Access in the News

Rights coalition to island nation of Nauru: the world is watching

2:27pm | 26 May 2015 | by Deji Olukotun,

The island nation of Nauru may be tiny — it’s only 21 square kilometers (8.5 square miles) — but what is happening there matters to people around the world. Today, Access and a coalition of international organizations sent a letter calling for the government to stop blocking internet services and to repeal a dangerous new criminal law that restricts free expression.

Malmström’s “new” ISDS: Same same but different

7:36am | 26 May 2015 | by Access Brussels Office,

Cecilia Malmström, EU Commissioner for Trade, presented on May 6th a handful of cosmetic proposals to the Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) mechanism. ISDS has been a central point of the ongoing discussions about the controversial Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) agreement, currently being negotiated between the U.S. and the EU. Malmström’s “new” ISDS reminds us of a Thai turn of phrase, "same same but different."

Google no longer restricted from offering Gmail in Crimea

3:19pm | 22 May 2015 | by Peter Micek,

In a major step forward for free expression and human rights in Crimea, the United States today lifted some of its previous restrictions on the export of vital communications technology to the region. Journalists, human rights defenders, and ordinary people in Crimea can now freely use key communications technologies, software, and services to make their voices heard.

Why what happens on the little island of Nauru should matter to the whole world

10:54am | 21 May 2015 | by Brett Solomon,

The island nation of Nauru may be tiny — only 21 square kilometers (8.5 square miles) — but what is happening there should reverberate around the world. Over the past few weeks, the government of Nauru has imposed an internet shutdown, blocking people from using certain sites on the pretext of protecting them from online pornography. At the same time, it has passed a dangerous new provision in its criminal code that could restrict free expression. These developments are putting people who care about human rights on high alert.

EU unveils its digital strategy for the next five years: a crippled unicorn

10:38am | 21 May 2015 | by Access Brussels Office,

On May 6, the European Union’s Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society, Günther Oettinger, and the Vice President for the Digital Single Market, Andrus Ansip, presented the EU Commission’s strategic plan to establish the Digital Single Market, or DSM. joint letter update: a response to Facebook’s “myths and facts”

4:28pm | 19 May 2015 | by Javier Pallero,

Facebook has published "myths and facts" about in an attempt to address the growing concerns that digital rights defenders have about the program. But its "demythification" attempt falls short.

Access fights for your right to secure communications

7:12am | 19 May 2015 | by Amie Stepanovich,

Access joins coalition opposing crypto backdoors, but that’s just the beginning.

Dear Mark Zuckerberg: Please fix

8:49am | 18 May 2015 | by Josh Levy,

Today 65 organizations from 31 countries and regions released an open letter to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg detailing significant concerns with Facebook's initiative.

Why is a tiny island nation facing an internet shutdown?

11:55am | 14 May 2015 | by Deji Olukotun,

Internet censorship in Nauru could lead to other human rights abuses.

Access to Senate: We Need a Better Bill

3:53pm | 13 May 2015 | by Amie Stepanovich,

Access calls on Senate to strengthen USA FREEDOM Act of 2015 ahead of deadline

Amid surveillance reform debate, U.S. faces criticism of its human rights record

12:35pm | 12 May 2015 | by Peter Micek,

The United States sat through its 2nd-ever hearing at the Human Rights Council in Geneva on Monday. The hearing is part of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) process, a fairly new mechanism through which every U.N. member state undergoes scrutiny of its human rights record. We give an overview of what was said about U.S. surveillance, provide the U.S. response in full, and offer our analysis of that response.

Transparency report update: more companies share information about requests for user data

3:01pm | 11 May 2015 | by Deniz Duru Aydin,

This year, 11 companies published transparency reports for the first time, including Snapchat, Kickstarter, and GitHub. We take a look at the information that some of these companies are sharing (or not sharing), and the implications for users' rights.

It’s time to say no to internet shutdowns

11:48am | 8 May 2015 | by Brett Solomon,

The internet has enabled significant advances in health, education, and creativity, and it is now essential to fully realize human rights. We wouldn’t allow a government to shut off water to an entire city. It’s time we say no to internet shutdowns.

U.S. Appellate Court rules against bulk phone surveillance

10:40am | 8 May 2015 | by Drew Mitnick,

The 2nd Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals has ruled that bulk collection of U.S. telephone metadata is unlawful. The ruling is the most significant judicial statement to date on the overbreadth of current U.S. surveillance practices.

Facebook’s “fix” for still harms users’ rights

9:38am | 6 May 2015 | by Donna Wentworth,

Inviting more sites and services to join doesn't fix the program's Net Neutrality problem. In fact, in many ways it makes even more troubling for those of us who care about digital rights.