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Category Archives: Freedom of Information

Report – Who Has Your Digital Back?

Who Has Your Back? 2015: Protecting Your Data From Government Requests. July 2, 2015 | By Parker Higgins: “We live digital lives—from the videos shared on social networks, to location-aware apps on mobile phones, to log-in data for connecting to our email, to our stored documents, to our search history. The personal, the profound, and even the absurd are all transcribed into data packets, whizzing through the fiber-optic arteries of the network. While our daily lives have upgraded to the 21st century, the law hasn’t kept pace. To date, the U.S. Congress hasn’t managed to update the 1986 Electronic Communications Privacy Act to acknowledge that email stored more than 6 months deserves identical protections to email stored less than 6 months. Congress also dragged its feet on halting the NSA’s indiscriminate surveillance of online communications and has yet to enact the strong reforms we deserve. Congress is even on the precipice of making things far worse, considering proposals that would mandate government backdoors into the technology we rely on to digitally communicate. In this climate, we increasingly look to technology companies themselves to have the strongest possible policies when it comes to protecting user rights. Which companies will stand by users, insisting on transparency and strong legal standards around government access to user data? And which companies make those policies public, letting the world—and their own users—judge their stances on standing up for privacy rights?”

Washington Post database collecting data on citizen killings by police

“The Washington Post is compiling a database of every fatal shooting in the United States by a police officer in the line of duty in 2015. The Post is tracking more than a dozen details about each killing — including the race of the deceased, the circumstances of the shooting, and whether the person wasContinue Reading

Intelligence Cmte’s investigation of interrogation techniques

The New Yorker – To expose torture, Dianne Feinstein fought the C.I.A. -and the White House, June 22, 2015. “Dianne Feinstein, the Democratic senator from California, is making a late career of not quite pleasing anyone. After five decades in politics, Feinstein, at eighty-one, is the oldest sitting member of the Senate, where a lateContinue Reading

EPIC Joins Open Government Groups in Support of FOIA Reform

“EPIC and a coalition of open government advocates has urged Congress to pass FOIA reform legislation. In response to a request from the Chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, the coalition expressed support for the FOIA Act of 2015, specifically praising a provision limiting the use of Exemption 5, which has enabledContinue Reading

CIA Releases Declassified Documents Related to 9/11 Attacks

“Today, CIA has released to the public declassified versions of five internal documents related to the Agency’s performance in the lead-up to the attacks of September 11, 2001. The documents can be found at CIA’s Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) online reading room at http://www.foia.cia.gov/collection/declassified-documents-related-911-attacks. The first of these documents is a redacted version ofContinue Reading

State-by-State Listing of Data Loss and Freedom of Information Legislation

DataLossDB – Open Security Foundation: “In order to request data breach notification reports from governments, several critieria need to exist. The state must have Freedom of Information or Open Records legislation. The state must have Breach Notification legislation, and the state must require notifications to a centralized authority (like an Attorney General, or a ConsumerContinue Reading

USA FREEDOM Act Reinstates Expired USA PATRIOT Act Provisions

CRS Legal Sidebar USA FREEDOM Act Reinstates Expired USA PATRIOT Act Provisions but Limits Bulk Collection 6/4/2015: “Following a contentious debate and passagein the Senate, the USA FREEDOM Act (H.R. 2048) was signed into law onJune 2, 2015. The new law contains eight titles, spanning a range of national security topics from reauthorizing expired investigativeContinue Reading

DOJ Seeks to Expand Ability to Hack Computers of Suspects

arstechnica – Feds want an expanded ability to hack criminal suspects’ computers – Proposed rules to let one judge authorize “remote access” essentially anywhere. “The United States Department of Justice wants to broaden its ability to hack criminal suspects’ computers, according to a new legal proposal that was first published by The Wall Street Journal onContinue Reading

New Study – Americans Losing Battle on Privacy Rights

The Tradeoff Fallacy – How Marketers Are Misrepresenting American Consumers and Opening Them Up to Exploitation – Joseph Turow, Ph.D.; Michael Hennessy, Ph.D; Nora Draper, Ph.D. June 2015. A Report from the Anneberg School for Communication, University of Pennsylvania. “New Annenberg survey results indicate that marketers are misrepresenting a large majority of Americans by claiming thatContinue Reading

US Legal System on Data Protection in the Field of Law Enforcement

The US Legal System on Data Protection in the Field of Law Enforcement. Safeguards, Rights and Remedies for EU Citizens 15-05-2015: “Upon request by the LIBE Committee, this study surveys the US legal system of data protection in the field of federal law enforcement. It reviews two principal sources of US data protection law, theContinue Reading

NSA surveillance: how librarians have been on the front line to protect privacy

Dan Roberts – The Guardian UK – “In the hours before US senators voted to take on the might of the National Security Agency this week, their inboxes were deluged with more than 2,200 supportive emails from a most unlikely group of revolutionaries: America’s librarians. Their contribution to the passage of the USA Freedom ActContinue Reading

Information Security Oversight Office’s Report for Fiscal Year 2014

“The Information Security Oversight Office’s (ISOO) Report for Fiscal Year 2014, as required by Executive Order 13526, “Classified National Security Information” (the Order). This report provides statistics and analysis of the system of classification and declassification based on ISOO’s review of Departments’ and Agencies’ programs. It also contains the status of agency self-assessment reporting, theContinue Reading