Accurate, Focused Research on Law, Technology and Knowledge Discovery Since 2002

Category Archives: Civil Liberties

Biannual Twitter Transparency Report

“First published on July 2, 2012, our biannual Twitter Transparency Report highlights trends in government requests we’ve received for account information, government requests we’ve received for content removal, and copyright notices (both takedown notices and counter notices) we’ve received. The report also provides insight into whether or not we take action on these requests…We’ve received 46% more requests for account information affecting 48% more account holders during the first half of 2014 than in the previous reporting period. The continued rise may be attributed to Twitter’s ongoing international expansion, but also appears to follow the industry trend. As always, we continue to fight to provide notice to affected users when we’re not otherwise prohibited. Despite our global growth, the United States continues to make the majority of requests for account information, comprising 61% of all requests received (up 2% from last report). Of the remaining 39%, Japan remains the next largest requester, constituting ~9% of overall requests (down from 15% during the second half of 2013). Excluding the twelve countries that submitted emergency disclosure requests only, Brazil and the United Kingdom each comprised ~4% of worldwide requests. It’s also worth noting that Brazil, Spain, and Turkey all more than doubled their previous respective volume, with Brazil submitting more than three times as many requests (from 20 to 77).”

CIA IG Report Confirms Searches of Senate Computers

Feinstein Statement on CIA IG Report, Washington -  Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) released the following statement: “I was briefed Tuesday by CIA Inspector General David Buckley on the results of an IG investigation [summary only available at this time]. The investigation confirmed what I said on the Senate floor in March – CIA personnel inappropriatelyContinue Reading

A National Consensus: Cell Phone Location Records Are Private – EFF

“The Fourth Amendment protects us from “unreasonable” government searches of our persons, houses, papers and effects. How courts should determine what is and isn’t reasonable in our increasingly digital world is the subject of a new amicus brief we filed today in San Francisco federal court.  At issue is historical cell site data—the records of the cell towers a customer’sContinue Reading

Federal and State Wiretaps Up 5% in 2013 According to Annual Report

EPIC: “The Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts has issued the 2013 Wiretap Report, detailing the use of surveillance authorities by law enforcement agencies. This annual report, one of the most comprehensive issued by any agency, provides an insight into the debate over surveillance authorities and the use of privacy-enhancing technologies. In 2013, wiretap applications increasedContinue Reading

Surveillance Costs: The NSA’s Impact on the Economy, Internet Freedom & Cybersecurity

New America Foundation – “It has been over a year since The Guardian reported the first story on the National Security Agency’s surveillance programs based on the leaks from former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, yet the national conversation remains largely mired in a simplistic debate over the tradeoffs between national security and individual privacy. It is timeContinue Reading

The Surge of Unaccompanied Children from Central America

The Surge of Unaccompanied Children from Central America - Root Causes and Policy Solutions, by Dan Restrepo and Ann Garcia | July 24, 2014 “Over the past few years, and in particular over the past few months, the number of children and families leaving the Central American countries of El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras and arriving in neighboring countries and atContinue Reading

How Large-Scale US Surveillance is Harming Journalism, Law and American Democracy

With Liberty to Monitor All - How Large-Scale US Surveillance is Harming Journalism, Law, and American Democracy. Human Rights Watch / ACLU, July 2014. “The United States government today is implementing a wide variety of surveillance  programs that, thanks to developments in its technological capacity, allow it to scoop up  personal information and the content ofContinue Reading

Deeper Dive into EFF’s Motion on Backbone Surveillance

News release: “Yesterday we filed a motion for partial summary judgment in our long running Jewel v. NSA case, focusing on the government’s admitted seizure and search of communications from the Internet backbone, also called “upstream.” We’ve asked the judge to rule that there are two ways in which this is unconstitutional under the Fourth Amendment: The admitted seizure of communications from theContinue Reading

UK Independent – NSA reportedly tracking any internet users who research privacy software online

James Vincent - “Any internet users who use or even read about privacy services online will be targeted for surveillance by the NSA, according to a new report from German broadcaster ARD. According to leaked source-code of the US spy agency’s ‘XKeyscore’ software, individuals who search for information about anonymising services such as Tor have their IPContinue Reading

Reflections on the Tenth Anniversary of The 9/11 Commission Report

Bipartisan Policy Center: “Ten years ago today, we issued The 9/11 Commission Report, the official report of the devastating attacks of September 11, 2001. As we wrote in that report, we were acutely mindful of the responsibility we bore to the American people—and the families of the victims—to provide the most complete account possible of theContinue Reading

New kind of tracking tool, canvas fingerprinting, is being used to follow visitors to thousands of top websites

ProPublica and Mashable – “A new, extremely persistent type of online tracking is shadowing visitors to thousands of top websites, from WhiteHouse.gov to YouPorn.com. First documented in a forthcoming paper by researchers at Princeton University and KU Leuven University in Belgium, this type of tracking, called canvas fingerprinting, works by instructing the visitor’s Web browser to draw a hidden image. Because eachContinue Reading

Loopholes for Circumventing the Constitution: Warrantless Bulk Surveillance on Americans by Collecting Network Traffic Abroad

Arnbak, Axel and Goldberg, Sharon, Loopholes for Circumventing the Constitution: Warrantless Bulk Surveillance on Americans by Collecting Network Traffic Abroad (June 27, 2014). HOTPETS, 2014. Available for download at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2460462 “In this multi-disciplinary paper, we reveal interdependent legal and technical loopholes that intelligence agencies of the U.S. government could use to circumvent constitutional and statutoryContinue Reading