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Category Archives: Patriot Act

EFF amicus brief in SCOTUS case on seizure of historical cell site records from a cell phone provider

EFF – “Americans have the right to expect that digital records of their daily travels—when they left home, where they went, and how long they stayed—is private information, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) said in an amicus brief filed with the Supreme Court of the United States. Weighing in on one of the most important digital privacy rights cases of the year, EFF is asking the court to hear arguments in Davis v. U.S., a federal criminal case from Florida that examines whether police need a search warrant to obtain historical cell site location information (CSLI). These records show law enforcement which cell phone towers your phone has connected to in the past. In this case, police obtained 67 days of records about defendant Quartavious Davis without a warrant and used them to implicate him in various robberies. In the brief filed Monday, EFF and other advocacy groups argue that the ubiquity of cell phone use in this country—along with a clear increase in law enforcement demands for cell site records and conflicting court rulings about the need for search warrants—means the U.S. Supreme Court should grant review in Davis’s case.”

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 theyContinue Reading

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