netzpolitik

EU’s Parliament signs off on disastrous internet law: what happens next?

In a stunning rejection of the will five million online petitioners, and over 100,000 protestors this weekend, the European Parliament has abandoned common-sense and the advice of academics, technologists, and UN human rights experts, and approved the Copyright in the Digital Single Market Directive in its entirety. Read the rest

More than 100,000 Europeans march against #Article13

Today marksed the largest street protests ever in the history of internet freedom struggles, with more than 100,000 Europeans participating in mass demonstrations across the region -- more than 50 cities participated in Germany alone! From Netpolitik's early summary (English robotranslation): "In Berlin, the demonstration was about half an hour, if you waited along the way from the beginning to the end. We have experienced many network protests in Berlin. That was bigger today than any before, even counting the big data retention protests or ACTA." Read the rest

That German-French Deal to "Rescue" the EU Copyright Directive? Everyone Hates It. EVERYONE.

This week started with a terrifying bang, when German and French negotiators announced a deal to revive the worst parts of the new EU Copyright Directive though a compromise on "Article 13," which requires copyright filters for any online service that allows the public to communicate.

The Franco-German "compromise" was truly awful: German politicians, worried about a backlash at home, had insisted on some cosmetic, useless exemptions for small businesses; French negotiators were unwilling to consider even these symbolic nods towards fairness and consideration for free speech, competition, and privacy.

The deal they brokered narrowed the proposed German exemptions to such a degree that they'd be virtually impossible to use, meaning that every EU-based forum for online communications would have to find millions and millions to pay for filters — and subject their users to arbitrary algorithmic censorship as well as censorship through deliberate abuse of the system — or go out of business.

Now that a few days have passed, European individuals, businesses, lobby groups and governments have weighed in on the proposal and everyone hates it.

That German uprising that German politicians feared? It's arrived, in force.

Bitkom, representing more than 2600 German businesses, from startups to small and medium enterprises, has completely rejected the proposal, calling it "an attack on the freedom of expression";Eco, lobbying for more than 1,100 businesses across Europe, said that Germany had "become weak" in its negotiating position, putting "the smallest, small, and medium-sized companies" at risk;Deutschestartups tweeted their condemnation of the proposal, saying it put "stones in the way" of any European tech company hoping to grow;The Berlin think tank iRights.Lab Read the rest

Talking dystopia, utopia, science fiction and theories of change on the Netzpolitik podcast

When I was in Berlin last month, I stopped into the offices of Netzpolitik (previously), the outstanding German digital rights activist group, where I recorded an interview for their podcast (MP3), talking about science fiction, utopianism, dystopianism, how we can change the world, and why my kid has so many names. Read the rest

Germany's top domestic spy advised far right xenophobic political party on how to avoid being billed as "extremists"

The Alternative For Germany (AfD) is a xenophobic far-right party whose ranks include neo-Nazis and Holocaust deniers; in a new tell-all book by "AfD dropout" Franziska Schreiber (once the head of the AfD's youth wing), we learn that party leader Frauke Petry worked closely with Hans-Georg Maaßen, the president of Germany’s Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution (a domestic surveillance agency with 3,100 employees and an annual budget of €350m). Read the rest

European Commission spent 360,000€ on a piracy study, then buried it because they didn't like what it said

Estimating displacement rates of copyrighted content in the EU is a 360,000€ study commissioned by the European Commission from the Dutch consulting firm Ecorys, whose mandate was to "research the effect piracy had on sales of copyrighted content" -- the report was completed in 2015, but never made public. Read the rest

A madman has been given the keys to the surveillance state

When the USA PATRIOT Act was signed into law on October 26, 2001, it erased many of the vital checks and balances that stood between the American people and their government. As Bush supporters cheered the unprecedented power that their people in Washington now held, the civil liberties world warned them: "Your president has just fashioned a weapon that will be wielded by all who come after him."

Netzpolitik publishes more damning, leaked German surveillance reports, despite previous treason prosecution

Netzpolitik is an amazing German activist/journalist organization; in 2015, they braved a treason investigation by publishing Snowden docs that showed that the German intelligence services were conducting illegal surveillance and illegally collaborating with the NSA; now they've done it again, publishing a new leaked oversight report on spying at the Bad Aibling surveillance station. Read the rest

Germany's top prosecutor fired for bringing "treason" charge against Netzpolitik

Harald Range was due to retire this year, but he was fired first when he refused to end his ridiculous treason witch hunt against Netzpolitik, who published revelations from the Snowden docs. Read the rest

Journalists around the world voice support for Netzpolitik after outrageous 'treason' investigation

Reporters and press freedom advocates from around the world have signed on to support Netzpolitik and condemn the German government's outrageous investigation.

German prosecutors give spies a walk, but investigate journalists for "treason"

The German prosecutors who dropped all action against the US and UK spy-agencies who trampled German law and put the whole nation, up to and including Chancellor Angela Merkel, under surveillance, have decided instead to open an investigation into the bloggers at Netzpolitik, who revealed the wrongdoing. Read the rest

On ethics in information technology

Our field requires ethical frameworks we accept, instead of rules that remain technically unbroken while we hackers violate their spirit with as much ingenuity as we can muster.

Angela Merkel calls for end to net neutrality

The German Chancellor -- whose party is closely aligned with the telcoms sector -- says she wants a two-tier Internet; on the "fast" Internet, carriers will be allowed to slow down access to services that haven't paid bribes for "premium" carriage; on the "regular" Internet, ISPs will just give you the data you ask for. Read the rest

Bits of Freedom's annual donation campaign is today: defend digital freedom in the Netherlands!

Ot sez, "Bits of Freedom is organizing its annual donation campaign today. Why? Because privacy and freedom on the internet are under threat and we need to defend our rights online. We can only do so with your help. If you want to help, you can write a blog, use one of our banners on your own site or become a supporter. Thanks!"

Bits of Freedom is the Netherlands' answer to groups like EFF, Open Rights Group, Netzpolitik, La Quadrature du Net, and many others (thankfully, there's more than can be readily enumerated here -- it's a global movement). They really deserve your support.

Bits of Freedom is een onafhankelijke beweging, en dat willen we blijven. We kunnen alleen bestaan dankzij donaties van Nederlanders die geven om hun vrijheid en privacy. Wil jij ook meehelpen om internetvrijheid te beschermen? Word dan donateur.

Met jouw steun kunnen we doorgaan met:

* Schendingen van online rechten signaleren en aanpakken

* Slecht beleid terugdraaien en goed beleid stimuleren. Zowel in Den Haag als in Brussel

* Tools ontwikkelen en kennis delen waarmee jij je eigen internetvrijheid kunt beschermen

* Elk jaar de Big Brother Awards uitreiken aan de grofste privacyschenders

Do your bit!

(Thanks, Ot!) Read the rest

Report: Ex-Wikileaker Domscheit-Berg deletes large cache of unreleased leaks

Der Spiegel reporter Holger Stark tweets that an old cache of unreleased Wikileaks leak documents is "gone forever." Daniel Domscheit-Berg, who left Wikileaks after a heated dispute with founder Julian Assange, told Stark today "that he has destroyed it."

After quitting (or, depending on whose account you're reading, being forced to leave) from Wikileaks, Domscheit-Berg created a project called OpenLeaks and wrote a tell-all book: "Inside WikiLeaks: My Time with Julian Assange at the World's Most Dangerous Website."

An item about Domscheit-Berg's reported private key and document deletion forthcoming in Der Spiegel, I'd presume. More online now: Heise Online, Netzpolitik.org, WL Central.

An extensive statement on the matter from Julian Assange is here. From a quick read, he appears to believe the CIA is behind this, or that Domscheit-Berg is connected to the CIA in some manner.

Update: The Spiegel article is online. Wikileaks' Twitter account (presumably Assange) tweets that the purportedly deleted data included a complete copy of the US no-fly list, 5GB of Bank of America documents, leaked data from neo-Nazi organizations, and intercept data for US internet companies, then solicits financial donations.

A machine-translated excerpt from the Spiegel article follows. Read the rest

Germans protest new Internet Berlin Wall

Markus sez, "300 people gathered today in Berlin to demonstrate against the German net censorship law. The Deutsche Bunestag (German parliament) will vote on that law today. Lots of banners with slogans like 'New Berlin Wall?', 'IT-Courses for politicians' and 'Don't worry, we're from the internets' showed a colourful protest in front of the Brandenburger Gate close to the Reichstag."

Demonstration against Censhorship in Berlin

(Thanks, Markus!)

Previously: Germany to build the Internet Berlin Wall - Boing Boing Read the rest

Germany to build the Internet Berlin Wall

Ramon sez, "In Germany internet censorship will be introduced. The bill did not pass yet, but the ruling parties have agreed to do so. Over 130.000 people in Germany have signed a petition to protect the freedom of speech and information, but we have not been heard.

Read details about the consequences, arguments and counter measures here."

The Minister for Family Affairs Ursula von der Leyen kicked off and lead the discussions within the German Federal Government to block Internet sites in order to fight child pornography. The general idea is to build a censorship architecture enabling the government to block content containing child pornography. The Federal Office of Criminal Investigation (BKA) is to administer the lists of sites to be blocked and the internet providers obliged to erect the secret censorship architecture for the government.

A strong and still growing network opposing these ideas quickly formed within the German internet community. The protest has not been limited to hackers and digital activist but rather a mainstreamed effort widely supported by bloggers and twitter-users. The HashTag used by the protesters is #zensursula - a German mesh up of the Ministers name and the word censorship equivalent to #censursula.

As part of the public's protest an official e-Petition directed at the German parliament was launched. Within three days 50,000 persons signed the petition - - the number required for the petition titled „No indexing and blocking of Internet sites" to be heard by the parliament. The running time of an e-Petition in Germany is 6 weeks - within this time over 130,000 people signed making this e-Petition the most signed and most successful ever.

Read the rest

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