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]
Weeks after the U.S. Attorney General issued guidance allowing tech and telecom companies to provide slightly more information about federal law enforcement requests, AT&T has issued its first accounting of these queries. And according to the data, the Death Star received national security letters dealing with up to 5,000 accounts in all of 2013, while court orders issued under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act during the first half of 2013 were tied to more than 35,000 accounts. [More]
Beware the snow globe menace! The TSA has decreed that since they can’t determine how much liquid is in a snow globe, passengers are not allowed to bring them in their carry-on luggage on planes.
As the new FISA bill—the one that grants retroactive immunity to wiretapping telcos—moves closer to a final vote in the Senate (and a threatened filibuster), Ars Technica looks at the money. AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint donated double the amount to House Democrats who supported the bill than to those who opposed it. [Ars Technica]
Slate magazine’s Daniel Gross makes the case that the law prohibiting foreigners from owning more than 25 percent of an American airline, is not only “stupid” but rooted in “misplaced hostility to foreigners, national-security paranoia, and plain-old protectionism.” He claims the law is obsolete * (the Federal Aviation Act was created in
1938 1958 (the Civil Aeronautics Act was created in 1938) and damaging to consumers.