Brazil and the E.U. welcome historic protections for net neutrality, but why is the U.S. stalling?
4 Apr 2014 •
Access, an international organization committed to extending and defending the rights of internet users worldwide, is encouraged by recent votes that will help secure an open internet. Yesterday, the European Union voted 534-23 in favor of network neutrality, and just last week the Brazilian Congress also voted to protect the internet as part of a larger “internet bill of rights.”
U.S. District Court ruling on net neutrality sets dangerous precedent
15 Jan 2014 •
Yesterday, a U.S. Appeals Court invalidated the U.S. Federal Communication Commission’s (FCC) net neutrality rules. In its ruling, the court stated that the FCC lacked the authority to prevent internet service providers from discriminating among certain types of traffic — effectively allowing providers to make pay-to-play a reality online. This ruling is a significant blow to net neutrality, in the United States and elsewhere. The Court’s ruling creates a dangerous global precedent places the unique character of the internet — its boldness, creativity, and diversity — at risk. And yet, by ruling selectively on the merits of the case, the Court has left the door open for possible reforms, at least in the United States.
Human Rights Day: Advancing a concept of protected information
10 Dec 2013 •
Even before Edward Snowden began leaking documents detailing the scale and scope of the NSA and other intelligence agencies’ violations with our privacy, Access had been working with civil society organizations (like Privacy International and EFF), as well as international law experts, and human rights scholars to draft the International Principles on the Application of Human Rights to Communications Surveillance (“the Principles”).
Access welcomes internet companies announcement in fight for surveillance reform
9 Dec 2013 •
This morning eight major internet companies — AOL, Apple, Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, Microsoft, Twitter, and Yahoo! — issued a broad and powerful call for surveillance reform. The joint statement represents the strongest stance yet by U.S. internet companies on government surveillance and has the potential to shift the debate in Washington.
NSA hacks internet company data centers
1 Nov 2013 •
The NSA is eavesdropping on the private cables running between the Google and Yahoo data centers where all user data is held. Under a program codenamed MUSCULAR the NSA is going right in, without permission from the companies or the courts.
Obama Administration continues to thwart meaningful transparency on NSA surveillance
30 Aug 2013 •
Coming on the heels of an announcement yesterday that the US Office of the Director of National Intelligence will start releasing a transparency report of national security-related requests for user data, the US government disappointingly will be filing a motion to block Google and Microsoft from voluntarily disclosing similar statistics in the company’s own transparency reports.
Facebook releases statistics casting light on government requests for user data
28 Aug 2013 •
Today, Facebook released its first Global Government Requests Report detailing the number of requests for user data the company receives from governments around the world.
Civil society calls for human rights to underpin surveillance at Freedom Online Coalition Conference
25 Jun 2013 •
The Freedom Online Coalition (FOC), a group of 21 governments committed to collaborating to advance internet freedom, convened in Tunis, Tunisia for their third annual meeting of governments, businesses, and civil society. While the conference had several programmatic tracks, recent revelations of sweeping state surveillance took center stage, including civil society’s statement at the closing plenary (below) which pointed to a series of principles that should underlie communications surveillance policies and practices.
It’s time for companies to act: US eases sanctions on export of tech to Iran
31 May 2013 •
Yesterday the US government announced a new round of sanctions relief for Iranian citizens, providing users with easier access to the internet and a wide range of personal communications technologies. With the road to export without the need for specific licenses explicitly cleared, now is the time for these companies to make their products and services available to Iranian users.