Voiceprints: Time to Be Afraid Again

By: Tuesday November 18, 2014 8:15 am

The end of privacy in the United States was brought about as much by technology as intention. Those who claim there is little new here — the government read the mail of and wiretapped the calls and conversations of Americans under COINTELPRO from 1956 to at least 1971, for example – do not fully understand [...]

Will Tom Cotton Be the New Face of Surveillance Reform Opposition in the Senate?

By: Tuesday November 4, 2014 3:33 pm

House Republican Tom Cotton looks defeated. Democratic incumbent Mark Pryor in Arkansas and take over his seat in the United States Senate. It is a distinct possibility that Cotton will become one of the most vocal opponents of any efforts to reform surveillance and constrain the National Security Agency or any other government agency’s power. [...]

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 [...]

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