Snowden publicly condemns Russia's proposed surveillance law

Edward Snowden has taken to Twitter to condemn Russia's proposed "Yarovaya law," which provides prison sentences of 7 years for writing favorably about "extremism" on the Internet, criminalizes failure to report "reliable" information about planned attacks, and requires online providers to retain at least six months' worth of users' communications, 3 years' worth of "metadata" and to provide backdoors to decrypt this material. Read the rest

Open Rights Group wants to sue UK government over #DRIP, needs your help

Parliament has passed #DRIP, a sweeping, illegal surveillance bill that doubles down on the old surveillance law, which was struck down by the European Court for violating fundamental human rights. Read the rest

People overestimate mobile privacy, lawmakers are out of touch with privacy expectations

My friend Jen Urban of UC Berkeley and her colleagues Chris Jay Hoofnagle and Su Li have just published Mobile Phones and Privacy, a paper in the BCLT Research Paper Series, and a summary. In a nutshell, people totally overestimate the privacy of the data on their mobile phones, they oppose all the current legislative directions on mobile privacy, including the ability of the police to plunder their phones for "suspicious" information and the practice of carriers retaining detailed logs of their activity.

We've just released another tranche of data from our 2012 consumer privacy survey. This one focuses upon privacy issues surrounding mobile phones. As with our other studies, this is a telephonic (landline and wireless) survey of Americans with a sample size of about 1,200 people. Some highlights:

We asked consumers whether they thought information on their mobile phones was private in three different ways:

* A large majority—78%—of Americans consider information on their mobile phones at least as private as that on their home computers. Fifty-nine percent consider it “about as private” and 19% consider it “more private.” Those under 45 were more likely than those over 45 to respond that data on phones was more private than data on home computers.

* A large majority rejected the idea that law enforcement should be automatically able to search a cell phone of someone who is arrested. 76% supported requiring officers to get permission from a court prior to searching a mobile phone in this situation.

Read the rest