Access Now - Access teams with digital activists and civil society groups internationally to build their technical capacity and to help them to globally advocate for their digital rights. Fights for open and secure communications for all
Axciom - Consumer data broker that tracks everything from a person's estimated income to his political leanings, shopping patterns and exercise habits. Acxiom has amassed the world's largest commercial database on consumers.
Al Haramain v. Bush - This case alleges targeting of the leaders of an Islamic charity and their lawyers by the admitted, targeted warrantless wiretapping by the NSA. It is based on a document that was accidentally disclosed to the plaintiffs by the government that the plaintiffs allege demonstrates that they were subjected to warrantless wiretapping (the exact facts are held under tight seal).
Anonymizer - Identity protection has become increasingly important. The FTC estimated that close to 10 million people in the U.S. were victims of identity theft last year. Your personal information can be stolen through online spying. In fact, 9 out of 10 computers are infected with spyware, making it critical for people to use anti spyware protection. While you are surfing the Internet, your surfing activity and your keystrokes can be monitored by spyware. To prevent this kind of attack on your privacy, choose an anti spyware solution that will provide identity protection. Anonymizer anti-spyware enforces identity protection and gives you peace of mind when surfing the Internet.
Anonymous Remailer FAQ - A nontechnical overview of remailers to help you decide whether to use these computer services.
Bank Secrecy Act - Though most people do not know it, financial institutions are required by the federal government to spy on their customers. Congress authorized the Treasury Department to require them to do so in the Bank Secrecy Act. The Bank Secrecy Act authorizes the Treasury Department to require financial institutions to maintain records of personal financial transactions that "have a high degree of usefulness in criminal, tax and regulatory investigations and proceedings." It also authorizes the Treasury Department to require any financial institution to report any "suspicious transaction relevant to a possible violation of law or regulation." These reports, called "Suspicious Activity Reports" are filed with the Treasury Department's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network ("FinCEN").
Big Brother Awards - Each year Privacy International and a growing number of affiliate human rights groups present the Big Brother Awards to government agencies, private companies and individuals who have excelled in the violation of our privacy.
Big Brother Watch (UK) - Set up to challenge policies that threaten privacy, freedom and civil liberties, and to expose the true scale of the surveillance state.
Biometrics Research - Biometrics is a rapidly evolving technology which is being widely used in forensics such as criminal identification and prison security, and has the potential to be used in a large range of civilian application areas. Biometrics can be used to prevent unauthorized access to ATMs, cellular phones, smart cards, desktop PCs, workstations, and computer networks. It can be used during transactions conducted via telephone and internet (electronic commerce and electronic banking). In automobiles, biometrics can replace keys with key-less entry devices.
Canadian Internet Policy and Public Interest Clinic (CIPPIC) - Provides legal assistance to under-represented organizations and individuals on matters involving the intersection of law and technology. Projects and cases are selected based on a number of considerations including clinic resources, in-house expertise, appropriateness for student work, implications for public policy, and need for pro bono representation.
Center for Democracy and Technology (CDT) - Promotes democratic values and constitutional liberties in the digital age. Free speech, data privacy, wiretapping, cryptography, legislation, news. Visit CDT's Wiretap section for information on government surveillance, CDT's popular chart summarizing the rules under which the government can intercept your communications or seize your email; CDT's overview of the FBI's Digital Storm program and law enforcement data networks utilizing the new digital technology to expand government surveillance power; and updated information about the Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act (CALEA).
Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act of 1994 (CALEA) - In October 1994, Congress took action to protect public safety and national security by enacting CALEA. The law further defines the existing statutory obligation of telecommunications carriers to assist law enforcement in executing electronic surveillance pursuant to court order or other lawful authorization.
Cookie Central - Dedicated to answering questions about cookies, the kind that are so adept at storing information in visitor browsers.
CyberAge Stalking by Barbara Fullerton - The Internet, as an easy accessible and affordable tool, opens new avenues for the "traditional stalker." This article provides informatin on cyberstalking and actions you might take to prevent or to stop it.
Data Protection and Protection of Privacy in Switzerland - Swiss legislation on data protection is compatible with the Council of Europe's Convention for the Protection of Individuals With Regard to Automatic Processing of Personal Data (ETS 108), which was ratified by Switzerland on October 2, 1997, and entered into force on February 1, 1998, and with the standards set by the relevant EU directive. Under Article 6 of the Federal Law on Data Protection of June 19, 1992 (SR 235.1), personal data may not be transferred abroad if the privacy of the persons concerned could be seriously jeopardized, particularly in cases where there is a failure to provide protection equivalent to that provided under Swiss law. In any case, equivalent protection must be stipulated through a contract in order to send personal data to countries with no data protection legislation.
Digital Defenders Partnership (DDP) - Established to provide rapid response to threats to internet freedom. The Partnership aims at keeping the internet open and free from emerging threats, specifically in internet repressive and transitional environments. It also wants to increase and better coordinate emergency support for the internet's critical users, whenever and wherever they are under threat. The DDP provides grants to individuals and organizations, invests in applied research projects, and connects stakeholders.
Digital Security Helpline - A free of charge resource for civil society around the world. Offers real-time, direct technical assistance and advice to activists, independent media, and civil society organizations.
Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) - A non-profit, non-partisan organization working in the public interest to protect fundamental civil liberties, including privacy and freedom of expression in the arena of computers and the Internet. Also see:
Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) - A public interest research center in Washington, D.C., established to focus public attention on emerging civil liberties issues and to protect privacy, the First Amendment, and constitutional values.
Falkvinge & Co. - Rick Falkvinge is the founder of the Swedish and first Pirate Party, which has representation in the European parliament and has spawned Pirate Parties in more than 50 other countries. Here, Falkvinge & Co. comment on information policy and civil liberties in Europe and elsewhere in the world.
Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) (20 U.S.C. § 1232g; 34 CFR Part 99) - A Federal law that protects the privacy of student education records. The law applies to all schools that receive funds under an applicable program of the U.S. Department of Education. FERPA gives parents certain rights with respect to their children's education records. These rights transfer to the student when he or she reaches the age of 18 or attends a school beyond the high school level. Students to whom the rights have transferred are "eligible students."
Federal Trade Commission (FTC): Privacy and Security - For many companies, collecting sensitive consumer and employee information is an essential part of doing business. If you collect this type of information, it's your legal responsibility to take steps to properly secure or dispose of that data.
Fix it Already - EFF: "Tech companies could change these things to make your life easier and protect your digital security and privacy. Why haven’t they yet?"
Foundation for Information Policy Research (FIPR) - An independent body studying the interaction between information technology and society. Its goal is to identify technical developments with significant social impact, commission and undertake research into public policy alternatives, and promote public understanding and dialogue between technologists and policy-makers in the UK and Europe. E.g., see the Surveillance and Security and Health Privacy pages.
Global Government Surveillance Reform - Campaign by private corporations to limit governments' authority to collect users' information and promoting more oversight and accountability of intelligence agencies gathering such information.
Identity Theft - Outline of federal statutes and bibliography of select resources. Included is a list of newsletters and blogs that can be used to keep abreast of new developments, such as a bill introduction or a major security breach.
Identity Theft Resource Center - Dedicated exclusively to the understanding and prevention of identity theft. The ITRC provides consumer and victim support as well as public education. The ITRC also advises governmental agencies, legislators, law enforcement, and businesses about the evolving and growing problem of identity theft.
International Biometric Group - Provides technology-neutral and vendor-independent biometric services and solutions to financial institutions, government agencies, systems integrators, and high-tech firms.
Is My Cell Phone Bugged?: Everything You Need to Know to Keep Your Mobile Conversations Private - In Is My Cell Phone Bugged?, eavesdropping detection specialist Kevin D. Murray draws from over 30 years experience and detailed research to show readers how to retake control of their privacy. Murray conveys critical safeguarding information for all cell phone users in an engaging and straightforward manner. An expert in the fields of counterespionage and eavesdropping detection, Kevin educates the reader, shows red flags, and provides real solutions to safeguard this technology.
Junkbusters - Self-defense against privacy invading marketing.
La Quadrature du Net - An advocacy group defending the rights and freedoms of citizens on the Internet. More specifically, it advocates for the adaptation of French and European legislations to respect the founding principles of the Internet, most notably the free circulation of knowledge. As such, La Quadrature du Net engages in public-policy debates concerning, for instance, freedom of expression, copyright, regulation of telecommunications and online privacy.
Lessons from the Identity Trail - During the past decade, rapid developments in information and communications technology have transformed key social, commercial, and political realities. Within that same time period, working at something less than Internet speed, much of the academic and policy debate arising from these new and emerging technologies has been fragmented. There have been few examples of interdisciplinary dialogue about the importance and impact of anonymity and privacy in a networked society. Lessons from the Identity Trail: Anonymity, Privacy and Identity in a Networked Society fills that gap, and examines key questions about anonymity, privacy, and identity in an environment that increasingly automates the collection of personal information and relies upon surveillance to promote private and public sector goals. This book has been informed by the results of a multi-million dollar research project that has brought together a distinguished array of philosophers, ethicists, feminists, cognitive scientists, lawyers, cryptographers, engineers, policy analysts, government policy makers, and privacy experts. Working collaboratively over a four-year period and participating in an iterative process designed to maximize the potential for interdisciplinary discussion and feedback through a series of workshops and peer review, the authors have integrated crucial public policy themes with the most recent research outcomes.
Liberty Coalition - Primary focus is on restrictions on privacy, autonomy and liberty, related issues such as the Patriot Act, National Identification Cards/National Drivers License and government databanks, and with medical and financial privacy and confidentiality.
Medical Privacy Coalition - A national partnership of organizations concerned about the threat to Americans' fundamental right to protect their medical information.
National Coalition to Protect Student Privacy (NCPSP) - Works to prohibit the automatic release of student information to military recruiting services gathered through the administration of the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) Career Exploration Program in high schools across the country.
National Consumer Coalition - NCC works to expose government policies that restrict consumer choice and stifle competition - harming consumers by substituting policymakers' values for individual values and raising the costs of goods and services to consumers. Also provides news and information on government seurveillance, medical privacy, financial privacy, and online privacy.
NSA Spying on Americans - The US government, with assistance from major telecommunications carriers including AT&T, has engaged in a massive illegal dragnet surveillance of domestic communications and communications records of millions of ordinary Americans since at least 2001. Since this was first reported by the press and discovered by the public in late 2005, EFF has been at the forefront of the effort to stop it.
Those efforts, history, blog posts, case documents and more may be found here. Also see:
NumberInvestigator - Reverse phone resource. Provides free information about hundreds of millions of landline and cell phone numbers in the United States and Canada. This information includes approximate location, city the phone number belongs to, and phone carrier information. Its comprehensive database also includes reports on thousands of numbers used by telemarketers, scammers, debt collectors and other annoying callers. Report system allows you, the user, to report telemarketers, scammers, fraudsters, debt collectors and other annoying callers in an effort to build a global database of calls which you don't want to pick up.
NYC Surveillance Camera Players - "Only someone completely distrustful of all government would be opposed to what we are doing with surveillance cameras." - NYC Police Commissioner Howard Safir, 27 July 1999.
Oakland Privacy - A hub for news and information about surveillance in Oakland, collected by and for privacy activists. Its main focus is on the Oakland Domain Awareness Center, a $10.9 million surveillance system that would integrate cameras from the Port of Oakland, the City of Oakland, Oakland public school CCTV, gunshot detection, license plate readers, Twitter feeds, and more.
Online Privacy Alliance (OPA) - Supports self-regulatory initiatives that create an environment of trust and foster the protection of individuals' privacy online and in electronic commerce.
Online Privacy Laws - Provided by the Law Library of Congress. These reports describe the data protection laws of the European Union (Part I) and of selected foreign countries (Part II). They describe the constitutional foundations of data privacy and the statutory requirements that must be met in order for data to be collected, used, and transferred to third parties. They also explain the concepts of informed consent, transparency, and data minimization, and describe the rights and remedies of data subjects, particularly the rights of access, rectification, and erasure.
Onion Routing (OR) - The Onion Routing research project is building an Internet-based system that strongly resists traffic analysis, eavesdropping, and other attacks both by outsiders (e.g. Internet routers) and insiders (Onion Routers themselves). It prevents the transport medium from knowing who is communicating with whom - the network knows only that communication is taking place. In addition, the content of the communication is hidden from eavesdroppers up to the point where the traffic leaves the OR network.
Online Survival Kit - Provides practical tools, advice and techniques that teach you how to circumvent censorship and to secure yo communications and data. Maintained by Reporters Without Borders.
Pew Internet and American Life - Creates and funds original, academic-quality research that explores the impact of the Internet on children, families, communities, the work place, schools, health care and civic/political life.
Peter Fleisher: Privacy? - Peter Fleisher, Google's Global Privacy Counsel, writes thhis blog, ruminating about privacy.
PIPEDA and Canadian Privacy Law - Developments in privacy law and writings of a Canadian privacy lawyer, containing information related to the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (aka PIPEDA) and other Canadian and international laws.
Platform for Privacy Preferences (P3P) Project - P3P enables Web sites to express their privacy practices in a standard format that can be retrieved automatically and interpreted by user agents. P3P user agents allow users to be informed of site practices (in machine- and human-readable formats) and to automate decision-making based on these practices. Users need not read the privacy policies at every site they visit.
Privacy - Daily news, information, and initiatives on privacy.
Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board (PCLOB) - An advisory body to assist the President and other senior Executive branch officials in ensuring that concerns with respect to privacy and civil liberties are appropriately considered in the implementation of all laws, regulations, and executive branch policies related to war against terrorism. In nine years since its formation, it has been extraordinarily and completely incompetant in fulfilling this mission. Also see ACLU's PCLOB.
Privacy Commissioner of Canada - An officer of Parliament who reports directly to the House of Commons and the Senate. The Commissioner is an advocate for the privacy rights of Canadians.
Privacy Forum - Includes a moderated e-mail digest for the discussion and analysis of issues relating to privacy (both personal and collective) in the information age. Topics include telecommunications, information and database collection and sharing, and a wide range of other privacy issues, as pertains to the privacy concerns of individuals, groups, businesses, government, and society at large.
Privacy Foundation - Educates the public, in part by conducting research into communications technologies and services that may pose a threat to personal privacy.
Privacy in Constitutions: The Data - Privacy International has compiled data on the privacy provisions in national constitutions around the world, including which countries have constitutional protections, whether they come from international agreements, what aspects of privacy are actually protected and when those protections were enacted.
Privacy International (PI) - A human rights group formed as a watchdog on surveillance by governments and corporations. PI is based in London, England, and has an office in Washington, D.C. PI has conducted campaigns throughout the world on issues ranging from wiretapping and national security activities, to ID cards, video surveillance, data matching, police information systems, and medical privacy.
Privacy Rights Clearinghouse - A nonprofit consumer education, research, and advocacy program providing practical tips on privacy protection, consumer privacy, identity theft and fraud, credit reporting, credit fraud, junk mail, telemarketing, Social Security numbers, Caller ID, medical records, workplace monitoring, background checks and workplace privacy, cyberspace, online privacy, electronic mail, wiretapping, eavesdropping, harassing phone calls, telephone privacy, cordless and cellular phones, wireless communications, public records and information brokers, victims of stalking, responsible information-handling practices, Internet privacy, financial privacy, online shopping, spam, online public records, children's privacy, information brokers, employment background checks, digital telephones, credit cards, and electric deregulation.
Privacy SOS - The ACLU of Massachusetts shines sunlight on surveillance and highlights actions you can take to protect your privacy. Also see:
PrivacyExchange - Global resource that brings together trans-national and cross-cultural views on privacy and data protection - allowing companies, governments, consumers, experts, and the media to track the emerging global privacy system.
Privacylaw - News and information about privacy law and policy.
PrivacyTimes - Designed for professionals and attorneys who need to follow the legislation, court rulings, industry developments and stories that frame the ongoing debate about information privacy.
Privaterra - Offers and implements privacy and security technology, technological education and support to ensure workers have the ability to communicate and conduct activities in greater safety against the dangers of spying eyes and ears.
REAL ID Act of 2005 - Amends Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) provisions concerning asylum to: (1) authorize the Secretary of Homeland Security, in addition to the Attorney General, to grant asylum (retroactive to March 1, 2003); (2) require asylum applicants to prove that race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion was or will be (if removed) the central reason for their persecution; and (3) provide that an applicant's testimony may be sufficient to sustain this burden of proof only if the trier of fact determines that it is credible, persuasive, and fact-specific. Requires corroborating evidence where requested by the trier of fact unless the applicant does not have the evidence and cannot reasonably obtain it without departing the United States. States that the inability to obtain corroborating evidence does not excuse the applicant from meeting his or her burden of proof.
Red Flags Rule (FTC) - The Red Flags Rule requires many businesses and organizations to implement a written Identity Theft Prevention Program designed to detect the warning signs - or "red flags" - of identity theft in their day-to-day operations. By identifying red flags in advance, you'll be better equipped to spot suspicious patterns when they arise and take steps to prevent a red flag from escalating into a costly episode of identity theft. Take advantage of other resources on this site to educate your employees and colleagues about complying with the Red Flags Rule.
RFID Journal - Online daily devoted to proselytizing the introduction of radio frequency identification and its many business applications
Ryan Gallagher - Reports on surveillance technology, national security and civil liberties issues.
security.tao.ca - Information on computer and Internet security, privacy, anonymity, and more. Attempts to answer the many questions that get asked about computer security, particularly as it relates to activists and activism.
See What You Share on P2P - A showcase of material found in peer-to-peer networks throughout the world. Screen shots of documents that other P2P users are sharing.
Sorting Door Project - An exploration of issues around Radio Frequency Identification (RFID), including of surveillance and privacy; unique identification; and classification. RFID technologies will introduce new stresses in the tension between personal privacy, and information collection and analysis. The Sorting Door is intended as a testbed for technologies and policies to address issues raised by RFID.
Special Branch Files Project - A live-archive of declassified files focussing on the surveillance of political activists and campaigner. This project is indebted to the journalists and researchers who have generously made their files available and accessible as a matter of public record. The site provides access to the documents themselves, complemented with engaging analysis in background stories. The documents reveal the details recorded by Britain's secret police about a range of protest movements in the UK since 1968
Spygate - On 07 Oct 2011, Greenpeace filed a lawsuit in Superior Court for the District of Columbia against two major chemical companies, their PR firms and several individuals for activities that amount to corporate espionage. Chemical companies Dow Chemical and Sasol (formerly CONDEA Vista), through the PR firms Dezenhall Resources (Nichols Dezenhall at the time) and Ketchum, hired private investigators from the firm Beckett Brown International (BBI) to spy on Greenpeace from 1998 to 2000. The suit charges the defendants stole thousands of documents, intercepted phone call detail records (CDRs), trespassed and conducted unlawful surveillance and theft of confidential information related to Greenpeace's public interest work. The complaint charges that the chemical companies, PR firms and individuals "conspired to and did surveil, infiltrate and steal confidential information with the intention of preempting, blunting or thwartingGreenpeace's environmental campaigns. See complaint. Also see:
SRA International - Information services company that, among other things, provides data and text mining services for "Homeland Secutiry and Intelligence."
Student Privacy - From Electronic Privacy Information Center: Students do not shed all of their rights at the schoolhouse gate, including the right to privacy. Although recent Supreme Court decisions have diminished this right, there are substantial federal and state protections for the privacy of students' educational records.
Surveillance Self-Defense - An Electronic Frontier Foundation guide to protecting yourself from electronic surveillance for people all over the world. Some aspects of this guide will be useful to people with very little technical knowledge, while others are aimed at an audience with considerable technical expertise and privacy/security trainers.
Tor: Anonymity Online - Tor is a toolset for a wide range of organizations and people that want to improve their safety and security on the Internet. Using Tor can help you anonymize web browsing and publishing, instant messaging, IRC, SSH, and other applications that use the TCP protocol. Tor also provides a platform on which software developers can build new applications with built-in anonymity, safety, and privacy features.
Transparency Project - Knowing "what the government is up to" is often the first step in ensuring that the government respects the civil liberties of its citizens. Transparency is especially important given the government's increasingly secretive use of new technologies for law enforcement and national security purposes. From cell phone location tracking, the use of surveillance drones, secret interpretations of electronic surveillance law, and the expanding use of biometrics, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) wants to hold the government accountable and uphold your digital rights. To that aim, EFF's Transparency Project is dedicated to using federal and state freedom of information laws, the courtroom, and our megaphone to shine light on government activities.
U.S. Visitor and Immigrant Status Indicator Technology (US-VISIT): EPIC Backgrounder - The most elaborate system of identification in the United States is currently being developed and deployed by the Department of Homeland Security. US-VISIT is an integrated government-wide program intended to improve the nation's capability to collect information about foreign nationals who travel to the United States, as well as control the pre-entry, entry, status, and exit of these travelers.
World Privacy Forum - Focused on conducting in-depth research on societal issues, particularly those intersecting the areas of technology and privacy, consumer data privacy, workplace privacy, job applicant rights and privacy, background checks and public records, and large technological infrastructures, including commercial databases.
World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) - Leading the World Wide Web to its full potential by developing common protocols that promote its evolution and ensure its interoperability. W3C has more than 400 Member organizations from around the world.
KWSnet is an Internet subject directory providing special attention to U.S. national and international news, the arts, computing, culture, environment, law, literature, media, politics, science and technology. Based in San Francisco, California, KWSnet contains over 125,000 annotated links to resources worldwide. Use Search KWSnet, located at the top of each page, to search within this site. Use Ctrl-F (Windows) or ⌘-F (Mac) to search within individual pages.
KWSnet Twitter provides news, culture, environment, media, politics, sci-tech, society, #art, #comics, #politicalcartoon, #illustration, #botd, #obit, but KWSnet is taking an extended leave of absence from the social networking service; it is not posting there at this time.
My Zotero Library provides news articles, primary and secondary sources, and bibliographic information for your research. More information on Zotero – a powerful, easy-to-use research tool – can be found at its site. Also recommended, subscribe to My Zotero Library RSS content for the latest updates.
KWSnet is completely non-commercial. It has no commercial objective or emphasis. Instead, it is intended for educational purposes, research, and personal use. It is updated regularly.
KWSnet is IPv6 enabled, HTTPS deployed, and fully HTML5 compliant.
KWSnet may be contacted via email with any comments, suggestions or link submissions. KWSnet is designed and maintained, in its entirety, by Kirk W. Smith.