Content type: Explainer
15th December 2021
Following sustained reporting by researchers, journalists and activists around the world, including recent disclosures exposed by the PegasusProject, the surveillance industry is facing scrutiny like never before. In the latest move, eighteen U.S. lawmakers have today demanded that the U.S. government imposes sanctions on four non-US surveillance companies for, as they mention in their letter, facilitating “disappearance, torture and murder of human rights activists and journalists”. The move…
Content type: Key Resources
22nd July 2020
Content type: Case Study
1st April 2020
The right to privacy is crucial to protect a couple’s equal rights within marriage. The recent rise of spyware as an “off-the-shelf” product that anyone can purchase has been extremely worrying, as installing spyware on someone else’s phone means getting access to their contacts, their messages, their google searches, their location and more - all without them knowing. Spyware is, increasingly, becoming another way for abusive spouses to control and monitor their partners. Nearly a third of…
24th February 2020
In mid-2019, MI5 admitted, during a case brought by Liberty, that personal data was being held in “ungoverned spaces”. Much about these ‘ungoverned spaces’, and how they would effectively be “governed” in the future, remained unclear. At the moment, they are understood to be a ‘technical environment’ where personal data of unknown numbers of individuals was being ‘handled’. The use of ‘technical environment’ suggests something more than simply a compilation of a few datasets or databases. The…
15th January 2020
Today Advocate General (AG) Campos Sánchez-Bordona of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU), issued his opinions (C-623/17, C-511/18 and C-512/18 and C-520/18) on how he believes the Court should rule on vital questions relating to the conditions under which security and intelligence agencies in the UK, France and Belgium could have access to communications data retained by telecommunications providers. The AG addressed two major questions: (1) When states seek to impose…
Content type: Long Read
27th March 2019
(In order to click the hyperlinks in the explainer below, please download the pdf version at the bottom of the page).
10th March 2019
You can also read a more detailed explainer about social media intelligence (SOCMINT) here.
25th February 2019
You can also read a more detailed explainer about facial recognition cameras here.
15th February 2019
You can also read a more detailed explainer about IMSI catchers here.
Content type: Examples
9th February 2019
In July 2018, Facebook announced it was investigating whether the Boston-based company Crimson Hexagon had violated the company's policies on surveillance. Crimson Hexagon markets itself as offering "consumer insights". Its customers include a Russian non-profit with ties to the Kremlin, and multiple US government agencies. After pressure from civil liberties groups, Facebook put a policy in place in March 2017 barring the use of members' data for the purposes of government surveillance.…
Content type: Examples
3rd May 2018
In 2015, The Intercept obtained documents showing that the Mall of America in Bloomington, Minnesota used a fake Facebook account to friend and monitor local Black Lives Matter activists, and collect their personal information and photographs without their knowledge. The account was discovered in a cache of files the Mall of America provided to Bloomington officials after a large BLM protest against police brutality that was held at the mall. After the protest, the city charged 11 protesters…
Content type: Explainer
23rd October 2017
What is SOCMINT? Social media intelligence (SOCMINT) refers to the techniques and technologies that allow companies or governments to monitor social media networking sites (SNSs), such as Facebook or Twitter. SOCMINT includes monitoring of content, such as messages or images posted, and other data, which is generated when someone uses a social media networking site. This information involves person-to-person, person-to-group, group-to-group, and includes interactions that are private and…
21st October 2011
Facebook's new "Download your Information" feature reveals a radically different interpretation of transparency to one that the rest of us in Europe might hold. The feature may be a promising start, but the company still clearly has difficulty understanding the requirements of European Data Protection law. The feature provides only a fraction of the personal information held by Facebook and is thus still in violation of law. The company may escape a prosecution under the UK Trades Description…