Secretive U.S. Spy Court Approved All 1,457 Surveillance Requests In 2015

The federal court set up to review government requests for surveillance involving issues of national security is either rubber-stamping everything that it sees, or the FBI and the National Security Agency are incredibly good at filing these requests. A new report claims that the court approved every single one of the 1,457 requests it received last year. [More]


Did U.S. Use Secret Court To Force Tech Companies To Weaken Encryption?

Legislators in D.C. are currently considering a law that would compel tech companies to have weak device and software encryption so that law enforcement can snoop when necessary, while federal prosecutors have repeatedly used a 227-year-old law to try to force Apple and Google to work around existing security on their products. A new lawsuit seeks to find out if the government has also been using a highly secretive court to force tech companies to assist in breaking their own encryption. [More]

In a transparency report from last year, Google thumbed its nose at the federal laws that limit what can be said about national security requests.

Google Mocks Opacity Of National Security Requests While Feds Try To Hide Court Action From Public

For quite some time, Google and other Internet biggies have argued that they should be able to reveal relatively detailed data to the public about user-information requests from federal law enforcement agencies, and specifically those that fall under that black umbrella of national security. In its latest transparency report, Google uses a visual to show its distaste for this opacity. Meanwhile, the federal government is attempting to argue its case for the lack of transparency behind doors closed so tight that even the others involved in the request won’t be privy to what’s said. [More]