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  • Privacy International seeking investigation into computer spying on refugee in UK | Privacy International
    developing and exporting invasive commercial surveillance software called FinSpy Tired of living under constant surveillance and harassment Tadesse Kersmo and his wife left Ethiopia and arrived in the United Kingdom in 2009 where they were subsequently granted asylum In April 2013 Mr Kersmo became aware of a report published by the Citizen Lab an interdisciplinary research lab at the Munk School of Global Affairs of the University of Toronto that mentioned a spyware campaign targeting Ginbot 7 members The report titled You Only Click Twice FinFisher s Global Proliferation describes how pictures of Ginbot 7 members included in an email were used as bait to infect computers with the Trojan FinSpy One of the pictures included in the email was of Mr Kersmo who is a member of the Ginbot 7 executive committee A subsequent analysis by Privacy International and Bill Marczak a research fellow at the Citizen Lab of Mr Kersmo s computer suggests that in June 2012 three years after escaping persecution his computer appears to have been infected with the commercial surveillance spyware FinSpy FinSpy was developed and produced by the British company Gamma International and is part of an intrusion kit called FinFisher Privacy International has now sent a dossier to the National Cyber Crime Unit calling on them to investigate the illegal surveillance and demanding justice for Tadesse This complaint on behalf of a refugee alleging that he has been spied on in the UK using a FinFisher product is the first of its kind but builds on previous calls for investigations related to the alleged export of FinFisher to repressive regimes like that in Ethiopia Promotional material for FinSpy shows that it allows its user full access to a target s infected device and everything contained within it even enabling them to turn on

    Original URL path: https://privacyinternational.org/node/470 (2016-04-27)
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  • German OECD National Contact Point unwilling to investigate role of German company in human rights abuse in Bahrain | Privacy International
    OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises all of which concern human rights by exporting surveillance technology In Bahrain this technology has enabled grave human rights abuses including the arrest detention and torture of political opponents and dissidents by the government of the Arab Gulf state Bahrain The complainants criticise the decision of the NCP which has suggested to accept the complaint for further investigation solely regarding Trovicors due diligence procedures The complainants consider the participation in a subsequent mediation process which would leave the most substantial allegations regarding Trovicor s involvement in Bahrain undiscussed as suggested by the German NCP an unacceptable outcome of the proceedings In their appeal against the decision the complainants have maintained that their primary accusation namely that Trovicor breached the OECD Guidelines by maintaining technology in Bahrain that assisted the Bahraini authorities in monitoring and even detention and torture of activists has been sufficiently substantiated Involvement in Bahrain was admitted by a spokesman for Trovicor s predecessor Nokia Siemens Networks has been confirmed by employees in 2010 and has never been denied by Trovicor The German NCP however holds that the involvement of Trovicor in Bahrain were not sufficiently substantiated and that an in depth examination is only possible in relation to the general risk management of Trovicor Especially for confidential areas such as the surveillance technology it is unreasonable to expect the victims of serious human rights violations to submit the complete chain of evidence said Miriam Saage Maaß from ECCHR If one raises the bar to such a high level even for the decision of a complaint to be examined then the OECD complaints procedure would be obsolete The decision of the German NCP stand in stark contrast with the response of the British NCP in a parallel complaint against UK based company Gamma

    Original URL path: https://privacyinternational.org/node/478 (2016-04-27)
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  • Privacy International files complaint with Australian spy authorities over Five Eyes data sharing | Privacy International
    in the Guardian on 2 December the Australian Signals Directorate during a meeting with the secretive Five Eyes surveillance alliance proposed sharing bulk unselected unminimised metadata as long as there is no intent to target an Australian national Unintentional collection is not viewed as a significant issue This data could be used to build patterns of life including some of the most sensitive information about an individual including medical legal religious or restricted business information The memo makes clear that the ASD is collecting sharing and receiving massive amounts of private data in an environment where little transparency and accountability is brought to bear Carly Nyst Head of International Advocacy said The offer by ASD to secretly handover bulk data on Australians to be mined and analysed at will by their intelligence partners is one of the clearest signs yet that the members of the shadowy Five Eyes alliance consider themselves ultimately answerable to no one but themselves By operating in secret the Australian government has moved from being endowed with defending fundamental rights to seeing them as insignificant Secret agreements such as these need to be scrutinised in the light of day to ensure they are adequately protecting the rights of Australian citizens The Inspector General must now open an investigation to establish to what extent ASD has compromised the rights of Australians in favour of serving their Five Eyes masters and conduct a comprehensive and frank review in order to restore credibility to the government s claims that they have Australians best interests at heart Privacy International believes that these reports raise significant concerns of impropriety and warrants investigation by the Inspector General It is plainly obvious that the ASD are violating their own Rules to Protect the Privacy of Australians as well as the Intelligence Services Act

    Original URL path: https://privacyinternational.org/node/479 (2016-04-27)
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  • General Assembly Should Pass Strong Resolution on the Right to Privacy in the Digital Age | Privacy International
    After heated negotiations the draft resolution on digital privacy initiated by Brazil and Germany emerged on November 21 relatively undamaged despite efforts by the United States and other members of the Five Eyes group to weaken its language Although a compromise avoided naming mass extraterritorial surveillance explicitly as a human rights violation the resolution directs the UN high commissioner for human rights to report to the Human Rights Council and the General Assembly on the protection and promotion of privacy in the context of domestic and extraterritorial surveillance including on a mass scale The resolution will ensure that this issue stays on the front burner at the UN A vote on the resolution is expected in the next week The resolution would be the first major statement by the UN on privacy in 25 years crucially reiterating the importance of protecting privacy and free expression in the face of technological advancements and encroaching state power We are deeply concerned that the countries representing the Five Eyes surveillance alliance the United States Canada New Zealand Australia and the United Kingdom have sought to weaken the resolution at the risk of undercutting their own longstanding public commitment to privacy and free expression

    Original URL path: https://privacyinternational.org/node/480 (2016-04-27)
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  • Press Releases | Page 11 | Privacy International
    complaints to regulators the privacy watchdog organisation Privacy International has released its estimate of the volume of confidential UK financial data covertly transmitted to the US government Last week PI filed simultaneous complaints with Data Protection and Privacy regulators in 32 countries concerning recent revelations of secret disclosures of records from the banking giant SWIFT to US intelligence agencies 1 Read more about PI estimates over 4 million UK financial records sent each year to U S PI commences legal action to suspend unlawful activities of finance giant Date 26 June 2006 The privacy watchdog organisation Privacy International has today filed simultaneous complaints with Data Protection and Privacy regulators in seventeen countries concerning recent revelations of secret disclosures of millions of records from the banking giant SWIFT to US intelligence agencies Read more about PI commences legal action to suspend unlawful activities of finance giant Pulling a Swift one Bank transfer information sent to U S authorities Date 26 June 2006 On June 22 23 2006 the New York Times ran a story uncovering an international financial surveillance programme run by the Bush Administration In essence the Bush Administration is getting access to international transfer data and storing this in databases at the Treasury Department and or CIA for access to investigate terrorist activity There are a number of inconsistencies in the accounts so far Read more about Pulling a Swift one Bank transfer information sent to U S authorities Privacy International warns against Netherlands identity campaign Date 3 November 2004 The London based human rights watchdog Privacy International today attacked Justice Minister Donner s campaign on Wet op de uitgebreide identificatieplicht as an underhanded attempt to convince innocent citizens to forego their legal rights Last year the organisation advised that the identity legislation would violate both the European Convention

    Original URL path: https://privacyinternational.org/press-release?page=10 (2016-04-27)
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  • Privacy International files OECD complaints against telcos for role in UK mass surveillance program | Privacy International
    the fibre optic cables the companies own operate or control and thus facilitating mass surveillance Privacy International believes the telecommunications companies have undermined their customers internationally recognized human rights and contributed to adverse human rights impacts Privacy International wrote to the companies in August seeking clarification to their role in Tempora but did not receive answers demonstrating that the telcos have taken steps to mitigate or prevent the adverse human rights impacts that have occurred It has been recently reported that some of the companies have gone well beyond what was legally required in facilitating GCHQ s mass surveillance and received payment for their cooperation By collaborating with GCHQ and providing access to networks Privacy International argues that these companies have knowingly contributed to the violation of human rights by enabling the mass and indiscriminate collection of data and interception of communications Privacy International is asking the telecommunications companies to Explain all steps taken to oppose resist or challenge requests or directions to facilitate GCHQ s mass interception programmes to the extent that the companies are being legally compelled to cooperate with GCHQ Exhaust all legal avenues available to challenge GCHQ s requests or directions to facilitate GCHQ s mass interception programmes to the extent that the companies are being legally compelled to cooperate with GCHQ Cease any voluntary compliance with GCHQ Take measures to mitigate the respondent s contributions to the impact of GCHQ s mass interception programmes on human rights and Introduce policies ensuring all measures available are taken to resist requests from any government that would result in mass interception that is contrary to the fundamental right to privacy While other companies such as Facebook Google Microsoft and Yahoo have pushed back against government surveillance requests it appears that none of the fibre optic cable companies pursued

    Original URL path: https://privacyinternational.org/node/488 (2016-04-27)
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  • UN: Reject mass surveillance | Privacy International
    General Assembly After heated negotiations the draft resolution on digital privacy initiated by Brazil and Germany emerged on November 21 relatively undamaged despite efforts by the United States and other members of the Five Eyes group to weaken its language Although a compromise avoided naming mass extraterritorial surveillance explicitly as a human rights violation the resolution directs the UN high commissioner for human rights to report to the Human Rights Council and the General Assembly on the protection and promotion of privacy in the context of domestic and extraterritorial surveillance including on a mass scale The resolution will ensure that this issue stays on the front burner at the UN A vote on the resolution is expected in the next week The resolution would be the first major statement by the UN on privacy in 25 years crucially reiterating the importance of protecting privacy and free expression in the face of technological advancements and encroaching state power We are deeply concerned that the countries representing the Five Eyes surveillance alliance the United States Canada New Zealand Australia and the United Kingdom have sought to weaken the resolution at the risk of undercutting their own longstanding public commitment to privacy and free expression the groups said in their letter In adopting this resolution the General Assembly should take a stand against indiscriminate practices such as mass surveillance interception and data collection both at home and abroad the groups said In doing so they will also support the right of all individuals to use information and communications technologies such as the Internet without fear of unwarranted interference The groups that signed the letter are Access Amnesty International The Electronic Frontier Foundation Human Rights Watch Privacy International To read the Open Letter The United Nations General Assembly Must Uphold Individuals Right to Privacy

    Original URL path: https://privacyinternational.org/node/490 (2016-04-27)
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  • Germany and Brazil introduce UN resolution affirming right to privacy, condemning mass surveillance | Privacy International
    by a UN body on privacy in 25 years since General Comment 16 in 1988 by the Human Rights Committee It is also the first major intergovernmental effort to address the right to privacy and government surveillance since whistleblower Edward Snowden exposed the scope of global surveillance activities being carried out by some of the world s most powerful governments Carly Nyst Head of International Advocacy at Privacy International said Mass surveillance of individuals is incompatible with human rights and this resolution draws a critical line in the sand Every individual around the world has an undeniable right to privacy and should not live in fear that their government or any government is violating this right by indiscriminately spying on them We urge all States to swiftly and unconditionally adopt the resolution Citing the recent UN report by Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression Frank La Rue the resolution emphasizes that illegal surveillance of private communications and the indiscriminate interception of personal data of citizens constitutes a highly intrusive act that violates the rights to freedom of expression and privacy and threatens the foundations of a democratic society It calls

    Original URL path: https://privacyinternational.org/node/489 (2016-04-27)
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