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Category Archives: Freedom of Information

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 statutory safeguards for U.S. persons. We outline known and new circumvention techniques that can leave the Internet traffic of Americans as vulnerable to surveillance, and as unprotected by U.S. law, as the Internet traffic of foreigners. Note: The paper is accepted and will be presented at the Privacy Enhancing Technologies Symposium of July 2014, during the HOTPETS session.”

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

EPIC Files Lawsuit For Details of Government Profiling System

“EPIC has filed a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit about a controversial government data mining program, operated by the Department of Homeland Security. The “Analytical Framework for Intelligence“ contains a vast amount of sensitive personal information obtained from government agencies and the private sector. The system is used by the DHS for link analysis, anomaly detection, pattern analysis, andContinue Reading

New platform compiles, curates, and presents data on Internet access and controls

“Internet Monitor is a research project to evaluate, describe, and summarize the means, mechanisms, and extent of Internet content controls and Internet activity around the world. The project compiles and curates data from multiple sources, including primary data collected by the Berkman Center and our partners, as well as relevant secondary data. The Internet MonitorContinue Reading

11 Net Neutrality Principles released by Library and University Groups

“The above organizations firmly believe that preserving an open Internet is essential to our  nation’s freedom of speech, educational achievement, and economic growth. The Internet now serves as a primary, open platform for information exchange, intellectual discourse, civic engagement, creativity, research, innovation, teaching, and learning. We are deeply concerned that public broadband providers have financialContinue Reading

NGOs Launch Digital First Aid Kit

Via EFF – “When faced with a digital emergency—whether someone has hijacked your social media account or your website is being DDoSed—can be difficult for non-technical people to discern what the problem is and what the appropriate next steps may be for seeking help. To help fill this niche in the universe of privacy andContinue Reading

EPIC Defends FOIA Victory in Federal Appeals Court

“EPIC has filed a brief in response to an appeal by the Department of Justice in EPIC v. DHS, concerning the government policy to disrupt cellular networks. EPIC won a major FOIA victory when a federal district court ruled that the DHS could not withhold “SOP 303,” a government procedure to shut down cellular phone service. EPIC sought theContinue Reading

Amnesty International launches video tool and website to learn its use

Via Poynter - The YouTube Data Viewer enables you to enter in the URL of a YouTube video and automatically extract the correct upload time and all thumbnails associated with the video. These two elements are essential when verifying a YouTube video, and it’s information that’s difficult to gather from YouTube. The upload time is critical in helping determineContinue Reading

“For Official Use Only” is Used Too Much at DHS, House Says – FAS

Steven Aftergood, Secrecy News: “There is too much information that is marked “For Official Use Only” at the Department of Homeland Security, the House Appropriations Committee said in its report on DHS Appropriations for 2015….Here is the Committee language from its June 19 DHS Appropriations report: Over-Classification of Information - The Committee is concerned with the number of reports, briefings,Continue Reading

The Internet’s Own Boy: The Story of Aaron Swartz – Film now free online

The Internet Archive has posted for free viewing the movie – The Internet’s Own Boy: The Story of Aaron Swartz, “an investigative documentary from director Brian Knappenberger about the life of the internet pioneer and activist Aaron Swartz.” See also related postings on Aaron Swartz.  

Files provided by Snowden show extent to which ordinary Web users are caught in the net – WaPo

In NSA-intercepted data, those not targeted far outnumber the foreigners who are, by Barton Gellman, Julie Tate and Ashkan Soltani “Ordinary Internet users, American and non-American alike, far outnumber legally targeted foreigners in the communications intercepted by the National Security Agency from U.S. digital networks, according to a four-month investigation by The Washington Post. Nine of 10 account holders foundContinue Reading

CIA Style Manual Available Online

Via governmentattic.org: “National Security Counselors law firm has obtained a copy of the CIA Directorate of Intelligence Style Manual, Eighth Edition, 2011.  It is entitled Style Manual & Writers Guide for Intelligence Publications. The CIA Guide is not alone.  Each of the members of the Intelligence Community ­IC ­ have one or more Style Manuals to conform the reportsContinue Reading