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]
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]
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]
Last November, a Wall Street Journal report pulled back the covers on a U.S. Marshals Service program that uses small planes carrying devices that mimic cellphone towers, allowing them to track criminals but also scoop up information from countless other phones of citizens not involved in any crimes. After months of trying to get more details on the program, one consumer privacy advocacy group has sued the Dept. of Justice hoping to compel the release of this information. [More]
Before you consider snooping in your spouse’s email, you may want to pay close attention to a case unfolding in Michigan in which a man faces up to five years of prison for hacking into his wife’s messages. [More]
A group of attorneys general have decided to go ahead with a multi-state investigation of the Google Streets View project after it was revealed that the cars it uses to capture the images were also capturing data from people’s home and business wireless networks. The capturing was done in 30 countries and the government of France says that it included people’s passwords and email.
Google says they were capturing the data “inadvertently” and that the quality of the data was poor because the cars were moving. [More]
In 2007 and 2008, Sears invited select customers to join the exclusive “My SHC Community,” which involved installing an app that would monitor online browsing in exchange for $10. The app was called spyware by researchers and the FTC, because the data it collected on customers included “details from their online shopping, bank statements, drug-prescription records, video rentals, library-borrowing histories, even the names and addresses of their e-mail correspondents,” as well as “data about the users’ computers, printers, and other devices.”
Internet service providers are actively tracking 100,000 users, reading every email they send and every website they visit, according to the Washington Post. The report coincides with a damning Associated Press investigation of ISP contracts which finds that they reserve broad rights to read essentially anything you view on the internet without any intervening supervision or regulation.