Category Archive: Freedom of Information

A new website enables the promise of stronger European rights

By Simon Davies In less than three months Europe will undertake one of its most interesting – and potentially destabilising – elections in its recent history. Many analysts are predicting an outcome in which political extremes become more prominent and Euro-scepticism becomes a core political driver. The election comes at a critically important moment for …

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European Commission to citizens: “Human rights are trumped by commercial secrecy – get over it”

By Simon Davies Earlier this week the Secretary General of the European Commission issued a volatile administrative ruling that had the remarkable effect of simultaneously retarding both privacy and transparency. The decision by Europe’s top civil servant came after a two-month consideration of an appeal by the Privacy Surgeon against the Commission’s refusal to disclose …

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Pakistan prepares to introduce the world’s most unsafe cybercrime law

By Simon Davies The Pakistan government is on the point of introducing one of the most draconian Cybercrime laws in online history. If passed in its current form, the legislation is likely to create a substantial chill over both free expression and e-commerce in the region’s already fragile online environment. Of even greater concern is …

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Why it’s time for NSA campaigners to target the lies and deception of Britain’s spy agencies

By Simon Davies Earlier this week the deputy director of the National Security Agency (NSA), John Inglis, made an important and unsettling admission that – remarkably – received scant media attention. What he uttered in the studios of National Public Radio should have set alarm bells ringing in the heads of politicians and campaigners across …

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Why privacy campaigners for NSA reform must be uncompromising

By Simon Davies Thailand’s tourist authority is fond of marketing its country as the “Land of Smiles”, however in recent years the place has been anything but. “Seething cauldron” might be a more apt slogan. Widespread anger at alleged corrupt activities of former Prime Minister Thakskin Shinawatra has fueled a mass movement against the military …

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Outrage builds as thousands of Google Glass eye-pieces become fused with the faces of users

By Simon Davies In a bizarre incident described by scientists as “Frankenstinian”, the faces of thousands of Google Glass users have been chemically fused with the controversial technology. The phenomenon took place just after midday EST Wednesday when Glass users in the US and Europe began reporting on Twitter that they were unable to remove …

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How a hacker congress in Hamburg shows that activism is the new political currency

By Simon Davies It became one of the most magnificent misjudgments of recent British political history. In October the notorious UK satirist and comic Russell Brand tapped the national psyche with a passionate call for a “revolution” of the political system – and then in the space of ten minutes spectacularly detonated his credibility. According …

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Document access request goes to appeal as the EU Commission admits possible flaws in its Google investigation

By Simon Davies The Privacy Surgeon today filed an appeal over the European Commission’s refusal to release documents related to its current investigation into Google. Our request for documents – covering eighteen categories – was submitted in mid November. It sought data related to the Commission’s operational procedures and requested clarification of the conduct of …

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Facebook trashes its “principles” as it blocks human rights pages in Pakistan

By Simon Davies Facebook has again been accused of unlawful collusion with the Pakistan government after the publication today of a list of url’s that have been blocked by the company – including an influential page dedicated to human rights and political discourse. A partial list of blocked pages is published below. While some of …

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A new audio chat show brings together privacy’s renowned friends and foe

By Simon Davies The Privacy Surgeon today launches its new audio interview series “The Privacy Channel” in which we explore a range of key issues with some of the world’s most influential leaders of thought and policy. Our aim isn’t just to discuss privacy with defenders and experts, but also to engage with those who …

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