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No warrant Internet spying by French authorities

4 December, 2013

On 26 November 2013, the French National Assembly discussed the draft of the military programming law which could give the authorities the power to collect, without a judge warrant and in real time, telecom users’ data as a result of an amendment introduced by the Senate in first reading.

Presently the internal security code stipulates that the interception of electronic communications can be authorized in exceptional cases of investigations related to the national security and other serious crimes.

The draft proposes to complete the internal security code to explicitly authorize the gathering, from electronic communications providers, but also from hosting companies and Internet editors, any information or documents treated or kept by their electronic communications networ

Press release: EDRi and FREE urge European Parliament to bring an end to lawless surveillance

4 September, 2013

Civil society groups European Digital Rights (EDRi) and the Fundamental Rights European Experts Group (FREE) have demanded an end to lawless spying on individuals around the globe. At a meeting with the Chair of the European Parliament's Civil Liberties Committee today, the two groups handed over a document (pdf) containing detailed analysis of the current European and US legal frameworks. The document will be submitted to all relevant policy-making and governmental bodies.

In light of recent revelations, which have profoundly undermined trust in online communications tools, there is an urgent need for transparency, predictability and proportionality.

The PRISM scandal gets bigger

17 July, 2013

This article is also available in:
Deutsch: PRISM-Skandal weitet sich immer mehr aus

Privacy campaigners have filed claims against Prism and Tempora, the US and British spy programmes that allow intelligence agencies to gather, store and share data on millions of innocent people.

Privacy International has submitted a claim to the Investigatory Powers Tribunal (IPT), hoping for a public hearing and early rulings, due to the seriousness of the issue.

The Spanish Police might use spying Trojans on individuals’ computers

19 June, 2013

This article is also available in:
Deutsch: Spanien: Staatlicher Trojaner könnte künftig Privat-Computer ausspio...

A draft Criminal Procedure Code issued by the Spanish Ministry of Justice, authorises the police to install trojans on computers from surveyed individuals.

According to Article 350 of the proposed draft, prosecutors may ask the judge for “the installation of a software that allows the remote examination and without knowledge of the owner, of the content in computers, electronic devices, computer systems, instruments of massive storage or databases.” The measure is meant for cr

Dutch police wants to hack their citizens' devices

8 May, 2013

This article is also available in:
Deutsch: Niederlande: Polizei will die Geräte ihrer Bürger hacken

The police should be allowed to hack into mobile phones and computers, even when these are located abroad. This is proposed in a draft law by the Dutch government on 2 May 2013.

While this appears to be a powerful asset for law enforcement, in reality it creates unnecessary vulnerabilities for citizens. Also, the proposal ignores several alternative solutions. The police already has the necessary means to fight cybercrime, but fails to apply them, due to limited resources and knowledge.

Skype and criminal law enforcement data requests in 2012

10 April, 2013

This article is also available in:
Deutsch: Skype: Auskunftsbegehren von Strafverfolgungsbehörden 2012

Microsoft released its first-ever transparency report, the 2012 Law Enforcement Requests Report, explaining its approach to criminal law enforcement data requests around the globe.

German government intends to use FinFisher Spyware

30 January, 2013

This article is also available in:
Deutsch: Deutschland will FinFisher Spyware einsetzen

A classified document of the German Ministry of Interior, revealed by, shows that the German Federal Police office has purchased the commercial Spyware toolkit FinFisher of Eleman/Gamma Group, for telecommunication surveillance.

Commercial software meant to survey telecommunications has been used by the German police before. In October 2011, German organization Chaos Computer Club (CCC) revealed and analysed the use of a malware created by DigiTask and used by German government authorities.

Clean IT – Leak shows plans for large-scale, undemocratic surveillance of all communications

21 September, 2012

This article is also available in:
Deutsch: CleanIT – Pläne zur Überwachung des Internets im großen Stil

A leaked document from the CleanIT project shows just how far internal discussions in that initiative have drifted away from its publicly stated aims, as well as the most fundamental legal rules that underpin European democracy and the rule of law.

The European Commission-funded CleanIT project claims that it wants to fight terrorism through voluntary self-regulatory measures that defends the rule of law.

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