Monday, 31 October 2016

London event: Restricted and Redacted: Where now for human rights and digital information control?

The Information Law and Policy Centre annual workshop and evening lecture . For both events, attendance will be free of charge thanks to the support of the IALS and our sponsor, Bloomsbury’s Communications Law journal. Registration will still be required as places are limited.
To register for the afternoon workshop please visit Eventbrite.evening lecture Eventbrite Page.
11am – 5pm (lunch and refreshments provided)
For the afternoon part of this event we have an excellent set of presentations lined up that consider information law and policy in the context of human rights. Speakers will offer an original perspective on the way in which information and data interact with legal rights and principles relating to free expression, privacy, data protection, reputation, copyright, national security, anti-discrimination and open justice.
Speakers include, among many others: Professor Ellen P. Goodman, Rutgers Law School, on freedom of information; Dr Vigjilenca Abazi, Maastricht University, on whistleblowing protection in Europe; Professor Ewan Sutherland, Wits University, on wire-tapping in the regulatory state; Dr David Rolph, University of Sydney, on the liability of search engines in defamation; and Professor Gavin Phillipson, University of Durham, on online privacy cases.
We will be considering topics such as internet intermediary liability, investigatory and surveillance powers, media regulation, freedom of information, defamation and privacy, the EU General Data Protection Regulation, and whistleblower protection.
6pm-7.30pm EVENING LECTURE BY ROSEMARY JAY, HUNTON & WILLIAMS - Heads and shoulders, knees and toes (eyes and ears and mouth and nose…):  the impact of the General Data Protection Regulation on use of biometrics (followed by reception)
Biometrics are touted as one of the next big things in the connected world.  Specific reference to biometrics and genetic data has been included  for the first time in the General Data Protection Regulation.  How does this affect existing provisions? Will  the impact of the Regulation be to encourage or to restrict the development of biometric technology?

Wednesday, 26 October 2016

£15 student offer: SCL Tech Law Futures Conference: "Advising in a time of technological change" 10 November

SCL Tech Law Futures Conference: "Advising in a time of technological change" - Thursday 10 November 2016, London: Looking beyond tomorrow and giving tech lawyers an insight into the tech and law issues that will shape the next decade. Hosted and sponsored by Bird & Bird LLP

Venue: Bird & Bird LLP, 12 New Fetter Lane, EC4A 1JP. 9.45 am - 6.15 pm (Registration from 9.15 am)
'via Blog this'

Tuesday, 25 October 2016

Google Has Quietly Dropped Ban on Personally Identifiable Web Tracking - ProPublica

Google Has Quietly Dropped Ban on Personally Identifiable Web Tracking - ProPublica: "When Google bought the advertising network DoubleClick in 2007, Google founder Sergey Brin said that privacy would be the company’s “number one priority when we contemplate new kinds of advertising products.” 

And, for nearly a decade, Google did in fact keep DoubleClick’s massive database of web-browsing records separate by default from the names and other personally identifiable information Google has collected from Gmail and its other login accounts.

 But this summer, Google quietly erased that last privacy line in the sand – literally crossing out the lines in its privacy policy that promised to keep the two pots of data separate by default. In its place, Google substituted new language that says browsing habits “may be” combined with what the company learns from the use Gmail and other tools." 'via Blog this'

All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace - Episode 1 - Love and Power on Vimeo

All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace - Episode 1 - Love and Power on VimeoDocumentary by Adam Curtis 'via Blog this'

Saturday, 22 October 2016

What Is DNS and Why Does It Make the Internet Break?

What Is DNS and Why Does It Make the Internet Break?: "Domain Name Servers (DNS) act as the internet’s phone book and facilitate requests to specific webpages. They make sure you end up in the right place every time you type a website into your browser. Hackers will occasionally attack DNS providers in order to bring down the sites they are serving. Today, that happened to be Twitter, Reddit, PayPal and more.

 That’s a really basic overview. But if you really want to understand how DNS works at a deeper level, you have to follow the complete order of operations. A typical internet user starts at one of many computers in a large network connected through underground cables (such as your laptop). The individual nodes on these networks communicate by referring to each other with numbers known as IP addresses. DNS is used to translate a request like a URL into an IP address.

When you enter a URL—such as—your browser starts trying to figure out where that website is by pinging a series of servers. It’s very detailed, and we won’t bore you with the complete chain of events. There are resolving name servers, authoritative name servers, domain registrars, and so on. The system is precisely configured to get you from browser bar to website seamlessly.

The process is a little crazy, but perhaps the most insane part is that it all happens almost instantly. Anytime you’re browsing the web, opening dozens of tabs, requesting a bunch of different websites, your computer is pinging servers around the world to get you the right info. And it just works—until it doesn’t." 'via Blog this'

Thursday, 13 October 2016

Trump campaign rocked by new wave of sexual harassment allegations, treatens to sue- Guardian

Trump campaign rocked by new wave of sexual harassment allegations | US news | The Guardian: "The New York Times wouldn’t be the first outlet to face litigation from Trump. The Republican nominee’s wife, Melania, is currently suing the Daily Mail and he has long pledged to “open up” libel laws in the United States. Trump has previously threatened to sue the New York Times in a September tweet.

 The Trump campaign sent out a retraction demand to the New York Times early on Thursday from the lawyers Kasowitz, Benson, Torres and Friedman.

“Your article is reckless, defamatory and constitutes libel per se. It is apparent from, among other things, the timing of the article, that it is nothing more than a politically motivated effort to defeat Mr. Trump’s candidacy,” wrote Marc Kasowitz, a prominent securities lawyer also advises the Republican nominee on Israel policy.

 Under American libel law as defined in the 1964 case of New York Times v Sullivan, any public figure suing for libel must prove a defamatory statement was made with actual malice, “with knowledge that it was false or with reckless disregard of whether it was false or not”." 'via Blog this'

Wednesday, 12 October 2016

Transparency, trust and progressive data protection (GDPR) ICO

Transparency, trust and progressive data protection | ICO: "Brexit and the GDPR

 You’ll probably be asking me which law exactly I want you to be following, particularly in two years’ time.

And make no mistake – Brexit makes the job I accepted earlier this year, more challenging…but we’re well prepared.

 You may not realise but we’ve had data protection law in the UK for the last thirty years. The current Data Protection Act, may have been based on an EU directive since 1995, but the UK had already introduced the concept of data protection law ten years before the European Union.. With the changes in technology and the growing intolerance for data misuse we’ve known for a long time the law needs reform, it needs modernisation.

 The General Data Protection Regulation or GDPR replaces the 1995 directive and brings the law into the 21st century. Countries who are part of the EU are now preparing to adopt the new law in 2018. The Referendum result has thrown our data protection plans into a state of flux.

What hasn’t changed are the strong data protection rules the UK already has. We need those rules to ensure cross-border commerce, not to mention the privacy protections citizens and consumers expect.

So where do we go from here? What happens in May 2018? And how does UK data protection law look beyond that? We’ve been asking ourselves the same questions.

Let’s start with the known knowns. It is extremely likely that GDPR will be live before the UK leaves the European Union. Remember that the GDPR is actually already in force, it is just that Member States are not obligated to apply it until 25 May 2018.

 The digital world is a smaller world. Copenhagen consumers are closer, Sofia’s citizens aren’t so far away. For most people in this room, the GDPR will be something you’ll have to follow, to do business where you want to.
GDPR brings in new elements – and a more 21st century approach – the right of consumers to data portability is new, as is mandatory data breach reporting, higher standards of consent, and significantly larger fines for when companies get things wrong.

But the major shift in the law is about giving consumers control over their data. It ties in with building trust and is also part of the ICO’s philosophy.

We are helping you to get ready for the new law – and we will continue to provide advice and guidance around GDPR, whether you’re a business with 400 customers or 40 million.

 What about the known unknown territory? That’s those of you who only operate in the UK. We know it’s up to government what happens here, both in that middle period from May 2018 to whenever the UK formally leaves the EU, and beyond.

 The fact is, no matter what the future legal relationship between the UK and Europe, personal information will need to flow. It is fundamental to the digital economy. In a global economy we need consistency of law and standards – the GDPR is a strong law, and once we are out of Europe, we will still need to be deemed adequate or essentially equivalent. For those of you who are not lawyers out there, this means there would be a legal basis for data to flow between Europe and the UK." 'via Blog this'

Digital Golems. Copyright and Lex Electronica - Dr Melanie de Rosnay 1 Nov 2pm

Digital Golems. Copyright and Lex Electronica - Institut des sciences de la communication: "The book offers a techno-legal model of regulation for the sharing of culture. Following research on “lex informatica”, it is based on the mutual influence between law and code. It proposes a reconception of copyright categories to facilitate creative usages and non-market sharing, and an improved technical expression of those rights built on the systematic analysis of licenses and ontologies. As foreword author Lawrence Lessig summarizes: "The law could infect code, carrying its values"." 'via Blog this'

Grace Hopper - Mathematician, Computer Programmer - as discussed by Prof Matwyshyn yesterday

Grace Hopper - Military Leader, Mathematician, Computer Programmer - "Computer programmer Grace Hopper helped develop a compiler that was a precursor to the widely used COBOL language and became a rear admiral in the U.S. Navy." 'via Blog this'

Friday, 7 October 2016


Professor Andrea Matwyshyn: The Internet of Bodies: introduces the (already happening) progression of the Internet of Things or “IoT” into the Internet of Bodies or “IoB”. It explains how IoB presents a “legacy code” problem – the need to combine the legal challenges of the Internet of Things with older doctrinal and theoretical legal battles.  This “legacy code” problem will present itself not only in scholars’ and lawmakers’ struggle to reconcile conflicting legal paradigms, but also in our norms and values as a society.  Unlike our experience with the Internet of Things, as human flesh becomes permanently entwined with and part of technological hardware, the process of social integration of IoB will be obviously disruptive to physical spaces. It will present a polarizing set of value-laden social and legal determinations about the human body.  It will also cause us to evolve the definition of what it means to be “human.”

European Court rules on open wifi – TechnoLlama

European Court rules on open wifi – TechnoLlama: "While the court considers that the concept of an ‘information society service’ covers any service normally provided for remuneration, ” it does not follow that a service of an economic nature performed free of charge may under no circumstances constitute an ‘information society service’’. This means that under some circumstances, free services could be considered as covered by the E-commerce, particularly because it is a promotional offer, the prize of the service is included in the price of the other goods sold.

 Secondly, the court decided that a service provider of an open wifi can be a mere conduit in the sense of the E-Commerce Directive.

 But the most eye-opening part of the ruling, and the one that has been criticised the most, is that the court seems to make it an obligation to protect open networks, as these can be used easily to infringe copyright. The court muses three possible measures to secure a network, namely, “examining all communications passing through an internet connection, terminating that connection or password-protecting it.” " 'via Blog this'

How Bulk Interception Works – Privacy International – Medium

How Bulk Interception Works – Privacy International – Medium: "All internet communications are broken down into smaller fragments, called “packets.” Every packet contains a piece of the content of the actual communication, as well as metadata. Metadata is information about a communication, such as the sender and recipient, the date and location from where it was sent, and the subject line.
Packets that make up a single communication not only take different paths to reach their destination, they can also take any viable route. Distance is not a determinative factor. A communication between two individuals in the same city might therefore travel around the world before it reaches its recipient. The dispersion of packets across the internet means that our communications and data are more vulnerable to interception by foreign governments, who may capture them as they bounce around the world.
The capture of packets, particularly because of the metadata they contain, is intrusive." 'via Blog this'

Once Celebrated in Russia, the Programmer Pavel Durov Chooses Exile - The New York Times

Once Celebrated in Russia, the Programmer Pavel Durov Chooses Exile - The New York Times: "Not long ago, Mr. Durov, 30, was seen as Russia’s Mark Zuckerberg. He founded a social network, VKontakte, which is more popular in Russia than Facebook, and made a splash by publicly offering Edward Snowden a job.

Then the Kremlin tightened its grip over the Internet and President Vladimir V. Putin’s allies took control of VKontakte. Mr. Durov eventually sold his remaining stake for millions and fled Russia in April, after resisting government pressure to release the data of Ukrainian protest leaders.

Continue reading the main story

Mr. Durov, known for his subversive wit and an all-black wardrobe that evokes Neo from the “Matrix” movies, is now a little-seen nomad, moving from country to country every few weeks with a small band of computer programmers. One day he is in Paris, another in Singapore."

RELATED COVERAGE Takes Full Ownership of VKontakte, Russia’s Largest Social Network SEPT. 16, 2014 Russia Quietly Tightens Reins on Web With ‘Bloggers Law’ MAY 6, 2014  'via Blog this'

Wednesday, 5 October 2016

A Grand Bargain to Make Tech Companies Trustworthy - The Atlantic

A Grand Bargain to Make Tech Companies Trustworthy - The Atlantic: "Congress could respond with a “Digital Millennium Privacy Act” that offers a parallel trade-off to that of the DMCA: accept the federal government’s rules of fair dealing and gain a safe harbor from uncertain legal liability, or stand pat with the status quo.

 The DMPA would provide a predictable level of federal immunity for those companies willing to subscribe to the duties of an information fiduciary and accept a corresponding process to disclose and redress privacy and security violations. As with the DMCA, those companies unwilling to take the leap would be left no worse off than they are today—subject to the tender mercies of state and local governments. " 'via Blog this'