The Million Dollar Dissident: NSO Group's iPhone Zero-Days used against a UAE Human Rights Defender - The Citizen Lab
Ahmed Mansoor is an internationally recognized human rights defender, based in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and recipient of the Martin Ennals Award (sometimes referred to as a “Nobel Prize for human rights”). On August 10 and 11, 2016, Mansoor received SMS text messages on his iPhone promising “new secrets” about detainees tortured in UAE jails if he clicked on an included link. Instead of clicking, Mansoor sent the messages to Citizen Lab researchers. We recognized the links as belonging to an exploit infrastructure connected to NSO Group, an Israel-based “cyber war” company that sells Pegasus, a government-exclusive “lawful intercept” spyware product. NSO Group is reportedly owned by an American venture capital firm, Francisco Partners Management.
human_rights  ee  security  apple  activism  citizenlab 
2 days ago
Private lives are exposed as WikiLeaks spills its secrets
Three Saudi cables published by the WikiLeaks identified domestic workers who'd been tortured or sexually abused by their employers, giving the women's full names and passport numbers. One cable named a male teenager who was raped by a man while abroad; a second identified another male teenager who was so violently raped his legs were broken; a third outlined the details of a Saudi man detained for "sexual deviation" — a derogatory term for homosexuality.

Scott Long, an LGBT rights activist who has worked in the Middle East, said the names of rape victims were off-limits. And he worried that releasing the names of people persecuted for their sexuality only risked magnifying the harm caused by oppressive officials.

"You're legitimizing their surveillance, not combating it," Long said.
privacy  wikileaks  ee  human_rights  middleeast 
5 days ago
Syrian refugees create app to help navigate German bureaucracy - The Washington Post
A team of six Syrian refugees are trying to solve one of the main obstacles the hundreds of thousand of refugees who flocked to Germany in the past two years must overcome: excessive bureaucracy. They're building an app for smartphones and computers designed to help recent arrivals to the German capital, Berlin, navigate the piles of paperwork required to receive social benefits, health care and a place to stay.
refugees  germany  apps  civictech  bureaucracy  bureaucrazy  ds 
11 days ago
The Nauru files: cache of 2,000 leaked reports reveal scale of abuse of children in Australian offshore detention | Australia news | The Guardian
More than 2,000 leaked incident reports from Australia’s detention camp for asylum seekers on the remote Pacific island of Nauru – totalling more than 8,000 pages – are published by the Guardian today. The Nauru files set out as never before the assaults, sexual abuse, self-harm attempts, child abuse and living conditions endured by asylum seekers held by the Australian government, painting a picture of routine dysfunction and cruelty.
ee  refugees  human_rights  data  leak 
18 days ago
for digest: new research shows that open access papers have a 50% greater citation advantage than papers published in traditional subscription-based journals.
OA  citation  advantage 
24 days ago
Can We Tell a Truer Story about Civic Tech? | Civic Hall
We have an expectations problem in the civic tech world that is making donors waste money and social justice projects waste opportunities. When foundations and executives expect technology to create rapid results, or massive results, they can set up their tools and their teams to fall short. And simplistic expectations mess up the incentives for advocates and donors alike.
pdf  ee  civictech 
24 days ago
In Portuguese - Is the distribution of processes at Supreme Court really randomic:
A Brazilian citizen filed a Freedom of Information Request to release the source code of the computers that distribute processes among Brazilian Supreme Court judges. The request was denied, generating a debate on transparency of algorithms used in Justice and the public sector.
pt-br  algorithms  supremecourt  foi  brazil  ds 
25 days ago
Hillary Clinton's Initiative on Technology & Innovation
clinton supports open licensing for publicly-funded research
25 days ago
New Manual: Holistic Security | Tactical Technology Collective
In the past, different aspects of human rights defenders' security (digital, physical and psycho-social) have tended to be treated separately, as if they existed in isolation. The holistic approach, however, recognises that they are deeply interrelated and need to be taken together when developing a comprehensive security strategy.
human_rights  tacticaltech  security  ee 
7 weeks ago
Lucia Nader: Five reasons to fear innovation - Sur - Revista Internacional de Direitos Humanos
...We interviewed 102 activists and human rights defenders from Europe, the United States of America (U.S.) and Latin America between 2015 and 2016. A considerable number showed some resistance either to the concept of innovation in general or to the need for rights-based non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and donors to constantly innovate. Many of them shunned the idea of innovation, raising a series of concerns, which we have grouped here as “5 reasons to fear innovation”.

As Emily Martinez from the Open Society Foundations (U.S.) pointed out recently during a conference, “who knows, might this resistance result from the fact [that] it seems contradictory to speak of innovation in a field where persistence and resilience are deemed key features and take so much of our energy? How is it possible to innovate in weekly visits to prisons to document abuses and torture, for example? Or, why do we immediately associate innovation with technology, whereas there is an increasing mistrust of and awareness about the limits of turning everything technological and modern?”
LuciaNader  human_rights  technology 
7 weeks ago
Google Is Transforming NYC's Payphones Into a "Personalized Propaganda Engine" | Village Voice
"If CityBridge is using a business model that is not charging, and they are spending a bunch of money putting these things in, they are going to be monetizing the data hard," Tien says. "That means that they are always thinking about how to collect your data and how to profit off of it."

But there is a different issue in play here: the right of the City of New York to surrender that data for us; the right of our elected officials — over the objections of some of the city's own watchdogs and in exchange for what is, viewed in the light of the city's $78 billion annual budget, chump change — to sell citizens' privacy off the back of a truck to a for-profit company.
privacy  ee  behavioural-tracking  Google  smartcities  urbanization 
7 weeks ago
Opinion: A progressive tech platform for the 99 percent -
Hillary Clinton's tech agenda doesn't address the most pressing digital issues. The US deserves a tech platform that defends privacy, protects the public from discriminatory algorithms, and ensures that innovation doesn't just benefit the wealthy.
hillary_clinton  tech_policy  sasha_meinrath  elections  US  DS 
7 weeks ago
The Secrets in Guatemala’s Bones - The New York Times
The death threats began for Peccerelli and his staff in 2001, when a fellow anthropologist at another organization received a letter listing 11 targets, including Peccerelli and several others at F.A.F.G. “For 10 years we have known who you are and let you be,” the letter said. “Now it is time to settle accounts.”
forensicdna  forensics  ee  guatemala  anthropology  human_rights 
7 weeks ago
Chatbot lawyer overturns 160,000 parking tickets in London and New York | Technology | The Guardian
Dubbed as “the world’s first robot lawyer” by its 19-year-old creator, London-born second-year Stanford University student Joshua Browder, DoNotPay helps users contest parking tickets in an easy to use chat-like interface.
technology  news  ai  robots  ee 
7 weeks ago
Thousands of migrants are dying at sea. This charity is trying to save them
Following reports the I Sea Project app is a hoax, it has been pulled from the Apple store.
ee  do_something  satellites  citizen_engagement  refugees 
9 weeks ago
Google Sharpens Search Results for ‘Skin Rash,’ ‘Tummy Ache’ and Other Symptoms - WSJ
“Because this is an algorithm, it isn’t perfect,” Ms. Pinchin says. “But we’re going to expand and improve it over time.”
algorithms  google  health  ee 
9 weeks ago
The New Media is Made of Memes — Backchannel
Media brands once created content that people simply consumed, then they focused on producing content that people shared. Discover feels like an odd laboratory for what comes next, where media companies are experimenting with short-form entertainment, journalism, and what is essentially multimedia stationery: open templates and professional memes for every minute, for every mood.
media  socialmedia  ee  snapchat  content  journalism 
9 weeks ago
Stop Lying About Tesla's Autopilot Crashing Your Car
In the future, there’s no getting away from computers ratting you out for your human mistakes.

Today Tesla Motors had to respond to yet another highly-publicized story of one of its cars crashing into something, this time a building full of people, with the owner blaming the vehicle’s semi-autonomous capabilities. And, today Tesla proved once again its vehicle’s Autopilot system was not to blame by releasing the data from the vehicle at the time of the incident.
automation  self-driving_car  car  ee 
11 weeks ago
Biden unveiling public database for clinical data on cancer - The Washington Post
Since taking on the cancer issue last year, Biden has repeatedly argued that confining data within institutions has hampered cancer research, with scientists and medical companies reluctant to share proprietary information. In fact, cancer research institutions have significant data-sharing arrangements in place, although Biden and other critics say it’s too limited and not happening early enough in the process.

The White House said the public database is easily searchable and includes protections for privacy and security.
genetics  cancer  database  us  ee 
11 weeks ago
Best Case Scenarios for Copyright - International Communia Association
Communia is launching series of posts called, the Best Case Scenarios for Copyright, to promote great solutions such as user-friendly copyright limitations.
copyright  EU 
11 weeks ago
Body Count Points to a Mexican Military Out of Control - The New York Times
The Mexican authorities say the nation’s soldiers are simply better trained and more skilled than the cartels they battle.

But experts who study the issue say Mexico’s kill rate is practically unheard-of, arguing that the numbers reveal something more ominous.

“They are summary executions,” said Paul Chevigny, a retired New York University professor who pioneered the study of lethality among armed forces.
statistics  humanrights  ee  mexico 
may 2016
Government agencies keep sacrificing cash to zombie IT systems, GAO finds | Ars Technica
A new Government Accountability Office report has called out some of these systems as being so archaic that they're consuming increasingly larger portions of agencies' IT budgets just for operation and maintenance. As the breach at the Office of Personnel Management demonstrated, old systems are also a security risk—particularly when they've been "updated" with now-unsupported versions of Windows Server and Internet and database components that were end-of-life'd by their creators years ago.
software  GAO  UnitedStates  security 
may 2016
Website Meant to Connect Neighbors Hears Complaints of Racial Profiling - The New York Times
Nextdoor, founded in 2010, is not the first neighborhood-based platform accused of becoming a haven for racially charged suspicions.
ee  racial_profiling  race 
may 2016
Lev Ponomarev: "Flight or Prison" - Human Rights in Russia
In this different reality, for any report or ‘like’ of a picture that the anti-extremism police of Centre-E don’t like, you will immediately be sent to prison. Without any ‘half-measures’ such as compulsory work or a fine. For example, in February this year a single mother from Ekaterinburg, Ekaterina Vologzheninova, was sentenced to compulsory work for reposting a cartoon - and the court ordered her laptop was destroyed. Now the only possible form of punishment under ‘extremist’ articles of the criminal code (282, 282.1, 282.2, 282.3) will be imprisonment. The number of trials for extremism in recent years has increased at a remarkable speed — from 2011 to 2015 the number of people convicted of ‘extremist’ offences went up threefold.

In this reality any adolescent over 14 years will be considered criminally liable for failing to tell their friend, or, let’s say, their uncle (the bill introduces a new article into the Criminal Code: ‘failure to report a crime’ - 205.6, for which criminal liability begins at 14 years of age). In other words, it’s not enough that in our country young people of 14 and over are put in prison, for example if they steal something worth over 2,000 roubles. Now they will be put in prison for ‘failing to report’. We are returning to the ideas of Pavlik Morozov.
ee  russia  extremism  freedom_of_speech 
may 2016
Эхо Москвы :: Блоги / Или бегство, или тюрьма
В этой реальности любой подросток старше 14 лет будет привлечен к уголовной ответственности за недонесение на своего приятеля или, скажем, дядю (законопроектом вводится новая статья УК РФ «несообщение о преступлении» — 205.6, по которой уголовная ответственность начинается с 14 лет). То есть, мало того, что у нас с 14 лет садятся, скажем, за кражу свыше двух тысяч рублей. Теперь будут садиться и за «несообщение» — возвращаемся к идеалам Павлика Морозова.
ee  russia  extremism  freedom_of_speech 
may 2016
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