Tag Archives: Mass surveillance

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

Vulnerabilities in US automated licence plate recognition systems

The EFF has released the results of research on poorly secured automated licence plate recognition (APLR) systems.  The research identified more than a hundred APLR cameras left accessible to anyone with a web browser.  The EFF release also looks at the response of five agencies operating the APLR cameras, on being warned of the vulnerabilities.

Link (EFF): License Plate Readers Exposed! How Public Safety Agencies Responded to Major Vulnerabilities in Vehicle Surveillance Tech

ECJ Advocate General: EU-US safe harbours invalid

The Advocate General of the European Court of Justice, Yves Bot, has just released an opinion finding that the EU-US data protection ‘safe harbour’ framework is invalid.  In his view, “the law and practice of the United States allow the large-scale collection of the personal data of citizens of the EU which is transferred, without those citizens benefiting from effective judicial protection.”

The AG also considers that the access enjoyed by the United States intelligence services to the transferred data constitutes an “interference with the right to respect for private life and the right to protection of personal data, which is guaranteed by the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the EU.”  That interference with the fundamental rights is contrary to the principle of proportionality, in particular “because the surveillance carried out by the United States intelligence services is mass, indiscriminate surveillance.”

The AG’s opinion is not a binding decision.  The Court of Justice of the European Union may yet choose not to follow the Advocate General’s opinion.

Link: ECJ Press Release