Dissent

Aug 302014
 

Nick Morrison reports:

One of the founders of an after-school club that paved the way for the introduction of coding to the national curriculum has quit in a row over student privacy.

Code Club was set up in 2012 to teach programming skills to primary pupils and its volunteers now work in more than 2,000 schools nationwide. It has also expanded into Australia, New Zealand, Brazil and the Netherlands, among other countries.

But last night co-founder Linda Sandvik announced she has resigned from the organisation after she refused to be gagged from criticising its sponsors, which include tech giant Google.

Ms Sandvik, a web designer, said she had been given an ultimatum by Code Club’s board that she had to stop making negative remarks about its sponsors or resign. “After careful consideration, I have handed in my resignation,” she said in a resignation statement posted online.

Read more on TesConnect.

Aug 302014
 

Newstalk ZB reports:

Cameron Slater is laying a complaint with the Privacy Commissioner over John Key releasing an email which led to the resignation of Judith Collins.

An anonymous email was handed to the Prime Minister’s chief of staff last night alleging Ms Collins had undermined the former head of the Serious Fraud Office Adam Feeley, an office she was in charge of.

John Key’s not saying where the email came from – but it was written by Slater.

The Whale Oil blogger says the Prime Minister has released his private communication.

Read more on Newstalk ZB.

It might be a good thing for the Prime Minister that the New Zealand Privacy Commissioner’s use of “naming and shaming” doesn’t go into effect until November 1. It might be awkward if the PM was among the first named and shamed, if Slater’s allegations are proven true.

Aug 302014
 

The proposed $8.5 million settlement in In re Google Referrer Header Privacy Litigation may not be approved. Joel Rosenblatt reports:

Google Inc. (GOOG)’s settlement of a privacy lawsuit probably won’t win approval because it includes a donation to an Internet research center at Harvard University and to other schools that attorneys who brought the case attended, a judge said.

U.S. District Judge Edward Davila voiced his concerns at a hearing today in San Jose, California, over the settlement of a suit claiming the company transferred personal information contained in user searches to third parties including marketers and data brokers.

Read more on Bloomberg.

Privacy organizations had objected to the settlement, as John M. Simpson of Consumer Watchdog explains in discussing yesterday’s hearing.

Aug 302014
 

Jonathan Stempel and Bill Rigby report:

A  judge on Friday lifted a suspension on her order directing Microsoft Corp  to turn over a customer’s emails stored overseas to U.S. prosecutors, but the software company said it would not release any emails while it appeals the ruling.

Chief Judge Loretta Preska of the U.S. District Court in Manhattan had on July 31 upheld a magistrate judge’s ruling on the emails, which have been held in a data center in Ireland.

Read more on Reuters.

Aug 292014
 

Jigger J. Jerusalem reports:

A proposed legislation that aims to protect the privacy of individuals may be used by those who violate the law as their form of shield, a media organization said.

In a statement posted by the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) on social media Friday evening, the group expressed fear that the intent of House Bill (HB) 4807 can be exploited by the “criminal and the corrupt.”

Read more on Sun.Star.

Aug 292014
 

Jennifer Granick writes:

The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court declassified an opinion today which, although highly redacted, illuminates the way at least one Judge is interpreting his mandate to protect the First Amendment activities of Americans who the FBI seeks to investigate under USA PATRIOT Act Section 215, codified at 50 USC 1861.

Essentially, the question the judge, John D. Bates, confronts is when are international terrorism investigations involving Americans based “solely upon activities protected by the first amendment to the Constitution.” Judge Bates concludes that so long as a international terrorism investigation is premised on some unprotected activity, the FBI can nevertheless investigate law-abiding US persons.

Read more on Just Security.

Aug 292014
 

I noted this breach on DataBreaches.net the other day, but this article in The Guardian is more privacy-oriented, so I’m posting this one here.

Paul Farrell reports:

Civil rights groups, legal bodies and information security experts have expressed renewed concern about the government’s push to store greater amounts of phone and web users’ personal information following revelations that the federal police mistakenly published sensitive information and metadata about ongoing criminal investigations.

Guardian Australia reported on Thursday that the AFP provided documents to the Senate that were published online for several years, accidentally disclosing information about the subjects and focus of criminal investigations and telecommunications interception activities.

Read more on The Guardian.