Sep 292013
 September 29, 2013  Posted by  Business, Court, Online

Jonny Bonner reports:

Public interest groups appealed a controversial $20 million settlement to claims that Facebook used the names and likenesses of its users to promote products without their permission.

The Children’s Advocacy Center and the Center for Public Interest Law, representing adult and child users of Facebook, filed the multiple appeals in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California this week. Robert Fellmeth, the center’s San Francisco-based attorney, signed the appeals.

Read more on Courthouse News.

Sep 292013
 September 29, 2013  Posted by  Featured News, Govt, Surveillance

James Risen and Laura Poitras report:

 Since 2010, the National Security Agency has been exploiting its huge collections of data to create sophisticated graphs of some Americans’ social connections that can identify their associates, their locations at certain times, their traveling companions and other personal information, according to newly disclosed documents and interviews with officials.


The N.S.A. documents show that one of the main tools used for chaining phone numbers and e-mail addresses has the code name Mainway. It is a repository into which vast amounts of data flow daily from the agency’s fiber-optic cables, corporate partners and foreign computer networks that have been hacked.

The documents show that significant amounts of information from the United States go into Mainway. An internal N.S.A. bulletin, for example, noted that in 2011 Mainway was taking in 700 million phone records per day. In August 2011, it began receiving an additional 1.1 billion cellphone records daily from an unnamed American service provider under Section 702 of the 2008 FISA Amendments Act, which allows for the collection of the data of Americans if at least one end of the communication is believed to be foreign.

Read more on The New York Times.

Sep 282013
 September 28, 2013  Posted by  Laws, Non-U.S.

Phillip Oltermann reports:

Britain has been accused of trying to impede data protection reforms that would make it more difficult for spy agencies to get hold of material online.

The European parliament is planning to vote on a new, unified law for EU member states in the next few weeks, but activists fear Britain is deliberately obstructing the path to new legislation.

Speaking at an international conference on data protection in Warsaw on Thursday, the UK information commissioner, Christopher Graham, said the first draft of the proposed regulation was “too dirigiste”. Britain was “not interested in regulation that is a to-do list”.

Read more in The Guardian.