Borders are alarmed by the expansive surveillance powers to be granted to surveillance agencies contained in a Bill transferred to the French parliament on Friday Under the new law French intelligence agencies would be empowered to hack into computers and devices and spy on the communications of anyone who makes contact with a person under suspicion even incidentally The new law will enable them to do this without having to obtain a judicial warrant Read more about Human rights organisations alarmed by bill that will give surveillance agencies dangerous new powers In wake of Paris attacks France introduces dangerous and broad surveillance bill Date 25 March 2015 The French Government unveiled a new Bill that aims at providing a legal framework to intelligence services last Friday While Privacy International welcomes the positive step of placing powers that were until now poorly regulated under the law we remain alarmed by many aspects of this Bill Read more about In wake of Paris attacks France introduces dangerous and broad surveillance

    Original URL path: https://privacyinternational.org/news?page=11 (2016-04-27)
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  • UN slams UK surveillance law, calls for privacy reforms in Canada, France and Macedonia | Privacy International
    as revealed by Edward Snowden The Committee s Concluding Observations issued today demand that the UK brings its practices and policies in line with international law on the right to privacy Following on from the landmark decision of the High Court in David Davis MP and Tom Watson MP s judicial review of the Data Retention and Investigatory Powers Act DRIPA and echoing the sentiment of David Anderson s report the Committee called on the UK to ensure judicial involvement in the authorisation of all surveillance measures including access to communications data The UK was also encouraged by the Committee to revise DRIPA to make sure access to data is only allowed in cases involving the most serious crimes The Committee s report echoes recommendations that it previously made to the United States in March 2014 particularly around the need to ensure that privacy rights are respected regardless of the nationality or location of the individuals whose communications are under surveillance Published less than two months before the UK government is expected to issue a draft Investigatory Powers Bill designed to overhaul surveillance laws in the country the Human Rights Committee s recommendation that the UK review the surveillance regime and ensure that robust oversight systems over surveillance interception and intelligence sharing of personal communications activities are in place are timely Tomaso Falchetta of Privacy International said Today s pronouncement from the Human Rights Committee authoritatively recognises that the current British surveillance regime is not compliant with the right to privacy The Committee s recommendations should form the basis of any reform of the UK surveillance laws that the government intends to pursue The Human Rights Committee an independent body of human rights experts charged with reviewing countries compliance with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights ICCPR also

    Original URL path: https://privacyinternational.org/node/629 (2016-04-27)
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  • Pakistan Intelligence agency sought to create mass surveillance system, new report from Privacy International reveals | Privacy International
    in Pakistan that remove safeguards against potentially abusive surveillance practices are concerning The Investigation for Fair Trial Act 2013 for example allows surveillance to be conducted wherever an official has reasons to believe that a citizen is or is likely to be associated with or even in the process of beginning to plan an offence under Pakistani law Privacy International s report finds that the legal framework governing communications interception and surveillance in Pakistan fails to effectively regulate the practices in line with Pakistan s domestic and international commitments to protect privacy as a fundamental right Pakistan s sizeable population of over 180 million generates huge amounts of communications traffic Fifty internet providers and five mobile operators service this demand Interception across these networks has expanded over the past decade thanks primarily to private foreign surveillance technology companies Firms from countries including China Finland France Germany Sweden and the United States have provided critical interception equipment for Pakistan s communication networks pursuant to licensing requirements that require the networks to be lawful interception compliant Privacy International s investigation also shows that one company Nokia Siemens Networks NSN a former joint venture between Finnish telecommunications company Nokia and German conglomerate Siemens AG continued to provide support to the expansion of communications monitoring centres in Pakistan several years following its formal exit from the monitoring centre business In 2009 NSN citing human rights concerns sold its intelligence solutions unit to a private investment firm following revelations that NSN had sold surveillance equipment in Iran The firm renamed the company Trovicor most of the unit s staff were retained as Trovicor employees Trovicor has been actively expanding monitoring centres on Pakistani networks via its local subsidiary since then Trovicor worked closely with NSN as its vendor and third party working on behalf of NSN in 2010 and 2011 despite NSN s public disassociation with the monitoring centre business according to documents obtained by Privacy International and released with the report Eric King Deputy Director Privacy International said Mass indiscriminate surveillance goes against the most basic fundamental human right to privacy The scope and scale of the program that the Inter Services Intelligence ISI wanted to build in 2013 which would monitor the entire scope of IP bound communications passing in and through Pakistan is neither necessary or proportionate We also have major concerns about the ISI s track record of engaging in extra judicial arrests and other abuses Matthew Rice Advocacy Officer Privacy International said This new report is a revelation in understanding the operation of surveillance in Pakistan and the grand ideas held by its government Pakistan s intelligence agencies are not grounded in legislation it is unclear who has the power to oversee their actions or evaluate proposed projects This proposal document should act as a wake up call to Members of the National Assembly in Pakistan of what is being done in the name of the people of Pakistan The scale of the system proposed by the Inter Services Intelligence

    Original URL path: https://privacyinternational.org/node/628 (2016-04-27)
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  • Pakistan: Intelligence agency sought to tap all communications traffic, documents reveal | Privacy International
    and through Pakistan at a rate of around 660 gigabytes per second It means hiring 200 analysts to monitor up to 5 000 concurrent targets with room to scale up of course It means tapping communications data straight at the source the fibre optic cables on which much of the data travels and centralizing in a far more powerful way than the government s extensive capacity to lawfully intercept data on Pakistani networks This is hugely powerful In short this project means tipping the scales of power towards the intelligence services and away from citizens It means capacitating the country s most notorious intelligence service to spy on more of the country s citizens and expecting it to police its own actions Surveillance is an easy sell in Pakistan Armed violence has moved from rural battlegrounds to Pakistani cities Horrific attacks against civilians like last year s Peshawar school massacre fuel calls for more and better surveillance The US strikes using armed drones in Pakistan continue to alienate and antagonize but are still widely seen as necessary to defend Pakistan according to some studies The country already has one of the world s largest biometric databases It is currently synchronizing with its SIM card registration databases in the name of crime prevention Yet mass indiscriminate communications surveillance goes against the most basic fundamental human right to privacy Laws that used to protect against this kind of overreach have been eroded despite Pakistan s Constitution protecting the right to privacy The right to free speech and free assembly also protected by the Constitution depends in part on the right to privacy They are both at risk when armed conflict and insecurity are increasingly used to justify mass surveillance Take the 2013 Investigation for Fair Trial Act This Act makes it easier

    Original URL path: https://privacyinternational.org/node/627 (2016-04-27)
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  • GCHQ oversight has technical blind spots; “does not check the code" says RUSI report | Privacy International
    frameworks for interception is recommended by the RUSI panel who state that antiquated laws will neither keep the public safe nor ensure privacy and that that the present legal framework is unclear has not kept pace with the developments in communications technology and does not serve either the government or members of the public satisfactorily The report criticises the Investigatory Powers Tribunal IPT for making a significant error following the revelation that the tribunal had failed to correctly identify Amnesty International instead of the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights as being the victim of unlawful surveillance The IPT issued an incorrect judgement only correcting it ten days later The report panel suggests identifying errors in this reactive rather than pro active way is a systematic weakness of our current oversight arrangement As a partial solution the report recommends allowing the commissioners who oversee the intelligence services to refer errors to the IPT for consideration Many of the conclusions from David Anderson QC in his report A Question of Trust were supported by the RUSI panel This includes reform of the myriad pieces of legislation currently in place that make up the powers of the security and intelligence service the need for judicial authorisation and an overhaul of oversight and the IPT While the report takes a strong stand in favour of transparency it fails to provide additional insight into the justifications for controversial surveillance powers such as bulk interception This is yet another lost opportunity to engage in a crucial assessment of the validity of these powers as new legislation is being considered Eric King Deputy Director of Privacy International said The RUSI report from start to end emphasises how technological change has rendered the current legal system governing surveillance obsolete Every day the highly technical GCHQ finds new ways

    Original URL path: https://privacyinternational.org/node/623 (2016-04-27)
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  • Facing the Truth: Hacking Team leak confirms Moroccan government use of spyware | Privacy International
    showed that the two Moroccan intelligence agencies the High Council for National Defence CSDN and the Directory of Territorial Surveillance DST have both purchased Remote Control System The CSDN first acquired it back in 2009 and the DST obtained it in 2012 In total Morocco spent 3 173 550 to purchase the licenses and maintain the product In 2015 alone the CSDN spent 140 000 and the DST 80 000 for spyware that can reach respectively up to 300 and 2 000 targeted devices The contracts were both signed through Al Fahad Smart Systems an Emirati company that acts as an intermediary for government and private companies seeking to purchase security services The documents also reveal that the Moroccan Gendarmerie was listed as an opportunity for 2015 and expected to obtain 487 000 from them The documents arrived two months after the Moroccan government threatened members of Moroccan civil society with a lawsuit following the publication in Morocco of the Privacy International report Their Eyes on Me The report was a series of testimonies of activists who had been targeted by Hacking Team spyware In a press release relayed by the press agency MAP the Government said they had filed a lawsuit against some people who prepared and distributed a report which includes serious accusations of spying by its services And they added that the ministry has asked for an investigation to identify people behind such accusations to try them by the competent court The staff of our partner organisation in Morocco reported that their neighbours and family members were interrogated by the police following the announcement All the claims stated in the report were in fact backed by research from the Citizen Lab an interdisciplinary research group affiliated to the University of Toronto Back in 2012 they had identified

    Original URL path: https://privacyinternational.org/node/622 (2016-04-27)
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  • Eight things we know so far from the Hacking Team hack | Privacy International
    and the exporter needs to inform the member state if they suspect that their goods could have a military end use Given that the UN investigators stipulate that RCS is ideally suited to support military electronic intelligence operations it is now important that the European Commission the Italian Government and Hacking Team assist with any UN investigation MEP Marietje Schaake has already called upon the European Commission to investigate NICE is selling Hacking Team to Uzbekistan NICE Systems a multinational Israeli based surveillance company is a reseller for Hacking Team and appears to have sold RCS to Azerbaijan Uzbekistan and Denmark In a 2014 report Private Interests Monitoring Central Asia Privacy International revealed that NICE Systems were operating in Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan Our investigation revealed that NICE Systems together with Verint sold and have been maintaining monitoring centres in Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan Companies reselling and distributing each others technology is a common practice as discussed in our recent post on collaborating companies Hacking Team are pitching to death squad police Hacking Team are trying to secure a sale to the Rapid Action Battalion RAB a Bangladesh police unit described by Human Rights Watch as a death squad involved in torture and extrajudicial killings and gave them a demonstration of RCS The RAB have spent the past year on the hunt for a wide variety of surveillance equipment In April 2014 Privacy International published restricted procurement documents showing that the RAB was in the market for a mobile phone monitoring device known as an IMSI Catcher or Stingray The tender misleadingly called for an UHF Transmitter Surveillance Equipment Vehicular Version After an investigation by Privacy International in conjunction with Swiss magazine WOZ it was revealed that representatives from the RAB were being hosted in Zurich by a manufacturer of IMSI Catchers Neosoft Swiss authorities confirmed at the time that they had reason to believe that the RAB representatives were in Zurich to receive technical training from Neosoft on how to use the surveillance technology Because such training would require an export license and they at the time believed that none had been sought by NeoSoft the Swiss export authorities referred the company to federal prosecutors for a potential violation of export control laws Although the prosecutors could not in the end prove that training was taking place Additional Director General of RAB Colonel Ziaul Ahsah subsequently reported to Bangladeshi media that the export had been stopped just before the shipment of the materials by Switzerland after allegations that the equipment could be used for human rights abuses Since then the Swiss Federal Council passed a major amendment to export control regulations to ensure that any exports of surveillance technology that present a risk to human rights are stopped The RAB however is still on the search for more surveillance technology In March this year they published even more procurement calls for surveillance technology including calls for a Communication Equipment Group location based social network monitoring GSM Double Band Jammer Voice Analyzer

    Original URL path: https://privacyinternational.org/node/619 (2016-04-27)
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