Freedom House, an independent watchdog organization dedicated to the expansion of freedom around the world, has released its fourth report in a series of comprehensive studies of internet freedom around the globe. It covers developments in 60 countries that occurred between May 2012 and April 2013.
- Freedom on the Net 2013: Despite Pushback, Internet Freedom Deteriorates. (press release, interactive maps, etc.).
This edition's findings indicate that internet freedom worldwide is in decline, with 34 out of 60 countries assessed in the report experiencing a negative trajectory during the coverage period. Broad surveillance, new laws controlling web content, and growing arrests of social-media users drove this overall decline in internet freedom in the past year.
- Freedom On The Net 2013: A Global Assessment of Internet and Digital Media ("summary of findings" 45pp PDF) edited by Sanja Kelly Mai Truong Madeline Earp Laura Reed Adrian Shahbaz Ashley Greco-Stoner. (October 3, 2013).
- U.S. ranks fourth in Internet freedom as surveillance grows worldwide, By Colin Neagle, Network World (October 04, 2013).
Internet freedom has declined in the United States over the past year as a result of its surveillance policies, reflecting a trend that appears to have caught on worldwide, according to a recently released study.
Jumping on to JJ"s post on National Security Archive and Snowden resource documents, the Washington Post recently published its analysis and interesting infographic of the $52.6 billion dollar "black budget" of the US Intelligence agencies ( [attached PDF of infographic]. The Washington Post has released 17 pages of the top-secret 178-page budget summary for the National Intelligence Program that was leaked by Edward Snowden (attached and below).
The nongovernmental National Security Archive at The George Washington University has posted a compilation of over 125 documents to provide context and specifics about the about "The Snowden Affair."
- The Snowden Affair Web Resource Documents the Latest Firestorm over the National Security Agency. National Security Archive Electronic Briefing Book No. 436 (September 4, 2013) Edited by Jeffrey T. Richelson.
This "Web Resource" includes documents from the White House, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI), and the National Security Agency (NSA), and more.
Barbara Fister writes about privacy and government secrecy in the wake of the exposure of the government's "Prism" program and other surveillance activities.
- Ordinary Americans, by Barbara Fister, Inside Higher Ed (June 10, 2013).
The effects of government secrecy on the privacy of Americans and its overlap with libraries and the Right to Read has a long history. In recent decades we have had the FBI's "Library Awareness Program" (See Surveillance in the Stacks The FBI's Library Awareness Program By Herbert N. Foerstel, Greenwood Press. Westport, Conn. 1991), the "PATRIOT" Act with its library-records clause, the "Total Information Awareness" program, the "Terrorist Surveillance Act," and more.
Fister quotes from the Church committee hearings of the 1970s. Her article is worth a read.
See more about privacy here on FGI:
- PRIVACY: Key Challenges Facing Federal Agencies (2006)
- Privacy and the "Terrorist Surveillance Act" (2006)
The "Terrorist Surveillance Act" is misnamed. It doesn't authorize the government to spy on terrorists, it authorizes the government to spy on everyone hoping that it can find terrorists.
- Turkle on Privacy (2007)
- Privacy: "I have nothing to hide" (2007)
- Siva on Privacy and 'the Nonopticon' (2008)
- Privacy: "I have nothing to hide" (2011)
- Privacy in the value chain: an important role for libraries past and future (2011)
- Privacy then and now: Some history of the "Patriot" Act (2011)
Dear ERIC Community,
We have currently disabled access to many ERIC full-text PDFs due to the discovery of personally identifiable information in some documents. A team is in place to check each PDF to see if it contains personally identifiable information. Due to the quality of many of the documents, a large portion of the search has to be done by hand. This will take several weeks, but our primary concern is to protect the privacy of individuals.
To minimize the burden on our users, we will prioritize searching the PDFs that users request. If you would like to request a PDF to be returned online, please fill out this form, which requires only the document’s ERIC record number and your email address. Full-text PDFs will be returned on a rolling basis. We will be posting the list of newly released documents here.
We are sorry for the inconvenience and want to thank you for bearing with us through this unexpected delay.
The ERIC Team
It seems like a responsible enough message and they are trying to assist researchers who need documents. It would have been nice if the message had a date stamp so we could see how long it will take ERIC to rectify this situation.
I'm also wondering about the status of ERIC fiche collections. Wonder if we'll see withdrawal requests from ERIC and whether that would wind up highlighting the personal information they're trying to withdraw.
Rushed Debate on Federal Spying Powers, CATO Institute, six minute video posted as "FISA: The Movie!" on the Association of Research Libraries "Policy Notes" site. A nice summary of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) domestic spying "debate" and re-authorization over the holidays.
Does your Kindle track what books you search for? Does your Nook monitor what you're reading after you purchase an e-book? The Electronic Frontier Foundation has been digging into the license agreements and technical capabilities of e-book readers to find the answers to these and similar questions since 2009. Their newest report is now available:
- Who's Tracking Your Reading Habits? An E-Book Buyer's Guide to Privacy, 2012 Edition
As we've done since 2009, again we've taken some of the most popular e-book platforms and combed through their privacy policies for answers to common privacy questions that users deserve to know. In many cases, these answers were frustratingly vague and long-winded. In nearly all cases, reading e-books means giving up more privacy than browsing through a physical bookstore or library, or reading a paper book in your own home. Here, we've examined the policies of Google Books, Amazon Kindle, Barnes & Noble Nook, Kobo, Sony, Overdrive, Indiebound, Internet Archive, and Adobe Content Server
"Privacy International asked lawyers, activists, researchers and hackers at Defcon 2012 about some of the debates that thrive at the intersection between law, technology and privacy. We also wanted to know why privacy matters to them, and what they thought the future of privacy looked like. This video is a result of those conversations."
Featuring Cory Doctorow, Kade Crockford, Jameel Jaffer, Dan Kaminsky, Chris Soghoian, Marcia Hoffman, Moxie Marlinspike, Phil Zimmerman, Hanni Fakhoury and Eli O.
"More than a year in the making, the National Institute of Standards and Technology issued Feb. 28 an initial public draft updating one of its premier special publications, Security and Privacy Controls for the Federal Information Systems and Organizations, which incorporates expanded privacy controls and addresses new threats that were unheard of when NIST issued revision 3 in 2009." (NIST Updating Catalog of Controls, By Eric Chabrow, Bank Info Security, February 29, 2012.)
- Security and Privacy Controls for the Federal Information Systems and Organizations, NIST Special Publication 800-53, Revision 4 (Initial Public Draft). NIST Joint Task Force Transformation Initiative, Gaithersburg, MD (February 2012).
The purpose of this publication is to provide guidelines for selecting and specifying security controls for organizations and information systems supporting the executive agencies of the federal government to meet the requirements of FIPS 200, Minimum Security Requirements for Federal Information and Information Systems.
Scroogle, since 2003 my go-to search engine -- it queries Google search, but anonymizes search results, does not store cookies on users' computers, and strips out all the google ads on the search results page -- may have finally gone to the big search engine in the sky. Created by "privacy militant and self-appointed Wikipedia watchdog" Daniel Brandt, Scroogle had recently been enduring round-the-clock distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks on its servers as well as throttling of its service by Google. For those that are interested, there are other options for privacy-protecting search engines.
There IS a connection to and a concern for libraries here. Anyone building digital archives needs to be concerned about this type of action. The best way to thwart DDoS attacks is to host digital content on many servers and have built-in redundancy of content and infrastructure. Collaboration is key!
[HT to /.]