Category Archive: Disclosure of secrets

All companies need to be more transparent – it’s in everyone’s interest

By Simon Davies I predict it’s only a matter of time before corporations feel the heat of public expectation to release more data about their operations. As people become more educated about privacy issues it is inevitable they will view disclosure of information as a key element of trust and accountability. Some companies like 3M …

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Privacy, public interest – and why privacy advocates make hopeless biographers

By Simon Davies As readers will know all too well, a fiercely complex tension has existed for decades at the core of the privacy realm. It involves a constantly changing equation that determines the relationship between public interest and privacy rights. Put simplistically, it’s the line between my right to own or control my information, …

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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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Why the UK GCHQ unlawful spying ruling may force president Obama to take action

By Simon Davies Last week, a British court ruled that UK spy agencies had acted unlawfully by partnering with the NSA in conducting mass surveillance through the use of covert interception programmes such as PRISM. Make no mistake. Despite the bravado-ridden response of the British government to this ruling, the national security ground has shifted …

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The Code Red project is launched as whistleblowers warn of unprecedented threats to privacy

  BERLIN The whistleblower community turned out in force last night in Berlin for the launch of the long-awaited Code Red security accountability project. The Code Red initiative was created by veteran privacy activist Simon Davies in response to mounting concerns that government surveillance and intrusion has escalated – despite the Snowden national security disclosures …

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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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US court rejects Google’s attempt to seal transcript and documents

By Simon Davies A US federal judge has rejected an attempt by Google to edit the transcript of a critical hearing in a lawsuit alleging wiretap violations related to Gmail ads. The released transcript is available here (downloads as pdf) On Wednesday District Court Judge Lucy Koh also partially granted a plea by intervening news …

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US wiretap case could be the key to Google transparency compliance in Europe

By Simon Davies In one of the most important online privacy developments of recent years, the Italian data protection regulator has issued a ruling that requires Google not only to explicitly inform users of the extent of commercial processing of their data, but to also secure customer consent before that data can be used. It …

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Why national security should be subjected to the same rules as health authorities

By Simon Davies Just for a moment, let’s imagine the unimaginable. Imagine that national security agencies were forced to undergo the same competition and internal market tests that apply, increasingly, to other government agencies. It’s a wild thought, but a tantalizing one. What would happen if national security agencies had to present an actual case …

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The Privacy Surgeon lodges plea with Attorney General to refer GCHQ interception to the UK police

By Simon Davies The Privacy Surgeon today submitted a formal plea to the Attorney General of England & Wales, Dominic Grieve, requesting that he use his prerogative as chief law officer to refer Britain’s communications intelligence agency, GCHQ, for police investigation over claims that it violated criminal law. The submission sets out in detail my …

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