jm + law   212

The Guardian view on patient data: we need a better approach | Editorial | Opinion | The Guardian

The use of privacy law to curb the tech giants in this instance, or of competition law in the case of the EU’s dispute with Google, both feel slightly maladapted. They do not address the real worry. It is not enough to say that the algorithms DeepMind develops will benefit patients and save lives. What matters is that they will belong to a private monopoly which developed them using public resources. If software promises to save lives on the scale that drugs now can, big data may be expected to behave as big pharma has done. We are still at the beginning of this revolution and small choices now may turn out to have gigantic consequences later. A long struggle will be needed to avoid a future of digital feudalism. Dame Elizabeth’s report is a welcome start.


Hear hear.
privacy  law  uk  nhs  data  google  deepmind  healthcare  tech  open-source 
july 2017 by jm
How they did it: an analysis of emissions defeat devices in modern automobiles
Using CurveDiff, the team analysed 963 firmware images, for which analysis completed successfully for 924. 406 of the analysed images contained a defeat device, out of which 333 contained at least one active profile. In at least 268 images, the test detection affects the EGR. Firmware images released on Dec 3rd 2014 are used in VW Passat cars, and include the refinement to the defeat device to detect steering wheel angle that we discussed previously.
cars  driving  emissions  diesel  volkswagen  law  regulation  firmware  reverse-engineering 
june 2017 by jm
GDPR Advisors and Consultants - Data Compliance Europe
Simon McGarr's new consultancy:
Our consultancy helps our clients understand how EU privacy law applies to their organisations; delivers the practical and concrete steps needed to achieve legal compliance; and helps them manage their continuing obligations after GDPR comes into force. Our structured approach to GDPR provides a long-term data compliance framework to minimise the ongoing risk of potential fines for data protection breaches. Our continuing partnership provides regulator liaison, advisory consultancy, and external Data Protection Officer services.
gdpr  simon-mcgarr  law  privacy  eu  europe  data-protection  regulation  data 
may 2017 by jm
'I've Got Nothing to Hide' and Other Misunderstandings of Privacy by Daniel J. Solove :: SSRN
In this short essay, written for a symposium in the San Diego Law Review, Professor Daniel Solove examines the nothing to hide argument. When asked about government surveillance and data mining, many people respond by declaring: "I've got nothing to hide." According to the nothing to hide argument, there is no threat to privacy unless the government uncovers unlawful activity, in which case a person has no legitimate justification to claim that it remain private. The nothing to hide argument and its variants are quite prevalent, and thus are worth addressing. In this essay, Solove critiques the nothing to hide argument and exposes its faulty underpinnings.


Via Fred Logue
law  philosophy  privacy  security  essay  papers  daniel-solove  surveillance  snooping 
may 2017 by jm
U.S. top court tightens patent suit rules in blow to 'patent trolls'
This is excellent news, and a death knell for the East Texas patent troll court (cf https://motherboard.vice.com/en_us/article/the-small-town-judge-who-sees-a-quarter-of-the-nations-patent-cases ):
The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday tightened rules for where patent lawsuits can be filed in a decision that may make it harder for so-called patent "trolls" to launch sometimes dodgy patent cases in friendly courts, a major irritant for high-tech giants like Apple and Alphabet Inc's Google.

In a decision that upends 27 years of law governing patent infringement cases, the justices sided with beverage flavoring company TC Heartland LLC in its legal battle with food and beverage company Kraft Heinz Co (KHC.O). The justices ruled 8-0 that patent suits can be filed only in courts located in the jurisdiction where the targeted company is incorporated.


via Brad Fitzgerald
via:bradfitz  patents  swpats  east-texas  law  trolls  supreme-court  infringement 
may 2017 by jm
Government urged to declare if it wants mandatory ID cards
“The move from a voluntary or small-scale project of Public Services Cards to requiring all passport and driving licence applicant to present these cards is very significant.” Dr TJ McIntyre, a UCD law lecturer and chairman of the privacy advocacy group Digital Rights Ireland said on Sunday these measures marked the introduction of a “national ID card by stealth” and he believed it was being done “in a way which appears to be illegal”.
privacy  government  ireland  id-cards  law 
may 2017 by jm
Seeking medical abortions online is safe and effective, study finds | World news | The Guardian
Of the 1,636 women who were sent the drugs between the start of 2010 and the end of 2012, the team were able to analyse self-reported data from 1,000 individuals who confirmed taking the pills. All were less than 10 weeks pregnant.

The results reveal that almost 95% of the women successfully ended their pregnancy without the need for surgical intervention. None of the women died, although seven women required a blood transfusion and 26 needed antibiotics.
Of the 93 women who experienced symptoms for which the advice was to seek medical attention, 95% did so, going to a hospital or clinic.

“When we talk about self-sought, self-induced abortion, people think about coat hangers or they think about tables in back alleys,” said Aiken. “But I think this research really shows that in 2017 self-sourced abortion is a network of people helping and supporting each other through what’s really a safe and effective process in the comfort of their own homes, and I think is a huge step forward in public health.”
health  medicine  abortion  pro-choice  data  women-on-web  ireland  law  repealthe8th 
may 2017 by jm
Fireside Chat with Vint Cerf & Marc Andreessen (Google Cloud Next '17) - YouTube
In which Vint Cerf calls for regulatory oversight of software engineering. "It's a serious issue now"
vint-cerf  gcp  regulation  oversight  politics  law  reliability  systems 
may 2017 by jm
A federal court has ruled that an open-source license is an enforceable contract — Quartz
“Not so,” said Judge Jacqueline Scott Corley in her order on the motion on April 25. Corley said the GNU GPL “provides that the Ghostscript user agrees to its terms if the user does not obtain a commercial license. Plaintiff alleges that Defendant used Ghostscript, did not obtain a commercial license, and represented publicly that its use of Ghostscript was licensed under the GNL GPU. These allegations sufficiently plead the existence of a contract.”
open-source  oss  ghostscript  gnu  gpl  licenses  contracts  law 
may 2017 by jm
Peter Boylan: New maternity hospital should not be given to Sisters of Charity
I do not believe that ownership of the €300 million, state-of-the-art National Maternity Hospital should be gifted to the Sisters of Charity. A lot of other people appear to share my view.
Secondly, a properly independent board needs to oversee the running of the new hospital.
The Minister has the power to intervene to protect both the medical interests of women and their infants and the financial interests of the Irish taxpayer. He must now do so.


Dr Peter Boylan is chairman of the Institute of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists and a former master of the National Maternity Hospital. Nobody is more qualified on this
peter-boylan  law  ireland  maternity  hospitals  nuns  state 
april 2017 by jm
GitHub's new Balanced Employee IP Agreement (BEIPA) lets workers keep the IP when they use company resources for personal projects — Quartz
Huh, interesting development:
If it’s on company time, it’s the company’s dime. That’s the usual rule in the tech industry—that if employees use company resources to work on projects unrelated to their jobs, their employer can claim ownership of any intellectual property (IP) they create.
But GitHub is throwing that out the window. Today the code-sharing platform announced a new policy, the Balanced Employee IP Agreement (BEIPA). This allows its employees to use company equipment to work on personal projects in their free time, which can occur during work hours, without fear of being sued for the IP. As long as the work isn’t related to GitHub’s own “existing or prospective” products and services, the employee owns it.
github  law  tech  jobs  work  day-job  side-projects  hacking  ip  copyright 
march 2017 by jm
UN privacy watchdog says 'little or no evidence' that mass surveillance works | ZDNet
The United Nations' special rapporteur on privacy has lambasted a spate of new surveillance laws across Europe and the US, saying that there is "little or no evidence" that mass monitoring of communications works. In a report published this week, Prof. Joseph Cannataci, the first privacy watchdog to take up the post, said he was neither convinced of the effectiveness or the proportionality "of some of the extremely privacy-intrusive measures that have been introduced by new surveillance laws."

He also said that bulk records collection, such as call and email metadata, runs the risk of "being hacked by hostile governments or organized crime."

Cannataci singled out recently-passed laws in France, Germany, the UK and the US, all of which have pushed through new legislation in the wake of the threat from the so-called Islamic State. He said that the passed laws amount to "gesture-politics," which in his words, "have seen politicians who wish to be seen to be doing something about security, legislating privacy-intrusive powers into being -- or legalize existing practices -- without in any way demonstrating that this is either a proportionate or indeed an effective way to tackle terrorism." A rise in public support of increased surveillance powers is "predicated on the psychology of fear," he said, referring to the perceived threat of terrorism.
surveillance  law  privacy  un  joseph-cannataci  watchdogs  terrorism  fear  fud 
march 2017 by jm
Communications data errors: UK police incriminating the wrong people due to data retention system screwups
It seems there have been 34 with serious consequences since 2008. Causes include:
- Omission of an underscore when transcribing an e-mail address led to the wrong subscriber information being provided and a search warrant being executed at the premises of an individual unconnected with the investigation.

- A CSP's data warehouse system change affected how GMT and British Summer Time were treated. This was not communicated to staff using the data retention disclosure system. This led to a one hour error in subscriber information disclosed in relation to IP address usage. Of 98 potential disclosure errors identified, 94 were in fact incorrect and four returned the same results when re-run. Of the 94 incorrect disclosures, in three cases a search warrant was executed at premises relating to individuals unconnected with the investigation (and one individual was arrested).

- Due to a technical fault causing a time zone conversion to be out by seven hours, a CSP voluntarily disclosed an incorrect IP address to a public authority.  That led to a search warrant being executed at premises relating to individuals unconnected with the investigation.


In other words, timezones largely screw up everything, yet again.
timezones  uk  law  data-retention  errors  bst 
march 2017 by jm
Tim Berners-Lee calls for tighter regulation of online political advertising | Technology | The Guardian
“Targeted advertising allows a campaign to say completely different, possibly conflicting things to different groups. Is that democratic?” Berners-Lee said.
politics  trump  law  elections  polling  advertising  facebook  micro-advertising 
march 2017 by jm
The best thing to mark National Stalking Awareness Week would be to scrap the law on stalking
"The Secret Barrister" explains a classic case of empty-gesture lawmaking in the UK:
in 2012, the coalition government, in a fit of virtue signalling, announced a bold plan to offer extra protection to victims of stalking, following a rash of reported cases where obsessive nutjobs had slipped through the net. Hence, via the 2012 Act, section 2A was shoved into the Protection from Harassment Act, creating a shiny new offence of stalking.

What is stalking, you ask? Well here’s the clever bit. Stalking is…”a course of conduct which amounts to harassment…and [where] the acts or omissions involved are ones associated with stalking“. To inject some colour into the dull circularity of the definition, section 2A(3) provides “examples of acts or omissions associated with stalking”. In other words, you need to prove that the defendant is guilty of both harassment and stalking, in order to convict them of stalking. Therefore, proving stalking is by definition harder for the prosecution than simply proving harassment.

And what do you get if you opt for the harder road? What prize awaits the victorious prosecutor who has slogged her way through the additional evidential burden thrust upon her by section 2A? The answer is….nothing. Or at least, nothing more than if you successfully prosecuted for harassment. The maximum sentence in each case is 6 months’ imprisonment.

It is the very definition of empty gesture legislating. Section 2A is so very pointlessly pointless that I want urgently to go back in time to the day when then-crime prevention minister Jeremy Browne was hubristically prattling on about what a difference this law is going to make and shove a whoopee pie right up his schnoz. Section 2A does nothing other than create a new offence that is harder to prove than an existing offence that prohibits the same conduct, solely, it seems, to allow for the drawing of an entirely semantic distinction between “harassment” and “stalking”.
harrassment  stalking  law  legislation  uk  police  crime  prosecution 
september 2016 by jm
"Better truck design could save hundreds of pedestrian and cyclist lives"
European transport group, Transport and Environment, said that the Loughborough study shows that better design “could save hundreds of pedestrian and cyclists’ lives”. It added that the study “finds huge differences in the direct vision – what drivers can see with their own eyes – of best and worst-in-class trucks in all categories, and that ‘low-entry cabs’ like the Mercedes Econic out perform all of today’s best performing vehicles.”

A P-Series truck, from truck maker Scania, was rated at the best of its class with zero blind spots — this could go a long way to explaining why the makers of a Road Safety Authority video using another P-Series truck reportedly had to fake blind spots last year.

Mandatory extra mirrors has been EU policy to try to reduce collisions with people cycling and walking but researchers point out that blind spots remain on many trucks and improving direct vision may be a better policy than improving indirect vision using mirrors. [...]

The EU currently has a deadline of 2028 for improved vision in trucks but Transport and Environment said: “Given that better vision cabs are already available on the market and in all market segments (best in class, smarter configurations, low entry vehicles) a 2028 deadline is not justifiable.”
cycling  safety  trucks  law  scania  roads  pedestrians 
september 2016 by jm
“I Want to Know What Code Is Running Inside My Body” — Backchannel
Sandler wants to be able to explore the code running her device for programming flaws and vulnerability to hacking, but she can’t. “Because I don’t have access to the source code, I have no power to do anything about it,” she says. In her eyes, it’s a particularly obvious example of a problem that now cuts across much of modern life: proprietary software has become crucial to daily survival, and yet is often locked away from public exploration and discussion by copyright.
copyright  safety  health  pacemakers  law  proprietary-software  life  medicine  implants 
august 2016 by jm
Just As We Warned: A Chinese Tech Giant Goes On The Patent Attack -- In East Texas | Techdirt
Techdirt has been warning for years that the West's repeated demands for China to "respect" patents could backfire badly. [...] And guess what? That is exactly what has just happened, as The Wall Street Journal reports:

'Huawei Technologies Co. said it has filed a lawsuit against T-Mobile US Inc., alleging the U.S. telecommunications carrier violated the Chinese company’s patents related to wireless networks. In its complaint filed this week in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, Huawei said T-Mobile is using its patented technology without signing a licensing agreement.'


At least this is the most likely scenario to result in patent reform, finally.
patents  east-texas  huawei  t-mobile  telecoms  law 
july 2016 by jm
Self-driving cars: overlooking data privacy is a car crash waiting to happen
Interesting point -- self-driving cars are likely to be awash in telemetry data, "phoned home"
self-driving  cars  vehicles  law  data  privacy  data-privacy  surveillance 
july 2016 by jm
In Wisconsin, a Backlash Against Using Data to Foretell Defendants’ Futures - The New York Times
More trial-by-algorithm horrors:
Company officials say the algorithm’s results are backed by research, but they are tight-lipped about its details. They do acknowledge that men and women receive different assessments, as do juveniles, but the factors considered and the weight given to each are kept secret.

“The key to our product is the algorithms, and they’re proprietary,” said Jeffrey Harmon, Northpointe’s general manager. “We’ve created them, and we don’t release them because it’s certainly a core piece of our business. It’s not about looking at the algorithms. It’s about looking at the outcomes.”

That secrecy is at the heart of Mr. Loomis’s lawsuit. His lawyer, Michael D. Rosenberg, who declined to be interviewed because of the pending appeal, argued that Mr. Loomis should be able to review the algorithm and make arguments about its validity as part of his defense. He also challenges the use of different scales for each sex.

The Compas system, Mr. Rosenberg wrote in his brief, “is full of holes and violates the requirement that a sentence be individualized.”
ethics  compas  sentencing  wisconsin  northpointe  law  trial-by-algorithm  algorithms 
june 2016 by jm
Can the United Kingdom government legally disregard a vote for Brexit?
Oh thank god, there's a "get out of jail" card before they destroy the global economy to appease the eurosceptics.
On the day after a vote for Brexit, the UK will still be a member state of the EU. All the legislation which gives effect to EU law will still be in place. Nothing as a matter of law changes in any way just because of a vote to Leave. What will make all the legal difference is not a decision to leave by UK voters in a non-binding advisory vote, but the decision of the prime minister on how to react before making any Article 50 notification. And what the prime minister will do politically after a referendum vote for Brexit is, at the moment, as unknown as the result of the result of the referendum itself.
brexit  law  uk  government  referenda  eurosceptics  eu 
june 2016 by jm
Why the Very Silly Oracle v. Google Trial Actually Matters
If it’s illegal to write clean room implementations of APIs, then no one has clean hands. The now-shelved open source project Apache Harmony, like Android, reimplemented Java SE, and tech giant IBM contributed code to that project. Oracle itself built its business off a proprietary implementation of SQL, which was created by IBM. The proposition “Reimplementations of APIs are infringements” creates a recursive rabbit hole of liability that spans across the industry. Even the very 37 Java APIs at issue in this trial contain reimplementations of other APIs. Google witness Joshua Bloch—who, while at Sun Microsystems, wrote many of the Java APIs—testified that specific Java APIs are reimplementations of other APIs from Perl 5 and the C programming language.
apis  fair-use  copyright  ip  android  java  google  oracle  law 
may 2016 by jm
Machine Bias: There’s Software Used Across the Country to Predict Future Criminals. And it’s Biased Against Blacks. - ProPublica
holy crap, this is dystopian:
The first time Paul Zilly heard of his score — and realized how much was riding on it — was during his sentencing hearing on Feb. 15, 2013, in court in Barron County, Wisconsin. Zilly had been convicted of stealing a push lawnmower and some tools. The prosecutor recommended a year in county jail and follow-up supervision that could help Zilly with “staying on the right path.” His lawyer agreed to a plea deal.
But Judge James Babler had seen Zilly’s scores. Northpointe’s software had rated Zilly as a high risk for future violent crime and a medium risk for general recidivism. “When I look at the risk assessment,” Babler said in court, “it is about as bad as it could be.”
Then Babler overturned the plea deal that had been agreed on by the prosecution and defense and imposed two years in state prison and three years of supervision.
dystopia  law  policing  risk  risk-assessment  northpointe  racism  fortune-telling  crime 
may 2016 by jm
Far more drivers break red lights in Dublin than cyclists
'of all the red light violations [filmed by red light cameras at Blackhall Place and Con Colbert Road by the RPA in 2011,] approximately 15% were committed by cyclists, with almost 85% committed by motor vehicles.'
law  cycling  red-lights  driving  dublin  red-light-cameras 
may 2016 by jm
“You Can't Copyright Klingon” Means Paramount Is In Trouble
The Language Creation Society filed an amicus brief claiming that Klingon is a real language and therefore not subject to copyright. To reiterate: the fandom of Star Trek elevated a language invented in 1984 by Marc Okrand for Star Trek III: The Search for Spock to the point it is taught in colleges and spoken as a living language. So it isn’t Star Trek anymore: it is real. [...] the entire legal brief is impossible to reprint due to limits in our non-Klingon font system, but even the motion includes Klingon-translated passages that accuse Paramount of being “arrogant” and “pathetic”.
klingon  star-trek  languages  paramount  ip  copyright  law 
may 2016 by jm
In Oracle v. Google, a Nerd Subculture Is on Trial
“The G part stands for GNU?” Alsup asked in disbelief.
“Yes,” said Schwartz on the stand.
“That doesn’t make any sense,” said the 71-year-old Clinton appointee.
law  gnu  gpl  licensing  java  oracle  sun  apis  ip 
may 2016 by jm
Waste charges unpaid by 50% of residents in city litter blackspot
as Paul McDonnell noted: this one line tells you everything you need to know about DCC's ability to enforce the rules: 'in some of the bags inspected previously issued litter fines were found'. Pathetic
littering  dublin  northside  dcc  law  enforcement  rubbish  bins 
may 2016 by jm
Primary Online Database: POD now (mostly) not compulsory (for now)
Ever since the introduction of the Primary Online Database of schoolchildren by the Department of Education, the Department and its Minister have been eager to point out that any parent who refused to allow a child’s data to be transferred would see that child’s education defunded.

Well, for all children other than this week’s crop of new Junior Infants, that threat has now collapsed. This is despite the Minister and her department having claimed that the drastic threat of defunding was because it simply wasn’t possible to give grants without a child’s full data being transferred. [...]

Oddly, as the prospect of defunding the education of 30% of the nation’s children in the run up to an election loomed large, the Department discovered it could, after all, pay for a child’s education without all its POD data.
pod  law  ireland  data-protection  privacy  children  school 
april 2016 by jm
Nest Reminds Customers That Ownership Isn't What It Used to Be
EFF weigh in on the internet of shit:
Customers likely didn't expect that, 18 months after the last Revolv Hubs were sold, instead of getting more upgrades, the device would be intentionally, permanently, and completely disabled. ....
Nest Labs and Google are both subsidiaries of Alphabet, Inc., and bricking the Hub sets a terrible precedent for a company with ambitions to sell self-driving cars, medical devices, and other high-end gadgets that may be essential to a person’s livelihood or physical safety.
nest  legal  tech  google  alphabet  internetofshit  iot  law 
april 2016 by jm
ECHR: Websites not liable for readers' comments
'Lawyers for [a Hungarian news] site said the comments concerned had been taken down as soon as they were flagged. They said making their clients liable for everything readers posted "would have serious adverse repercussions for freedom of expression and democratic openness in the age of Internet". The ECHR agreed. "Although offensive and vulgar, the incriminated comments did not constitute clearly unlawful speech; and they certainly did not amount to hate speech or incitement to violence," the judges wrote.'
echr  law  eu  legal  comments  index-hu  hungary 
february 2016 by jm
Why is Safe Harbour II such a challenge? - EDRi
The only possible deal that is immediately available is where the European Commission agrees a politically expeditious but legally untenable deal, creating a time bomb rather than a durable deal, to the benefit of no one. In absence of reforms before an agreement, individuals’ fundamental rights would remain under threat.
edri  law  eu  ec  ecj  surveillance  snooping  us-politics  safe-harbor 
february 2016 by jm
Journalists, this GSOC story isn’t all about you, you know
Karlin Lillington in the Irish Times, going through journos for a shortcut:
All the hand-wringing from journalists, unions and media companies – even politicians and ministers – over the GSOC’s accessing of journalist’s call records? Oh, please. What wilful ignorance, mixed with blatant hypocrisy. Where have you all been for the past decade and a half, as successive Irish governments and ministers for justice supported and then rammed through legislation for mandatory call data retention for one of the longest periods in the world, with some of the weakest legal constraints and oversight?
karlin-lillington  privacy  data-protection  dri  law  journalists  gsoc  surveillance  data-retention 
january 2016 by jm
Yosemite agrees to change the names of its significant locations to appease trademark troll / Boing Boing
This is absolutely appalling. IP law gone mad:
DNC Parks & Resorts at Yosemite, Inc (a division of one of the largest privately owned companies in the world) used to have the concessions to operate various businesses around Yosemite National Park. Now that they've been fired, they're using some decidedly dubious trademark to force the Park Service to change the names of buildings and locations that have stood for as much as a century, including some that have been designated national landmarks. The Parks Service has caved to these requests as it readies the park for its centennial celebration. It will not only change the names of publicly owned landmarks -- such as the Ahwahnee hotel, Yosemite Lodge, the Wawona Hotel, Curry Village, and Badger Pass ski area -- it will also have to change all its signs, maps and guidebooks.
yosemite  ip  trademarks  law  fiasco  national-parks  usa 
january 2016 by jm
Big Brother is born. And we find out 15 years too late to stop him - The Register
During the passage of RIPA, and in many debates since 2000, Parliament was asked to consider and require data retention by telephone companies, claiming that the information was vital to fighting crime and terrorism. But Prime Minister Tony Blair and successive Home Secretaries David Blunkett and Jack Straw never revealed to Parliament that at the same time, the government was constantly siphoning up and storing all telephone call records at NTAC.

As a result, MPs and peers spent months arguing about a pretence, and in ignorance of the cost and human rights implications of what successive governments were doing in secret.
ripa  big-brother  surveillance  preston  uk  gchq  mi5  law  snooping 
december 2015 by jm
Big Brother Watch on Twitter: "Anyone can legally have their phone or computer hacked by the police, intelligence agencies, HMRC and others #IPBill https://t.co/3ZS610srCJ"
As Glynn Moody noted, if UK police, intelligence agencies, HMRC and others call all legally hack phones and computers, that also means that digital evidence can be easily and invisibly planted. This will undermine future court cases in the UK, which seems like a significant own goal...
hmrc  police  gchq  uk  hacking  security  law-enforcement  evidence  law 
december 2015 by jm
Dr TJ McIntyre: Fight against cybercrime needs funding, not more words - Independent.ie
Is the Irish policing system capable of tackling computer crime? A report this week from the Garda Inspectorate makes it clear that the answer is no. There is no Garda cybercrime unit, which is of serious concern given the threat posed by cybercrime to key national infrastructure such as energy, transport and telecommunications systems. [...]

A combination of inadequate resources and increased workload have swamped the [Computer Crime Investigation Unit]. Today, almost every crime is a computer crime, in the sense that mobile phones, laptops and even devices such as game consoles are likely to contain evidence. The need to forensically inspect all these devices - using outdated equipment - has resulted in several-year delays and seem to have forced the unit into a position where it is running to stand still rather than responding to new developments.
via:tjmcintyre  ireland  cybercrime  law  policing  hacking 
december 2015 by jm
EU counter-terror bill is 'indiscriminate' data sweep
"To identify if someone is travelling outside the EU, we don't need an EU PNR. This data are already easily available in the airline reservation system,” [Giovanni Buttarelli, the European data protection supervisor] said. EU governments want more information in the belief it will help law enforcement in tracking down terrorists and are demanding access to information, such as travel dates, travel itinerary, ticket information, contact details, baggage information, and payment information of anyone flying in or out of the EU. ... EU PNR data would be retained for up to five years
pnr  eu  law  privacy  data-protection  europe  counter-terrorism  travel  air-travel 
december 2015 by jm
An Analysis of Reshipping Mule Scams
We observed that the vast majority of the re-shipped packages end up in the Moscow, Russia area, and that the goods purchased with stolen credit cards span multiple categories, from expensive electronics such as Apple products, to designer clothes, to DSLR cameras and even weapon accessories. Given the amount of goods shipped by the reshipping mule sites that we analysed, the annual revenue generated from such operations can span between 1.8 and 7.3 million US dollars. The overall losses are much higher though: the online merchant loses an expensive item from its inventory and typically has to refund the owner of the stolen credit card. In addition, the rogue goods typically travel labeled as “second hand goods” and therefore custom taxes are also evaded. Once the items purchased with stolen credit cards reach their destination they will be sold on the black market by cybercriminals. [...] When applying for the job, people are usually required to send the operator copies of their ID cards and passport. After they are hired, mules are promised to be paid at the end of their first month of employment. However, from our data it is clear that mules are usually never paid. After their first month expires, they are never contacted back by the operator, who just moves on and hires new mules. In other words, the mules become victims of this scam themselves, by never seeing a penny. Moreover, because they sent copies of their documents to the criminals, mules can potentially become victims of identity theft.
crime  law  cybercrime  mules  shipping-scams  identity-theft  russia  moscow  scams  papers 
november 2015 by jm
No Harm, No Fowl: Chicken Farm Inappropriate Choice for Data Disposal
That’s a lesson that Spruce Manor Special Care Home in Saskatchewan had to learn the hard way (as surprising as that might sound). As a trustee with custody of personal health information, Spruce Manor was required under section 17(2) of the Saskatchewan Health Information Protection Act to dispose of its patient records in a way that protected patient privacy. So, when Spruce Manor chose a chicken farm for the job, it found itself the subject of an investigation by the Saskatchewan Information and Privacy Commissioner.  In what is probably one of the least surprising findings ever, the commissioner wrote in his final report that “I recommend that Spruce Manor […] no longer use [a] chicken farm to destroy records”, and then for good measure added “I find using a chicken farm to destroy records unacceptable.”
data  law  privacy  funny  chickens  farming  via:pinboard  data-protection  health  medical-records 
november 2015 by jm
Red lines and no-go zones - the coming surveillance debate
The Anderson Report to the House of Lords in the UK on RIPA introduces a concept of a "red line":
"Firm limits must also be written into the law: not merely safeguards, but red lines that may not be crossed." …   
"Some might find comfort in a world in which our every interaction and movement could be recorded, viewed in real time and indefinitely retained for possible future use by the authorities. Crime fighting, security, safety or public health justifications are never hard to find." [13.19] 

The Report then gives examples, such as a perpetual video feed from every room in every house, the police undertaking to view the record only on receipt of a complaint; blanket drone-based surveillance; licensed service providers, required as a condition of the licence to retain within the jurisdiction a complete plain-text version of every communication to be made available to the authorities on request; a constant data feed from vehicles, domestic appliances and health-monitoring personal devices; fitting of facial recognition software to every CCTV camera and the insertion of a location-tracking chip under every individual's skin.

It goes on:
"The impact of such powers on the innocent could be mitigated by the usual apparatus of safeguards, regulators and Codes of Practice. But a country constructed on such a basis would surely be intolerable to many of its inhabitants. A state that enjoyed all those powers would be truly totalitarian, even if the authorities had the best interests of its people at heart." [13.20] …  

"The crucial objection is that of principle. Such a society would have gone beyond Bentham's Panopticon (whose inmates did not know they were being watched) into a world where constant surveillance was a certainty and quiescence the inevitable result. There must surely come a point (though it comes at different places for different people) where the escalation of intrusive powers becomes too high a price to pay for a safer and more law abiding environment." [13.21]
panopticon  jeremy-bentham  law  uk  dripa  ripa  surveillance  spying  police  drones  facial-recognition  future  tracking  cctv  crime 
november 2015 by jm
Canadian Judge Says Asking For A Copy Of A Legally-Obtained But Paywalled Article Is Circumvention | Techdirt
For requesting a copy of an article that was legally obtained by a colleague from a paywalled source, Pazsowski found himself hit with around US$10,000-worth of damages. This completely disproportionate punishment for what is at most a minor case of copyright infringement is a perfect demonstration of where the anti-circumvention madness leads.
circumvention  tpm  copyright  paywalls  techdirt  law  canada 
november 2015 by jm
Your Relative's DNA Could Turn You Into A Suspect
Familial DNA searching has massive false positives, but is being used to tag suspects:
The bewildered Usry soon learned that he was a suspect in the 1996 murder of an Idaho Falls teenager named Angie Dodge. Though a man had been convicted of that crime after giving an iffy confession, his DNA didn’t match what was found at the crime scene. Detectives had focused on Usry after running a familial DNA search, a technique that allows investigators to identify suspects who don’t have DNA in a law enforcement database but whose close relatives have had their genetic profiles cataloged. In Usry’s case the crime scene DNA bore numerous similarities to that of Usry’s father, who years earlier had donated a DNA sample to a genealogy project through his Mormon church in Mississippi. That project’s database was later purchased by Ancestry, which made it publicly searchable—a decision that didn’t take into account the possibility that cops might someday use it to hunt for genetic leads.

Usry, whose story was first reported in The New Orleans Advocate, was finally cleared after a nerve-racking 33-day wait — the DNA extracted from his cheek cells didn’t match that of Dodge’s killer, whom detectives still seek. But the fact that he fell under suspicion in the first place is the latest sign that it’s time to set ground rules for familial DNA searching, before misuse of the imperfect technology starts ruining lives.
dna  familial-dna  false-positives  law  crime  idaho  murder  mormon  genealogy  ancestry.com  databases  biometrics  privacy  genes 
october 2015 by jm
After Bara: All your (Data)base are belong to us
Sounds like the CJEU's Bara decision may cause problems for the Irish government's wilful data-sharing:
Articles 10, 11 and 13 of Directive 95/46/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 24 October 1995, on the protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data, must be interpreted as precluding national measures, such as those at issue in the main proceedings, which allow a public administrative body of a Member State to transfer personal data to another public administrative body and their subsequent processing, without the data subjects having been informed of that transfer or processing.
data  databases  bara  cjeu  eu  law  privacy  data-protection 
october 2015 by jm
net.wars: Unsafe harbor
Wendy Grossman on where the Safe Harbor decision is leading.
One clause would require European companies to tell their relevant data protection authorities if they are being compelled to turn over data - even if they have been forbidden to disclose this under US law. Sounds nice, but doesn't mobilize the rock or soften the hard place, since companies will still have to pick a law to violate. I imagine the internal discussions there revolving around two questions: which violation is less likely to land the CEO in jail and which set of fines can we afford?


(via Simon McGarr)
safe-harbor  privacy  law  us  eu  surveillance  wendy-grossman  via:tupp_ed 
october 2015 by jm
Gene patents probably dead worldwide following Australian court decision
The court based its reasoning on the fact that, although an isolated gene such as BRCA1 was "a product of human action, it was the existence of the information stored in the relevant sequences that was an essential element of the invention as claimed." Since the information stored in the DNA as a sequence of nucleotides was a product of nature, it did not require human action to bring it into existence, and therefore could not be patented.


Via Tony Finch.
via:fanf  australia  genetics  law  ipr  medicine  ip  patents 
october 2015 by jm
5 takeaways from the death of safe harbor – POLITICO
Reacting to the ruling, the [EC] stressed that data transfers between the U.S. and Europe can continue on the basis of other legal mechanisms.

A lot rides on what steps the Commission and national data protection supervisors take in response. “It is crucial for legal certainty that the EC sends a clear signal,” said Nauwelaerts.

That could involve providing a timeline for concluding an agreement with U.S. authorities, together with a commitment from national data protection authorities not to block data transfers while negotiations are on-going, he explained.
safe-harbor  data  privacy  eu  ec  snowden  law  us 
october 2015 by jm
Daragh O'Brien on the CJEU judgement on Safe Harbor
Many organisations I've spoken to have had the cunning plan of adopting model contract clauses as their fall back position to replace their reliance on Safe Harbor. [....] The best that can be said for Model Clauses is that they haven't been struck down by the CJEU. Yet.
model-clauses  cjeu  eu  europe  safe-harbor  us  nsa  surveillance  privacy  law 
october 2015 by jm
The price of the Internet of Things will be a vague dread of a malicious world
So the fact is that our experience of the world will increasingly come to reflect our experience of our computers and of the internet itself (not surprisingly, as it’ll be infused with both). Just as any user feels their computer to be a fairly unpredictable device full of programs they’ve never installed doing unknown things to which they’ve never agreed to benefit companies they’ve never heard of, inefficiently at best and actively malignant at worst (but how would you now?), cars, street lights, and even buildings will behave in the same vaguely suspicious way. Is your self-driving car deliberately slowing down to give priority to the higher-priced models? Is your green A/C really less efficient with a thermostat from a different company, or it’s just not trying as hard? And your tv is supposed to only use its camera to follow your gestural commands, but it’s a bit suspicious how it always offers Disney downloads when your children are sitting in front of it. None of those things are likely to be legal, but they are going to be profitable, and, with objects working actively to hide them from the government, not to mention from you, they’ll be hard to catch.
culture  bots  criticism  ieet  iot  internet-of-things  law  regulation  open-source  appliances 
september 2015 by jm
From Radio to Porn, British Spies Track Web Users’ Online Identities
Inside KARMA POLICE, GCHQ's mass-surveillance operation aimed to record the browsing habits of "every visible user on the internet", including UK-to-UK internal traffic. more details on the other GCHQ mass surveillance projects at https://theintercept.com/gchq-appendix/
surveillance  gchq  security  privacy  law  uk  ireland  karma-police  snooping 
september 2015 by jm
EPA opposed rules that would have exposed VW's cheating
[...] Two months ago, the EPA opposed some proposed measures that would help potentially expose subversive code like the so-called “defeat device” software VW allegedly used by allowing consumers and researchers to legally reverse-engineer the code used in vehicles. EPA opposed this, ironically, because the agency felt that allowing people to examine the software code in vehicles would potentially allow car owners to alter the software in ways that would produce more emissions in violation of the Clean Air Act. The issue involves the 1998 Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DCMA), which prohibits anyone from working around “technological protection measures” that limit access to copyrighted works. The Library of Congress, which oversees copyrights, can issue exemptions to those prohibitions that would make it legal, for example, for researchers to examine the code to uncover security vulnerabilities.
dmca  volkswagen  vw  law  code  open-source  air-quality  diesel  cheating  regulation  us-politics 
september 2015 by jm
EU court adviser: data-share deal with U.S. is invalid | Reuters
The Safe Harbor agreement does not do enough to protect EU citizen's private information when it reached the United States, Yves Bot, Advocate General at the European Court of Justice (ECJ), said. While his opinions are not binding, they tend to be followed by the court's judges, who are currently considering a complaint about the system in the wake of revelations from ex-National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden of mass U.S. government surveillance.
safe-harbor  law  eu  ec  ecj  snowden  surveillance  privacy  us  data  max-schrems 
september 2015 by jm
‘I wish to register a complaint’: know your consumer rights before the fight
Conor Pope on the basics of consumer law -- and how to complain -- in Ireland
consumer  ireland  irish-times  articles  law 
september 2015 by jm
New study shows Spain’s “Google tax” has been a disaster for publishers
A study commissioned by Spanish publishers has found that a new intellectual property law passed in Spain last year, which charges news aggregators like Google for showing snippets and linking to news stories, has done substantial damage to the Spanish news industry.

In the short-term, the study found, the law will cost publishers €10 million, or about $10.9 million, which would fall disproportionately on smaller publishers. Consumers would experience a smaller variety of content, and the law "impedes the ability of innovation to enter the market." The study concludes that there's no "theoretical or empirical justification" for the fee.
google  news  publishing  google-tax  spain  law  aggregation  snippets  economics 
august 2015 by jm
Newegg vs. Patent Trolls: When We Win, You Win
go NewEgg: 'Newegg went against a company that claimed its patent covered SSL and RC4 encryption, a common encryption system used by many retailers and websites. This particular patent troll has gone against over 100 other companies, and brought in $45 million in settlements before going after Newegg. We won.'
via:nelson  ip  law  patent-trolls  patents  newegg  crypto 
july 2015 by jm
That time the Internet sent a SWAT team to my mom's house - Boing Boing
The solution is for social media sites and the police to take threats or jokes about swatting, doxxing, and organized crime seriously. Tweeting about buying a gun and shooting up a school would be taken seriously, and so should the threat of raping, doxxing, swatting or killing someone. Privacy issues and online harassment are directly linked, and online harassment isn’t going anywhere. My fear is that, in reaction to online harassment, laws will be passed that will break down our civil freedoms and rights online, and that more surveillance will be sold to users under the guise of safety. More surveillance, however, would not have helped me or my mother. A platform that takes harassment and threats seriously instead of treating them like jokes would have.
twitter  gamergate  4chan  8chan  privacy  doxxing  swatting  harrassment  threats  social-media  facebook  law  feminism 
july 2015 by jm
I’ve seen more than my fair share of abuse online, but Lorraine Higgins’ bill isn’t the answer
Tom Murphy:
This bill prioritises other peoples’ “alarm or distress” over your communications not just TO them but also ABOUT them. Don’t like what Joan Burton is doing with the water charges? Want to write something on independent media about what you think of that? Better not alarm or distress or harm her!
This is the core of my issue with the bill. It’s not just that almost all the agreeable parts of it are already covered by other laws. It’s not just that it’s utterly unenforceable with our current justice system. It’s not just that it’s so vague and fluffy. It’s that it’s so ill-defined and over-reaching that its interpretation will inevitably have to be left to judges.
Leaving anything to judges is a bad idea in general. This overly broad and poorly worded bill is a god-send to people who like to bully others into silence. Ironic that eh?!
lorraine-higgins  law  seanad  abuse  harrassment  trolls 
july 2015 by jm
Government forum to discuss increasing use of personal data
Mr Murphy said it was the Government’s objective for Ireland to be a leader on data protection and data-related issues.
The members of the forum include Data Protection Commissioner Helen Dixon, John Barron, chief technology officer with the Revenue Commissioners, Seamus Carroll, head of civil law reform division at the Department of Justice and Tim Duggan, assistant secretary with the Department of Social Protection.
Gary Davis, director of privacy and law enforcement requests with Apple, is also on the forum. Mr Davis is a former deputy data protection commissioner in Ireland.
There are also representatives from Google, Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook, from the IDA, the Law Society and the National Statistics Board.
Chair of Digital Rights Ireland Dr TJ McIntyre and Dr Eoin O’Dell, associate professor, School of Law, Trinity College Dublin are also on the voluntary forum.
ireland  government  dri  law  privacy  data  data-protection  dpc 
july 2015 by jm
Shock European court decision: Websites are liable for users’ comments | Ars Technica
In the wake of this judgment, the legal situation is complicated. In an e-mail to Ars, T J McIntyre, who is a lecturer in law and Chairman of Digital Rights Ireland, the lead organization that won an important victory against EU data retention in the Court of Justice of the European Union last year, explained where things now stand. "Today's decision doesn't have any direct legal effect. It simply finds that Estonia's laws on site liability aren't incompatible with the ECHR. It doesn't directly require any change in national or EU law. Indirectly, however, it may be influential in further development of the law in a way which undermines freedom of expression. As a decision of the Grand Chamber of the ECHR it will be given weight by other courts and by legislative bodies."
ars-technica  delfi  free-speech  eu  echr  tj-mcintyre  law  europe  estonia 
june 2015 by jm
Huge Loss For Free Speech In Europe: Human Rights Court Says Sites Liable For User Comments | Techdirt
The ruling is terrible through and through. First off, it insists that the comments on the news story were clearly "hate speech" and that, as such, "did not require any linguistic or legal analysis since the remarks were on their face manifestly unlawful." To the court, this means that it's obvious such comments should have been censored straight out. That's troubling for a whole host of reasons at the outset, and highlights the problematic views of expressive freedom in Europe. Even worse, however, the Court then notes that freedom of expression is "interfered with" by this ruling, but it doesn't seem to care -- saying that it is deemed "necessary in a democratic society."


This is going to have massive chilling effects. Terrible ruling from the ECHR.
echr  freedom  via:tjmcintyre  law  europe  eu  comments  free-speech  censorship  hate-speech 
june 2015 by jm
Ireland's media silenced over MP's speech about Denis O'Brien
this is appalling. And of course we can only find out about it from overseas media because our own media is quaking in their boots :(
media  ireland  he-who-cannot-be-named  censorship  omgwtfbbq  law  libel  injunctions  high-court 
may 2015 by jm
Small claims triumph as aerial photographer routs flagrant infringers
This is great news. Flagrant copyright infringement of an aerial photograph penalised to the order of UKP 2,716
copyright  infringement  small-claims  law  uk  webb-aviation  photography  images 
april 2015 by jm
ECJ case debates EU citizens' right to privacy
The US wields secretive and indiscriminate powers to collect data, he said, and had never offered Brussels any commitments to guarantee EU privacy standards for its citizens’ data. On the contrary, said [Max Schrems' counsel] Mr Hoffmann, “Safe Harbour” provisions could be overruled by US domestic law at any time.
Thus he asked the court for a full judicial review of the “illegal” Safe Harbour principles which, he said, violated the essence of privacy and left EU citizens “effectively stripped of any protection”.
[Irish] DPC counsel Paul Anthony McDermott SC suggested that Mr Schrems had not been harmed in any way by the status quo. “This is not surprising, given that the NSA isn’t currently interested in the essays of law students in Austria,” he said.
Mr Travers for Mr Schrems disagreed, saying “the breach of the right to privacy is itself the harm”.
ireland  dpc  data-protection  privacy  eu  ec  ecj  law  rights  safe-harbour 
march 2015 by jm
Sign up for Privacy International's anti-surveillance campaign
Have you ever made a phone call, sent an email, or, you know, used the internet? Of course you have!

Chances are, at some point over the past decade, your communications were swept up by the U.S. National Security Agency. The NSA then shares information with the UK Government's intelligence agency GCHQ by default. A recent court ruling found that this sharing was unlawful. But no one could find out if their records were collected and then illegally shared between these two agencies… until now!

Because of our recent victory against the UK intelligence agency in court, now anyone in the world — yes, ANYONE, including you — can find out if GCHQ illegally received information about you from the NSA. Join our campaign by entering your details below to find out if GCHQ illegally spied on you, and confirm via the email we send you. We'll then go to court demanding that they finally come clean on unlawful surveillance.
gchq  nsa  spying  surveillance  internet  phone  uk  law  campaign  privacy-international 
february 2015 by jm
UK-US surveillance regime was unlawful ‘for seven years’ | UK news | The Guardian
The regime that governs the sharing between Britain and the US of electronic communications intercepted in bulk was unlawful until last year, a secretive UK tribunal has ruled.

The Investigatory Powers Tribunal (IPT) declared on Friday that regulations covering access by Britain’s GCHQ to emails and phone records intercepted by the US National Security Agency (NSA) breached human rights law.
gchq  surveillance  uk  nsa  law  tribunals 
february 2015 by jm
Silk Road Mastermind Ross Ulbricht Convicted of All 7 Charges
The case’s decision will no doubt be seen by many as U.S. law enforcement striking a significant blow against the dark web’s burgeoning drug trade. More broadly, the case represents the limits of cryptographic anonymity tools like Tor and bitcoin against the surveillance powers of the U.S. government. In spite of his use of those crypto tools and others, Ulbricht couldn’t prevent the combined efforts of the FBI, DHS, and IRS from linking his pseudonym to his real-world identity.

But Ulbricht will nonetheless be remembered not just for his conviction, but also for ushering in a new age of online black markets. Today’s leading dark web drug sites like Agora and Evolution offer more narcotics listings than the Silk Road ever did, and have outlived law enforcement’s crackdown on their competitors. Tracking down and prosecuting those new sites’ operators, like prosecuting Ulbricht, will likely require the same intense, multi-year investigations by three-letter agencies.

If the feds do find the administrators of the next generation of dark web drug sites, as they found Ulbricht, don’t expect those online drug lords to let their unencrypted laptops be snatched in a public library, or to have kept assiduous journals of their criminal conspiracies. The Dread Pirate Roberts’ successors have no doubt been watching his trial unfold and learning from his mistakes. And the next guilty verdict may not be so easy.
ross-ulbricht  silk-road  drugs  tor  dark-web  law  convictions 
february 2015 by jm
EFF’s Game Plan for Ending Global Mass Surveillance
For years, we’ve been working on a strategy to end mass surveillance of digital communications of innocent people worldwide. Today we’re laying out the plan, so you can understand how all the pieces fit together—that is, how U.S. advocacy and policy efforts connect to the international fight and vice versa. Decide for yourself where you can get involved to make the biggest difference.

This plan isn’t for the next two weeks or three months. It’s a multi-year battle that may need to be revised many times as we better understand the tools and authorities of entities engaged in mass surveillance and as more disclosures by whistleblowers help shine light on surveillance abuses.
eff  privacy  nsa  surveillance  gchq  law  policy  us-politics 
january 2015 by jm
Australia tries to ban crypto research – by ACCIDENT • The Register
Researchers are warned off [discussing] 512-bits-plus key lengths, systems “designed or modified to perform cryptanalytic functions, or “designed or modified to use 'quantum cryptography'”. [....] “an email to a fellow academic could land you a 10 year prison sentence”.


https://twitter.com/_miw/status/556023024009224192 notes 'the DSGL 5A002 defines it as >512bit RSA, >512bit DH, >112 bit ECC and >56 bit symmetric ciphers; weak as fuck i say.'
law  australia  crime  crypto  ecc  rsa  stupidity  fail 
january 2015 by jm
BBC uses RIPA terrorism laws to catch TV licence fee dodgers in Northern Ireland
Give them the power, they'll use that power.

'A document obtained under Freedom of Information legislation confirms the BBC's use of RIPA in Northern Ireland. It states: "The BBC may, in certain circumstances, authorise under the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 and Regulation of Investigatory Powers (British Broadcasting Corporation) Order 2001 the lawful use of detection equipment to detect unlicensed use of television receivers... the BBC has used detection authorised under this legislation in Northern Ireland."'
ripa  privacy  bbc  tv  license-fee  uk  northern-ireland  law  scope-creep 
january 2015 by jm
Schneier on Security: Why Data Mining Won't Stop Terror
A good reference URL to cut-and-paste when "scanning internet traffic for terrorist plots" rears its head:
This unrealistically accurate system will generate 1 billion false alarms for every real terrorist plot it uncovers. Every day of every year, the police will have to investigate 27 million potential plots in order to find the one real terrorist plot per month. Raise that false-positive accuracy to an absurd 99.9999 percent and you're still chasing 2,750 false alarms per day -- but that will inevitably raise your false negatives, and you're going to miss some of those 10 real plots.


Also, Ben Goldacre saying the same thing: http://www.badscience.net/2009/02/datamining-would-be-lovely-if-it-worked/
internet  scanning  filtering  specificity  statistics  data-mining  terrorism  law  nsa  gchq  false-positives  false-negatives 
january 2015 by jm
As Islamists Seek To Silence Cartoonists With Guns, Irish Government Also Says Ciúnas
the urgency of repealing the Irish blasphemy legislation cannot now be overstated. The same cartoons that saw their authors murdered for blasphemy recently, would see Irish authors hauled before our courts. The same nations that execute their citizens for blasphemy, wish to promote the wording of the Irish blasphemy legislation through the UN, in order to expand such provisions to more countries. Ireland is the only European country to recently introduce a new blasphemy law. Following the horrific recent events in Paris, let us be the next country to repeal our blasphemy laws.
blasphemy  censorship  free-speech  charlie-hebdo  law 
january 2015 by jm
The Hit Team
Fergal Crehan's new gig -- good idea!
The Hit Team helps you fight back against leaked photos and videos, internet targeting and revenge porn.
revenge-porn  revenge  law  privacy  porn  leaks  photos  videos  images  selfies 
january 2015 by jm
Digital Rights Ireland files Amicus Brief in Microsoft v USA with Liberty and ORG
Microsoft -v- USA is an important ongoing case, currently listed for hearing in 2015 before the US Federal Court of Appeal of the 2nd Circuit.

However, as the case centres around the means by which NY law enforcement are seeking to access data of an email account which resides in Dublin, it is also crucially significant to Ireland and the rest of the EU. For that reason, Digital Rights Ireland instructed us to file an Amicus Brief in the US case, in conjunction with the global law firm of White & Case, who have acted pro bono in their representation.

Given the significance of the case for the wider EU, both Liberty and the Open Rights Group in the UK have joined Digital Rights Ireland as amici on this brief. We hope it will be of aid to the US court in assessing the significance of the order being appealed by Microsoft for EU citizens and European states, in the light of the existing US and EU Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty.
amicus-briefs  law  us  dri  microsoft  mlats  org  liberty  eu  privacy 
december 2014 by jm
When data gets creepy: the secrets we don’t realise we’re giving away | Technology | The Guardian
Very good article around the privacy implications of derived and inferred aggregate metadata from Ben Goldacre.
We are entering an age – which we should welcome with open arms – when patients will finally have access to their own full medical records online. So suddenly we have a new problem. One day, you log in to your medical records, and there’s a new entry on your file: “Likely to die in the next year.” We spend a lot of time teaching medical students to be skilful around breaking bad news. A box ticked on your medical records is not empathic communication. Would we hide the box? Is that ethical? Or are “derived variables” such as these, on a medical record, something doctors should share like anything else?
advertising  ethics  privacy  security  law  data  aggregation  metadata  ben-goldacre 
december 2014 by jm
State sanctions foreign phone and email tapping
Well, this stinks.
Foreign law enforcement agencies will be allowed to tap Irish phone calls and intercept emails under a statutory instrument signed into law by Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald.
Companies that object or refuse to comply with an intercept order could be brought before a private “in camera” court.
The legislation, which took effect on Monday, was signed into law without fanfare on November 26th, the day after documents emerged in a German newspaper indicating the British spy agency General Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) had directly tapped undersea communications cables between Ireland and Britain for years.
ireland  law  gchq  surveillance  mlats  phone-tapping 
december 2014 by jm
Help the GNOME Foundation defend the GNOME trademark
Recently Groupon announced a product with the same product name as GNOME. Groupon’s product is a tablet based point of sale “operating system for merchants to run their entire operation." The GNOME community was shocked that Groupon would use our mark for a product so closely related to the GNOME desktop and technology. It was almost inconceivable to us that Groupon, with over $2.5 billion in annual revenue, a full legal team and a huge engineering staff would not have heard of the GNOME project, found our trademark registration using a casual search, or even found our website, but we nevertheless got in touch with them and asked them to pick another name. Not only did Groupon refuse, but it has now filed even more trademark applications (the full list of applications they filed can be found here, here and here). To use the GNOME name for a proprietary software product that is antithetical to the fundamental ideas of the GNOME community, the free software community and the GNU project is outrageous. Please help us fight this huge company as they try to trade on our goodwill and hard earned reputation.
gnome  groupon  trademark  infringement  open-source  operating-systems  ip  law  floss 
november 2014 by jm
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