If there’s one thing U.S. researchers know about the state of the web in The Netherlands, it’s that those Lower Countries got their act together when net neutrality became law in 2012. Hell, even the New York Times ran a story, as it was the first net neutrality law in Europe, the second in the world after Chile. These days, net neutrality is the talk of the town both in the U.S. and the E.U., but it seems further away than ever: the U.S. Senate has scheduled a hearing about the Comcast/Time Warner Cable merger, creating a telco giant with huge power of internet access provision. And at the E.U. level, the issue is up for vote in the Pariament – and it doesn’t look too good. The key provisions from the Dutch internet freedom legislative package may provide some inspiration in times of desperation. They cover net neutrality, a prohibition on commercial wiretapping (DPI), and one on three strikes copyright enforcement. Continue reading Translation Dutch Net Freedom Laws 2011: Net Neutrality, No Commercial Wiretapping, No 3 Strikes
So. The NSA and GCHQ piggyback on Angry Birds to spy on its 1.7 billion
users. potential terrorists. Not only that, but everything on smartphones can be compromised: “if its on the phone, we can get it”. Will it ever stop? A few days ago, the European Court of Human Rights (‘ECHR’) made the unique move to fast-track a case on the legality of mass surveillance practices by the GCHQ. A judgement is now expected in months, rather than years – in time to have a huge impact on the global debate on mass surveillance. Time for some analysis. Continue reading ECHR Fast-tracks Court Case on PRISM and TEMPORA (and VERYANGRYBIRDS?)
Recently, I’ve been circulating a reading list of papers and reports on the NSA revelations on a couple of mailing lists. The writings take a step back from the nitty gritty details, and focus on the more fundamental issues that technical, legal and political responses need to address. People have been asking me to blog about it, so here’s a stub, and I encourage you all to add your suggestions in the comments. [UPDATE 25.02.14: added extra sources on securitization] Continue reading Paper Repository on the NSA Revelations – Add Yours in the Comments [UPDATE]
Published 13 Dec. 2013 at Freedom to Tinker.
The Wall Street Journal headlines: “EU Court Opinion: Data Retention Directive Incompatible With Fundamental Rights”. The Opinion is strong, but in fact not yet an outright victory to privacy and civil liberties. The jury is out: the Opinion is a non-binding, but influential advice to the E.U. Court, that will deliver its final judgment come next spring. Now is a perfect moment to analyze the Opinion, as well as the institutional politics of the E.U. Court — critical in understanding the two-tier approach to surveillance and fundamental rights in Europe. The two-tier approach converges, after 60 years, when the E.U. accedes to the European Convention of Human Rights anytime soon. Amidst the Snowden revelations, these are the fundamental legal developments that will ultimately answer the question whether European law can end mass surveillance. Continue reading The Politics of the EU Court Data Retention Opinion: End to Mass Surveillance?
Back in 2010, I wrote a long piece in Dutch for De Groene Amsterdammer about the deplorable state of the controversial EU Data Retention Directive evaluation. My point was that, instead of the prime example of our loss of fundamental rights, data retention might one day become the case in point of digital freedom vindicating over surveillance, once the Directive in one way or another is repealed or its inherent privacy violations seriously limited. Continue reading Data Retention: Figurehead of Our Liberation?
This piece was posted on the Bits of Freedom blog on 8 December 2010. I still think it is a quite accurate and informative take on the Data Retention Directive evaluation.
The evaluation of the controversial Data Retention Directive takes an unexpected turn, for the worse. At a crucial one-day conference in Brussels, aimed at gathering input for the evaluation, long-term critic of the Directive Commissioner Malmström (Home Affairs) surprisingly announced that ‘data retention is here to stay’. The statement not only disregards legal developments since 2005, the damage done by telecommunications data retention to 500 million Europeans and lack of evidence that such a measure is necessary and proportionate. On top of that, the Commissioner undermines the entire evaluation process and evidence-based decision making itself. To great risk, because our fundamental freedoms and the very nature of our free and open societies are at stake. Continue reading Data Retention Directive evaluation: expect the unexpected?