Benjamin Wittes and Robert Chesney, who know a great deal about national security law, have an article urging people to keep the two revelations of government spying last week distinct from one another. There’s the Verizon metadata seizures and there’s the PRISM program, which are different in very important ways. First, we simply are not …
Category Archive: Privacy
Jun 13 2013
Jun 12 2013
Josh Constine at TechCrunch says that the Guardian, or their source, Edward Snowden, is exaggerating the access that the NSA has to the systems of Microsoft, Yahoo, Google, Skype and other internet companies. Constine says that there is a separate, segregated system and requests still have to be made one by one.
Jun 12 2013
Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner, a very far right congressman who wrote the Patriot Act, now says that he wants to pass legislation to restrain the business records provision that is being used to justify the seizure of metadata from all the major cell phone carriers (nope, not just Verizon; AT&T and Sprint are turning it over …
Jun 12 2013
In the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, only one person in the entire U.S. Senate, Sen. Russ Feingold of Wisconsin, had the courage to vote against the USA PATRIOT Act. And with the recent revelations that the NSA has access to nearly everything you say or do on the internet, it’s worth revisiting his statement …
Jun 11 2013
In a Guardian article revealing yet another way the NSA is spying on us without warrants (their third such revelation in three days), we find this very interesting exchange from March, a few weeks before the court order that was leaked to the Guardian about the Verizon metadata seizures:
Jun 11 2013
In advance of a meeting with the Chinese premier in California, President Obama spent about 15 minutes defending the spying programs exposed by newly leaked information. The case he made is quite unconvincing, essentially saying “trust me, I wouldn’t abuse this power.”
Jun 11 2013
The revelation that the government gets daily reports from Verizon that includes the metadata on every single communication sent through their network shows the dangers of data mining, something clearly forbidden both by the 4th Amendment and statutory law. Benjamin Wittes gives one very good reason why:
Jun 09 2013
I waited a couple days to write anything about the new revelations concerning the government’s ongoing surveillance and data mining program, mostly because there’s just so much information coming out and so much to look at. There are actually two different leaks, one involving Verizon and the other involving a number of internet companies and …
Jun 06 2013
The Supreme Court handed down another controversial 5-4 ruling on Monday morning, but this was not the usual lineup. The court ruled that it was constitutional for the police to take a cheek swab DNA sample and enter it into a federal database when someone is arrested for a violent crime. You can read the …
Jun 04 2013
In a very strange development, a federal judge who previously declared the FBI’s use of National Security Letters unconstitutional has now ordered Google to comply with nearly 20 such NSLs and turn over the information requested — and to not talk about who the target is or what information was turned over.
May 22 2013
In the wake of the scandal over the DOJ’s seizure of the phone records of reporters from the Associated Press, a bipartisan group of legislators has submitted a bill to require that any such seizures can only be done pursuant to a warrant issued by a judge.
May 21 2013
The story of the DOJ seizing phone records of reporters from the Associated Press just gets worse and worse. I had asked in the immediate aftermath whether the DOJ had gotten a judicial subpoena or merely used an administrative one; the answer is the latter, which means no oversight at all from a judge. And …
May 11 2013
As if the National Security State was not intrusive enough, the FBI is now demanding even more ability to listen in to our conversations. And it looks like they’re gonna get it, with the backing of both parties in Congress and — of course — President Obama as well.
May 08 2013
Glenn Greenwald asks the question “Are all telephone calls recorded and accessible to the US government?” He knows the answer already and the answer is yes. We’ve known this for years. He spotlights this admission of that by a former FBI counterterrorism agent on CNN:
May 07 2013
The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court was set up by FISA to handle requests for warrants that involve the gathering of intelligence on foreign operatives in the US, though it deals almost entirely with terrorism now. So how can it be both important and a rubber stamp? Because as Kevin Gosztola reports, while it rarely denies …