Organizaciones Latinas preocupadas por reforma electoral argentina

Las abajo firmantes, organizaciones dedicadas a la defensa de los derechos humanos y civiles en entornos tecnológicos, expresamos nuestra profunda preocupación por el proyecto de ley argentino para la incorporación de tecnologías informáticas en la emisión del voto.Seguidamente, detallaremos tres puntos clave del proyecto aprobado en la Cámara de Diputados Argentina que tendrían un impacto negativo en los derechos fundamentales de los ciudadanos.

Fuente: Organizaciones Latinas preocupadas por reforma electoral argentina


‘Crypto Wars’ timeline: A history of the new encryption debate

Encryption is finally mainstream.Government officials and technologists have been debating since the early 1990s whether to limit the strength of encryption to help the law-enforcement and intelligence communities monitor suspects’ communications. But until early 2016, this was a mostly esoteric fight, relegated to academic conferences, security agencies’ C-suites, and the back rooms of Capitol Hill.Everything changed in mid-February, when President Barack Obama’s Justice Department, investigating the terrorists who carried out the San Bernardino, California, shooting, asked a federal judge to force Apple to help the Federal Bureau of Investigation unlock one attacker’s iPhone.What followed was an unexpectedly rancorous and unprecedentedly public fight over how far the government should go to pierce and degrade commercial security technology in its quest to protect Americans from terrorism.

Fuente: ‘Crypto Wars’ timeline: A history of the new encryption debate


El imperio ‘Ilegal’ de Hacking Team en América Latina | Motherboard

A principios de Abril de 2014, un espía del servicio de inteligencia de Ecuador mandó una serie de correos electrónicos al servicio al cliente de Hacking Team, una compañía italiana de hackers pagados que trabaja con agencias gubernamentales alrededor del mundo.

Fuente: El imperio ‘Ilegal’ de Hacking Team en América Latina | Motherboard


El auge del software de vigilancia en América Latina – Derechos Digitales

El software de Hacking Team es contrario a los estándares legales y violatorio de los derechos a la privacidad, a la libertad de expresión y al debido proceso.

Fuente: El auge del software de vigilancia en América Latina – Derechos Digitales


Bruselas acusa a Google y abre una investigación sobre Android | Economía | EL PAÍS

Bruselas acusa a Google y abre una investigación sobre Android | Economía | EL PAÍS.


La Comisión actúa contra el buscador por abuso de posición dominante al favorecer sus productos en las búsquedas

Google

El logo de Google, en su sede de Bruselas. / VIRGINIA MAYO (AP)

Bruselas ha iniciado la mayor ofensiva planteada hasta ahora contra el todopoderoso buscador Google. Tras cinco años de dudas, la Comisión Europea acusó ayer al gigante estadounidense de abuso de posición dominante en el mercado de las búsquedas, una decisión ya anticipada en los últimos días. Las autoridades de Competencia creen que Google discrimina a sus competidores al otorgar siempre, en las búsquedas de Internet, un lugar privilegiado a sus propios servicios especializados. La empresa deberá ahora defenderse y, si sus alegaciones no convencen al Ejecutivo comunitario, este podrá imponer multas de hasta un 10% de la facturación de la compañía (un máximo de 6.200 millones de euros, aunque esa cuantía resulta bastante improbable).

Consciente de que este movimiento abre un enfrentamiento con Estados Unidos, la comisaria de Competencia, Margrethe Vestager, trató de restar importancia a la dimensión territorial de esta batalla: “Ni mis hijos ni yo consideraríamos nunca, al usar Google, si se trata de una compañía estadounidense o europea, sino el hecho de que tenga buenos productos. El problema no es que sea una empresa dominante, sino que dé trato preferencial a sus propios servicios”.

Vestager añadió que uno de cada cuatro denunciantes de Google —hay una veintena que han presentado quejas a la Comisión solo por las supuestas discriminaciones en las búsquedas— son estadounidenses.

Pese a todo, el caso Google ha adquirido un cariz muy político en el que dirigentes alemanes y franceses han protestado abiertamente sobre el poder de la firma estadounidense y el propio presidente Barack Obama ha recelado del proceso europeo. Quizá por eso, la comisaria danesa ha limitado enormemente el alcance de acción contra Google para concentrarla en el caso más claro y sobre el que ha recibido más denuncias de terceros: la infracción de las leyes europeas en las búsquedas que hacen los usuarios para comparar precios de un mismo producto.

El buscador, que tiene una cuota de mercado superior al 90% en casi todos los países europeos —en Estados Unidos es inferior al 80%—, muestra siempre en primer lugar su propia oferta comparativa, de nombre Google Shopping. Independientemente de si lo merece o no, ese servicio obtiene una posición privilegiada desde 2008, lo que resta visibilidad a sus rivales. Bruselas alega que en un principio, cuando Google no empleaba esa conducta, los resultados de su servicio de compras, entonces llamado Froogle, eran muy pobres. Con el trato privilegiado, su cuota comenzó a crecer.


Google rechaza acusación de “abuso de posición dominante” por parte de la Comisión Europea – El Mostrador

Google rechaza acusación de “abuso de posición dominante” por parte de la Comisión Europea – El Mostrador.

La CE cree que el gigante informático “abusó de su posición dominante en los mercados de los servicios generales de búsquedas en internet en el espacio económico europeo, favoreciendo sistemáticamente la comparación de su propio producto de compra en las páginas de resultados de búsquedas generales”.

google

El gigante estadounidense de la tecnología Google se mostró este miércoles en “fuerte desacuerdo” con la decisión de la Comisión Europea (CE) de acusarle formalmente de abusar de su posición de dominio al favorecer sus propios productos en las búsquedas en Internet.

Google afirma en una entrada de su blog europeo titulada “La búsqueda del daño”, que por ello “disiente respetuosa pero enérgicamente” con el envío de un pliego de cargos como ha hecho hoy el Ejecutivo comunitario.

La multinacional de internet recalca en su blog que está deseando explicarse y defender su caso ante la CE en las próximas semanas, indicó el vicepresidente sénior de Google Search (Buscador), Amit Singhal, en el blog europeo de la compañía.

La CE cree que el gigante informático “abusó de su posición dominante en los mercados de los servicios generales de búsquedas en internet en el espacio económico europeo, favoreciendo sistemáticamente la comparación de su propio producto de compra en las páginas de resultados de búsquedas generales”.

En paralelo, la Comisión anunció una investigación sobre “la conducta de Google en relación con el sistema operativo móvil Android”, porque quiere saber si ha impulsado acuerdos “anticompetitivos” o “abusado de una posible posición de dominio” en el campo de los sistemas operativos para móviles inteligentes.


Brussels to investigate Google’s Android platform – FT.com

Brussels to investigate Google’s Android platform – FT.com.

 

An employee views movie titles on the blinkbox website as he demonstrates Tesco Plc's new Hudl tablet handheld device during its launch in London, United Kingdom, on Monday, Sept. 23, 2013. Tesco, the U.K.'s biggest retailer, today launched it's own tablet handheld device which will run Google Inc.'s Android operating system. Photographer: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg©Bloomberg

Brussels will launch a formal investigation into Google’s Android smartphone platform on Wednesday, opening a fresh front in the EU’s antitrust battle with the US group.

As well as accusing Google’s search business of breaking antitrust laws, Margrethe Vestager, the EU competition commissioner, will unveil a separate probe into whether Google foists uncompetitive terms on smartphone providers using Android.

The European Commission has informally examined Android for almost three years and strongly hinted that it has some concerns in the wake of complaints from companies including Microsoft and Nokia, which make the rival Windows phone range.

According to people familiar with the planned investigation, the commission is to focus on two main areas: the distribution terms for Google’s “suite” of apps, and the compatibility tests to become an official version of Android-carrying Google apps.While widely expected, the formal launch of an investigation will nevertheless be a blow to Google and add a further layer of complication to its regulatory travails in Europe, which touch on everything from privacy policy to alleged search bias.

 


Europe accuses Google of illegally abusing its dominance – FT.com

Europe accuses Google of illegally abusing its dominance – FT.co

 

European Union's competition chief Margrethe Vestager speaks during a media conference regarding Google at EU headquarters in Brussels on Wednesday, April 15, 2015. The European Union's executive hit Google with an official antitrust complaint on Wednesday that alleges the company abuses its dominance in Internet searches and also opened a probe into its Android mobile system. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo)©AP

The EU’s antitrust chief has formally accused Google of illegally using its dominance in online search to steer European consumers to its own in-house shopping services in the opening salvo of what is expected to be a defining competition case of the internet era.

Margrethe Vestager also announced the European Commission would open an investigation into Google’s Android mobile platform amid allegations it forces wireless companies into uncompetitive contracts to use its software.

Ms Vestager made clear the move against Google Shopping was potentially just the first step in her case. She said her staff continued to investigate whether other Google services, such as its travel search function, similarly advantaged the company’s in-house service providers. She vowed to widen the case if abuses were found.

“I am concerned that the company has given an unfair advantage to its own comparison shopping service, in breach of EU antitrust rules,” Ms Vestager said. “Google now has the opportunity to convince the commission to the contrary.”

In an outline of its so-called statement of objections, the commission said that the US-based tech giant “systematically positions and prominently displays” its own shopping service in search results regardless of its merits, arguing the conduct started in 2008.

The commission said the conduct enabled Google’s service to achieve “higher rates of growth, to the detriment of rival comparison shopping services”.

Shopping was the first area in which the commission received a complaint over Google’s conduct, from the British price comparison site, Foundem. The complaints have since snowballed to include online travel services such as Expedia, as well as large players including Microsoft, and French and German publishers.

Google now has 10 weeks to respond and allay the commission’s concerns. It also has a right to a hearing in the coming months, normally attended by national representatives, in which all the main arguments can be aired.

If Google’s defence is unsuccessful, it faces a large fine, theoretically as much as 10 per cent of the previous year’s turnover, some $66bn in 2014.

 


Facebook admits it tracks non-users, but denies claims it breaches EU privacy law | Technology | The Guardian

Facebook admits it tracks non-users, but denies claims it breaches EU privacy law | Technology | The Guardian.

 facebook app
Facebook claims report stating it breaches EU data privacy law ‘gets it wrong’, but admits to tracking non-users. Photograph: Anatolii Babii / Alamy/Alamy

Facebook has admitted that it tracked users who do not have an account with the social network, but says that the tracking only happened because of a bug that is now being fixed.

The social network hit out at the report commissioned by the Belgian data protection authority, which found Facebook in breach of European data privacy laws, saying that the report “gets it wrong multiple times in asserting how Facebook uses information”.

“The researchers did find a bug that may have sent cookies to some people when they weren’t on Facebook. This was not our intention – a fix for this is already under way,” wrote Richard Allan, Facebook’s vice president of policy for Europe in a rebuttal.

Allan listed and responded to eight claims isolated from the report written by researchers at the Centre of Interdisciplinary Law and ICT (ICRI) and the Computer Security and Industrial Cryptography department (Cosic) at the University of Leuven, and the media, information and telecommunication department (Smit) at Vrije Universiteit Brussels.

Some of the claims listed by Facebook are not made in the report, including one that states “there’s no way to opt out of social ads”. The report clearly states that “users can opt-out from appearing in so-called Social Ads”.

“Facebook’s latest press release (entitled “Setting the record straight”) attributes statements to us that we simply did not make,” said authors of the study Brendan Van Alsenoy from the ICRI and Günes Acar from Cosic.


The government will hide its surveillance programs. But they won't eliminate them | Trevor Timm | Comment is free | The Guardian

The government will hide its surveillance programs. But they won’t eliminate them | Trevor Timm | Comment is free | The Guardian.

 Wnsahen will the government stop listening in to our conversations? Photograph: age fotostock / Alamy/Alamy

Want to see how secrecy is corrosive to democracy? Look no further than a series of explosive investigations by various news organizations this week that show the government hiding surveillance programs purely to prevent a giant public backlash.

USA Today’s Brad Heath published a blockbuster story on Monday about the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) running a massive domestic spying operation parallel to the NSA’s that was tracking billions of international calls made by Americans. They kept it secret for more than two decades. According to the USA Today report, the spying program was not only used against alleged terrorist activity, but countless supposed drug crimes, as well as “to identify US suspects in a wide range of other investigations”. And they collected information on millions of completely innocent Americans along the way.

Heath’s story is awash with incredible detail and should be read in full, but one of the most interesting parts was buried near the end: the program was shut down by the Justice Department after the Snowden leaks, not because Snowden exposed the program, but because they knew that when the program eventually would leak, the government would have no arguments to defend it.

The justification they were using for the NSA’s program – that it was only being used against dangerous terrorists, not ordinary criminals – just wasn’t true with the DEA. The public would clearly be outraged by the twisted legal justification that radically re-interpreted US law in complete secrecy. “They couldn’t defend both programs”, a former Justice Department official told Heath. The piece also reveals that Attorney General Eric “didn’t think we should have that information” in the first place, which is interesting because Holder was one of the first Justice Department officials to approve the program during the Clinton administration. It’s nice he came to his senses, but if the program never risked going public, would he have felt the same?

There are many other surveillance programs the government is desperate to keep hidden. Consider Stingray devices, the mini fake cell phone towers that can vacuum up cell phone data of entire neighborhoods at the same time and which are increasingly being used by local cops all around the country. The Associated Press reported this week that the Baltimore police have used these controversial devices thousands of times in the course of ordinary investigations and have tried to hide how the devices are used from judges.

The lengths to which the FBI will go to keep these devices secret from the public is alarming. As a Guardian investigation detailed on Friday, the FBI makes local police that use them sign non-disclosure agreements, and goes as far as to direct them to dismiss charges against potential criminals if the phone surveillance will be exposed at trial (like is required by due process rights in the Fifth Amendment).


Un informe acusa a Facebook de rastrear a los internautas ilegalmente | Tecnología | EL PAÍS

Un informe acusa a Facebook de rastrear a los internautas ilegalmente | Tecnología | EL PAÍS.


La Agencia de Privacidad Belga, integrante de una acción europea que investiga cómo trata la privacidad esta red social, asegura que el gigante de Zuckerberg rompe el marco legal europeo. La compañía afirma que el informe es “incorrecto”

Facebook

Un empleado de Facebook en su sede de Menlo Park. / JEFF CHIU (AP)

El archivo se llama datr. Y funciona como un sabueso cada vez que uno, sea usuario o no, entra en una página del dominio Facebook.com. Tiene una duración de dos años y envía información a la red social sobre qué webs visita el usuario de entre las más de 13 millones que contienen un botón delike a Facebook. Da igual que el usuario lo pulse o no. Estas y otras cookies—archivo que marca a los internautas para guardar un registro de su comportamiento en Internet— son uno de los puntos en los que Facebook rompe la legalidad europea según un informe de 65 páginas encargado por la Comisión de Privacidad Belga y desvelado en exclusiva por The Guardian. “Estas cookies significan: Facebook rastrea a sus usuarios por la red incluso si no hacen uso de los plug-in sociales [por ejemplo, los botones de like que redirigen a Facebook] y aunque no estén logueados [con su perfil de Facebook activo]; y este rastreo no se limita a los usuarios de Facebook”.

Para los autores de este informe —elaborado bajo el encargo de la agencia belga por el Centro de Legalidad Interdisciplinar e ICT (ICRI), el departamento de la Universidad de Leuven y el departamento de medios, información y telecomunicación de la Universidad Vrije de Bruselas—, esta actuación de Facebook rompe la legalidad europea. En concreto, el artículo 5(3) de la directiva e-privacyaprobada en 2002 por el Parlamento Europeo en la que se prohíbe el uso decookies para los usuarios que no se suscriban a una web salvo que se trate de facilitar la “transmisión de comunicación” o para proveer de un servicio social de información que haya sido “explícitamente requerido por su suscriptor o usuario”. Según este estudio, el uso que Facebook hace de su datr. no cae en ninguna de estas excepciones.


Inside Popcorn Time, the Piracy Party Hollywood Can't Stop | WIRED

Inside Popcorn Time, the Piracy Party Hollywood Can’t Stop | WIRED.

 

Popcorn Time was an instant hit when it launched just over a year ago: The video streaming service made BitTorrent piracy as easy as Netflix, but with far more content and none of those pesky monthly payments. Hollywood quickly intervened, pressuring Popcorn Time’s Argentinian developers to walk away from their creation. But anonymous coders soon relaunched the copyright-flouting software. Today, Popcorn Time is growing at a rate that has likely surpassed the original, and the people behind it say they’re working on changes designed to make the service virtually impervious to law enforcement.

As Popcorn Time celebrated the first anniversary of its rebirth, WIRED chatted via email and instant message with a software developer from Popcorn-Time.se, one of the most popular of several reincarnations of Popcorn Time. (The anonymous developer asked us to use Popcorn Time’s smiling popcorn-box mascot “Pochoclin” as his or her pseudonym.) Popcorn Time’s masked spokesperson says the streaming movie and TV app is flourishing—in defiance of many of the world’s most powerful copyright holders and EURid, the domain registrar that seized the original site’s web domain last year.

 

After everything we went through, this will be our sweetest revenge. Anonymous Popcorn Time spokesperson

Popcorn-Time.se, Pochoclin says, has millions of users and is growing at the mind-bending rate of 100,000 downloads per day. He or she also hinted that a forthcoming switch to a peer-to-peer architecture will make the service far harder for copyright cops to attack. “We’re at the threshold of one of the most exciting times since we started this project,” Pochoclin writes. “Making all our data available via p2p will mean that Popcorn Time will no longer rely on domains and centralized servers but only on its user base.”

“After everything we went through,” Pochoclin said, “this will be our sweetest revenge and our biggest victory.”

When Popcorn-Time.se started responding to WIRED’s questions in November, Pochoclin said the reborn project already had 4 million users. But it had taken a serious hit a few months earlier, when Brussels-based domain registrar EURid revoked its website domain, Time4Popcorn.eu. At its new Swedish domain, it’s only recently returned to that earlier adoption rate. (Pochoclin wouldn’t reveal the size of its current user base for fear of drawing more attention from law enforcement or copyright holders.) “[EURid’s domain seizure] was just a small setback … a small but painful kick to the balls,” the spokesperson says. “We’ve grown this project tremendously since we picked it up … The numbers just keep rising.”

A chart of Google searches for Popcorn Time over the last year, showing its quick growth since the shutdown of the original site in March of last year. (Source: Google Trends, which shows only relative search trends rather than absolute numbers of searches.)Click to Open Overlay Gallery
A chart of Google searches for Popcorn Time over the last year, showing its quick growth since the shutdown of the original site in March of last year. (Source: Google Trends, which shows only relative search trends rather than absolute numbers of searches.)

Andrés Navarro reconoce haber hecho aportes irregulares: “Es un cacho darles plata a los políticos, a no ser que quieras un favor” – El Mostrador

Andrés Navarro reconoce haber hecho aportes irregulares: “Es un cacho darles plata a los políticos, a no ser que quieras un favor” – El Mostrador.

El empresario admitió haber entregado recursos a campañas por “afinidad ideológica” y “confianza” en algunas personas desde el plebiscito de 1988 hasta 1997, casi siempre pagando servicios de publicidad o imprenta, los cuales cargaba como gastos a sociedades personales para descontar impuestos. “Por suerte están prescritas”, reconoció.

andres-navarro1

El empresario Andrés Navarro, dueño de la compañía de servicios tecnológicos Sonda y actualmente candidato a presidir la Sociedad de Fomento Fabril (Sofofa), ha estado vinculado como simpatizante histórico a la DC, es de los amigos más cercanos de Sebastián Piñera y nunca ha escondido sus preferencias políticas, como respecto a Ricardo Lagos y, últimamente, la buena opinión que tiene sobre Andrés Velasco.

Esta vez Navarro reconoció su papel activo como donante desde el plebiscito que sacó a Pinochet en 1988 hasta 1997, cuando –según dice– “se hizo evidente” que apoyaba al ex Presidente Ricado Lagos.

En entrevista con Radio Duna, Navarro aclaró que “de todos los políticos que conozco, diputados, senadores, etcétera, no sé de ninguno que no haya ido a ver a un empresario amigo para pedirle apoyo económico para su campaña”. Y como empresario opinó que “es un cacho esto de darles plata a los políticos, a no ser que tengas una intencionalidad específica o quieras conseguir un favor”. En este sentido, aclaró que “en mi caso yo lo hice y nunca pedí algún favor, lo hice más por afinidad ideológica, por personas a las que les tenía confianza”, aseguró.

El dueño y fundador de Sonda recordó que su vínculo como aportante a campañas comenzó en el plebiscito de 1988, en su condición de miembro del comando de empresarios por el NO. “Luego, desde 1990 hasta 1997, hice aportes a campañas políticas (…) normalmente lo hice pagando la confección de propaganda a través de empresas de publicidad o de imprentas”, afirmó.

En este sentido, Navarro admitió que estos aportes los hizo desde sus sociedades personales, donde no estaba asociado con otras personas y, además, reconoció que a través de ellos descontaba impuestos. “[Estas facturas] las tiraba a gastos… es una irregularidad, pero afortunadamente están todas prescritas”, confidenció.


Apple deleted music from users’ iPods purchased from rivals, court told | Technology | The Guardian

Apple deleted music from users’ iPods purchased from rivals, court told | Technology | The Guardian.

Apple scanned for music purchased from rival services such as Amazon and forced users to delete all music from their iPods, it is claimed

steve jobs with iPod
Apple deliberately forced users to delete music from their iPods if it was bought from rival music services, a court has been told. Photograph: Paul Sakuma/AP

Apple intentionally deleted music not bought from iTunes from users’ iPods between 2007 and 2009, a court was told in a antitrust suit against Apple.

Attorneys representing the plaintiffs in a potentially billion dollar antitrust class-action lawsuit against Apple for abuse of its iTunes Music Store dominance told the jury that the Californian electronics company scanned for music not bought from iTunes, and forced a factory reset of the iPod if any was detected.

“You guys decided to give them the worst possible experience and blow up” a user’s iPod music, attorney Patrick Coughlin told the US District Court in Oakland, California.

‘Very paranoid’

Users who tried to sync and update an iPod with music from the likes of Amazon or 7Digital were told there was an error with their iPod that could only be solved with a factory restore through iTunes, which completely wiped the iPod.

Restoring the iPod from iTunes would not restore music from rival services. Apple decided to “not to tell users the problem” Coughlin explained.

Apple security director Augustin Farrugia told the court that the music was deleted for security reasons and that hackers including Jon Lech Johansen also known as “DVD Jon” and software such as the digital rights management removal tool Requiem had made Apple “very paranoid.”

“Someone is breaking into our house,” Apple’s founder and chief executive Steve Jobs wrote at the time, according to an email exhibited by Apple software head Eddy Cue.

“The system was totally hacked,” said Farrugia and that the music was deleted for security reasons, saying that “we don’t need to give users too much information” because “we don’t want to confuse users.”

Apple declined to comment further.


Bangladesh's brutal security service meets with Swiss surveillance company Neosoft | Privacy International

Bangladesh’s brutal security service meets with Swiss surveillance company Neosoft | Privacy International.

Swiss authorities are investigating the potentially illegal export of mobile phone surveillance technology to an infamous elite unit of the Bangladeshi security apparatus accused of wide-scale human rights abuses. The investigation comes after Privacy International and Swiss magazine WOZprovided evidence that representatives of the Rapid Action Battalion were in Zurich this past week meeting with the Swiss surveillance company Neosoft.

In April, Privacy International published restricted procurement documentsshowing that the RAB were looking to buy mobile phone tracking technologyknown as an IMSI Catcher, which we believed they were looking to purchase from a company based in Switzerland.

However, evidence provided to Privacy International suggests that the deal may still not yet be complete. For an export of an IMSI Catcher to go ahead, Swiss authorities previously confirmed to Privacy International that companies need approval in the form of an export license. We have therefore provided our new evidence to the relevant Swiss authorities, who have confirmed that in addition to other measures they have now instructed customs authorities to investigate.


ISPs take GCHQ to court in UK over mass surveillance | World news | theguardian.com

ISPs take GCHQ to court in UK over mass surveillance | World news | theguardian.com.

Seven international web providers lodge formal complaint to court alleging breach of privacy and breaking into their networks

 

 

GCHQ

ISPs are taking GCHQ to court for alleged breach of privacy. Photograph: AFP/Getty Images

 

Internet service providers from around the world are lodging formal complaints against the UK government’s monitoring service, GCHQ, alleging that it uses “malicious software” to break into their networks.

The claims from seven organisations based in six countries – the UK, Netherlands, US, South Korea, Germany and Zimbabwe – will add to international pressure on the British government following Edward Snowden‘s revelations about mass surveillance of the internet by UK and US intelligence agencies.

The claims are being filed with the investigatory powers tribunal (IPT), the court in London that assesses complaints about the agencies’ activities and misuse of surveillance by government organisations. Most of its hearings are held at least partially in secret.

The IPT is already considering a number of related submissions. Later this month it will investigate complaints by human rights groups about the way social media sites have been targeted by GCHQ.

The government has defended the security services, pointing out that online searches are often routed overseas and those deemed “external communications” can be monitored without the need for an individual warrant. Critics say that such a legal interpretation sidesteps the need for traditional intercept safeguards.

The latest claim is against both GCHQ, located near Cheltenham, and the Foreign Office. It is based on articles published earlier this year in the German magazine Der Spiegel. That report alleged that GCHQ had carried out an attack, codenamed Operation Socialist, on the Belgian telecoms group, Belgacom, targeting individual employees with “malware (malicious software)”.

One of the techniques was a “man in the middle” attack, which, according to the documents filed at the IPT, bypasses modern encryption software and “operates by interposing the attacker [GCHQ] between two computers that believe that they are securely communicating with each other. In fact, each is communicating with GCHQ, who collect the communications, as well as relaying them in the hope that the interference will be undetected.”

The complaint alleges that the attacks were a breach of the Computer Misuse Act 1990 and an interference with the privacy rights of the employees under the European convention of human rights.

The organisations targeted, the submission states, were all “responsible and professional internet service providers”. The claimants are: GreenNet Ltd, based in the UK, Riseup Networks in Seattle, Mango Email Service in Zimbabwe, Jinbonet in South Korea, Greenhost in the Netherlands, May First/People Link in New York and the Chaos Computer Club in Hamburg.


Facebook apologises for psychological experiments on users | Technology | theguardian.com

Facebook apologises for psychological experiments on users | Technology | theguardian.com.

The second most powerful executive at the company, Sheryl Sandberg, says experiments were ‘poorly communicated’

 

 

Sheryl Sandberg
Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg apologises for poor communication over psychological experiments. Photograph: Money Sharma/EPA

 

Facebook’s second most powerful executive, Sheryl Sandberg, has apologised for the conduct of secret psychological tests on nearly 700,000 users in 2012, which prompted outrage from users and experts alike.

The experiment, revealed by a scientific paper published in the March issue of Proceedings of National Academy of Sciences, hid “a small percentage” of emotional words from peoples’ news feeds, without their knowledge, to test what effect that had on the statuses or “likes” that they then posted or reacted to.

“This was part of ongoing research companies do to test different products, and that was what it was; it was poorly communicated,” said Sandberg, Facebook’s chief operating officer while in New Delhi. “And for that communication we apologise. We never meant to upset you.”

The statement by Sandberg, deputy to chief executive Mark Zuckerberg, is a marked climbdown from its insistence on Tuesday that the experiment was covered by its terms of service. The secret tests mean that the company faces an inquiry from the UK’s information commissioner, while the publishers of the paper have said they will investigate whether any ethics breach took place. Psychological tests on human subjects have to have “informed consent” from participants – but independent researchers and Facebook have disagreed on whether its terms of service implicitly cover such use.


US cybercrime laws being used to target security researchers | Technology | theguardian.com

US cybercrime laws being used to target security researchers | Technology | theguardian.com.

Security researchers say they have been threatened with indictment for their work investigating internet vulnerabilities

 

 

A hand reaching through a laptop to type on the keyboard
Industry experts are concerned that America’s anti-hacking laws are being applied without proper discretion, leaving security researchers vulnerable to prosecution. Photograph: Epoxydude/fstop/Corbis

 

Some of the world’s best-known security researchers claim to have been threatened with indictment over their efforts to find vulnerabilities in internet infrastructure, amid fears American computer hacking laws are perversely making the web less safe to surf.

Many in the security industry have expressed grave concerns around the application of the US Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA), complaining law enforcement and lawyers have wielded it aggressively at anyone looking for vulnerabilities in the internet, criminalising work that’s largely benign.

They have also argued the law carries overly severe punishments, is too vague and does not consider context, only the action.

HD Moore, creator of the ethical hacking tool Metasploit and chief research officer of security consultancy Rapid7, told the Guardian he had been warned by US law enforcement last year over a scanning project called Critical.IO, which he started in 2012. The initiative sought to find widespread vulnerabilities using automated computer programs to uncover the weaknesses across the entire internet.

‘Law enforcement are killing careers’

Jeremiah Grossman, CEO of cyber research firm Whitehat Security, believes that the aggressive application of the law will lead to researchers quitting before they’ve found serious problems on the internet, leading to a degradation of its overall security.

“Right now they are probably killing careers, because they’re not accounting for intent,” said Grossman.

“The chilling effect is on the problems we don’t know about yet. The canaries in the coalmine? They just killed them all. So now we’re going to suffer the consequences.”


Privacy under attack: the NSA files revealed new threats to democracy | Technology | The Guardian

Privacy under attack: the NSA files revealed new threats to democracy | Technology | The Guardian.

Thanks to Edward Snowden, we know the apparatus of repression has been covertly attached to the democratic state. However, our struggle to retain privacy is far from hopeless

US National Security Agency
The US National Security Agency threat operations centre in Fort Meade, Maryland, in 2006. Photograph: Paul Richards/AFP/Getty Images

In the third chapter of his History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Edward Gibbon gave two reasons why the slavery into which the Romans had tumbled under Augustus and his successors left them more wretched than any previous human slavery. In the first place, Gibbon said, the Romans had carried with them into slavery the culture of a free people: their language and their conception of themselves as human beings presupposed freedom. And thus, says Gibbon, for a long time the Romans preserved the sentiments – or at least the ideas – of a freeborn people. In the second place, the empire of the Romans filled all the world, and when that empire fell into the hands of a single person, the world was a safe and dreary prison for his enemies. As Gibbon wrote, to resist was fatal, and it was impossible to fly.

The power of that Roman empire rested in its leaders’ control of communications. The Mediterranean was their lake. Across their European empire, from Scotland to Syria, they pushed roads that 15 centuries later were still primary arteries of European transportation. Down those roads the emperor marched his armies. Up those roads he gathered his intelligence. The emperors invented the posts to move couriers and messages at the fastest possible speed.

Using that infrastructure, with respect to everything that involved the administration of power, the emperor made himself the best-informed person in the history of the world.

That power eradicated human freedom. “Remember,” said Cicero to Marcellus in exile, “wherever you are, you are equally within the power of the conqueror.”

The empire of the United States after the second world war also depended upon control of communications. This was more evident when, a mere 20 years later, the United States was locked in a confrontation of nuclear annihilation with the Soviet Union. In a war of submarines hidden in the dark below the continents, capable of eradicating human civilisation in less than an hour, the rule of engagement was “launch on warning”. Thus the United States valued control of communications as highly as the Emperor Augustus. Its listeners too aspired to know everything.

We all know that the United States has for decades spent as much on its military might as all other powers in the world combined. Americans are now realising what it means that we applied to the stealing of signals and the breaking of codes a similar proportion of our resources in relation to the rest of the world.

The US system of listening comprises a military command controlling a large civilian workforce. That structure presupposes the foreign intelligence nature of listening activities. Military control was a symbol and guarantee of the nature of the activity being pursued. Wide-scale domestic surveillance under military command would have violated the fundamental principle of civilian control.

Instead what it had was a foreign intelligence service responsible to the president as military commander-in-chief. The chain of military command absolutely ensured respect for the fundamental principle “no listening here”. The boundary between home and away distinguished the permissible from the unconstitutional.

The distinction between home and away was at least technically credible, given the reality of 20th-century communications media, which were hierarchically organised and very often state-controlled.

When the US government chose to listen to other governments abroad – to their militaries, to their diplomatic communications, to their policymakers where possible – they were listening in a world of defined targets. The basic principle was: hack, tap, steal. We listened, we hacked in, we traded, we stole.

In the beginning we listened to militaries and their governments. Later we monitored the flow of international trade as far as it engaged American national security interests.


Apple y Google firman una tregua en la guerra de patentes de teléfonos | Tecnología | EL PAÍS

Apple y Google firman una tregua en la guerra de patentes de teléfonos | Tecnología | EL PAÍS.


Logos de Google y Apple durante una presentación en Nueva York. / E.D. LOIC VENANCE (AFP)

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La batalla de las patentes tecnológicas se está convirtiendo en un proceso largo y costoso, que no lleva a ningún sitio. Apple y Google lo admiten ahora, al decidir que aparcan finalmente la lucha en los tribunales por los casos relacionados con Motorola Mobility. Aunque quizás lo más relevante es que las dos rivales deciden cooperar para resolver algunas cuestiones en el sistema que regula la concesión y protección de estos derechos.

La tregua se anunció la noche del viernes, justo dos semanas después de que Apple obtuviera en California un resultado mixto en el último gran asalto legal con Samsung. Esta misma semana quedó otra batalla en tablas en un tribunal en Japón. El pacto con Google no resuelve, sin embargo, el litigio entre la firma de Cupertino y la surcoreana, donde cualquier viso de acuerdo se ve muy lejano. Apple alcanzó ya pactos similares antes con HTC y Nokia.

MÁS IN

Apple y Google eran socias antes de presentarse el iPhone hace ahora siete años. El enemigo común entonces era Microsoft, que quedó rezagada en el negocio de la movilidad total. Las relaciones se rompieron cuando la tecnológica de Mountain View creó Android. El difunto Steve Jobs declaró una guerra abierta a Larry Page y Sergey Brin, que ahora cierra su sucesor Tim Cook.


Lenovo braced for Cfius scrutiny over Motorola handset deal – FT.com

Lenovo braced for Cfius scrutiny over Motorola handset deal – FT.com.

 

As the largest Chinese technology deal in the US, Lenovo’s $2.9bn purchase of Motorola’s handset business last week will be closely scrutinised by a US government committee that reviews transactions for national security concerns.

As part of the purchase from GoogleLenovo will assume 2,000 patents and receive a licence to other Google smartphone intellectual property, which will be combed through by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (Cfius).

 


Twitter compra 900 patentes a IBM y pone fin a litigio – BioBioChile

Twitter compra 900 patentes a IBM y pone fin a litigio – BioBioChile.

Publicado por Marcial Parraguez | La Información es de Agencia AFPEsther Vargas (CC)

Esther Vargas (CC)

La red social Twitter comprará al gigante informático estadounidense más de 900 patentes, un acuerdo que pone fin al litigio entre ambas compañías, de acuerdo a un comunicado conjunto difundido este viernes.

“Esta adquisición de patentes de IBM y este acuerdo de uso nos ofrece una mayor protección de la propiedad intelectual”, señaló el director legal de Twitter, Ben Lee.

Ambas empresas no revelaron los detalles de la compra.

Twitter anunció el año pasado, cuando preparaba su salida a bolsa, haber recibido una carta de IBM en la que le acusaba de haber violado al menos tres de sus patentes.

La red social dijo que tenía argumentos sólidos para defenderse, pero esperaba que el número de denuncias vinculados a la propiedad intelectual aumentara.

Los gigantes de la tecnología protagonizan desde hace varios años una cruda guerra de patentes, con litigios en tribunales de todo el mundo.


Surcoreana Samsung pierde batalla judicial contra Apple en su propio país – BioBioChile

Surcoreana Samsung pierde batalla judicial contra Apple en su propio país – BioBioChile.

Publicado por Gabriela Ulloa | La Información es de Agencia AFPVista en gadgets.ndtv.com

Vista en gadgets.ndtv.com

El estadounidense Apple ganó este jueves una batalla en la guerra judicial contra su rival Samsung, luego que un tribunal rechazara la demanda del fabricante surcoreano por violación de tres patentes.

La victoria es simbólica para Apple porque tuvo lugar en el terreno de Samsung, Corea del Sur.

El fabricante de electrónica acusaba a Apple de haber violado tres de sus patentes relacionadas con la tecnología para mandar mensajes en dispositivos móviles, pero la justicia surcoreana no le dio la razón.

Tras el fallo, Samsung dijo que seguirá “tomando las medidas necesarias” para proteger su propiedad intelectual.

Las dos compañías, que dominan el sector de la telefonía móvil y las tabletas, están enzarzadas en una batalla judicial en tribunales de diez países, donde se acusan mutuamente de violación de patentes.

En noviembre, la justicia estadounidense dictó una multa de 930 millones de dólares a Samsung por violación de patentes, un monto reducido con respecto a otra sanción anterior.

En el tercer trimestre de 2013, Samsung tenía un 31,4% de cuota de mercado. Apple por su parte representaba el 13,1% del mercado mundial, menos que el 14,4% del año anterior, según la consultora IDC.

Las ventas de Samsung alcanzan niveles récord gracias a sus productos de gama media, mientras que Apple propone casi exclusivamente productos de gama alta.