BBC says obtained full copy of post-Brexit trade deal

FILE PHOTO: A general view of The Houses of Parliament silhouetted, in London, Britain December 24, 2020. REUTERS/Hannah McKay

December 25, 2020

(Reuters) – The post-Brexit trade deal reached by the United Kingdom and the European Union goes beyond the EU’s so-called “Canada-style” trade accord, the BBC said on Friday, citing what it said was a full copy of the accord.

The 1,246-page document includes about 800 pages of annexes and footnotes, the BBC said, adding that the pages of legal text will determine every aspect of trade between the UK and the EU.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Thursday had described the last-minute agreement as a “jumbo” free trade deal along the lines of that between the EU and Canada, and urged Britain to move on from the divisions caused by the 2016 Brexit referendum.

The BBC report added that at first look, the full post-Brexit text went beyond a so-called “Canada-style” deal.

One annex revealed a late compromise on electric cars, the BBC reported. The EU had sought to offer tariff-free access only to those British cars made mostly with European parts. That will now be phased in over six years, but is less generous than the UK had requested, the BBC said.

There is a clear commitment not to lower standards on the environment, workers’ rights and climate change from those that currently exist and mechanisms to enforce them, the BBC reported.

However, it added that there is also a mutual right to “rebalance” the agreement if there are “significant divergences” in the future capable of “impacting trade”.

Similarly, the restrictions compensation for unfair subsidies to companies “do not apply” in situations such as natural disasters, the BBC said. That will exempt the EU’s large current pandemic support package for aviation, aerospace, climate change and electric cars.

Britain clinched a narrow Brexit trade deal with the European Union on Thursday, just seven days before it exits one of the world’s biggest trading blocs.

The deal will preserve Britain’s zero-tariff and zero-quota access to the bloc’s single market of 450 million consumers, but will not prevent economic pain and disruption for the UK or for EU member states.

The UK formally left the EU on Jan. 31 but has since been in a transition period under which rules on trade, travel and business remained unchanged until the end of this year.

The British parliament will debate and vote on the deal on Dec. 30, just one day before the transition period lapses.

(Reporting by Kanishka Singh and Radhika Anilkumar in Bengaluru; Editing by Dan Grebler)

Source link

FBI warns American voter registration data has been obtained by Iran, Russia

File – Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe is pictured. (AP Photo/ Andrew Harnik)

OAN Newsroom
UPDATED 8:50 AM PT – Thursday, October 22, 2020

Federal officials sent a warning about national security after the FBI said Iran and Russia obtained voter registration data and are using the information to interfere with the upcoming presidential election.

In a press conference Wednesday night, Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe and FBI Director Christopher Wray announced that voters were being intimidated in order to cause political unrest with their personal information later stolen.

“First we have confirmed that some voter registration information has been obtained by Iran and separately by Russia,” announced Ratcliffe. “This data can be used by foreign actors to attempt to communicate false information to registered voters that they hope will cause confusion, sow chaos and undermine your confidence in American democracy.”

Ratcliffe went into further detail, stating Iran has been sending out fake emails to registered voters while posing as members of the Proud Boys group in an effort to fuel political tensions before November’s vote.

The national security officials went onto reassure the public by stating they will work swiftly to identify and disrupt these threats, while boosting up security for the sake of protecting the integrity of the presidential election.

RELATED: President Trump’s appeal to women ahead of the election

Source link

Location Data Obtained By CBP Comes From Phone Apps, Is Capable Of Tracking People On Both Sides Of The Border

from the what-Carpenter-decision? dept

More details are coming out about federal law enforcement’s purchases of location data from data brokers. In February, the Wall Street Journal reported ICE and CBP were both purchasing large amounts of data from Venntel, using this information to track down people in this country illegally. Supposedly the data was “anonymized,” which the CBP felt was enough to dodge any Constitutional concerns. Of course, the more data you have, the easier it is to de-anonymize it. And if it was truly anonymous and unable to be converted into traceable human beings, there would be no reason for ICE and CBP to be purchasing it.

This led to some Congressional scrutiny. The House Committee on Oversight and Reform opened up an investigation into federal agencies’ purchases of location data from Venntel. This investigation didn’t stop the CBP from re-upping its contract with the now-controversial broker and continuing to explore the edges of this legal gray area.

A couple of months later, it was revealed the IRS was also buying location data from Venntel, presumably in hopes of tracking down tax cheats. This led to Senators Ron Wyden and Elizabeth Warren asking the IRS’s oversight to look into this. The Inspector General has already replied, stating an investigation is underway to determine whether the IRS’s warrantless acquisition of this location data complies with the Supreme Court’s Carpenter decision, which enacted a warrant requirement for cell site location data.

More documents obtained by Motherboard explain where all this controversial data is coming from. It’s not Google or cell providers’ towers, but from any phone app that harvests location data for their multiple Big Data overlords.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) bought access to “global” location data harvested from ordinary apps installed on peoples’ phones, meaning it could track devices even outside of U.S. borders, according to a document obtained by Motherboard.


“I know I could find signals in non-U.S. territory but they may have been U.S. users/devices,” a former worker for Venntel, the company that CBP bought the location data from, told Motherboard.

This explains CBP and ICE’s interest in this particular data. Looking for illegal entrants gets a whole lot easier when you can start tracking them from the other side of the border. It’s far more useful to these agencies than it is for the IRS, which apparently couldn’t find the suspect it was looking for in Venntel’s database.

This is also why CBP feels compelled to keep throwing money at a vendor targeted by a Congressional investigation and (indirectly) by IRS oversight. It’s too valuable not to have, no matter what the Fourth Amendment implications are.

Thank you for reading this Techdirt post. With so many things competing for everyone’s attention these days, we really appreciate you giving us your time. We work hard every day to put quality content out there for our community.

Techdirt is one of the few remaining truly independent media outlets. We do not have a giant corporation behind us, and we rely heavily on our community to support us, in an age when advertisers are increasingly uninterested in sponsoring small, independent sites — especially a site like ours that is unwilling to pull punches in its reporting and analysis.

While other websites have resorted to paywalls, registration requirements, and increasingly annoying/intrusive advertising, we have always kept Techdirt open and available to anyone. But in order to continue doing so, we need your support. We offer a variety of ways for our readers to support us, from direct donations to special subscriptions and cool merchandise — and every little bit helps. Thank you.

–The Techdirt Team

Filed Under: 4th amendment, border, cbp, data, ice, location data, location info, phone apps

Source link