UK NGOs concerned over press freedom implications of Crime (Overseas Production Orders) Bill

first_imgNews Solidarity with Swedish media outlet Realtid ahead of UK defamation case hearing RSF condemns BBC broadcast ban as example of Chinese government reprisal On the first aim, the bill establishes a quick route for UK authorities to access information stored on servers overseas – and that includes what’s held by big platforms and telecoms companies based in the US. But that route also takes a shortcut through important protections for citizens’ privacy, which results in a draconian new regime. In the UK, there are rules around production orders that protect privacy and freedom of expression – they’re contained in the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 (PACE). Namely, the material sought has to be of substantial value to an investigation and likely to be relevant evidence; other methods of obtaining the material have to have been tried unless they were bound to fail; and it has to be in the public interest. This bill ignores these protections. That leaves UK citizens vulnerable – including journalists who need these protections to do work in the public interest. We ask that MPs and Peers include these protections in the bill. On the second point, the bill will enable the Government to enter treaties to allow foreign governments to make inbound applications for information held in the UK. But it is silent on what, if any, checks and safeguards there will be. This may well result in overseas authorities – including police forces and authorities from undemocratic countries – having greater powers over UK-held data.We urge MPs and Peers to insist that these future treaties mirror the existing safeguards in UK production orders as a minimum, and that they provide at least equivalent levels of protection for freedom of expression and privacy. There should be a commitment in this bill that robust safeguards will apply. Signed:Reporters Without BordersIndex on CensorshipEnglish PENBig Brother WatchOpen Rights GroupNational Union of StudentsCommittee on the Administration of Justice Cage January 30, 2019 UK NGOs concerned over press freedom implications of Crime (Overseas Production Orders) Bill Organisation February 11, 2021 Find out more The Crime (Overseas Production Orders) Bill is a major shake-up of how authorities access the data of people in the UK and overseas, in the context of investigating and prosecuting serious crime.We welcome better measures to tackle serious crime, but bad legislation will unnecessarily erode privacy, freedom of expression, and press freedom. It is possible to have more effective investigation and prosecution while also protecting these fundamental rights, but this bill fails to do so. Many of the powers in the bill are unprecedented and broad; for example, a general power for the police to apply for electronic content does not currently exist in UK law.Section 20 (2) of the Investigatory Powers Act 2016 sets a minimal threshold for authorities to access content: a warrant can only be deemed necessary if it is in the interests of national security, the prevention or detection of serious crime (defined in s.263, though reasonable grounds are not required), or in the interests of the economic well-being of the United Kingdom so far as it relates to national security. However, the threshold set in the Crime (Overseas Production Orders) Bill is that there must be reasonable grounds for believing that an indictable offence has been committed (cl. 4(3)), unless the order is sought for the purposes of a terrorist investigation, in which case no evidentiary threshold is required at all.Whilst we welcome the requirement of reasonable grounds, an ‘indictable offence’ threshold is lower than even the minimal threshold set out in the Investigatory Powers Act 2016, which is already subject to judicial review. Therefore, this bill risks instating a two-tier system, further jeopardising privacy rights and freedom of expression rights protected by Articles 8 and 10 of the Human Rights Act respectively.The Crime (Overseas Production Orders) Bill has two aims: it sets new rules when UK authorities are accessing communications data from overseas servers;it also envisages a brand-new framework of treaties to allow overseas courts to access UK-based data.  The United Kingdom is ranked 40th out of 180 countries in Reporters Without Borders’ 2018 World Press Freedom Index. United KingdomEurope – Central Asia Protecting journalistsProtecting sources Freedom of expressionJudicial harassment United KingdomEurope – Central Asia Protecting journalistsProtecting sources Freedom of expressionJudicial harassment News RSF_en to go further News Reporters Without Borders joined a letter signed by seven other NGOs expressing concern over the UK’s Crime (Overseas Production Orders) Bill, which goes to the final stages of parliamentary debate on 30 January. The bill has worrying implications for press freedom and human rights, including putting journalists’ data at risk. The full text of the joint letter is below. March 23, 2021 Find out more February 12, 2021 Find out more Help by sharing this information Follow the news on United Kingdom Receive email alerts Safety of journalists remains active concern in Northern Ireland as BBC Panorama team is threatened Newslast_img read more

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Leading suspect in Maguindanao massacre tries to get charges dropped

first_img Help by sharing this information Mass international solidarity campaign launched in support of Maria Ressa to go further Organisation RSF_en PhilippinesAsia – Pacific Follow the news on Philippines Filipina journalist still held although court dismissed case eleven days ago Andal Ampatuan Jr. , Andal Ampatuan Sr. and Zaldy Ampatuan.Fifteen months after a politically-motivated massacre on 23 November 2009 in the southern province of Maguindanao in which 32 journalists were killed, the case against the alleged killers has ground to a halt.The accused masterminds – Andal Ampatuan Sr. and his two sons, Andal Ampatuan Jr. and Zaldy Ampatuan – and the members of the Ampatuan family private militia who allegedly carried out the gruesome massacre have still not been tried.Some of them are waiting to be freed on bail and Zaldy Ampatuan, the suspended governor of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), has petitioned the Court of Appeals for a review of the Department of Justice finding of probable cause in his case. If the court rules in his favour, not only would he be released but all charges against him would be dropped.Reporters Without Borders warns President Benigno Aquino III’s administration that it will break its promise to combat impunity if it yields to the pressure from the Ampatuan family. Everything possible must be done to hold the trial within a reasonable period and Zaldy Ampatuan must be shown no leniency. In view of the gravity of this mass murder, the credibility of the Philippine justice system is now at stake.The press freedom organization voices its support for all the relatives of the massacre victims who demonstrated today in Manila in protest against Zaldy Ampatuan’s possible release.More information about the massacre, the deadliest in the media’s history:http://en.rsf.org/philippines-tribute-to-victims-one-year-after-22-11-20…————————-Damning testimony for Ampatuan clan08-09-2010“That’s easy, father. We kill all of them when they come here.” This is what Andal Ampatuan Jr allegedly told his father, the head of the Ampatuan clan, according to one of the first witnesses in the trial of the 196 clan members, mostly militiamen, who are charged with the November 2009 massacre of 57 civilians, including 32 journalists, in the southern province of Maguindanao.The testimony, given by a former family employee who attended a meeting at the home of the leading defendant’s father, then provincial governor Andal Ampatuan Sr, six days before the massacre, clearly indicated that the massacre was premeditated.The former employee, Lakmudin Saliao, quoted the father as replying: “Do not entrust the roadblock to others. You yourself should stop them at the highway, near the place where a backhoe is conducting some diggings.” The subject of the alleged meeting was how the family should respond to a political rival’s plans for a motorcade through the province led by the rival’s wife, who was one of the victims. It was evident from Saliao’s testimony that Andal Ampatuan Jr made it clear to his father that he intended to kill all of the motorcade’s members.Saliao gave his evidence when the trial resumed yesterday in Manila. Lawyers for the accused asked for a 10-day adjournment but Judge Jocelyn Reyer rejected the request.More information about the trial: http://en.rsf.org/philippines-a-lawyer-and-a-journalist-31-08-2010,38244… June 1, 2021 Find out more Receive email alertscenter_img PhilippinesAsia – Pacific Philippines: RSF and the #HoldTheLine Coalition welcome reprieve for Maria Ressa, demand all other charges and cases be dropped March 2, 2011 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Leading suspect in Maguindanao massacre tries to get charges dropped News News News News May 3, 2021 Find out more February 16, 2021 Find out morelast_img read more

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Prosecutors violate online free expression to protect copyright

first_img TurkeyEurope – Central Asia October 12, 2009 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Prosecutors violate online free expression to protect copyright News Organisation Turkey’s never-ending judicial persecution of former newspaper editor News Human rights groups warns European leaders before Turkey summit News RSF_en Receive email alerts to go furthercenter_img Follow the news on Turkey Reporters Without Borders welcomes the unblocking of the social-networking website MySpace and the video-sharing website Akilli.tv on 6 October after their representatives resolved disputes with the Turkish Record Industry Association. Two other websites that refuse to comply with the association’s demands, Lastfm.com.tr and YouTube, continue to be blocked.A total of 1,309 websites have been rendered inaccessible by the Telecommunications Directorate since November 2007 as a result of an administrative decision or, in 270 of these cases, as a result of a judicial decision.“It is unacceptable that an administrative authority alone can decide to block a website,” Reporters Without Borders said. “Freedom of expression is extremely important. When it is at stake, the intervention of a judge should be necessary. Only a court decision is legitimate. We therefore call for the immediate unblocking of all the censored websites.”They have been blocked under Law 5651 on “the organisation of online publications and combating offences committed by means of such publications.” It allows prosecutors to block access if a site’s content is deemed liable to incite suicide, paedophilia, drug abuse, obscenity or prostitution, or violate a 1951 law forbidding any attacks on the Turkish republic’s founder, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk.Banning sites of a pornographic or paedophile nature or those that promote drug abuse is obviously justifiable but banning sites (or any other communication medium) because of content that is in some way critical of Atatürk violates free expression. As Atatürk is dead, he cannot be deemed to have sustained moral damage.If the aim is to punish attacks on what Atatürk represents as founder of the country’s institutions, Turkey should remember that, as a signatory of the European Convention on Human Rights, it cannot punish the expression of views just because they clash or conflict with mainstream opinion. It must tolerate all views, including political ones, as well as criticism of the state (European Court of Human Rights, Handyside v. UK, December 1976).Rather than offering porn or promoting drug abuse, many of the 1,039 blocked websites are social-networking sites, or places where Internet users can go to read about or discuss matters of a political or cultural nature.In Turkey, 65% of the population never had access to Internet. Turkey is ranked 102nd out of 173 countries in the 2008 Reporters Without Borders press freedom index.———————————————————————23.09.2009 – Prosecutors violate online free expression to protect copyrightThe social networking website MySpace has been blocked in Turkey since 19 September over a copyright dispute. Anyone trying to visit the site sees a message saying access has been blocked by order 2009/45, issued on 26 June by the prosecutor of the Istanbul district of Beyoglu. Two other sites, Lastfm.com.tr and Akilli.tv, have been blocked by the same order.“Copyright is often used as grounds for censoring the Internet,” Reporters Without Borders said. “But blocking websites is a disproportionate sanction that violates online free expression. “Withdrawing the content that violates copyright would suffice. Censorship is a common reflex in Turkey and we condemn it strongly.”Yaman Akdeniz, a law professor at Istanbul’s Bilgi University, told Reporters Without Borders: “Measures are taken against the Internet as if this was still the era of the dinosaurs.”Disconnecting access to a website on the orders of a prosecutor rather a judge is a violation of the European Convention on Human Rights, which Turkey has signed.Many European countries, including France, are look at the possibility of suspending the Internet connections of those who illegally download content protected by copyright. While the desire to protect literary and artistic creation is understandable, Reporters Without Borders believes such measures would constitute an unacceptable restriction of online freedom of expression.The press freedom organisation urges the Turkish government to amend law 5651 governing offenses committed online in order to reconcile it with the need to respect free expression in accordance with the European Convention on Human Rights.The video-sharing website YouTube has been inaccessible since May 2008 in Turkey, which is ranked 102nd out of 173 countries in the Reporters Without Borders press freedom index. April 28, 2021 Find out more TurkeyEurope – Central Asia Help by sharing this information Journalists threatened with imprisonment under Turkey’s terrorism law April 2, 2021 Find out more News April 2, 2021 Find out morelast_img read more

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A barcode of life database for the Cephalopoda? Considerations and concerns

first_imgThe concept of a Barcode of Life Database (BoLD) for the Class Cephalopoda (Phylum Mollusca) was introduced at the Cephalopod International Advisory Council (CIAC) symposium in Hobart, Australia, February 2006. This suggestion was met with significant interest, concern and debate. This review attempts to describe the concept of the BoLD initiative and to outline considerations and concerns specific to a cephalopod BoLD.last_img

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