Redaction fail: U.S. government admits it went after Lavabit looking for Snowden

Whistleblowers Edward Snowden, Julian Assange and Chelsea Manning in the installation "Anything to Say?" by Italian artist Davide Dormino. REUTERS

Ladar Levison shut down his secure email service Lavabit in 2013, when the Feds served a warrant and gag-order on him, seeking to get him to backdoor his service to let them snoop on someone. Everyone since then has known that the target of the order was Edward Snowden, but Levison faced jail time if he ever admitted it out loud, under the terms of the gag-order. Read the rest

I hate your censorship, but I'll defend to the death your right to censor

MEAT
An app called Clean Reader lets silly bluenoses swap swear words out of the ebooks they read, an idea I hate: but I hate the idea that anyone can tell me how to read even more.

FBI responds to ACLU FOIA request...with 111 blank pages

The American Civil Liberties Union filed a Freedom of Information Act request with the FBI seeking details of its surveillance policy -- who it spies upon, and how, and under what circumstances. The FBI sent back two 50+ page memos in reply, each of them totally blacked out except for some information on the title page.

In a 12-minute video posted online, Weissmann spoke about two memos: one focused on the use of GPS tracking on forms of transportation beyond cars, the other regarding how Jones applies to tracking methods outside of GPS (presumably like cellphone ping data).

“Is it going to apply to boats, is it going to apply to airplanes?” Weissmann asks in the video. “Is it going to apply at the border? What’s it mean for the consent that’s given by an owner? What does it mean if consent is given by a possessor? And this is all about GPS, by the way, without getting into other types of techniques.”

And those questions remain wholly unanswered.

“The Justice Department’s unfortunate decision leaves Americans with no clear understanding of when we will be subjected to tracking—possibly for months at a time—or whether the government will first get a warrant,” Catherine Crump, an ACLU staff attorney, wrote on Wednesday.

FBI to ACLU: Nope, we won't tell you how, when, or why we track you [Cyrus Farivar/Ars Technica] Read the rest