German Chancellor Angela Merkel's rep to meet with U.S. ambassador over NSA spying charges

U.S. Ambassador to Germany John Emerson (C) is surrounded by body guards as he arrives at the Chancellery in Berlin, Germany, July 2, 2015.  REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch
The spying controversy stemmed from documents released by Wikileaks about NSA surveillance of German officials.

Secret court will let NSA do mass surveillance for another six months

Congress allowed Section 215 of the Patriot Act to sunset in June, terminating one of the absurd legal justifications for one of the NSA's domestic mass surveillance programs. Read the rest


Read the rest

Congress passes USA Freedom Act, the NSA 'reform' bill. What does it mean for your privacy?

Edward Snowden, the NSA whistleblower whose actions led to calls to reform the agency's post-9/11 domestic surveillance activities.
While the bill has many significant flaws, it is historic: it’s the first time since the 1970s Congress has indicated its intention to restrict the vast powers of intel agencies like the NSA, rather than expanding them.

NSA can't legally surveil Americans' every phone call, for now. Thanks, Edward Snowden.

For the time being, we can call our mom, our best friend, or a pizza delivery service without the NSA automatically keeping a record of who we called, when, and how long the conversation lasts.

If the PATRIOT Act ends tonight, what will that mean?


There's a chance the PATRIOT Act will end tonight at midnight. If that happens, the NSA will no longer enjoy the right to gather phone records of innocent Americans. And there's more. Here's a list of other liberties that government agencies will have to forfeit. Read the rest

Rand Paul plans to crush the PATRIOT Act

Official Portrait

Rand Paul, who sued the NSA two years ago, just announced that he plans to "force the expiration of the NSA illegal spy program" tomorrow in order to protect Americans' privacy rights. Here is his exclusive with Politico. Read the rest

NSA wanted to hack the Android store

A newly published Snowden leak reveals that the NSA planned to hack the Android store so that it could covertly install malware on its targets' phones. Read the rest

The business model of NSA apologists

Those talking heads you see on TV defending the NSA and calling for Snowden's ass in a sling? They make bank off NSA surveillance contracts. Read the rest

Snowden vindicated


When the courts ruled NSA domestic spying illegal last week, it was the plain fact of that surveillance that was most important. But it also means that whistleblower Ed Snowden, cast as a traitor and spy by his critics, is vindicated.

Conor Friedersdorf, at The Atlantic, writes that "the wrongheadedness of the national-security state’s position has been confirmed."

Snowden undeniably violated his promise to keep the NSA’s secrets. But doing so was the only way to fulfill his higher obligation to protect and defend the Constitution, which was being violated by an executive branch exceeding its rightful authority and usurping the lawmaking function that belongs to the legislature. This analysis pertains only to the leaked documents that exposed the phone dragnet, not the whole trove of Snowden leaks, but with respect to that one set of documents there ought to be unanimous support for pardoning his disclosure.

Read the rest

What did the courts just do to NSA spying?

When a panel of federal judges from the Second Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the NSA's bulk-phone records spying program was illegal, it was a legal game-changer, but what, exactly, does it all mean? Read the rest

Appeals Court rejects NSA's bulk phone-record collection program

A panel of judges from the Second Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that the NSA's mass phone-record collection program was not authorized by Congress in the Patriot Act. Read the rest

Translation: once they learn the truth, techies hate and fear us

US Defense Secretary: Snowden Caused Tensions With Techies Read the rest

NSA-proof passwords

The Intercept's Micah Lee explains how to use Diceware's to generate a passphrase that can survive the NSA's trillion-guess-per-second cracking attempts -- but which can still be easily memorized. Read the rest

Wikimedia sues the NSA

The Wikimedia Foundation -- which oversees Wikipedia -- eight other organizations, and the ACLU have filed a lawsuit against the DoJ and the NSA, contesting the spy agency's program of mass "upstream" surveillance. Read the rest

IT feudalism: the surveillance state and wealth gaps

My latest Guardian column examines the relationship between technology, surveillance and wealth disparity -- specifically the way that cheap mass surveillance makes it possible to sustain more unequal societies because it makes it cheaper to find and catch the dissidents who foment rebellion over the creation of hereditary elites. Read the rest

Ed Snowden says he'll face trial in the US

But only if he's guaranteed a "legal and impartial trial" -- that is, not a trial under ancient law like the Espionage Act. Read the rest

More posts