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Category Archives: Patriot Act

Safeguarding the Personal Information of all People – ODNI

Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) – Safeguarding the Personal Information of all People, July 2014.

“As the President said in his speech on January 17, 2014, “the challenges posed by threats like terrorism, proliferation, and cyber-attacks are not going away any time soon, and for our intelligence community to be effective over the long haul, we must maintain the trust of the American people, and people around the world.” As a part of that effort, the President made clear that the United States is committed to protecting the personal information of all people regardless of nationality. This commitment is reflected in the directions the President gave to the Intelligence Community on that same day, when he issued Presidential Policy Directive/PPD-28Signals Intelligence Activities. New Standards for Safeguarding Privacy: PPD-28 reinforces current practices, establishes new principles, and strengthens oversight, to ensure that in conducting signals intelligence activities, the United States takes into account not only the security needs of our nation and our allies, but also the privacy of people around the world. The Intelligence Community already conducts signals intelligence activities in a carefully controlled manner, pursuant to the law and subject to layers of oversight, focusing on important foreign intelligence and national security priorities. But as the President recognized, “[o]ur efforts will only be effective if ordinary citizens in other countries have confidence that the United States respects their privacy too.” To that end, the Intelligence Community has been working hard to implement PPD-28 within the framework of existing processes, resources, and capabilities, while ensuring that mission needs continue to be met. In particular, PPD-28 directs intelligence agencies to review and update their policies and processes – and establish new ones as appropriate – to safeguard personal information collected through signals intelligence, regardless of nationality and consistent with our technical capabilities and operational needs.”

Twitter – Taking the fight for #transparency to court

Twitter news release: ” As part of our latest transparency report released in July, wedescribed how we were being prohibited from reporting on the actual scope of surveillance of Twitter users by the U.S. government. Our ability to speak has been restricted by laws that prohibit and even criminalize a service provider like us from disclosingContinue Reading

Retired NSA Technical Director Explains Snowden Docs

Appeals Court Limits Military Surveillance of Civilian Internet Use

“The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled in United States v. Dreyer that an agent for the Naval Criminal Investigative Service violated Defense Department regulations and the Posse Comitatus Act when he conducted a surveillance operation in Washington state to identify civilians who might be sharing illegal files. The 1878 Act prevents the U.S.Continue Reading

The Evolution of US Government Restrictions on Using and Exporting Encryption Technologies

CIA approved for release 9/12/2014 – redacted: The Evolution of US Government Restrictions on Using and Exporting Encryption Technologies, Michael Schwartzbeck. “In the last year, several academic, commercial, and free speech advocates have seriously jeopardized the US government’s legal right to control encryption.”

FBI Says Biometric Database has Reached “Full Operational Capability”

“The FBI announced that the Next Generation Identification system, one of the largest biometric databases in the world, has reached “full operational capability.” In 2013, EPIC filed a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit about the NGI program. EPIC obtained documents that revealed an acceptance of a 20% error rate in facial recognition searches. Earlier this year, EPIC joined a coalition ofContinue Reading

Treasure Map: The NSA Breach of Telekom and Other German Firms

Spiegel Online – Andy Müller-Maguhn, Laura Poitras, Marcel Rosenbach and Michael Sontheimer:  [Treaure Map] “is the mandate for a massive raid on the digital world. It aims to map the Internet, and not just the large traffic channels, such as telecommunications cables. It also seeks to identify the devices across which our data flows, so-called routers. Furthermore, every single endContinue Reading

EPIC (Finally) Obtains Memos on Warrantless Wiretapping Program

“More than eight years after filing a Freedom of Information Act request for the legal justification behind the “Warrantless Wiretapping” program of President Bush, EPIC has now obtained a mostly unredacted version of two key memos (OLC54)and (OLC85) by former Justice Department official Jack Goldsmith. EPIC requested these memos just four hours after the New York Times broke the story about theContinue Reading

Newly Revealed NSA Program ICREACH Extends the NSA’s Reach Even Further

EFF:  Turns out, the DEA and FBI may know what medical conditions you have, whether you are having an affair, where you were last night, and more—all without any knowing that you have ever broken a law. That’s because the DEA and FBI, as part of over 1000 analysts at 23 U.S. intelligence agencies, have the abilityContinue Reading

The executive order that led to mass spying, as told by NSA alumni

Cyrus Farivar – Ars Technica: [Executive Order] 12333 is used to target foreigners abroad, and collection happens outside the US,” whistleblower John Tye, a former State Department official, told Ars recently. “My complaint is not that they’re using it to target Americans, my complaint is that the volume of incidental collection on US persons is unconstitutional.” The document, known inContinue Reading

Investigative Report – NSA created ‘google-like search’ engine – shared access with other agencies

“Data available through ICREACH appears to be primarily derived from surveillance of foreigners’ communications, and planning documents show that it draws on a variety of different sources of data maintained by the NSA. Though one 2010 internal paper clearly calls it “the ICREACH database,” a U.S. official familiar with the system disputed that, telling The Intercept that while “itContinue Reading

Newly Declassified Documents Regarding Now-Discontinued NSA Bulk Electronic Communications Metadata

ODNI: “Following a declassification review by the Executive Branch, the Department of Justice released on August 6, 2014, in redacted form, 38 documents relating to the now-discontinued NSA program [scroll down the page to locate the links] to collect bulk electronic communications metadata pursuant to Section 402 of the FISA (“PRTT provision”).  These documents are also responsiveContinue Reading