Google’s brazen blackmail strategy against Spanish publishers is both disgraceful and dangerous

Google Spain

By Simon Davies One of Europe’s most important information rights and competition stories of the past five years has almost invisibly unfolded this week in Spain. It’s a tale dominated by corporate bullying, retribution and hypocrisy – and its impact is likely to resonate across the world. The thirty-second background is that Google has just …

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December 16, 2014

The Privacy Surgeon publishes the “hundred principles” for radical privacy campagning

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By Simon Davies The Privacy Surgeon has published an important new resource for citizen activism that argues for more strategic and aggressive direct action by rights campaigners. Ideas for Change is an independent project that sets out a hundred principles for effective activism. The work is a ‘tool kit’ of strategic principles and campaign tactics …

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December 4, 2014

A powerful new legal analysis lays bare the facts about the Right to be Forgotten

Review by Cristina Pauter “The right to be forgotten on the Internet: Google versus Spain” (Artemi Rallo, ed. CEPC, Madrid, 2014) is a timely work (Spanish text only) that examines an emerging legal issue in which singular fundamental rights are threatened by the rapid development of knowledge and the modern information society. The initial illusion …

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November 10, 2014

The NSA, GCHQ and the secret Mafia connection

This week, the new head of Britain’s GCHQ intelligence service – the National Security Agency’s principal spy partner – wrote a controversial press article accusing the tech industry of aiding and abetting terrorism and crime. Simon Davies provides his interpretation of the unfolding scenario. The powerful “Five families” spy syndicate – the secretive enterprise that …

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November 5, 2014

Britain’s draconian new cybercrime law could open the floodgates for extradition of whistleblowers

By Simon Davies The UK government has drafted new legislation that will empower courts to impose life sentences for serious cybercrime activities. If the bill becomes law, whistleblowers across the world will be exposed to a vastly increased threat of extradition and prosecution. The Serious Crime Bill has been included in the Queen’s Speech, indicating …

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November 2, 2014

The Privacy Surgeon prepares to launch one of the world’s most ambitious privacy initiatives

One of the most ambitious global privacy initiatives of recent years will be launched in Brussels at the end of January 2015. The project, Code Red, was initiated by the Privacy Surgeon’s publisher, Simon Davies, one of the pioneers of the privacy movement, Its concept development planning began in 2012, and detailed work commenced last …

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October 27, 2014

A twisted case of police abuse in small-town America

By Simon Davies Recent high profile episodes of misconduct and unlawful killings by US police have generated widespread public concern that law enforcement agencies in some parts of the country are institutionally dysfunctional. But for each one of these headline-grabbing cases there are countless others unfolding each day in small-town America that the public never …

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October 21, 2014

‘Scrambled X’: a scheme to thwart government surveillance of sensitive online payments

In the final of a two-part series, Simon Davies outlines a scheme that could bring an end to government snooping on sensitive online transactions, including financial support for political and human rights campaigns. In the first part of this series I outlined a common security gap for companies that offer secure products and services. Specifically, …

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October 19, 2014

Silent Circle’s dangerous security gap – and a challenge for all such developers

In the first of a two-part series, Simon Davies explains the vulnerability of secure communications services such as Silent Circle. Part two will examine one possible solution. During recent publicity for the new privacy-themed Blackphone device, you might have noticed references to Edward Snowden’s recommendation that people should use a communications system called Silent Circle …

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October 18, 2014

Privacy reaches boiling point in South Korea as dominant IM service openly defies police

By Simon Davies In a highly unusual act of defiance against government intrusion, South Korea’s dominant instant-messaging service has ceased responding to prosecutors’ warrants to access customer data. Kakao Talk ended communications with law enforcement agencies on October 7th and has vowed that in future it will not comply with State requests to hand over …

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October 15, 2014

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