Swedish counter-terrorism program will nationalize all toilets and analyze all human body waste

 By Simon Davies Sweden’s beleaguered Prime Minister, Stefan Löfvén, received a much-needed popularity boost this week following the announcement of an audacious counter-terrorism plan centred on the country’s 46,000 public toilets. Titled “Let’s sit on the problem” (låt oss sitta på problemet), the scheme aims to curb the threat of domestic terrorism by tracking suspects …

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April 27, 2015

Why opposing privacy reform is now dinosaur thinking

By Simon Davies If anyone wants proof of the relevance of privacy, they need only reflect on the fact that over the past three years, almost every government and corporation on earth has been repeatedly forced to address the issue. Wherever you turn – the WTO, WEF, IMF, the UN, the ILO or even Bilderberg …

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April 26, 2015

How to complain to a Data Protection Authority – a beginner’s guide

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By Simon Davies Total strangers often come up to me on the street and ask “How do I write a letter of complaint to my local data protection authority?” This is a question that deserves attention, so the Privacy Surgeon will deal with it head-on. Of course, as with so many such issues, there’s a …

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April 26, 2015

Five actions individual citizens can take against security agencies

By Simon Davies One irony of the storm over the NSA and other security agencies is that many people hope the matter will be resolved by the very institutions that nurtured the problems in the first place. There’s a largely misplaced trust that government and judicial systems have the ability – and the will – …

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April 23, 2015

Europe’s shame: how governments are conspiring to cripple data protection rights

 By Simon Davies It’s official. The Council of the European Union, representing Europe’s governments, is moving swiftly to cripple data protection rights for half a billion people. As noted in a previous blog on the Privacy Surgeon, over recent months a deep chasm has emerged over Europe’s proposed new data protection framework. If this chasm …

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April 8, 2015

Meet the Henry Jackson Society – the US government’s most subversive mouthpiece

 By Simon Davies Anyone concerned about the protection of individual freedoms should be wary of the recent proliferation of neocon “think tanks”, many of which are thinly disguised Trojan Horses that were created to support the views of the more authoritarian wing of government. Even more worrying, some of these outfits actually proclaim a commitment …

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April 8, 2015

UK landmark ruling has dealt a double blow to Google while boosting consumer privacy rights

By Simon Davies The Court of Appeal in London this morning handed down a decision that is set to trigger a huge win for European consumers. The court had been considering a case in which a group of UK online consumers had sued Google over its wilful manipulation of the Safari browser, so that privacy …

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March 27, 2015

Privacy International – foundation stone of the global privacy movement – turns 25 today

By Simon Davies On this day 25 years ago, in the sterile bar of an anonymous business hotel in Luxembourg, I hosted the first meeting of the global watchdog Privacy International. Numerically tiny as it was, that moment – in many respects – marked the commencement of the international privacy advocacy movement. I recall that …

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March 17, 2015

MEP’s start to militate about the EU Google investigation as the Competition Commission shows its true colours

By Simon Davies Members of the European Parliament are starting to become militant about the failure of the EU competition authority to take action over mounting complaints about the activities of Google. A statement endorsed by MEPs has complained that “despite four years of investigation and three sets of commitment proposals, the Commission has achieved …

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March 16, 2015

How police and security surveillance really work (a fairytale for children and for smart adults)

By Simon Davies Once upon a time in a kingdom not so far away, there dwelled a lovely policeman called Elderberry who lived happily in a picturesque village at the top of a beautiful green hill populated by flowers and birds and contented sheep. Elderberry had been the town’s policeman for as long as anyone …

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March 15, 2015

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