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Daily Archives: August 18, 2014

Newly Declassified Documents Regarding Now-Discontinued NSA Bulk Electronic Communications Metadata

ODNI: “Following a declassification review by the Executive Branch, the Department of Justice released on August 6, 2014, in redacted form, 38 documents relating to the now-discontinued NSA program [scroll down the page to locate the links] to collect bulk electronic communications metadata pursuant to Section 402 of the FISA (“PRTT provision”).  These documents are also responsive to a Freedom of Information Act request by the Electronic Privacy Information Center.  The Intelligence Community previously released information about this program to the public on November 18, 2013.  Under the program NSA was permitted to collect certain electronic communications metadata such as the “to,” “from,” and “cc” lines of an email and the email’s time and date.  This collection was done only after the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court approved the government’s applications, and pursuant to court order generally lasting 90 days.  NSA was not permitted to collect the content of any electronic communications.  Like NSA’s bulk telephony metadata program under FISA section 501, this program was subject to several restrictions approved by the FISC, such as:

  • The information could be used only for counterterrorism purposes.
  • The information had to be stored in secure databases.
  • The databases could be queried using an identifier such as an email address only when an analyst had a reasonable and articulable suspicion that the email address was associated with certain specified foreign terrorist organizations that were the subject of FBI counterterrorism investigations.  The basis for that suspicion had to be documented in writing and approved by a limited number of designated approving officials identified in the Court’s Order.  Moreover, if an identifier was reasonably believed to be used by a United States person, NSA’s Office of General Counsel would also review the determination to ensure that the suspected association was not based solely on First Amendment-protected activities.
  • NSA was required to destroy the bulk metadata after a set period of time.”

CRS – Telemarketing Regulation: National and State Do Not Call Registries

Telemarketing Regulation: National and State Do Not Call Registries. Kathleen Ann Ruane, Legislative Attorney. August 14, 2014 “Today, it is axiomatic that telemarketers in the United States generally are not permitted to place outgoing telemarketing calls to phone numbers on the national do not call list, unless an exception applies. This was not always the case, however. TheContinue Reading

RegData is an innovative new way of measuring the size and scope of US federal regulation

“RegData [beta], developed by Patrick A. McLaughlin, Omar Al-Ubaydli, and the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, improves dramatically on the existing methods used to quantify regulations. Previous efforts to assess the extent of regulation in the United States have used imprecise variables such as the number of pages published in the Federal Register orContinue Reading

Plan and protect your finances with a my Social Security account

CFPB – “Whether you’re one of the millions of workers who pay Social Security taxes or the 50 million retired Americans and dependents who receive benefits, it’s good to keep track of your Social Security benefits. National My Social Security Week takes place August 17 to 23 — the perfect time to take a step toward creatingContinue Reading

A new school year, a new resource for parents and kids

CFPB – “Parents are the strongest influence on how kids learn and think about money, and the back-to-school shopping season is a great time for some major money lessons.This year, try thinking differently about back-to-school shopping. While you plan and shop, say what you’re doing—your children are listening. You don’t have to give lectures. Just makeContinue Reading

Facebook launches cross-device reporting for Facebook ads

The Hill – ‘Facebook is giving advertisers new information about how users notice and act on ads as they move between their computers, smartphones and tablets. In a post on Wednesday, Facebook said that it would begin allowing companies that advertise on the social media site “to see for the first time how people are moving between devicesContinue Reading

CDD Files Complaint on U.S./EU Safe Harbor for Data Privacy at FTC

Filing Reveals Failure of U.S. Agreement to Protect European Privacy – “The key framework that is supposed to protect EU citizens’ privacy when their data is collected by U.S. companies—known as the U.S.-EU Safe Harbor—is failing to provide them the safeguards that were promised, according to a complaint filed today by a leading U.S. consumer privacyContinue Reading