With the prospect of genomic data becoming ever more easily available, Effy Vayena and Urs Gasser discuss how we could balance making the most of its benefits with reducing its risks to privacy.
On October 13th 2015, CMJ Director Malkia Cyril gave a keynote address at the Computers, Freedom and Privacy Conference.
It was a passionate appeal about the need for “a new civil rights act for the era of big data.”
The number of individuals in prison around the world for raising their voices online is on the rise. In 2014, the Committee to Protect Journalists found that over half of imprisoned journalists were arrested for activities conducted on the Internet. In a 2015 report, Reporters Without Borders cited 178 incidents of imprisoned “netizens” in just a selection of twelve countries. Now that individuals can speak up without the need for institutions or gatekeepers, states choose the most direct way to take away their power: incarcerating them, and taking them offline.
It’s not just those who speak out who are sent to jail. Increasingly, EFF has seen coders, designers, makers, and hackers detained or threatened with prison for their work protecting or enhancing free expression and privacy. Writers, speakers, and journalists have long been understood by those in power as dangerous elements; now “technologist” has joined the list of occupations that corrupt politicians and dictators fear.
EFF supports the principles of free expression laid out in Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and believes that those principles must extend online. The right “to seek, receive and impart information” includes a right to devise and share tools that enable and protect those abilities.
“Offline” showcases key cases that may not be receiving wide coverage, but we believe speak to a wider audience concerned with online freedom. Our international case advocacy is centered around awareness-raising. Over the years, we have often heard from those who have been released from detention that shining a spotlight on their case led to better treatment in prison or a speedier release. It is from this premise that we work, additionally ensuring that we have full support of an individual’s loved ones before we proceed with action.
The biggest risk to your privacy is your smartphone.
Some of the most popular apps on your smartphone ask for permissions that expose data to outside sources. We asked people on the street to read some of these permissions out loud so we could capture their reactions.
Take control of your privacy.
We can hope.
A year after President Obama ordered modest changes in how the nation’s intelligence agencies collect and hold data on Americans and foreigners, the administration will announce new rules requiring intelligence analysts to delete private information they may incidentally collect about Americans that has no intelligence purpose, and to delete similar information about foreigners within five years.