(afagen)

Apple, Google, Facebook & Other Tech Giants Pen Letter Asking For NSA Transparency

In the wake of that whole thing where the National Security Agency is reportedly snooping on people, a whole bunch of tech industry giants have banded together with privacy advocates to send a letter to the lawmakers and President Barack Obama asking for some transparency when it comes to government surveillance. [More]

(bclinesmith)

Forget The NSA’s Hi-Tech Snooping, The USPS Has Been Scanning Our Mail For Years

Many people are upset — and with good reason — with the National Security Administration’s concerted and secretive efforts to obtain wireless and Internet data about a wide range of users, but what many people don’t know is that the U.S. Postal Service has been scanning the outside of every piece of mail it processes and making that information available to law enforcement without a warrant. [More]

It's sooo Hanksian.

Edward Snowden Isn’t The First Transit Zone Dweller Who Reminds Us Of That One Movie

Remember that Tom Hanks movie where he’s really lonely and far from home? No, not Cast Away (Wilson! [tear]), the other one where he faces seemingly insurmountable obstacles while living in limbo, The Terminal. Accused NSA leaker Edward Snowden is a lot like the guy Hank portrays in the flick who’s stuck in JFK Airport. That’s because the character is based on a real person, and there are plenty of other transit zone dwellers on the books. [More]

(Earth2Kim)

Apple Says It Received 5,000 Data Requests From Law Enforcement, Doesn’t Say How Many It Fulfilled

With many people still wondering about the extent to which the National Security Agency and other authorities were peeping in to consumers’ phone and Internet activities, some of the larger firms caught up in the scandal are making attempts at being transparent about what they did and didn’t hand over to the government. However, some are being more transparent than others. [More]

Selling like futuristic hot cakes. If they have those.

Sales Of Orwell’s Dystopian ‘1984’ Have Spiked With News Of NSA Surveillance

There’s a hot book on the scene — have you heard about it? It’s this wacky vision of a dystopian future where the government is always listening. And oh yeah, it’s George Orwell’s 1984, which was published 64 years ago. Sales of the futuristic cautionary tale to society have been hopping in the wake of the National Security Agency surveillance scandal, with one edition jumping from No. 73797 to No. 125 on the Amazon.com best-seller list. [More]

(Great Beyond)

Class-Action Suit Filed Over NSA Phone-Snooping

Days after it was revealed that the National Security Agency had quietly been granted access to phone records of Verizon customers, a couple in Philadelphia has filed against everyone involved, from the NSA to Verizon to Attorney General Eric Holder to President Obama. [More]

(me and the sysop)

White House Official Defends Collection Of Verizon Customer Data As Critical To Fighting Terrorism

Following reports that the National Security Agency has been using a secret court order to collect phone records for millions of Verizon customers, the Obama administration has had to come out in defense of the controversial practice, while the Chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee says this practice has actually been going on since 2006. [More]

New Spy Law Will Provide Immunity To Wiretapping Telcos

New Spy Law Will Provide Immunity To Wiretapping Telcos

Update: Voted! Passed 293-129.
Today the House votes on a new compromise FISA Bill that will make the NSA’s formerly questionable activities—like spying on Americans—legal, and will grant conditional immunity upon the telephone companies that aided the NSA in spying on their customers. It’s “conditional” because there will still be a court review, but nobody seems to be taking the court review seriously: Senator Russ Feingold, D-WI, calls it a “capitulation” in the ongoing fight over holding the telcos responsible, and Rep. Roy Blunt, R-MO, says the review will be a “formality.” Looks like you’re about to get off free, Verizon and AT&T!

Are Bundled Packages A Threat To Privacy?

Are Bundled Packages A Threat To Privacy?

The L.A. Times read the privacy policies of several bundled service providers and found that they are feverishly monitoring their subscriber’s activities. With the ability to monitor internet, phone, and television preferences, bundled service providers are able to track nearly every aspect of their subscriber’s digital lives. While Google retains personally identifiable for less than two years, some ISPs like Time Warner cling to your data for an astounding fifteen years in order to “comply with tax and accounting requirements.” It gets worse.

There are red flags to be found in each telecom provider’s privacy policy. A close reading of Time Warner’s policy reveals:

AT&T's New Copyright Protection Plan: Read Everyone's Data!

AT&T's New Copyright Protection Plan: Read Everyone's Data!

AT&T has announced a plan to keep pirated content off their network by peeking at everyone’s data to see if it contains copyrighted material. The plan, which the telecom somehow claims will “not violate user privacy,” will only target repeat offenders.

Wired Interview With Mark Klein, AT&T Spying Whistleblower

Wired Interview With Mark Klein, AT&T Spying Whistleblower

Wired has an informative, deeply terrifying, interview with Mark Klein the whistleblower who outed AT&T for spying for the NSA.

WN: How many people worked in or on that room?

UPDATED: “NSA” Allows You To Search And See If You’re A Terrorist

UPDATED: “NSA” Allows You To Search And See If You’re A Terrorist

Federal Judge Orders NSA Spy Program Stopped

Federal Judge Orders NSA Spy Program Stopped

U.S. District Judge Anna Diggs Taylor in Detroit today found the NSA domestic spying program “without warrant” and violated the First and Fourth Amendments. She ordered it stopped.

US Threatens to Sue if Maine Probes Verizon’s Phone Record Gift to NSA

Verizon customers in Maine asked the Public Utilities Commission to investigate whether the cellphone company handed over their phone records to the NSA. A July 28th letter from the DOJ to the PUC asked them to demure, and intimated at possible legal action.

AT&T Owns Your Booty

AT&T Owns Your Booty

In a followup to “AT&T: All Your Phone Are Belong to Us“, the SF Gate interviewed some privacy wonks who say:

AT&T: All Your Phone Are Belong to Us

AT&T: All Your Phone Are Belong to Us

If you’re an AT&T customer, you have until this Friday to switch.

What, Me Warrant?

What, Me Warrant?

The AP reports that federal and local law enforcement agencies routinely circumvent warrants and acquire citizens’ phone records from private information collectors, often for free.

Verizon Wants to Chat About -$1000 Bill

Verizon Wants to Chat About -$1000 Bill

Back in mid-may, we decided that the best way to protest the phone companies selling our records to the NSA was to send our cell phone company a bill for $1000. What we did is take our Verizon bill, deduct $1000 from it, and enclose a copy of 18 USC 2701 with relevant secitons highlighted. Specifically, those parts saying that if anyone gives up your phone records, they can get fined $1000. Obviously, this is in jest. But Verizon’s taking it seriously enough to want to schedule a conference call with us.