"All indications are that the attack on the editorial offices of satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo will provide a pretext for the introduction of further limits on our civil liberties - a new order the victims of which are unlikely to be terrorists … Independent analyses confirm that data inflation and the growing use of algorithms in intelligence work do not improve the effectiveness of threat detection.
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Since the first stories revealing the extent of mass surveillance appeared in the Guardian in June 2013, the Snowden files have helped to shine a light on the government agencies who monitor the online activity of their citizens and the companies who collect their customers’ personal data. Julia Powles (University of Cambridge), Mike Harris (Don’t Spy On Us), Josh Levy (Access Now) and Katarzyna Szymielewicz (Panoptykon Foundation) in a panel chaired by James Ball (The Guardian) explore who owns our data, how to take control of our online lives and ask what is the future of our personal data.
On 11 September 2014 digital right activists and advocates around the world commemorated the anniversary of 9/11 terrorist attacks on the WTC as the Freedom not Fear Day. It reminded decision makers and society as a whole that “absolute security” is a fallacy that can never be achieved, even in return for giving up all citizens’ rights and freedoms. EDRi member Panoptykon Foundation used this opportunity to remind the Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) about their promises to end the mass surveillance.
The current Polish Data Protection Commissioner (DPC) will remain on his post for another, second term after the Polish Parliament confirmed his nomination on 25 July 2014. The decision did not come as a surprise: Wojciech Wiewiórowski was the only candidate for the post and has an excellent background for the role. Just like during the previous nomination process four years ago, EDRi member Panoptykon monitored the process, to ensure its transparency to the public.