We did it! The US House of Representatives, under pressure from a mass phone-in campaign, passed an amendment to the Defense Appropriations Bill that prohibits the NSA from using its budget to sabotage Internet security or conduct "backdoor" mass surveillance. The amendment was passed with overwhelming, bipartisan support: 293 ayes, 123 nays, and 1 present. This isn't the end of the long project of reining in the NSA, but it's a very important first step. As a foreigner who isn't entitled to lobby Congress, I extend heartfelt thanks to all my American friends who took the time to call their lawmakers and demand adult supervision and lawful behavior from your out-of-control spies.
Currently, the NSA collects emails, browsing and chat history under Section 702 of the FISA Amendments Act, and searches this information without a warrant for the communications of Americans—a practice known as "backdoor searches." The amendment would block the NSA from using any of its funding from this Defense Appropriations Bill to conduct such warrantless searches. In addition, the amendment would prohibit the NSA from using its budget to mandate or request that private companies and organizations add backdoors to the encryption standards that are meant to keep you safe on the web.
EFF Statement on Passage of Massie-Lofgren Amendment Regarding NSA Backdoors
(Image: The Battered Leash, Keenan Browe, CC-BY-SA)
A New York State Supreme Court judge has confirmed that Staten Island Borough President James Oddo can name three streets in a new property development with words that imply greediness and deceitfulness on the part of the developers.
Rogue archivist Carl Malamud writes, “Third year Harvard Law School student Kendra Albert did a very nice job on her powerful opinion piece in the Harvard Law Record, the student-run newspaper.”
“HondAnonymous” is a commenter on Jalopnik, a Gawker site about cars, who claims to work at Honda’s R&D facility.
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