ORG parliamentary and policy update/2014-w21

< ORG parliamentary and policy update

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  • Council of the European Union adopts guidelines for freedom of expression online and offline.

This is ORG's Parliamentary Update for the week beginning 19/05/2014.

If you are reading this online, you can also subscribe to the email version.

Official Meetings

Javier Ruiz met with officials from the Cabinet Office, the NHS and HM Revenue and Customs to discuss government proposals to make it easier to share personal data across departments. He also attended the Labour Digital Review meeting on open data.

Jim Killock met Jon Wessel-Aas, the Norwegian lawyer who has been working to challenge any implementation of the Data Retention Directive in Norway last week. He attended the Mapping the Internet project conference in Rome, a two year EU funded project looking at Internet governance issues. He also spoke to the Intellectual Property Office about the delayed parody and format shifting exceptions, which are expected to be reconsidered in early June, for adoption by October.

NSA and GCHQ updates

See our full list of the Guardian and Snowden’s revelations.

US recorded every mobile phone call in the Bahamas

The United States has been recording every mobile phone conversation in the Bahamas, through a system code-named SOMALGET. It's aim is to locate "international narcotics traffickers and special-interest alien smugglers".

Bahamas' Foreign Ministry has demanded an explanation from the US, who according to the Intercept's reporting, created a back door into telephone communications by taking advantage of the US Drug Enforcement Administration's relationship with the Bahamian government.

The documents indicate that a similar telephone surveillance programme has also been deployed in another country, though the Intercept refused to disclose the country's name for security reasons (The Intercept).

You can view the document online.

Consultations and departments

A full list of open consultations and Parliamentary events can be found on our Events

Consultation open for revised CCTV code of practice

The Information Commissioner's Office has released the revised code of CCTV practice. Some of the aims for the revised code is to consider developments in technology, discuss emergence of new surveillance technologies and to reflect on policy developments in areas like privacy.

The office will be accepting feedback on the revised code, until 1 July 2014.

Access to the consultation documents can be found on the ICO's website.

International Developments

Report assessing impact of 'Snowden leaks' declassified

Following a Freedom of Information lawsuit filed against the US Defence Department, 12 pages from a 39 age document, have been declassified. The report's main conclusion, prepared by the Defense Intelligence Agency, was that 'the scope of the compromised knowledge related to US intelligence capabilities is staggering'.

The declassification has been criticised by groups who say the heavily redacted document, does not provide any details on how the leaks have had a negative impact. (The Guardian).

The Guardian has published the document online.

European Union

Council of the European Union adopts guidelines on Freedom of Expression online and offline

The Council of the European Union last week published a document titled "EU Human Rights Guidelines on Freedom of Expression Online and Offline". The guide includes guidelines to promote laws that protect the freedom of expression online and offline. It also reinforces the state's obligation to protect the right to privacy and introduces clauses to protect whistle-blowers among others (Index on Censorship).

You can read the full document online (PDF).

Germany changes contract rules for IT companies to block those suspected of NSA involvement

The German government has reformed rules that dictate how public IT contracts are awarded to companies. The changes were made in order to block companies suspected of passing data to the NSA (Wired).

ORG Media coverage

See ORG Press Coverage for full details.

2014-05-22 - Wired - These five MEP candidates care about your digital rights
Summary: ORG given input on 5 MEP candidates with digital rights concerns
2014-05-14 - Guardian - Privacy groups demand rethink over HMRC plan to sell tax data

Summary': Jim Killock quoted

2014-05-14 - The Daily Mail - The Edward Snowden guide to encryption: Fugitive’s 12-minute homemade video ahead of leaks explaining how to avoid NSA from tracking emails
Summary: Javier Ruiz speaks about the need to encrypt emails.
2014-05-13 - Al Jazeera - Google loses 'right to be forgotten' case

Summary: Quotes by policy director Javier Ruiz

ORG contact details

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