Access in the News

Delfi AS v. Estonia: a blow to free expression online

11:13am | 16 June 2015 | by Access Team,

The Delfi AS v. Estonia case, which has profound implications for freedom of expression online, today reached its conclusion with a ruling by the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights. Unfortunately, this long-awaited decision was not the right one. The Grand Chamber, the highest human rights court in Europe, ruled in favor of Estonia, embracing the idea that websites should be held liable for certain types of anonymous comments posted by users.

More telcos join the transparency push to expose government surveillance

12:28pm | 15 June 2015 | by Deniz Duru Aydin, Access Team

Multinational telcos Orange and Telenor have published transparency reports shedding light on surveillance across the globe.

Challenges to human rights in Azerbaijan as European Games begin

8:01am | 12 June 2015 | by Deniz Duru Aydin, Access Team

As corruption scandals related to international soccer continue to put pressure on FIFA, world governments, and companies in the sports industry, Azerbaijan is preparing to host a major international event: the first-ever European Games. The lack of human rights protections in Azerbaijan — online and offline — poses a threat to people living there, as well to journalists and others visiting to watch the games. We take a look at the digital rights landscape in Azerbaijan, and the implications for people who may be at risk for human rights violations.

Canada’s Parliament approves slimy spying bill, endangers privacy and free expression

10:02am | 11 June 2015 | by Access Team, Max Anderson

On Tuesday, the Canadian Senate voted in favor of the controversial Bill C-51 with a count of 44-28. The bill, which hundreds of thousands of Canadians have spoken out against, can criminalize political discussion even when it’s conducted in private. It centralizes data kept on citizens, empowers intelligence services to make arrests, and even allows intelligence to conduct disruptive operations such as altering a seized website or conducting a man-in-the-middle attack.

The Crypto Summit

9:10pm | 10 June 2015, USA | by Nathan White,

Top government officials have called on policy and technology experts to “start a conversation” about cryptography. These calls ignore more than two decades of discussions about encryption standards and what must be done to keep our communications systems secure.

On eve of Women’s World Cup, Canada poised to undermine encryption

2:54pm | 5 June 2015 | by Access Team, Max Anderson

This month, 24 women's national teams will travel to Canada to compete for the ultimate prize in soccer: the FIFA Women’s World Cup. Yet as the world celebrates, the government of Canada is poised to pass dangerous new surveillance legislation.

Congress on verge of major cuts to key cryptography agency

10:29am | 5 June 2015 | by Drew Mitnick,

The U.S. House of Representatives passed a new funding bill yesterday that could undermine the development of internet security and privacy standards while increasing funding for the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), which has advocated for weakening encryption. It next goes to the Senate.

Second anniversary of the Snowden revelations: Does Europe have something to celebrate?

3:47am | 5 June 2015 | by Access Brussels Office,

Two years ago today, newspapers began reporting on what are now known as the “Snowden revelations”. These documents revealed how the US National Security Agency (NSA), in concert with intelligence agencies such as the UK Government Communication Headquarters (GCHQ), has been indiscriminately collecting the personal data of people all over the world. The disclosures that followed those initial reports exposed NSA spying programs such as PRISM, stirring outrage worldwide about the scope of human rights violations that these programs represent.

Breaking news: “Pyrawebs” rejected for good [Espanol/English]

4:28pm | 4 June 2015 | by Javier Pallero,

This afternoon, the Paraguayan Senate voted against a bill that would have mandated internet service providers (ISPs) to store internet communications metadata for one year, thus rejecting the “Pyrawebs” initiative for good.

U.S. passes first significant surveillance reform in a generation

10:29am | 4 June 2015 | by Brett Solomon,

On Wednesday, President Obama signed into law the USA FREEDOM Act of 2015, which bans bulk collection under some U.S. surveillance powers, increases transparency, and improves accountability of surveillance agencies and oversight mechanisms. The law is far from perfect, but its passage is the first step in a long journey toward comprehensive surveillance reform that protects the human rights of all people around the world.

EU- PNR: “Those who don’t know history are doomed to repeat it”

10:32am | 3 June 2015 | by Access Brussels Office,

Since last February, the civil liberties committee of the European Parliament (LIBE) has been discussing a legislative proposal for airline passenger data sharing called the EU Passenger Name Record Directive (EU-PNR). As negotiations proceed, Access and EDRi are contacting members of the LIBE Committee to remind them not to make the same mistake that the EU did in adopting the Data Retention Directive: passing legislation that violates fundamental human rights.

USA FREEDOM Act becomes law

8:08pm | 2 June 2015 | by Access Team,

In an important victory for privacy, President Barack Obama signed the USA FREEDOM Act into law.

“French Patriot Act” now before French Senate: it’s time to reject the bill

4:34am | 2 June 2015 | by Estelle Masse,

Access asks Obama Administration to protect user rights in cybersecurity policy

4:38pm | 1 June 2015 | by Drew Mitnick,

Today, Access called on the Obama Administration to craft cybersecurity policies that better protect users’ security and privacy. We call for a "user-up" approach to cybersecurity that recognizes that security and privacy are intertwined. The entire security ecosystem benefits from policies that protect people as well as hardware and software.

Last night, sections of the PATRIOT Act expired

4:11pm | 1 June 2015 | by Nathan White,

Last night, two incredible things happened. First, key surveillance provisions in the USA PATRIOT Act expired. For the first time since September 11, 2001, the United States Congress failed to renew these provisions and, accordingly, restricted the authority of U.S. surveillance agencies. Second, the United States Senate voted 77 - 17 to take up consideration of the USA FREEDOM Act, legislation that will ban bulk collection under certain authorities.