Tag Archives: Law enforcement

Goliath v Goliath

A Microsoft Corp lawsuit aimed at striking down a law preventing companies from telling customers the government is seeking access to their data has been joined by a number of heavy hitters including: the US Chamber of Commerce, the National Association of Manufacturers, Delta Air Lines Inc, BP America, the Washington Post, Fox News, the National Newspaper Association, Apple, Google, Amazon and others.

Microsoft maintains that the law – which allows the government to seize data located on third party computers, without the targets’ permission, or even notice – is unconstitutional.

The Department of Justice argues that Microsoft has no standing to bring the case and that the public has “a compelling interest in keeping criminal investigations confidential”. It also maintains that procedural safeguards are in place to protect constitutional rights.

Link: Fortune


Privacy row over FBI iris scan database

The FBI has collected nearly 430,000 iris scans over the past three years, an investigation by technology website The Verge, has revealed.

Privacy International said it was “deeply concerning” that hundreds of thousands of iris scans were being added to a database without public debate, proper safeguards “or even awareness that such data has been taken and is being stored”.

“If our biometric data is to be collected at all, such systems should not be introduced or continued before a public debate, strong legal frameworks, and strict safeguards are in place,” the organisation told the BBC.

Link: Radio New Zealand

Law Commission begins joint review of the Search & Surveillance Act 2012

The Minister of Justice has asked the Law Commission and Ministry of Justice to review the operation of the Search and Surveillance Act 2012.  The Act controls how police and certain other government agencies search people or property, as well as the use of surveillance devices for the purpose of investigating crime.

The Law Commission and Ministry of Justice will be calling for public submissions later this year and will report to the Minister by the end of June 2017.

Link: Law Commission media release

UK lawyers condemn ‘snooper’s charter’

More than 200 senior members of the legal profession – including QCs, law professors, senior lawyers and former judges – have signed an open letter to the UK Government condemning the Investigatory Powers Bill currently before Parliament.  The letter describes the Bill as “unfit for purpose”, citing its failure to reflect international standards for surveillance powers, especially in relation to bulk data collection, targeting, and grounds for the issuing of warrants.

Link: Guardian article  |  Draft Bill

New California privacy law regulates TV voice recognition

California has passed privacy law regulating the use of voice recognition in TVs.  The law prohibits the operation of a voice recognition feature unless the user is prominently informed during the initial setup or installation of a connected TV.  Further, any recordings of conversations collected through the operation of a voice recognition feature cannot be sold or use for any advertising purpose.

Link (Legislation):  AB No.1116

California expands digital privacy laws

California today passed the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, which prohibits law enforcement or other regulators from forcing businesses to hand over metadata or digital communications without a warrant. It also requires a warrant to track or search devices like mobile phones.  The Act is being hailed as the most comprehensive law of its kind in any U.S. state.

Link: Wired

Privacy Commissioner to monitor police use of personal data requests?

The Privacy Commissioner may create a central register to record Police requests for personal data without search warrants from service providers such as airlines, banks, electricity companies, telcos and internet providers. Police are said to rely on the Privacy Act’s Principle 11, which permits disclosure of personal information where required “for the maintenance of the law”. The District Court has queried the legality of such demands.

Full article at nzherald.co.nz