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
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
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."
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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.
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
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
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
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