The Justice Department revealed on Thursday the existence of yet another database of American telephone records, adding new details to the disclosures in recent years about mass government surveillance. The database, maintained by the Drug Enforcement Administration, contains the records of calls made between phone numbers in the United States and overseas, even if there is no evidence the callers were involved in criminal activity. See http://goo.gl/QpFVAW for details.
A former Virginia State Police trooper convicted of computer invasion of privacy will serve a month in jail and pay a $600 fine. Crystal Ramsey was sentenced Friday to seven months in jail, with six months suspended. She must remain on good behavior for four years following her release.
Last week, Canada enacted an amendment to its copyright law which requires Internet services to retain access logs of customers in order to process piracy notices. This mandatory data retention puts the privacy of VPN users at risk, and as a result, Canadian providers are considering pulling out of the country. Details may be found at http://goo.gl/VrBzMo.
Woody Leonhard has written an article about Microsoft’s efforts fighting a federal search warrant demanding that the company release emails stored in Ireland. The article describes why you should be extremely concerned by a U.S. court’s actions — and what you can do about it. You can read Woody’s article at: http://windowssecrets.com/top-story/defying-feds-ms-tries-to-keep-user-data-private.
Protect Our Privacy and Please Veto HR 4681, aka The Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2015
The White House has received a petition with 8,273 signatures (so far) asking: HR 4681 is a horrific encroachment on the privacy of the American people. It authorizes the executive branch to acquire and retain communication information on a whim and without any due process. This authorization is in section 309. While similar things have been done without congress’s approval for years now, having this enshrined in law is dangerous […]
Interesting article at http://techcrunch.com/2014/11/23/privacy-human-rights-frontier/. One interesting quote: “Fighting terrorism is actually fought better by understanding that targeted information is a far better thing, rather than this mass surveillance approach,” argued [Claude] Moraes. “People in Germany who understand what happens when you have unfettered mass surveillance, where information is then out there being used for negative purposes, understand where that can lead. But if you have targeted information… then we are in […]
Senate lawmakers working to reform NSA surveillance were struck a fatal blow tonight when a critical bill that would have curbed some of the spy agency’s controversial activity failed to obtain enough votes. The bill would have put an end to the government’s controversial bulk collection of phone records from U.S. telecoms In one of their last acts before the year sunsets, pro-reform Senators attempted to advance the USA FREEDOM […]
A state legislative committee voted Friday to recommend changing the Wyoming Constitution to specify that individuals have a right to privacy. Sen. Chris Rothfuss, D-Laramie, is chairman of a digital privacy task force that recommended the change. He told members of the Joint Corporations, Elections and Politics Subdivisions Interim Committee in Cheyenne that it’s necessary to establish the state respects personal privacy as more information becomes computerized.
A federal judge has ruled that the FBI’s futuristic facial-recognition database is deserving of scrutiny from open-government advocates because of the size and scope of the surveillance technology. U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan said the bureau’s Next Generation Identification program represents a “significant public interest” due to concerns regarding its potential impact on privacy rights and should be subject to rigorous transparency oversight. Details may be found in an article […]
The FBI is attempting to persuade an obscure regulatory body in Washington to change its rules of engagement in order to seize significant new powers to hack into and carry out surveillance of computers throughout the US and around the world.