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.


What is the Future of Privacy, Surveillance and Policing Technologies under Trump?

“But Mr. Trump, with the power of the presidency and executive branch as a whole at his fingertips, has said little of how he intends to approach the authority he now wields over the country’s surveillance policies. As developing policing technologies continue to outpace laws restricting their use, and as Mr. Trump and top members of his administration like Attorney General Jeff Sessions take a hard line against illegal immigration, […]

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Online Security 101: Tips for Protecting Your Privacy from Hackers and Spies

Zack Whittaker has published an article that perhaps should be required reading for everyone before the purchase of their first computers. Whittaker writes: “Privacy is what sets us apart from the animals. It’s also what sets many countries and citizens apart from dictatorships and despots. People often don’t think about their rights until they need them — whether it’s when they’re arrested at a protest or pulled over for a […]

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Europe’s Privacy Shield is Trump-proof According to Julie Brill, Former FTC Commissioner

In an article in her law firm’s blog, Julie Brill notes that the recent executive order (EO) from the Oval Office, which expressly limited privacy rights to US citizens only, does not impact the critical agreement between the European Union and the United States. The article lists three reasons: The Privacy Act applies only to government databases, whereas the Privacy Shield covers corporate databases. No presidential Executive Order can override […]

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Trump Aides’ Use of Encrypted Messaging May Violate Records Law

While Donald Trump has said that he wants to increase electronic surveillance of American citizens’ and non-citizens’ electronic communications, the new administration is making sure that no one can intercept their messages amongst themselves by using Signal, a free end-to-end encrypted messaging app. Senior Trump administration aides communicating over encrypted messaging apps may be violating federal record-keeping laws. The Presidential Records Act requires staff to keep records of those conversations. By […]

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Encrypt the Vote

The news services are full of stories about voter fraud these days. Maybe Russian hackers influenced the vote tallies. Or maybe they didn’t. Maybe votes were cast by deceased registered voters. Or maybe not. Maybe someone tampered with electronic voting machines. Or maybe not. Whatever the truth, one relatively simple proposal promises to avoid the problems in the future. It will use encryption to verify every vote and to provide […]

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Pompeo Confirmed as Head of the CIA Head, Raising Surveillance and Privacy Concerns

The new head of the CIA believes the agency should even expand its present capabilities to monitor the online and offline activities all US and foreign citizens. Mike Pompeo will lead the Central Intelligence Agency, after the US Senate confirmed his nomination Monday evening in a vote of 66 to 32. Pompeo has supported rolling back reforms on US surveillance practices that were put in place after Edward Snowden’s leaked […]

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Donald Trump’s Stance on Encryption, Privacy, and Surveillance

Digital privacy advocates and civil liberty groups are preparing for the worst under a Trump administration. Trump will arrive at the White House at a time when mass surveillance and hacking by the U.S. government is more expansive and unchecked then ever. The FBI under the Trump administration will be able to hack into the computers of hundreds of thousands of innocent Americans with a single warrant, due to the […]

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Encryption Backdoor Sneaks Into UK Law

There has been lots of discussion about the wisdom or lack of wisdom of incorporating “back doors” into devices capable of encrypting information. While the debate rages on, the U.K.’s Investigatory Powers Act that was quietly signed into law this week even though it contains the capability to undermine encryption and demand surveillance backdoors. According to an article in The Register, any company that receives a “technical capacity notice” will […]

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The NSA Would Be Eliminated Under President Gary Johnson

My opinion of the Libertarian Party just improved. Libertarian presidential nominee Gary Johnson says he’d sign an executive order eliminating America’s National Security Agency if he wins the 2016 election. And he’s also forcefully arguing that domestic surveillance of internet activity and phone calls in the United States is worse than in China. Johnson also wants to abolish the Internal Revenue Service, replacing both income taxes and corporate taxes with […]

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