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This week's editor

VM

Our guest editor, Valsamis Mitsilegas, director of the Criminal Justice Centre at Queen Mary University of London, introduces this week’s theme: Privacy and Surveillance in 2016.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

The paradox at the heart of the Snowden revelations

If proper oversight is not developed, Snowden’s legacy will have served only to reinforce one thing: the intrusiveness of global surveillance.

Pós-conflicto na Colômbia (5): TIC´s e participação cidadã

É chave incentivar a participação cidadã no processo de implementação dos acordos da Havana. As TIC são uma via importante. Español English

Back from the dead and standing on Travellers’ Doorstep – the case of the EU PNR Directive

This framework places the movement of travellers, including EU citizens, under constant monitoring, irrespective of the fact that they are a priori innocent and unsuspected of any criminal offence.

Privacy after social media: a reflection from healthcare and bioethics

The standard ethical argument for confidentiality and data protection via consent turns on personal autonomy.

Developing a global privacy regime in the age of mass surveillance: four key principles

Europe leads in the field of the protection of privacy, with legislators, particularly courts, addressing head-on the fundamental human rights challenges posed by executive action authorising mass surveillance.

The role of independent supervision in upholding privacy in the age of surveillance

This independence is even more important in an age where surveillance of individuals takes place on a mass scale, also benefiting from the potential in big data use.

MPs' first report on the UK’s Investigatory Powers Bill – improvement needed

Will the Joint Committee have the confidence to echo this critique? We all hope they will, so the home secretary will be forced to fix this legislation.

Targeted killings through drones are war crimes

The threat that terrorists pose to US interests and security did not create killing drones: rather the technical feasibility of killing drones has generated imagined terrorist threats. Book review.

‘Policed multiculturalism’ and predicting disaster

Counter-radicalisation in France draws on British and Dutch policies developed in the mid-2000s. It extends police action to areas of diversity management such as education, religion and social policy. With what results? Interview.

Smear campaign against Academics for Peace

A peace manifesto circulated by many Turkish academicians against the political war being conducted by the Turkish Government in the Kurdish region of Turkey has prompted a severe reaction. 

The illusion of security

It seems as if the political process has been poisoned by the intelligence agencies, who are given more power with less accountability requested every time they fail. Interview.

How have the international media covered migration in 2015?

Moving Stories, reviews media coverage of migration in the European Union and in 14 countries across the globe and finds that journalists routinely fall into propaganda traps laid by politicians.

Political communication, social transformation and democratic alternatives: critique of the Podemos experiment

To mortgage all political communication to media is a mistaken deal, from a perspective informed by the political economy of communication. Español

“Our situation is Quixotic and Machiavellian”: an interview with Podemos’ Jorge Moruno

It takes a lot to get very little, but there is no other option we must open a new way, without the means to do so. We are in the belly of the whale.

Podemos: the challenge in Spain

We need to expand the emancipatory space for what is possible from within a contaminated and contaminant discourse, far removed from pure rationality and a theoretical superiority over ‘the masses’. Español.

Critical masses, chilling effects, and coalitions

Intelligence sharing today is in essence a way for one agency to do the job that another can’t do because of the safeguards placed on it. Interview.  

Totally unbalanced power

"I don’t want to live in a society where everyone can be controlled, their data collected and stored, and then used for whatever purposes private companies want." Interview.

We need a rebellious information politics

We have become economic subjects, instead of digital citizens. A new film, “Give Us Back Our Data”, demands that we resist the consequences of our lost technological imagination, recapturing it from Silicon Valley. 

We could have stopped the Paris attacks

William Binney and Kirk Wiebe worked at the NSA for decades, before blowing the whistle on mass surveillance. They say they invented a surveillance system that could have given citizens more freedom and security….

The hard dilemma: counterterrorism and/or shallow freedom

How do we limit the freedom of individual terrorists, terrorist groups and support networks to operate unimpeded in a relatively unregulated environment, whilst maintaining individual freedoms, democracy and human rights?

Corporate reputation is a pressure point in the fight for digital human rights

"Make it right, make it fair or we will leave." This threat is nothing short of an internet giant's worst nightmare. 

Paris: encaixando os fragmentos

Os atentados que tiveram lugar no dia 13 de Novembro revelam a ameaça que representa o Daesh, escreve David Hayes desde Londres. Esta realidade implica que uma resposta coerente é vital. English. Español. 

Legislate in haste, repent in leisure

The Paris attacks have prompted (predictable) calls for the UK's new snoopers' charter to be rushed through. This would be a disaster, says a former member of the Home Affairs Select Committee.

The UK Investigatory Powers Bill – one step forward, two steps back

"Following the tragic attacks in Paris and Beirut, let us bear in mind the recent call by MI5 Director General Andrew Parker for surveillance laws prioritizing both proportionality and efficiency."

What we talk about when we (can’t) talk about mass surveillance

As the UK's draft Investigatory Powers Bill makes its way towards being made law, we need to say something now. If we are not careful, when we do open our mouths, a jail cell may be waiting. 

American intelligence and national defense 2.0

An Open Source (Technologies) Agency, far removed from the secret intelligence world, would radically reduce wars and illegal immigration, increase trade and shared prosperity, and convert the USA into a “Smart Nation”.

Is capitalism ’mutating’ into an infotech utopia?

“He needs to take into greater account the impact of technology on both increased exploitation of labour and the dominance of the finance sector.” Review of Paul Mason’s ‘PostCapitalism: A Guide to Our Future’ (Allen Lane, 2015) 

Para el Estado, transparencia; para los demás, privacidad

Si algo deja de ser un instrumento para la democracia y la justicia y se vuelve un eslogan, tenemos un problema. Miren lo que ha pasado con “Love”, “Peace”, “Democracia”, “Justicia”… English.

Censorship and conspiracy theories rule the day in post-election Turkey

There is an undeniable link between media censorship and the proliferation of conspiracy theories in Turkey. In turn, society is so polarized that it lacks the means to negotiate truth claims.

A vigilância digital e o fim da democracia

Os ativistas de direitos civis estão ocupados em sublinhar até que ponto a vigilância digital está a acabar com as nossas democracias. Contudo, o verdadeiro inimigo da Democracia é o medo e a delegação de poder. English. Español.

La vigilancia digital y el fin de la democracia

Los activistas de derechos civiles están ocupados en subrayar hasta qué punto la vigilancia digital ha acabado con nuestras democracias. Su verdadero enemigo, sin embargo, es el miedo y la delegación del poder. English. Português.

Now is the time to defend the public’s right to know

Britain has just attended the Open Government Partnership Summit in Mexico as the world leader on open data policy – a clear winner, now under threat. How come?

The Investigatory Powers Bill is our chance to publicly set the rules around surveillance

The UK successor to the Snooper’s Charter will be published next week. Whether we demand and engage in debate will shape the privacy and security we can expect to have.

Empowering Afghan women: does technology help or hinder?

The male members of the family still control who gets to have access to what and to what extent.

Politics, security technologies, and civil society: the missing links

This is the point in time where polities should start thinking of security as a public good, where all involved are potential winners or potential losers. 

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