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  • PI, Genewatch and the Council for Responsible Genetics launch the Forensic Genetic Policy Initiative | Privacy International
    2012 Today 60 countries worldwide operate national DNA databases and at least 34 more are considering putting them in place The use of DNA evidence in criminal investigations can bring great benefits to society helping to solve crimes convict the guilty and exonerate the innocent However the mass storage of DNA samples and computerized profiles in databases raises important human rights concerns Your DNA profile can be used to track you or your relatives Your DNA sample has the potential to reveal predispositions towards certain illnesses and behaviours as well as the current state of your health This is not an issue restricted to convicted criminals as the practice of collecting and storing DNA samples from those arrested but never convicted of even minor offences increases innocent people all over the world are being added to databases The Forensic Genetics Policy Initiative seeks to set international standards for DNA databases that respect and protect human rights It will focus on building civil society s capacity to engage in the policy making processes that govern the development of national and international databases and the cross border sharing of genetic information The legitimate needs of law enforcement and respect for individual rights

    Original URL path: https://privacyinternational.org/node/522 (2016-04-27)
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  • Privacy International calls for dismantling of Japan ID numbering system | Privacy International
    government to acknowledge the dangers created by the system and to immediately dismantle the project Privacy International has warned that the scheme will lead to the most dangerous and comprehensive violation of privacy in recent Japanese history In the two weeks that it has been operating dozens of municipalities have experienced computer failures and leakages of personal information Simon Davies Director of Privacy International warned This situation will become more horrendous with each passing day The technology and the administrative systems for the system cannot cope with the vast amount of information generated Countries such as the United Kingdom the United States and Australia have rejected similar proposals because of the risk to personal privacy and individual rights Japan would be well advised to abandon this dangerous and discredited idea Since its formation in 1990 Privacy International has been at the forefront of raising awareness of the dangers of information systems Its research has consistently highlighted that national ID systems inevitable become an internal passport creating extensive problems for millions of citizens who fall victim to computer failures and malicious leakage of their information The organisation believes that privacy law cannot prevent these abuses Mr Davies warned The law simply

    Original URL path: https://privacyinternational.org/node/543 (2016-04-27)
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  • PI condemns mass fingerprinting of UK primary school children | Privacy International
    and DNA testing It s clearly a case of get them while they re young They are seen as a soft target for this technology Privacy International the members of which include many of the world s privacy and data protection experts also strongly criticised the involvement of the office of the Information Commissioner the body responsible for the protection of information privacy in Britain In a letter dated 4th July 2001 to the system vendor Micro Librarian Systems MLS the Commission s compliance officer Robert Mechan praised the use of the technology in schools arguing that finger printing aids compliance with the Data Protection Act In subsequent media coverage the Commission was reported as wanting to encourage the use of finger printing in schools Simon Davies said This is a bleak moment for privacy in Britain The Commissioner s office has damaged privacy and human rights and has brought disrepute to its role I am appalled that the Commissioner would support a situation where innocent and impressionable young children are obliged to yield their finger prints even before they have reached an age of discretion on such matters The Department for Education and Skills is equally culpable in this matter I am staggered that the department could have allowed this practice to spread without consultation with parents or children The practice came to light after Privacy International and the children s rights group Action on Rights for Children in Education ARCH received a complaint from the mother of a child attending Sacred Heart School in Ruislip London The child had been fingerprinted without the parents knowledge or consent They have subsequently demanded the removal of the prints from the library computer system The Information Commissioner s support for finger printing was given despite its stated view that it was

    Original URL path: https://privacyinternational.org/node/542 (2016-04-27)
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  • Michael Rispoli | Privacy International
    txt As Communications Manager Mike handles all of Privacy International s external communications He is the point person for the media and also develops strategy for public engagement Before joining PI Mike was the Campaign and Media Strategist for Access an international NGO that defends and extends the digital rights of at risk users around the world In a past life Mike was a researcher at Columbia University s Institute

    Original URL path: https://privacyinternational.org/node/11 (2016-04-27)
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  • Destroying online freedom in the name of counter-terrorism will make the world a more dangerous place | Privacy International
    will make the world a more dangerous place Date Thursday November 6 2014 Authors Carly Nyst Related Privacy 101s Communications surveillance The Five Eyes Mass Surveillance Metadata What is Privacy Related Projects Eyes Wide Open The following appeared in the Daily Telegraph and was written by Carly Nyst Legal Director of Privacy International Robert Hannigan the new head of GCHQ announced his arrival this week with a call for greater co operation with security forces by tech companies Hannigan s article in the Financial Times illustrated vividly the destructive ideology that has driven the infiltration by the British and American intelligence agencies into every aspects of the digital realm an unquestioning faith in the righteous purpose of intelligence agencies a complete mischaracterisation of the nature of the internet and its value and a frightening belief that companies stand only on the side of the State rather than in the interests of the privacy and security of their users Hannigan s decision to enter the debate in this way is extraordinary In a parliamentary democracy based on the Rule of Law it is not appropriate for civil servants to speak for government or set policy His rhetoric is all the more

    Original URL path: https://privacyinternational.org/node/126 (2016-04-27)
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  • How Bahrain spies on British soil | Privacy International
    of the Munk School of Global Affairs at the University of Toronto came across evidence suggesting that Gamma International a multinational technology corporation with offices across the world sold a form of malware called FinFisher to Bahrain Bahraini activists amongst others were seriously concerned FinFisher gives its operator complete access to a target s computer and mobile phone That kind of technology in the hands of a state like Bahrain with its record of human rights abuse would put at risk a great many people s lives So in 2012 on the basis of Citizen s Lab research Bloomberg News asked Gamma whether they had sold the technology to Bahrain Martin Muensch who works at Gamma and whom the company credits with having invented the technology publicly and emphatically denied the allegations Gamma he said had never sold FinFisher to Bahrain In August of this year materials were anonymously published online which suggest that at the very time Gamma was denying that it had sold FinFisher to Bahrain not only had Gamma already made the sale to Bahrain but it was also actively engaged in providing the Bahraini authorities with extensive technical assistance and advice about the malware Included within

    Original URL path: https://privacyinternational.org/node/47 (2016-04-27)
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  • Australia’s metadata grab will create modern-day Stasi files | Privacy International
    Wide Open The following was written by Carly Nyst Legal Director for Privacy International and originally appeared in the Guardian s Comment is Free section Until the fall of the Berlin wall in 1989 the East German state security service the Stasi conducted surveillance and kept files on a third of the country s population One of those people was activist and dissident Ulrike Poppe whose communications and activities were spied on by Stasi operatives constantly for 15 years Much of the data that is contained in Poppe s Stasi files compiled during the Cold War would today be considered telecommunications metadata From locations movements and meetings to relationships affiliations and associates Phone calls made and letters sent as well as newspapers read and movies watched During the Stasi s reign this type of intelligence was the product of covert bugs and undercover spies a hugely intensive task that kept theirs 91 000 staff busy Today it can be easily gleaned from the mass aggregation and retention of data collected and processed by the telecommunications companies that facilitate almost every interaction communication and action we make This should raise particular concerns for Australians amid the federal government s push for

    Original URL path: https://privacyinternational.org/node/105 (2016-04-27)
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  • The Government is trying to create a surveillance state | Privacy International
    Edward Snowden s disclosures was that GCHQ the British intelligence agency is tapping undersea cables to harvest the communications of people from all around the world This top secret programme nicknamed Tempora sucks up petabytes of data from tapped cables off the coast of Cornwall and is capable of storing the entirety of the metadata travelling through cross Atlantic links for 30 days and the content of communications for three If it is authorised by law at all it is on the basis of highly tenuous interpretations that run afoul of human rights this very week the Government finds itself having to justify these interpretations in the Investigatory Powers Tribunal The emergency legislation that is being forced through the House of Commons today may enable GCHQ to extend its Tempora programme to every country on earth The Government has disgracefully disguised an emergency law that dramatically expands its surveillance capabilities as harmless legislation that simply seeks to maintain current data retention powers The Government s argument that the Data Retention and Investigatory Powers Bill Drip is necessary to preserve current capabilities and does not contain new powers is not only disingenuous it is untrue In fact the Bill contains provisions

    Original URL path: https://privacyinternational.org/node/106 (2016-04-27)
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