Category Archive: Security

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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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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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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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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European Parliament votes to hold inquiry into US spying

 By Simon Davies The full plenary of the European Parliament today opened a Pandora’s Box by voting to hold a full inquiry into US surveillance programmes, including the bugging of EU premises. The resolution was endorsed by group leaders and was approved by 483 votes to 98 with 65 abstentions. The Parliaments Civil Liberties, Justice …

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Farewell dear America. Here’s why I will never again walk on your soil

By Simon Davies This is a painful commitment to make, but I’ve taken the decision to never again travel to the US. The bullying, intimidation and hypocrisy have gone too far. I’m hurting because I deeply love so much about America. I’ve traveled there perhaps 200 times over the past 25 years to be with …

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Former NSA Director attacks agency accountability and espionage by China

By Simon Davies Earlier this month in the wake of revelations about the activities of the NSA I published a short, partial transcript of my interview earlier this year with former NSA and CIA Director, General Michael Hayden. This was a teaser to the launch of the new “Privacy Channel” series of audio interviews that …

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How a forgotten wheelie-bin campaign may offer surprise insights into campaigning against PRISM

By Simon Davies It would be hard to overstate the extent of public outrage at the moment about the NSA PRISM scandal. I can’t recall an issue for many years that has triggered such widespread anger. The response is also noteworthy because it cuts across national boundaries and demographics. From the local pub in Hertfordshire …

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The most tasteless app on Facebook might also be one of the most dangerous

By Simon Davies An app is starting to spread on Facebook that has all the outward signs of being a privacy advocate’s worst nightmare. It also happens to be just about the most tasteless idea ever to emerge in social networking, and is thus almost certain to be a huge success. It currently claims around …

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Analysis: How Microsoft turned a mouse into a monster

By Simon Davies The tech press has been buzzing over the past few days about a vulnerability in Internet Explorer that could allow hackers to exploit a mouse tracking feature used by advertisers and analytics companies. This anti fraud process assists advertisers by determining whether a banner click resulted from a human or a bot. …

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