Access in the News

Nameless Coalition calls on Facebook to change its real name policy

3:03pm | 5 October 2015 | by Peter Micek,

Access joins the Nameless Coalition to demand a fix to Facebook's real name policy, which negatively affects some of the most vulnerable people and communities online.

How safe is the “Safe Harbour”? A close look at the “Schrems” case on the eve of the ruling

2:14pm | 5 October 2015 | by Estelle Masse,

Tomorrow, the EU Court of Justice will determine whether the national Data Protection authority can conduct an independent assessment of a decision in the so-called Schrems case, which deals with Facebook’s transfer of user data between its subsidiary in Ireland and the parent company in the United States.

Access launches SaveCrypto campaign

2:04pm | 30 September 2015 | by Nathan White,

Today Access and the Electronic Frontier Foundation launched a campaign to demand security and privacy in our electronic communications.

Free Basics vs. Basic Internet Freedom: Three questions for Mark Zuckerberg

3:29pm | 24 September 2015 | by Access Team,

Today Facebook announced several changes to in response to growing international complaints about the program. While some of the changes are positive, our core concerns remain — the program now known as Free Basics violates Net Neutrality and establishes Facebook as a global gatekeeper for internet connectivity, affecting billions of peoples’ ability to connect to the free and open internet.

Five things you should know about the EU-US Umbrella Agreement

4:22am | 24 September 2015 | by Estelle Masse, Amie Stepanovich

Earlier this month, negotiators from the United States and the European Union reached a preliminary deal on the so-called Umbrella Agreement. The Umbrella agreement is a transatlantic deal that sets standards for protecting personal data when it is transferred for law enforcement purposes. Notably, these rules do not apply to the transfer of commercial or employee data by companies like Google, Apple, Facebook, or Verizon. These companies must abide by a separate set of rules, the data sharing agreement called the Safe Harbour principles (see our recent press release on the Safe Harbour).

U.S. to world: No privacy concerns here, move along

1:29pm | 23 September 2015 | by Peter Micek,

The U.S. government does not protect the privacy rights of non-citizens beyond its borders. That’s the message it will deliver at the U.N. Human Rights Council tomorrow in its official response to the 348 recommendations received during the second Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of the U.S. human rights record in Geneva.

Victory in Malaysia as High Court lifts ban on major publisher

12:56pm | 22 September 2015 | by Deji Olukotun, Peter Micek

Rights groups won a major victory for free expression in Malaysia as a High Court lifted a three-month ban on The Edge Media Group. The decision follows months of sustained pressure by local advocacy groups in Malaysia and international organizations including Access Now. Sarawak Report, another major media organization in Malaysia, remains blocked.

Announcing the 2015 Heroes & Villains of Human Rights and Communications Surveillance

7:10am | 22 September 2015 | by Access Policy Team,

Today Access recognizes the individuals and groups that have either been champions of the 13 internationally recognized principles for human rights in communications surveillance (“Heroes”), or have undermined or violated those principles (“Villains”). These principles, called the International Principles on the Application of Human Rights to Communications Surveillance (or “the Principles”), have been endorsed by more than 400 civil society groups worldwide. They provide a framework for assessing whether government surveillance practices comply with international human rights obligations. Today marks the two-year anniversary of the Principles, which were publicly released on September 22, 2013.

One million deleted tweets archived, but Twitter still won’t bring back Politwoops

3:15pm | 17 September 2015 | by Deji Olukotun,

This week the Open State Foundation, creator of Politwoops, uploaded more than one million deleted politicians’ tweets to the Internet Archive, preserving the information for the public record. The collection archives the deleted tweets of 10,404 politicians worldwide, which were published before Twitter cut off Open State’s access to its Application Programming Interface, or API. Unfortunately, Twitter still refuses to reinstate access to the API, which means that people in 32 countries can’t see what politicians are deleting right now.

Access Grants: putting the needs and priorities of at-risk users first

4:12pm | 16 September 2015 | by Brett Solomon, Rian Wanstreet

Several weeks back, Access announced the launch of the Access Grants program, highlighting the foundational work we’ve done over the last several months. We’ve been working hard to get ready to launch, and wanted to update the community on some exciting new developments.

Vodafone should come clean about Australian journalist data breach

3:18pm | 16 September 2015 | by Peter Micek,

Vodafone employees accessed journalist Natalie O’Brien’s call and text records in 2011, after she wrote reports about problems with the company’s Siebel security system. According to a leaked email, Vodafone managers asked employees to use “any means available” to uncover the source of O’Brien’s information. Vodafone commissioned an investigation by a top accounting firm, the results of which it refuses to release, while denying any “improper behavior.” However, after public pressure intensified this week, Vodafone reversed course and has asked federal police to investigate. We call on Vodafone to cooperate fully with investigators, release the independent report it commissioned, publicly explain what actions the company took after it became aware of the breach, and promise non-repetition. The company should strive to implement encryption, including end-to-end encryption, which would prevent employees from being able to access user data like this in the future.

Shutdowns, surveillance, & discrimination on Human Rights Council agenda

10:01am | 15 September 2015 | by Peter Micek, Max Anderson

The 30th Session of the U.N. Human Rights Council (“HRC30”) has begun in Geneva. Over the course of the three-week session, the 47 Member States of the Council – and a full slate of civil society representatives, observer states, and technical experts – will debate resolutions and reports on the current status of human rights worldwide. Access and the Association for Progressive Communications (APC) have compiled highlights identifying the key digital rights issues on the Council’s agenda, as well as relevant side events and countries under review in the Universal Periodic Review.

What the E.U.-U.S. Umbrella Agreement does —  and does not — mean for privacy

3:51am | 10 September 2015 | by Access Policy Team,

Negotiators from the United States and the European Union recently reached a preliminary deal on the so-called Umbrella Agreement, a transatlantic deal that sets standards for protecting personal data when it is transferred for law enforcement purposes. However, one key hurdle remains before the agreement will get sign off: the U.S. must grant a right to remedy for E.U. citizens who suffer privacy violations. It remains to be seen whether the U.S. will follow through on providing that protection, and whether it will be meaningful enough to meet E.U. standards.

Access holds apéro on the Future of the Internet

10:06am | 8 September 2015 | by Access Brussels Office,

On Tuesday 22 September, Access will hold an apéro on the Future of the Internet where our Brussels team and civil society representatives will meet with Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) and their staff.

Exploring socially disruptive technology and human rights at the World Economic Forum in China

10:15am | 4 September 2015 | by Brett Solomon,

Brett Solomon will speak next at the World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting of the New Champions, discussing socially disruptive technology and its impact upon digital rights and users at risk.