Category Archive: International affairs

Beware the NSA’s contrition tactic over transparency – it’s a trap

James Clapper: using transparency to neutralise privacy

By Simon Davies Two weeks ago the Director of US National Intelligence, James Clapper, gave an interview with Eli Lake of The Daily Beast, in which he broke some new ground by stating that the core problem in recent spying controversies is that the NSA should have been more open about its activities. Against a …

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A brief explanation of why Britain’s government is poisonous to privacy

By Simon Davies Some people might reluctantly forgive the British Tory party over its recent history of intolerance, political self-interest and electoral deceit – in the same way that they might forgive a snake for acting like a snake. It’s in the blood. But even by Tory standards, this current conservative government has embarked on …

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One step forward, two steps back for NSA reform

By Simon Davies The Obama’s administration’s much heralded reform program for the National Security Agency (NSA) should be viewed by the international community as a grave disappointment. Moreover, it may set the cause of privacy back by a decade. While offering some notable concessions to the US Rule of Law, the President’s announcement earlier today …

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European hotels edge toward universal reporting of guests to police

By Simon Davies The next time you check into a hotel in any European country – or indeed in many countries outside the EU – chances are you’ll be required to fill out a guest registration form. At the very least this form will demand information such as passport number, nationality, home address, telephone number, …

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An exciting new Periodic Table reveals the elements of surveillance

By Simon Davies Getting to grips with how the world ended up under a blanket of extensive surveillance can be a challenge, even for the experts. Surveillance is now so deeply embedded in our societies and legal systems that understanding its causes is a full-time task. With this in mind Privacy Surgeon is pleased to …

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For the sake of privacy it’s time to ditch the expression “Mass Surveillance”

By Simon Davies For more than forty years privacy scholars have made a core distinction between targeted surveillance (directed at individuals and small groups) and mass surveillance (directed against large populations). Experts agreed that the world was moving toward an era of mass surveillance in which there was a reversal of the onus of proof, …

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Analysis: Why Google has become a threat to sovereign law

  By Simon Davies WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has lashed out at Google, accusing the advertising giant of collusion with the National Security Agency (NSA) and the US State Department. Assange believes that Google has entered into a partnership with the US Administration in which the company acts as a foreign policy enabler, influencing overseas …

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Why Edward Snowden should receive the Sakharov prize – and why he’s unlikely to get it

By Simon Davies In recent weeks there has been a groundswell of support for US whistleblower Edward Snowden to receive the Sakharov Prize, which since 1988 has been awarded by the European Parliament to individuals who have made an outstanding contribution to the defence of human rights and freedom of thought. The European Green party …

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How Edward Snowden suddenly became a valuable asset to the White House

 By Simon Davies It should come as no surprise that Barack Obama has canceled his scheduled summit with Russian president Vladimir Putin. Relations between the two countries have been in decline ever since Putin took power, and Washington has been ill at ease with an increasingly aggressive, isolated, corrupted and inward-looking Kremlin. The sad reality …

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