Privacy / News Briefs

European Court Invalidates EU-US Data Pact

The personal data of Europeans held in the United States by Internet companies is not safe from US government snooping, the European court of justice ruled today, in a landmark verdict that hits Facebook, Google, Amazon and many others. more»

EU Launches Inquiry on Whether Online Companies Should be Regulated

The European Commission on Thursday launched an inquiry into the behavior of online companies such as Google, Facebook and Amazon to try to gauge whether there is a need to regulate the web. more»

ICANN Assigns Tor's .Onion TLD as Special-Use Domain Name

The Internet Engineering Task Force has approved a Draft RFC for "The .onion Special-Use Domain Name" by the Tor Project, the provider of online anonymity and privacy services. more»

ICANN Must Make User Privacy a Central Tenet for New Registrations, Says EFF

In a statement released today, Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has criticized ICANN for not being proactive on privacy matters, saying the organization "can't seem to wrap its head around" the issue. more»

Largest IXP Files Complaint Against Snooping

Decix, the largest internet traffic exchange point (IXP) worldwide, has had it with the snoops. The Frankfurt company on Thursday confirmed a report by the Sueddeutsche Zeitung that it will file a complaint at the German Federal Administrative Court against the obligation to grant broad access to the German Intelligence Service (BND) to the traffic transiting its large switches. more»

Google Shutting Down Engineering Office in Russia Amid Tighter Data Law

Google is closing its engineering office in Russia as a result of new law coming into force next year requiring foreign firms to store Russian users' personal data on servers located in Russia. more»

A Survey of Internet Users from 24 Countries Finds 83% Consider Affordable Access Basic Human Right

A survey of Internet users in 24 countries has found that 83% believe affordable access to the Internet should be a basic human right, according to the "CIGI-Ipsos Global Survey on Internet Security and Trust." The results of the new survey, commissioned by the Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI) and conducted by global research company Ipsos, were presented today in Ottawa, Canada. more»

IAB Urges Developers to Encrypt by Default

The Internet Architecture Board (IAB) has issued a statement recommending that encryption be the default traffic option for protocols: "The IAB urges protocol designers to design for confidential operation by default. We strongly encourage developers to include encryption in their implementations, and to make them encrypted by default. We similarly encourage network and service operators to deploy encryption where it is not yet deployed, and we urge firewall policy administrators to permit encrypted traffic." more»

European Data Breaches Have Resulted in Loss of 645 Million Records Since 2004

A first-time study of publically-reported data breaches in the 28 European Union member countries, plus Norway and Switzerland, conducted by the Central European University's Center for Media, Data and Society (CMDS) has found that between 2004 and 2014 the continent's organizations suffered 229 incidents covering 227 million personal records.  more»

Eric Schmidt Warns Spying Could 'Break' Internet

The integrity of the Internet could be at risk if Congress does not act to rein in the National Security Agency, Google head Eric Schmidt warned on Wednesday. Speaking alongside other tech executives and Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) at a Silicon Valley event, Schmidt said the revelations about U.S. surveillance could prompt countries to wall off their networks. "The simplest outcome: We're going to end up breaking the Internet," Schmidt said. more»

TCP Stealth Aims to Keep Servers Safe from Mass Port-Scanning Tools

TCP Stealth, an IETF draft authored by Julian Kirsch, Christian Grothoff, Jacob Appelbaum, and Holger Kenn, describes an easily-deployed and stealthy port knocking variant. "TCP Stealth embeds the authorization token in the TCP ISN, and enables applications to add payload protections. As a result, TCP Stealth is hard to detect on the network as the traffic is indistinguishable from an ordinary 3-way TCP handshake, and man-in-the-middle attacks as well as replay attacks are mitigated by the payload protections. TCP Stealth works with IPv4 and IPv6."

Privacy Concerns over Google's New Domain Registration Service

The recently announced Google Domains registration service will go up against the likes of GoDaddy in the domain name registration business. For those who have registered domains with Google in the past, the "new" service looks a whole lot like the old service, which has been in place for years. But there's a potentially troubling twist that involves Google's penchant for scanning anything and everything to create targeted ads. more»

Internet Civil Rights Was Signed Into Law by Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff

Kieren McCarthy reporting in the Register: A bill guaranteeing civil rights on the internet was signed into law by Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff at the NetMundial Internet Governance conference today. In a theatrical flourish, Rousseff signed the "Marco Civil" at the podium before giving a speech at the opening ceremony of the NetMundial Internet Governance conference that runs today and tomorrow here in Sao Paulo. more»

Berners-Lee Calls for Bill of Rights for the Web

Speaking on the 25th anniversary of the world wide web, Tim Berners-Lee, web inventor and an outspoken critic of spy agencies' surveillance of citizens, said an online "Magna Carta" is needed to protect and enshrine the independence of the medium he created and the rights of its users worldwide. more»

German Chancellor Proposes European Communications Network in Light of NSA Mass Surveillance

German Chancellor Angela Merkel is proposing building up a European communications network to help improve data protection. It would avoid emails and other data automatically passing through the United States. In her weekly podcast, she said she would raise the issue on Wednesday with French President Francois Hollande. more»