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Category Archives: Freedom of Information

FCC Releases Redacted Manual for Mobile Surveillance

Follow up to previous posting – StingRay surveillance device intercepts a cellphone signals, capture texts, calls, emails and other data – via Slate, via TheBlot: A heavily redacted copy of the 2010 manual for StingRay and KingFish mobile data surveillance equipment was released by the FCC in response to a FOIA request by TheBlot over the strong objections of the equipment manufacturer.  Matthew Keys for TheBlot: “On March 23 — more than six months after the request had been filed and two months after the January call — the FCC delivered a heavily redacted user manual covering the StingRay, StingRay II and KingFish devices. The manual, which appears to be the same copy submitted to the FCC by Harris in 2010, reveals the StingRay and KingFish equipment are likely individual components that comprise a cellphone surveillance kit marketed and sold to police. The manual indicates the StingRay and KingFish devices are sold as part of a larger surveillance kit that includes third-party software and laptops. Tables that contain the names of the other equipment is redacted in the copy provided by the FCC, but other records reviewed by TheBlot indicate the laptops are manufactured by Dell and Panasonic, while the software is designed by Pen-Link, a company that makes programs for cellphone forensics. Numerous warnings note that the manual is “confidential,” “not for public inspection” and contains information that falls under the purview of the International Traffic in Arms Regulation (ITAR), a federal statute that prohibits certain defense information and equipment from being distributed outside the United States. Harris also warns that the manual “may be provided only to … government law enforcement agencies or communication service providers,” and that the document contains material related to a “restricted use item” that is “associated with the monitoring of cellular transmissions.” (The latter phrasing appears clearly in one section of the manual, despite being redacted on other pages.) None of the redactions made to the document were explained by the FCC as information withheld pursuant to national security interests. Instead, the FCC explained its redactions through Exemption 4 of the FOIA law, which protects the release of trade secrets and certain confidential business information submitted to the government.”

New Memoir by Participant in U.S. H-Bomb Program Sheds Light on the Making of First Test Device

National Security Archive: “A new scientific memoir by one of the few surviving participants in the U.S. H-bomb project provides fresh information and insights into the production of the world’s first thermonuclear device. In an exclusive essay and selection of declassified documents provided to the National Security Archive and posted today on the Archive’s website,Continue Reading

Wall Street Journal Reveals FTC Ignored Google’s Anticompetitive Practices

EPIC –  “According to an internal document obtained by the WSJ, in 2012 the Federal Trade Commission ignored recommendations to reform Google’s anticompetitive practices. The FTC staff report concluded that Google’s “conduct has resulted-and will result-in real harm to consumers and to innovation in the online search and advertising markets.” The internal FTC report saidContinue Reading

Pew – The Internet’s Influence in Emerging, Developing Nations

Internet Usage More Common Among the Young, Well-Educated and English Speakers: “As more people around the world gain access to all the tools of the digital age, the internet will play a greater role in everyday life. And so far, people in emerging and developing nations say that the increasing use of the internet hasContinue Reading

Commentary and document release – CIA declassifies document used to support Iraq invasion

Article by Jason Leopold – March 19, 2015: “Thirteen years ago, the intelligence community concluded in a 93-page classified document used to justify the invasion of Iraq that it lacked “specific information” on “many key aspects” of Iraqi President Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction (WMD) programs. But that’s not what top Bush administration officials said during their campaign toContinue Reading

Intelligence and Security Committee of Parliament published its Report ‘Privacy and Security: A modern and transparent legal framework’

“The Intelligence and Security Committee of Parliament has today published its Report ‘Privacy and Security: A modern and transparent legal framework‘. This Report includes, for the first time in a single document, a comprehensive review of the full range of intrusive capabilities available to the UK intelligence Agencies. It contains an unprecedented amount of informationContinue Reading

foia.rocks, a comprehensive resource celebrating the Freedom of Information Act

From EPIC – http://foia.rocks/ provides researchers with in a set of subject areas that all begin with the letter “r” – Recommendations, Resource, Ruling, Release, Research, Regulations, Redacted, Respect, Reform, and Reports.

FCC Open Internet Order – Separating Fact From Fiction

“The Open Internet Order: Preserving and Protecting the Internet for All Americans – The Commission has released the full and final text of the Open Internet Order, which will preserve and  protect the Internet as a platform for innovation, expression and economic growth. An Open Internet  means consumers can go where they want, when theyContinue Reading

FCC Releases Open Internet Order

Net Neutrality Order – PDF “The open Internet drives the American economy and serves, every day, as a critical tool for America’s citizens to conduct commerce, communicate, educate, entertain, and engage in the world around them. The benefits of an open Internet are undisputed. But it must remain open: open for commerce, innovation, and speech;Continue Reading

National Security Archive – Most Agencies Falling Short on Mandate for Online Records

“Nearly 20 years after Congress passed the Electronic Freedom of Information Act Amendments (E-FOIA), only 40 percent of agencies have followed the law’s instruction for systematic posting of records released through FOIA in their electronic reading rooms, according to a new FOIA Audit released today by the National Security Archive at http://www2.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB505/ to mark Sunshine Week.Continue Reading

Report – Federal Agencies Still Struggle to Process Public Information Requests in a Timely, Consistent Way

“The Center for Effective Government released its second annual access to information scorecard today, grading the 15 key agencies that receive the most public information requests. The findings: eight out of the 15 agencies improved their overall grades from last year, but none earned an overall A grade. While the number of agencies with overallContinue Reading

Network Neutrality Revisited: Challenges and Responses in the EU and in the US

DIRECTORATE GENERAL FOR INTERNAL POLICIES POLICY DEPARTMENT A : ECONOMIC AND SCIENTIFIC POLICY – Network Neutrality Revisited: Challenges and Responses in the EU and in the US, December 2014. This document was requested by the European Parliament’s Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection. Authored by J. Scott Marcus. “This analytical study provides backgroundContinue Reading