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

NSA Ruling Is a Victory for Privacy

Time Magazine has published an article by David Cole, the George J. Mitchell Professor in Law and Public Policy at Georgetown University Law Center, providing analysis of the recent federal appeals court ruling that the National Security Agency’s controversial collection of millions of Americans’ phone records is illegal. Cole writes:

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Appeals Court Rules NSA Phone Bulk Data Collection Program is Illegal

This finding shouldn’t surprise anyone. A federal appeals court ruled today the National Security Agency’s controversial collection of millions of Americans’ phone records isn’t authorized by the Patriot Act, as the Bush and Obama administrations have long maintained. The NSA has used the Patriot Act to justify collecting records of nearly every call made in the U.S. and entering them into a database to search for possible contacts among terrorism […]

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Irate Congressman Gives Cops Easy Rule: “Just Follow the Damn Constitution”

Despite the best efforts of law enforcement to convince a Congressional subcommittee that technology firms actually need to weaken encryption in order to serve the public interest, lawmakers were not having it. During testimony, Rep. Ted Lieu (D-CA), who described himself as a “recovering computer science major,” provided one of the most forceful statements. (He is just one of four House members with computer science degrees.) Lieu also is a […]

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Secret Law is a ‘Direct Threat’ to Americans’ Privacy, says NSA Whistleblower

Secret laws? A house is raided but the owner is never charged with a crime? You can read more about Executive Order 12333, signed into law by President Ronald Reagan in 1981, the backbone of the NSA’s authority to spy on you, me, and everyone else in the world. Yes, that includes spying on American citizens for any reasons a government bureaucrat wishes. Details may be found at http://www.zdnet.com/article/william-binney-nsa-whistleblower-executive-order.

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The Mere Idea of Regaining Privacy Sends Law Enforcement into a Tizzy

Chris Duckett has written an interesting article that describes the inability of law enforcement agencies and other government spies to read your personal data. It describes the ridiculous paranoia of these agencies concerning their own citizens’ rights to privacy. Duckett also writes, “After having their privacy and security surreptitiously broken down for years, there are early signs that users may be getting some of their precious privacy back. It’s been […]

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House Passes Cybersecurity Bill Despite Privacy Protests

On Wednesday the House of Representatives voted 307-116 to pass the Protecting Cyber Networks Act, a bill designed to allow more fluid sharing of cybersecurity threat data between corporations and government agencies. Your elected lawmakers ignored the fact that a few dozen privacy and civil liberties organizations say the act threatens to open up a new backchannel for surveillance of American citizens, in some cases granting the same companies legal […]

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FBI Petitions for New Power to Hack Into Your Computer

In what civil liberties groups are claimed as a power grab, the FBI is attempting to persuade an ambiguous regulatory body in Washington to change its rules of engagement. The changes would give the FBI to seize significant new powers, allowing them to hack into computers and carry out surveillance of computers both in the U.S. and around the world. The propose changes would allow a judge to issue a […]

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Chicago man sues Facebook over the Privacy Issues of Facial Recognition

A Chicago man has filed a proposed class-action lawsuit against Facebook, alleging that the social networking giant is in violation of an Illinois state law that requires users to expressly consent to instances where their biometric information being used. Plaintiff Carlo Licata argues that he and countless other Illinois residents have had their rights violated under the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA) by Facebook’s “Tag Suggestions” feature. That feature […]

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