The U.S. Senate today passed a bill that will renew the National Security Agency's warrantless internet surveillance program for six years with no substantive changes. It's bad news, say privacy and security advocates, but not a surprise. — Read the rest
NSA reveals that it illegally gathered thousands of phone records, to the appalled astonishment of FISA court judge: As the Snowden leaks about NSA surveillance continue to trickle out, it's easy to miss the fact that the NSA is now releasing hundreds of pages of damning documents about its activities. — Read the rest
As we wait to hear Obama's plan to reform the NSA, spare a thought for the poor rubberstamping judges of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, who are charged with the solemn duty of granting permission for pretty much every stupid, overreaching surveillance plan America's spooks bring before it in its secretive, unaccountable chambers. — Read the rest
As the Snowden leaks about NSA surveillance continue to trickle out, it's easy to miss the fact that the NSA is now releasing hundreds of pages of damning documents about its activities. They're not doing it voluntarily: the Snowden leaks allowed the Electronic Frontier Foundation and the ACLU to wave away a decade's worth of administrative stalling and secure a major court victory that triggered the releases. — Read the rest
The National Security Agency unlawfully gathered tens of thousands of e-mails and other digital communications between Americans for years, as part of a now-revised collection method, according to a 2011 secret court opinion declassified this week. [The Washington Post]
The Electronic Frontier Foundation has won a huge victory in its ongoing battle to turn over the rock of secret surveillance in the USA. A federal court has ordered the government to publish a 2011 opinion from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court in which the court held that the NSA's surveillance was unconstitutional and not in "the spirit of" federal law. — Read the rest
Rush Holt (D-NJ) has introduced a bill called the "Surveillance State Repeal Act" that repeals the PATRIOT Act and much of FISA (though it leaves some pretty terrible parts of FISA intact). It's only 8 pages long, but it has the potential to do a lot of good.
Brett Dobbs says: "I found this the most useful guide to explain what has gone on with FISA. With flowcharts!"
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1. It Eliminates the requirement that there be probable cause that a foreign target is a suspect of any kind – terrorist, criminal, ore "foreign agent."
If anyone expects President Obama to roll back Bush's illegally-gained dictator powers, they are smoking rope. From Salon's Glenn Greenwald.
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It is absolutely false that the only unconstitutional and destructive provision of this "compromise" bill is the telecom amnesty part. It's true that most people working to defeat the Cheney/Rockefeller bill viewed opposition to telecom amnesty as the most politically potent way to defeat the bill, but the bill's expansion of warrantless eavesdropping powers vested in the President, and its evisceration of safeguards against abuses of those powers, is at least as long-lasting and destructive as the telecom amnesty provisions.
Snip from Washington Post story:
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A federal judge has resigned from the court that oversees government surveillance in intelligence cases in protest of President Bush's secret authorization of a domestic spying program, according to two sources.
U.S. District Judge James Robertson, one of 11 members of the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, sent a letter to Chief Justice John G.
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Seven years after the former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden blew the whistle on the mass surveillance of Americans' telephone records, an appeals court has found the program was unlawful – and that the US intelligence leaders who publicly defended it were not telling the truth.
MAGA world is very up-in-arms about some newly unsealed court documents involving the case of Michael Flynn, the US Army Lieutenant General and former Trump national security advisor who pled guilty to lying to the FBI about his communications with the Russian government and also worked as a secret lobbyist for the Turkish government while he was in the White House. — Read the rest
Tinder has been added to the Russian "Register of Information Dissemination Organizations," a regulatory designation that requires companies to turn over user data on request, without a warrant, to Russian law-enforcement and state agencies (America has a similar regime with a few check-and-balance figleafs).
A couple of times a year, Apple plops out a report detailing all of the user data requests made by government and law enforcement agencies from around the world. In the latest bi-annual report, it looks like information requests have increased since the last reporting period. — Read the rest
Back in 2005, I posted about Jäh Division, a Brooklyn dub consortium that covers Joy Division songs. They produced a very limited edition 12" titled "Dub Will Tear Us Apart" that they mostly sold at their live shows. Now, Jäh Division returns with a new LP that combines that original record along with five unreleased tracks. — Read the rest
Transparency reports are standard practice across the tech industry, disclosing the nature, quantity and scope of all the law enforcement requests each company receives in a given year.
In 2016, Ryan Gallagher and Henrik Moltke published a long, Snowden-derived investigation into AT&T's secret NSA listening station in New York City, and AT&T's extensive complicity in mass, warrantless surveillance on Americans and foreigners.