End mass snooping and protect whistleblowers, MEPs yell at EU

Lest we pass another legally unenforceable resolution


The European Parliament on Tuesday voted to adopt the conclusions of a report – as a non-legally binding resolution – that defends encryption, anonymity and digital freedom.

The report (PDF), which was narrowly approved by 371 votes in favour to 293 against, said “the active complicity of certain EU member states in the NSA’s mass surveillance of citizens and spying on political leaders, as revealed by Edward Snowden, has caused serious damage to the credibility of the EU’s human rights policy."

However, it’s not just the US that has come in for a bashing in the resolution that was drafted by Dutch Liberal MEP Marietje Schaake. David Cameron’s ideas about banning encryption or allowing backdoor exploits for spying are also roundly condemned.

The European Parliament said the EU should “counter the criminalisation of the use of encryption, anti-censorship and privacy tools by refusing to limit the use of encryption within the EU, and by challenging third-country governments that criminalise such tools."

"It also condemns the weakening and undermining of encryption protocols and products, particularly by intelligence services seeking to intercept encrypted communications," said the institution, which, despite being one of the legislative bodies of the EU, cannot initiate legislation.

Schaake wants "end-to-end" encryption standards as a matter of course for all communication services.

The resolution also pushes open source and open standards, wants the possibility of granting whistleblowers international protection from prosecution (here's looking at you, Snowden), and warns against the privatisation of law enforcement through internet companies and ISPs.

Schaake & Co also want to see the EU implement smarter export controls for so-called dual-use technologies, namely ones that as well as having a legitimate purpose could be used in human rights violations.

“We need to make sure that Europe plays a leading role to prevent advanced systems, which are used to violate human rights, falling into the wrong hands," she said.

"To do that we need smart export control policies which do not hinder the legitimate exchange of information and research,” she added. ®


Other stories you might like

  • Venezuelan cardiologist charged with designing and selling ransomware
    If his surgery was as bad as his opsec, this chap has caused a lot of trouble

    The US Attorney’s Office has charged a 55-year-old cardiologist with creating and selling ransomware and profiting from revenue-share agreements with criminals who deployed his product.

    A complaint [PDF] filed on May 16th in the US District Court, Eastern District of New York, alleges that Moises Luis Zagala Gonzalez – aka “Nosophoros,” “Aesculapius” and “Nebuchadnezzar” – created a ransomware builder known as “Thanos”, and ransomware named “Jigsaw v. 2”.

    The self-taught coder and qualified cardiologist advertised the ransomware in dark corners of the web, then licensed it ransomware to crooks for either $500 or $800 a month. He also ran an affiliate network that offered the chance to run Thanos to build custom ransomware, in return for a share of profits.

    Continue reading
  • China reveals its top five sources of online fraud
    'Brushing' tops the list, as quantity of forbidden content continue to rise

    China’s Ministry of Public Security has revealed the five most prevalent types of fraud perpetrated online or by phone.

    The e-commerce scam known as “brushing” topped the list and accounted for around a third of all internet fraud activity in China. Brushing sees victims lured into making payment for goods that may not be delivered, or are only delivered after buyers are asked to perform several other online tasks that may include downloading dodgy apps and/or establishing e-commerce profiles. Victims can find themselves being asked to pay more than the original price for goods, or denied promised rebates.

    Brushing has also seen e-commerce providers send victims small items they never ordered, using profiles victims did not create or control. Dodgy vendors use that tactic to then write themselves glowing product reviews that increase their visibility on marketplace platforms.

    Continue reading
  • Oracle really does owe HPE $3b after Supreme Court snub
    Appeal petition as doomed as the Itanic chips at the heart of decade-long drama

    The US Supreme Court on Monday declined to hear Oracle's appeal to overturn a ruling ordering the IT giant to pay $3 billion in damages for violating a decades-old contract agreement.

    In June 2011, back when HPE had not yet split from HP, the biz sued Oracle for refusing to add Itanium support to its database software. HP alleged Big Red had violated a contract agreement by not doing so, though Oracle claimed it explicitly refused requests to support Intel's Itanium processors at the time.

    A lengthy legal battle ensued. Oracle was ordered to cough up $3 billion in damages in a jury trial, and appealed the decision all the way to the highest judges in America. Now, the Supreme Court has declined its petition.

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022