Oscar-Winning Director Of Snowden Documentary Trying To Find Out Why She’s Been Detained At Airports So Much

Oscar-Winning Director Of Snowden Documentary Trying To Find Out Why She’s Been Detained At Airports So Much

Laura Poitras recently won the Academy Award for CITIZENFOUR, her documentary on NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, but the director claims that she’s long been hassled by U.S. federal authorities for years, resulting in multiple unmerited airport detentions. Now she’s suing the government to find out exactly why. [More]

(Steve)

Privacy Advocates Abandon Facial Recognition Policy Talks In Protest

Facial recognition still kind of sounds like science fiction, but is a tech reality. It is, however, still a fairly new and unregulated reality — nobody quite knows how to handle it. So the Commerce Department brought together privacy advocates and industry representatives to hammer out a new code of conduct… and it is not going well. In fact, several of the advocates claim, the process is so broken that it can’t be fixed, and they are walking out. [More]

Judge Says USA FREEDOM Act May Scuttle Twitter’s Transparency Lawsuit

Judge Says USA FREEDOM Act May Scuttle Twitter’s Transparency Lawsuit

Last October, Twitter sued the Justice Department, the U.S. Attorney General, the FBI, and FBI Director James Comey, because the social media platform believed it has a First Amendment right to be fully transparent with its users about the number and nature of national security requests it receives from the government. But with the recent passing of the USA FREEDOM Act, the judge in the case says there may be no need for the lawsuit to move forward. [More]

Senate Passes USA Freedom Act, Ushering In A Kindler, Gentler Era Of NSA Snooping

Senate Passes USA Freedom Act, Ushering In A Kindler, Gentler Era Of NSA Snooping

As expected following the June 1 expiration of one of the PATRIOT Act’s most controversial privacy-invading provisions, the Senate today passed a substitute bill, the USA FREEDOM Act (or rather, deep breath… the Uniting and Strengthening America by Fulfilling Rights and Ensuring Effective Discipline Over Monitoring Act of 2015) that prohibits the sort of mass data collection the National Security Agency enjoyed under the recently sunset Patriot provisions, but still leaves in place many concerns for privacy advocates. [More]

Patriot Act’s NSA Phone-Snooping Program Expires (For Now)

Patriot Act’s NSA Phone-Snooping Program Expires (For Now)

As lawmakers in D.C. flipped over their calendars from May to June last night, the sun set — at least temporarily — on the National Security Agency’s ability to collect mass amounts of information from telephone companies about their customers’ calls. [More]

Court: NSA Bulk Phone Data Collection Program Is Illegal

Court: NSA Bulk Phone Data Collection Program Is Illegal

A federal appeals court has ruled this morning that the NSA’s controversial bulk phone data collection program is in violation of federal law. [More]

Congress Has One Month Left To Change Or Renew Controversial Bulk Phone Data Surveillance Program

Congress Has One Month Left To Change Or Renew Controversial Bulk Phone Data Surveillance Program

It’s been two years since we found out that the NSA has been quietly scooping up basically everyone’s phone records, willy-nilly, without warrants. The revelations of widespread surveillance freaked plenty of people out, but under existing law, the agency has acted legally. To get change, then, you’d need to change the law… and Congress has 33 days remaining in which to do exactly that. [More]

(Renee Rendler-Kaplan)

DEA Sued Over Secret Mass Surveillance Of Phone Calls

The backlash against the federal government’s surveillance programs continues. This time, the folks at Human Rights Watch have filed suit against the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, alleging that the DEA’s bulk collection of data related to certain phone calls made by the organization runs afoul of basic protections afforded by the Constitution. [More]

John Oliver Gets Edward Snowden To Explain Government Snooping In Terms Of Penis Photos

John Oliver Gets Edward Snowden To Explain Government Snooping In Terms Of Penis Photos

By June 1, Congress must decide whether or not to reauthorize certain sections of the controversial USA Patriot Act (aka the Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act), but even though it’s been nearly two years since former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden revealed the NSA’s massive and far-reaching data collection programs, many Americans either are only vaguely aware or don’t understand because it’s not easy to immediately see how things like PRISM and MYSTIC affect your daily existence. That’s why John Oliver not only went straight to Snowden for an explanation of these programs, but to have him put the snooping in terms many Internet-era perverts can understand: penis photos. [More]

(Mike Mozart)

Wikimedia, Amnesty International, Others Sue NSA Over Mass Surveillance

The foundation behind Wikipedia, along with several other high-profile non-profit organizations, has sued the National Security Agency challenging its “suspicionless seizure and searching of internet traffic” in the U.S., claiming that this mass data collection goes beyond what the law allows the NSA to collect and that it violates protections afforded by the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. [More]

NSA Chief Defends Legality Of Facial Recognition Program

NSA Chief Defends Legality Of Facial Recognition Program

As you’ve probably heard, it was recently revealed that the National Security Agency has been scouring online images and using facial-recognition technology to track suspected terrorists, giving rise to justifiable concerns that the NSA has records of your every selfie, headshot, portrait, and drunken mugging. But the agency’s head is now attempting to do some damage control by saying that everything his people do is on the up-and-up. [More]

When You Give Silicon Valley Permission To Spy On You, It’s Kinda Hard To Say “No” To The NSA

When You Give Silicon Valley Permission To Spy On You, It’s Kinda Hard To Say “No” To The NSA

The fundamental goal of the ad-supported web is to collect and capitalize on data from its users; rather unsurprisingly, that data is just as valuable to the government as it is to Facebook and Google. You may think you’d never willingly provide the FBI or NSA with a map of your entire private life, but, in fact, you probably already have. [More]

(frankieleon)

Google Beefs Up Gmail Security In Attempt To Keep Out Any Prying Eyes (Cough, NSA, Cough)

In a move that’s likely to make mass-surveillance of its email customers a whole lot harder to pull off, Google announced that it’s just beefed up security for Gmail by only using an encrypted HTTPS connection for all incoming and outgoing messages. [More]

UK Spy Agency Snooped On Yahoo Cam Chats, Including The Nude Ones

UK Spy Agency Snooped On Yahoo Cam Chats, Including The Nude Ones

With help from their pals at the National Security Agency the British intelligence agents at the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) spent two years swiping still frames from millions of Yahoo webcam chats between people who weren’t suspects in any crimes or terrorist activities, according to leaked government documents. [More]

NSA, Homeland Security Admit They Shouldn’t Have Blocked Sale Of Parody Merchandise

The two logos that resulted in cease-and-desist letters from the NSA and DHS (libertymaniacs.com)

No one likes being made fun of or humiliated (okay, some people do, but that’s part of a much larger discussion), but you can’t throw your authority as a big, scary federal agency around to stop people from mocking you, even if they’re making some money doing so. [More]

Google, Rest of Internet Urge Congress To Change NSA Surveillance Laws

Google, Rest of Internet Urge Congress To Change NSA Surveillance Laws

A large coalition of internet companies and advocacy groups has declared today “The Day We Fight Back” against mass surveillance. The coalition is urging US citizens to contact their legislators to ask for Congressional intervention on mass surveillance programs. [More]

(Mike Matney)

What’s The NSA Using To Spy On You Now? Angry Birds.

The revelations about just how embedded into every facet of modern, technological life the NSA is just keep coming. The spy agency isn’t just collecting calling records and tracking electronics; they’re in your iPhone games, too. [More]

(Rosalyn Davis)

Advisory Panel Tells President To Stop Letting NSA Collect Everyone’s Phone Data

An advisory panel to President Obama is calling for an end to the NSA’s highly controversial phone data collection program. [More]