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Access in the News

‘Virtually overnight,’ regulators in India forced to confront net neutrality

12:06pm | 13 January 2015 | by Access Team,

An Indian telecoms lawyer explains new encroachments on net neutrality in India.

Access Spotlights the Hot Digital Rights Issues of 2015

4:58pm | 9 January 2015 | by Access Team,

2014 was a major year for digital rights, with some significant victories and some worrying setbacks. 2015 is poised to be no different. This year, we asked Access staff to spotlight the big digital freedom issues for 2015. And we’ll need your help in the fight for digital freedom around the globe.

Episode III: Revenge of the CISPA

11:31am | 9 January 2015 | by Amie Stepanovich, Drew Mitnick

Today, Dutch Ruppersberger (D-MD) re-introduced the Cyber Information Sharing and Protection Act (“CISPA”), a bill that has passed the House of Representatives twice previously, both in 2011 and 2013, and subsequently also twice faced a veto threat from the Administration. We once again urge Congress to reject CISPA. Instead, Congress should pass the Secure Data Act. Unlike CIPSA, it would actually protect user privacy and increase data security.

Leaked: European Parliament long awaited legal study on data retention

5:27pm | 7 January 2015 | by Estelle Masse,

Tomorrow morning, the European Parliament legal services will release its long-awaited study on the Court of Justice of the EU’s ruling on the Data Retention Directive. Access obtained a copy of the document, which concludes that the EU’s powers to legislate on data retention matters are now limited.

Legal battle in Kenya set to determine country’s surveillance future

3:03pm | 7 January 2015, Kenya | by Access Policy Team, Drew Mitnick, Ephraim Percy Kenyanito

The High Court of Kenya has temporarily suspended the implementation of eight clauses of the Security Laws (Amendment) Act of 2014, which restricts the exercise of human rights in Kenya. Access applauds the High Court’s decision in suspending these parts of the law law and urges the Court to thoroughly consider the entire law’s human rights impact in its ultimate assessment.

Sony Pictures hack shows weak security but no reason to violate privacy, start a war

9:52am | 23 December 2014 | by Drew Mitnick, Amie Stepanovich

Sony Pictures Entertainment was recently pwned by a group calling themselves the Guardians of Peace, ostensibly acting under the guidance of the North Korean government (though this is subject to debate). It was bad that the hackers took advantage of a culture of bad cybersecurity practice at Sony. Thanks to a bevy of embarrassing cybersecurity practices, worse cybersecurity discourse, and a growing culture of fear in Washington (and around the world), there is little doubt that this incident will be spun to support poorly-drafted laws that infringe upon user rights and do nothing to increase security. We shouldn’t, and we don’t, have to sacrifice privacy to achieve better network security. The U.S. Congress needs to reject any legislation that would attack our privacy, such as an invasive information sharing regime.

Ignoring Protests, Kenya Parliament Approves Dangerous National Security Law

11:55am | 19 December 2014 | by Ephraim Percy Kenyanito,

The parliament in Kenya approved a dangerous new national security law yesterday.

Just in time for the Holidays: UN Approves Privacy Resolution in Major Victory for Human Rights

10:21am | 19 December 2014 | by Deji Olukotun, Peter Micek

Just in time for the Holidays: UN Approves Privacy Resolution in Major Victory for Human Rights

Leak: U.S. pushing to undermine net neutrality and privacy in major trade agreements

5:46am | 18 December 2014 | by Estelle Masse,

New leaked document on the Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA) exposes threats to privacy, data protection, and net neutrality.

Kenya, the next surveillance state?

7:08pm | 17 December 2014 | by Ephraim Percy Kenyanito, Drew Mitnick

a new bill is up for a vote that could drastically affect the human rights of Kenyans

At final hour, Congress passes reasonable cybersecurity legislation

6:01pm | 12 December 2014 | by Drew Mitnick,

In spite of a feeble legislative term, including the particularly devastating failure of surveillance reform, the 113th U.S. Congress pushed through four positive last-minute cybersecurity bills over the past two days. President Obama is soon expected to sign these bills into law. The new cyber measures increase government transparency and Congressional oversight of federal cybersecurity efforts, while expanding coordination between civilian agencies. Access supports the efforts of Congress to pass cybersecurity legislation and hopes the momentum will lead to more significant legislation for the 114th Congress.

Away from exceptionalism: The need for global surveillance reform

10:54am | 11 December 2014 | by Amie Stepanovich,

Surveillance impacts everyone, especially the most vulnerable and at-risk populations. It is past time that all users demand action, domestically as well as internationally, for the universal respect of human rights.

ITU Plenipotentiary 2014: Impressions and analysis of outcomes

7:08pm | 10 December 2014 | by Access Policy Team,

After weeks of heated discussions, the International Telecommunication Union Plenipotentiary Conference closed on November 7th, ending on a significantly lighter note than the controversial 2012 World Conference on International Telecommunications (WCIT). Internet governance expert Avri Doria attended the conference in Busan, South Korea, better known as “the Plenipot,” on behalf of Access. Here are her impressions of the outcomes of the conference.

European commissioner blunders into passenger data debate with little warning

5:48am | 9 December 2014 | by Access Brussels Office,

Migration Commissioner Avramopoulos decided not to wait for the opinion of the CJEU on EU-Canada PNR and signaled his desire to quickly reach an agreement on the 2011 passenger data directive.

The dangers of a militarized internet

7:04pm | 8 December 2014 | by Brett Solomon, Drew Mitnick

Global conversations on cybersecurity, particularly in the west, have been largely focused on securing critical infrastructure. This nation-state-level focus has, perhaps unsurprisingly, implicated the military in defending a country’s national borders and national infrastructure, with “cyber” now joining air, land, sea, and space as a 5th domain of military warfare. To maintain the spirit of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in the digital age, nations must now advance a user-focused approach to cybersecurity.