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

Category Archives: E-Mail

International Law and Secret Surveillance: Binding Restrictions upon State Monitoring of Telephone and Internet Activity

CDT: “In the year that has followed Edward Snowden’s first disclosures concerning secret US and UK surveillance practices, many governments, human-rights groups, and UN bodies have debated—and at times disagreed sharply—about whether the Internet and telephone surveillance practices that governments employ today are consistent with international law. With a view to informing these discussions, this report briefly summarizes the current state of international law as it applies to the secret surveillance of communications. Many commentators divide international law into two categories: “hard law,” which is binding upon at least some states, and “soft law,” which includes nonbinding materials such as UN General Assembly resolutions. In order to facilitate a greater degree of understanding and consensus, this report is restricted to major international sources of “hard law.” The report describes two distinct bodies of law: customary international law (specifically, the principle of territorial and political integrity) and international human-rights law. As explained below, these two bodies of law exist independently of one another, meaning that a surveillance practice that does not violate human-rights law may still violate customary international law, and vice versa. The report does not address the special legal regimes that apply during situations of armed conflict. Where international human-rights law is concerned, the report focuses on the right to privacy,  freedom of expression, and the right to a remedy, and provides a summary of the applicable case-law of the European Court of Human Rights and Inter-American Court of Human Rights. In this respect, the report is intended to serve as a basic reference work for scholars, practitioners, and activists. Although the applicability of the relevant laws and norms to the United States is described in some detail, the discussion below is relevant to all states’ surveillance practices.”

EPIC (Finally) Obtains Memos on Warrantless Wiretapping Program

“More than eight years after filing a Freedom of Information Act request for the legal justification behind the “Warrantless Wiretapping” program of President Bush, EPIC has now obtained a mostly unredacted version of two key memos (OLC54)and (OLC85) by former Justice Department official Jack Goldsmith. EPIC requested these memos just four hours after the New York Times broke the story about theContinue Reading

New on LLRX – Online tools to streamline your email

Via LLRX.com - Online tools to streamline your email - Nicole Black talks about email add-ons to assist busy lawyers respond more effectively to a continuous avalanche of communications that require sorting, prioritizing, tagging and timely actions. She highlights several effective online tools designed to solve these problems by integrating with your Gmail account and other programs as well.

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 inContinue Reading

Two Factor Auth

Two Factor Auth (2FA): “Two-step verification, abbreviated to TSV (not equal to two step authentication TSA nor to Two-factor authentication, abbreviated to TFA) is a process involving two subsequent but dependent stages to check the identity of an entity trying to access services in a computer or in a network with just one factor or secret,Continue Reading

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

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

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

The complicated challenges of archiving and retrieving government email

FCW.com: “When President Barack Obama signed a memorandum on the management of government records in November 2011, some touted it as the first significant action on the topic since Harry Truman signed the Federal Property and Administrative Services Act in 1949 and the Federal Records Act in 1950. More than six decades and 7 billion network devices later,Continue Reading

Former State Dept Exec Calls Executive Order 12333 a “Legal Loophole” for Spying on Americans

EFF – “What kind of data is the NSA collecting on millions, or hundreds of millions, of Americans?” That’s the question John Napier Tye, a former StateDepartment section chief for Internet freedom, calls on the government to answer in his powerful op-ed published today by the Washington Post. In it, Tye calls the NSA’s surveillance operations abroad, conducted under ExecutiveContinue Reading

Global Survey: Widespread Opposition to US Communications Surveillance, Drones

“A new survey from Pew Research finds overwhelming opposition to the US monitoring of emails and phone calls. There appears to be little variation by region or culture, with high levels of opposition found in countries in Europe, South America, Asia, and the Middle East. According to the survey “Global Opinions of U.S. Surveillance,” the four countriesContinue Reading