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Category Archives: Privacy

DOJ IG Report on FBI Access to NSA Surveillance Data

“U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation access to overseas surveillance collected by sister organization the National Security Agency has expanded in recent years, with the law enforcement agency gaining access to collected but unprocessed data in 2009, according to a report released by the government. The FBI’s access to email and other data collected from overseas targetsContinue Reading

EPIC Urges Congress to Hold Hearing on FBI Database

“In a letter to Senators Grassley and Leahy, EPIC has urged the Senate Judiciary Committee to investigate the FBI’s “Next Generation Identification” program. NGI is the most extensive biometric database in the world and raises many privacy risks. In a recent FOIA case, EPIC v. FBI, EPIC obtained documents which show that the FBI acceptedContinue Reading

Global Chilling: The Impact of Mass Surveillance on International Writers

PEN America – “Global Chilling: The Impact of Mass Surveillance on International Writers is a new report demonstrating the damaging impact of surveillance by the United States and other governments on free expression and creative freedom around the world. The report’s revelations, based on a survey of nearly 800 writers worldwide, are alarming. Concern aboutContinue Reading

DHS IG Report – Border Patrol Use of Drones Ineffective

U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s Unmanned Aircraft System Program Does Not Achieve Intended Results or Recognize All Costs of Operations, December 24, 2014 OIG-15-17. “Although CBP’s Unmanned Aircraft System program contributes to border security, after 8 years, CBP cannot prove that the program is effective because it has not developed performance measures. The program has also not achieved the expected results. Specifically, the unmanned aircraftContinue Reading

FTC Chair Warns About Risks of Connected Devices

EPIC: “In a speech at the CES conference this week, FTC Chair Edith Ramirez warned of the privacy risks of connected home devices. “In the not-too-distant future, many, if not most, aspects of our everyday lives will be digitally observed and stored,” Ramirez said. EPIC has written extensively on interconnected devices, known as the “InternetContinue Reading

FCC Launches Consumer Help Center

FCC Consumer Help Center focuses on Telephone, TV, Radio, Internet, Emergency Services and Accessibility. – “The FCC cannot resolve all individual complaints, but we can provide information about your possible next steps. Complaints about issues such as loud commercials, the Do Not Call List, robocalls, unwanted telephone calls, unsolicited faxes and similar issues covered by the Telephone ConsumerContinue Reading

Half of online Americans don’t know what a privacy policy is

Pew – Aaron Smith – What Is a Privacy Policy: Research by “Joseph Turow [who studies digital marketing and privacy issues at the University of Pennsylvania’s Annenberg School for Communication] …also suggests that ordinary users don’t fully understand the scope of the data that is being collected on them — or how small amounts of data canContinue Reading

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Senators Seek Answers on Use of Cell Phone Surveillance Devices

EPIC: “Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Ranking Member Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) have asked Attorney General Eric Holder and Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson several questions about the government’s use of cell site simulators or “Stingray” devices to track cell phones. According to the letter, the Senators previously asked FBI Director James ComeyContinue Reading

Police Officer Body-Worn Cameras

Police Officer Body-Worn Cameras – Assessing the Evidence, by Michael D. White, PhD – Office of Justice Programs. “The majority of this publication reviews the claims made by advocates and critics regarding body worn camera technology and includes a discussion of the empirical evidence supporting each claim. Given the lack of research, there is little evidence to support or refute manyContinue Reading

Foreign Intelligence Gathering Laws

Library of Congress – “This report contains information on laws regulating the collection of intelligence in the European Union, United Kingdom, France, Netherlands, Portugal, Romania, and Sweden. The report details how EU Members States control activities of their intelligence agencies and what restrictions are imposed on information collection.  All EU Member States follow EU legislationContinue Reading

FTC Approves Final Order Settling Charges Against Snapchat

“Following a public comment period, the Federal Trade Commission has approved a final order settling charges that Snapchat deceived consumers with promises about the disappearing nature of messages sent through the service. According to the FTC’s complaint, which was first announced in May, 2014, Snapchat also deceived consumers over the amount of personal data it collected andContinue Reading