To paraphrase a Bob Dylan song, the times, they are a-scarying! Not only did Donald Trump win the US elections, which could have a major impact on global online privacy issues, but Great Britain and Russia are making efforts to catch up by rubber-stamping new surveillance laws. Here is the most important news of the week on the online privacy front, in a nutshell:
Privacy-invasive law gets the green light in the UK
The Draft Communications Data Bill, a.k.a the “Snooper’s Charter”, was introduced by then-home secretary Theresa May in 2012, and took two attempts to get passed into law following breakdowns in the previous coalition government.
With May as prime minister, on Wednesday, November 16, the bill was finalized and passed by the Parliament.
The law will force internet providers to record every internet customer’s top-level web history in real-time for up to a year, which can be accessed by numerous government departments. On top of this and more worryingly, the law gives intelligence agencies the power to citizens’ computers and devices.
Do you live in Britain? Maybe you should consider installing CyberGhost VPN for free in order to protect your online privacy.
Russia to start blocking LinkedIn after court ruling
Russia’s communications regulator ordered public access to LinkedIn’s website to be blocked on Thursday to comply with a court ruling that found the social networking firm guilty of violating a data storage law.
LinkedIn will be blocked in Russia within 24 hours. One Internet service provider, Rostelcom, said it had already blocked access, according to Reuters.
LinkedIn, which has its headquarters in the United States, is the first major social network to be blocked by Russian authorities, setting a precedent for the way foreign Internet firms operate. It has over 6 million registered users in Russia.
US Government releases IoT security guidance
In response to recent major DDoS attacks leveraging botnets of compromised smart devices, the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) released new guidance documents and principles aiming to improve IoT security.
The DHS release is aimed at manufacturers, services providers, developers and business-level consumers while NIST’s much more detailed document targets manufacturers/developers with guidance on how to engineer safer products.
Snowden warns of social media news monopoly
In light of Trump’s election, many fingers have been pointed at Facebook’s potential contribution. There have been voices accusing the network’s promotion of fake election news to the detriment of real stories, an idea rejected by Mark Zuckerberg as “crazy”.
Regardless whether these allegations are true or not, during Fusion’s Real Future Fair, Snowden criticized the centralization of power in the sphere of social media, warning that such a monopolization can lead to dangerous consequences,
His solution: federalist vision of Facebook where numerous interconnected Facebook sites exist and can all propose their own rules.