Data retention and the use of spy software in Hungary

September 17, 2014 - Éva Tormássy.

After a series of coordinated suicide attacks in Madrid in 2004 and in central London in 2005, the European Union reacted by passing the so ­called Data Retention Directive in 2006. Hungary as a member state of the European Union was obliged to introduce mandatory telecommunication data retention – that is, the retention of data generated or processed through the provision of publicly available electronic communications services or by public communications networks. As a result of the Data Retention Directive, all telecommunication service providers in Hungary have to collect and store so­called metadata, or data which shows who, when, where and with whom anyone tried to communicate or successfully communicated via email or phone.

When elephants fight: Communications surveillance on the rise in Thailand

September 17, 2014 - by Mishari Muqbil and Arthit Suriyawongkul.

Thailand is presently going through a period of upheaval with the population split between two strong ideologies and those in power playing a zero sum game. Surveillance of the internet and other communication mediums has in the last decade been shown to have progressively greater importance to those in power. The major application for mass surveillance has been in the form of logging internet use and blocking websites, but there have also been cases where law enforcement has requested cooperation from companies such as the social network company LINE in order to acquire chat transcripts to help them prosecute (non­political) criminal cases. However, recently, with the military takeover of the caretaker civilian government on 22 May 2014, surveillance has taken a more totalitarian form.

Public Oversight and The Rule of Law

September 17, 2014 - by Joe McNamee.

One of the most striking elements of the surveillance practices is the extent to which laws and judicial procedures have been breached, ignored and undermined by agencies whose tasks it is to uphold the rule of law.

Communications surveillance in the Senegalese digital society

September 17, 2014 - by Ababacar Diop.

The advent of the Senegalese digital society in the late 1990s and its exponential development since the 2000s has led policy makers to set up an institutional and legal framework for digital activity with the adoption in 2008 of a series of laws governing the internet in the country. Policy makers found this necessary for reasons of national security, and to establish a legal and institutional framework to protect citizens against crimes related to online activity. ICTs have brought real changes in the forms of communication and exchange, not only at the corporate level, but also in the relationships between citizens. However, even if it is proven that ICTs are great tools at the service of freedom of speech, they also constitute a real danger when it comes to the privacy of correspondence.

Access to telecommunication data in Poland: Specific problems and general conclusions

September 17, 2014 - by Katarzyna Szymielewicz and Anna Walkowiak.

Poland, as a member state of the European Union, was obliged to introduce mandatory telecommunication data retention as part of the implementation of the so­ called Data Retention Directive. However, when implementing the directive, Poland failed to introduce rules regarding the use of telecommunication data for law enforcement purposes. As a result, such information – collected about every person using telecommunication services in Poland – is used even in the prosecution of common crimes (like theft) and for the sake of crime prevention. Moreover, Polish law does not provide for any safeguards that would prevent abuses, such as an external supervisory mechanism, court oversight, the obligation to inform the person concerned about the use of his or her data or the obligation to destroy data after the end of proceedings.

Spotlighting surveillance: Where states can lead on transparency reporting

September 17, 2014 - by Peter Micek.

At their best, 'transparency reports' can reveal the scope and scale of surveillance online. Generally, they include aggregate statistics of requests that governments issue for user data, giving details like the type of request, why it was issued, and whether the recipient complied. They’re one of the proactive ways that companies, governments ­­ really any entity dealing with user data ­­ can speak directly to users about privacy and free expression online. To date, however, States have lagged far behind when it comes to reporting on their surveillance activity.

Die Aufsicht über Geheimdienste – ein demokratischer Lackmustest

September 17, 2014 - by Volker Tripp. (German)


September 17, 2014 -  by 蔡季勳(台灣人權促進會秘書長) (Chinese, Traditional)
今 日掌握大量個人資料,並且得以進行巨量監控的行為者,已不再只限於執行國家公權力政府部 門。隨著現代通信方式與溝通管道的數位化,掌握這些通路從硬體到軟 體由上游到下游的私人企 業,國家固有監控手段更需要相關業者低頭的配合。如何向有效地向這些巨量通訊資料的掌握者 問責,確保任何監控或是個資的使用符合正 當法律授權,正是這個數位時代面臨的嚴峻挑戰。

13 Principles Week of Action: ¡Que No Te Chuzen el Correo, Tu Privacidad Es Primero!

September 17, 2014 - by Katitza Rodriguez. (Spanish)

Access to retained data

September 17, 2014 - by Djordje Krivokapic and Milos Stojkovic. This report discusses how the legal framework regulating surveillance in Serbia is outdated and imprecise.