Access in the News

Shutting down a transparency tool in 29 countries? Twitter can do better.

4:40pm | 28 August 2015 | by Deji Olukotun,

Last week, Twitter shut down a tool that helps people hold politicians accountable in 29 countries around the world. The Netherlands-based civil society group Open State Foundation created Politwoops, which scans the Twitter accounts of politicians for tweets they’ve deleted. Deleted tweets can provide insight to the viewpoints of public officials, and journalists have been using Politwoops to keep representatives accountable for what they say publicly. This is an especially disappointing decision because Twitter has been a champion of transparency and free expression for some time.

Rights groups to Malaysia: Stop blocking websites and allow Bersih 4.0 Rally

4:40pm | 28 August 2015 | by Peter Micek, Max Anderson

Today Access joined Article 19, APC, and Human Rights Watch in a letter to Prime Minister Najib denouncing the blocking of Sarawak Report and the revocation of publishing permits. The letter also warned against imposing further restrictions on mass protests planned for this weekend.

Access urges officials in Gujarat, India to rescind internet disruption

4:57pm | 27 August 2015 | by Raman Jit Singh Chima, Max Anderson, Peter Micek

This week telecom operators complied with a request from agencies of the Gujarat state government to shut down SMS functionality and disrupt mobile internet service. Access strongly believes no authority should issue internet shutdown orders, and that authorities in the state of Gujarat should urgently rescind the current blanket measures affecting so many Indian citizens and institutions.

Open letter to GSMA: Let’s work together for users at risk

9:12am | 27 August 2015 | by Peter Micek,

We sent the message below to the GSMA telecom association's new Director General, in the hope of sparking a meaningful dialogue on how the association can join the fight to protect and respect the rights of users at risk.

Cultivating a more diverse, transparent, and empowered culture at Access

4:38pm | 26 August 2015 | by Access Team,

This year Access created a Diversity Working Group with the aim of proactively cultivating our policies, programs, and culture toward one that is considerate and reflective of a diverse staff and community. Here's what we're working on and next steps.

Access at Dragon Con

9:33am | 26 August 2015 | by Nathan White,

Access is excited to attend this year's Dragon Con, which takes place September 4th-7th in Atlanta, Georgia.

Passports and profiles, please: EU may exact digital toll at its borders

5:19am | 25 August 2015 | by Estelle Masse, Access Brussels Office

In late July, the European Commission launched a public consultation on the “Smart Borders” package, a programme of the EU Migration Agenda that poses a serious risk for the fundamental rights to privacy and data protection. While the EU must take urgent action to improve its treatment of refugees and other migrants, this package of proposals would adversely impact the privacy of everyone living in or traveling to Europe.

A Torifying Tale: Our experiences building and running Tor servers

4:41pm | 18 August 2015 | by Gustaf Björksten,

Gustaf Björksten, Chief Technologist at Access, presented "A Torifying Tale" at Chaos Communication Camp 2015, describing five things we've learned running Tor exit nodes.

Data retention in Peru: A poor copy of a bad idea

1:39pm | 17 August 2015 | by Javier Pallero,

On July 27, 2015, Ollanta Humala, President of Peru, issued a decree granting the national police the power to access the geo-location data of any device in the country without a warrant, as well as requiring companies to store users' communications metadata for three years. Now, the Peruvian congress has to decide whether it will ratify the policy.

Read our new report on the troubling rise of tracking headers worldwide

9:53am | 17 August 2015 | by Deji Olukotun, Gustaf Björksten, Peter Micek

Today, Access released our new report "The Rise of Mobile Tracking Headers: How Telcos Around the World Are Threatening Your Privacy," our in-depth investigation into the global use of so-called “supercookies” or “permacookies” to track your web browsing. The results were based on almost 200,000 tests taken on — a site developed by Access to allow people to test their devices to see if they were being tracked. We offer findings, collated over six months, about the use of tracking headers worldwide, and provide recommendations for governments, carriers, websites, intergovernmental bodies, and researchers.

Access marks up the Myanmar government’s telecom “Masterplan”

3:37pm | 12 August 2015 | by Peter Micek,

Access responds to the Myanmar government’s call for comment on its Draft Telecommunications Masterplan, a document that lays out a plan for the country's telecommunications regime.

What I learned at DEF CON

2:11pm | 12 August 2015 | by Nathan White,

Six lessons learned by a first-time attendee at DEF CON.

How’s your country on Net Neutrality?

12:57pm | 11 August 2015 | by Deji Olukotun,

The Global Net Neutrality Coalition now has 70 member organizations from five continents. Today the coalition launched a revamped website at featuring an interactive map that shows the status of Net Neutrality around the globe; a model policy framework developed by the Dynamic Coalition on Network Neutrality for crafting legislation and regulations; and other resources for global advocates fighting for a free and open internet.

Let’s not trample upon human rights in the name of “cyber”

11:37am | 6 August 2015 | by Brett Solomon,

This year, major data breaches at corporations and within government have spurred officials to do something  — anything at all  — to fix online security. We’ve seen a raft of so-called cybersecurity legislation introduced around the world that creates more problems than it solves, trampling upon privacy and human rights in the name of “cyber.” Access has been involved in a number of those fights around the world.

CISA fails to pass before break, yet the fight is far from over

9:02pm | 5 August 2015 | by Drew Mitnick,

The U.S. Senate is heading home for summer recess without taking further action on the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act (CISA), a.k.a. the “Darth Vader” surveillance bill. This is a victory for everyone who has spoken out against CISA. So far, you’ve generated more than six million faxes, sending a strong message to Congress: We want real security, not more cybersurveillance.