Category Archive: National Security

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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How to run an administrative denial of service attack on a spy agency

By Simon Davies There are very few informed people left in Britain who don’t worry that there’s something rotten about the national communications spy agency, the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ). Some would say only a fool or a blind patriot would believe that the organisation is in any healthy state. GCHQ – a richly resourced …

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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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UK Foreign Secretary faces trouble over leaked webcam images

By Simon Davies UK Foreign Secretary William Hague is facing mounting pressure to resign following the disclosure today of sensational webcam images that show him parading theatrically in a rubber gimp suit. The leaking of these and more than 40,000 other intimate webcam images of senior public officials is likely to seriously undermine the government’s …

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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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Is it possible that the Snowden revelations have become bad news for privacy?

By Simon Davies In some respects, 2013 was a landmark year for privacy awareness. Never before has so much attention been paid at a global level to privacy issues, and rarely has privacy moved so swiftly into the public policy mainstream. That said, we shouldn’t confuse activity with progress. The outlook for privacy reform, globally, …

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US accelerates funding into NSA access to non-government records

By Simon Davies The Associated Press (AP) has reported that the Obama Administration is funding at least five research groups to discover ways for its security agencies to covertly access and search huge volumes of electronic records held outside the government. News of the data mining program comes only days after President Obama signalled that …

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What Europe’s response to Obama on the NSA really means

By Simon Davies The European Commission has published a response to President Obama’s statement on the NSA. Many people are confused by this communique. They can’t understand why Europe is being so supportive in response to what – in the non-US domain – is little more than a set of aspirational clauses. Well, the truth …

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Confused about Obama’s NSA reform speech? You’re not alone. Here’s his alternative announcement

By Simon Davies For everyone who is confused about President Obama’s true position on NSA reform, here’s the alternative speech that tells you exactly what he meant to say. MR OBAMA: My fellow Americans, and others. Many years ago some important people got together in a room and put their names to a set of …

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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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