Posts Tagged NSA

Sign Petition To Stop Warrantless Spying

From EFF:

The law behind the NSA’s sweeping Internet surveillance programs—Section 702, as enacted by the FISA Amendments Act—is set to expire at the end of 2017. Built-in expiration dates like this force lawmakers to review, debate, and update wide-reaching surveillance laws that impact their constituents’ privacy.

The looming Section 702 sunset gives Congress a chance to rein in the warrantless surveillance of millions of innocent people’s online communications. But some have another, much more dangerous idea.

Sen. Tom Cotton and a group of other Senate Republicans recently introduced a bill (S. 1297) that would not only reauthorize Section 702 without making much-needed changes, but it would also make the law permanent, effectively forfeiting lawmakers’ responsibility to periodically reexamine Section 702 and the impact it has on their constituents.

It would be unacceptable for Congress to ignore our privacy concerns and hand off their obligation to review surveillance law.

Sign our petition and tell Congress to oppose S. 1297.

, , , , , ,

No Comments

Napolitano: Spies Are More Powerful Than President

From Fox News:

, , , , , , , , , , ,

No Comments

Your Cell Phone Is Spying On You And It’s Great (or is it?)

From The CATO Institute:

, , , , , , , , , , ,

No Comments

Interview With Edward Snowden

Interview from Harvard University:

, , , , ,

No Comments

Surveillance State Repeal Act Introduced In House

From FreedomWorks:

That’s why it’s so refreshing to see a bill like the Surveillance State Repeal Act. It’s bold and effective. Specifically, here is what the bill would do:

  1. Repeals the Patriot Act (which contains the provision that allows for the bulk collection of metadata from U.S. citizens).
  2. Repeals the FISA Amendments Act (which contains provisions allowing for the government to monitor emails).
  3. It would extend judges’ terms on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court and technical and legal experts to advise on technical issues raised during proceedings.
  4. Mandate that the Government Accountability Office (GAO) regularly monitor such domestic surveillance programs for compliance with the law and issue an annual report.
  5. Ban the federal government from mandating that the manufacturer of an electronic device must install spy software.
  6. Gives people a proper channel to report illegal activity in their department.
  7. Says that no information related to a U.S. person may be acquired without a valid warrant based on probable cause—including under Executive Order 12333.
  8. Retains tools that are useful to law enforcement such as not requiring a new warrant if the suspect switches devices in an attempt to break surveillance.
  9. Protects intelligence collection practices involving foreign targets for the purpose of investigating weapons of mass destruction.

, , , , , , , , ,

No Comments

How To Prevent The Government From Spying On Your Cellphone

From Democracy Now:

, , , , , , , , , ,

No Comments

Intelligence Authorization Act of 2015

EFF’s Statement on the Act:

On Wednesday of last week, the Intelligence Authorization Act of 2015 passed in the US House of Representatives. The bill, H.R. 4681, contains Section 309, which imposes guidelines for when the intelligence community can keep some communications collected under Executive Order 12333 (EO 12333). President Reagan wrote the policy document in the 1980s to provide the framework for intelligence agency conduct. Today, it is used to justify mass surveillance of communications.

Congress showed that it is willing to tackle the mass spying conducted under EO 12333 by inserting Section 309 into the bill. It’s one of the first times Congress has publicly stood up to spying covered by the Executive Order. It’s a good sign, but it doesn’t go nearly far enough. The bill must usher in more vigilant—and public—Congressional oversight of EO 12333 and other NSA spying activities.

Unfortunately, the procedures in Section 309 reflect the current status quo: the over-collection, over-retention, and over-sharing of innocent users’ communications. The procedures in Section 309 try to protect the communications of non-targets, but include massive loopholes. These loopholes do not grant any new authority, but they do allow the President to continue the egregious retention and sharing of innocent users’ communication, which is a practice that must be stopped.

While the language in Section 309 was taken from the Senate Intelligence Authorization bill(.pdf), the House did not take time to debate it. We’ve learned over the past year that, at a minimum, both Congress and the public need time to read these intelligence bills and understand their implications. Yet again, this didn’t happen. And yet again, the American public is left without a voice on the surveillance laws used to collect their communications.

GovTrack page

Congress.gov page

Wikipedia page

, , , , ,

No Comments

USA Freedom Act

The EFF gives a rundown of the bill and why it is important:

The USA Freedom Act is a bill that was first proposedlast year by Senator Patrick Leahy and Representative Jim Sensenbrenner. The original version of the bill limited the NSA’s call records collection program, introduced aspecial advocate into the secretive court overseeing the spying, mandated much needed transparency requirements, and included significant reform of Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Amendments Act (FISAA), the law used to collect Americans’ communications in bulk.

, , , , , , , , , ,

No Comments

Law Enforcement Upset Over New Smartphone Security

From Bloomberg:

The dispute is the latest flare-up that pits the federal government against the nation’s leading technology companies since National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden disclosed last year the extent of U.S. snooping on phone and Internet communications — and how companies cooperated.

U.S. Justice Department and FBI officials are trying to understand how the new Apple and Google Android systems work and how the companies could change the encryption to make it accessible when court ordered. Their requests to the companies may include letters, personal appeals or congressional legislation, said a federal law official who requested anonymity to discuss the sensitive issue.

 

, , , , , , , , , , ,

No Comments

Primer for Protesters and “Anti-Government Extremists”

From EFF:

Cell Phone Guide For US Protesters, Updated 2014 Edition

With major protests in the news again, we decided it’s time to update our cell phone guide for protestors. A lot has changed since we last published this report in 2011, for better and for worse. On the one hand, we’ve learned more about the massive volume of law enforcement requests for cell phone—ranging from location information to actual content—and widespread use of dedicated cell phone surveillance technologies. On the other hand, strong Supreme Court opinions have eliminated any ambiguity about the unconstitutionality of warrantless searches of phones incident to arrest, and a growing national consensus says location data, too, is private.

Protesters want to be able to communicate, to document the protests, and to share photos and video with the world. So they’ll be carrying phones, and they’ll face a complex set of considerations about the privacy of the data those phones hold. We hope this guide can help answer some questions about how to best protect that data, and what rights protesters have in the face of police demands. Read the rest of this entry »

, , , , , , , , , , , , ,

No Comments

FREEDOM Act To Reign In NSA Spying

From The EFF:

The new Senate version of the USA FREEDOM Act would:

  • End the NSA’s illegal collection of millions of Americans’ telephone records by amending one of the worst provisions of the PATRIOT Act, Section 215
  • Create a panel of special advocates that can argue for privacy and civil liberties in front of the FISA Court, the secret court that approves the NSA’s surveillance plans
  • Provide new reporting requirements so that the NSA is forced to tell us how many people are actually being surveilled under its programs, including the program that allows the NSA to see the contents of Americans’ communications without a warrant

Support Senate Bill 2685 by emailing your members of congress here.

, , , , , ,

No Comments

What The Snowden Leaks Have Revealed

From the EFF:

It’s been one year since the Guardian first published the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court order, leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, that demonstrated that the NSA was conducting dragnet surveillance on millions of innocent people. Since then, the onslaught of disturbing revelations, from disclosures, admissions from government officials, Freedom of Information Act requests, and lawsuits, has been nonstop. On the anniversary of that first leak, here are 65 things we know about NSA spying that we did not know a year ago:

1. We saw an example of the court orders that authorize the NSA to collect virtually every phone call record in the United States—that’s who you call, who calls you, when, for how long, and sometimes where.

2. We saw NSA Powerpoint slides documenting how the NSA conducts “upstream” collection, gathering intelligence information directly from the infrastructure of telecommunications providers.

Full Article

, , , , , , ,

No Comments

A Prize Is Needed For Easy Encryption

From the Electronic Frontier Foundation:

In an era when email and messaging services are being regularly subject to attacks, surveillance, and compelled disclosure of user data, we know that many people around the world need secure end-to-end encrypted communications tools so that service providers and governments cannot read their messages. Unfortunately, the software that has traditionally been used for these purposes, such as PGP and OTR, suffers from numerous usability problems that make it impractical for many of the journalists, activists and others around the world whose lives and liberty depend on their ability to communicate confidentially. Read the rest of this entry »

, , , , , , , ,

No Comments

Keeping the NSA in Perspective

Keeping the NSA in Perspective is republished with permission of Stratfor.”

Editor’s Note: The following Geopolitical Weekly originally ran in July 2013. We repost it today in light of the April 21 awarding of the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for public service to The Washington Post and The Guardian US for their reporting on the National Security Agency’s large-scale surveillance programs.

By George Friedman

In June 1942, the bulk of the Japanese fleet sailed to seize the Island of Midway. Had Midway fallen, Pearl Harbor would have been at risk and U.S. submarines, unable to refuel at Midway, would have been much less effective. Most of all, the Japanese wanted to surprise the Americans and draw them into a naval battle they couldn’t win.

The Japanese fleet was vast. The Americans had two carriers intact in addition to one that was badly damaged. The United States had only one advantage: It had broken Japan’s naval code and thus knew a great deal of the country’s battle plan. In large part because of this cryptologic advantage, a handful of American ships devastated the Japanese fleet and changed the balance of power in the Pacific permanently. Read the rest of this entry »

, , , , , , ,

No Comments

Dropbox Talks Government Data Requests

From: Dropbox

Dropbox’s Government Data Requests Principles

We understand that when you entrust us with your digital life, you expect us to keep your stuff safe. Like most online services, we sometimes receive requests from governments seeking information about our users. These principles describe how we deal with the requests we receive and how we’ll work to try to change the laws to make them more protective of your privacy.

Be transparent:  Online services should be allowed to report the exact number of government data requests received, the number of accounts affected by those requests, and the laws used to justify the requests. We’ll continue to advocate for the right to provide this important information. Read the rest of this entry »

, , , , ,

No Comments