#IMWeekly: December 2, 2013

Canada
Documents leaked by Edward Snowden revealed that Canada allowed the US National Security Agency to conduct widespread surveillance during the G8 and G20 summits that were held in Toronto in 2010. It is unclear who the specific targets of the surveillance operation were. Both US and Canadian officials declined to comment on the new revelations.

Netherlands
A seven-month investigation by the Dutch Data Protection Authority (DPA) found that Google’s policy of combining personal data from the various online services that it provides violates Dutch data protection law. The DPA’s recent conclusions are based in part a new privacy policy that Google introduced in March 2012 and implemented, according to the DPA, without adequately informing users about what it would be collecting and why. The same policy is under investigation in five other European states: France, Spain, Germany, Italy, and Britain.

South Africa
South African President Jacob Zuma signed a Protection of Personal Information (POPI) Bill into law. According to a statement issued by a presidential spokesman, “The act will give effect to the right to privacy, by introducing measures to ensure that the personal information of an individual is safeguarded when it is processed by responsible parties.” The new POPI law is designed to protect consumers’ right to privacy while not overly burdening online businesses and entrepreneurs who seek to legitimately use their customers’ personal information to provide better services.

Vietnam
The Vietnamese government issued two new decrees that create new fines for various offenses related to e-commerce and social media. The full impact of the decrees remains to be seen. Critics fear, however, that the new commerce fines place undue restrictions on young e-commerce sites. Activists are also concerned that the new social media fines, which penalize “propaganda against the state” and expressions of “radical ideology”, could be used to further suppress online activity and activism.

#imweekly is a regular round-up of news about Internet content controls and activity around the world. To subscribe via RSS, click here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>