Category Archive: Online privacy

Google’s claim that it fought the Wikileaks gagging order just doesn’t add up

By Simon Davies Google’s claim that it fought the gagging provisions of a federal handover request for detailed information on three Wikileaks staff is not only wholly disingenuous, it’s also deceptive. Since the issuing of that demand in early 2012, it took almost three years before Google finally admitted to WikiLeaks that it handed over …

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A powerful new legal analysis lays bare the facts about the Right to be Forgotten

Review by Cristina Pauter “The right to be forgotten on the Internet: Google versus Spain” (Artemi Rallo, ed. CEPC, Madrid, 2014) is a timely work (Spanish text only) that examines an emerging legal issue in which singular fundamental rights are threatened by the rapid development of knowledge and the modern information society. The initial illusion …

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‘Scrambled X’: a scheme to thwart government surveillance of sensitive online payments

In the final of a two-part series, Simon Davies outlines a scheme that could bring an end to government snooping on sensitive online transactions, including financial support for political and human rights campaigns. In the first part of this series I outlined a common security gap for companies that offer secure products and services. Specifically, …

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Privacy reaches boiling point in South Korea as dominant IM service openly defies police

By Simon Davies In a highly unusual act of defiance against government intrusion, South Korea’s dominant instant-messaging service has ceased responding to prosecutors’ warrants to access customer data. Kakao Talk ended communications with law enforcement agencies on October 7th and has vowed that in future it will not comply with State requests to hand over …

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Google’s ‘Right to be Forgotten’ offensive goes spectacularly off the rails

By Simon Davies Google’s European roadshow, which the company hopes will destabilise a new EU court ruling on the Right to be Forgotten (RTBF), has backfired spectacularly. Google had hoped that the roadshow would trigger a division within the digital rights movement and stoke a media firestorm of protest against a decision by Europe’s highest …

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Why I decided to boycott Google’s sham ‘Right to be Forgotten’ road show

 By Simon Davies Earlier this week, in a futile moment of wild optimism, I emailed a prominent Google executive to ask if I could join an expert panel for the road show events that the company is currently rolling out across Europe to fuel dissent about a legal principle called the Right to be Forgotten …

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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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Free Speech hypocrisy is not helping us resolve the Right to be Forgotten

By Simon Davies In his column this week for Britain’s Observer newspaper, the enormously entertaining David Mitchell reflected on a recent shock decision by Google to sever its search links to a blog post authored by the respected UK business journalist Robert Peston. The decision stems – ostensibly – from a recent judgement by the …

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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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