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Daily Archives: June 11, 2013

ACLU Files Lawsuit Challenging NSA’s Patriot Act Phone Surveillance

Follow up to previous postings, By Brett Max Kaufman, Legal Fellow, ACLU National Security Project: “In the wake of the past week’s revelations about the NSA’s unprecedented mass surveillance of phone calls, today the ACLU filed a lawsuit charging that the program violates Americans’ constitutional rights of free speech, association, and privacy. This lawsuit comes a day after we submitted a motion to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) seeking the release of secret court opinions on the Patriot Act’s Section 215, which has been interpreted to authorize this warrantless and suspicionless collection of phone records. Last week, The Guardian released an order issued by the FISC that compelled a Verizon subsidiary—Verizon Business Network Services (VBNS)—to hand over, on an “ongoing, daily basis,” details for every phone call placed on its network for a prospective three-month period. Collecting those details—”metadata” that reveals who people talk to, for how long, how often, and possibly from where—allows the government to paint an alarmingly detailed picture of Americans’ private lives. The FISC order cited Section 215 as its legal basis, yet the breadth of the authority it granted to the government is simply incompatible with the text of the statute.”
  • See also via EFF – “Today, a bipartisan coalition of 86 civil liberties organizations and Internet companies – including the Electronic Frontier Foundation, reddit, Mozilla, FreedomWorks, and the American Civil Liberties Union – are demanding swift action from Congress in light of the recent revelations about unchecked domestic surveillance.”

New GAO Reports – Combating Nuclear Smuggling, Defense Management, Info Tech Duplicative Investments, Medicare Program Integrity, Chemical Assessments

Combating Nuclear Smuggling – Lessons Learned from Cancelled Radiation Portal Monitor Program Could Help Future Acquisitions, GAO-13-256, May 13, 2013 Defense Management – More Reliable Cost Estimates and Further Planning Needed to Inform the Marine Corps Realignment Initiatives in the Pacific, GAO-13-360, Jun 11, 2013 Information Technology – OMB and Agencies Need to Focus ContinuedContinue Reading

Pew – Majority Views NSA Phone Tracking as Acceptable Anti-terror Tactic

Public Says Investigate Terrorism, Even If It Intrudes on Privacy: “A majority of Americans – 56% – say the National Security Agency’s (NSA) program tracking the telephone records of millions of Americans is an acceptable way for the government to investigate terrorism, though a substantial minority – 41% – say it is unacceptable. And whileContinue Reading

Report on the use of data visualization in government

The IBM Center for the Business of Government – The Use of Data Visualization in Government: “The report presents case studies on how visualization techniques  are now being used by two local governments, one state government, and three federal government agencies . Each case study  discusses the audience for visualization . Understanding audience  is important, as governmentContinue Reading

Cisco Report – The Financial Impact of BYOD

“To help companies determine the current and potential value of BYOD, Cisco IBSG conducted a detailed financial analysis of BYOD in six countries. Our findings show that, on average, BYOD is saving companies money and helping their employees become more productive. But the value companies currently derive from BYOD is dwarfed by the gains thatContinue Reading

50th Anniversary of the Equal Pay Act

Statement of Jacqueline A. Berrien, Chair, U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, June 10, 2013 – 50th Anniversary of the Equal Pay Act: “Much has changed for working women since 1963. For example, “help wanted” advertisements directed to applicants of a specific sex are no longer commonplace. Women are about half of the paid workforce today,Continue Reading

Speech – The Case for Timely Implementation of Revised Capital Rules

Speech, Federal Reserve Board Governor Sarah Bloom Raskin At the Ohio Bankers Day, Columbus, Ohio, June 6, 2013. Let’s Move Forward: The Case for Timely Implementation of Revised Capital Rules:  “There is significant justification for both higher levels, and higher quality, of capital. In particular, we have seen that highly capitalized banks are more likelyContinue Reading

EPA Survey Shows $384 Billion Needed for Drinking Water Infrastructure by 2030

News release: “The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today released results of a survey showing that $384 billion in improvements are needed for the nation’s drinking water infrastructure through 2030 for systems to continue providing safe drinking water to 297 million Americans. EPA’s fifth Drinking Water Infrastructure Needs Survey and Assessment identifies investments needed overContinue Reading