U.S. Postal Service Spying on Americans Without Oversight

By: Thursday October 30, 2014 8:00 am

The United States Postal Service disclosed it approved nearly 50,000 requests, called “mail covers,” last year alone from law enforcement to secretly monitor the snail mail of Americans. An audit shows the surveillance program is more extensive than widely known and that oversight protecting Americans is lax: 21 percent of the covers examined were approved [...]

Movie Review: CitizenFour, Snowden for Lovers and Haters

By: Tuesday October 28, 2014 8:39 am

Two kinds of people are interested in Laura Pointras’ new documentary, CitizenFour, about Edward Snowden’s early contacts with journalists Glenn Greenwald, Ewen MacAskill and herself. Let’s have a review of the film for each group, the Haters and Everyone Else. But First, a Quick Recap Snowden worked deep inside America’s national security state. His last [...]

NSA Claims Notifications to Congress About Authorized Leaks of Intelligence Are ‘Top Secret’

By: Thursday October 9, 2014 1:03 pm

Whether the White House or any agency in the executive branch has made “authorized disclosures” of “national intelligence” and reported these disclosures to Congress is considered top secret information, according to the National Security Agency (NSA). As part of the 2013 Intelligence Authorization Act, President Barack Obama signed into law a provision requiring that Congress [...]

Documents Reveal More Details on How US Intelligence Gets Around Regulations Against Spying on US Persons

By: Monday September 29, 2014 2:03 pm

The American Civil Liberties Union posted a trove of documents obtained in their Freedom of Information Act lawsuit for information about an executive order President Ronald Reagan signed, which gives the government broad authority to engage in surveillance of international communications, including the communications of numerous Americans. One key “exemption” gives intelligence agencies the ability [...]

US Air Travel Snarled by One Guy Not a Terrorist

By: Monday September 29, 2014 11:13 am

Luckily ISIS has never thought to employ psychotic contractors in a bid to mess with America. ‘Cause that apparently works. O’ Hare Meltdown The problems in America’s creaky infrastructure started Friday morning when Brian Howard, an FAA contractor, wandered into the radar facility in Aurora, Illinois that serves Chicago’s O’Hare airport, one of the busiest [...]

Satire: Everyone Hates America’s New Album

By: Thursday September 25, 2014 8:55 am

Sales figures prove what many already feared: worldwide acceptance of the United States’ new album, “We Will Bomb You, Because” has fallen through the floor. “Dude, I grew up on the classic U.S. sound, you remember, democracy, equality, promotion of freedom. My favorite was ‘The Peace Corps,’ but ‘We Won’t Invade You This Month’ got [...]

E.O. 12333: End-Running the Fourth Amendment

By: Monday September 22, 2014 7:43 am

Historians of the Constitutional Era of the United States (1789-2001, RIP) will recall the Fourth Amendmentto the Constitution, the one that used to protect Americans against unreasonable and unwarranted searches. The Supreme Court had generally held that searches required a warrant. That warrant could be issued only after law enforcement showed they had “probable cause.” [...]

CIA Reportedly Restricts Spying on ‘Friendly Governments’ in Western Europe

By: Friday September 19, 2014 6:08 pm

The Associated Press reports the CIA has decided to restrict “spying on friendly governments in Western Europe in response to the furor over a German caught selling secrets to the United States.” The revelations on top secret NSA surveillance from NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden have also played a role in the CIA’s decision. “Current and [...]

Court Challenges US Navy’s Dragnet Surveillance of Civilian Computers & Suppresses Evidence in Criminal Case

By: Monday September 15, 2014 10:55 am

A federal appeals court issued a decision suppressing evidence found by a Naval Criminal Investigative Service special agent and used to prosecute a civilian for child pornography. The NCIS special agent had conducted dragnet surveillance of all civilians in an entire state. The “extraordinary nature of the surveillance” demonstrated “a need to deter future violations” [...]

Lawyer for Edward Snowden: Positive Developments in Switzerland But Issues Still Remain

By: Friday September 12, 2014 8:35 pm

The attorney general of Switzerland did a review of whether National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden would have to be extradited to the United States if he came to the country to testify as part of an inquiry into NSA surveillance. He concluded that Snowden would be safe from extradition, however, “upper-level government commitments” might [...]

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