Blog posts by Access Team

Access in the News

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.

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.

Crypto Summit kicks off with spotlight on encryption and the future of the net

8:50am | 15 July 2015 | by Access Team

Today, Access kicked off our inaugural Crypto Summit, a multistakeholder conference devoted to emerging questions about cryptography and the future of the internet. These are edited remarks from Access’ Technology Director Jamie Tomasello and U.S. Policy Manager Amie Stepanovich from the event in Washington, DC.

Hacking Team hacked: How to protect yourself

8:36am | 7 July 2015 | by Access Team

There is now clear evidence that Hacking Team company sells surveillance software to countries including Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Russia, Ecuador, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, the Sudan, and the United Arab Emirates. The sale of surveillance tools to rights-abusing regimes directly impacts users at risk, including journalists, bloggers, sexual rights activists, members of the LGBTIQ community, and human rights defenders. We take a look at how people in these countries can protect themselves, and explore how companies and governments should respond.

At UN, Access calls attention to human rights for WSIS+10

9:51am | 2 July 2015 | by Access Team

Today Access is participating in informal interactive consultations on the World Summit on the Information Society "WSIS+10" review. The consultations are taking place during the UN General Assembly, and are organized by the President of the 69th session of the assembly. We assert that for the full promise of the internet to flower, we must keep human rights central to the WSIS process and ensure that states adhere to their human rights commitments, specifically by ending unlawful surveillance and protecting the right to privacy; stopping censorship and internet shutdowns; ensuring our rights are not undermined in the name of cyber security; and protecting Net Neutrality and preventing the discrimination of data, content, or platforms.

Civil society groups urge governments to promote and protect encryption and anonymity

9:27am | 17 June 2015 | by Access Team

Today at the 29th session of the UN’s Human Rights Council (HRC) in Geneva, Access joined a group of more than 25 civil society organizations in a joint statement that calls on all governments to promote the use of strong encryption technologies, and to protect the right to seek, receive, and impart information anonymously online.

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.

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

10:02am | 11 June 2015 | by Access Team

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.

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

2:54pm | 5 June 2015 | by Access Team

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.

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.

New report: RightsCon 2015 Outcomes

11:29am | 27 May 2015 | by Access Team

This year’s RightsCon, held in Manila, was a sold-out event bringing together 660 attendees from 56 different countries to explore real-world strategies for keeping the internet open and free. It was an extraordinarily productive conference. To participate, the leader of each session was asked a simple question: How would your engagement create real-world change? The newly released RightsCon Southeast Asia Outcomes Report shows how the participants — representing civil society, the private sector, government, tech, and academia — answered that question.

Despite opposition, France approves dangerous new surveillance law

9:41am | 5 May 2015 | by Access Team

Today the French National Assembly approved a dangerous new proposal which would allow intelligence services to violate user privacy and harm freedom of expression. The so-called “French Patriot Act” was first introduced shortly after the killings at the newspaper Charlie Hebdo in January of this year. Sadly, the government used the killings as a pretext to push forward legislation that will give the intelligence services the ability to monitor communications with almost no judicial oversight.

Access urges UN and African Union experts to take action on Burundi internet shutdown

5:15pm | 29 April 2015 | by Access Team

Today, Access submitted a letter to UN and African Union experts requesting their urgent intervention on the internet shutdown in Burundi, where social media services have been cut off in the face of public unrest. The letter underscores the importance of the internet to realizing human rights, and explains how shutdowns often enable egregious human rights violations.

Tell Obama: Say no to cyber surveillance

11:04am | 16 April 2015 | by Access Team

Over the past few weeks, the U.S. Congress has been churning out privacy-threatening cyber surveillance proposals like popcorn at a movie theater. Today, a coalition of digital rights groups is launching a campaign to stop these bills from getting any farther in the legislative process.

U.S. FCC Confirms It Is Reviewing Verizon’s Use of Supercookies

2:43pm | 10 April 2015 | by Access Team

Yesterday, the U.S. Federal Communications Commission confirmed that it is reviewing Verizon Wireless’ abusive use of supercookies. This is a great step forward for mobile privacy in the U.S. and a validation of our campaign against mobile tracking.