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UK Government Backtracks On Black Box Snooping 32

judgecorp writes "On the day the so-called snooper's charter was included in proposed UK legislation, as part of the Queen's Speech, it has emerged that the government is already backtracking on the controversial idea of making ISPs install black boxes to collect traffic and pass it to the authorities. The bill is not yet in a draft form, and TechWeek has learned there is a lot of maneuvering behind the scenes."

EU May Allow US To Keep Snooping On European Bank Data 206

zaphod2 alerts us to a storm brewing in Europe over access by US intelligence agencies to EU banking data. There is considerable opposition in Europe to extending this access. The submitter adds, "I wonder how long it takes until gambling, online games, or non-RIAA-approved music shops are considered supporters of terrorism." "US anti-terror officials want to be able to continue examining Europeans' financial transactions, and it appears likely that the European Union is going to comply. ... The US has been examining transactions handled by the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Transactions (SWIFT) since the 9/11 attacks... However, SWIFT, which is located in Belgium, is planning to move its servers and database — which is currently located in the US — to Europe. With data privacy laws far stricter in Europe, the US would then need permission from the EU before it could gain access to this sensitive information."

In Finland, Nokia May Get Its Own Snooping Law 284

notany writes "Nokia may be too big a company for Finland (a country of 5 million people). It seems that Nokia's lobbyists can push an unconstitutional law through the legislature at will. After Nokia was caught red-handed, twice, snooping on its employees (first 2000-2001, second 2005), the company started a relentless lobbying and pressure campaign against politicians to push what the press has been calling 'Lex Nokia' or the 'snooping law.' This proposed law would allow employers to investigate the log data of employees' e-mails, legalizing the kind of snooping that Nokia had engaged in. Parliament's Constitutional Law Committee asked the opinions of eight legal experts, and all opined that the proposed law is unconstitutional. The committee ignored all the advice and declared the proposal constitutional." An anonymous reader adds a link to an AFP story reporting that Nokia has threatened to pull out of Finland unless the law passes.

Verizon Employees Fired For Snooping Obama's Record 344

longhairedgnome writes "The curiosity in President-elect Barack Obama's phone records came with a high price tag for Verizon Wireless employees. According to CNN, the workers who snooped on Obama's phone records have been fired. 'This was some employees' idle curiosity,' a company source told CNN and added 'we now consider this matter closed.' Justice served? What about legal possibilities?" Can we expect anyone who followed a warrantless wiretap from the Bush administration to also be fired then? I mean, they violated our privacy as well.

Researchers Find Problems With RFID Passport Cards 172

An anonymous reader writes "Researchers at the University of Washington have found that RFID tags used in two new types of border-crossing documents in the US are vulnerable to snooping and copying. The information in these tags could be copied on to another, off-the-shelf tag, which might be used to impersonate the legitimate holder of the card." You can also read the summary of the researchers' report.
The Courts

Where To Draw the Line When Punishing Email Snooping? 124

CWmike writes "While it might seem like a practical joke or a harmless, furtive glance, e-mail snooping could land you in more hot water than you'd ever expect — you could be charged with a federal crime. The recent case of a Philadelphia TV news anchor charged with breaking into his co-anchor's e-mail accounts shines a light on the seriousness of such snooping. Scott Christie, a former federal prosecutor who headed up the computer hacking section at the U.S. Attorney's Office, said, 'You look over someone's shoulder and read a personal letter and that's not a crime, so how can it be a crime to access someone's e-mail? It's not the same thing, of course... What you're doing when you're accessing e-mail is affirmatively exceeding your access to electronic documents and systems.' He adds: 'Usually, you're doing that by pretending to be that person to break into their account.'" It's worth noting that the Philadelphia man accessed his co-worker's email over 500 times, and his use of the information he found was hardly harmless. However, the rules and conventions for email privacy are much less familiar to most people than the laws regarding snail mail. At what point does a privacy breach demand punishment?

1 In 3 Sysadmins Snoop On Colleagues 392

klubar writes "According to a a recent survey, one in three IT staff snoops on colleagues. U.S. information security company Cyber-Ark surveyed 300 senior IT professionals, and found that one-third admitted to secretly snooping, while 47 percent said they had accessed information that was not relevant to their role. Makes you wonder about the other 2 out of 3. Did they lie on the survey or really don't snoop?"

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