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Some privacy-related news stories of particular note within the past week. Use the menu on the right to read all current news items by topic.

FTC Brings Charges Against Company Flagged In CDT Complaint
"From cdt.org: The Federal Trade Commission announced today that it had brought charges against Odysseus Marketing, publisher of a software product called ClientMan. The Center for Democracy & Technology had first identified ClientMan as one of several troubling programs in a spyware complaint it filed with the FTC in February 2004. The FTC has now filed cases against three of the companies mentioned in the CDT complaint, plus a fourth the FTC found through its own investigation."
Full story - FTC Complaint [PDF]
Submitted by Anonymous, Wed Oct 5 17:11:08 EDT 2005

Want to check your e-mail in Italy? Bring your passport.
"ROME - An antiterror law makes Internet cafe managers check their clients' IDs and track the websites they visit... After Italy passed a new antiterrorism package in July, authorities ordered managers offering public communications services, like Mr. Savoni,to make passport photocopies of every customer seeking to use the Internet, phone, or fax."
Full story - CS Monitor
Submitted by Anonymous, Wed Oct 5 14:12:58 EDT 2005

Call for ban on worker surveillance
"The final report of the Law Reform Commission has called for a new regulator to oversee the covert and overt monitoring of employees in the workplace. The report, released today, called for new laws which would require employers to seek the permission from the regulator to test workers for drugs and alcohol and to install intrusive surveillance devices."
Full story - The Age
Submitted by Anonymous, Wed Oct 5 09:04:21 EDT 2005

Canada signs passenger data deal with EU
"The European Commission and Canada yesterday signed an agreement permitting the transfer of air passenger data to the Canadian authorities, despite the disapproval of the European Parliament."
Full story - Out-Law.com
Submitted by Anonymous, Wed Oct 5 08:51:27 EDT 2005

Cross-border flows of police data channelled into EU law
"The European Commission today set out plans for a new framework to protect personal data while allowing for a more effective exchange of information between national law enforcement agencies."
Full story - Out-Law.com
Submitted by Anonymous, Wed Oct 5 08:50:27 EDT 2005

Court strikes down portion of California financial privacy law
"A U.S. District Court judge on Tuesday struck down a portion of a California law that restricts banks from selling consumers' private information to their affiliates, ruling that the state law is pre-empted by federal rules."
Full story - TimesDaily
Submitted by Anonymous, Wed Oct 5 08:49:29 EDT 2005

Justices to hear assisted suicide case
"The Supreme Court is revisiting the emotionally charged issue of physician-assisted suicide in a test of the federal government's power to block doctors from helping terminally ill patients end their lives."
Full story - CNN
Submitted by Anonymous, Wed Oct 5 08:47:34 EDT 2005

ACLU files emergency appeal in Patriot Act case
"The Supreme Court was asked yesterday to let libraries speak out about FBI demands for their records in a case involving the Patriot Act. The American Civil Liberties Union filed the emergency appeal, on behalf of an anonymous client, but the paperwork is censored and gives few details."
Full story - First Amendment Center
Submitted by Anonymous, Wed Oct 5 08:41:15 EDT 2005

Victim sues RIAA under RICO Act
"... in what could be the beginning of the end for the Big Music cartel's vicious sue 'em all marketing campaign, RIAA victim Tanya Andersen has just counter-sued the RIAA for Oregon RICO violations, fraud, invasion of privacy, abuse of process, electronic trespass, violation of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, negligent misrepresentation, the tort of "outrage", and deceptive business practices"
Full story - p2p.net
Submitted by Anonymous, Tue Oct 4 17:18:44 EDT 2005

'Black box' information driving convictions
"In what is becoming a familiar scene in courtrooms nationwide, information collected from a car's "black box" was used to convict a motorist of criminal charges."
Full story - abrn.com
Submitted by Anonymous, Tue Oct 4 16:55:36 EDT 2005

'UnGoogleables' Hide From Search
"Geri Agalia ... is among a select and ever-shrinking group of the digitally privileged -- her name does not appear on Google."
Full story - Wired News
Submitted by Anonymous, Tue Oct 4 12:53:24 EDT 2005

Privacy issue is central to Oregon's assisted-suicide law but is not defined in U.S. Constitution
"The word "privacy" does not appear in the U.S. Constitution. Nor is it found in the main legal arguments about Oregon's physician-assisted-suicide law that the U.S. Supreme Court will hear Wednesday."
Full story - Statesman Journal
Submitted by Anonymous, Mon Oct 3 08:41:27 EDT 2005

China's Web Watchers
"Nothing in Zheng Yichun's upbringing foreshadowed his landing in a political prison...."
Full story - Time Asia
Submitted by Anonymous, Mon Oct 3 08:35:56 EDT 2005

Bill would boost military's power to spy on citizens
"Pentagon intelligence operatives would be allowed to collect information from U.S. citizens without disclosing their status as government spies under legislation approved by the Senate Intelligence Committee."
Full story - KansasCity.com (reg. req.)
Submitted by Anonymous, Mon Oct 3 08:32:49 EDT 2005

New bans show China's concerns about tech
"Two new Internet bans may offer insight into the Chinese government's biggest fears. One bars Internet news services from inciting "illegal" assemblies, marches and demonstrations; the other prohibits activities on behalf of "illegal" civil groups."
Full story - USA Today
Submitted by Anonymous, Mon Oct 3 08:26:34 EDT 2005

Privacy Concerns Mount Over Traffic Control Plan
"A plan by Seoul City to install electronic devices in passenger cars to pinpoint their locations has touched off a heated debate over the protection of individual privacy."
Full story - Korea Times
Submitted by Anonymous, Mon Oct 3 08:19:46 EDT 2005

U.S. no help in quest for database security law
"Lead, follow or get out of the way. It's not a particularly gracious sentiment, but when it comes to our federal government's role in protecting our privacy, it certainly is apt. To date, Washington has proven itself either unable or unwilling to take the lead in protecting our personal privacy."
Full story - Macon.com
Submitted by Anonymous, Mon Oct 3 08:10:18 EDT 2005

Judith Miller Out of Jail, Says Knight Ridder
"Judith Miller, The New York Times reporter who has been jailed since July 6 for refusing to identify a source, has been released, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported on its Web site tonight. Knight Ridder's news service then carried the account to other newspapers."
Full story - Editor & Publisher
Submitted by Anonymous, Thu Sep 29 20:46:12 EDT 2005

Online publishing's perils
"The Canadian Internet law community is buzzing about this month's release of two new cases from Ontario and British Columbia that focused on the jurisdiction of Canadian courts over content posted online."
Full story - Canada.com
Submitted by Anonymous, Thu Sep 29 14:18:18 EDT 2005

Feds Unable to Search Own Anti-Terrorism Database
"After receiving hundreds of requests from Americans asking to know what personal information the government has obtained about them, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) told passengers that it "does not have the capability to perform a simple computer-based search" to locate individual records."
Full story - EFF
Submitted by Anonymous, Thu Sep 29 14:07:34 EDT 2005

Passport to Surf
"Anyone visiting Italy and wanting to use an internet point, or cafe, will need to take along their passport - and be prepared for a major invasion of their privacy, writes John Hooper."
Full story - Guardian
Submitted by Anonymous, Thu Sep 29 08:19:18 EDT 2005

Dutch prosecutors try 250 for violating ID law
"Dutch prosecutors have begun to try 250 of the almost 50,000 people fined for failure to produce valid identification since the country's ID law came into effect on January 1, 2005."
Full story - Jurist
Submitted by Anonymous, Wed Sep 28 15:21:38 EDT 2005

On website, women identify cheaters
"It reads like the FBI's Most Wanted list, complete with mug shots, physical descriptions, aliases and modus operandi of alleged perpetrators. But the fugitives listed on www.dontdatehimgirl.com aren't evading law enforcement. They're on the run from wives, girlfriends and lovers."
Full story - Miami Herald
Submitted by Anonymous, Wed Sep 28 08:18:00 EDT 2005

New Case Reveals Routine Abuse of Government Surveillance Powers
"The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) is arguing that a New York federal court should stand by its decision to require probable cause to believe a crime has been or is about to be committed before letting the government secretly track people using their cell phones."
Full story - EFF
Submitted by Anonymous, Tue Sep 27 14:52:34 EDT 2005

Oklahoma Man Wins $10 Million Judgment Against a Spammer
"On Thursday the 22nd, Robert Braver, an Oklahoma ISP owner who is a long time activist against both spam and junk faxes, received a default judgment of over $10 million against high profile spammer Robert Soloway and his company Newport Internet Marketing."
Full story - CircleID
Submitted by Anonymous, Tue Sep 27 14:41:34 EDT 2005

Can Zero-Knowledge Tags Protect Privacy?
"A Danish startup is developing an RFID system that uses a zero-knowledge authentication protocol to protect consumer privacy, while allowing an item's tag to remain alive."
Full story - RFID Journal
Submitted by Anonymous, Tue Sep 27 14:27:17 EDT 2005

EU Parliament rejects data-retention plan
"The European Parliament on Tuesday rejected a proposal by European Union governments to retain telephone and e-mail data for up to three years for use in anti-terrorism investigations, raising concerns about civil liberties."
Full story - SunHerald.com
Submitted by Anonymous, Tue Sep 27 14:20:34 EDT 2005

Clock ticking for ISP VoIP-tapping
"The FCC admits it's on shaky legal ground, but is pressing ahead with a plan to force all providers of Internet access to allow monitoring of Internet telephony."
Full story - ZDNet
Submitted by Anonymous, Tue Sep 27 08:35:56 EDT 2005

Supreme Court may hear abortion case
"The Bush administration has asked the Supreme Court to reinstate a ban on a procedure that critics call "partial birth" abortions, setting up a showdown that could be decided by the president's new choice for the court."
Full story - HeraldToday.com
Submitted by Anonymous, Mon Sep 26 15:08:14 EDT 2005

The 11 commandments of the Internet in China
""You shall not spread rumours", "You shall not damage state security", "You shall not destroy the country's reputation". There are just three of the 11 commandments ordered by Beijing, on 25 September, aimed at bloggers and websites managers. Reporters Without Borders expressed concern at this latest turn of the screw in an ongoing crackdown on freedom of expression."
Full story - Reporters Without Borders (RSF)
Submitted by Anonymous, Mon Sep 26 15:07:30 EDT 2005

Full Senate to debate Roberts nomination
"John Roberts' ascension to chief justice is so assured that senators debating the nomination this week may spend as much time talking about President Bush's upcoming nomination to fill a second vacancy on the Supreme Court."
Full story - CNN
Submitted by Anonymous, Mon Sep 26 09:50:11 EDT 2005

Roberts and Privacy (commentary)
"... According to a Winston Group poll, 66 percent of those asked believed that the right to privacy came closer to mean "The right to be free from government intrusion - including private phone calls, private mail, private medical and financial information, and the right to raise your children as you see fit." A mere 26 percent thought it to denote "The right to make decisions free from government interference, such as the right to choose abortion.""
Full story - The One Republic
Submitted by Anonymous, Mon Sep 26 08:25:30 EDT 2005

Euro email storage scheme 'illegal', warns official
"The European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS) has said that he is not yet convinced by the arguments put forward in favour of a European directive on data retention, and has set out strict conditions any such law would have to meet if it's to be considered acceptable by his office. EDPS Peter Hustinx published his commentary on the proposed directive today."
Full story - The Register
Submitted by Anonymous, Mon Sep 26 08:19:31 EDT 2005

States confident civil liberties safe
"STATE and territory leaders say they are confident of achieving tougher anti-terrorism laws without compromising civil liberties. Prime Minister John Howard and the leaders meet in Canberra on Tuesday to discuss proposed new laws including allowing terrorist suspects who have never been charged to be electronically tagged for up to a year."
Full story - The Advertiser (AU)
Submitted by Anonymous, Mon Sep 26 08:06:29 EDT 2005

National Security Agency
"Internet users hoping to protect their privacy by using anti-virus software, Web anonymizers, false identities and disabled cookies on their computer's Web browser have something new to worry about %96 a patent filed by the National Security Agency (NSA) for technology that will identify the physical location of any Web surfer."
Full story - WorldNetDaily
Submitted by Anonymous, Sun Sep 25 17:53:10 EDT 2005

Accident dumps thousands of tax payments into SF Bay
"Thousands of tax payments and other correspondence sent to the Internal Revenue Service, possibly from Montana and at least 12 other states, were dumped into San Francisco Bay following an automobile accident."
Full story - Independent Record
Submitted by Anonymous, Sun Sep 25 06:22:11 EDT 2005

Judge sides with Visa, MasterCard in consumer suit
"... "I don't see the emergency," San Francisco Superior Court Judge Richard Kramer said in rejecting a request for an order against the nation's two largest credit card associations. "I don't think there is an immediate threat of irreparable injury" to consumers."
Full story - Chicago Sun-Times
Submitted by Anonymous, Sun Sep 25 06:20:56 EDT 2005

Crisis of faith between workers and employers: covert surveillance
"Richard Chang didn't know he was being watched. He didn't know his employer had hired investigators to access employees' PCs and take fingerprints from glass water bottles around the office. He didn't know there were linguistics experts dissecting the grammar in every memo, email and letter."
Full story - mathaba.net
Submitted by Anonymous, Sat Sep 24 10:54:23 EDT 2005

Blood test becomes privacy battleground
"LIKE almost all newborn Australians, four-day-old Luke Cecil Lawless had a tiny drop of blood taken to screen for a host of inherited disorders. His mother, Tonia Lawless, was happy to give permission for the blood test, unaware that Guthrie screening had become the next battleground in the privacy debate."
Full story - The Australian
Submitted by Anonymous, Sat Sep 24 10:50:56 EDT 2005

Senate Turns Attention to Data Privacy
"The Senate Judiciary Committee expects to vote next week on legislation making it a crime for data brokers to conceal a security breach involving personal data and increasing penalties for computer fraud when the act involves personal data."
Full story - InternetNews.com
Submitted by Anonymous, Sat Sep 24 10:48:54 EDT 2005

Bill Would Permit DNA Collection From All Those Arrested
"Suspects arrested or detained by federal authorities could be forced to provide samples of their DNA that would be recorded in a central database under a provision of a Senate bill to expand government collection of personal data."
Full story - Washington Post (reg. req.)
Submitted by Anonymous, Sat Sep 24 10:44:07 EDT 2005

Credit bureaus to adopt data protection standard
"The top three U.S. credit reporting companies said on Thursday they would adopt a single, shared encryption standard to better protect the huge amounts of sensitive electronic data they receive every day from banks, retailers and credit-card companies."
Full story - CNet
Submitted by Anonymous, Fri Sep 23 08:44:18 EDT 2005

Skype security and privacy concerns
"... Software that says it's completely secure, but without a good way to verify that claim, now owned by a company that will basically give up an astonishing amount of personal information about you at the slightest peep from the authorities. This looks and smells bad."
Full story - Security Focus
Submitted by Anonymous, Thu Sep 22 19:04:34 EDT 2005

EU Insists It Won't Regulate the Internet
"... she said the European Commission had the duty to protect shared European values.... She said there was a broad consensus that child protection and hate speech rules should also apply to "nonlinear" services, such as pay-TV or Internet broadcasts."
Full story - Newsday
Submitted by Anonymous, Thu Sep 22 12:25:29 EDT 2005

National Voter ID Proposal Prompts Opposition
"Privacy advocates and anti-poverty groups are lining up to fight a single proposal in what is otherwise a widely-hailed and well-received set of recommendations from a bi-partisan federal election commission."
Full story - The New Standard
Submitted by Anonymous, Thu Sep 22 12:22:15 EDT 2005

Public Comment Sought on ICANN WHOIS Proposal
"From www.epic.org: The ICANN is requesting public comments on a new WHOIS policy. Under ICANN's current contracts with the registries and registrars, the WHOIS domain name contact information, which includes names, addresses, telephone numbers and e-mail addresses, must be public."
Full story - EPIC's WHOIS Page
Submitted by Anonymous, Thu Sep 22 12:13:51 EDT 2005

Top EU privacy body criticizes data storage plan
"The European Commission's plan to store details of e-mails and telephone calls to combat terrorism does not respect the fundamental right to privacy, the EU's top adviser on data protection said on Thursday."
Full story - Reuters
Submitted by Anonymous, Thu Sep 22 11:56:52 EDT 2005

Create your own blog, remain anonymous and get round censorship !
"... Bloggers are often the only real journalists in countries where the mainstream media is censored or under pressure. Only they provide independent news, at the risk of displeasing the government and sometimes courting arrest."
Full story - Reporters Without Borders (RSF)
Submitted by Anonymous, Thu Sep 22 11:50:28 EDT 2005

Other resources on EDITOR'S PICKS:
  • Opinion by First Circuit Court of Appeals Affirming Email Privacy: U.S.A. vs. Councilman, Aug. 2005 [PDF]
  • Samuel Warren and Louis D. Brandeis: "The Right to Privacy," originally published in the Harvard Law Review, December 15, 1890. The seminal article on privacy law in the U.S.

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