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Category Archives: Patriot Act

The Guardian – How the Pentagon punished NSA whistleblowers

Mark Hertsgaard – The Guardian – “By now, almost everyone knows what Edward Snowden did. He leaked top-secret documents revealing that the National Security Agency was spying on hundreds of millions of people across the world, collecting the phone calls and emails of virtually everyone on Earth who used a mobile phone or the internet. When this newspaper began publishing the NSA documents in June 2013, it ignited a fierce political debate that continues to this day – about government surveillance, but also about the morality, legality and civic value of whistleblowing. But if you want to know why Snowden did it, and the way he did it, you have to know the stories of two other men. The first is Thomas Drake, who blew the whistle on the very same NSA activities 10 years before Snowden did. Drake was a much higher-ranking NSA official than Snowden, and he obeyed US whistleblower laws, raising his concerns through official channels. And he got crushed…”

Study identifies metadata mining of telephone data by NSA

“Privacy protections against government surveillance are often scoped to communications content and exclude communications metadata. In the United States, the National Security Agency operated a particularly controversial program, collecting bulk telephone metadata nationwide. We investigate the privacy properties of telephone metadata to assess the impact of policies that distinguish between content and metadata. We findContinue Reading

CIA allegedly destroyed sole copy of Senate torture report

The Independent: “The CIA inspector general’s office has said it “mistakenly” destroyed its only copy of a comprehensive Senate torture report, despite lawyers for the Justice Department assuring a federal judge that copies of the documents were being preserved. The erasure of the document by the spy agency’s internal watchdog was deemed an “inadvertent” foul-upContinue Reading

The Intercept announces greater access to Snowden archive

Via The Intercept: The Intercept Is Broadening Access to the Snowden Archive. Here’s Why – “Today, The Intercept is announcing two innovations in how we report on and publish these materials. Both measures are designed to ensure that reporting on the archive continues in as expeditious and informative a manner as possible, in accordance with theContinue Reading

Public Advocate Appointed by FISA Court Declares PRISM Surveillance Unconstitutional

TechDirt: “On [April 19, 2016], the Office of the Director of National Intelligence released some redacted versions of three previously secret FISA Court rulings. There are a few interesting things in them, but one notable point, found in a ruling from last November regarding the NSA’s 702 PRISM program, is that the FISC took advantageContinue Reading

EFF Sues for Secret Court Orders Requiring Tech Companies to Decrypt Users’ Communications

Via EFF: “The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) filed a Freedom of Information (FOIA) lawsuit today against the Justice Department to shed light on whether the government has ever used secret court orders to force technology companies to decrypt their customers’ private communications, a practice that could undermine the safety and security of devices used byContinue Reading

NPR reports on DOJ motion to compel Apple to unlock iPhone

Alina Selyukh writes: “The Department of Justice has filed a motion to compel Apple to cooperate with a government investigation and help access data on an iPhone used by one of the San Bernardino assailants. The motion filed in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California (read it in full below) laysContinue Reading

After Google Spain and Charlie Hebdo: The Continuing Evolution of European Union Data Privacy Law in a Time of Change

Voss, W. Gregory, After Google Spain and Charlie Hebdo: The Continuing Evolution of European Union Data Privacy Law in a Time of Change (January 6, 2016). Business Lawyer, Vol. 71, No. 1, 2015/2016. Available for download at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2711996 “This article investigates various developments over that year that helped (or are helping) reshape European UnionContinue Reading

NSA Civil Liberties and Privacy Office Report to Congress

NSA – Transparency Report – The USA FREEDOM Act Business Records and FISA Implementation – January 16, 2016 “The National Security Agency’s Civil Liberties and Privacy Office (CLPO) conducted a civil liberties and privacy impact assessment examining how the National Security Agency (NSA) is implementing the changes effected by the USA FREEDOM Act to theContinue Reading

Intercept – A secret catalogue of government gear for spying on your cellphone

“The Intercept has obtained a secret, internal U.S. government catalogue of dozens of cellphone surveillance devices used by the military and by intelligence agencies. The document, thick with previously undisclosed information, also offers rare insight into the spying capabilities of federal law enforcement and local police inside the United States. The catalogue includes details on the Stingray,Continue Reading

Details of NSA use of NSL to obtain ISP data released

ArsTechnica – “For the first time, as part of a First Amendment lawsuit, a federal judge ordered the release of what the FBI was seeking from a small ISP as part of an NSL. Among other things, the FBI was demanding a target’s complete Web browsing history, IP addresses of everyone a person has correspondedContinue Reading

Federal Court Lifts Gag Order on National Security Letter Recipient

EPIC – “For the first time, a federal court has lifted a national security letter gag order, allowing an Internet Service Provider to publish the FBI’s demands for records of user web browsing history, IP addresses, online purchases, and location information. The FBI issues thousands of NSLs each year, forcing companies to disclose troves ofContinue Reading