Category Archive: National Security

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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Confused about data retention? You won’t be after reading this

By Simon Davies The UK government has introduced emergency legislation called the Data Retention and Investigatory Powers Bill. It is a thoroughly confusing piece of law, highly dangerous to privacy and a blatant abuse of democratic process. To help explain what it’s all about here’s a conversation between David Cameron and the ambulance service. We’re …

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Britain takes the Uganda Road to legalise and extend state surveillance

By Simon Davies In a rare moment of political unity, reminiscent of the days that followed the 9/11 attacks on the US, all three major UK parties have signed onto “emergency” legislation that will force Internet and phone companies to store data on the activities of all their customers. Borrowing from the techniques of some …

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A new global initiative aims to accelerate reform of national security organisations

By Simon Davies A four-month consultation begins today to explore options for a major new global initiative to support the fight against unlawful and excessive surveillance by national security organisations. The initiative was launched only hours after the US House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly to limit the National Security Agency’s ability to conduct covert domestic …

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Global security analysis reveals widespread government apathy following Snowden disclosures

By Simon Davies A global analysis published today reveals that the overwhelming majority of the world’s governments have failed to take any meaningful action in the wake of the disclosures by whistleblower Edward Snowden (pdf download – open link titled “Snowden final report for publication“) The report, “A Crisis of Accountability”, has been published by …

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A leaked NSA memo reveals the Agency’s darkest secret

The Privacy Surgeon has acquired a confidential internal memo which has been sent to all new staff and contractors of the NSA. The document sheds a sobering light on the Agency’s attitudes.   National Security Agency, HQ To all new operational staff From Command D4 ______________________ This memo is intended to ensure that all new …

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Another NSA contractor ponders whether to go public

By Simon Davies With the first anniversary of Edward Snowden’s public debut little more than a month away, another NSA contractor is considering releasing new information on global intelligence arrangements between the US and European spy agencies. The coder – who for the moment we’ll identify only as the gender-neutral  “XY” – first contacted the …

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Audio interview: Europe’s new privacy supremo criticizes the US and commits to building EU harmonisation

By Simon Davies Europe’s new data protection and privacy supremo has lashed out at the Obama administration, accusing the US of failing to deliver meaningful safeguards in the wake of the Snowden revelations. In a wide-ranging audio interview with the Privacy Surgeon, Isabelle Falque-Pierrotin – president of the French privacy watchdog CNIL and also the …

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If media are going to claim an insight into public opinion, they should do it correctly

By Simon Davies There are a few raised eyebrows over a poll published last week by the pop zine TechWeek Europe. The mag had apparently “forgotten” to include Google in its hit list of cloud providers that it had asked readers to rank in terms of how much trust the key brands attract. By way …

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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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