There’s been chatter in the air for years about phone records and metadata, ever since civil rights advocates sued the NSA over its massive record-retention program back in 2013. But new documents highlight that while federal surveillance might be sweeping, it’s got nothing on the scope of the private sector — and that selling data to investigators can be a profitable side-business. [More]
Even consumers who aren’t necessarily very technically-minded have at least a vague sense that an encrypted site is safer to use than one that isn’t. But encryption, alas, is never a permanent cure-all. And that’s why it’s troubling that new research has found it’s easier than anyone thought to put a backdoor into internet encryption that could let any big, surveillaince-minded entity (good morning, NSA) have a listen. [More]
It doesn’t require any super-special equipment to spy on one’s own citizens: the items needed to do so are widely available and pretty affordable compared to other law enforcement and military gear. Yes, spy equipment is a popular U.S. export, and governments out to keep very, very close tabs on their residents are the customers. [More]
Earlier this week, in response to the recent massacre of 49 people at Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Senators John McCain of Arizona and Richard Burr of North Carolina introduced a controversial piece of legislation that, if approved, would allow federal law enforcement to perform searches of suspects’ electronic and online records without a traditional court order. However, this morning the Senate narrowly failed to approve the bill. [More]
A group of Senators has announced today that they are introducing a new bill into the Senate designed to prevent mass hacking of Americans’ digital devices. But the lawmakers aren’t targeting shadowy collectives or foreign nationals with their proposed legislation; they’re seeking to limit the scope of actual Federal agencies’ powers.
When the cruise season kicked off in Portland, ME this weekend, it didn’t exactly get off to a great start. The first ship to dock in the city’s port is under surveillance for norovirus after more than 250 passengers reportedly became sick. [More]
We are rapidly running out of 2015 left to spend, and so the two houses of Congress have been racing to pass an omnibus spending bill that will keep the government funded and the lights on. Because that bill is a must-pass piece of legislation, all kinds of crap has been added, taken away, and snuck back in as we come down to the wire. Among the other bills that have been tacked on is a controversial piece of cybersecurity legislation that has privacy and consumer advocates worried all around.
After several years of back-and-forth rulings, an appeals court in Washington, D.C. has ruled today that the NSA’s controversial bulk phone data collection program can indeed continue… at least until November, when it gets shut down anyway because Congress changed the law in June.
A federal appeals court has ruled this morning that the NSA’s controversial bulk phone data collection program is in violation of federal law.
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.
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.
When you get a toll-paying transponder like the E-ZPass, you assume that it just sort of sits there until you drive through a toll booth. That’s not true. Maybe, according to a recent presentation at DEFCON, you should put your E-ZPass away unless you’re actually paying a toll right now. [More]