“Over the past 30 years or more, the Chinese government has gradually given more freedom to people in areas of life deemed to be non-sensitive,” says William Nee of Amnesty. Photograph: Wang Zhao/AFP/Getty Images

China has issued a draft of a wide-ranging law on national security, which includes calls for cyberspace sovereignty but also covers everything from (...)

Secret National Security Agency (NSA) documents leaked in 2013 to journalists by contractor Edward Snowden revealed that the agency was collecting phone records and digital communications of millions of citizens. Photograph: Reuters

The mass collection of phone records belonging to ordinary Americans under the National Security Agency’s vast surveillance dragnet is illegal, a US f(...)

A surveillance society

The dubious thesis that to defend freedom and democracy we are entitled to curtail both is a dangerous erosion of democratic values and a slippery slo(...)

Angela Merkel: “I once said that spying on friends is not on.That seems to be a more ambitious goal than I thought, but we have to work towards this”

Chancellor Angela Merkel has admitted it was “ambitious” of her to demand that the US should not spy on Germany after revelations of just that by Edw(...)

Austria’s interior ministerJohanna Mikl-Leitner. Ms Mikl-Leitner announced that Austria has filed a legal complaint over suspicions of spying by Germany’s BND agency.  Photograph: Hans Techt/EPA

Austria has filed a legal complaint over suspicions that Germany’s BND intelligence agency and the US National Security Agency might have spied on its(...)

A US judge is trying to  force Microsoft to hand over e-mails sitting in the company’s Irish data centre Image: Getty

A US court case considering whether a US judge can force Microsoft to hand over e-mails sitting in the company’s Irish data centre raises critical iss(...)

Austrian law graduate Max Schrems displays a logo of social platform Facebook on  his smartphone. AFP PHOTO / JOE KLAMARJOE KLAMAR/AFP/Getty Images

Austria’s media have dubbed it a “David v Goliath” battle. This morning a civil court in Vienna stages the latest round in the big data grudge match b(...)

 National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden exposed government snooping. However, the information gathered by companies means citizen information can be made available to the government anyway, without secretly harvesting it.  Photograph: Frederick Florin/AFP/Getty Images

The Patriot Act, the US legislation brought in as an emergency measure after the September 11th, 2001, terrorist attacks, expires in June and many are(...)

Rand Paul greets supporters after speaking at the Galt House Hotel in Louisville, Kentucky, yesterday. Photograph: William DeShazer/New York Times

Republican Rand Paul, the libertarian conservative senator, has declared a plan to “take America back” from an unpopular Washington establishment in a(...)

An aerial view of a shooting scene at the National Security Agency (NSA) headquarters at Fort Meade in Maryland. Reports say one man was shot dead and another seriously wounded after attempting to ram a vehicle into the installation. Photograph: NBC4Washington handout/Reuters

Two people tried to ram their vehicle into the National Security Agency (NSA)’s entrance gates near Washington DC before guards shot one of them dead,(...)