Tag Archives: Thomson Reuters Foundation

27Jan/23

The spy clause and the end of anonymity

By Samuel Woodhams | Digital rights researcher and journalist

The long, turbulent history of UK’s Online Safety Bill can be traced back to 2017, with the publication of the Internet Safety Strategy green paper. Since then, the proposed legislation has gone through endless revisions, been delayed and, at times, looked like it might be dropped entirely. Continue reading

19Jan/23

Digital welfare dystopia

By Samuel Woodhams | Digital rights researcher and journalist

Algorithms to determine welfare payments and detect fraud are becoming standard practice around the world. From Manchester to Melbourne, peoples’ lives are being shaped by secretive tools that determine who is eligible for what, and how much debt is owed.

Although the technology has been around for some time, the outbreak of COVID-19 renewed enthusiasm for the digital welfare state and, for thousands of cash-strapped public bodies, the promise of increased efficiency and lower costs has proven irresistible.
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13Jan/23

Reclaiming privacy

By Samuel Woodhams | Digital rights researcher and journalist

Last week, WhatsApp announced a new proxy support feature that will help people stay connected during internet disruptions. The app is often targeted by government censors because messages on the end-to-end encrypted service can’t be intercepted, enabling people to organise protests and share critical information in private.
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01Dec/22

FTX collapse crushes crypto dreams in Africa and beyond

  • FTX’s bankruptcy hurts small investors across the world
  • Young African crypto backers fret about damage to sector
  • Regulators repeat warnings about risks of crypto dealing

LAGOS/BANGKOK – Days before his FTX cryptocurrency exchange collapsed, co-founder Sam Bankman-Fried tweeted “Hello, West Africa!” – his latest nod to a region where a growing number of kitchen table investors had put their faith, and savings, in FTX.
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28Nov/22

Gangs, drill music, and police databases

The Met has overhauled its ‘Gangs Violence Matrix’ database following a legal challenge by human rights organisation, Liberty. The tool is used by the police force to identify and monitor people suspected of being involved in gang-related crime.
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17Nov/22

The ads are watching you

By Samuel Woodhams | Digital rights researcher and journalist

Targeted online advertisements are impossible to ignore. Ads based on our browsing history, geolocation, and personal information appear constantly on our social media feeds, news articles, and streaming platforms. As the authors of a new report on the advertising surveillance industry put it: “Targeted advertising is unavoidable for anyone who owns a smartphone or goes online.”
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27Oct/22

Pegasus: invasive spyware or national security?

By Samuel Woodhams | Digital rights researcher and journalist

I’m Samuel Woodhams, a digital rights researcher and journalist based in London.

The saga of the NSO Group’s invasive Pegasus spyware continues, with yet another victim confirmed this month by the University of Toronto’s Citizen Lab and digital rights group, R3D. The organisations said Mexican opposition politician Augustín Basave Alanís was targeted in September 2021, making him the fourth person allegedly hacked during Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s presidency. Continue reading

24Oct/22

Women turn to sex work to survive UK cost-of-living crisis

  • Surging household costs take heavier toll on women
  • Sex workers see earnings shrink as clients stay away
  • Newcomers at risk from lack of information, support

LONDON – Online sex worker Martha blames Britain’s cost-of-living crisis for her dwindling earnings – partly due to increased competition as soaring household bills push more women to sell sex. Continue reading

17Oct/22

Surveillance tech is weaponry

By Rand Hammoud, Surveillance Campaigner, Access Now

Surveillance technology is weaponry – it targets, tracks, invades, and decimates – and its unbridled use is a far-reaching, destructive violation of human rights. It is an assault rifle in the sustained global offensive on civic space, and we need a global moratorium on its export, sale, transfer, servicing, and use. Continue reading

07Oct/22

Reform must be the legacy of the Qatar World Cup

Isobel Archer
Published: September 27, 2022 | Business & Human Rights Resource Centre

Isobel Archer is the Gulf Programme Manager at the Business & Human Rights Resource Centre.

Today is International Tourism Day and David Beckham’s latest glossy video promo for Qatar Tourism, which is being heavily promoted by the forthcoming World Cup hosts, will likely make it into one of your social feeds.

In it, Doha appears shining and luxurious; endless glass skyscrapers, hotels, parks and plazas form the horizon as Beckham tours the souqs and riviera. Continue reading