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Category Archives: Patriot Act

Injunction against metadata collection reversed by U.S. Court of Appeals for D.C. Circuit

EFF – “The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit’s opinion [August 28, 2015] in Klayman v. Obama is highly disappointing and, worse, based on a mistaken concern about the underlying facts. The court said that since the plaintiffs’ phone service was provided by one subsidiary of Verizon—Verizon Wireless—rather than another—Verizon Business—they couldn’t prove that they had standing to sue. The court sent the case back to U.S. District Judge Richard Leon to give the Klayman plaintiffs an opportunity to prove that their records were in fact collected. The appeals court did not rule one way or the other of the constitutionality of the mass collection program. As an initial matter, recent releases by the government make clear that the plaintiffs’ records were in fact collected. Earlier this month, in response to a Freedom of Information request from the New York Times, the government released documents confirming that it does indeed collect bulk telephone records from Verizon Wireless under Section 215. Specifically, the formally-released documents reference orders to Verizon Wireless as of September 29, 2010, when they had to report a problem to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. This should mean that the plaintiffs records were collected, at least as of 2010, but likely long before and after. The government should give up its shell game here and admit the time frame that it collected the Klayman plaintiffs records, along with all other Verizon Wireless customers. But more importantly, the government’s telephone records collection was, by design, a mass collection program. Famously, then NSA Director Keith Alexander told Congress that “you need the haystack to find the needle.” Admittedly then, the records of millions of innocent Americans were collected.”

Another Snowden Reveal – Telecom Giant Provides Massive Data Pipeline to NSA

NYT and ProPublica investigative reports: “The National Security Agency’s ability to spy on vast quantities of Internet traffic passing through the United States has relied on its extraordinary, decades-long partnership with a single company: the telecom giant AT&T. While it has been long known that American telecommunications companies worked closely with the spy agency, newlyContinue Reading

Statement by the ODNI on Retention of Data Collected Under Section 215 of USA PATRIOT Act

July 27, 2015: “On June 29, 2015, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court approved the Government’s application to resume the Section 215 bulk telephony metadata program pursuant to the USA FREEDOM Act’s 180-day transition provision. As part of our effort to transition to the new authority, we have evaluated whether NSA should maintain access to theContinue Reading

Filmmaker Laura Poitras suing to shine light on travel detainment

Via The Intercept: “Over six years, filmmaker Laura Poitras was searched, interrogated and detained more than 50 times at U.S. and foreign airports. When she asked why, U.S. agencies wouldn’t say. Now, after receiving no response to her Freedom of Information Act requests for documents pertaining to her systemic targeting, Poitras is suing the U.S.Continue Reading

NSA collected and stored social media, email, chats of non targeted Americans

Via The Atlantic – “The Washington Post’s latest article drawing on Snowden’s leaked cache of documents includes files “described as useless by the analysts but nonetheless retained” that “tell stories of love and heartbreak, illicit sexual liaisons, mental-health crises, political and religious conversions, financial anxieties and disappointed hopes. The daily lives of more than 10,000Continue Reading

NSA global surveillance network knows all?

Two Part Series from The Intercept [Part 1 – XKEYSCORE: NSA’s Google for the World’s Private Communications] and Part 2 – Behind the Curtain A Look at the Inner Workings of NSA’s XKEYSCORE “The sheer quantity of communications that XKEYSCORE [global Internet surveillance network run by NSA] processes, filters and queries is stunning. Around theContinue Reading

Secret court authorizes continued telephone metadata collection

The Guardian UK: “After a decade in the shadows, a secretive surveillance court that authorises the bulk collection of American telephone records seized on its last chance to show off a little personality on Tuesday [June 30, 2015]. “Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose, well, at least for 180 days,” wrote judge MichaelContinue Reading

DOJ Prevailed Over Google on Email Privacy Case

Ryan Gallagher – The Intercept: “The Obama administration fought a legal battle against Google to secretly obtain the email records of a security researcher and journalist associated with WikiLeaks. Newly unsealed court documents obtained by The Intercept reveal the Justice Department won an order forcing Google to turn over more than one year’s worth of data from the GmailContinue 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

Overview of Constitutional Challenges to NSA Collection Activities

CRS – Overview of Constitutional Challenges to NSA Collection Activities, Edward C. Liu, Legislative Attorney; Andrew Nolan, Legislative Attorney, Richard M. Thompson II, Legislative Attorney. May 21, 2015. “Beginning in summer 2013, media reports of foreign intelligence activities conducted by the National Security Agency (NSA) have been widely published. The reports have focused on twoContinue Reading

Justice Department Releases Drone Privacy Guidance

EPIC – “The Justice Department has released extensive “Policy Guidance” for the use of drones by federal agencies. The Guidance bans the use of drones to monitor activities protected by the First Amendment, requires routine logs of drone use, and requires the protection of civil liberties and privacy in all cases. However, the Guidance “doesContinue Reading

US DOJ IG Report – Review of the FBI’s Use of Section 215 Orders

FBI’s Use of Section 215 Orders: Assessment of Progress in Implementing Recommendations and Examination of Use in 2007 through 2009, Oversight and Review Division Report 15-05. May 2015. Redacted. “The Department of Justice (DOJ) Office of the Inspector General (OIG) announced today the release of a public version of its most recent report examining theContinue Reading