Swedish parliament proposals for an extension to mass internet snooping have been leaked local ISP Bahnhof.
Sweden's government wants to extend the holding period under existing data retention legislation. Today, providers have to retain users' IP address information for six months, but a submission to the inquiry asks that be raised to 10 months.
The use of VPNs is also under fire with a demand that ISPs log the first activation of each new anonymisation service.
There's also talk of demanding providers rework their networks to reduce sharing of IP addresses between users.
Bahnhof CEO Jon Karlung writes that it looks like Sweden is imitating China, where the state requires the network to be tailor-made for monitoring, not for the internet to work as well as possible.
Rick Falkvinge of Private Internet Access writes that Sweden is ignoring a 2014 European Court of Justice ruling against data retention , instead doubling down on the forbidden concept of surveillance of people who are not currently any suspicion.
Facebook has revealed new plans to censor supposed 'fake news'. It has announced that any pages which are flagged for hosting stories that
are considered unpolitically correct will be banned from buying advertising to publicise themselves.
A group of third party fact checkers will be tasked with highlighting these pages.
In a statement, Satwik Shukla and Tessa Lyons, who are both product managers, wrote:
Currently, we do not allow advertisers to run ads that link to stories that have been marked false by third-party fact-checking organizations. Now we are taking an additional step.
If Pages repeatedly share stories marked as false, these repeat offenders will no longer be allowed to advertise on Facebook.
This update will help to reduce the distribution of false news which will keep Pages that spread false news from making money.
About 1,000 Russians demonstrated in Moscow on 26th August against repressive government controls on Internet use. They shouted slogans such as Russia will be free
and Russia without censorship ,.
In July, Russia's parliament voted to outlaw web tools that let Internet users sidestep official bans of certain websites. It allows telecommunications censor Roskomnadzor to compile a list of so-called anonymiser services and prohibit any
that fail to respect the bans, while also requiring users of online messaging services to identify themselves with a telephone number.
The Director of public prosecutions has announced plans for more prosecutions and harsher punishments for online insult. Prosecutors will
be ordered to treat online hate crime as seriously as offences carried out face to face.
Alison Saunders said the Crown Prosecution Service will seek stiffer penalties for abuse on Twitter, Facebook and other social media platforms. Saunders says the crackdown is needed because online abuse can lead to the sort of extremist hate seen
in Charlottesville in the United States last weekend, which left one person dead.
Writing in the Guardian, Saunders said:
Left unchallenged, even low-level offending can subsequently fuel the kind of dangerous hostility that has been plastered across our media in recent days. That is why countering it is a priority for the CPS.
The new policy documents cover different strands of hate crime: racist and religious; disability; and homophobic, biphobic and transphobic. They also say that victims of biphobic hate crime, aimed at bisexual people, have different needs and
experiences compared to those suffering anti-gay and transphobic offences.
Offsite Comment: Censored whilst claiming to be uncensored
The US internet company DreamHost is fighting government demands for it to hand over details of millions of activists.
The Department of Justice (DoJ) wants all visitors' IP addresses - some 1.3 million - to a website that helped organise a protest on the day of President Trump's inauguration. In addition to the IP addresses, DreamHost said that the DoJ requested
the contact information, email content and photos of thousands of visitors.
DreamHost is currently refusing to comply with the request and is due in court on 18th August,
In a blog post on the issue, DreamHost said that, like many other online service providers, it was regularly approached by law enforcement about customers who may be the subject of criminal investigations. But, it added, it took issue with this
particular search warrant for being a highly untargeted demand.
Civil liberties group The Electronic Frontier Foundation, which is helping DreamHost fight its case, said: No plausible explanation exists for a search warrant of this breadth, other than to cast a digital dragnet as broadly as possible.
Update: Government data demand narrowed down a little
The US Department of Justice has eased up in its legal fight against hosting company DreamHost, saying it no longer wants all IP logs associated with a
Trump protest site.
That is not the end of the matter, however. The DoJ still wants records related to what it suspects was the planned coordination of illegal acts. It has slightly limited the request to a six-month window ending on the day of the protest itself, to
subscribers of the site as opposed to simple visitors, and it has said it does not want draft blog posts or images.
Vogue fashion magazine has been reporting on the dangers of social media posts that contain images which included
alcohol brands. Vogue magazine writes:
Tourists might not realize as they make their guidebook-mandated pilgrimage to nightlife hotspots like Khao San Road, is that despite the country's many Full Moon parties and bar girls, alcohol advertising is illegal. And posting a photo on
social media of your beer by the beach could count as advertising.
Recently police have begun to strictly enforce 2008's Alcoholic Beverage Control Act, which bans displaying the names or logos of products in order to induce people to drink such alcoholic beverages, either directly or indirectly.
Last month, police announced their intention to more closely patrol social media and charge those found breaking the law. That means even if your favorite actress wasn't being paid for her endorsement and really was just sharing a photo with a
drink by the pool or on a night out, she could find herself facing a 50,000 baht (about $1,500 USD) fine for indirectly inducing drinking.
Earlier this month, eight local celebrities were fined for posting selfies with alcoholic drinks on social media, with Thai Asia Pacific Brewery and Boon Rawd Brewery Co. (the producer of Singha beer) also implicated in the case. But police
aren't just monitoring the accounts of the rich and famous -- at the beginning of August, three bar girls found themselves arrested after making a Facebook Live video inviting people to come enjoy a beer promotion.
People are to have more control over their personal data and be better protected in the digital age under new measures announced by Digital
Censorship Minister Matt Hancock.
Public to have greater control over personal data - including right to be forgotten
New right to require social media platforms to delete information on children and adults when asked
In a statement of intent
the Government has committed to updating and strengthening data protection laws through a new Data Protection Bill. It will provide everyone with the confidence that their data will be managed securely and safely. Research shows that more than 80%
of people feel that they do not have complete control over their data online.
Under the plans individuals will have more control over their data by having the right to be forgotten and ask for their personal data to be erased. This will also mean that people can ask social media channels to delete information they posted in
their childhood. The reliance on default opt-out or pre-selected 'tick boxes', which are largely ignored, to give consent for organisations to collect personal data will also become a thing of the past.
Businesses will be supported to ensure they are able to manage and secure data properly. The data protection regulator, the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO), will also be given more power to defend consumer interests and issue higher fines,
of up to £17 million or 4% of global turnover, in cases of the most serious data breaches.
Matt Hancock, Minister of State for Digital said:
Our measures are designed to support businesses in their use of data, and give consumers the confidence that their data is protected and those who misuse it will be held to account.
The new Data Protection Bill will give us one of the most robust, yet dynamic, set of data laws in the world. The Bill will give people more control over their data, require more consent for its use, and prepare Britain for Brexit. We have some
of the best data science in the world and this new law will help it to thrive.
The Data Protection Bill will:
Make it simpler to withdraw consent for the use of personal data
Allow people to ask for their personal data held by companies to be erased
Enable parents and guardians to give consent for their child's data to be used
Require 'explicit' consent to be necessary for processing sensitive personal data
Expand the definition of 'personal data' to include IP addresses, internet cookies and DNA
Update and strengthen data protection law to reflect the changing nature and scope of the digital economy
Make it easier and free for individuals to require an organisation to disclose the personal data it holds on them
Make it easier for customers to move data between service providers
New criminal offences will be created to deter organisations from either intentionally or recklessly creating situations where someone could be identified from anonymised data.
Elizabeth Denham, Information Commissioner, said:
We are pleased the government recognises the importance of data protection, its central role in increasing trust and confidence in the digital economy and the benefits the enhanced protections will bring to the public.
Data protection rules will also be made clearer for those who handle data but they will be made more accountable for the data they process with the priority on personal privacy rights. Those organisations carrying out high-risk data processing
will be obliged to carry out impact assessments to understand the risks involved.
The Bill will bring the European Union's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) into UK law, helping Britain prepare for a successful Brexit.
Internet-domain provider GoDaddy gave far right website The Daily Stormer the boot after the site published a derogatory
story about a 32-year-old woman killed at a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia over the weekend.
Earlier on Monday, Google Domains became the registrar for the site. However, Google later said in a statement it's cancelling The Daily Stormer's registration for violating its terms of service.
This raises issues around what domain-hosting companies are responsible for, and where they draw the line on objectionable material. Legally webhosts are only required to close down websites on grounds of a federal crime. However, as a private
business, website-hosting companies have the right to decide with whom they conduct business, and GoDaddy's decision does not violate the First Amendment, according to experts.
GoDaddy told CNN Tech:
While we detest the sentiment of such sites, we support a free and open Internet and, similar to the principles of free speech, that sometimes means allowing such tasteless, ignorant content. In this case, The Daily Stormer crossed the line and
encouraged and promoted violence.
Data compiled by the World Socialist Web Site, with the assistance of other Internet-based news outlets and search technology experts,
indicates that a massive loss of readership observed by socialist, anti-war and progressive web sites over the past three months has been caused by a cumulative 45%decrease in traffic from Google searches.
The drop followed the implementation of changes in Google's search evaluation protocols. In a statement issued on April 25, Ben Gomes, the company's vice president for engineering, stated that Google's update of its search engine would block
access to offensive sites, while working to surface more authoritative content.
The World Socialist Web Site has obtained statistical data from SEMrush estimating the decline of traffic generated by Google searches for 13 sites with substantial readerships. The results are as follows:
* wsws.org fell by 67%
* alternet.org fell by 63%
* globalresearch.ca fell by 62%
* consortiumnews.com fell by 47%
* socialistworker.org fell by 47%
* mediamatters.org fell by 42%
* commondreams.org fell by 37%
* internationalviewpoint.org fell by 36%
* democracynow.org fell by 36%
* wikileaks.org fell by 30%
* truth-out.org fell by 25%
* counterpunch.org fell by 21%
* theintercept.com fell by 19%
wsws.org has launched a petition
against Google's downgrading of these news websites.
As queer artists and activists, we're alarmed by a new trend: Many LGBTQ people's posts have been blocked recently for using words like dyke, fag,
or tranny to describe ourselves and our communities.
While these words are still too-often shouted as slurs, they're also frequently reclaimed by queer and transgender people as a means of self-expression. However, Facebook's algorithmic and human reviewers seem unable to accurately parse the
context and intent of their usage.
Whether intentional or not, these moderation fails constitute a form of censorship. And just like Facebook's dangerous and discriminatory real names policy , these examples demonstrate how the company's own practices often amplify harassment and
cause real harm to marginalized groups.
For example, two individuals wrote that they were reported for posting about the return of graphic novelist Alison Bechdel's celebrated Dykes To Watch Out For comic strip. A gay man posted that he was banned for seven days after sharing a vintage
flyer for the 1970s lesbian magazine DYKE , which was recently featured in an exhibition at the Museum of the City of New York. A queer poet of color's status update was removed for expressing excitement in finding poetry that featured the sex
lives of black and brown faggots.
A young trans woman we heard from was banned for a day after referring to herself as a tranny alongside a selfie that proudly showed off her new hair style. After she regained access, she posted about the incident, only to be banned again for
three more days.
In the wake of the latest destabilizing cyber attacks, some Western leaders like Theresa May are joining Russia and China to urge state policing of the internet. This is not wise. By Alexander Klimburg