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March 01 2010

ISOC Community Grant Program Launched

The Internet Society (ISOC) is a nonprofit organization founded in 1992 dedicated to ensuring the open development, evolution and use of the Internet for the benefit of people throughout the world. A Community Grants Programme has been established to assist ISOC chapters and members specifically in projects that will:
  • Advance ISOC's mission and goals specifically those aligned with ISOC Major Strategic Initiatives
  • Serve the Chapters’ communities
  • Nurture collaborative work among Chapters/Individual Members
  • Enhance and utilize knowledge sharing in the global internet community and
  • Encourage Chapters’ sustainability and relevance.
All the information about ISOC Community Grant Program is available here.

February 23 2010

The Widening Web of Control

The International Council on Human Rights Policy have published a draft report named The Widening Web of Control: A Human Rights Analysis of Public Policy Responses to Crime, Social Problems and Deviance, which is available for comments and review. The multidisciplinary project involved research in five different policy areas: public health/infectious diseases control; city and urban poor; punishment and incarceration; policing and surveillance; controls over migrant and non-citizens.

February 07 2010

EU Parliamentary Group Rejected Deal on Data Sharing with the US

Members of the European Parliament Civil Liberties Committee recommended rejecting the data sharing agreement between the United States and Europe. "Parliament should withhold its consent to the EU's interim agreement on banking data transfers to the USA via the SWIFT network", the Civil Liberties Committee suggested. The United States authorities have argued that access to that information is key to counter terrorism efforts. In 2006 Article 29 concluded that "SWIFT and the financial institutions in the EU have failed to respect the provisions of the EU Data Protection Directive." The deal will be put to a plenary vote in Strasbourg on February 11, 2010. The SWIFT deal allows the United States to access information collected by the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT). In 2009, the Brussels-based banking consortium "set up a storage center for its European data in Switzerland, which meant that intra-European data was stored only in Europe. Until then, the data had also been kept on a server in the United States. This new structure required the negotiation of a new agreement between the Commission and Council on the one hand and the United States on the other." For more information: SWIFT interim agreement: Civil liberties Committee to vote on 4 February.

February 05 2010

EU Information Society Commissioner Speech Makes Personal Data Protection a Foreign Policy Priority

Viviane Reding, European Information Society Commissioner in a Keynote Speech at the European Parliament on International Privacy Day affirmed that the protection of the right of personal data should be respected at any time, even when performing simple operations like transferring money, booking a flight ticket or passing a security check at the airport. "The demand for personal data continues to grow massively, and so should our determination to reinforce the rights of individuals over the use of their personal data," Commissioner Reding added. Commissioner Reding rejects the installation of body scanner without studying whether the devices are effective, do not harm health, and do not violate privacy. "I am convinced that body scanners have a considerable privacy-invasive potential. Their usefulness is still to be proven. Their impact on health has not yet been fully assessed. Therefore I cannot imagine this privacy-intrusive technique being imposed on us without full consideration of its impact," she noted. The European position in the current dispute is strengthened by the recent adoption of the Lisbon Treaty and the entry into force of the Charter of Fundmental Rights. For more information: The Public Voice: Stop Digital Strip Searches in Airports

European Commissioner Called to Defend Privacy on the Information Society

With a heightened called to ensure that personal data are protected against any unauthorized use, and that citizens have the right to decide on the way their data are processed, EU Information Society Commissioner, Viviane Reding, delivered a Keynote Speech at the European Parliament on January 28, Data Protection Day. "It is my firm belief that we cannot expect citizens to trust Europe if we are not serious in defending the right to privacy," she added. While recognizing the power of innovation of new products and services, Commissioner Reding highlighted that privacy and personal data were not always a key ingredient at the early development stage of those products and services. The European Commission is currently analyzing over 160 responses to the public consultation on the reform of the General Data Protection Directive. Several challenges has been identified such as the need to (1) "clarify the application of some key rules and principles (such as consent and transparency) in practice; (2) ensure that personal data are protected regardless of the location of the data controller; (3) promote Privacy Enhancing Technologies (PETs), by introducing new evolving principles (such as ‘privacy by design, (4) strengthen enforcement, and (5) incorporate the fundamental principles of data protection to cover all areas of EU competence, including police and judicial cooperation in criminal matters and the EU's external relations."

February 03 2010

The 2010 European Civil Society Award Results

The European Association for the Defense of Human Rights and EDRI presented the first European Civil Society Data Protection Award to "PER.SONN.ES (in French), or FAKEFRIENDS.ME (in English). " / [is] an original and positive initiative contributing to the visibility and effectiveness of the right to privacy by raising awareness and helping to build conscious critical thinking," the Jury noted. The Jury was conformed by Pierre Barge (AEDH), Emilie Barrau (BEUC), Aleksejs Dimitrovs (AEDH), Serge Gutwirth (LSTS/VUB), Paul de Hert (LSTS/VUB), Andreas Krisch (EDRI), Meryem Marzouki (EDRI), Yves Poullet (CRID), and Daniel Retureau (EESC).

January 21 2010

US Secretary of State Backs Internet Freedom

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced today a new U.S. policy that urges the protection of Internet freedom and privacy for the 21st century. "Those who use the internet to recruit terrorists or distribute stolen intellectual property cannot divorce their online actions from their real world identities. But these challenges must not become an excuse for governments to systematically violate the rights and privacy of those who use the internet for peaceful political purposes," she noted. The Secretary of State endorsed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and stressed that the United States "does stand for a single Internet where all of humanity has equal access to knowledge and ideas." She also applauded efforts such as the Council of Europe's Convention on Cybercrime that facilitates international cooperation in prosecuting such offenses. Privacy advocates around the world are rallying behind the Madrid Privacy Declaration (2009), which urges countries that have not ratified Council of Europe Convention 108, together with the Protocol of 2001 to do so as expeditiously as possible in order to complement the CoE Convention on Cybercrime. They are also calling for the establishment of a new international framework for privacy protection, with the full participation of civil society. Recently, the UN Rapporteur on human rights and counter-terrorism released its Annual Report calling for a global declaration on data protection and data privacy

January 20 2010

The erosion of the right to privacy in the fight against terrorism

The current wave of privacy-intrusive measures in the name of countering terrorism should be countered through a global declaration on data protection and data privacy; the UN Special Rapporteur on human rights and counter-terrorism Martin Scheinin said, as he released his latest report which focuses on the erosion of the right to privacy in the fight against terrorism. In his report, Scheinin critically assesses developments that have adversely affected the right to privacy in various parts of the world using the justification of combating terrorism. These include racial or ethnic profiling, creation of privacy-intrusive databases and resorting to new technology, such as body scanners, without proper human rights assessment. Based on his evaluation, the UN independent expert dismisses the perception that, in an all-encompassing process of “balancing”, counter-terrorism always outweighs privacy. Instead, he calls for a rigorous analytical framework for securing that any restrictions on privacy rights are necessary, proportionate and adequately regulated. One of his main recommendations is that the inter-governmental Human Rights Council should launch a process aiming at a global declaration on data protection and data privacy. The Special Rapporteur also encourages the Human Rights Committee, the independent expert body supervising compliance with the Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to consider drawing up a general comment on the right to privacy, including the proper scope of its limitations. Scheinin will present his report to the Human Rights Council in Geneva in the second week of March. In his previous reports, the UN Special Rapporteur on human rights and counter-terrorism has addressed themes such as definitions of terrorism, racial and ethnic profiling, the right to a fair trial, and the gender impact of counter-terrorism measures. Mr. Scheinin was appointed Special Rapporteur by the United Nations Commission on Human Rights in August 2005. The mandate was renewed by Human Rights Council Resolution 6/28.

January 13 2010

Google to Stop Filtering Search Results in China

Google has announced that it will no longer censor results on the Chinese version of its search engine,, after discovering serious security breaches on its corporate cloud infrastructure. Chinese law requires Internet companies to install Internet filters, and up until now Google has complied. Civil society groups have widely opposed mandated filtering, censorship of Internet content, and surveillance of Internet users. In the Seoul Declaration (2008) and the Madrid Declaration, they urged governments and Internet firms to protect freedom of expression and privacy. An EPIC Report (1999) found that filters are imprecise and block access to constitutionally protected speech in the United States.

January 07 2010

Israel and Andorra Ensures an Adequate Level of Privacy Protection

The Article 29 Data Protection Working Party released two assessments that consider Andorra and Israel a country that offers an adequate level of protection within the meaning of article 25(6) of Directive 95/46/EC on Personal Data Protection. The Council and the European Parliament have given the European Commission the power to determine, on the basis of Article 25(6) of directive 95/46/EC whether a third country ensures an adequate level of protection. The adoption of a Commission decision based on Article 25.6 of the Directive involves: "A proposal from the Commission; An opinion of the group of the national data protection commissioners (Article 29 working party); An opinion of the Article 31 Management committee delivered by a qualified majority of Member States; A thirty-day right of scrutiny for the European Parliament, to check if the Commission has used its executing powers correctly. The EP may, if it considers it appropriate, issue a recommendation; The adoption of the decision by the College of Commissioners." The effect of such a decision is that personal data can flow among those countries with an adequate level of protection.

January 06 2010

Stop Digital Strip Search in airports!

As supporters of the Madrid Declaration, we are calling on national governments to suspend the deployment of body scanners until a full evaluation of the technology is completed. As the Declaration states, we: "Call for a moratorium on the development or implementation of new systems of mass surveillance, including facial recognition, whole body imaging, biometric identifiers, and embedded RFID tags, subject to a full and transparent evaluation by independent authorities and democratic debate;" The Madrid Privacy Declaration is a substantial document that reaffirms international instruments for privacy protection, identifies new challenges, and recommends specific actions. Recommended Actions: JOIN - Facebook Group: Stop Airport Strip Searches ENDORSE - Privacy Coalition: Sign the Petition to the US Congress ENDORSE: Madrid Privacy Declaration SIGN - International Boycott of Body Scanners (IBBS) SIGN - UK Petition to abandon the proposed rollout of airport body scanners. POST - Stop Digital Strip Searches image Reference materials: Madrid Privacy Declaration EPIC, Whole Body Imaging Technology EPIC, Spotlight on Surveillance Privacy International, "statement on proposed deployments of body scanners in airports"[347]=x-347-565802 TSA, Imaging Technology Michael Chertoff ("Former homeland security chief argues for whole-body imaging")
Reposted bykrekk krekk

January 01 2010

Privacy International responds to the EU Consultation on Personal Data Protection

From July 2009 until December 31, 2009, the European Commission held a consultation on the legal framework for the fundamental right to protection of personal data. The objective of the consultation was to obtain views on the new challenges for personal data protection in order to maintain an effective and comprehensive legal framework to protect individual’s personal data within the European Union. Privacy International has responded to the European Commission's consultation highlighting its vitally support to the Directive and how it has indeed provided Europe, and the world, with a benchmark for privacy protection. PI's responds is available here.

December 20 2009

Telecom Package entered into force

On December 18, 2009, the Telecom Package took effect with its publication in the Official Journal of the European Union. The Package brings 12 reforms to pave way for stronger consumer rights, an open internet, a single European telecoms market. Under the ePrivacy directive, communications service providers will also be required to notify consumers of security breaches, persistent identifiers ("cookies") will become opt-in, there will be enhanced penalties for spammers, and national data protection agencies will receive new enforcement powers. Member states then have 18 months to transpose the Directive into national law.

December 18 2009

Privacy Advocates Files Complaint with the US Federal Trade Commission

The Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC), joined by nine privacy and consumer organizations, today filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) charging that Facebook's recent changes to user privacy settings violate federal consumer protection law. The EPIC complaint urges the Trade Commission to open an investigation into the recent changes made by Facebook to the privacy settings of Facebook users and to require Facebook to restore privacy safeguards. This is the most significant case now before the Federal Trade Commission, said Marc Rotenberg, EPIC Executive Director. More than 100 million people in the United States subscribe to the Facebook service. The company should not be allowed to turn down the privacy dial on so many American consumers. On November 19 and December 9, Facebook changed key privacy settings and required Facebook users to go through a transition tool before they could obtain access to their accounts. According to the EPIC complaint, far more user information became publicly available as result of this change. EPIC also said that more personal information will become available to third party application developers as a result of the changes to the privacy settings. The EPIC complaint cites widespread opposition to the changes by Facebook users, news organizations, bloggers, and security experts. Ed Felten, a security expert and Princeton University professor, wrote, "As a user myself, I was pretty unhappy about the recently changed privacy control. I felt that Facebook was trying to trick me into loosening controls on my information." Danny Sullivan, the editor of Search Engine Land and an expert in search engine design, wrote on his blog, "I was disturbed to discover things I previously had as options were no longer in my control.? The EPIC complaint also cites the creation of new Facebook user groups, such as “Against The New Facebook Privacy Settings!” and “Facebook! Fix the Privacy Settings.” Among the organizations supporting the EPIC complaint are the American Library Association, the Center for Digital Democracy, the Consumer Federation of America, FoolProof Financial Education, Patient Privacy Rights, Privacy Activism, the Privacy Rights Now Coalition, the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse, and the U. S. Bill of Rights Foundation. The EPIC is a public interest research center based in Washington, DC. EPIC focuses public attention on emerging privacy and civil liberties issues. Previous EPIC complaints to the FTC have led to the largest judgment in the Commission’s history, substantial changes to online authentication techniques, and the recent decision of the Department of Defense to stop selling a spyware program to military families. # # # RESOURCES: EPIC’s Complaint, “In re Facebook,” filed December 17, 2009 Background on EPIC Complaint, “In re Facebook” EPIC, Facebook and Privacy

December 15 2009

Latin America: Children's Online Privacy

On December 3, 2009, the Memorandum of Montevideo was presented in Mexico DF. The general objective of the document is to contribute to promote awareness of the risks that social networking can pose to children and adolescents. The presentation of the Memorandum of Montevideo in Mexico was an opportunity to bring together representatives from industry, media, legislators, judges, parents, civil society organizations and education authorities in order to promote and encourage the adoption of public policies aimed at protecting children's online privacy.

AEDH-EDRI: European Civil Society Data Protection Award

AEDH (European Association for the Defence of Human rights) and EDRI (European Digital Rights) launch the first edition of the European Civil Society Data Protection Award (ECSDPA). The prize aims at rewarding positive initiatives contributing to the visibility and effectiveness of right to privacy and to the protection of personal data in Europe. The ECSDPA prize will be awarded each year on 28 January, as a European Civil Society contribution to the Data Protection Day. Such achievements and initiatives have to enhance public awareness, stimulate creative and constructive input, and favor useful exchanges of information at any level, from the very local neighborhood to the whole European continent. The award is open to all non-governmental organisations, trade unions, non-profit institutions and any other civil society actor from the 47 member States of the Council of Europe. The ECSDPA winner will benefit from a one week lobbying training in Brussels, travel expenses and lodging being fully covered. The ECSDPA initiative, the first of its kind, has been made possible thanks to the support of The Law Science Technology & Society Research Group of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (LSTS/VUB) and The Flemish-Dutch House deBuren. You can find the operational details about the prize, including application and selection procedures here. The deadline for submitting nominations is 15 January 2010. Nominations should be sent to: For any further information, please contact:

Call for Nominations: European Civil Society Data Protection Award

The European Civil Society Data Protection Award aims at rewarding positive initiatives contributing to the visibility and effectiveness of the right to privacy and to the protection of personal data in Europe. By yearly honoring outstanding achievements in the field, it wishes to enhance public awareness, stimulate creative and constructive input, and favor useful exchanges of information at the European level. AEDH (Association Européenne pour la défense des Droits de l'Homme) and EDRI (European Digital Rights) invite all non-governmental organisations, trade unions, non-profitinstitutions and any other civil society actor to participate and to submit their applications. Deadline: 15 January 2010 - Send to: All the information about the Award is available here.

December 13 2009

Facebook Asks Users to Review Privacy Settings, Recommends Privacy Options, Question Remains

Facebook is asking users to review and update their privacy settings. However, the privacy recommendations, suggested by Facebook, may result in greater disclosure than users intend. Facebook faces ongoing privacy scrutiny following Beacon, proposed changes to the Terms of Services, and a settlement now pending in California. EPIC has urged Facebook to respect user privacy settings. EPIC is also defending the privacy rights of Facebook users who participated in Beacon. For more information, see EPIC: Facebook Privacy.

December 11 2009

International Human Rights Day 2009

It is our duty to ensure that these rights are a living reality -- that they are known, understood and enjoyed by everyone, everywhere. It is often those who most need their human rights protected, who also need to be informed that the Declaration exists -- and that it exists for them. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon
On the occasion of the 61st anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Public Voice coalition calls on people around the world to sign the Civil Society Madrid Declaration. The Madrid Declaration affirms "that privacy is a fundamental human right set out in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and other human rights instruments and national constitutions;" reminds "all countries of their obligations to safeguard the human rights of their citizens and residents." The Madrid Declaration warns that "privacy law and privacy institutions have failed to take full account of new surveillance practices." The Declaration urges countries "that have not yet established a comprehensive framework for privacy protection and an independent data protection authority to do so as expeditiously as possible." Please, celebrate human rights day today, and spread the word of the campaign!

December 06 2009

No hay tiempo que perder: Firma la Declaracion de Privacidad de Madrid

Más de 250 organizaciones de la sociedad civil, bloggers, activistas, expertos en privacidad, geeks en más de 40 países están instando a los países de todo el mundo que salvaguarden la privacidad, un derecho humano fundamental. Los gobiernos y las empresas están reuniendo mucha información sobre las personas, con muy pocas protecciones. Los nuevos sistemas de identificación, seguimiento y la vigilancia pone en peligro los derechos de los ciudadanos y los consumidores. La coalición de La Voz pública (The Public Voice) están alentando a los ciudadanos de todo el mundo a firmar la declaración de privacidad de Madrid sobre estándares de privacidad para un mundo global. Los miembros de la coalición haran recordar a nuestros gobiernos y corporaciones, en toda oportunidad, en toda reunión a nivel nacional, regional e internacional que deben proteger nuestro derecho a controlar nuestra propia información personal. Act Now: Firma la Declaración de Madrid sobre la privacidad y la proteccion de datos personales, enviando un correo electrónico a con los siguientes datos: Nombre: Título / Afiliación: Pais: Opcional: Comparte tus ideas de cómo puedes contribuir a difundir la campaña! ¿Quiénes estan blogueando acerca de la Declaración de privacidad de Madrid?
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