Privacy SOS

Privacy and technology news: 7-1-13

Image courtesy EFF

These news round-ups are created by the ACLU of Northern California's Anna Salem

New NSA leaks show how US is bugging its European allies [The Guardian – Ewan MacAskill & Julian Borger]

Along with traditional ideological adversaries and sensitive Middle Eastern countries, the list of targets includes the EU missions and the French, Italian and Greek embassies, as well as a number of other American allies, including Japan, Mexico, South Korea, India and Turkey. The list in the September 2010 document does not mention the UK, Germany or other western European states… The documents suggest the aim of the bugging exercise against the EU embassy in central Washington is to gather inside knowledge of policy disagreements on global issues and other rifts between member states.

See Also Activists Leverage Stronger EU Privacy Laws to Seek More Information on PRISM [ACLU – Jay Stanley]

See Also Secret-court judges upset at portrayal of ‘collaboration’ with government [Washington Post – Carol D. Leonnig, Ellen Nakashima, & Barton Gellman]

See Also NSA slides explain the PRISM data-collection program [Washington Post]


Feminist pick-up artists fight Kickstarter's seduction ban [Daily Dot – Gaby Dunn]

Last week, after a viral blog post by comedian Casey Malone accused Hoinsky's crowdfunded book, Above the Game: A Guide to Getting Awesome With Women, of promoting sexual assault, Kickstarter issued a formal apology and a ban on all future "seduction" guides…Sticking to the new ban, Wednesday night Kickstarter rejected a seduction guide proposal from female pick-up artist Arden Leigh and two co-authors.


Why The State Attorneys General's Assault On Internet Immunity Is A Terrible Idea [Forbes – Eric Goldman]

The state AGs’ proposed amendment to Section 230 may add only two words to the statute, but it isn’t a tiny change.  Instead, it would dramatically chill the entrepreneurial environment for UGC websites, threatening the Internet services we love as well as services that haven’t been dreamt of yet.


Porn: do we really want internet providers to be our censors? [The Guardian – John Naughton]

If downloading or viewing certain kinds of online content is deemed illegal, then internet companies know where they stand, and they will obey the law. If a site contains illicit content, then Google et al will find ways of not pointing to it. The problem is that this alone will not stop people who are willing to take the legal risk implicit in accessing illegitimate sites. The next logical step, therefore, is to make access impossible by forcing internet service providers to block them, using the same technology that the Chinese government employs to make sure that nobody in China learns anything about, say, Falun Gong.


What It’s Like to Get a National-Security Letter [Maria Bustillos – The New Yorker]

Then the lawyers said the only thing you can do—and there’s a risk to it—is to challenge it in court: sue the U.S. government. There is no appeals process; there is no discussion. The only thing you can do is to sue them… Thank goodness that there are organizations like the Electronic Frontier Foundation. They took it up, [along with] the A.C.L.U. of Northern California.

© 2021 ACLU of Massachusetts.