Stop the Secrecy


The Verge: Check out "Off the Grid"

Thu, 10/30/2014 - 14:32 -- Eva Prkachin

This video game uses intuitive learning to teach players about how online information really functions on the Internet - from enhancing our understanding to undermining our privacy.

Article by Andrew Webster for the Verge

In 2011, Rich Metson was a metal worker who was just starting to dabble in the world of coding and open source software. This newfound interest led him to a conference put on by the Internet Society, and in between dry discussions of internet protocols and domain names, he stumbled on a talk by Columbia University professor Eben Moglen. That moment was the first time Metson truly understood the implications of net neutrality and data privacy. He describes the talk as "a rallying cry." And coupled with ongoing events like the Arab Spring uprising, it had a profound influence on him.

Critical Thought: Net Neutrality will save the Internet

Thu, 10/30/2014 - 08:23 -- Eva Prkachin

Big Telecom wants to build an Internet slow lane to squeeze more money out of Internet users. That's bad enough. But there's a much more troubling consequence of restricting Internet traffic, and it threatens to undermine the free flow of knowledge and information that makes the Internet great.

Article by Bob Castleman for Critical Thought

Net Neutrality is often argued in terms of tiered services, equal access, bandwidth throttling, innovation by start ups and other issues related to the mechanics and economics of the Internet. But beneath this raucous fray lies a more dangerous and less talked about issue - that being the control of information in general. How is it that we receive our information and how is it that we decide its value? Through how many filters has the “real story” been passed before it arrives on our devices? What is the difference between The Arab Spring and The Great Firewall of China if not free versus restricted flow of information?

Motherboard: You'll have to get through Congress first

Mon, 10/27/2014 - 13:51 -- Eva Prkachin

FBI Director James Comey is hopping mad that Apple and Google are starting to encrypt their phones by default, and wants to force them to build backdoors for spying. Too bad there's a little thing called democracy.

Article by Jason Koebler for Motherboard

The FBI's director wants Congress to force force Apple and Google to do away with default smartphone encryption. Congress, however, doesn’t look to be with him.

Last week, FBI director James Comey suggested that encryption "threatens to lead all of us to a very dark place" and suggested that if Apple and Google don't remove default encryption from iOS and Android then "Congress might have to force this on companies."

The Guardian: U.N. report criticizes bulk spying

Fri, 10/24/2014 - 13:33 -- Eva Prkachin

Mass surveillance is “corrosive of online privacy” according to U.N. special report.

Article by Owen Bowcott and Spencer Ackerman for the Guardian

Mass surveillance of the internet by intelligence agencies is “corrosive of online privacy” and threatens to undermine international law, according to a report to the United Nations general assembly.

New Zealand Herald: Plot thickens in new revelations about New Zealand spying

Tue, 10/21/2014 - 14:16 -- Eva Prkachin

Has New Zealand been spying on friendly countries on behalf of the United States?

Article by Adam Bennett for the New Zealand Herald

New documents released by NSA whistle-blower Edward Snowden suggest New Zealand's embassies have been involved in spying on friendly nations on behalf of the United States, just as this country is seeking all the support it can get to win a seat on the United Nations Security Council.

Guardian: Government spying threatening Australians' civil liberties

Mon, 10/20/2014 - 14:53 -- Eva Prkachin

"Mass surveillance of ordinary people worked out just great in the past" said literally no one ever.

Article by Carly Nyst for the Guardian

Until the fall of the Berlin wall in 1989, the East German state security service – the Stasi – conducted surveillance and kept files on a third of the country’s population. One of those people was activist and dissident Ulrike Poppe, whose communications and activities were spied on by Stasi operatives constantly for 15 years.

Wired: First look at early Snowden emails

Fri, 10/17/2014 - 15:52 -- Eva Prkachin

"This will not be a waste of your time." Fascinating look into the first emails Edward Snowden sent to director Laura Poitras.

Article by Andy Greenberg for Wired

Six months before the world knew the National Security Agency’s most prolific leaker of secrets as Edward Joseph Snowden, Laura Poitras knew him as Citizenfour. For months, Poitras communicated with an unknown “senior government employee” under that pseudonym via encrypted emails, as he prepared her to receive an unprecedented leak of classified documents that he would ask her to expose to the world.

Sydney Morning Herald: Who does your personal information belong to?

Fri, 10/17/2014 - 15:47 -- Eva Prkachin

This reporter's telecom provider balked at providing him access to his own personal information, but seem to have no problem sharing that kind of info with government agencies. Does that seem backward to anyone else?

Article by Ben Grubb for The Sydney Morning Herald

I'm in a non-descript building in Sydney's central business district.

In a hearing room inside are 13 people. Five work for Telstra, six work for the privacy commissioner, one is an expert witness. They are here to hear what they see as a landmark case.

On the other side of the room is me, representing myself.

We’re taking your voice straight to an FCC Commissioner who could stop the Internet slow lane

Thu, 10/16/2014 - 15:49 -- Josh Tabish

We just found out we have a rare and unique opportunity to take your voice straight to decision-makers who have the power to stop Big Telecom’s Internet slow lane plan.

Our Founder and Executive Director, Steve Anderson, will be holding a one-on-one meeting with FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn at an international conference taking place in Ottawa next week. And want to know what you would like us to say to her.