Russia hacked the US election. Now it’s coming for western democracy | Robby Mook | Opinion | The Guardian

We have to take action now to root out Russian and other foreign influences before they become too deeply enmeshed in our political ecosystem. First and foremost, leaders in the US and Europe must stop any attempt by the Trump administration to ease sanctions on Russia. It must be abundantly clear that attacking our elections through cyberspace will prompt a tough and proportional response.

Fuente: Russia hacked the US election. Now it’s coming for western democracy | Robby Mook | Opinion | The Guardian


Luxemburger Wort – US steps up fight against EU tax crackdown on Apple

The US stepped up its fight against the European Commission’s crackdown on tax avoidance by Apple and other multinational companies, accusing the commission of unilateralism and overstepping its mandate.In a white paper, the US Treasury said the EC probe into alleged special tax treatment that certain EU countries gave Apple, Amazon, Starbucks and Fiat Chrysler “undermines the international tax system.”

Fuente: Luxemburger Wort – US steps up fight against EU tax crackdown on Apple


Brussels to tighten grip on web services in telecoms shake-up – FT.com

Brussels will tighten its regulatory grip over online services such as WhatsApp and Skype in a radical overhaul of the EU’s rules on telecoms due out in September. According to internal documents seen by the Financial Times, so-called “over-the-top” services operated by groups such as Facebook, which runs WhatsApp, and Skype owner Microsoft would in future have to abide by “security and confidentiality provisions” demanded by the EU.

Fuente: Brussels to tighten grip on web services in telecoms shake-up – FT.com


Brussels set to sign off on transatlantic data transfer rules – FT.com

The new deal, called Privacy Shield, will provide a legal means for businesses to transfer personal data online — whether payslips, pictures or healthcare data — to the US from the EU without falling foul of the bloc’s strict privacy laws.

Fuente: Brussels set to sign off on transatlantic data transfer rules – FT.com


TiSA: un nuevo mega tratado económico que sigue el modus operandis del TPP | Derechos Digitales

El Acuerdo en Comercio de Servicios, TiSA por sus siglas en inglés, es un tratado multilateral en vías de negociación entre 23 países, incluyendo a Estados Unidos y la Unión Europea. En América Latina están participando Colombia, Costa Rica, México, Panamá, Perú, Paraguay y Chile. El objetivo del tratado es liberalizar el comercio de servicios, como banca, salud, comercio electrónico y transportes a nivel mundial. Las similitudes con el TPP son evidentes: ambos son grandes tratados multilaterales que buscan promover el comercio internacional yendo más allá de la mera disminución de aranceles, homogeneizando la regulación de áreas sensibles de los países involucrados.

Fuente: TiSA: un nuevo mega tratado económico que sigue el modus operandis del TPP | Derechos Digitales


La mitad de los ministros de telecomunicaciones europeos quiere que tus datos fluyan libremente

13 miembros de la UE, entre los que se encuentran Irlanda, Bélgica, Polonia, Suecia y Reino Unido se muestran partidarios de que los datos fluyan solo por territorio europeo

Fuente: La mitad de los ministros de telecomunicaciones europeos quiere que tus datos fluyan libremente


Google warns red tape threatens European tech sector – FT.com

Europe risks falling behind in digital innovation, as regulators and governments discourage entrepreneurs and suffocate technology companies with red tape, says Google’s leading executive on the continent. Matt Brittin told the Financial Times that EU authorities were sceptical of digital change and a maze of regulations were holding back the continent, leaving it lagging behind the US and in danger of being overtaken by China.

Fuente: Google warns red tape threatens European tech sector – FT.com


New Safe Harbor Data “Deal” May Be More Politicking Than Surveillance Reform

European privacy activists criticized a new Safe Harbor data agreement with the U.S. as a superficial political fix that fails to address NSA spying.

Fuente: New Safe Harbor Data “Deal” May Be More Politicking Than Surveillance Reform


El escándalo de espionaje pone en apuros al Gobierno de Merkel | Internacional | EL PAÍS

El escándalo de espionaje pone en apuros al Gobierno de Merkel | Internacional | EL PAÍS.


La colaboración entre los servicios secretos de Alemania y EE UU desata una tormenta política

Alemania

La canciller alemana, Angela Merkel, en un acto en Berlín el 29 de abril. / JOHN MACDOUGALL (AFP)

El escándalo va creciendo hasta convertirse en una seria amenaza para la canciller Angela Merkel. Todo comenzó hace una semana, con la publicación de que los servicios secretos alemanes habían colaborado con sus colegas estadounidenses para espiar a algunas empresas y políticos. Pero el goteo de revelaciones ha ido subiendo la temperatura política en Alemania hasta que el jueves estalló una bomba de gran potencial destructivo para las relaciones de Berlín con sus socios europeos.

Según el Süddeutsche Zeitung, los estadounidenses se valieron de las instalaciones del BND —los servicios secretos alemanes— para espiar a altos funcionarios de instituciones tan relevantes como la Presidencia de la República Francesa, el Ministerio de Asuntos Exteriores francés o la Comisión Europea. Consultados por EL PAÍS, los portavoces del Gobierno ni confirman ni desmienten la información con el argumento de que no pueden interferir en una investigación parlamentaria.

La información, publicada también por las cadenas de televisión NDR y WDR, ha sacudido la política berlinesa. Ya no se trata solo de que los espías alemanes dieran alguna información aislada a la Agencia Nacional de Seguridadestadounidense, la famosa NSA. Las denuncias son ahora más graves. A la sospecha cada vez más fundada de queel ministro del Interior, Thomas de Maizière, mintió al Parlamento sobre el caso, se une la acusación de haber vulnerado la ley para pasar información sobre socios y teóricos amigos en un periodo indeterminado que podría ir de 2002 hasta 2013.

La líder alemana tiene ahora que decidir si cede a la presión y deja caer alguna cabeza. Podría ser la del presidente del BND, Gerhard Schindel. O incluso la del propio De Maizière, uno de sus hombres de confianza, que lo ha sido todo en los tres Gabinetes Merkel: primero jefe de la Cancillería, luego ministro de Defensa y en la última legislatura, titular de Interior.


Cover-up claims over revelation that Germany spied on EU partners for US | World news | The Guardian

Cover-up claims over revelation that Germany spied on EU partners for US | World news | The Guardian.

 The German secret service’s monitoring station in Bad Aibling, Bavaria.
The German secret service’s monitoring station in Bad Aibling, Bavaria. Photograph: Diether Endlicher/EPA

Germany has been spying and eavesdropping on its closest partners in the EU and passing the information to the US for more than a decade, a parliamentary inquiry in Berlin has found, triggering allegations of lying and cover-ups reaching to the very top of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s administration.

There was outrage in Germany two years ago over the revelations by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden of US and British surveillance activities in Europe. The fresh disclosures are embarrassing for Berlin, which stands accused of hypocrisy in its protests about America spying on its allies.

“You don’t spy on your friends,” said Merkel when it was made known to her that her mobile phone was being monitored by the US National Security Agency (NSA). Since then, both sides have been embroiled in arguments about data privacy, with much talk among officials and diplomats of a collapse of German trust in the Americans.

But according to reports on a confidential Bundestag committee of inquiry into the NSA scandal, under a 2002 pact between German intelligence (BND) and theNSA, Berlin used its largest electronic eavesdropping facility in Bavaria to monitor email and telephone traffic at the Élysée Palace, the offices of the French president, and of key EU institutions in Brussels including the European commission.

Thomas de Maizière, the interior minister and a Merkel confidant, is in the firing line for allegedly lying about or covering up the German collaboration with the Americans. The minister has denied the allegations robustly and promised to answer before the parliamentary inquiry “the sooner the better”.

The best-selling tabloid Bildzeitung depicted de Maiziere as Pinocchio this week and accused him of “lying with impunity”. From 2005-9 he served as Merkel’s chief of staff, the post in Berlin that exercises authority over the BND. He is said to have been told of the spying activities in 2008.

German media reports are asserting that if De Maizière knew what was going on he has covered it up, and that if he did not know he was failing in his job while the BND ranged out of political control.

According to the newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung and the public broadcasters WDR and NDR, citing information from the closed parliamentary inquiry, the BND’s biggest listening post at Bad Aibling in Bavaria “was abused for years for NSA spying on European states”.


Google’s dominance faces a challenge at last. Shame it’s too late | Comment is free | The Guardian

Google’s dominance faces a challenge at last. Shame it’s too late | Comment is free | The Guardian.

Denmarks Economy Minister Margrethe Vest Taking on the search giant: EC competition commissioner Margrethe Vestager. Photograph: Keld Navntoft/AFP/Getty Images

So the European commission has finally decided that Google may have a case to answer in relation to claims that it has been abusing its monopoly position in search. On Thursday, Margrethe Vestager, the competition commissioner, announced that the preliminary findings of the commission’s investigation supported the claim that Google “systematically” gave prominence to its own ads, which amounted to an abuse of its dominant position in search. “I’m concerned,” she said, “that Google has artificially boosted its presence in the comparison shopping market with the result that consumers may not necessarily see what’s most relevant for them or that competitors may not get the commercial opportunity that their innovative services deserve.” Google, which, needless to say, disputes these claims, now has 10 weeks in which to respond.

To those of us who follow these things, the most interesting thing about Thursday’s announcement is the way it highlights the radical differences that are emerging between European and American attitudes to internet giants. The Wall Street Journal recently revealed that the US Federal Trade Commission had investigated similar claims about Google’s abuse of monopoly power in 2012 and that some of the agency’s staff had recommended charging the company with violating antitrust (unfair competition) laws. But in the end, the FTC backed off.

Now it turns out that its staff had been in regular communication with the European commission’s investigators in Brussels, which means that the Europeans knew what the Americans knew about Google’s activities. But the commission has acted, whereas the FTC did not. Why?

Leaving aside conspiracist explanations (eg that the American authorities don’t wish to enfeeble US companies that will ensure continued US economic hegemony in the digital era), the difference may be a reflection of the way in which antitrust law has been gradually infected by neoliberal ideology. Once upon a time, it was taken for granted that industrial monopolies were, by their very nature, intolerable for the simple reason that, as Lord Acton famously observed, power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely.

But then a radically different idea was injected into the legislative bloodstream by Robert Bork, a distinguished American lawyer, in his 1978 book, The Antitrust Paradox. One implication of Bork’s argument was that overwhelming market dominance was not necessarily a bad thing. Monopoly could be a reflection of a firm’s superior efficiency: we should expect truly exceptional firms to attract the majority of the customers, and so overzealous antitrust prosecutions could effectively punish excellence and thus disadvantage, rather than protect, consumers.


Leave Facebook if you don't want to be snooped on, warns EU | Technology | The Guardian

Leave Facebook if you don’t want to be snooped on, warns EU | Technology | The Guardian.

European Commission admits Safe Harbour framework cannot ensure privacy of EU citizens’ data when sent to the US by American internet firms

European flags at the EC
The Safe Harbour Framework that is meant to protect the data of EU citizens when sent to the US by American technology firms including Facebook are not adequate the European Commission has admitted. Photograph: Georges Gobet/AFP/Getty Images

The European Commission has warned EU citizens that they should close their Facebook accounts if they want to keep information private from US security services, finding that current Safe Harbour legislation does not protect citizen’s data.

The comments were made by EC attorney Bernhard Schima in a case brought by privacy campaigner Maximilian Schrems, looking at whether the data of EU citizens should be considered safe if sent to the US in a post-Snowden revelation landscape.

“You might consider closing your Facebook account, if you have one,” Schima told attorney general Yves Bot in a hearing of the case at the European court of justice in Luxembourg.

When asked directly, the commission could not confirm to the court that the Safe Harbour rules provide adequate protection of EU citizens’ data as it currently stands.

The US no longer qualifies

The case, dubbed “the Facebook data privacy case”, concerns the current Safe Harbour framework, which covers the transmission of EU citizens’ data across the Atlantic to the US. Without the framework, it is against EU law to transmit private data outside of the EU. The case collects complaints lodged against Apple, Facebook, Microsoft, Microsoft-owned Skype and Yahoo.

Schrems maintains that companies operating inside the EU should not be allowed to transfer data to the US under Safe Harbour protections – which state that US data protection rules are adequate if information is passed by companies on a “self-certify” basis – because the US no longer qualifies for such a status.

The case argues that the US government’s Prism data collection programme, revealed by Edward Snowden in the NSA files, which sees EU citizens’ data held by US companies passed on to US intelligence agencies, breaches the EU’s Data Protection Directive “adequacy” standard for privacy protection, meaning that the Safe Harbour framework no longer applies.


Freedom campaigners warn against EU ministers pushing for 2-speed internet | Technology | The Guardian

Freedom campaigners warn against EU ministers pushing for 2-speed internet | Technology | The Guardian.

Federal communications commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel after the FCC vote on net neutrality in the US. The FCC adopted and set sustainable rules of the road that will protect free expression and innovation on the internet.Federal communications commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel after the FCC vote on net neutrality in the US. The FCC adopted and set sustainable rules of the road that will protect free expression and innovation on the internet. Photograph: Brian Cahn/Corbis

European ministers are pushing for new laws which would “permit every imaginable breach of net neutrality”, internet freedom campaigners have warned.

Days after the US voted to protect an open internet where all traffic is considered equal, proposals agreed by European telecoms ministers of 28 members states could allow a two–speed internet, where companies such as YouTube or Netflix could legally pay mobile networks or broadband providers for faster, more reliable delivery of their content – potentially to the detriment of other internet users.

Campaigners warn the move could stifle online innovation and undermine the digital economy.


Cyber security rules raise fears of digital protectionism – FT.com

Cyber security rules raise fears of digital protectionism – FT.com.

March 5, 2015 1:48 pm

Computer board with chips and components©Dreamstime

Talk of protectionism once meant bemoaning barriers being erected in far-off lands for offcuts of beef or steel rods, but in Washington these days the protectionism fears have gone digital.

Mindful of the world-leading position of domestic technology companies like Google and Microsoft and eager to maintain their competitiveness in the face of new challengers, the US is increasingly pushing back against what it sees as a rising tide of protectionism aimed at the US tech sector in China, Europe and elsewhere.

In the latest example, President Barack Obama has led US complaints over new Chinese cyber security rules for the banking industry that tech companies complain would in effect shut them out of an important market.

The president said this week that he had raised American concerns over the new rules with his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping. “We have made it very clear to them that this is something they are going to have to change if they are to do business with the United States,” he told Reuters on Monday.

Senior US officials including Jack Lew, the Treasury secretary, and John Kerry, secretary of state, have also raised “serious concerns” about the regulations. “The rules are not about security. They are about protectionism and favouring Chinese companies,” said Mike Froman, the US trade representative.

Mr Froman raised the possibility that China might be violating its commitments under bilateral and multilateral trade agreements if it implemented the new rules for the banking sector as planned this month. Other US officials have said Washington is examining whether it could take China to the World Trade Organisation over them in what could become a landmark case at the trade body.

But the concerns being expressed in the US capital about digital protectionism go beyond the new Chinese rules. Mr Obama last month accused European officials of disguising protectionism behind “high-minded” security and privacy concerns. They have also become a growing part of the conversation technology executives have with political leaders when they visit the US capital.

“We’re focused on the situation around the world,” Brad Smith, Microsoft’s general counsel, said after a day of meetings with members of Congress this week. “China is an important market. Other countries are obviously important as well. There are aspects of protectionism that we have to worry about in many countries.”

In depth

Cyber warfare

Cyber security

As online threats race up national security agendas and governments look at ways of protecting their national infrastructures a cyber arms race is causing concern to the developed world

Further reading

The perceived pushback against US tech companies is partly the result of concerns triggered by the revelations of whistleblower Edward Snowden about US cyber-snooping around the world. US officials and executives, however, argue that the response in places like Europe and China now appears targeted more at keeping US businesses out of competitive markets than protecting citizens from privacy concerns.

“We also have to get the balance right between privacy and security. There are trade aspects but there are other aspects as well,” Mr Smith said.

“The short story is that these issues are of growing importance and have a broadening impact. We’re seeing more countries consider them and it is going to require a thoughtful dialogue among a number of governments to sort this out.”

US policy makers and experts are also beginning to fret about the US’s competitive advantage in the trade in all things digital.

To many, the future of globalisation is overwhelmingly digital with emails and 3D printing threatening to replace container ships, and services increasingly delivered online and across borders.

In that context, online barriers such as the “Great Firewall” of China erected to keep out content Beijing objects to, look like impediments to free trade as much as to free speech.

Before the recent controversy over China’s new rules, the US was focusing its energies on making sure that new trade agreements — such as the vast, 12-country Trans-Pacific Partnership now nearing conclusion — limit the restrictions that can be put on the flow of data across borders.

The US has also been pushing for a new agreement on services it is negotiating in Geneva with the EU and more than 20 other countries to guarantee the free flow of data across borders. China has sought to join those negotiations but has been blocked from joining by the US.


Net neutrality is like free speech – and the internet needs rules, says FCC boss | Technology | The Guardian

Net neutrality is like free speech – and the internet needs rules, says FCC boss | Technology | The Guardian.

The FCC chairman, Tom Wheeler, said of net neutrality at a Barcelona telecoms trade show that ‘activity should be just and reasonable’. Photograph: Michael Bocchieri/Getty Images

The US’s top media regulator hit back at critics of new net neutrality rules voted into law last week, comparing them to the first amendment and saying neither government nor private companies had the right to restrict the openness of the internet.

network cablesThe Federal Communications Commission chairman, Tom Wheeler, was speaking in Barcelona at Mobile World Congress, the world’s largest telecoms trade show, just as European governments are meeting to thrash out their own principles for keeping the internet open.
“This is no more regulating the internet than the first amendment regulates free speech in our country,” Wheeler said. “If the internet is the most powerful and pervasive platform in the history of the planet, can it exist without a referee? There needs to be a referee with a yardstick, and that is the structure we have put in place. A set of rules that say activity should be just and reasonable, and somebody who can raise the flag if they aren’t.”

Telecoms companies across Europe and America have railed against Wheeler’s reforms, saying they will discourage investment in better cable and wireless networks and simply benefit bandwidth-hungry services like Netflix and YouTube, which do not normally pay for their content to be carried across the internet. In the US, Verizon and AT&T, the two largest mobile operators, have said they will try to reverse the new rules in the courts.

Meanwhile, Wheeler told conference attendees in Barcelona: “Those who were opposed to the open internet rules like to say this is Depression-era monopoly regulation. We built our model for net neutrality on the regulatory model that has been wildly successful in the US for mobile.”

The FCC rules will treat telecoms companies in a similar way to utilities such as electricity. Internet service providers will be explicitly prohibited from blocking, throttling or prioritising internet traffic for commercial reasons. Where complaints are raised, the FCC will decide on a case-by-case basis whether what network owners are doing is “fair and just”.

The FCC has said it would not intervene areas such as pricing, network unbundling and technical operating requirements.

The European parliament is in the midst of negotiations with member states and network operators over final net neutrality rules, which could be published later this spring. A source at one of Europe’s largest mobile carriers said the fear was that Europe would introduce similar rules, only to find itself out of step when the FCC is forced to back down by a legal challenge or a change of president.

Barack Obama was elected on a promise to preserve net neutrality and has been a staunch supporter of the new rules. But America will elect a new president in 2016 and Republicans have rallied against the regulation.


Tech groups warn over US online snooping – FT.com

Tech groups warn over US online snooping – FT.com.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel (C) and Berlin's mayor Klaus Wowereit look on as US President Barack Obama waves to invited guests in front of Berlin's landmark the Brandenburg Gate near the US embassy on June 19, 2013. US President Barack Obama walks in John F. Kennedy's footsteps on his first visit to Berlin as US president, but encounters a more powerful and sceptical Germany in talks on trade and secret surveillance practices. AFP PHOTO / POOL / MICHAEL KAPPELER (Photo credit should read MICHAEL KAPPELER/AFP/Getty Images)©AFP

Leaders at two top tech security firms have warned that American businesses are being hurt by concerns about US online surveillance in Europe and the growing “Balkanisation” of the internet in the wake of Edward Snowden’s disclosures.

“You can feel this Balkanisation starting. It’s going to impact a lot of companies that are trying to do business globally,” said Kevin Mandia, chief operating officer at FireEye and founder of Mandiant, in an onstage interview at a Vanity Fair event in San Francisco on Wednesday.

European anger over the extent of the US National Security Agency’s online snooping “is starting to cause challenges in the ability for American companies to do business abroad”, said John Hering, co-founder and executive chairman of Lookout, a mobile security firm which raised $150m in venture funding this summer.

“The internet is becoming more closed, not open.”

Mr Hering told attendees at the New Establishment summit that this Balkanisation was already taking its toll on US tech companies, including Lookout.

“We are inherently global businesses,” he said. “We are starting to see infringement in our ability to operate freely because of this.”

The tech chiefs’ comments come amid a growing struggle between European regulators and Silicon Valley companies over issues ranging from privacy to taxation.

Yet the US security services have been unapologetic for their online eavesdropping programmes as cyber attacks continue to rise.

Speaking at the same event, General Keith Alexander, former NSA director and former commander of US cyber command, again condemned the leaks by Mr Snowden, a former NSA contractor, for risking American security and benefiting Russia.

“What’s being hurt here? We are – our best government intelligence capabilities and our companies,” General Alexander said.

General Alexander defended the NSA’s record of using the data it collects to prevent terrorism, which he insisted had appropriate oversight from American judges and lawmakers.

However, he warned that critical elements of the US national infrastructure remained at risk of cyber attacks from states such as North Korea and Iran.

In depth

US Security State

US security state

Analysis of revelations about the extent of the surveillance state in the US

Further reading

Despite recent hacker intrusions into the networks of US banks such as JPMorgan Chase, General Alexander said he was confident these companies would “take care of it”.

It was revealed on Wednesday that Fidelity was among the 13 financial institutions hacked by what is believed to be the same group that targeted JPMorgan Chase, in one of the largest thefts of consumer data on record.

General Alexander said he was more concerned about cyber attacks on utilities such as power companies.

“When I look at the financial institutions, they do more to protect our cyber credentials than any other industry, JPMorgan included,” he said. “I would be more worried about losing power . . . than I would be about our bank accounts being driven to zero.”

 


EEUU accedió a los datos del BCE por medio de Verizon: sigue el escándalo por el espionaje de la NSA – elEconomista.es

EEUU accedió a los datos del BCE por medio de Verizon: sigue el escándalo por el espionaje de la NSA – elEconomista.es.

  • La NSA obligó a Verizon a remitir los metadatos recabados en el BCE
  • La institución no manda documentos confidenciales a través de la red
BCE reflejo

Reflejo del símbolo del euro en la sede del BCE. Foto: Bloomberg
Los tentáculos de la NSA, agencia de espionaje estadounidense, podrían haber llegado al corazón financiero europeo. Según los últimos documentos revelados por Edward Snowden, EEUU habría tenido acceso a la red de correo electrónico del Banco Central Europeo (BCE) a través de la empresa Verizon, quien se encarga de parte de la infraestructura tecnológica de la entidad.

La semana pasada, el gobierno federal Alemania ya canceló todos sus contratos con Verizon ante las sospechas de que colaboró con la NSA, sospechas que ahora se extienden al BCE, quien trabaja con esta operadora desde el año 2004, según publica el diario alemán Süddeustche Zeitung.

De hecho, Verizon Alemania fue contratada expresamente para ofrecer Internet especialmente protegido contra hackers. Ahora, los documentos a los que ha tenido acceso el diario alemán muestran que la NSA obligó a Verizon a pasar todos los metadatos al servicio de inteligencia de EEUU. Estos metadatos incluían quién había contactado con quién, cuándo y desde dónde.

Tras conocerse el asunto, diversos políticos alemanes han pedido públicamente que el BCE, cuya sede están en Frankfurt, siga los pasos de Berlín y corte cualquier relación con la empresa estadounidense. El banco, por su parte, aseguró al Süddeutsche Zeitung que había una sospecha general sobre la seguridad de la infraestructura digital de la institución que dirige la política monetaria de toda la Eurozona.

“Asumimos que no existe una forma segura de comunicación en Internet y por eso no enviamos documentos confidenciales a través de la red”, explicó el BCE en un comunicado. Así, los documentos sensibles nunca son enviados por correo electrónicos y solo en algunos casos se hace de forma encriptada.


Edward Snowden: US government spied on human rights workers | World news | theguardian.com

Edward Snowden: US government spied on human rights workers | World news | theguardian.com.

Whistleblower tells Council of Europe NSA deliberately snooped on groups such as Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International

 

 

 

Edward Snowden speaks via video link with members of the Council of Europe, in Strasbourg.

Edward Snowden speaks via video link with members of the Council of Europe, in Strasbourg. Photograph: Vincent Kessler/Reuters

 

The US has spied on the staff of prominent human rights organisations, Edward Snowden has told the Council of Europe in Strasbourg, Europe’s top human rights body.

Giving evidence via a videolink from Moscow, Snowden said the National Security Agency – for which he worked as a contractor – had deliberately snooped on bodies like Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch.

He told council members: “The NSA has specifically targeted either leaders or staff members in a number of civil and non-governmental organisations … including domestically within the borders of the United States.” Snowden did not reveal which groups the NSA had bugged.

The assembly asked Snowden if the US spied on the “highly sensitive and confidential communications” of major rights bodies such as Amnesty and Human Rights Watch, as well as on similar smaller regional and national groups. He replied: “The answer is, without question, yes. Absolutely.”

Snowden, meanwhile, dismissed NSA claims that he had swiped as many as 1.7m documents from the agency’s servers in an interview with Vanity Fair. He described the number released by investigators as “simply a scare number based on an intentionally crude metric: everything that I ever digitally interacted with in my career.”

He added: “Look at the language officials use in sworn testimony about these records: ‘could have,’ ‘may have,’ ‘potentially.’ They’re prevaricating. Every single one of those officials knows I don’t have 1.7m files, but what are they going to say? What senior official is going to go in front of Congress and say, ‘We have no idea what he has, because the NSA‘s auditing of systems holding hundreds of millions of Americans’ data is so negligent that any high-school dropout can walk out the door with it’?”

In live testimony to the Council of Europe, Snowden also gave a forensic account of how the NSA‘s powerful surveillance programs violate the EU’s privacy laws. He said programs such as XKeyscore, revealed by the Guardian last July, use sophisticated data mining techniques to screen “trillions” of private communications.

“This technology represents the most significant new threat to civil liberties in modern times,” he declared.


Internet governance too US-centric, says European commission | Technology | The Guardian

Internet governance too US-centric, says European commission | Technology | The Guardian.

Commission says NSA revelations call into question US role in internet governance, which should be more global
Neelie Kroes

Neelie Kroes, the European commissioner for digital affairs. Photograph: Stephanie Lecocq/EPA

The mass surveillance carried out by the US National Security Agencymeans that governance of the internet has to be made more international and less dominated by America, the European Union‘s executive has declared.

Setting out proposals on how the world wide web should function and be regulated, the European commission called for a shift away from the California-based Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (Icann), which is subject to US law, is contracted by the US administration and is empowered to supervise how digital traffic operates.

“Recent revelations of large-scale surveillance have called into question the stewardship of the US when it comes to internet governance,” said the commission.

“Given the US-centric model of internet governance currently in place, it is necessary to broker a smooth transition to a more global model while at the same time protecting the underlying values of open multi-stakeholder governance …


Edward Snowden asylum demand dropped by European parliament | World news | theguardian.com

Edward Snowden asylum demand dropped by European parliament | World news | theguardian.com.

MEPs fail to reach consensus on amendment to inquiry calling on governments to assure NSA whistleblower of his safety
Edward Snowden Meets With German Green Party MP Hans-Christian Stroebele

The report will call for international protection for whistleblowers without mentioning Edward Snowden by name. Photograph: Sunshinepress/Getty Images

The European parliament is to ditch demands on Wednesday that EU governments give guarantees of asylum and security to Edward Snowden, the National Security Agency whistleblower.

The parliament’s civil liberties committee is to vote on more than 500 amendments to the first ever parliamentary inquiry into the NSA andGCHQ scandal, a 60-page report that is damning about the scale and the impact of mass surveillance.

But there is no consensus on an amendment proposed by the Greens calling on EU governments to assure Snowden of his safety in the event that he emerges from hiding in Russia and comes to Europe.

Amid what key MEPs have described as intense pressure from national governments on parliament – from the Conservatives and their allies, from the mainstream centre-right and from social democrats – the asylum call has no chance of passing.

“The amendment asking for asylum won’t go through,” said Claude Moraes, the British Labour MEP who is the principal author of the report. “That was a red line for the right. There was never going to be a realistic majority for that.”


La Eurocámara quiere oír a Snowden | Internacional | EL PAÍS

La Eurocámara quiere oír a Snowden | Internacional | EL PAÍS.


Manifestantes con una imagen de Edward Snowden durante una protesta en Berlín. / AFP

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Edward Snowden, el hombre que ha puesto en aprietos a Estados Unidos al destapar su potente red de espionaje, tendrá pronto la oportunidad de explicarse ante el mundo. El Parlamento Europeo ha extendido al exanalista estadounidense la primera invitación que realiza una institución pública para escuchar sus motivaciones, así como los detalles que pueda aportar sobre los programas de vigilancia masiva aplicados por la NSA (la agencia de seguridad nacional, por sus siglas en inglés), para la que trabajaba. Lo más probable es que Snowden acepte el ofrecimiento, aunque queda por concretar el formato, explican fuentes parlamentarias.

Los eurodiputados han aprobado este jueves por abrumadora mayoría en la Comisión de Libertades pedir a Snowden que se dirija a la Eurocámara. Pero una de las claves para ese apoyo reside en el tipo de comparecencia. El Partido Popular Europeo, inicialmente reticente a ofrecer a Snowden una ventana para trasladar su mensaje, accedió a darle voz en forma de “videoconferencia interactiva”. Es decir, si el exanalista habla en directo y los eurodiputados tienen la oportunidad de repreguntar.

Se trata de una cuestión delicada. Los abogados de Snowden ya habían mostrado la predisposición de su cliente a someterse a las preguntas de la Eurocámara, pero no en directo. El exanalista, escondido en algún lugar de Rusia desde que este país le concedió asilo temporal tras su huida de Estados Unidos, teme ser localizado si se conecta en directo por videoconferencia y prefiere no correr ese riesgo.


EE UU y Reino Unido espiaron el móvil del comisario europeo Joaquín Almunia | Internacional | EL PAÍS

EE UU y Reino Unido espiaron el móvil del comisario europeo Joaquín Almunia | Internacional | EL PAÍS.

 

Joaquín Almunia, en Bruselas, este miércoles 18 de diciembre de 2103. / OLIVIER HOSLET (EFE)

El espionaje de Estados Unidos y Reino Unido ha llegado hasta la cúpula de la Comisión Europea. La NSA (agencia de seguridad norteamericana, por sus siglas en inglés) espió al vicepresidente de la Comisión Europea Joaquín Almunia -hoy responsable de Competencia- en el periodo 2008-2009, según han explicado a este diario fuentes comunitarias. La vigilancia se produjo a través de su teléfono móvil en un momento en que Almunia ocupaba la cartera de Economía y Asuntos Monetarios en el Ejecutivo de la UE.

El político socialista es el primer alto cargo de las instituciones europeas del que se tiene constancia de un espionaje directo. Tras conocerse las escuchas a la canciller alemana, Angela Merkel, y a otros dirigentes europeos, los periodistas preguntaron a la Comisión Europea si alguno de sus miembros había sido espiado. Hasta ahora la respuesta había sido negativa.

La interceptación de llamadas y mensajes de móvil se produjo a finales de 2008 y principios de 2009, aseguran esas fuentes. Además de la NSA, en el espionaje participaron también los servicios de inteligencia británicos, GCHQ, que han participado de muchas de las operaciones de Washington y han realizado otras en solitario. Alemania ya pidió explicaciones a las autoridades británicas al descubrirse que la embajada de Reino Unido en Alemania contaba con un dispositivo para interceptar las comunicaciones en pleno centro de Berlín.

Las nuevas revelaciones sobre el vicepresidente de la Comisión Europea debilitan el principal argumento que ha empleado Washington cada vez que sus socios europeos han exigido explicaciones por la vigilancia masiva orquestada por la Administración estadounidense: el principal objetivo de las pesquisas es la lucha contra el terrorismo.


Edward Snowden: MEPs vote to invite ex-NSA contractor to testify | World news | theguardian.com

Edward Snowden: MEPs vote to invite ex-NSA contractor to testify | World news | theguardian.com.

Opposition from conservatives fails to derail vote on inviting Snowden to hearing, which could take place as early as January

 

 

Edward Snowden

Edward Snowden. As there are some concerns that a live linkup could allow the NSA to pinpoint his location, his answers may have to be pre-recorded. Photograph: Sunshinepress/Getty Images

 

The European parliament has voted to formally invite Edward Snowden to give testimony on NSA spying, despite opposition from conservative MEPs. If the US whistleblower provides answers to the questions compiled by parliamentarians in time, a hearing via video link could take place in early January.

It had looked on Wednesday as if European conservatives were trying to kick the hearing into the long grass. The European People’s party (EPP), the alliance of centre-right parties, had raised a number of concerns about inviting Snowden for a hearing, noting that it could endanger the transatlantic trade agreement with the US.

But on Thursday morning, the leaders of the main political groupings in the European parliament voted to invite Snowden. In the coming weeks, questions will be compiled and then forwarded to the former NSA contractor’s lawyer, with roughly two questions coming from each political group.


EE UU presiona en la sombra para frenar la normativa de privacidad europea

http://internacional.elpais.com/internacional/2013/07/21/actualidad/1374420934_701911.html

La presión estadounidense empantana la norma de protección de datos europea

Un hombre consulta su ordenador sobre un fondo del código binario. / KACPER PEMPEL (REUTERS)

La Unión Europea y Estados Unidos libran una batalla incruenta por elcontrol de la privacidad. Conscientes de que el manejo de datos personales constituye la mayor fuente de riqueza y poder en estos días, autoridades y empresas estadounidenses llevan casi dos años presionando contra la regulación europea de protección de datos. El proceso, la mayor campaña de lobby que se recuerda en Bruselas, ha cobrado una nueva dimensión tras conocerse que, además de intentar persuadirlos, EE UU ha espiado a sus socios europeos. Una afrenta a la que Europa ha respondido tímidamente. EL PAÍS reconstruye las presiones secretas ejercidas y revela la capacidad de influencia sobre un dossier que, pese a considerarse prioritario, corre el riesgo de no ver la luz en esta legislatura europea.


Bruselas revisará el gran acuerdo de intercambio de datos con EE UU

http://internacional.elpais.com/internacional/2013/07/19/actualidad/1374224441_656301.html

Francia y Alemania piden acelerar la norma europea de protección de datos

La vicepresidenta de la Comisión Europea y comisaria de Justicia, Viviane Reding y el comisario de Fiscalidad, Auditoría y Lucha contra el Fraude, Algirdas Semeta en conferencia en la sede de la Comisión Europea en Bruselas el17 de julio. / OLIVIER HOSLET (EFE)

La Unión Europea cree que el gran acuerdo de intercambio de datos con Estados Unidos no es tan seguro como parecía. La vicepresidenta de la Comisión Europea y responsable de Justicia, Viviane Reding, ha adelantado a este diario que ha decidido revisarlo, una iniciativa que posteriormente  ha comunicado hoy mismo a los Estados miembros.


El Parlamento Europeo se conforma con investigar el espionaje de EE UU

http://internacional.elpais.com/internacional/2013/07/04/actualidad/1372939631_832488.html

Los diputados no reclaman la suspensión de las negociaciones para el tratado de libre comercio, como pedía la izquierda

Miembros del Parlamento Europeo, durante la votación. / V. KESSLER (REUTERS)

La indignación por las escuchas estadounidenses se ha apoderado del Parlamento Europeo. Aunque a veces lo haga revestido de humor, como en el debate de ayer, cuando el eurodiputado verde Jan Philipp Albrecht comenzó su discurso saludando a los presentes y a los servicios de inteligencia americanos que escuchan lo que sucede en Europa.


EE UU indigna a Europa por un espionaje propio “de enemigos”

http://internacional.elpais.com/internacional/2013/07/01/actualidad/1372630167_914680.html

Bruselas amenaza a Washington con suspender la negociación sobre libre comercio

El presidente Correa habla del caso Snowden en televisión este sábado. / RODRIGO BUENDIA (AFP)

Berlín ha reaccionado con enojo a las revelaciones sobre el espionaje estadounidense a Alemania y a Europa, que podrían lastrar las relaciones transatlánticas. Tanto políticos del Gobierno de la democristiana Angela Merkel (CDU) como los líderes de la oposición socialdemócrata (SPD) y Verde mostraron este domingo su rechazo por la supervisión, cada mes, de unos 500 millones de llamadas telefónicas y de Internet realizadas en o desde Alemania.

Los documentos muestran las prioridades de la más opaca de las agencias de información de Estados Unidos. Solo Reino Unido, Canadá, Nueva Zelanda y Australia aparecen como socios de primera, excluidos de la lista de objetivos. Otros 30 Estados lo son de segunda, entre ellos Alemania. En estos se espía sin cortapisas, de arriba abajo, Gobierno e instituciones democráticas incluidas. El énfasis en Alemania, que soporta muchos más ataques que Francia o Italia, se debe probablemente a su importancia económica, científica y empresarial, así como a su papel preponderante en la Unión Europea y en la Eurozona. Según el semanario de Hamburgo, la NSA fisgonea casi tanto en las entrañas de su gran aliado continental como en Arabia Saudí o en Irak.


EE UU también espió y pirateó comunicaciones de la UE en su sede

http://internacional.elpais.com/internacional/2013/06/29/actualidad/1372527016_180298.html

El programa de la NSA incluía también escuchas en la ONU, según Der Spiegel

El semanario alemán publica mañana datos obtenidos de las filtraciones de Snowden

Edward Snowden, durante la entrevista que concedió a ‘The Guardian’. / G. GREENWALD / L. POITRAS

Estados Unidos espió directamente a representantes y altos cargos de la Unión Europea y a la ONU. La Agencia de Seguridad Nacional (NSA, en sus siglas inglesas) instaló micrófonos ocultos y se infiltró en las redes informáticas de la delegación que la UE mantiene en Washington. Así se desprende, según ha publicado este sábado el semanario alemán Der Spiegel, de documentos confidenciales en manos deEdward Snowden. El responsable de las filtraciones sobre el programa Prisma, consistente en la vigilancia masiva de Internet por parte de la NSA, cuenta con informes marcados con el sello de “alto secreto” y fechados en septiembre de 2010 en los que los espías norteamericanos presuntamente describen los ataques a la sede diplomática de los Veintisiete en la capital de Estados Unidos.


La UE exige explicaciones a EE UU por el espionaje

 http://internacional.elpais.com/internacional/2013/06/12/actualidad/1371051599_670201.html

Reding indica que “el Parlamento evaluará toda la relación transatlántica según sus respuestas”

La Comisión exige que Estados Unidos explique como los ciudadanos europeos pueden acceder a sus datos. / PAWEL KOPCZYNSKI (REUTERS)

Amenaza velada de Bruselas a Washington por el caso de espionaje masivo de datos. La comisaria europea de Justicia,

Viviane Reding, ha querido dejar las cosas claras al fiscal general estadounidense, Eric Holder. Reding ha enviado una carta inusualmente dura a Holder para pedir explicaciones sobre el espionaje orquestado desde el Gobierno de Barack Obama y advertirle de que el asunto puede afectar gravemente a las relaciones entre la Unión y Estados Unidos, en plenas negociaciones por el tratado de libre comercio entre las dos potencias.