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Don’t use Charlie Hebdo to justify Big Brother data-slurp — Data protection MEP

The European Parliament’s data protection supremo says calls from national leaders to monitor all airline passengers are “playing into terrorists' hands”. German MEP Jan Philipp...

‘EU needs tougher data protection laws’

German justice minister says the European Union needs tougher data protection laws, with sanctions against US firms that violate them. German Justice Minister Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger...

Data protection agency says Facebook violates law

Data protection commissioner says social network violates law by not allowing users to use a pseudonym A German state data protection agency has threatened Facebook's billionaire founder...

Watchdog says Google Maps for iPhone violates data protection

The issue is that the option to share location data is on by default, says the Independent Centre for Privacy Protection Schleswig-Holstein When users install...

Leveson and data protection — a hidden threat

When thinking of a topic for our next instalment of legal commentary, it was obvious that I had to talk about Leveson. But what is...

Police suspected of abusing data protection laws

Matt Gaw, East Anglian Daily Times | TWO police officers have resigned and another two staff members sacked after allegations of data protection breaches at Suffolk Constabulary,...

Alistair Darling risks prosecution over data protection law

Sunday Herald | A failure by the Better Together movement to register its operation in advance with the UK Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) has also...

EU data protection reforms attacked

Software-as-a-Service provider Progress Software has rubbished the European Union’s proposed European Data Protection Regulation in an open letter. The EU put forward proposals to overhaul...

Firms do not always need to delete personal data to comply with data protection...

Organisations can temporarily keep personal data records even when the information is no longer necessary for processing purposes, the UK's data protection watchdog has...

Banks “serious breach” of data protection laws

The Office of the Data Protection Commissioner (ODPC) in Ireland plans to check the country's banks for problems related to misreported loan repayments after...

Does Facebook violate data protection laws?

by Mick Meaney Facebook could be in violation of German data protection laws and if so, could be fined by Hamburg's Data Protection Authority after...

Police in breach of the Data Protection Act

by David Neal The Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) has found Kent Police in breach of the Data Protection Act. This is the second time in as...

EU justice ministers call for more data protection

Stockholm - The European Union must balance its attempts to gather more security information on EU citizens with the need to protect their privacy, EU...

EC takes action against the UK over its handling of personal data protection

The European Commission (EC) last week launched an infringement proceeding against the UK over e-privacy and personal data protection. This came following BT's launch...

MPs raise fears over data protection for ID register

Repeated breaches of data protection laws by government departments raise huge question marks over plans for the national identity register required for ID cards...

CCTV runs risk of data protection breach

Code of practice consultation sparks debate whether use of surveillance cameras could create breaches of privacy and data laws. By Miya Knights CameraWatch has warned UK...

FBI Wants to Remove Privacy Protections From Its Massive Biometrics Database

The FBI is giving you only 21 business days to object to such exemptions. (Image: Pixabay) EFF and 44 Other Organizations Call for...

New federal consumer ‘protection’ bureau data-mining Americans’ private financial records

Richard PollockWashington ExaminerSeptember 10, 2013 Serious allegations are being raised in the legal community that the...

Counterterrorist Data Mining Needs Privacy Protection

A National Research Council report represents an attempt to address privacy concerns that have dogged past counterterrorist data mining programs like Total Information Awareness. By...

Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law Condemns Move By Education Department to Undermine...

Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under LawThe Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law issued the following statements Friday after Secretary of Education Betsy...

Rejecting Trump Agenda, Immigrant Protections Bill Passes in California

Gov. Jerry Brown is expected to sign the California Values Act, passed by lawmakers Saturday, which would make the state a "sanctuary state" with...

Investigators' Knives Out for Equifax After Massive Data Breach

(Photo: Chuyn / iStock / Getty Images Plus) The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) became the first economic regulator to formally announce an investigation into Equifax's...

Public Records Sought on Trump Administration's Plan to Weaken Sage Grouse Protections

WASHINGTON - The Center for Biological Diversity today filed a Freedom of Information Act request seeking public records connected to Interior Secretary Zinke’s recommendations...

The Biggest Data Leak in Swedish History was also the Most Avoidable

It’s been described as “the biggest leak in Swedish history”, and it’s easy to see why. Looking to cut costs, in 2015,...

Trump's Environmental Protection Pick Is BP's Former Lawyer — and May Preside Over Cases...

Jeffrey Bossert Clark, nominee to be an assistant attorney general, Environment and Natural Resources Division, looks on during a Senate Judiciary Committee nomination hearing...

Alarm Raised as Trump Election Panel Requests Detailed Data on All US Voters

Voting and civil rights advocates are ringing alarm bells on Thursday after it was learned that an election commission established by Donald Trump—one which...

Tech giants call for privacy protections in surveillance reform

Technology firms, including Facebook and Google, have suggested five "changes" for Congress to consider while reforming...

Protection Against Gov’t Lies and War

There are lies, damned lies and news, to paraphrase British Prime Minister Disraeli who said: “There are lies, damned lies and statistics. Today we...

US internet providers pledge to not sell customer data after controversial rule change

Published time: 1 Apr, 2017 21:27 The three major US Internet Service Providers (ISPs) Comcast Corp, Verizon...

Minnesota lawmakers take step to ban selling browser data

After the US Congress voted to loosen online privacy regulations, allowing internet providers to sell customers’...

Senate Might Let Internet Companies Sell User Data to 'Highest Bidder'

The Senate is set to vote this week whether to let broadband companies sell user information to the highest bidder—overturning rules implemented by the...

CCTV mixed with bulk data collection increases threat to privacy – watchdog

Mass data collection and the proliferation of CCTV vastly increase the risk of citizens being...

EPA allows thousands of fossil fuel companies to withhold data on greenhouse gasses

As his first move as administrator of the EPA, Scott Pruitt has ended an Obama-era request...

Cloudflare bug exposed sensitive Fitbit, Uber, OkCupid data

A major bug in software used by content delivery network Cloudflare has exposed sensitive, encrypted data...

New rules grant FBI, DEA & CIA access to raw NSA surveillance data

In virtually its last gasp, the Obama administration has quietly given the National Security Agency wider...

Spy agencies illegally collected personal data on British citizens for 10 years, judges rule

British spy agencies broke privacy rules by secretly and illegally collecting massive amounts of UK citizens’ confidential personal information for more than 10 years,...

US drug agency spent $237mn paying sources for free-to-obtain data – DOJ

The US Drug Enforcement Agency paid its sources, from couriers to TSA agents, nearly $250 million over five years, a recent review revealed. However,...

Data security breached 9,000 times in government departments in just 1 year

Personal data security was breached nearly 9,000 times in UK government departments in one year, according to a damning report from the National Audit...

‘Foreign hackers’ accessed Arizona, Illinois election databases – FBI

A secret FBI memo urged states to beef up the security of their voter databases, blaming...

Texas governor makes bid to extend hate crime protections to cops in Police Protection...

Texas Governor Greg Abbott is pushing for the introduction of stronger penalties for crimes against police officers and extend hate crime protections to cops...

Lawmaker opposed welfare fraud protections, charged with defrauding welfare

An Arizona state representative is facing three felony charges related to fraudulent use of the food...

Senate narrowly blocks amendment allowing warrantless access to online data

With only two votes to spare, the US Senate blocked a controversial bill that would expand...

411mn photos on FBI’s facial recognition database – govt watchdog report

The FBI’s facial recognition database contains 411 million photos, both criminal and civilian, but the program hasn’t been tested for accuracy and the agency...

Distributed database defence: Datos IO delivers its distinctives

Datos IO has announced the launch of its RecoverX distributed database protection and recovery tool, designed, we're told, to specifically protect against the sort...

Consumer Protection Bureau Releases Payday Lending Rule, Calls for Credit Union-Style Services

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau building in Washington, DC. (Photo: Ted Eytan; Edited: LW / TO) Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Director Richard Cordray...

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Proposes Class-Action Boost for Bank Victims

(Photo: Joe Gratz) A long-anticipated regulation proposed by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) aims to restore the ability of customers to...

LEAKED: Explosive TTIP documents expose corporate takeover, dismantled climate protection

Climate protection, jobs, food safety and online privacy rights will be whittled away under the...

Senators scold IRS for data insecurities as tax agency claims more than 1mn daily...

US senators accused the Internal Revenue Service of failing to protect Americans’ private data during a...

Eyes on the road: Police surveillance database logs 30mn car journeys every day

Britain’s surveillance commissioner has questioned the legality of a police database that holds the details of 22 billion road journeys and was established without...

US slams top EU high court official over data privacy deal

The United States has criticized a top adviser to the European Union’s high court for describing an important data privacy agreement between the US...

Rights group demand police need warrant to access data

From: acclaimednews.com American citizens should be able to rest safe in the knowledge that no one has the right to pry into their digital...

Councils misused & lost citizens’ data thousands of times – privacy watchdog

Privacy rights campaigners are demanding that UK council staff face prosecution after an investigation revealed government employees stole, lost or inappropriately accessed citizens’ sensitive...

California county offers $25k for data on drone operators who interfered with firefighters

San Bernardino County is moving to offer rewards of $25,000 each for information that would lead to the arrest and conviction of drone operators...

UK data watchdog: Citizens are stressed out over data privacy

THE MAJORITY OF BRITISH CITIZENS have concerns about their privacy according to research from the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO). Some 85 percent of the population have...

All EU Data Retention Laws May be Dodgy

Back in April last year, I reported on a hugely important judgment handed down from Europe's highest court, the Court of Justice of the...

Don’t bother telling people if you lose their data, say Euro bods

Businesses should not need to notify consumers that their personal data has been lost or stolen if the data has been encrypted, EU ministers...

AFP Accidentally Publishes Sensitive Metadata Online

RINF Alternative News The Australian Federal Police (AFP) faces embarrassment today after it emerged that authorities accidentally published highly sensitive information pertaining to criminal investigations and telecommunications interception...

EU admonishes US for overseas data requests

The EU has slammed the US for its demand that Microsoft surrender overseas data — emails held on Irish servers — saying that the...

Will Telcos Follow ISPs and Extend Warrant Protection for All?

HANNI FAKHOURY When courts issue new decisions about how law enforcement can obtain records and data from companies, it's not just the police who have...

Everything We Know About What Data Brokers Know About You

The companies that sell information about how much money you make – and whether you’re pregnant, divorced, or trying to lose weight – are...

US tech giants seek protection against overseas NSA snooping

In an epic battle of behemoths, Microsoft and four other US technology companies are seeking legal protection in a Manhattan court against US intelligence...

Facebook expands ad targeting of users to include out-of-network browsing data

Facebook is to start providing advertisers with more user data, drawing from browsing habits and external websites visited, in addition to their current 'likes.'...

Whistleblowers like Snowden deserve proper legal protection

Annie Machon A year ago I stumbled across a story about a troubling new surveillance program developed by the National Security Agency: Prism. While nobody was identified as the...

New Gmail data shows the rise of backbone email encryption

For the past few years, EFF has been working on promoting the universal use of encryption for Internet protocols. We started by pushing major sites to...

“Force Protection Alpha in Effect” —coming to a town near you

Brian Terrell On April 15, 2014, when the story broke on the world that the Central Intelligence Agency’s covert program of assassination by remotely controlled...

227 million Americans could be held on Federal database

Two independent federal agencies are coming under attack after calling for the creation of a nation-wide database that would collect the Social Security numbers...

Probe Demanded Over Met Police Personal Data Hoard

CAMPAIGNERS demanded yesterday that the Met Police face a full regulatory investigation for its repeated refusal to hand over personal data on activists. The Network...

Google ordered to drop links to irrelevant personal data in landmark EU court ruling

People have the right to make Google delete information about them from the tech giant’s search results, EU’s Court of Justice has ruled. Judges...

The White House Big Data Report: The Good, The Bad, and The Missing

Last week, the White House released its report on big data and its privacy implications, the result of a 90-day study commissioned by President Obama during...

White House ‘Big Data’ Report Excludes Critical Look at Surveillance State

Internal assessment admits some privacy reforms are needed, but proposes no aggressive overhauls Sarah Lazare The White House's internal report on 'Big Data' and privacy issues, released Thursday...

Government = Protection Racket for the 1 Percent

The evidence of income inequality just keeps mounting. According to “Working for the Few,” a recent briefing paper from Oxfam, “In the US, the wealthiest...

‘Borderline Insane’: HMRC To Sell Taxpayers’ Financial Data To Private Companies

Government plans to share taxpayers' data with private firms were condemned as "borderline insane" by a senior Tory MP. Under the proposals, HM Revenue and...

The FBI’s Facial Recognition Database Combines Lo-Res Photos With Zero Civil Liberties Consideration

Another FOIA lawsuit brought against the government by the EFF has resulted in the release of previously withheld documents. The papers cut loose this time...

Little Change to NSA Metadata Collection

Joe A. Wolverton, II, J.D.  President Obama’s proposal to curtail the collection capabilities of the National Security Agency (NSA) passes the buck for protecting the...

Court Rules Warrant Is Required to Access Drug Prescription Database

RINF Alternative News For the first time, a federal judge has ruled that patients have a reasonable expectation of privacy in their drug prescription records,...

International Data Privacy Day

International Data Privacy Dayby Stephen LendmanIt's commemorated annually on January 28. More on its significance below.This year's DPA comes when revelations show unconstitutional NSA spying. Privacy no longer exists. Other fundamental freedoms ...

Customs and Border Protection Loaning Drones to Police

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) – the law-enforcement agency created as a division of the Department of Homeland Security in 2003 – flew...

Customs and Border Protection Loaning Drones to Police

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) – the law-enforcement agency created as a division of the Department of Homeland Security in 2003 – flew...

Big Data + Big Pharma = Big Money

Need another reminder of how much drugmakers spend to discover what doctors are prescribing? Look no further than new documents from the leading keeper...

Data of 70mn Target customers stolen

Target says that about 70 million credit and debit card accounts of customers may have been affected.Target announced Friday that sensitive information, including customers'...

Federal Judge Rules NSA Phone Data Collection Unconstitutional

A federal judge ruled this week that the National Security Agency's (NSA) dragnet collection of information on all phone calls likely violates the Constitution. In...

EU may freeze data-sharing with US

The EU has reviewed existing data-sharing agreements with the US. European Union�™s justice and right commissioner Viviane Reding has threatened to halt data-sharing arrangements with...

Mass Surveillance of Personal Data by EU Member States and its Compatibility with EU...

by Didier Bigo, Sergio Carrera, Nicholas Hernanz, Julien Jeandesboz, Joanna Parkin, Francesco Ragazzi , Amandine Scherrer In the wake of the disclosures surrounding PRISM and...

Globalization and the Police State: CIA Pays AT&T to Spy on Phone Data

The report Thursday of a CIA-AT&T operation exposes a whole new layer of state-corporate spying on the people of the United States and the...

CIA pays AT&T to spy on phone data

By Bill Van Auken8 November 2013 The report Thursday of a CIA-AT&T operation exposes a whole new layer of state-corporate spying on the people...

Alongside Common Core, Feds Will Vacuum Up Data on Kids (Video)

Alongside the highly controversial nationalization of education via the Obama administration-backed “Common Core,” the federal government is bribing and bullying state governments into collecting...

TSA accessing government and private databases to pre-screen everyone

Jetsetters, take note: According to a front page article in Tuesday's edition of the New York Times, the United State Transportation Security Administration (TSA)...

Leak Shows NSA Grabbed Data On 70 Million French Phone Calls In Less Than...

from the no-wonder-its-data-centers-are-bursting-into-flames dept Tim CushingTechDirtOctober 21, 2013 Another leak has been released from Edward Snowden's files,...

Towards a North American Homeland: U.S.-Canada “Cross-Border” Intelligence Sharing, Law Enforcement, Data Collection and...

Some of the corporate interests that are steering the U.S.-Canada Beyond the Border integration agenda are not quite satisfied with its progress so far...

NSA Metadata Collection Puts Journalists’ Sources at Risk

(Image: CNET)U.S. government surveillance of Americans' metadata threatens confidentiality and protection of journalists' sources, warns Phil Zimmermann, the creator of the email encryption software...

MN State Rep Joins 17 Others In Suing State For Illegally Accessing Drivers License...

from the sorry-about-the-violations,-here's-someone-else's-money dept Tim Cushing TechDirt Sept. 18, 2013 You know you've gone too far in abusing access to the public's data when you've...

NSA gets data from Germany’s domestic security agency

rt.comSeptember 14, 2013 Germany' Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution regularly hands over classified...

NSA feeds raw intelligence data to Israel

By ...

NSA feeds raw intelligence data to Israel

By Bill Van Auken ...

US Requested Tens of Thousands of Facebook Users’ Data in Just 6 Months

The U.S. requested data on between 20,000 and 21,000 Facebook users during the first six months of 2013, the social networking site announced on...

David Miranda wins partial court victory over data seized by police

Robert BoothThe GuardianAugust 22, 2013 David Miranda has been granted a limited injunction at the high...

WHO Is Delaying Release of Iraqi Birth Defect Data?

Observers say they are on the cusp of getting the hard evidence needed to prove Iraqis are suffering from a disproportionate rate of birth...

Senators ponder if bloggers deserve First Amendment protection

Scott Bomboy Yahoo News August 5, 2013 As the U.S. Senate continues to debate a national law to protect journalists from protecting their sources,...

Massive EU Traveler Database in Development

There are plans to create a massive database to log every instance of a non-EU citizen entering and leaving the bloc.

New Jersey toughens rules for phone data searches

Police officers in the state of New Jersey will now require a judge’s signature on a search warrant if they want to obtain the...

The Brave New World of Big Data

The Snowden leaks and ensuing debates about our government, big data, and privacy have led to more Orwell allusions than I’ve heard in all...

In 'Chilling' Ruling, Chevron Granted Access to Activists' Private Internet Data

Following their guilty sentence for the dumping of 18.5bn gallons of toxic waste in the Ecuadorian Amazon, Chevron is amassing the personal information of...

EU to vote to suspend U.S. data sharing agreements, passenger records amid NSA spying...

The European Parliament on Thursday adopted a joint, cross-party resolution to begin investigations into widespread surveillance of Europeans by the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA).

‘NSA leaker deserves world’s protection’

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro during a meeting at the Kremlin in Moscow, on July 2, 2013.Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro says US surveillance whistleblower Edward...

Increased Levels of Vitamin B6 Linked To DNA Protection

Mae ChanPrevent DiseaseJuly 2, 2013 Increased intake of vitamin B6 has been linked to reductions is...

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau: NSA of the Financial World

While the National Security Agency’s (NSA) unconstitutional spying on Americans’ communications has been getting most of the press lately, another federal agency has been...

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau: NSA of the Financial World

While the National Security Agency’s (NSA) unconstitutional spying on Americans’ communications has been getting most of the press lately, another federal agency has been...

Challenging Liberty: The Danger of DNA Databases

Earlier this month, the Supreme Court passed down a ruling stating that it is legal to take DNA swabs from arrestees without a warrant...

Challenging Liberty: The Danger of DNA Databases

Earlier this month, the Supreme Court passed down a ruling stating that it is legal to take DNA swabs from arrestees without a warrant...

Supreme Court guts Civil Rights-era voting protection, siding with 'Old Confederacy'

A divided US Supreme Court voided a central part of the Voting Rights Act, a law put in place during the Civil Rights movement...

Google Fights for Right to Report on Surveillance Data Requests

Google is challenging the federal government over gag orders on data requests, asserting that it has a constitutional right to speak about information it...

Google Fights for Right to Report on Surveillance Data Requests

Google is challenging the federal government over gag orders on data requests, asserting that it has a constitutional right to speak about information it...

The War on Metadata

Ideas are fashioned weapons. When applied to the right spot, their result can be immediate, overwhelming, collapsing. The pressing need for populations across countries...

'Tip of the Iceberg': Senators Warn Far More Data May Not Be Safe

Members of the Senate Appropriations Committee took the opportunity Wednesday during a previously scheduled hearing to challenge the director of the National Security Agency...

'Tip of the Iceberg': Senators Warn Far More Data May Not Be Safe

Members of the Senate Appropriations Committee took the opportunity Wednesday during a previously scheduled hearing to challenge the director of the National Security Agency...

'Tip of the Iceberg': Senators Warn Far More Data May Not Be Safe

Members of the Senate Appropriations Committee took the opportunity Wednesday during a previously scheduled hearing to challenge the director of the National Security Agency...

“Big Brother Obama” Systematic Spying on Americans: Unconstitutional US Data-Mining

On June 5, London’s Guardianreported part of it. “NSA collecting phone records of millions of Verizon customers daily,” it headlined.On June 6, a follow-up...

NSA telephone, Internet spying data shared with British Intelligence

Data covertly collected by the US National Security Agency (NSA) from American telecom and Internet firms has been shared with its British counterpart, media...

Senators slam EPA for leaking farmers’ personal data to environmentalists

dailycaller.comJune 7, 2013 A bipartisan group of senators is calling on the Environmental Protection Agency to...

Verizon Hands Over Customer Data Daily to NSA, Top Secret Order Reveals

According to a court order labeled “TOP SECRET,” federal judge Roger Vinson ordered Verizon to turn over the phone records of millions of its...

Verizon Hands Over Customer Data Daily to NSA, Top Secret Order Reveals

According to a court order labeled “TOP SECRET,” federal judge Roger Vinson ordered Verizon to turn over the phone records of millions of its...

Crackdown on Whistleblowers – The Protection Of Money & Power

The Obama administration’s extraordinary secrecy and pursuit of leakers is usually viewed through the lens of the First Amendent: does a free press conflict with the imperatives of national security?

Mass Surveillance: CIA To Access All UK Government Data

big brother is watching
All British government data will soon be available to the CIA, the NSA and other American intelligence agencies thanks to the extension of a controversial spy law. The European Union has warned that security will be compromised as U.S. intelligence agencies now have the legal right to examine all data stored on U.S. owned Cloud services.

New Database Puts Patients Privacy at Risk

Privacy campaigners and medical groups have warned the confidentiality of NHS patients could be in jeopardy as GPs are forced to hand over patient records to a central database.

Apple Earnings Shock Offset By Good Cop/Bad Cop Macro Data

While the main topic of conversation overnight was the Apple implosion after earnings (which was mercifully spared inbound calls from repo desk margin clerks who had all gone home by the time the stock hit $460), there was some macro data to muddle up the picture, which, like everything else in this baffle with BS new normal came in "good/bad cop" pairs.

In early trading, all eyes were focused on Japan, whose trade and especially exports imploded when the country posted a record trade gap of 6.93 trillion yen ($78.27 billion) in 2012 and the seventh consecutive monthly drop in exports which showed that improved sentiment has yet to translate into hard economic data. Finance ministry data on Thursday showed that exports fell 5.8 percent in the year to December, more than economists' consensus forecast of a 4.2 percent drop. Trade with China was hit particularly hard following the ongoing island fiasco, which means that all the ongoing Yen destruction has largely been for nothing as organic growth markets simply shut off Japan. This ugly news was marginally offset by a tiny beat in the HSBC China manufacturing PMI which came slightly above consensus at 51.9 vs exp. 51.7, the highest print in 24 months, but as with everything else coming out of China one really shouldn't believe this or any other number in a country that will not allow even one corporate default to prevent the credit-driven illusion from popping.

Moving to Europe it too was a good/bad news story: shortly before 3 am the BIS FX team was summoned to defend the 1.33 support after French manufacturing PMI plummeted from 44.6 to 42.7, on expectations of a rise to 45.1 and the realization that the recession has fully engulfed Europe's core. However, this disturbing print was promptly offset by German PMI which in turn rose from 46.0 to 48.8, on expectations of a 46.8 print. Whether this modest bounce will be enough to push Germany out of what is now the first leg of a recession remains to be seen.

Judging by the fact that leading German bank announced plans to fire 4,000-6,000 earlier, we doubt there is much hope for a quick rebound in Germany.

Elsewhere, Spain reported its last depressionary data point, which was the Q4 unemployment, and which as expected rose to above the expected 26%, or a record 26.02% to be precise in the last quarter, and well above the 25.02% in Q3. Finally, completing the sad European picture were Italian November retail sales which too were worse than expected at -0.4%, on expectations of a -0.1% print, and the prior was revised further down from -1% to -1.3%.

Finally, in bad news for socialists everywhere, France has fully abandoned plans for its 75% tax rate, Europe1 reported.

More on the overnight events from DB's Jim Reid:

China's PMI and Apple's results are the two competing stories overnight with the latter weighing on sentiment in the Asian session. Indeed besides Japan (+1.2%), major bourses in Hong Kong, China and South Korea are down -0.1%, -0.3% and -0.9% respectively. Before we take a closer look at Apple’s disappointing results, the HSBC manufacturing PMI in China came in slightly above consensus (51.9 v 51.7) this morning. This was the highest print in 24 months with the series having gradually recovered from the lows of 47.6 in August of last year. Away from China, other Asian data flow overnight has generally been on the soft side. Korea’s Q4 GDP (+1.5% yoy v +1.8% yoy expected) fell short of market consensus while Japan posted a wider-thanexpected trade deficit (JPY641.5B v JPY-522.8B) in December. For Korea this is the slowest quarterly yoy growth since September 2009 and the Japanese trade deficit in 2012 is the widest on record on an annual basis.

Turning to Apple, the company managed to beat EPS consensus ($13.81 v $13.53) but revenue fell short of market expectations ($54.5bn v $54.9bn). More importantly forward looking revenue and gross margin guidance also came in light relative to street estimates. In terms of product performance in the latest quarter, our US colleagues noted that iPhone sales were largely in line but iPad sales were lighter than expected and Macs sales sharply disappointed. Apple’s shares plunged around 10% in after hours trading and have now lost a third of their value from the peak in September last year. Apple’s after market move is also dampening the performance of the S&P 500 Futures (-0.4%) and NASDAQ 100 Futures (-1.5%) overnight. It will be interesting to see how US markets trade throughout today after what proved to be a positive finish to yesterday’s trading session.

Indeed the S&P 500 edged higher (+0.15%) for its 6th consecutive session yesterday as sentiment was boosted by news that the US House of Representative has voted (285 v 144) to suspend the debt ceiling for three months. The earnings scorecard before the closing bell was also generally positive with 65% and 81% of companies that reported yesterday coming ahead of analysts’ EPS and revenue expectations, respectively. IBM’s better results helped drive the Dow (+0.49%) up to just less than 1% away from its all time highs. For the record the S&P 500 is also just 5pts away from the symbolic 1,500 mark.

On the fixed income side, its quite interesting to note that the Dell-driven LBO theme is pushing the skew on the CDX IG index to negative territory. The index edged a tad tighter yesterday and now trades about 5bps ‘rich’ to intrinsic value as some single names are seeing demand for protection on LBO concerns. Overall January continues to be a good month for risk, continuing the theme from the back end of 2012. However the growth outlook isn’t necessarily much better than where we were 3 months ago. The IMF published its updated global growth forecasts yesterday and now expects global GDP to grow by 3.5% this year. This is a touch lower than the 3.6% forecast they had in October last year. This is still ok but we'll need some upward momentum in the data to reach this level still.

In terms of the day ahead, flash PMIs from France, Germany and the Eurozone will be the key European data print today. As we said in our outlook, these readings need to get into the low 50s to justify current levels of markets rather than just above the mid-40s they generally are in Europe at the moment.

They have a few months grace to get there without upsetting the party but these prints
along the way will be informative. Elsewhere Merkel and Cameron will both speak at day-2
of the Davos conference today. On the other side of the pond we also get the preliminary
Markit PMI in the US as well as the usual weekly jobless claims. 3M and Microsoft are
some of the bigger names reporting today.

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Anonymised data doesn’t guarantee your privacy

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8 million children are on secret database

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Merkel in NSA’s Crosshairs


Merkel in NSA's Crosshairs

by Stephen Lendman

Nations spying on each other is longstanding. Friends do it on foes. Allies do it on each other.

Washington's Government Accountability Office (GAO) said Israel "conducts the most aggressive espionage operation against the United States of any US ally."

The Pentagon accused Israel of "actively engag(ing) in military and industrial espionage in the United States."

US national security officials consider Israel at times a genuine counterintelligence and espionage threat. France perhaps feels the same way about America. Add Germany to the list.

On October 24, the Washington Post headlined "Germans launch probe into allegations of US spying."

Reports about NSA listening to her phone calls is the latest diplomatic row. Germany's Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle summoned US ambassador John Emerson to explain.

"For us, spying on close friends and partners is totally unacceptable," he said. "This undermines trust and this can harm our friendship. We need the truth now."

Merkel said "trust needs to be reestablished" with Washington.
German Defense Minister Thomas de Maiziere called what's gone on "really bad. We can't simply return to business as usual."

White House press secretary Jay Carney lied saying:

"The US is not monitoring and will not monitor communications of the chancellor."

At the same time, he added:

"We are not going to comment publicly on every specified, alleged intelligence activity." 

"And, as a matter of policy, we have made clear that the United States gathers foreign intelligence of the type gathered by all nations." 

"We have diplomatic relations and channels that we use in order to discuss these issues that have clearly caused some tension in our relationships with other nations around the world, and that is where we were having those discussions."

State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf lied claiming Washington isn't involved in "some big dragnet." What's ongoing "are intelligence activities…with a defined purpose," she said.

"We want to make sure that we’re striking the proper balance between the legitimate security concerns and countering legitimate security threats, and protecting the privacy that all people around the world think is important, and we certainly do as well."

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper is a confessed perjurer. He admitted lying to Congress about NSA spying. On October 22, he said:

"Recent articles published in the French newspaper Le Monde contain inaccurate and misleading information regarding US foreign intelligence activities."  

"The allegation that the National Security Agency collected more than 70 million “recordings of French citizens’ telephone data” is false."

"While we are not going to discuss the details of our activities, we have repeatedly made it clear that the United States gathers intelligence of the type gathered by all nations."  

"The US collects intelligence to protect the nation, its interests, and its allies from, among other things, threats such as terrorism and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction."

"The United States values our longstanding friendship and alliance with France and we will continue to cooperate on security and intelligence matters going forward."

Merkel is currently under fire for mishandling earlier reports about NSA spying. According to German Commissioner for Data Protection and Freedom of Information Peter Schaar:

"The report that the chancellor's mobile phone was also tapped shows how absurd the attempt was to end the debate about the surveillance of everyday communications in this country."

"In light of the new revelations, it was downright irresponsible not to have pushed harder to get to the truth."

Schaar referred to German Chancellery chief of staff Ronald Pofalla's August statement. At the time, he downplayed clear evidence about NSA targeting Germany and other EU nations.

Green Party parliamentary floor leader Anton Hofreiter demanded Merkel "make public what she knew and when."

Does she or doesn't she know NSA monitors her cell phone calls? Publicly she calls it a "grave breach of trust."

Other EU leaders expressed outrage. They threatened to delay trade negotiations. European parliament president Martin Schulz said:

"This is a moment when we should pause and think over how the free trade pact is being approached. For us, a line has been reached." US intelligence agencies are "out of control."

German officials launched an official investigation. On Wednesday, Merkel spoke to Obama. He lied saying Washington "is not monitoring and will not monitor" her communications.

Major Italian newspapers said a parliamentary committee was told Washington monitored internal telecommunications, emails and text messages.

Prime Minister Enrico Letta raised the issue with John Kerry. The Secretary of State lied saying Obama's goal was striking a balance between security and privacy.

Foreign leaders protest too much. They know more than they admit. Official outrage is mostly for domestic consumption. Allies spying on each other isn't new. 

According to former French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner:

"Let's be honest. We eavesdrop too. Everyone is listening to everyone else. But we don't have the same means as the United States, which makes us jealous."

At the same time, security expert Constanze Stelzenmueller said there's a "general assumption that certain kinds of people were off limits."

"No one has a problem with spying on the bad guys. But when you start spying on your partner in leadership, who is presumably not a terrorist, that raises a lot of questions about trust."

London's Guardian said "(w)ith each leak, American soft power hemorrhages, and hard power threatens to seep away with it."

Merkel is known as a frequent cell phone communicator. She often sends text messages that way.

Last summer, her upgrading it to a modified BlackBerry Z10 made national headlines.

On October 24, Der Spiegel headlined "Frenemies: Spying on Allies Fits Obama's Standoffish Profile," saying:

Diplomats aren't surprised about US spy agencies monitoring allies like Merkel. She and Obama aren't close friends. Obama "failed to foster close relationships with other heads of state," said Der Spiegel.

It "caus(ed) much frustration around the world."

"Complaints about Merkel's 'lost friend' are misplaced. Obama doesn't want to be a friend."

The atmosphere during a recent unnamed EU head of state Washington visit was called "frosty by those in the entourage." 

"Obama didn't find the time for even a little small talk. (I)t seemed to some like an appointment with a lawyer."

Obama was "initially uncomfortable" about Washington's so-called "special relationship" with Britain.

An unnamed African head of state remarked after visiting Washington that he longed for the days of George Bush. At least with him, he said, you knew where you stood.

Israel was upset that Obama didn't visit during his first term. He's upset other heads of state.

"So much non-diplomacy is new among US presidents," said Der Spiegel. Reagan wooed Margaret Thatcher.

GHW Bush confided in Helmut Kohl. Clinton was close to Tony Blair. GW Bush had "a whole team of 'buddies.' " He entertained them at his ranch.

In 2010, Washington Post columnist Jackson Diehl said Obama has no close friends among world leaders. "But what for," asked Der Spiegel? "He has the NSA."

On October 23, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) headlined "NSA Spying in Congress: Stop the Intelligence Committee and What to Watch for in Upcoming Bills."

Congress was busy during the 16 day government shutdown. Various NSA related bills are being considered. A "still secret" House and Senate intelligence one aims to continue unrestrained telecommunications monitoring.

It'll "likely provide some window dressing transparency, while shoring up the legal basis for the spying," said EFF.

Since Snowden's documents were released, House and Senate intelligence committee chairs Rep. Mike Rogers (R. MI) and Senator Diane Feinstein defended NSA spying.

"While we have opinions about what the best way forward is, the only sure way to not go backwards, or seal the status quo into stone, is to stop the bill currently in the works by the Intelligence Committee chairs," said EFF.

It wants congressional legislation enacted against mass spying. It should either reverse Patriot Act provision 215 or act in some other way.

Section 215 pertains to alleged suspects. It authorizes government access to "any tangible item." 

Its language is vague and deceptive. It permits meta-data-mining.
Virtually anything can be monitored. Warrantless searches without probable cause are authorized. 

Information obtained can include financial records and transactions, education and medical records, phone conversations, emails, other Internet use, and whatever else Washington wants access to.

At issue are serious constitutional violations. First and Fourth Amendment rights are compromised. Other constitutional protections are at risk.

Anyone can be spied on for any reason or none at all. No probable cause, reasonable grounds, or suspicions are needed.

Lawless practices need fixing, said EFF. FISA Court operations need curbing. Increased transparency is vital. Intrusive National Security Letters (NSLs) are troubling.

They've been around since the mid-1980s. Pre-9/11, they had more limited authority to secure records and other personal information on alleged terrorists and spies. 

The USA Patriot Act's Section 505 changed things. It permits expanded FBI's authority to obtain personal customer records from ISPs, financial institutions, credit companies, and other sources without prior court approval.

At issue only is claiming information sought relates to alleged terrorism or espionage investigations. No proof is needed.

Innocent people are targeted. Virtually anything in public or private records can be obtained. 

Gag orders prevent targeted individuals or groups from revealing the information demanded. NSL use continues increasing exponentially. Doing so reflects police state tyranny.

Congressional action can change things. Legislation is being proposed to do so. Passage appears unlikely. Hardliners want status quo maintained. Future prospects look dim.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at [email protected] 

His new book is titled "Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity."

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

It airs Fridays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.

http://www.progressiveradionetwork.com/the-progressive-news-hour

The Surveillance State: Let US hold IT To Account

The 4th Media, Countercurrents and Global Research 28/6/2013
“If you are a law-abiding citizen of this country, going about your business and your personal life, you have nothing to fear.” British Foreign Secretary William Hague, responding to the revelations of mass surveillance in the US and the UK (BBC’s The Andrew Marr Show on 9 June). 
What does William Hague take the British public for? This bureaucrat politician stands in front of the cameras time and again setting out to mislead with his self righteous platitudes. He did it over Libya and tens of thousands lost their lives. His is doing it over Syria with similar results. And he is doing it over mass surveillance by the state.

Do not believe we have nothing to fear. We have much to fear. Take the case of Stephen Lawrence, for example, who was lawfully ‘going about his business’ in April 1993, when white racists murdered him while he was waiting for a bus. It has now emerged that, after the murder, four London Metropolitan police officers were deployed to spy on the Lawrence family and Stephen’s friends.

The Lawrences were just ‘law-abiding citizens going about their business’. But undercover police were used to smear the Lawrence family’s fight for justice (1). One of those the spies says he job was to hunt for disinformation and dirt in order to stop the Lawrence’s justice campaign in its tracks. Nothing to fear from the state Mr Hague?

And then there are the numerous well-documented cases of the police and/or intelligence agencies infiltrating legitimate campaign and protest groups (2) and ‘investigating’ political parties or prominent figures (3)(4) in order to subvert or discredit them. Let us not forget too (how could we?) the massive police cover ups, none more prominent than the Hillsborough case (5). Still nothing to fear Mr Hague?

But let’s not be too harsh on Hague. The same ‘terror threat/nothing to fear’ script is being read out to the public in the US. Politicians elsewhere are using ‘terror’ as an excuse for spying on the public at large as well. German Chancellor Angela Merkel is convinced that Germany has to protect itself against potential terrorist attacks by using mass surveillance:

“We are dependent on being able to act and not being entirely at the mercy of the terrorists. And today, it’s on the Internet that communication takes place.” (6)
Alexander Dix, data protection commissioner for the city of Berlin, is a lot more sceptical. He calls for more restraint in the collection of data:

“You don’t have to follow conspiracy theories in order to suspect that data collected for fighting terrorism will also be used in other areas.” (6)
It’s all very convenient for politicians to pull out the magic phrase ‘war on terror’ in a futile attempt to stop any discussion on surveillance in its tracks. If the US-led alliance really wanted to stop or drastically reduce terrorism, it should listen to journalist Nir Rosen’s advice: stop committing it (7).


We need more monitoring and surveillance


The likes of Obama, Kerry, Hague or Cameron have become experts in churning out their fear-mongering platitudes by using some abstract notion of ‘we’ to imply ‘the nation’ or the ‘national interest’. But ‘we’ – the ordinary folk – need to hold power to account, to question its legitimacy and to challenge it when it is illegitimate.

We need to do this to help guarantee our safety, our common interests, our freedoms and threats to democracy. How about more but bottom-up monitoring and surveillance in terms of transparency within government and accountability to ensure decisions are properly scrutinized and genuinely open to pubic debate. In the absence of this, we have corruption, profiteering and the revolving door between government and big business, which all ensure that the powerful and wealthy get away with murder, quite literally when it comes to their illegal wars and mass killing.


In the absence of real democracy, we have food safety/regulation authorities being hijacked by corporate interests in order to feather their own nests. We have armaments companies using politicians as their sales lackeys.

We have police and intelligence agencies infiltrating, harassing or subverting legitimate groups that have every right to protest, dissent and oppose. We have a wide range of powerful corporate players that lobby, threaten or buy their way towards casting the world in their own self-serving nuclear, retail, biotech, petro-chemical or pharmaceutical image. And we have banks, industries and whole economies that are undemocratically owned and controlled.

We also have ‘stuff’ being sprayed onto us without our consent (or very often knowledge) and have no power to stop ‘stuff’ from being sprayed onto us (8).

But we are told all this top-down surveillance and all of the increasing unfreedoms are for our own good. We are told that public servants serve us by bowing down to elite interests. We are told that an incredible mass media is credible even though it serves a corporate agenda.


Based on his research for the book Who Killed Diana?, the late journalist Simon Regan stated that it is (paraphrased):


Whitehall that really runs the country with a close-knit Mafia-like clique… made up of a handful of powerful, but low-key, City brokers and financiers; the top brains at the Foreign Office, the Treasury, the Ministry of Defence and the Trade Department. Key figures in the security forces… and…at least one key member of the prime minister’s secretariat… the police and judiciary… through the Home Office… can certainly be manipulated. The Super-Establishment’s power is based upon its ability to manipulate the level below it – the individuals that most people believe are governing our country. The elected government is almost irrelevant… The world in which the Super-Establishment exists is a grey and murky world in which sensitive matters of state are planned and executed in gentlemen’s clubs. It is where manipulation plots are hatched, whether it is manipulation of a certain minister towards a certain viewpoint, or the wholesale orchestration of a Foreign Office ploy to bring down a foreign government… It is almost the divine "mission of the secret services to protect the status quo, and hitherto it has been their full intention to thwart anyone who tried to disrupt it. The actual existence of the Super-Establishment is not a flight of fancy. It is entirely manipulative and exercises a great deal of power behind the scenes. (9)


The elite, the oligarchs, the ruling class, the one percent – call it how you will. Yet it is we, the people, who are spied on and monitored by them for their good, to serve their interests and to feather their highly privileged and secretive world, a world built on the stolen wealth of both past and present deeds.


But don’t worry about any of this. There is no need. If that nice Mr Hague says we’ve nothing to fear, he must be right.


Notes



More Regulators To Investigate Google Over Privacy Breaches

Six European data protection authorities will conduct formal investigations of Google's privacy policy after the company repeatedly rejected their requests that it reverse changes it made to the policy last March.

Spotting ‘fashion fingerprints’: Google Glass app helps locate friends

Published time: March 08, 2013 12:47

A Google employee wears Glass at Google's Developers Conference. (AFP Photo / Mathew Sumner)

New Google Glass app InSight takes the experience of spotting your friends to the next level, as it recognizes your peers by their clothes and accessories – matching specific color patterns and textures to the user.

This new human recognition software makes it impossible to lose your friends in a packed place, such as an airport, concert hall or shopping center.

The app creates a ‘fashion fingerprint’ for every friend based on the outfit they are wearing including clothes, jewelry, glasses, etc.

‘Fashion fingerprint’ is generated by snapping pictures of the user and creating a file of that image called a ‘spatiogram’, which calculates patterns and spatial distribution of colors on the user and analyzes the information to identify that particular person later on in the distance or from a different angle. 

The new system is being partly funded by Google and was presented at the HotMobile technology conference last week, while currently still being developed by the Duke University in North Carolina.

So far the app has been tested by 15 volunteers and managed to identify people correctly 93 per cent of the time.

The software does not use facial recognition systems to locate individuals since it is unlikely that the users will be looking straight into the Google Glass’ camera, InSight developer Srihari Nelakuditi told New Scientist.

He also noted that the ‘fashion fingerprint’ lasts only as long as the user does not change clothes. Afterwards, a new snapshot must be made and a new ‘fingerprint’ created. Thus, for privacy protection, all the user has to do is change outfits, argues Nelakuditi.

Google Glass is a new wearable computer with a head-mounted display. It displays information in a smartphone-like format hands-free and can interact with the internet via natural language voice commands.

The new product does raise new privacy issues, especially considering that users will be able to video record everything through Google Glass without being noticed by others.

Australian Senator Cory Bernardi believes that Google Glass will be “the end of privacy as we know it” because the device can be used for massive surveillance, The Register quoted him as saying.

“A single Google Glass wearer in your favorite restaurant could capture your image and your conversation without you ever knowing,” argues Bernardi. “The footage would be stored on the Google servers, your voice could be translated into text and with the use of facial recognition, could be actually matched to your Google profile.”

Google also has been facing a row of privacy battles in EU and US for its current products.

Just last month European data protection agencies said they intend to crack down on the US internet giant Google before summer after it allegedly failed to follow their orders to comply with EU privacy laws.

Previously, the data protection agencies warned Google that its new confidentiality policy was not in line with EU laws. The regulators included a list of 12 "practical recommendations" which would bring Google’s privacy policy and data collection up to standard. The advisory centers on the firm’s automatic collection of personal data, ranging from browsing histories, to real-time location, to credit card details.

Since January, Google has also been embroiled in its biggest privacy battle yet in the UK over reportedly tracking users’ online habits. At least 10 UK citizens began legal action with dozens more lining up. According to media estimates up to 10 million Britons could join in.

Google is accused of evading security settings on Apple’s devices and Safari’s web browser in order to keep tabs on people’s online preferences.

Survellience Buses Could Breach Privacy Laws

The use of external CCTV cameras on UK buses could be in breach of privacy laws, according to a Data Protection Supervisor. CCTV cameras have resulted in the illegal recording of people on their own property.

Europe to face Google over privacy rules

Europe intends to take coercive action against the US-based internet giant Google over its failure to follow orders to comply with the European Union privacy laws.

France's CNIL data protection agency said on Monday that European data organizations have planned to set up a working group to “coordinate their coercive actions which should be implemented before the summer.”

CNIL further added that European data agencies are set to hold talks next week to approve the action plan. The France-based organization will lead the effort.

In October 2012, European Union-led investigations warned that Google’s new privacy policy fails to provide users with sufficient control over their data, urging the company to modify it within months or face legal actions.


“At the end of a four-month delay accorded to Google to comply with the European data protection directive and to implement effectively (our) recommendations, no answer has been given,” said CNIL.

Google unveiled the new privacy policy in March, authorizing the firm to trace users to develop targeted advertising by combining data from all of its services despite sharp criticism from the US and European consumer advocacy groups.

The Internet giant contends the move simplifies and unifies its policies through its various services such as Gmail, YouTube, Android mobile systems, social networks and Internet search.

However, critics argue that the policy gives Google, which is the operator of the world's largest search engine, unprecedented ability to monitor its users.

Google Inc. is an American multinational corporation that hosts many internet-related services including, Internet search, cloud computing and advertising technologies.

Most of the company's profits are generated by the advertising revenue coming from its on-line advertising system known as AdWords.

MKA/JR

EU watchdogs promise ‘repressive action’ against Google over privacy row

(AFP Photo / Daniel Mihailescu)

(AFP Photo / Daniel Mihailescu)

European data protection agencies intend to crack down on the US Internet giant Google before summer after it allegedly failed to follow their orders to comply with EU privacy laws, France’s data watchdog said.

"At the end of a four-month delay accorded to Google to comply with the European data protection directive and to implement effectively (our) recommendations, no answer has been given," France's Commission Nationale de l'Informatique et des Libertes (CNIL) data protection agency said in a statement on Monday.

CNIL, which led the probe on behalf of EU data-protection authorities, vowed EU regulators “are determined to act and continue their investigations” and their “repressive action.” CNIL did not elaborate on what those measures would entail.

European data protection agencies plan to set up a working group to "coordinate their coercive actions which should be implemented before the summer," and they will meet next week to approve the action plan, CNIL continued.

In October the data protection agencies warned Google that its new confidentiality policy was not in line with EU laws, giving the Internet giant four months to make changes or face legal action, including possible fines.

The regulators included a list of 12 "practical recommendations" which would bring Google’s privacy policy and data collection up to standard. The advisory centers on the firm’s automatic collection of personal data, ranging from browsig histories, to real-time location, to credit card details.

Google maintained in a statement released Monday that its confidentiality policy was not in breach of EU law.

“Our privacy policy respects European law and allows us to create simpler, more effective services,” Google said. “We have engaged fully with the CNIL throughout this process and we’ll continue to do so going forward.”

Google's privacy policy—which allows the company to track users between services like Gmail and YouTube – has drawn fierce criticism from both US and European consumer advocacy groups.

The California-based firm argues the creation of a uniform set of policies for more than 60 of its products last year would improve the user experience and give them a more integrated view of its users – bringing them in line with Apple and Facebook.

EU competition authorities are separately investigating whether Google has used its search engine to promote its own services and hinder competitors like Microsoft by manipulating search rankings.

Google has offered to change some of its business practices in response to that probe in order to avoid billions of dollars in potential fines.

Tech Firms Influencing EU Regulators

EU-flagga-i-vind
Privacy watchdogs have claimed that European Union data protection laws are being "copied and pasted" directly from technology firm lobby documents. Major tech firms are lobbying the European regulators to make amendments to the General Data Protection Regulation, which restricts how companies access, retain and process user data.

US Congress to request details of foreign account holders with US banks

Reuters / Jessica Rinaldi

Reuters / Jessica Rinaldi

The US government is reportedly considering requesting details from banks of foreigners holding accounts in America. The news follows US demands for details of foreign nationals’ accounts abroad.

­Labeled ‘part of a crackdown on tax evasion’, the US will potentially have access to the details of millions of foreign customers who hold accounts with America-based branches, according to Reuters. The move is expected to face strong resistance from the banking industry.

Wealthy foreigners and financial institutions that bank in the US could have their account details given to the US government. The Obama administration is expected to make the request of Congress in a forthcoming Whitehouse budget proposal. 

The Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) already requires overseas financial companies to identify their American customers to the Internal Revenue Service. 

In January this year, Switzerland’s oldest bank, Wegelin & Co., was forced to close after the US imposed a $22 million fine on the institution, alongside restitution of $20 million to the IRS, and a $15.8 million fee. The bank was accused of allowing American nationals to hide their earnings after US judge gave the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) permission to obtain data on the bank from Swiss financial institution UBS. On January 5th, a Manhattan federal court ruled the information on Wegelin & Co’s former clients could be demanded by the US.  

It’s highly possible that the new proposal will be part of a move to aid negotiations with foreign financial agencies. Reuters published part of a letter written last October by Mark Mazur, Treasury Assistant Secretary for Tax Policy, saying that the government aimed “to pursue equivalent levels of reciprocal automatic exchange in the future.” America is requesting data from foreign sources even now, and some are resisting its pressure. If successful, it is likely further fines will be imposed. 

Bilateral agreements mean that four countries have already started sharing information on the finances of their US residents – the United Kingdom, Denmark, Ireland and Mexico. The US is negotiating with another 50 countries. 

Many have been unable to meet the US’s requirements as they would come into direct conflict with local privacy laws. 

Some countries, including France, Germany and China have been delaying the sharing of information, as they consider it one-sided and unreasonable that they are expected to share details of the US accounts of French, German and Chinese nationals abroad. However, the US has already progressed in their negotiations with the three. 

Reuters said that although China appears reluctant to comply, the country is in ‘behind the scenes’ discussions. 

FATCA requires financial institutions (non-US banks and investment funds) to inform the IRS about accounts held by those from the US with balances of more than $50,000. They face economic restrictions should they fail to provide data. FATCA was set into motion in 2010, and will come into play towards the end of 2013.

The IRS held an ‘offshore amnesty’ in October 2011, which offered the opportunity for people with money in offshore bank accounts to come forward, before the IRS found them through data sharing.  

Switzerland is following the UK and signed a FATCA deal with the US in December 2012, which is due to come into play in January 2014. Switzerland attracts many rich foreigners and has already been subject to US action.  

“The United States is committed to a policy of transparency and equivalence, where appropriate, in furtherance of international cooperation to combat offshore tax evasion,” said a Treasury spokesman. 

Swiss Federal Data Protection and Information Commissioner (FDPIC) stated in 2012 that the model for the agreement raised numerous privacy and data protection concerns. FDPIC’s 19th annual report called the agreement effectively an ‘automatic exchange of information,’ adding “We are very critical of this law that has been imposed unilaterally by the United States.”

On January 18th, the European commission also warned the Swiss over its tax practices, saying that if the country did not agree to an automatic exchange of information, it would be ‘blacklisted’, and sanctions could be imposed.

Frontrunning: February 1

  • 'London Whale' Sounded an Alarm on Risky Bets (WSJ)
  • Deadly Blast Strikes U.S. Embassy in Turkey (WSJ)
  • Abe Shortens List for BOJ Chief as Japan Faces Monetary Overhaul (BBG)
  • Endowment Returns Fail to Keep Pace with College Spending (BBG) - More student loans
  • Mexico rescue workers search for survivors after Pemex blast kills 25 (Reuters)
  • Lingering Bad Debts Stifle Europe Recovery (WSJ)
  • Peregrine Founder Hit With 50 Years (WSJ) - there is hope Corzine will get pardoned yet
  • Deutsche Bank to Limit Immediate Bonuses to 300,000 Euros
  • France's Hollande to visit Mali Saturday (Reuters)
  • France, Africa face tough Sahara phase of Mali war (Reuters)
  • Barclays CEO refuses bonus (Barclays)
  • Edward Koch, Brash New York Mayor During 1980s Boom, Dies at 88 (BBG)
  • Samsung Doubles Tablet PC Market Share Amid Apple’s Lead (BBG)
  • Hagel Endures Republican Criticism as Levin Sees Approval (BBG)
  • U.S. sues to stop beer deal to unite Bud and Corona (Reuters)

Overnight Media Digest

WSJ

* The JP Morgan Chase & Co trader known as the "London whale" tried to alert others at the bank to mounting risks months before his bets ballooned into more than $6 billion in losses, according to people familiar with emails reviewed by J.P. Morgan and a U.S. Senate panel.

* The U.S. government filed suit to block Anheuser-Busch InBev's $20.1 billion deal to buy the rest of Grupo Modelo, saying it would reduce competition.

* Chinese hackers believed to have government links have been conducting wide-ranging electronic surveillance of media companies including The Wall Street Journal, apparently to spy on reporters covering China and other issues, people familiar with incidents said.

* President Barack Obama let his jobs council disband Thursday as its two-year charter expired, sparking criticism among Republicans and conservative economists that the group had provided more show than substantive policy.

* Morgan Stanley said it would increase the salaries of Chairman and Chief Executive James Gorman and other top executives to make their pay more competitive.

* AirAsia Bhd's chief executive hopes to list the group's Indonesia arm on the Jakarta stock exchange in the third quarter as the budget carrier seeks to expand its foothold in Southeast Asia's largest air travel market.

* Roomy Khan, one of the first cooperating witnesses who helped build the U.S. government's case against convicted hedge-fund manager Raj Rajaratnam, was sentenced to one year in prison Thursday.

* Animal-medicine maker Zoetis Inc, which is being carved into a standalone company by drug maker Pfizer Inc, raised about $2.2 billion in an initial public offering, a strong showing for the largest IPO deal from a U.S. company since Facebook Inc debuted last May.

* Best Buy Co is closing 15 of its 75 big-box stores in Canada as its new chief executive tries to stem slumping sales and profits at the consumer electronics chain.

FT

BARCLAYS IN QATAR LOAN PROBE - UK authorities are looking into an allegation that Barclays lent Qatar money to invest in the bank during the height of the 2008 financial crisis, allowing it to avoid a government bailout, according to unnamed sources cited by the newspaper.

SEYMOUR PIERCE'S FUTURE UP IN THE AIR - The board of Seymour Pierce held talks on Thursday night over the future of the stockbroker, with an unnamed source saying this has come about due to the FSA previously blocking funding from Ukrainian backers.

AB INBEV'S 20 BILLION DOLLAR DEAL THREATENED BY US SUIT - The United States moved to block Anheuser-Busch InBev in its 20 billion dollar acquisition of Grupo Modelo , the Mexican brewer, saying it would lead to an increase in prices and deter competition.

BERTELSMANN SEEKS BUYER FOR TWO BILLION EURO RTL STAKE - German media group Bertelsmann said it intends to sell a stake in broadcasting subsidiary RTL, aiming to raise up to 2 billion euros

LAWSON URGES FULL NATIONALISATION OF RBS - Former Conservative finance minister, Nigel Lawson said the UK government should nationalise RBS and there was a case for no bonuses to paid this year.

DEUTSCHE BANK RISES ON CAPITAL STRENGTH - The bank offered good news to investors reporting a capital base above expectations, bolstering its share price.

CHINA'S WORKERS ENDURE UNHAPPY NEW YEAR - An austerity drive by the new Chinese leadership of Xi Jinping has led government departments and state-owned enterprises to cut back or cancel new year festivities.

US BANKS SQUEEZED AS MORTGAGE PROFITS HIT - Bonanza profits at US banks from mortgages are being squeezed, raising doubts about earnings at lenders such as Wells Fargo, Bank of America and others.

WASENDORF GETS 50 YEARS JAIL FOR FRAUD - A federal court in the United States sentenced the ex head of collapsed future broker Peregrine Financial Group, Russell Wasendorf Sr., to 50 years in prison.

NYT

* The Justice Department has sued to block Anheuser-Busch InBev's proposed $20.1 billion deal to buy control of Grupo Modelo, the first major roadblock in a decade of consolidation by brewers around the world.

* A bankruptcy court judge approved a broad settlement deal on Thursday that paves the way for MF Global customers to recover much of the $1.6 billion that disappeared when the brokerage firm blew up in 2011.

* European antitrust officials on Thursday accused drug giants Johnson & Johnson and Novartis of colluding to delay the availability of a less expensive generic version of a powerful medication often used to ease severe pain in cancer patients.

* James Gorman, chief executive of Morgan Stanley, will receive a huge raise in his base salary this year, but his overall pay package for 2012 was down from 2011, according to a regulatory filing.

* Pfizer Inc's animal health unit, known as Zoetis, raised $2.2 billion in its initial public offering on Thursday, exceeding expectations by pricing its stock at $26 a share, above the expected range of $22 to $25 a share. The sale values the company at about $13 billion.

* Roomy Khan, a central figure in the investigation that led to the conviction of hedge fund manager Raj Rajaratnam, was sentenced to one year in prison on Thursday for illegally passing inside information and obstructing justice.

* Fabrice Tourre, the Goldman Sachs trader accused of misleading clients over a controversial mortgage deal, is no longer working at the firm.

Canada

THE GLOBE AND MAIL

* Canada will begin a two-year stint at the helm of the eight-nation Arctic Council amid a clamor of competing calls for leadership, as the ice recedes and the race heats up to extract resource riches while protecting a fragile and now-exposed environment.

* Toronto Mayor Rob Ford is publicly at odds with a key member of his team again, this time in a he-said, she-said spat with the Toronto Transit Commission chair.

The verbal tussle over the approval last week by the transit commission of a 15-year sole-source contract is the latest example of Ford's difficulty seeing eye to eye with even fiscal conservatives on council.

Reports in the business section:

* The Canadian economy expanded at its fastest pace in more than half a year, but the bigger picture is still one of slow growth. The country's gross domestic product rose 0.3 percent in November, Statistics Canada said Thursday, its strongest showing in seven months as auto makers and oil firms ramped up activity.

NATIONAL POST

* Prime Minister Stephen Harper says while some of his Conservative Members of Parliament may not agree, abortion is legal in Canada. Harper made the comments while under questioning in the House of Commons over a letter written by three Tory MPs who want the Royal Canadian Mounted Police to investigate hundreds of abortions as possible homicides.

FINANCIAL POST

* Two of Canada's biggest retailers, Best Buy Canada and Sears Canada Inc, announced layoffs Thursday in what is shaping up to be a turbulent and competitive year for the country's retail sector.

China

PEOPLE'S DAILY

-- Premier Wen Jiabao pledged that China would continue its opening up policy during a meeting with foreign experts on Monday.

SHANGHAI SECURITIES NEWS

-- The People's Bank of China (PBOC) drained a net 300 billion yuan ($48 billion) via reverse bond repurchase agreements in its open market operations in January as the country's interbank market was flooded with cash.

-- The recent serious pollution in Beijing has given rise to suspicion of the quality of China's fuel and gasoline.

CHINA SECURITIES JOURNAL

-- Sources say Chinese authorities have suspended a plan to expand an experimental property tax now levied in a few cities including Shanghai and Chongqing.

-- A monthly index issued by China's national fund for protecting stock investors shows that in January, investor confidence in the domestic equity market reached its highest since April 2011 as the main Shanghai Composite Index began a sharp rebound since early December.

CHINA BUSINESS NEWS

-- High costs and bureaucracy have made 78 percent of Chinese firms feel it is difficult to operate in the European Union, according to a survey by the European Union Chamber of Commerce in China.

CHINA DAILY (www.chinadaily.com.cn)

-- In a move aimed at strengthening personal data protection, companies will be instructed to delete customer information after use, according to new guidelines implemented on Friday.

Fly On The Wall 7:00 AM Market Snapshot

ANALYST RESEARCH

Upgrades

AB InBev (BUD) upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at Bernstein
Arthur J. Gallagher (AJG) upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at William Blair
Audience (ADNC) upgraded to Hold from Sell at Deutsche Bank
Chubb (CB) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Deutsche Bank
Deutsche Bank (DB) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Citigroup
Ericsson (ERIC) upgraded to Neutral from Underperform at Credit Suisse
GameStop (GME) upgraded to Overweight from Neutral at Piper Jaffray
Greenway Medical (GWAY) upgraded to Strong Buy from Market Perform at Raymond James
Neutral Tandem (IQNT) upgraded to Market Perform from Underperform at Raymond James
Oracle (ORCL) upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at BMO Capital
PACCAR (PCAR) upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at Wells Fargo
Verizon (VZ) upgraded to Overweight from Neutral at Piper Jaffray
W. R. Berkley (WRB) upgraded to Hold from Sell at Deutsche Bank
WMS Industries (WMS) upgraded to Neutral from Sell at Goldman
Wynn Resorts (WYNN) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Janney Capital

Downgrades

AB InBev (BUD) downgraded to Hold from Buy at Societe Generale
ARMOUR Residential (ARR) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at BofA/Merrill
Alkermes (ALKS) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at BofA/Merrill
Amerseco (AMRC) downgraded to Perform from Outperform at Oppenheimer
Bob Evans (BOBE) downgraded to Hold from Buy at KeyBanc
Brightcove (BCOV) downgraded to Outperform from Top Pick at RBC Capital
Colfax (CFX) downgraded to Hold from Buy at KeyBanc
Constellation Brands (STZ) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at BofA/Merrill
Constellation Brands (STZ) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Goldman
Copart (CPRT) downgraded to Hold from Buy at BB&T
Edison International (EIX) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at SunTrust
HSBC (HBC) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Citigroup
Harris Teeter (HTSI) downgraded to Hold from Buy at BB&T
Harris Teeter (HTSI) downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at BMO Capital
HealthSouth (HLS) downgraded to Hold from Buy at Deutsche Bank
Hologic (HOLX) downgraded to Reduce from Neutral at SunTrust
Life Time Fitness (LTM) downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at William Blair
MasterCard (MA) downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at Wells Fargo
Quiksilver (ZQK) downgraded to Neutral from Outperform at RW Baird
Royal Dutch Shell (RDS.A) downgraded to Underperform from Neutral at BofA/Merrill
Time Warner Cable (TWC) downgraded to Hold from Buy at Deutsche Bank
Time Warner Cable (TWC) downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at Wells Fargo
UPS (UPS) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Citigroup
Viacom (VIAB) downgraded to Neutral from Overweight at Piper Jaffray
Whirlpool (WHR) downgraded to Outperform from Strong Buy at Raymond James

Initiations

Blue Nile (NILE) initiated with an Outperform at Wells Fargo
Edwards Lifesciences (EW) initiated with a Buy at Janney Capital
Helmerich & Payne (HP) initiated with a Neutral at Credit Suisse
NCI Building Systems (NCS) initiated with a Buy at BB&T
Nabors Industries (NBR) initiated with an Underperform at Credit Suisse
National Oilwell (NOV) initiated with a Neutral at Credit Suisse
Oceaneering (OII) initiated with a Neutral at Credit Suisse
Oil States (OIS) initiated with an Outperform at Credit Suisse
Patterson-UTI Energy (PTEN) initiated with a Neutral at Credit Suisse
Precision Drilling (PDS) initiated with a Neutral at Credit Suisse
Shutterfly (SFLY) initiated with a Market Perform at Wells Fargo
Sunshine Heart (SSH) initiated with an Overweight at Piper Jaffray
Zoetis (ZTS) initiated with a Buy at ISI Group

HOT STOCKS

Sprint (S): DISH (DISH) proposal for Clearwire (CLWR) is “illusory”
Moody's said DOJ suit is credit negative for AB InBev (BUD) but doesn’t change rating
Barrick (ABX) considering sale of Barrick Energy unit, other assets, Bloomberg reports
Chubb (CB) announced new $1.3B share repurchase plan
Sees FY13 net written premiums up 2% to 4%
Goodyear Tire (GT) to exit farm tire business in Europe, Middle East and Africa region
OCZ Technology (OCZ) sees 20%-30% company growth year-over-year
Brink's (BCO) to divest cash-in-transit operations in Germany
Said will be “very difficult” to match 2012 earnings
Viad (VVI) sees FY13 revenue decreasing “at a low to mid single-digit rate”
Newell Rubbermaid (NWL) sees FY13 net sales up 1% to 3%

EARNINGS

Companies that beat consensus earnings expectations last night and today include:
Viad (VVI), Chubb (CB), C.R. Bard (BCR), Fortune Brands (FBHS), Bally Technologies (BYI), Affymetrix (AFFX), Principal Financial (PFG)

Companies that missed consensus earnings expectations include:
Brink's (BCO), Consolidated Edison (ED), McKesson (MCK), Wynn Resorts (WYNN), bebe stores (BEBE)

Companies that matched consensus earnings expectations include:
Eastman Chemical (EMN), Reinsurance Group (RGA), PerkinElmer (PKI)

NEWSPAPERS/WEBSITES

The JPMorgan Chase (JPM) trader known as the "London whale"--Bruno Iksil--tried to alert others at the bank to mounting risks months before his bets ballooned into more than $6B in losses, sources say, the Wall Street Journal reports
Asian manufacturing data today suggested the region's economic recovery is continuing. HSBC's China PMI reached a two-year high of 52.3 from December's 51.5, while the official PFLP number fell to 50.4 from December's 50.6, the Wall Street Journal reports
Dell (DELL) is close to an agreement to sell itself to a buyout consortium led by its founder and CEO Michael Dell and private equity firm Silver Lake Partners, with a deal coming as soon as Monday, sources say, Reuters reports
Airbus (EADSY) studied alternatives to lithium-ion batteries for its next jet, the A350, and has time to adapt to any rule changes prompted by the problems that have grounded Boeing’s (BA) 787 Dreamliner, says CEO Fabrice Bregier, Reuters reports
Anheuser-Bush InBev (BUD) may have to give up more control of U.S. beer distribution or sell a brewery to settle an antitrust lawsuit by the U.S. to block its $20.1B takeover of the rest of Grupo Modelo SAB (GPMCF), Bloomberg reports
Equity funds attracted six times the money that went into bonds in the week ended January 30, according to a Citigroup (C) report that cited EPFR Global data. Stock funds drew $18.8B, exceeding the $3B that went into bonds, as 58% of the equity inflows went into North American funds, with exchange-traded funds being the largest beneficiaries, the analysts wrote, Bloomberg reports

SYNDICATE

Bonanza Creek (BCEI) 11.5M share Secondary priced at $29.50
Chesapeake Lodging (CHSP) files to sell 6.25M shares of common stock
Echo Therapeutics (ECTE) 13.33M share Spot Secondary priced at 75c
Navios Maritime Partners (NMM) files to sell 4.25M shares of common stock
Penn National (PENN) files to sell convertible preferreds and stock for REIT structure
United Insurance (UIHC) files to sell 717K shares of common stock for holders
Zoetis (ZTS) 86.1M share IPO priced at $26.00

Your rating: None

Graphic ‘Graph Search’: New Facebook system reveals too much

Introducing its new search engine, Facebook assured users that the system is strongly privacy aware. However, prank searches made by one of the beta testers have revealed that the system may expose just a bit more people would want.

­The new ‘Graph Search’ system was presented by Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and his team last week. The engine was designed to search Facebook for specific information, be it a Mexican restaurant your Facebook friends like the most or single people from India in your neighborhood.

The current Graph Search is a beta version still to be tested; it is limited to searches of people, their likes, places, interests and photos. Posts and status messages so far are out of reach, but soon may become searchable as well, Forbes reported.

During the presentation Zuckerberg and his crew devoted a special part to the issue of Facebook privacy. They assured the audience that the engine is only going to process data that has been allowed to be processed by the users themselves.

To demonstrate the system at work the team conducted a number of sample searches including ‘Friends who like Star Wars and Harry Potter’, ‘Languages my friends speak’, ‘Music liked by people who like Mitt Romney’ and ‘Music liked by people who like Obama’.

However, one of the people invited to test the beta version of the engine soon found out that Graph Search can find way more than Star Wars fans and music preferences of Obama supporters.

In his blogpost published on Wednesday, computer programmer and ‘Gadget Geek’ Tom Scott revealed some peculiar searches he conducted using Graph Search. The results turned out to be quite controversial, if not scandalous.

Scott found out that the new search engine will readily find ‘Married people, who like prostitutes’ and ‘Spouses of married people who like Ashley Madison’, a dating website for people who are already in a relationship.

Furthermore, he was able to find ‘Islamic men interested in men who live in Tehran, Iran’, where homosexual relations are prohibited by law and ‘Places where they’ve worked’.

Something corporate America would not like – a search exposing ‘Current employers of people who like Racism’.

These are just some of the searches Scott was able to do using the new Graph Search. When posting the results, he blurred the names and the pictures of those he found.

Commenting on his research, Scott said that although the search does not directly violate Facebook privacy settings, users just need to be aware of the new search engine capabilities and might want to reconsider the information they put on the web.

“If it’d be awkward if it was put on a screen in Times Square, don’t put it on Facebook. Oh, and check your privacy settings again,” he said.

Facebook has repeatedly been accused of violating the privacy of its users. In early January, the EU pressured the world`s most popular social network to provide more data protection. In September, Facebook was forced to stop using its facial recognition software in Europe following an investigation by the Office of the Data Protection Commissioner in Ireland.

Envy and dissatisfaction on Facebook

A recent study conducted by German scientists revealed that envy and dissatisfaction are among most popular feelings Facebook users experience while browsing through their friends’ ‘timelines’.

The survey of some 600 Facebook users showed that one third of them have negative feelings as using the social network mostly because they are envying their ‘Facebook friends’, whose life seems more interesting and wholesome than their own.

“Although respondents were reluctant to admit feeling envious while on Facebook, they often presumed that envy can be the cause behind the frustration of ‘others’ on this platform – a clear indication that envy is a salient phenomenon in the Facebook context,” said project manager Dr. Hanna Krasnova from Humboldt-Universität.

She explained that access to positive news and the profiles of seemingly successful friends bolsters social comparison, which can easily provoke envy.

The survey found that about one-fifth of all recent online and offline events provoking envy among respondents were posted on Facebook. According to the researchers, respondents’ envy often led to “embellishing their Facebook profiles” creating what they called “envy spiral.”

It was also established that the envy provoked by looking through Facebook lead many to “greater life dissatisfaction”.

“Considering the fact that Facebook use is a worldwide phenomenon and envy is a universal feeling, a lot of people are subject to these painful consequences,” Co-author Helena Wenninger of TU-Darmstadt University said.

Google reports record requests for private info

Google received a record number of requests to disclose user information to governments and law enforcement bodies in 2012. Requests have rocketed by 25 per cent in the last year, with the US leading the field by far in calls for data disclosure.

The search giant published its findings in its annual transparency report, detailing the number of requests for user information by country. Since Google began documenting figures in 2009, there has been an increase of over 70 per cent in disclosure requests. The company says it has complied with 66 per cent of recent cases.

National governments and law enforcement agencies made 42,327 requests for personal data in 2012, a drastic increase from the 34,001 requests in 2011.

The US comprised the most submissions for private information, with over 8,438 requests in the latter half of 2012, a large portion of which were made through subpoenas. Google granted 88 per cent of these requests, the lowest since the search giant began reporting the figures.

None of the other countries in the report even came close the US total, but India came in second, reporting a total of 2,431 in the latter half of 2012, followed by 1,693 from France.

The UK also saw a significant number of requests, 70 per cent of which were granted by the company in 2012.

Google said that it could not specify as to the details of the case, but they did say “the statistics primarily cover requests in criminal matters.”

“In some instances the same Gmail account may be specified in several different requests for user data,” wrote Google in the report. Google also noted the statistics where not a hundred percent accurate because the company can comply with a request sometime after it was lodged.

­

Private data, not a ‘treasure trove’

UK-based rights group Privacy International said that the report showed that “Google, Facebook and Twitter are highly vulnerable to government intrusion.”

"The alarming statistics in this latest Transparency Report serve as a reminder of the need for stronger national and regional privacy protections in relation to online communications,”
said Carla Nyst, head of International Advocacy in a statement.

She went to say that the personal information held by Google “paints a detailed picture of who we are – from our political and religious views to our friendships, associations and locations.”

With this in mind, the government needs to stop treating Google and other similar companies as “treasure troves,” often bypassing judicial authority, concluded Nyst.

­

EU double standard?

In spite of the growing quantity of data requests from governments, the EU is moving to put in place more controls on the information Facebook and Google can share without users’ consent.

Last week a German MEP proposed modifications to the 1995 Data Protection Act that would restrict the personal data that Google and Facebook can sell without a user’s consent.

"Users must be informed about what happens with their data," said Jan Philipp Albrecht, a German Green Party MEP. "And they must be able to consciously agree to data processing  or reject it."

Google and Facebook have protested such modifications to EU legislation, claiming they will impede innovation and damage business in the region.

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A German MP who recently met with NSA whistle-blower Edward Snowden in Moscow is to meet with ISC head Sir Malcolm Rifkind in London...

Mass Surveillance and Europe’s Police State

A new study says so. It's titled “Mass Surveillance of Personal Data by EU Member States and its Compatibility with EU Law.” Sergio Carrera is...

Mass Surveillance Violates EU Law

Mass Surveillance Violates EU Lawby Stephen LendmanA new study says so. It's titled "Mass Surveillance of Personal Data by EU Member States and its Compatibility with EU Law."Sergio Carrera is a Spanish jurist. Francesco Ragazzi is Netherlands-based Le...

Institutionalized Spying Targets Freedom

Institutionalized Spying Targets Freedomby Stephen LendmanOut-of-control spying reflects America's true face. At stake are fundamental rights too important to lose. They're gravely eroded already. They're headed toward disappearing altogether. The...

Edward Snowden ready to provide testimony in Germany

By Ulrich Rippert2 November 2013 Former National Security Agency (NSA) contractor Edward Snowden says he is ready to provide testimony to the German authorities...

NSA scandal may stop AT&T’s ambitions to expand in Europe

As leaks pertaining to secretive National Security Agency programs continue to surface, the international community at large is voicing concerns against the United States...

RINFORMATION

USA Topics 9/11 Agenda 21 Assassinations Banks Bush, George Jr Boston Bombings Bohemian Grove CIA Cointelpro Corruption DARPA Democrats Disinformation Congress Drones Eugenics FBI Federal Reserve Guantanamo HAARP ...

NSA Spying on World Leaders. Merkel, Hollande, Rouseff, Nieto, … Intercepting Phone Conversations of...

On October 24, London's Guardian headlined “NSA monitored calls of 35 world leaders after US official handed over contacts,” saying: Snowden released documents revealed it....

Washington Spies on its European Allies: NSA Wiretapping Scandal Dominates EU summit

The European Union (EU) summit in Brussels on Thursday and Friday was dominated by the NSA bugging of the cell phone of the German...

NSA Spying on World Leaders

NSA Spying on World Leadersby Stephen LendmanOn October 24, London's Guardian headlined "NSA monitored calls of 35 world leaders after US official handed over contacts," saying:Snowden released documents revealed it. "An official in another US governme...

NSA wiretapping scandal dominates European Union summit

By Christoph Dreier26 October 2013 The European Union (EU) summit in Brussels on Thursday and Friday was dominated by the NSA bugging of the...

New Internet Architecture to Thwart American Spying

New Telecommunications Infrastructure Is Being Built to Avoid American Spying One of India's largest newspapers – The Hindu – reports: Most of Brazil's global internet traffic...

‘Unacceptable and shocking’: France demands explanation for NSA spying

RTOctober 21, 2013 France has called for an explanation for the “unacceptable” and “shocking” reports of...

Spilling the NSA’s Secrets: Guardian Editor Alan Rusbridger on the Inside Story of Snowden...

Three-and-a-half months after National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden came public on the the U.S. government's massive spying operations at home and abroad, we...

Deliberately flawed? RSA Security tells customers to drop NSA-related encryption algorithm

An encryption algorithm with a suspected NSA-designed backdoor has been declared insecure by the developer after years of extensive use by customers worldwide, including...

EU lawmakers angered by NSA spying

New revelations that the US is spying on international bank transfers have angered European lawmakers, prompting them to call for the suspension of the...

“Project 6”: Joint German/US spy program

By ...

Snowden nominated for Sakharov Prize

Former NSA (National Security Agency) contractor Edward Snowden, who exposed the US™s worldwide espionage activities, has been nominated for the European Parliament's prestigious Sakharov...

NSA spied on French Foreign Ministry

File photo shows the sign outside the US National Security Agency (NSA) campus in Fort Meade, Maryland.Top secret documents have shown that the US...

France investigates US spying program

French prosecutors have launched a preliminary investigation into a US spying program codenamed PRISM following complaints from human rights groups in France. The Paris prosecutorâ„¢s...

EU watchdogs concerned at US spying

Europe's data protection agencies are demanding details on the US spying in the continent, warning that Washingtonâ„¢s so-called PRISM spying program may have breached...

NSA Spying Directly Harms Internet Companies, Silicon Valley, California … And the Entire U.S....

Mass surveillance by the NSA may directly harm the bottom of line of Internet companies, Silicon Valley, California … and the entire national economy. Money News points out: The...

Police Refuse to Remove Illegal CCTV Cameras

Police in Hertfordshire, UK, have refused to remove controversial automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) cameras.

Majority of IT Professionals Concerned about Government Snooping

Voltage Security recently released the results of an industry survey in which 62% of senior-level IT and security respondents said they think the Government snoops on cloud-based company information.

Three Different Prisms? Parliament Seeks Clarity in NSA Scandal

Veit Medick and Philipp Wittrock Spiegel Online July 26, 2013 A Thursday meeting in German parliament was supposed to shed light on NSA surveillance...

Ireland refuses to probe US firms

RAF Menwith Hill base, which provides communications and intelligence support services to the United Kingdom and the US (file photo)An Ireland watchdog group has...

Journalist warns of ‘explosive’ news from cache Snowden leaked

UPI July 19, 2013 The journalist who published files leaked by fugitive U.S. leaker Edward Snowden says new reports from the data Snowden...

‘Germany military knew of US spying’

German Major General Joerg Vollmer welcomed Chancellor Angela Merkel in Mazar-i-Sharif, Afghanistan on May 10, 2013.A German newspaper has revealed that the German military...

US-EU Spy Scandal Challenges Transatlantic Trade Talks

Photo: Protest in Germany against PRISM. Banner: “Against state surveillance”. Snowden’s revelations have put a deep freeze on US-EU relations. Diplomats in Europe are searching...

UK could face EU court over spying

The European Union is examining the potential violation of the EU law over revealed tapping of global communications and sharing of gleaned data with...

The Snowden Controversy and Our Legacy of Choices

In one of the most innovative uses of the bizarre rules of international travel, whistle-blower Edward Snowden sits in an airport transit lounge outside...

Surveillance and the Police State: Let Us Hold It to Account

 ”If you are a law-abiding citizen of this country, going about your business and your personal life, you have nothing to fear.” British Foreign...

Swiss tax deal with the US voted down

  By ...

Big Brother Bank Tracks Customers Phones

Millions of Barclays bank account holders will have their mobile devices tracked from October this year. The banking giant also plans to sell customer's purchasing information to third party companies or government departments, it has been revealed.

France, Spain may fine Google

France and Spain are likely to fine US Internet giant Google Inc. over its policies on collecting user data, amid Washingtonâ„¢s controversial surveillance programs...

Europeans ‘shocked and angry’ by ‘unaccountable’ American surveillance

The recent NSA leaks have awakened many Europeans to the “disturbing” privacy violations regularly committed by the US that their own governments facilitated and...

European Governments in Crisis over US Spying Revelations

The latest revelations regarding the extent of US surveillance of world communications traffic has led to a chorus of protest and expressions of unease...

Germany slams US for ‘Stasi methods’ ahead of Obama visit

Germans are expressing outrage as details of a US internet spy program - revealed by a former CIA employee-turned-whistleblower — are prompting comparisons with...

The Rest Of The World Is Absolutely Disgusted With Our Big Brother Spying Methods

Michael T. SnyderThe Economic CollapseJune 12, 2013 The rest of the world has found out...

EU to confront US over spy scandal

File photo of US Attorney General Eric Holder.The European Commission has called on US Attorney General Eric Holder to account for the countryâ„¢s recent...

Germany most-spied-on EU country by US – leaked NSA report

Germany appears to be the most snooped on EU country by the US, the map of secret surveillance activities by the National Security Agency...

Edward Snowden's Explosive NSA Leaks Have US in Damage Control Mode

June 10, 2013  | ...

Guarding Assange in London

They set the rules about what a win was. They lost in every battle they defined. Their loss is total. We’ve won the big...

The New Xbox One Will be a “Monitoring Device Under the Guise of a...

Vigilant CitizenMay 29, 2013 I remember when video games were about getting Mario to save the...

Assange extradition case ‘a fit-up’?

The UK government eavesdropping agency, GCHQ, is facing embarrassing revelations after its internal correspondence was made public by WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. The WikiLeaks founder...

Swedish extradition request for Assange ‘a fit-up’ – UK intel chatter

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange cited unclassified messages exchanged inside a UK intelligence agency to back his refusal to be extradited to Sweden. One of...

June 6-9: Bilderberg Meeting behind Closed Doors. On the Agenda: Domestic Spying, Diffusing Social...

Its four-day meeting occurs annually. It’s a rite of spring. British political economist Will Hutton calls the group the “high priests of globalization.” Powerful...

Google Fined (Again) Over Privacy

Google has been fined by German authorities over claims it illegally collected personal data during its Street View project.

UK Wants To Opt-Out Of Social Media Privacy Laws

Britain is attempting to opt out of a European initiative enabling anyone to delete their personal details from online service providers – a power known as the "right to be forgotten".

No charges over hoax royal call

The DJs behind a prank call to a hospital about the Duchess of Cambridge will not face charges in connection with the death of a nurse who took the call, prosecutors have announced. But the family of Jacintha Saldanha, who transferred the hoax call to...

Payday Loan Sites’ Dirty Tricks To Boost Traffic

A Sky News investigation has found that some payday loan brokers have benefitted from hacking into websites to divert the history and status of a legitimate business to their domain. This increases their ranking on Google, and the tactic has given unr...

Leveson could have “chilling effect” on journalism

Telegraph | Lord Justice Leveson's recommendations for tougher data protection laws could have a "chilling effect" on investigative journalism, the Information Commissioner has warned. The Leveson...

German regulators slam Facebook’s ‘real name’ policy

German regulators have called on Facebook to stop requiring the use of real names on the social network. IT Portal | The Unabhaengiges Landeszentrum fuer Datenschutz...

Government admits they WERE snooping on people’s homes

Communities and Local Government minister Eric Pickles has confirmed that there was a ‘big brother’ spying operation into people’s properties under the last Labour...

Former Galloway secretary and Met police officer arrested

George Galloway's former secretary has been arrested, along with a Metropolitan police officer, on suspicion of data protection offences. Afiz Khan, an officer with the...

Student group to sue Facebook over privacy policies

The group filed 22 complaints against Facebook Ireland before the Irish Data Protection Commissioner A student group in Austria, calling itself "europe-v-facebook.org", is planning to...

Police chairman caught in dodgy deal – what the corporate media forgot to tell...

Mick Meaney, rinf.com | Another fine example of how the establishment are only interested in preserving and advancing their own power. Last week the corporate media reported that...

Senior police officer ‘telling officers how to vote’ in commissioner elections

A senior police figure has been reported for allegedly breaching data protection rules after twice e-mailing officers urging them to vote for his preferred...

Theresa May grilled about web snooping plans

Home Secretary Theresa May appeared before peers and MPs in Westminster on Wednesday afternoon to face questions about her proposed communications data bill, which...

Workplace surveillance – know your rights

With CCTV cameras everywhere you go these days, how likely is it that your employer or client will be keeping an eye on you? Basically,...

Your medical records, lost and sold

The NHS lost track of 1.8million confidential patient records in a single year, the Daily Mail can reveal. In worrying lapses in data security, sensitive...

Google faces monopoly abuse probe

Agence France-Presse | Google faces a moment of truth in the coming weeks over a lengthy US probe into potential abuse of its Internet search...

UK plans to spy on all web activity a “snooper’s charter”

Plans to monitor all Britons' online activity risk uncovering "incompetent criminals and accidental anarchists" rather than serious offenders, the information commissioner has warned. Ministers want...

Is Google habitually abusing your privacy?

Another data protection commissioner slams Google's intrusive privacy policy - Ignored warnings that privacy policies violate data protection laws - Failed to destroy all data collected...

Citizens privacy must be protected by law

Organisations tasked with certifying systems individuals use for inputting personally identifying information should have to abide by a "common set of security requirements", an...

More Facebook privacy concerns raised

Reuters | An EU lawmaker called for tighter control of on-line social networks under a data protection regulation now being debated after some Facebook users...

Regulators demand Facebook tighten up privacy practices

guardian.co.uk | Facebook could be fined up to €100,000 (£80,000) if it does not comply with the orders of Irish regulators within four weeks. The social media...

Google Analytics Norwegian privacy laws

Google Analytics has been given a cold reception in Norway by the nations Data Protection Bureau after they judged that it was not in...

Facebook biometric profiling could be illegal

    Mick Meaney - RINF News | Facebook has come under fire again for refusing to delete biometric profiles of its users, with the German office for data...

Facebook’s facial recognition to be probed

The Norwegian Data Protection Agency is planning to launch an investigation into Facebook's facial recognition feature this fall, a spokesman said on Monday. Last year,...

Do You Want To Be Utterly Forgettable On Facebook?

by Dan Cash
Plans are afoot to make it possible to be ‘forgotten online’ thanks to a speech made to the European Union by EU justice commissioner Viviane Reding. Being forgettable will mean that potential employers and online stalkers...

UK coalition to halt computer surveillance

The UK will reverse and restrain many of the surveillance systems that have marked its citizens out as the most watched in the world. The...

NHS refuses to reveal details of doctors’ salaries

THE NHS in Devon has refused to divulge details of GPs' pay. In a formal request made using the Freedom of Information Act, The Express...

Police admit CCTV not effective – solves less than 1 crime per year

Ewan Turney The news takes on extra relevance for pubs after reports of several police forces in parts of the country, including Islington, Richmond and...

Government allows staff to abuse privacy laws

Councils are failing to prosecute staff caught using a sensitive government database to snoop on celebrities and members of the public, disclosures under the...

News of the World phone-tapping – Did police ignore the evidence

SCOTLAND Yard was today studying allegations of large-scale, illegal phone-tapping of celebrities and politicians by the News of the World. The Metropolitan Police was urgently...

EU needs to tell the truth about renditions

It is welcome that EU governments have at last agreed to heed the call issued by the European parliament five months ago to take...

Who’s Watching You?

By Anthony Hildebrand | A new BBC series looks at surveillance in the UK. It’s something the industry could learn from, says I4S editor...

10 Things You Might Not Know About ID Cards

  The government issued a little-reported document this month on ID cards. It was quietly published when the home secretary Jacqui Smith announced that some...

Privacy: British Government Refuses To Investigate Phorm

By Tom Espiner | The Prime Minister's Office has rebuffed a public call for a government investigation into Phorm, saying that the independent Information...

How surfers can protect private info

Kiel, Germany - Web browsers are not particularly loyal programs. When pushed, they reveal more about our surfing behaviour than we might prefer. A...

Street View to reshoot Japan after complaints

By Lester Haines | Google's Street View has agreed to reshoot all the images captured by its Japan-based spymobiles following mass complaints decrying the altitude of...

Google’s Street View rejected in Greece over privacy

A privacy watchdog has banned Google Inc. from gathering detailed, street-level images in Greece for a planned expansion of its panoramic Street View mapping...

ID cards are a ‘huge risk’ according to legal expert

THE government's controversial ID card plans are 'hugely risky' according to a legal expert. Manchester will be the first city where citizens will be...

Street View nod prompts call for privacy watchdog reform

By Chris Williams | Frustrated by years of alleged intransigence in dealing with complaints about privacy-infringing new technologies, activists have called for politicians to investigate and...

MPs to probe ISP snooping

By Chris Williams | MPs have today launched an investigation into the use of snooping technology by ISPs which allows them to profile customers for...

School bus tracked by satellite

Parents in North Wales will be able to use satellite tracking to check their children are on the school bus, as part of a...

Government denies that British live in “a surveillance society”.

Justice Minister Lord Bach insisted the Government took its obligations under data protection and human rights legislation "very seriously". He told a Lords debate on...

Big Brother in your car – Orwellian box to track your movements

The government is backing a project to install a "communication box" in new cars to track the whereabouts of drivers anywhere in Europe, the...

Security and fundamental freedoms on the Internet

  Increasingly, companies, governments, police and even criminals are seeking the greatest possible access to our private data. The internet provides a previously unimaginable level...

New Labour’s dream is a surveillance state nightmare

The Networker There's a delicious moment in Alastair Beaton's satirical film, The Trial of Tony Blair, in which the former prime minister is finally arrested...

Watching the watchers – online behaviour and privacy

Recent developments in behavioural or personalised internet advertising have prompted much debate and press coverage.  For example, it was reported in September last year that...

Warning over use of CCTV in pubs

The information commissioner has said pubs with no history of trouble should not be forced to install CCTV cameras. The Information Commissioner's Office is concerned...

Police tactics seek to ‘intimidate people and prevent lawful dissent’

By Linda Catt | It comes as no surprise to me to read that "Police are targeting thousands of political campaigners in surveillance operations and...

Probe exposes firms’ blacklist scandal

By James Tweedie | THE Information Commissioner's Office revealed shocking evidence on Friday of "rampant" blacklisting of workers in the construction industry. An eight-month investigation by...

ID Cards Under Fire

Ministers trying to extend identity card scheme by stealth say Lib Dems Commenting on reports that measures will be introduced to allow state officials to...

A Privacy And Security Pandora’s Box?

ScienceDaily | A research article published in the current issue of the International Journal of Intellectual Property Management suggests that Big Brother could be opening...

Forget ID cards, those in charge can’t keep anything secret

By Ross Brewster | It’s exactly a year since a computer disc holding the details of 25 million people mysteriously went missing. You would think...

More than 16.5 million people were placed at risk of identity theft

More than 16.5 million people were placed at risk of identity theft, after their details were lost or stolen from financial services firms, Computer...

Labour proposes huge increase in state surveillance

World Socialist Website | In a further escalation of the attack on democratic rights, the Labour government is proposing a huge increase in state surveillance....

ID cards – compulsory or not?

By David Meyer | It's not going to be compulsory to carry around ID cards. Honestly. So said Stephen Harrison, policy director at the ID...

Laptops Lost Like Hot Cakes at US Airports

By Agam Shah | Keep laptops close at airports, because they have a startling tendency to disappear in the blink of an eye, according...

Brussels To Sign Away Your Private Details To US

The Times | American authorities will be able to obtain greater access to private information such as credit card transactions, internet browsing habits and...

Biometric scans raise spectre of Big Brother workplaces

Management-Issues | As the FBI embarks on a $1bn programme to build the world's largest computer database of peoples' physical characteristics, UK employers are...

Your Privacy for Sale: Internet Providers Cash In

UPDATE: Thanks to information obtained by RINF readers, it appears Virgin Media are trying to distance themselves from Phorm. Virgin Media stated: "Virgin Media has signed...

London ANPR mass surveillance snooping

By SpyBlog | Just in case you thought that Spy Blog has not tried the available, alleged "checks and balances" which are supposed to prevent...

America can now spy on British motorists

By Toby Helm and Christopher Hope | Routine journeys carried out by millions of British motorists can be monitored by authorities in the United...

Fighting dirty wars: spying for the arms trade

By Eveline Lubbers The Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT) is a well respected Quaker and Christian-based pacifist group, which believes in non-violent protest. In the...

Call to scrap ID cards plan

A critical report today should be the last nail in the coffin of the government's proposed ID cards, said Jenny Willott, Welsh Liberal Democrat...

Millions put at risk from Government ID records

Millions of Britons face having their lives made a "misery" by mistakes on Government databases, it was claimed last night.Experts warned these errors could...

Government wants personal details of every traveller

Phone numbers and credit card data to be collected under expanded EU plan   Airline passengers will be monitored at every stage of their journey under...

Let’s not spy for the FBI

Plans for the US to access UK citizen's personal information via a shared international database are disturbing: we shouldn't sign up to it Nick Clegg News...

Privacy watchdog calls for RFID regulations

 Ian GrantConsumers who buy RFID-enabled goods should have an automatic veto against their personal details being collected and associated with the device, says the...

US and UK rank poorly as global privacy is being eroded

A London-based human rights watchdog group on surveillance and privacy has released its National Privacy Ranking for 2007, ranking the U.S, Russia, China and...

Check your privacy

If your organisation is using CCTV, substance-abuse testing, or checking staff email chat, maybe you should do a Privacy Impact Assessment (PIA). So the...

Chancellor should withdraw funding for ID cards

Alistair Darling's promise to increase penalties for wilful misuse of data is a wholly inappropriate response to recent data losses. If the police are...

Holyrood puts ID cards plan under scrutiny

UK Government plans to introduce compulsory ID cards were set to go under the spotlight at Holyrood today. MSPs were also to discuss the controversial...

Do we trust government on ID cards?

Identity cards will have to be "reassessed" in the wake of the child benefits fiasco, a Government minister has said. (Really). The data protection minister,...

The return of the ID card debate

The UK Government’s embarrassing loss of 25 million citizens’ personal details has reignited the ID card debate   By Pete Swabey It was the most highly publicised...

Ending the surveillance invasion

Gareth Crossman Liberty and the state: The state can no longer rely on the misplaced belief that privacy must be sacrificed for securityLiberty's policy department...

Information chief calls for review of ID card plans

Patrick Wintour The Guardian The government needs to review the scale of its plans for identity cards in the wake of the release of 25 million...

Lost: the personal details of 25 million people

Who decided to post two discs with personal and financial details of 25 million people by unregistered delivery? What has become of the missing discs...

Ten ways to thwart Big Brother

We’ve never been under such intense scrutiny as we are today. So how do we evade the snoopers? Here, an ‘off-grid’ expert offers an...

Government secrecy changes promised

Prime Minister Gordon Brown has presented plans to overhaul secrecy and data protection laws. In a speech on the subject of liberty, the Prime Minister...

Plan to ‘hijack’ bus passes as ID cards

 By Mark Howarth A CROSS-BORDER spat erupted last night over new Home Office plans for compulsory ID cards in Scotland. The Sunday Herald can reveal that...

Big Brother Britain: Government and councils to spy on ALL our phones

By JASON LEWIS Officials from the top of Government to lowly council officers will be given unprecedented powers to access details of every phone call...

BBC cuts bonuses in desperate bid to regain public confidence

By Stewart Payne The BBC has cut the bonuses it pays to staff following the outcry over the £20 million it handed out a year...

Liberal Democrats launch attack on Brown’s ‘surveillance society’

By Colin Brown Liberal Democrat leaders are to mount an attack on Britain's "surveillance society'' that threatens to wreck Gordon Brown's hopes of a cross-party...

Terror law puts Britons at risk of surveillance by US agents

Jamie Doward, home affairs editor Sunday August 19, 2007 The Observer A new law swept through Congress by the US government before the summer recess is to...

BBC journalist Kuenssberg to be given security guards over ‘anti-Corbyn bias’

BBC journalist Laura Kuenssberg will be given a private security detail at this year’s Labour...

Desperate GOP Resorts to "Blatant Bribery" in Bid to Save Floundering Trumpcare Bill

Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) walks to the US Capitol before all-night voting July 27, 2017, in Washington, DC. (Photo: Justin Sullivan / Getty Images) With...

EPA staff receive mandatory anti-leak training, leaked document shows

Published time: 23 Sep, 2017 20:23 Edited time: 23 Sep, 2017 20:52 Environmental Protection Agency employees...

Until Elected Officials Champion Medicare for All, They Can Expect Nurses at Their Offices — and...

ere’s what nurses know about the body of our country: healthy leadership is required to pass healthy legislation, and that makes for a healthy...

ALEC's Corporate Board Leads in Federal Violations

Koch Industries Executive Vice President David H. Koch listens to Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney during the Defending the American...

‘Legislators Criminalize Practices That Led to Wrongdoings Being Exposed’

Janine Jackson interviewed Chip Gibbons about attempts to censor reporting on agriculture for the September 15, 2017, episode of CounterSpin. This is a lightly...

Is Facilitating a Paid Informant Program Part of Journalism’s Job?

New York City news channel NY1 (7/20/17) aired a segment on a parolee from a narcotics conviction who was “seen committing some type of...

The Right Wing Has a Vast, Secret Plot to Destroy Unions for Good. Here's...

The vast right-wing network of Koch brother-funded "think tanks" is now plotting to finish off the public sector labor movement once and for all. In...

Are Hazardous Vapors Seeping Into Your Home?

(Photo: Pley / iStock / Getty Images Plus) When Jane Horton bought her dream 800-square-foot farmhouse in 1975, she thought little of the semiconductor manufacturing...

NAACP Files Lawsuit in Defense of DACA Eligible People of Color

BALTIMORE - The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), the country’s original civil rights organization, today filed a lawsuit against President...

Trumpcare Is Back, More Brutal and Deadly Than Ever

A group of activists rally against a GOP health care plan outside of the Metropolitan Republican Club, July 5, 2017, in New York City....

Pruitt Gives Another Present to Coal Executives

WASHINGTON - Yesterday, Donald Trump’s EPA Administrator, Scott Pruitt, granted a polluter petition to “reconsider” new clean water protections against dangerous coal ash pits...

‘Amnesty Don’: Trump’s base furious over reported DACA deal with Democrats

Published time: 14 Sep, 2017 18:40 Many supporters of US President Donald Trump are reacting angrily...

May trying to 'seize power' like Hitler, Vanity Fair editor says

Theresa May is attempting to "seize power" in the same way that Adolf Hitler did,...

Off the wall: White House denies Democrats’ claim Trump agreed to DACA deal excl....

Published time: 14 Sep, 2017 03:46 Edited time: 14 Sep, 2017 03:56 Two senior Democratic Party...

Trump blocks $1.3bn sale of US tech company to China for ‘national security’ reasons

President Donald Trump has blocked one of the largest attempted acquisitions of a US company by...

9 arrested after 'antifa' activists clash with far-right protesters in Oregon & Washington (PHOTOS)

At least nine people were arrested after clashes in Oregon and Washington saw 'antifa' activists attack...

Corporate Media’s Soft Spot for Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner

Us Weekly’s fawning tabloid coverage of Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner hasn’t been that much different than the kid-glove treatment given to the couple...

As Scotland Vows 100% Transition to Electric Cars, US Caves to Auto Industry's Dirty...

As Scotland becomes the most recent nation to pledge a phaseout of new petrol and diesel vehicles, the Trump administration was sued on Thursday...

College rape policy a ‘failed system’ says DeVos, sparking outrage

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos is vowing to replace an Obama-era rule regarding rape prosecutions on college...

Sessions Is Wrong: There Is No Legal Justification for Ending DACA

Genoveva Ramirez and her grandson Mariano Castellanos, 7, both of Chicago, join fellow protesters in front of the Department of Justice to demonstrate against...

New Report Exposes "Big Ag's Gag Agenda"

A new report puts a spotlight on so-called "ag-gag" laws, offering a clear look at how these efforts to criminalize whistleblowing "are part of...

States threaten to sue over DACA, as Trump tweets he'll 'revisit' policy if Congress...

As President Donald Trump vows to “revisit the issue” of granting legal status to “dreamer” immigrants...

Hurricane Harvey: Tales of heartache & heroism in Texas

Days after Hurricane Harvey first hit Texas, residents are bracing for more flooding as the storm...

Pentagon wants to search 80% of world’s IP addresses for viruses – DARPA docs

The US Department of Defense wants to identify and neutralize cyber viruses by deploying software bugs...

DACA's Widespread Support Clear as Program's Fate Under Trump Looms

Ahead of an announcement from the White House on the fate of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, mobilizations online and on...

Four companies selected to build prototypes for Trump’s border wall

Published time: 31 Aug, 2017 21:33 Edited time: 1 Sep, 2017 10:33 The Trump administration has...

Trump Is Trying to Cut Disaster Relief to Build a Border Wall

People are rescued from a flooded neighborhood after it was inundated with rain water, remnants of Hurricane Harvey, on August 28, 2017, in Houston,...

Amid Texas flood relief & rescue, potshots at Trump

As the death toll from Hurricane Harvey rises and Americans live through the devastation, some are...

The Stomach-churning Violence of Monsanto, Bayer and the Agrochemical Oligopoly

As humans, we have evolved with the natural environment over millennia. We have learned what to eat and what not to eat, what to...

Afghanistan and the Collapse of American Governance

For years Donald Trump called for an end to America’s war in Afghanistan. Yet as president he has quickly decided to expand the war....

Happy Women’s Equality Day. Now Let’s Get to Work.

It has been almost half a century since the Women's Strike for Equality March. Forty-seven years ago, 50,000 women marched down Fifth Avenue in...

Economic Update: Human Rights vs. US Water Economics

This week's episode discusses Trump's battle with Amazon over taxes, how Americans are dying younger, Monsanto profiting at farmers' expense and the economics of...

Earthjustice On Zinke’s National Monuments Report: Secretary Zinke, Make Your Report Public

WASHINGTON - Today the Interior Department announced that Secretary Zinke sent a report with recommendations on national monuments to President Trump - without releasing...

Assange blasts ‘absurd’ bid to class WikiLeaks a hostile intelligence service

Published time: 24 Aug, 2017 15:02 WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange slammed efforts to officially class his...

Dallas anti-racism rally marred by scuffles at Pioneer Park Cemetery (PHOTOS, VIDEOS)

Published time: 20 Aug, 2017 03:57 Edited time: 20 Aug, 2017 05:14 Thousands of people have...

Was Labour right to 'sack' Sarah Champion for saying Pakistani men ‘rape, exploit white...

Sarah Champion was reportedly forced out of the Labour shadow cabinet after writing a controversial...

Like Everything Public

APPIP ERROR:nodata[ (0) NO DATA APPIP ERROR:nodata[ (0) NO DATA By Dr. Mercola Many people drink water straight from their tap, assuming it to be...

Louisiana annuls law restricting immigrants’ right to marry

A federal judge in Louisiana has struck down a state law that prohibited a Vietnamese refugee’s...

Emails Show USDA Staff Told to 'Avoid' Term 'Climate Change' Under Trump

Staffers at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) service responsible for helping American farmers with conservation efforts were instructed by top officials to avoid...

Why on Earth Is Trump Attacking Nation's Nursing Home Population?

"Why does Trump hate grandmothers?" So asked Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.) on Sunday as he decried a proposal from the administration that would prevent abused...

No Country on Earth Fully Safeguards Labor Rights

Photo by Rob Oo | CC BY 2.0 There is no country on Earth in which violations of labor rights do not occur. The best...

US vs hackers: America’s crusade against cybercrime

Cyberattacks across the world have grown ever-larger in scale, inflicting billions of dollars of damage –...

‘You’re in Danger of Ignoring an Entire Section of the Population’

Janine Jackson interviewed Talia Buford on environmental justice policy for the July 28, 2017, episode of CounterSpin. This is  a lightly edited transcript. ...

Biological Warfare: US & Saudis Use Cholera to Kill Yemenis

Chemical/biological warfare is the term used to describe the use of chemical or biological agents as weapons to injure or kill humans, livestock, or...

Democrats Push for More Wells Fargo Hearings After Latest News of Fake Accounts

Democrats in the Senate Banking Committee jointly called for a hearing with Wells Fargo CEO Timothy Sloan days after he admitted to his company...

Mueller enlists DC grand jury in Russia probe – report

Special Counsel Robert Mueller has reportedly impaneled a grand jury and expanded his team of investigators...

Trump wants US access to Britain’s food market, and Scotland to forget independence

Published time: 2 Aug, 2017 14:47 US President Donald Trump has called for an expansive...

‘Win-win-win situation’: Los Angeles to host 2028 Olympics, giving Paris the 2024 games

Los Angeles, California has been awarded the 2028 Olympic Summer games. In order to finance the...

Trump’s Mexico wall prototypes delayed despite House vote to fund project

Published time: 28 Jul, 2017 17:45 Edited time: 29 Jul, 2017 19:38 The construction of a...

History Shows That Stacking Federal Science Advisory Committees Doesn't Work

Scientists are busy people, but every year thousands donate many hours of their time without payment to advise Congress and federal government agencies. They...

Economic Update: The Economics of Socialism

This week's episode discusses sanctions on Russia, medical companies' failures, cable company monopolies, CEO pay and more. Also included is a discussion of the...

Britain forced to rely on foreign allies to guard its borders

Insufficient investment and poor planning have rendered the UK more dependent on the US and...

Calais migrants 'hijack truck after attacking British driver with brick'

A British truck driver was attacked and left for dead in Calais, northern France, when...

No transgender people to serve in US military 'in any capacity' – Trump

Transgender people will not be allowed to serve in the American military in any capacity, President...

Donald Trump working on ‘big’ UK trade deal, takes a swipe at EU

Published time: 25 Jul, 2017 14:44 US President Donald Trump says he is working on...

Appeals court strikes down Washington, DC gun restriction

Published time: 25 Jul, 2017 17:22 Requiring that individuals must have a “good reason” to need...

Trump says he is working on ‘very big and exciting’ trade deal with UK

Donald Trump has said he is working on a “major” post-Brexit trade deal with the UK that could be “very big”.  The announcement in a...

It's (Loan) Shark Week: Families Are Biting Back

(Photo: Ismagilov / Getty Images) It's Shark Week, but the most dangerous predators this year aren't on TV or at the beaches -- they are...

Farmworkers Protest EPA’s Pesticide Ruling

As part of President Trump’s campaign against President Obama’s environmental regulations, Trump’s EPA has rejected a proposed rule banning a...

Food Safety and Environmental Organizations Call on EPA to Ban Bee-Killing Pesticides

WASHINGTON - A coalition of food safety and environmental groups will deliver hundreds of thousands of public comments to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency...

The Russia Investigation is Distracting Us from These Two Key Issues

by Sandra O'Hare The current administration is…newsworthy. New information about collusion with Russia during the campaign seems to come forward daily, and everyone is (understandably...

Afghanistan civilian deaths hit record highs as US airstrikes reach 2012 levels

The US Air Force has used the same number of munitions in the first half of...

US court upholds ‘gag’ rules on surveillance of social media users

Privacy advocates suffered a stinging defeat by a federal appeals court which ruled in favor of...

Porn sites to be blocked if they don’t check users are over 18

Pornographic content could soon be hidden behind age-verification checks as the government takes its first...

‘If Don Jr’s Russian meeting was nefarious, why did Secret Service allow it?’ –...

President Donald Trump’s legal team insists that the campaign meeting between Donald Trump Jr. and a...

The Biotech Trade Empire Strikes Back—at USDA!

The American Farm Bureau organized letter on proposed new rules regulating genetically engineered (GE) crops is short, just two pages, with three pages of agribusiness signatories,...

First DREAMer deported under Trump files new evidence, disputing government's account

Eyewitnesses claim that immigration officers illegally forced a “dreamer” over the border, according to court documents...

The Destructiveness of America’s Alliances

Eric Zuesse, originally posted at strategic-culture.org Alliances between nations are military. Without being military, they would be nothing. Trade agreements don’t require any alliances at...

Trump’s Voter Suppression Team is Playing the Long Game

Earlier this week, the ACLU and the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law each filed separate lawsuits against the Trump administration, alleging that...

ACLU, Diverse Organizations to Participate in July 12 Net Neutrality Day of Action

WASHINGTON - The American Civil Liberties Union, tech companies, civil rights organizations, and many others will join forces tomorrow, July 12, in a day...

Class action lawsuits against banks & credit card companies now easier to join

Banks and credit card issuers will no longer be allowed to use private arbitration clauses to...

German industry bosses issue stark Brexit warning to May

Key German exporters have reaffirmed their allegiance to protecting the single market, warning Britain it...

Civilian death toll rises to over 600 in US-led coalition airstrikes against ISIS in...

A new Operation Inherent Resolve report has confirmed a total of 603 civilian deaths in the...

EPA faces lawsuit from 4 states & DC for keeping hazardous pesticide on market

A coalition of states have jumped aboard a lawsuit against Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott...

When Will Co-opted Figures and Board Members of Companies like Monsanto and Bayer Be...

The public is being poisoned, disease rates are spiralling, waterways are contaminated, soil is being degraded, insects, birds, invertebrates and plant diversity are in...

US Raqqa offensive killing more civilians than claimed – airstrike monitor

As coalition airstrikes assault the Islamic State stronghold of Raqqa, Syria, a monitoring group insists UN...

US court dismisses Yemen drone strike wrongful death suit

A US appeals court has upheld a decision dismissing a lawsuit brought by a Yemeni man...

EPA to repeal Obama-era clean water regulation Trump called ‘one of the worst’

President Donald Trump’s administration has announced plans to scrap regulation, that protects waterways that provide one-third...

Gov’t Peeping Toms Abound

APPIP ERROR:nodata[ (0) NO DATA APPIP ERROR:nodata[ (0) NO DATA “We are rapidly entering the age of no privacy, where everyone is open to...

What Happens When the Federal Government Eliminates Health Coverage?

A patient is examined at a practice in Taylorsville, Kentucky, January 15, 2014. President Trump has repeatedly threatened to cut off the federal funding...

22mn Americans to lose health insurance under Senate Obamacare repeal bill ‒ CBO

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) assessed the Republican-proposed healthcare bill facing the US Senate will cost...

Economic Update: Capitalism's Self-Destruction

  This week's episode discusses the declining California State University system, Trump vs. coal industry realities, Hudson Yards for the mega-rich vs. New York's social...

Feds investigate toxic spill on Ohio wetland by #DAPL operator

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), which is overseeing the development of a new interstate natural...

Permanently Closed U.S. Nuclear Reactor Should Be "Autopsied"

TAKOMA PARK, Md. - A permanently closed nuclear reactor in Florida that, documents show, likely has a manufactured weakness in a vital safety component...

A Grain of Truth: RCEP and the Corporate Hijack of Indian Agriculture

The plight of farmers in India has been well documented. A combination of debt, economic liberalisation, subsidised imports, rising input costs and a shift...

Are Solar Panels in Your Plans?

When in comes to all things solar, I am a novice.  I have a very basic set-up from Harbor Freight that is used for...

Trump Cuts Critical Services to Pay for Wealthy Tax Cuts

At a recent press conference at the U.S. Capitol, Marta Conner told reporters, “My daughter Caroline is alive because of Medicaid.” Caroline suffers from...

Trump, DeVos 'Betray' Students With Gift to Predatory For-Profit Schools

The Trump administration on Wednesday announced that rules designed to protect students from predatory for-profit schools will be delayed and possibly scrapped entirely. "We need...

Interior secretary recommends hacking up Bears Ears National Monument

Published time: 13 Jun, 2017 05:33 Following up on an executive order, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke...

First images of fake suicide belts worn by London attackers released (PHOTOS)

Published time: 11 Jun, 2017 05:36 Edited time: 11 Jun, 2017 05:57 London police have...

Cookware, packing toxins polluting drinking water in 27 US states – report

From California to Flint, Michigan and New Jersey, harmful toxic chemicals linked to cancer can be...

‘We Have Revitalized White Supremacist Thinking in the Mainstream’

Janine Jackson interviewed Heidi Beirich about white supremacist violence for the June 2, 2017, episode of CounterSpin. This is a lightly edited transcript. ...

Supreme Court rules more N. Carolina districts illegally gerrymandered on race

The Supreme Court has yet again waded into the fray of North Carolina politics, ruling once...

Dropping Out of Paris Even Worse Than You Think – Way Worse

No matter how bad you think Trump’s decision to drop out of the Paris Agreement was, the reality is worse.  It is, in fact,...

Trump Hotel guest arrested with guns & ammo in car

Police arrested a man who was staying at the Trump Hotel in Washington, DC after guns...

How Chicken Farmers Are Getting Clucked in a Supermarket Near You

Commercials featuring upbeat music, smiling farmers, and anthropomorphized chickens -- ads generated by companies like Foster Farmers and Pilgrim's Pride -- help make customers...

Billionaire Koch brothers lurk behind Trump Paris deal pull-out, but endgame is murky

Trump’s highly controversial decision to leave the Paris Climate Agreement was well-telegraphed throughout his campaign, but...

Economic Update: Economic Failures and the Blame Game

This week's episode discusses how big banks fix rates and how CEOs' pay rises faster than that of their employees. Also included are major...

'Art of breaking a deal': Trump’s withdrawal from Paris climate accord sparks backlash

Both condemnation and support for President Donald Trump’s announcement of US withdrawal from the Paris climate...

Kathy Griffin Posts a Video of Trump's 'Severed Head' on Social Media

Kathy Griffin has apologized for posting a video of President Trump's severed head after a furious backlash, sparking the Secret Service into an...

The Other Special Prosecutor We Need

Instead of divesting from his international real estate holdings and ventures, Trump turned the day-to-day operations over to his. This means he gets to...

Are EPA Scientists in Trump's Crosshairs?

The Environmental Protection Agency in Washington, DC. (Photo: NRDC pix; Edited: LW / TO) Anyone worried that the Trump administration will politicize or interfere with...

Other G7 Leaders Plow Ahead After Trump Throws 'Tantrum' Over Climate Accord

Further isolating the United States as other world powers prepare to take on the crisis of climate change, President Donald Trump refused to commit...

Economic Update: Worker Co-ops as Our Economic Future

This week's episode discusses Trump's 2018 budget, Ford's undemocratic decisions, the US's opioid crisis, the Swiss vote to end nuclear power, Harley-Davidson moving jobs...

Trump’s Reckless Appeasement of Coal Industry is Putting America’s Drinking Water at Risk

Sierra ClubLate yesterday, Donald Trump’s EPA Administrator, Scott Pruitt, proposed suspending deadlines for new clean water protections against coal plants dumping massive amounts of...

Trump's Muslim Ban 2.0, "Dripping With Intolerance," Ruled Unconstitutional

A federal appeals court ruled Thursday that President Donald Trump's revised Muslim Ban, issued in March and lambasted by rights groups, is unconstitutional.  The full Fourth...

Lawsuit Targets Potential Cancer Threat in the South's Farming Communities

More than 800 cancer patients nationwide are involved in a class-action lawsuit that accuses the chemical giant Monsanto of failing to adequately warn them...

‘Nothing speculative about it’: Wikimedia-led lawsuit against NSA restored by court

A federal appeals court has revived part of a lawsuit against the National Security Agency filed...

Big Guns Work

By Erika Haas Bearing Arms May 20, 2017 A mother in Tennessee was forced to pull out the big guns Monday morning after a home intruder...

Notre Dame Students Stage Walkout During VP Pence's Commencement Address

Over 100 members of the University of Notre Dame's latest graduating class walked out Sunday as commencement speaker Vice President Mike Pence began his...

Trump Admin. Now Deploying Controversial Surveillance Tool in Immigration Crackdown

As the Trump administration and Congressional Republicans continue to push for a harsher immigration crackdown, new reporting reveals that FBI and Immigration and Customs...

DOJ launches ‘Blue’ alert for threats against law enforcement

The Justice Department’s national Blue alert system will alert law enforcement, the media and the public...

How NSA Can Secretly Aid Criminal Cases

From the Archive: Official Washington is thrilled by the choice of ex-FBI Director Mueller as Russia-gate special counsel, hailing him...

Why Controversy Over Trump Sends Shockwaves Through US Stock Markets

The US stock market has plummeted over US President Donald Trump’s alleged attempt to stop former FBI Director James Comey from investigating former National...

Trump-Lavrov leak claims won’t affect UK intelligence-sharing with US – PM Theresa May

Published time: 17 May, 2017 11:42 Edited time: 17 May, 2017 12:22 UK Prime Minister...

China champions globalisation

Prominent Lawyer Prashant Bhushan Urges Indian Government to Stop Commercialisation of GM Mustard

The environment ministry in India will make the final call after the Genetic Engineering Appraisal Committee recently gave a positive recommendation for the commercial...