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Category Archives: Civil Liberties

The executive order that led to mass spying, as told by NSA alumni

Cyrus Farivar - Ars Technica: [Executive Order] 12333 is used to target foreigners abroad, and collection happens outside the US,” whistleblower John Tye, a former State Department official, told Ars recently. “My complaint is not that they’re using it to target Americans, my complaint is that the volume of incidental collection on US persons is unconstitutional.” The document, known in government circles as “twelve triple three,” gives incredible leeway to intelligence agencies sweeping up vast quantities of Americans’ data. That data ranges from e-mail content to Facebook messages, from Skype chats to practically anything that passes over the Internet on an incidental basis. In other words, EO 12333 protects the tangential collection of Americans’ data even when Americans aren’t specifically targeted—otherwise it would be forbidden under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) of 1978. In a May 2014 interview with NBC, former NSA contractor Edward Snowden said that he specifically asked his colleagues at the NSA whether an executive order could override existing statutes. (They said it could not.) Snowden’s lawyer, Jesselyn Radack, told Ars that her client was specifically “referring to EO 12333.”

 

Why Aren’t Women Advancing At Work? Ask a Transgender Person.

Jessica Nordell, New Republic: “Trans people are bringing entirely new ways of approaching the discussion. Because trans people are now staying in the same careers (and sometimes the very same jobs) after they change genders, they are uniquely qualified to discuss the difference between how men and women experience the workplace. Their experience is asContinue Reading

Drones at Home: Domestic Drone Legislation – A Survey, Analysis and Framework

Zoldi, Dawn M. K., Drones at Home: Domestic Drone Legislation — A Survey, Analysis and Framework (July 9, 2014). Available at for download SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2486259 “Can the government employ drones domestically without running roughshod over personal privacy? In an effort to preemptively rein in potential government overreach, most states have proposed legislation that restricts or forbidsContinue Reading

Investigative Report – NSA created ‘google-like search’ engine – shared access with other agencies

“Data available through ICREACH appears to be primarily derived from surveillance of foreigners’ communications, and planning documents show that it draws on a variety of different sources of data maintained by the NSA. Though one 2010 internal paper clearly calls it “the ICREACH database,” a U.S. official familiar with the system disputed that, telling The Intercept that while “itContinue Reading

European Facebook Users Privacy Lawsuit Moves Forward

EPIC: “A group of over 25,000 European Facebook users may proceed with their lawsuit against Facebook. The users, led by privacy activist Max Schrems, sued Facebook in a court in Vienna. The users charge Facebook with violating EU privacy law by improperly handling users’ data. Now that the court has approved the class action suit, Facebook must respond toContinue Reading

Unaccompanied Alien Children – Legal Issues: Answers to Frequently Asked Questions

CRS – Unaccompanied Alien Children – Legal Issues: Answers to Frequently Asked Questions. Kate M. Manuel, Legislative Attorney; Michael John Garcia; Legislative Attorney. July 18, 2014. “Recent reports about the increasing number of alien minors apprehended at the U.S. border without a parent or legal guardian have prompted numerous questions about so-called unaccompanied alien children (UACs). Some of these questions pertain toContinue Reading

Security Experts: EPIC Correct About Body Scanners-Invasive and Ineffective

“The first independent analysis of backscatter x-ray body scanners corroborate the claims EPIC and others have made for several years: The scanners are invasive and ineffective. In a detailed report published in 2005, EPIC warned that the x-ray body scanners amounted to a virtual strip search and were an ineffective means of airport security. Freedom of Information Act documents later obtainedContinue Reading

Preliminary Draft of Proposed Amendments Federal Rules of Appellate, Bankruptcy, Civil, and Criminal Procedure

“On August 15, 2014, the public comment period opens for proposed amendments to: Appellate Rules 4, 5, 21, 25, 26, 27, 28.1, 29, 32, 35, and 40, and Forms 1, 5, 6, and New Form 7; Bankruptcy Rules 1010, 1011, 2002, 3002, 3002.1, 3007, 3012, 3015, 4003, 5009, 7001, 9006, and 9009, and New RuleContinue Reading

Criminal Justice Act: At 50 Years, a Landmark in the Right to Counsel

US Courts news release: “August 20, 1964—the President signed into law the Criminal Justice Act (CJA), which for the first time assured professional legal counsel in federal courts by paying an hourly fee for court appointed lawyers. Six years later, Congress established a full-time federal defender service within the judicial branch. Together, the measures created theContinue Reading

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 responsiveContinue Reading

New on LLRX – Case Law in an Era of Heightened Scrutiny

Via LLRX.com - Case Law in an Era of Heightened Scrutiny - Ken Strutin’s documents the scope of sources that encompass a critical issue that has recently repeatedly surfaced in mass media and the legal press – the fact that judicial decisions are believed to embody legal reasoning, societal values and support the foundations of our legal system. ForContinue Reading

ABA Draft Report on Stand Your Ground Laws

American Bar Association National Task Force on Stand Your Ground Laws, Preliminary Report and Recommendations, August 8, 2014. “This report represents the culmination of the Task Force’s analysis of a substantial compilation of information: testimony from experts and stakeholders received at five regional hearings, extensive legal research on each jurisdiction’s self-defense regime, quantitative assessments ofContinue Reading