Blog of Rights

Chris
Soghoian

Chris Soghoian (@csoghoian) is the Principal Technologist and a Senior Policy Analyst with the ACLU Speech, Privacy and Technology Project. He completed his Ph.D. at Indiana University in 2012, which focused on the role that third party service providers play in facilitating law enforcement surveillance of their customers. Between 2009 and 2010, he was the first ever in-house technologist at the Federal Trade Commission's Division of Privacy and Identity Protection, where he worked on investigations of Facebook, Twitter, MySpace and Netflix. Prior to joining the FTC, he co-created the Do Not Track privacy anti-tracking mechanism now adopted by all of the major web browsers.

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Edward Snowden

The Tech Community Can Put Out the Fire the NSA Started

By Chris Soghoian, Principal Technologist and Senior Policy Analyst, ACLU Speech, Privacy and Technology Project at 1:23pm
This piece originally ran at the Guardian.
How NSA’s cyber sabotage puts us all at risk

How NSA’s cyber sabotage puts us all at risk

By Chris Soghoian, Principal Technologist and Senior Policy Analyst, ACLU Speech, Privacy and Technology Project at 10:48am

Earlier this year, the director of national intelligence told Congress that cybersecurity is now a bigger threat to the security of this country than terrorism, echoing a similar point previously made by the head of the FBI. Members of Congress have…

Federal Judge: Only Powered-Off Cell Phones Deserve Privacy Protections

Federal Judge: Only Powered-Off Cell Phones Deserve Privacy Protections

By Chris Soghoian, Principal Technologist and Senior Policy Analyst, ACLU Speech, Privacy and Technology Project at 11:27am

A federal magistrate judge in New York recently ruled that cell phone location data deserves no protection under the Fourth Amendment and that accordingly, the government can engage in real-time location surveillance without a search warrant. In an opinion straight from the Twilight Zone, magistrate judge Gary Brown ruled two weeks ago that “cell phone users who fail to turn off their cell phones do not exhibit an expectation of privacy.”

The case in question involved a physician who the DEA believed had issued thousands of prescriptions for pain killers in exchange for cash. In March of this year, the DEA had obtained a warrant for his arrest, and,

ACLU Files FTC Complaint Over Android Smartphone Security

ACLU Files FTC Complaint Over Android Smartphone Security

By Chris Soghoian, Principal Technologist and Senior Policy Analyst, ACLU Speech, Privacy and Technology Project at 9:55am

Yesterday, we filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) asking the agency to investigate the major wireless carriers for failing to warn their customers about unpatched security flaws in the software running on their phones. These companies—AT&T,…

Why Won’t the IRS Deploy Basic Web Security?

Why Won’t the IRS Deploy Basic Web Security?

By Katie Haas, Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project & Chris Soghoian, Principal Technologist and Senior Policy Analyst, ACLU Speech, Privacy and Technology Project at 10:45am

This tax season, when you visit the IRS’s website seeking tax information, can you be certain that no one else is monitoring which pages you browse?

Unfortunately, right now the answer to that question is “no.” Unlike Facebook, Twitter,…

New Document Sheds Light on Government’s Ability to Search iPhones

New Document Sheds Light on Government’s Ability to Search iPhones

By Chris Soghoian, Principal Technologist and Senior Policy Analyst, ACLU Speech, Privacy and Technology Project & Naomi Gilens, ACLU Speech, Privacy and Technology Project at 10:11am

Cell phone searches are a common law enforcement tool, but up until now, the public has largely been in the dark regarding how much sensitive information the government can get with this invasive surveillance technique. A document submitted to court…

US Surveillance Law May Poorly Protect New Text Message Services

US Surveillance Law May Poorly Protect New Text Message Services

By Chris Soghoian, Principal Technologist and Senior Policy Analyst, ACLU Speech, Privacy and Technology Project at 9:44am

Internet-based text message apps are one of the most common means of communicating today. But when it comes to this relatively new technology, surveillance law is behind the times in important ways, and as is so often the case when the law lags technology,…

Hotel Lock Security Vulnerability is Reminder of Government’s Ambiguous Role in Protecting Security

Hotel Lock Security Vulnerability is Reminder of Government’s Ambiguous Role in Protecting Security

By Chris Soghoian, Principal Technologist and Senior Policy Analyst, ACLU Speech, Privacy and Technology Project at 10:36am

This summer, at the Black Hat security conference, a security researcher presented details of a troubling security flaw: An electronic lock system, used in more than 4 million hotel rooms around the world, is vulnerable. The researcher, Cody Brocious,…

FTC Busts Advertisers In Browser Snooping Scandal, But Web Sites Shouldn't be Off the Hook

FTC Busts Advertisers In Browser Snooping Scandal, But Web Sites Shouldn't be Off the Hook

By Chris Soghoian, Principal Technologist and Senior Policy Analyst, ACLU Speech, Privacy and Technology Project at 7:16pm

Today, the FTC announced a settlement with Epic Marketplace, an online advertising company that had abused a security flaw in popular web browsers in order to covertly “sniff” other websites visited by consumers.

According to the…

Does Using Certain Privacy Tools Expose You to Warrantless NSA Surveillance? ACLU Files FOIA to Find Out

Does Using Certain Privacy Tools Expose You to Warrantless NSA Surveillance? ACLU Files FOIA to Find Out

By Chris Soghoian, Principal Technologist and Senior Policy Analyst, ACLU Speech, Privacy and Technology Project at 1:04pm

Can using privacy-enhancing tools (such as Tor or a Virtual Private Network) actually expose you to warrantless surveillance by the National Security Agency? This week, the ACLU sent off four FOIA requests to federal agencies in order to try and answer…

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