Home CCTV Cameras May Be In Breach Of European Data Protection Laws

Home CCTV cameras in the UK but have the relevant signage alerting passerby they are being recorded. Image courtesy of Gavin Stewart © 2006, some rights reserved.
Home CCTV cameras in the UK but have the relevant signage alerting passerby they are being recorded. Image courtesy of Gavin Stewart © 2006, some rights reserved.

In a recent article on The Guardian, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) claimed that homeowners who use CCTV cameras on their private land may be in breach of the law.

The ECJ stated that if the CCTV footage shows a member of the public outside the private property, for instance walking along a nearby public footpath or on the pavement, then the owner of the CCTV footage is in direct breach of European data protection laws.

The law was highlighted after a recent incident in which a man from the Czech Republic used the footage from a CCTV camera attached to his home to prosecute against criminals that were vandalising his home. However, had there not been a crime committed, the man in question would have been prosecuted for disobeying the law.

In the UK, it is always believed that such cameras are ‘outside the law’ provided that the owners alert passers-by that they are being recorded and do not keep the footage longer than necessary.

Retailers On Hunt For Cyber Security Director

Some of the biggest names in retail are on the hunt for a new Director of Cyber Security that will run their collective efforts to create a joint information sharing centre.

Part of the role will be strengthening and broadening the group’s cyber security efforts and includes retailers such as Safeway, Nike, American Eagle, Target and Walgreens. As stated in the jobs description, the successful candidate “will actively engage private sector stakeholders and government agencies to facilitate information sharing and strengthen the retail industry’s capability and capacity to detect, prevent, respond to, and mitigate computerized attacks on retail networks”.

The centre opened in May 2014 and has since accumulated the promises from over 100 retailers to share information that could help prevent or promote cyber security attacks.

The retail sector is one of the most vulnerable sectors in the US, with cyber crime becoming ever more prevalent through online customer databases being hacked, along with credit card machines at checkout counters.

Russia expels Polish, German diplomats in ongoing spy row.

This article originally appeared on IntelNews and has been used with permission. 

The Russian government has formally expelled several Polish and German diplomats in what appears to be a tit-for-tat move, following the removal of Russian envoys from Warsaw and Berlin on charges of espionage. The Polish government expelled a number of Russian diplomats last week, after it announced the arrest of two Polish citizens in Warsaw, on charges of spying for a foreign intelligence agency.

Polish media reported that a colonel in the Polish Army had been arrested by security personnel for operating as an unregistered agent of an unnamed foreign country. Subsequent media reports said a second man, a lawyer with dual Polish-Russian citizenship, had also been arrested. According to unconfirmed Polish media reports, the two men had been recruited by the GRU, Russia’s military intelligence agency.

Last Friday, Polish media reports said that four Polish diplomats stationed in Moscow had been given 48 hours to leave the country. One report suggested that the diplomats included an employee of the political section of the Polish embassy in the Russian capital, as well as three military attachés. The four had reportedly left the country by Sunday night. Authorities in Moscow said they had been forced to take the step of expelling the Polish diplomats following Warsaw’s “unfriendly and unfounded step” of ordering a number of Russian envoys to leave Poland. The four Poles were officially declared “unwanted persons” in Russia for “activities incompatible with their [diplomatic] status”, which is considered code-language for espionage.

Also on Monday, the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs ordered the expulsion from Moscow of a German diplomat, just hours after a Russian diplomat was asked to leave the German city of Bonn by German authorities. Diplomatic sources said the German diplomat, a female employee at the German embassy in Moscow, was expelled in direct response to the earlier removal of the Russian diplomat, who was exposed as a spy following an extensive surveillance operation that lasted several months.

German authorities refused to comment on the case. In Poland, Minister of Foreign Affairs Grzegorz Schetyna said simply that Warsaw “now considered the matter closed”.

by Joseph Fitsanakis

Ex-President Of Egypt Sentenced To Death For Spying

This post was originally published on IntelNews and has been used with permission. 

Egypt’s ousted president Mohammed Morsi has been officially charged with spying for the government of Qatar, in what Egypt’s state prosecutor calls the biggest espionage case in the country’s history.

In the summer of 2012, Morsi, representing the Muslim Brotherhood, became the first democratically elected national leader in Egyptian history, after winning the presidential election with nearly 52 percent of the vote. But he was ousted in a military coup a year later, following widespread protests against him and the Muslim Brotherhood, and has been held in prison ever since.

Now Egypt’s state prosecutor has charged Morsi and eight others, including two former presidential aides, with spying on behalf of the government of Qatar. Egypt’s government accuses Morsi of selling classified documents “with direct bearing on Egypt’s national security” to the intelligence services of Qatar in exchange for $1 million. The documents allegedly included sensitive information on Egyptian military strategy, as well as tactical “positioning and the nature of its armaments”.

The indictment says Morsi authorized the transfer of the documents through the Muslim Brotherhood’s “international bureau”, and that the illegal exchange was facilitated by television network Al Jazeera, which is owned by the royal family of Qatar. The oil kingdom is among the strongest international supporters of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood, as well as Hamas, which is the Muslim Brotherhood’s sister organization in the Occupied Territories.

Speaking to Reuters news agency, an Al Jazeera representative denied that the network played any role in transferring classified Egyptian documents to the government of Qatar. He told the news agency that “any information received by Al Jazeera is handled with the highest standard of journalistic ethics. Al Jazeera does not, therefore, comment on sources or pass information to governments”. The latest espionage indictment has been added to a long list of charges faced by Morsi, who could now face the death penalty if found guilty. Meanwhile, the Muslim Brotherhood is undergoing a nationwide crackdown by Egyptian authorities. Nearly 1,500 of its members have been killed in confrontations with military and police forces, while over 16,000 have been detained and are facing execution by government forces.

Barclays Bank To Introduce Finger Scanning

The Surveilled
Image screen shot from video, Barclays Bank © 2014.

Barclays, one of the biggest banks in the UK, is to introduce finger scanning to its customers so that they are able to access their accounts without having to remember PINs or passwords.

Each of Barclays customers will be given their own Biometric Reader that will allow them to access their accounts without having to go to the bank. Initially, it will only be the bank’s Corporate Banking customers given this access in 2015, with all of Barclays customers to follow in the coming years.

According to an article in The Telegraph, the readers will identify vein patterns in the customer’s finger, as opposed to fingerprints, which are much easier to copy by criminals.

Barclays has also said that it will not hold a record of the data, nor will there be a public database created from the data.

The bank will call the technology VeinID and is already being used for similar purposes in the US, Japan and other areas of Europe.