Policy Observatory

German ‘hate-speech’ law tries to regulate Facebook and others - will it work?

Sat, 2018-01-13 15:42
In September 2017, a law with the euphonious name ‘Netzwerkdurchsetzungsgesetz’ (‘network enforcement law’) was adopted in Germany. Its goal is to force social networks to remove hate speech and certain other unlawful content within 24 hours in obvious cases, otherwise within 7 days upon being notified. The transition period ended on 31 December 2017 - meaning the new rules can now be enforced. Failure to delete content within the given deadlines can result in heavy administrative fines of up to EUR 50m.

French privacy watchdog raps WhatsApp over Facebook data sharing

Sat, 2018-01-13 15:39

France's data privacy watchdog may fine messaging app WhatsApp if it does not comply with an order to bring its sharing of user data with parent company Facebook into line with French privacy law.

End of the privacy debate in the European Parliament: overview

Sat, 2018-01-13 15:38

 On 26 October, the European Parliament as a whole decided to end it's debate about the future ePrivacy Regulation. It's position already adopted on 19 October by the leading Civil Liberties committee was thus confirmed. Now, governments of the Member States and representatives of the European Parliament will negotiate in order to find a compromise in form of a final text. La Quadrature du Net reviews the first step of legislation which has come to an end.

FBI chief calls unbreakable encryption 'urgent public safety issue'

Sat, 2018-01-13 15:35

The inability of law enforcement authorities to access data from electronic devices due to powerful encryption is an "urgent public safety issue," FBI Director Christopher Wray said on Tuesday in remarks that sought to renew a contentious debate over privacy and security.

New US policy wants to demand passwords of travelers’ electronic devices

Fri, 2018-01-12 11:23

US Customs and Border Protection (CBP), a component of the Department of Homeland Security, today posted a revised policy on Border Searches of Electronic Devices and a Privacy Impact Assessment of some of the changes made by the new policy. CBP is now claiming the authority to confiscate cellphones, laptops, memory cards, and any other electronic devices if the traveller refuses to tell CBP their passwords, and to retain the passwords given to them as well as the contents of those devices.

Spanish Court recognizes an individual's right to be forgotten against Google

Thu, 2018-01-11 22:20

Spanish Audiencia Nacional Court has supported a resolution from the Data Protection Agency mandating Google to take the necessary measures to avoid the name of an individual to appear in the search results linked to a resolution from ten years ago.

The fight for patent-unencumbered media codecs is nearly won

Thu, 2018-01-11 22:17

After Apple joining the Alliance for Open Media, now all the most powerful tech companies — Google, Microsoft, Apple, Mozilla, Facebook, Amazon, Intel, AMD, ARM, Nvidia — plus some content providers like Netflix and Hulu, are on now in the Alliance to keep media codec suite AV1 patent-free.

Mercosur-EU Free Trade Agreement: a bad deal for the public domain

Sat, 2018-01-06 11:13

Like many other multilateral agreements that have been negotiated in recent years (TPP, TTIP, etc.), the Mercosur-EU FTA covers a large number of areas (not all strictly related to trade) ranging from the exchange of goods to capital movements, phytosanitary measures, electronic commerce and intellectual property (IP). The area of ​​negotiation related to IP is extremely broad, including patents, trademarks, geographical indications and copyright, among other topics.

The year the open Internet came under siege: 2017 year in review

Sat, 2018-01-06 10:11

The fight between the Federal Communications Commission’s choice to abandon the principles of net neutrality and the majority of Americans started early in 2017 and continued into the very last month of the year. Check out EFF's year in review on net neutrality.