Today is a big day for privacy in the United States: each of us can now 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.
“It’s been more than a decade since that was the case,” writes Trevor Timm at the Guardian. “Now the only question is: will it last?”
After the Senate voted down an extension of the Section 215 of the Patriot Act in a rare Sunday evening session, the dreaded law authorizing the mass surveillance of Americans expired at the first stroke of midnight and, with that stroke, one of the NSA’s most controversial and invasive surveillance program exposed by Edward Snowden was reportedly shut down. But what powers the NSA will have by the end of the week – the details of which is still up in the air and changing by the hour – is anyone’s guess.
Facing no other choice, the Senate also voted on Sunday night to move forward on the USA Freedom Act, the compromise-of-a-compromise NSA reform bill that will bring portions of the Patriot Act back from the dead, but will nonetheless permanently make end the NSA’s bulk records program as we know it ... at least, it will if it remains as it’s written now.
But Senators could now add amendments to the bill in an attempt to weaken its reforms out of existence, an opportunity that, due to procedural hurdles, they would not have had if they had passed it anytime in the last week. This normally would be a great opportunity to strengthen the bill’s many shortcomings – but given Senator majority leader Mitch McConnell’s unquestioning loyalty to intelligence agencies who have repeatedly misled the public about their authority and their abuse of it, and the power he wields to force the vast majority of his party to vote along with him, anything could happen.
The NSA can't surveil Americans' every phone call – at least for now [Trevor Timm/Guardian Comment is Free]
It's been less than a year since a public-spirited hacker broke into the servers of Florida stalkerware vendor Retina-X, wiping out all the photos and data the company's customers had stolen from other peoples' phones (including their kids' phones) by installing the spying apps Phonesheriff on them.
A pair of researchers from Toronto's storied Citizen Lab (previously) have written an eye-opening editorial and call to action on the ways that repressive states have used the internet to attack dissidents, human rights advocates and political oppositions -- and how the information security community and tech companies have left these people vulnerable.
Radiflow reports that they discovered cryptojacking software -- malware that mines cryptocurrency -- running in the monitoring and control network of an unnamed European water utility, the first such discovery, and a point of serious concern about the security and integrity of critical infrastructure to both targeted and untargeted attacks.
When it comes to redesigning or renovating a living space, envisioning changes before they occur can be tricky for most. Thankfully, the web is home to tools that can remove some of the guesswork, like Live Home 3D Pro for Mac. This app lets you create detailed and furnished floor plans for everything from sheds and […]
For many startups and fledgling businesses, web hosting — and the fees associated with it — can take a sizeable chunk out of the company budget and limit growth down the road. But, that’s not to say there aren’t hosts out there who can get your site online while staying within your budget. Arch Hosting is a […]
The web is a big place, but it’s by no means infinite where domain names are concerned. New domain seekers, in particular, are feeling the burn as .com domain names become increasingly saturated, forcing many to choose a second-rate domain name or rename their brand entirely.Opting for a .tech domain not only affords you a […]