Update on the implications of the Dutch Temporary Cyber Operations Act

New Dutch law grants intelligence services expanded powers for intercepting internet traffic to counter foreign cyber threats, raising questions about its practical implications

Why and how German judicial intelligence oversight needs empowerment

A new statutory framework for the Independent Control Council is needed to better protect fundamental rights and ensure independent and effective oversight.

The Pegasus scandal in Poland – between old problems with state surveillance and the current rule of law crisis

The abuse of state surveillance in Poland can only be tackled by establishing independent oversight institutions capable of providing effective legal remedies for victims.

Finnish intelligence overseers’ right of access supersedes Originator Control

The Originator Control principle does not prevent the Finnish Intelligence Ombudsman’s access to all material relating to the national intelligence authorities' cooperation with NATO.

Cyber defence operations require a dedicated legal framework

The proposed Cyber Act obfuscates the specific needs and methods of cyber defence operations.

Stalemates in Dutch intelligence oversight

How optimizing the digital capabilities of the Dutch intelligence and security services has derailed.

Obfuscation as a strategy to pass mass surveillance powers

The Dutch government wants to automatically and administratively gain permission to target victims of hackers.

The necessity of a new cyberlaw for dutch intelligence and security services 

The proposed Cyber Act addresses the urgent need for stronger intelligence capabilities and revised oversight structures in the Netherlands.

NL government wants to abandon key safeguards for hacking of non-targets

The Dutch government wants to automatically and administratively gain permission to target victims of hackers.

Confronting a blunt Tool: Perspectives on Israel’s mass surveillance litigation

This “Israeli Snowden moment” might tip the scale towards greater proportionality in the laws concerning bulk data collection.

Dutch watchdog orders bulk datasets held by intelligence services to be deleted

The Complaints Department of CTIVD has used its binding authority for the first time. Though the Dutch secret services are now compelled to delete unlawfully held data, weaknesses of the oversight system are evident.

The EU’s Proposed Data Act: Regulating International Flows of Non-Personal Data

The U.S. government has consistently denied deploying its foreign intelligence apparatus to benefit U.S. companies. The Data Act proposal proceeds on the premise that it does.

Five things you didn’t know about Germany’s foreign intelligence reform

An account of 5 critical changes that merit careful scrutiny from the international community.

Privacy risks of (automated) Open Source Intelligence (OSINT)

The privacy interference in the current practice of ‘automated OSINT’ can no longer be perceived as ‘minor’ and begs for a legal debate and sufficient legal safeguards.

Ethics in surveillance research: from theory to practice

Nurturing a democratic culture is key to ensuring ethical research on surveillance technology.

Update on the Dutch “Dragnet-Act”: One step forward, two steps back?

A second Amendment Proposal prepared by the government is feared to fundamentally threaten effective oversight.

U.S. and European Surveillance Law Regimes: Time to Adjust the Contrast?

Basic requirements for a more lasting transatlantic data transfer architecture.

France’s tepid intelligence reform

Draft law to introduce new data analysis capabilities.

The urgent need to #reclaimyourface

A once-in-a-generation opportunity to ban biometric mass surveillance.

CJEU rulings v. French intelligence legislation

The Conseil d'État deliberately misinterpreted the EU Court.

EU-funded technology violates fundamental rights

Why the EU’s iBorderCtrl project is being challenged in court.

Beyond Europe: the political economy of bulk data collection

South Africa’s mass surveillance ruling offers an opportunity for fresh debate.

Brexit highlights the EU and UK data protection regimes

The consequences for large-scale intelligence collection and civil liberties.

Germany’s BND Act & recent CJEU case law

Some provisions of the draft bill seem incompatible with CJEU rulings.

A new digital hub for intelligence law and oversight

One searchable database for all documents about intelligence.

The quantum threat: why we need regulation and transparency

The high-stakes game of shaping the internet of tomorrow.

A year in surveillance

A brief overview of the voices on about:intel in 2020.

The BND’s future foreign intelligence collection is likely to remain poorly overseen

The German Chancellery’s new draft bill ensures no oversight institution really knows what goes on at the BND.

EU-wide facial recognition forensics & its drawbacks

Challenges for privacy and non-discrimination with the inclusion of facial recognition for the next generation Prüm framework.

Is SIGINT coming to an end?

The German foreign intelligence service must remain operational and internationally connected.

Facial recognition can make us safer

If high standards are observed, automated facial recognition can prevent crime without infringing on basic rights.

New hacking powers for German intelligence agencies

The Grand Coalition's draft law can’t keep up with what is already practiced in other democracies.

Palantir is not our friend

Why the EU must kick its addiction to US technology.

A strange war

How France abandoned its secular foundation to build an anti-terrorist republic.

Spain’s digital future rests on learning from past errors

The Spanish government’s new Digital Agenda should think of security, the economy, and privacy as interconnected.

The full force of the state

A broader look at predictive policing beyond the tech.

A recipe for hypocrisy: democracies export surveillance tech without human rights

Controlling the spread of surveillance technology is a moral, legal, and strategic imperative.

Can MI5 agents get away with murder?

The Security Service’s secret policy on participating in crime.

France’s second try at the Intelligence Act

What the French Parliament needs to discuss in its upcoming legislative debate.

Greece: Technology-led policing awakens

Hellenic police and border authorities are bulking up on surveillance.

Data in policing: a responsibility to use responsibly

Why clean data & ethical frameworks are vital for predictive policing.

Covid-19 tracking apps, or: how to deal with a pandemic most unsuccessfully

Are tracking apps really the solution or do they just add surveillance creep into democratic societies?

Covid-19: European rules for using personal data

How GDPR, the Data Protection Directive, and the European Convention on Human Rights guide what European states are allowed to do in the wake of the pandemic.

Try harder, Bundestag! Germany has to rewrite its foreign intelligence reform

What the German Constitutional Court’s decision on the BND Act means for the future of surveillance and end-to-end oversight in Germany.

A global look at oversight cooperation

NGOs from around the world compare their countries’ experiences with intelligence sharing.

The Polish surveillance regime before the ECHR

After ignoring the Constitutional Tribunal’s call for greater oversight and safeguards, Polish surveillance law is bad news for human rights.

Predictive Policing: A force for public good

How one police department hopes to lead by example.

Covid-19: Why states now need to consider self-restraint in the cyber domain

Current cyber operations of Chinese intelligence are hurting Beijing’s global leadership project.

Staring down the securocrats

In a rare encouragement for public oversight, South Africa has indicated to use location data responsibly in the fight against Covid-19.

This window of opportunism

China's new surveillance reality mustn't change what Europe considers a reasonable invasion of privacy in tackling Covid-19.

Containing Covid-19: countries leverage communications surveillance data

How the UK compares to the European, Israeli, South Korean, and Singapore models.

The Club de Berne: a black box of growing intelligence cooperation

An in-depth account of how this notoriously secret club has expanded over the years.

Digital technologies in peace operations

As conflict moves to the cyber realm, peace efforts must, too.

European metadata retention: news from the EU court

An analysis of the AG’s opinion on data retention and access to metadata at the court in Luxembourg.

Years of MI5 lawbreaking expose failure of UK surveillance safeguards

The only thing worse than secret services with sweeping surveillance powers is secret services with sweeping surveillance powers that are left unchecked by a toothless oversight system.

A search for common ground: export controls on surveillance technology and the role of the EU

On the recent past & possible future of regulatory efforts aimed at preventing autocratic repression “Made in the EU”.

Public engagement is key for robust intelligence oversight

How conferring with civil society reference groups can help intelligence oversight bodies do their job.

Update pending: intelligence oversight needs oversight intelligence

Seven ideas for how to close the gap between high-tech intelligence and low-tech oversight.

Sitting on the steel fence: my dialogue with the intelligence world

Digital evidence expert and public policy analyst Peter Sommer looks back at nearly three decades working as an intermediary between the public and the secret world.

Another layer of opacity: how spies use AI and why we should talk about it

Thanks to the AI hype, for perhaps the first time ever, the wider public might get to monitor and address technological & operational transformation in Signals Intelligence as it unfolds.

Austrian government’s hacking law ruled unconstitutional

Why the Constitutional Court of Austria scrapped government spyware & street surveillance.

Casual attitude in intelligence sharing is troubling

The Dutch secret services share data with foreign services far too easily. Better legal and internal safeguards are essential.

Bridge of trust

How the Norwegian oversight body mediates between the intelligence services and the public.

Hardwired bias: how data-driven policing exacerbates racial discrimination

New report by the European Network Against Racism shows ostensibly neutral police tools could disproportionately impact and further disadvantage racialised communities.

Predictive policing: positivism is not enough to rule our complex world

The key concern with artificial intelligence is not (only) its potency but its inability to seek justice.

A simple yet existential demand: let oversight bodies work together

A veteran’s perspective on European intelligence oversight: where it’s been, where it’s going, and why we need to internationalise it.

Augmentation as artifice: a Palantir look at AI

How the big data analytics company focuses on supporting rather than displacing human decision-making.

FRAgile liberty: why we brought Sweden before the Strasbourg court

One of the counsels for the applicant in Centrum för Rättvisa v. Sweden at the European Court of Human Rights explains the case against the Swedish bulk collection regime and what the pending judgment means for civil liberties in the digital age for all of Europe.

GCHQ embraces AI, but not as a black box

AI can augment human creativity and help keep societies safe, but only if issues of bias and transparency are adequately addressed.

A healthy thing for democracy: how my office engages with civil society

The former Inspector-General of Intelligence & Security of New Zealand on her experience with setting up a civil society focus group.

Enhance & internationalise the oversight mandate

Intelligence oversight needs stronger regulatory support to effectively monitor increasingly international intelligence practice.

Why we’re launching about:intel

Editors-in-Chief Thorsten Wetzling and Eric Kind explain why we started about:intel and what we are trying to achieve with it.