econintersect.com
       
  

FREE NEWSLETTER: Econintersect sends a nightly newsletter highlighting news events of the day, and providing a summary of new articles posted on the website. Econintersect will not sell or pass your email address to others per our privacy policy. You can cancel this subscription at any time by selecting the unsubscribing link in the footer of each email.



posted on 15 November 2015

Proposed US And UK Laws Will Entrench Surveillance Powers Across The Atlantic

from The Conversation

-- this post authored by Eliza Watt, University of Westminster

Legislation governing surveillance powers has appeared on both sides of the Atlantic: the draft Investigatory Powers bill has just been published in the UK while the US senate has voted through a proposed Cybesecurity Information Sharing Act. Following Edward Snowden's revelations about the extent of government surveillance and communications interception, these proposed laws reflect the UK and US governments' attempts to clarify their legal powers and address their citizens' significant privacy and security concerns.

But what do these powers really allow for? What safeguards do they offer? And to what extend to they conform to privacy protections of the European Convention on Human Rights (for the UK) and the International Covenant of Civil and Political Rights (for the US)?

In the US

The aim of the US (CISA) bill is to enable companies and federal agencies to coordinate responses to cyber-attacks. It grants sweeping powers to private companies that will allow them to voluntarily share "cybersecurity threat data", including individuals' personal information, with the Department of Homeland Security. The department could pass it to other agencies, such as the NSA or Federal Bureau of Investigation. The bill also authorises companies to deploy "defensive measures" that include monitoring information systems to protect their hardware and software from attack.

Critics agree that CISA dresses up government surveillance as cybersecurity. While the bill obliges firms to remove some personal information before sharing data with the government, the definition of what data may be shared is so broad as to allow anything. This means the bill would not only authorise the sharing of vast amounts of personal data without adequate privacy protections, but also for this data to be used by federal and state governments for criminal investigations - including those completely unrelated to cybersecurity. Since all other laws are subordinated to CISA, this provides a mechanism through which due process protections can be circumvented.

Defenders of the bill such as Richard Burr, chairman of the senate select committee, dismiss these worries by pointing to the fact that the data sharing is voluntary. But companies will receive incentives to do so, in the form of government protection from any liability that may arise as a result of sharing data. There's also the problem of how to vet data in order to remove personal information before it's shared, while at the same time upholding the government's duty under Article 17 of the International Covenant of Civil and Political Rights to ensure confidentiality of correspondence.

CISA will do nothing to prevent intrusion into networks or leaks out of them, and so will not help protect personal information from being stolen. The net result of CISA is to give carte blanche to the private sector to collect, vet and pass on personal data to the government, disregarding other laws that would otherwise prevent them from doing so - including human rights protection. It co-opts the private sector into becoming a surveillance trawl net for the intelligence agencies without any independent oversights or remedies.

A UK billing

Ostensibly, the UK Investigatory Powers bill aims to give police and security agencies the tools to keep us safe. In reality it requires internet service providers to record every website visited by every individual for 12 months in order for intelligence agencies to access that information when required. Essentially the bill confirms the continued bulk collection of vast volumes of personal communications data.

The bill allows the interception of communications, such as the content of a telephone call, email or social media message, provided a warrant is obtained from the secretary of state and signed off by a panel of independent judges. Home secretary Theresa May referred to these new powers of oversight as a "double lock". However in certain circumstances the judges will not need to be involved. Communications metadata, which includes very revealing information including website browsing history, will not require a warrant at all. This arguably reinforces indiscriminate mass surveillance, as this type of data is in many cases more telling and valuable than content of communications.

This provision seems especially at odds with the recent European Court of Justice ruling in favour of Digital Rights Ireland, in which it unequivocally stated that this sort of bulk retention of metadata of all individuals by internet service providers was a particularly serious infringement of the right to privacy. The bill even gives explicit powers to police and security agencies to hack into and bug computers and phones, and to require companies to assist them in bypassing encrypted information where possible.

So the only conclusion to be drawn from the legislation brought forward by the British and US governments is that both nations are pursuing an aggressive path toward entrenching surveillance powers at the cost of citizens' privacy. Both bills disregard privacy considerations: CISA through its power that subordinates other laws, the Investigatory Powers bill by expressly authorising bulk data collection with very little meaningful independent oversight.

It was only November 2014 that the UN General Assembly passed the resolution, The Right to Privacy in Digital Age, identifying an urgent need to bring current legal frameworks in line with human rights treaties. It is hard to see how either of these bills is even a nod in the right direction. Instead they read like a confirmation that business as usual continues for the likes of the NSA and GCHQ. Will the other members of the Five Eyes - Australia, New Zealand and Canada - follow suit?

The ConversationEliza Watt, PhD Researcher, Cyber Surveillance and Privacy, University of Westminster

This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.

>>>>> Scroll down to view and make comments <<<<<<

Click here for Historical News Post Listing










Make a Comment

Econintersect wants your comments, data and opinion on the articles posted.  As the internet is a "war zone" of trolls, hackers and spammers - Econintersect must balance its defences against ease of commenting.  We have joined with Livefyre to manage our comment streams.

To comment, using Livefyre just click the "Sign In" button at the top-left corner of the comment box below. You can create a commenting account using your favorite social network such as Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn or Open ID - or open a Livefyre account using your email address.



You can also comment using Facebook directly using he comment block below.





Econintersect Contributors


search_box

Print this page or create a PDF file of this page
Print Friendly and PDF


The growing use of ad blocking software is creating a shortfall in covering our fixed expenses. Please consider a donation to Econintersect to allow continuing output of quality and balanced financial and economic news and analysis.


Take a look at what is going on inside of Econintersect.com
Main Home
Analysis Blog
Are You Feeling the Economic Surge?
Big Mess in Italy
News Blog
Multiple Jobs Needed To Make Ends Meet
The Final Crisis Chronicle: The Panic Of 1907 And The Birth Of The Fed
Is There A Gender Wage Growth Gap?
Moving Averages Can Identify A Trade
Infographic Of The Day: Hobbies That Will Make You Money
Earnings And Economic Reports: Week Starting 05 December 2016
Early Headlines: Green Pty Cancels - Then Appeals PA Recount, IRS Serves Summons On Bitcoin Co, Most Mfg Jobs Lost To Automation, 2017 US Hosing Outlook And More
The Smartphone Market Is Not A Two-Horse Race
Italy's Referendum: What's At Stake And What You Need To Know
There Were Over A Million Casualties At The Somme
The Best Countries In The World
What We Read Today 03 December 2016 - Public Edition
Big Mac Index In Its 30th Year
Investing Blog
How To Invest When The Fed Destroys Capitalism
Technical Thoughts: Manage Risk
Opinion Blog
Why Did Trump Win? A Different Perspective, Part 3
Jobs Without Disruptions Through Concordian Economics
Precious Metals Blog
Silver Prices Rebounded Today: Where They Are Headed
Live Markets
02Dec2016 Market Close: WTI Crude Climbed Back Up To Previous 51 Handle, US Dollar Index Trading At The100 Level, Oil Rig Count At 10-Month High
Amazon Books & More






.... and keep up with economic news using our dynamic economic newspapers with the largest international coverage on the internet
Asia / Pacific
Europe
Middle East / Africa
Americas
USA Government



Crowdfunding ....






























 navigate econintersect.com

Blogs

Analysis Blog
News Blog
Investing Blog
Opinion Blog
Precious Metals Blog
Markets Blog
Video of the Day
Weather

Newspapers

Asia / Pacific
Europe
Middle East / Africa
Americas
USA Government
     

RSS Feeds / Social Media

Combined Econintersect Feed
Google+
Facebook
Twitter
Digg

Free Newsletter

Marketplace - Books & More

Economic Forecast

Content Contribution

Contact

About

  Top Economics Site

Investing.com Contributor TalkMarkets Contributor Finance Blogs Free PageRank Checker Active Search Results Google+

This Web Page by Steven Hansen ---- Copyright 2010 - 2016 Econintersect LLC - all rights reserved