Privacy Blog

"Friends don’t let friends get spied on.' – Richard Stallman, President of the Free Software Foundation and longtime advocate of privacy in technology.

Legal Affairs

CIA Director John Brennan Drafted Letter Apologizing to Senate Intelligence Committee for Spying, But It Was Never Sent

According to an article by Jason Leopold in the Vice News: “On July 28, 2014, the CIA director wrote a letter to senators Dianne Feinstein and Saxby Chambliss — the chairwoman of the Senate Intelligence Committee (SSCI) and the panel’s ranking Republican, respectively. In it, he admitted that the CIA’s penetration of the computer network used by committee staffers reviewing the agency’s torture program — a breach for which Feinstein […]

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Theresa May Named UK’s Internet Villain of the Year

Theresa May, the UK’s Secretary of State for the Home Department, has been named the UK internet industry’s villain of the year. She won this dubious honor for pushing the UK’s controversial “snooper’s charter” legislation, which would require ISPs to retain massive amounts of data regarding their subscribers for no less than a year. May championed the legislation without consulting the internet industry. Details may be found at http://goo.gl/bMlpMZ.

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Email Privacy Act is Stalled in Congress

The Email Privacy Act would update the Electronic Communication Privacy Act of 1986 to require government agents obtain a warrant before accessing the content of private emails, texts or other digital correspondence. It essentially would treat all emails, regardless how old, with the same privacy protections currently granted to physical letters in a person’s cabinet. In other words, the CIA and other governmental agencies could not snoop on your private […]

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Supreme Court Boosts Privacy Rights in Hotel Case

A sharply-divided Supreme Court boosted privacy rights Monday by striking down as unconstitutional a Los Angeles city ordinance requiring hotel operators to show a list of registered guests to the police on demand. In a 5-4 decision, the court held that the guest-registry law violated the Fourth Amendment’s protection against unreasonable searches because the legislation gave hotel managers no chance to seek a ruling from a judge or magistrate before […]

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White House Asks FISA Court To Ignore 2nd Circuit’s Decision On Bulk Surveillance

The Obama Administration has made a legal request to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance court to ignore a ruling from the Second Circuit Court of Appeals making bulk surveillance illegal. The request is to once again grant the National Security Agency the power to collect the phone records of millions of Americans for six months. The government says it’s doing so to create an “orderly transition” between now and the beginning […]

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Apple’s Tim Cook Warns the FBI not to Weaken Encryption

Apple CEO Tim Cook spoke at the Electronic Privacy Information Center awards dinner. “So let me be crystal clear: Weakening encryption or taking it away harms good people who are using it for the right reason.” He also said that adding encryption backdoors for law enforcement would weaken the security of all devices and “is incredibly dangerous.” Details may be found at http://www.dailydot.com/politics/tim-cook-encryption-weaking-dangerous-comments.

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This Shadow Government Agency Is Scarier Than the NSA

If you have a telephone number that has ever been called by an inmate in a federal prison, registered a change of address with the Postal Service, rented a car from Avis, used a corporate or Sears credit card, applied for nonprofit status with the IRS, or obtained non-driver’s legal identification from a private company, they have you on file. They are not who you think they are. They are […]

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Quote of the Day: the majority cannot vote away the natural rights of the minority

“Some might say ‘I don’t care if they violate my privacy; I’ve got nothing to hide.’ Help them understand that they are misunderstanding the fundamental nature of human rights. Nobody needs to justify why they ‘need’ a right: the burden of justification falls on the one seeking to infringe upon the right. But even if they did, you can’t give away the rights of others because they’re not useful to […]

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