Posts Tagged ‘electronic surveillance’

Commercial spyware out of control and becoming threat to human rights defenders

December 6, 2017

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Unlawful Communication Surveillance of Amnesty International: tip of iceberg

July 2, 2015

An article “BRITISH TRIBUNAL FLIP-FLOPS ON WRONGFUL SURVEILLANCE OF AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL” by Jenna McLaughlin on 2 July 2015 reveals that a British tribunal (Investigatory Powers Tribunal) in charge of investigating public abuse of surveillance admitted that the U.K. government’s spy agency illegally retained communications it swept up from Amnesty International.
Featured photo - British Tribunal Flip-Flops on Wrongful Surveillance of Amnesty International
Amnesty International protest in London by Malcolm Park/Getty

In the e-mail sent to Amnesty late Wednesday, the president of the tribunal said the unlawful retention of communications it had previously said affected an Egyptian group had in fact affected Amnesty. Amnesty International responded understandably with outrage. In a press release, it described the tribunal’s email as a “shocking revelation” that “made no mention of when or why Amnesty International was spied on, or what was done with the information obtained.

The revelation that the UK government has been spying on Amnesty International highlights the gross inadequacies in the UK’s surveillance legislation,” Salil Shetty, Amnesty’s secretary general, said in a statement. He added something even more important:  “If they hadn’t stored our communications for longer than they were allowed to by internal guidelines, we would never even have known. What’s worse, this would have been considered perfectly lawful.” The tribunal did not rule that the U.K. spy agency’s initial interception of communications was unlawful; just that retention rules had been violated.

AI now joins the company of other non-governmental organizations targeted by the Government Communications Headquarters – or GCHQ, the U.K. equivalent of the U.S.’s National Security Agency. Those include Unicef and Médecins du Monde, according to top-secret documents released by The Guardian in December 2013.

http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2015/jul/01/gchq-spied-amnesty-international-tribunal-email

IPT Flip-Flops on Unlawful GCHQ Surveillance of Amnesty International.

Persecution of Lawyers and Journalists in Turkey: side event in Geneva on 27 January

January 23, 2015

L4L logo Lawyers for Lawyers, the Law Society of England and Wales,  Lawyers Rights Watch Canada, Privacy International, Fair Trial Watch and Media Legal Defence Initiative organise  a panel discussion on the “Persecution of Lawyers and Journalists in Turkey” on Tuesday, 27 January, in Geneva, Immediately after the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) on Turkey,

 At this event fundamental rights of lawyers and journalists that are regularly being violated will be discussed, including freedom of expression, privacy, confidentiality between lawyers and their clients and the protection of sources by journalists. This event comes at a time when the rule of law in Turkey is under serious threat.

[Turkey has adopted new laws and judicial reform packages, allowing for even more internet censorship, data collection, surveillance and the censoring of critical views on the pretence of protecting national security, which are directly undermining the freedom of expression, but also other fundamental rights such as privacy. In particular, journalists and lawyers are negatively impacted. They are subject to surveillance and legal harassment. The last couple of years large groups of lawyers and journalists have been arrested on the suspicion of terrorism related offences. Lawyers face stigmatisation by being continuously identified with their clients’ causes. Journalists are accused of not being independent. For both groups it is hard, if not impossible, to work freely, independently and securely.]

Speakers:

Ayse Bingol – Lawyer from Turkey

Tayfun Ertan – Journalist from Turkey

Marietje Schaake (by Skype) – Member European Parliament

Alexandrine Pirlot de Corbion – Privacy International

Tony Fisher – The Law Society of England and Whales

Moderator:  Irma van den Berg – Turkey expert of Lawyers for Lawyers

The event takes place from 12h45 – 14h30 in Room XXIII, Palais des Nations. Those wishing to attend, send email – before 23 January – to : bp[at]lawyersforlawyers.nl

Turkey 27 January in Geneva; side-event Persecution of Lawyers and Journalists in Turkey Lawyers for Lawyers.

Mobile phone security for human rights defenders

May 7, 2014

mobilesecheader.png

Having posted on the Natalia bracelet and the Panic Button recently as alarm systems for human rights defenders in danger, it is good to also draw attention to the dangers that are inherent in the ‘normal’ use of mobile phones. Tactical Tech has quite a bit to say about  mobile phone security: Human Rights Defenders are exposed to many potential threats – from governments, private companies, organised groups – in the course of their work. Therefore, they should be aware of dangers and necessary security measures to be taken if  deciding to communicate by mobile phone, which remains an easy-to-spy-on device. Tactical Tech has produced a number of resources about phone security.

Security in a Box has a chapter entitled “How to Use Smartphones as Securely as Possible” and one on using mobile phonesas securely as possible.

Me and My Shadow has a chapter on geolocation services for smartphones and the risks they carry, as well as tips for those using SMS and MMS.

Finally, have a look at the Guardian Project’s website, created by a group of activists dedicated to creating open source apps to increase security and privacy on smartphones.

via Mobile phone security | Exposing the Invisible.

https://thoolen.wordpress.com/tag/natalia-project/

https://thoolen.wordpress.com/2014/05/02/amnesty-releases-today-long-awaited-panic-button-for-human-rights-defenders/

Security Firm Rift Recon teams up with Human Rights Foundation at Oslo Freedom Forum

April 25, 2014

RIFT RECON announced on 16 April that it will join forces with the Human Rights Foundation to present a comprehensive security workshop at the 2014 Oslo Freedom Forum ‘OFF’ from 12-14 May 2014. Read the rest of this entry »

Snowden alleges spy agencies have targeted human rights defenders

April 9, 2014

Edward Snowden, a former US intelligence contractor and whistleblower, made the allegations in a videoconference to PACE today.

Edward Snowden made the allegations in a videoconference to PACE today.© FREDERICK FLORIN/AFP/Getty Images

Former US intelligence contractor and whistleblower Edward Snowden’s latest allegations point to a very real risk that human rights defenders have been the targets of mass surveillance by the US and British spy agencies. Snowden, who is living in exile in Moscow, made the remarks this afternoon, 8 April 2014, via a videoconference link to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) in Strasbourg, France. When asked if the US National Security Agency (NSA) or its British counterpart Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) were actively spying on human rights organizations such as Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and others, he said: “Without question, yes, absolutely …The NSA has in fact specifically targeted the communications of either leaders or staff members in a number of purely civil or human rights organizations of the kind described”.

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Right to Privacy in the Digital Age: 24 February expert seminar in Geneva

February 17, 2014

The Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights,  is organising an expert seminar on The Right to Privacy in the Digital Age, a topic of great importance for human rights defenders.  It will take place on Monday 24 February 2014, in room XXI in the Palais des Nations, Geneva. It purpose is to examine the international human rights law framework of the right to privacy, and identify challenges raised by modern communications technologies; foster understanding of how the right to privacy is implemented by governments, as well as addressed by the private sector and civil society; examine the extent to which domestic and extraterritorial surveillance may infringe on an individuals’ right to privacy; and  identify ways forward to ensure the protection and promotion of the right to privacy.

Registration: Owing to limited space, reservation is recommended as soon as possible: alice.priddy[at]geneva-academy.ch.  Please note that a live streaming of this seminar will be webcast. Read the rest of this entry »

“Today Is The Day We Fight Back”: 11 February – Day Against Mass Surveillance

February 11, 2014

 

today joins the worldwide campaign against mass surveillance. It its newsletter is states why: “Privacy is a human right: People need it, governments have to protect it and business has to respect it. Too often, this is not the case.Today is the day we fight back. Thousands of individuals, international experts and a coalition of NGOs from all around the globe demand an end to unchecked mass surveillance. Privacy is dear to everyone of them: It enables them to speak freely. To meet others without being watched. To know that it is their decision to share information about themselves.They are people like you.These people will take the streets in protest in the Philippines, Copenhagen, Stockholm and San Francisco. They will call or write their elected representatives in United Kingdom, Canada, Colombia and Poland. They will hold news conferences or join the online protest in Uganda, Mexico, Brazil and Australia. And they will endorse the Necessary and Proportionate Principles demanding the protection of human rights and an end to mass surveillance.Do you want to join them? Spread the word. Tell your family and friends about the day we fight back. Make them care as you do. Sign the 13 Principles, join a global movement. Call your legislators, email them – ask them what they are doing. Join a protest near you. Be creative, blackout your website, create memes, make others laugh – and take action.

via Privacy Is A Right – Today Is The Day We Fight Back.

to sign the campaign go to: https://necessaryandproportionate.org/take-action/privacyinternational

Turkey and the Internet: restrictions increasing

February 8, 2014

Blognovic’s post on this topic worth reading Turkey and the Internet.

Russia publishes report on human rights in the EU

January 17, 2014

On 14 January 2014 the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs published its report “On the situation with human rights in the European Union” (posted on the ministry’s website ) in which it claimed that the EU was struck by “serious human rights illnesses.” A large part of he report relies on information from international human rights organizations, such as AI. In the document the Russian Foreign Ministry Read the rest of this entry »