EU top court: NSA spying means US servers are not a fit home for Europeans' data


Historically, US companies have been able to get around the (relatively stringent) European data-protection rules thanks to a "Safe Harbor" agreement between the US and the EU -- but Max Schrems, an Austrian privacy activist, has successfully argued that the NSA's mass surveillance programs violate European law and invalidates the Safe Harbor. Read the rest

The Snowden Treaty: protecting the world's whistleblowers in the age of privacy breaches


The Treaty on the Right to Privacy, Protection Against Improper Surveillance and Protection of Whistleblowers [PDF] (AKA "The Snowden Treaty") was created by David Miranda, Glenn Greenwald's partner, who was detained by UK police under terrorism legislation while transiting through London's Heathrow airport with a encrypted thumbdrive containing some of the Snowden leaks. Read the rest

New volume of SF from around the world: 28 stories from 25 countries

Lavie Tidhar writes, "The Apex Book of World SF 4 is out today - this is the fourth volume of the series began in 2009, and features 28 stories from 25 countries, seven of which are translations, and it is the first volume to be edited by Mahvesh Murad - marking this also as the first genre anthology ever edited by a Pakistani woman." Read the rest

Chinese mega-manufacturers set up factories in India

Foxconn is opening a $5B facility in Maharashtra; Huawei just got a green-light for a networking gear factory; Xiaomi already runs a phone assembly plant in Andhra Pradesh that will announcing new products today. Read the rest

The strange stories behind country-code top-level domains

James Bridle writes, "A couple of months ago I released a browser extension - Citizen Ex - which tracks your browsing (entirely privately) in order to show you your "Algorithmic Citizenship" - where your browsing actually goes, and what this means for your rights." Read the rest

Businesses losing big on globalization

The promised returns from globalization just aren't there: poor countries don't have as much to spend, corrupt governments undermine foreign multinationals, domestic rivals hack trade secrets out of multinationals foreign offices and doing business all over the world is complicated and expensive. Read the rest

UN wants to give broadcasters rights over public-domain and CC-licensed shows

Under the revived WIPO Broadcast Treaty, broadcasters would have the right to stop you from using public domain and CC-licensed video footage as you choose, effectively giving them a new copyright over material simply by sending it out over the air. Read the rest

Global Net Neutrality Coalition

EFF teams up with organizations around the world to fight for net neutrality everywhere, because this isn't an issue that just affects Americans. You can help by finding a group in your country and joining in.

Nobody wants to host the 2022 Olympics

The only bids remaining are Almaty, Kazakhstan and Beijing (which has no mountains) -- all the other states that had bid have pulled out following devastating popular opposition (the remaining cities are in countries where the public doesn't get a vote). Read the rest

World Intellectual Property Organization in shambolic chaos

Yesterday's WIPO General Assembly was the "worst ever," with rich and poor countries deadlocked over balanced copyright, fair use, and half a dozen other issues. Read the rest

Join the global fight for a neutral net: Big Telecom vs THE WORLD

Today, a coalition of activist groups from all over the world kick off a global campaign for a neutral Internet where big telcoms aren't allowed to decide which websites you can visit based on how much bribery they can extort -- it's called Big Telecom vs the World and it needs your help!

When Buddhists call for genocide

There's a fascinating story in the American Buddhist magazine Shambala Sun about the Burmese Buddhists who are killing and harassing their Muslim neighbors. Thoughtful and full of context, it is very much worth a read. Read the rest

Watch a cocoa farmer try chocolate for the first time

N'Da Alphonse grows cocoa in Ivory Coast. He harvests the pods, removes the pulp-covered beans, and dries them before selling them to brokers. He'd never seen or tasted the food made from his beans, until a Dutch TV show brought him a sample, as part of a story on class divisions and the global food trade.

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Turn on your data for one minute, AT&T sticks you with a $750 international roaming charge

Jeff writes, "I learned this week that it's possible to run up a $750 international data roaming bill in one minute on AT&T. I managed to convince AT&T to forgive the charges after two days and 40 minutes of phone calls but the best guess at how this happened is kind of alarming. It seems that AT&T's billing system sometimes bundles US traffic with international traffic." Jeff was driving in the Pacific northwest, near the Canadian border. Read the rest

Github seeking volunteers to translate their how-to videos with Amara

Nicholas from Amara writes, "Yesterday afternoon, the social coding platform GitHub invited their fans to collaboratively translate their how-to videos using open-source platform In less than 24 hours, 150 volunteers created 40 translations across 18 different languages. On their blog, Github wrote: 'We think it would be cool if people all over the world could enjoy our videos, regardless of what language they speak. So, starting today, we're inviting anyone who's interested to help us translate our videos via Amara's Volunteer Platform.'"

(Disclosure: I am a volunteer board member for the Participatory Culture Foundation, the nonprofit that produces Amara) Read the rest

Calling on the global Internet to keep the world free of mass government spying

A broad coalition of businesses, civil society groups, activists, and individuals (including Boing Boing) are planning a global day of action against surveillance for February 11, in memory of Aaron Swartz and in the service of a dream for an Internet that serves liberty and hope instead of spying and control. Much of the rhetoric about curbing American spying has focused on domestic surveillance, and the right of Americans to be free from warrantless, suspicionless surveillance from their government. But there's a lot of us who aren't Americans and don't live in America and we deserve to be free, too. Katitza Rodriguez from the Electronic Frontier Foundation tackles the global agenda for February 11th in a post that calls on the global Internet to get involved in making the Internet into a force for freedom. Read the rest

Pirate Bay relocates to

The Pirate Bay's .sx was seized this morning, and the site has relocated to The .AC top-level domain is controlled by Ascension Islands, a UK territory, and a Pirate Bay spokesperson announced that the change was only temporary, with another new domain (.pe, in Peru) in the wings. This is the fifth time that The Pirate Bay had its domain seized in 2013.

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