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. [...]

US Government Moves to Dismiss Lawsuit Against ‘Suspicious Activity’ Program Which Keeps Files on Innocent People

By: Monday October 20, 2014 12:47 pm

The United States government has moved to dismiss a lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) on behalf of five US citizens who say they were victims of a domestic surveillance program, which involves the collection of “suspicious activity reports” on individuals. According to the ACLU’s filed complaint [PDF], a National Suspicious Activity [...]

Federal Appeals Court Rules Evidence from Warrantless GPS Tracking Does Not Have to Be Suppressed

By: Wednesday October 1, 2014 8:59 pm

A federal appeals court ruled that law enforcement does not need to get a warrant in order to legally use evidence obtained from surveillance in a criminal case. The court also effectively endorsed consultation among officials in the executive branch instead of going to a judge for a warrant as “good faith” conduct. In 2010, [...]

Judge Rejects DOJ’s Secrecy Argument That Public Doesn’t Know How to Evade Location Tracking

By: Tuesday September 30, 2014 5:39 pm

In a case involving a Freedom of Information Act request for information related to government policies and procedures for law enforcement use of cell phone tracking, a federal judge has ordered the release of records, which the Justice Department sought to keep secret by claiming they would “alert law violators”—otherwise known as criminals—to how to [...]

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 [...]

Judge Dismisses Lawsuit Filed by FDA Whistleblowers Against Officials for Retaliating & Spying on Them

By: Wednesday September 24, 2014 6:17 pm

A federal district court judge has dismissed a civil lawsuit brought by former and current employees of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), who spoke out against “serious managerial and medical misconduct” at the Center for Devices and Radiological Health and were subsequently placed under surveillance by FDA officials. The judge determined the employees had [...]

Email Suggests Manufacturer of Stingray Surveillance Equipment May Have Lied to FCC

By: Wednesday September 17, 2014 11:26 am

The American Civil Liberties Union has accused the manufacturer of StingRay surveillance products of providing inaccurate information and possibly even lying to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), which is the agency that is supposed to regulate communications over cable, radio, satellite, television and wire. Harris Corporation is one of the leading manufacturers of StingRay technology. [...]

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” [...]

Snowden Was Disturbed by ‘Strangelovian Cyberwarfare Program’ Called ‘MonsterMind’ Developed by NSA

By: Wednesday August 13, 2014 2:56 pm

National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden in an interview with journalist James Bamford for Wired Magazine has revealed for the first time that he was disturbed by a “Strangelovian cyberwarfare program in the works,” which was codenamed “MonsterMind.” According to the interview, the program “would automate the process of hunting for the beginnings of a [...]

Mass Surveillance, Leak Investigations & the Chilling Effect Against Journalism

By: Monday July 28, 2014 9:21 pm

A number of American journalists, who work for small and large media organizations, contend that the spike in leak investigations is tied to government mass surveillance. They report experiences with sources, who are no longer willing to speak to them. They have found it increasingly difficult to build new relationships with sources. A chilling effect [...]

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