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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Keeping the Government Out of Your Smartphone

Keeping the Government Out of Your Smartphone

By Chris Soghoian, Principal Technologist and Senior Policy Analyst, ACLU Speech, Privacy and Technology Project at 11:48am
Smartphones can be a cop's best friend. They are packed with private information like emails, text messages, photos, and calling history. Unsurprisingly, law enforcement agencies now routinely seize and search phones. This occurs at traffic stops, during raids of a target's home or office, and during interrogations and stops at the U.S. border. These searches are frequently conducted without any court order.
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…

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.

“You are the firefighters,” National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden told a tech savvy audience here yesterday, during my conversation with him at the SXSW festival. “The…

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,…

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…

Surveillance and Security Lessons From the Petraeus Scandal

Surveillance and Security Lessons From the Petraeus Scandal

By Chris Soghoian, Principal Technologist and Senior Policy Analyst, ACLU Speech, Privacy and Technology Project at 4:24pm

When the CIA director cannot hide his activities online, what hope is there for the rest of us? In the unfolding sex scandal that has led to the resignation of David Petraeus, the FBI’s electronic surveillance and tracking of Petraeus and his…

Apple’s Persistent Device ID is a Threat to Privacy

By Chris Soghoian, Principal Technologist and Senior Policy Analyst, ACLU Speech, Privacy and Technology Project at 7:14pm

Today, a group known as Antisec released a collection of one million UDIDs—serial numbers associated with Apple mobile devices, such as iPhones and iPads—which they claim came from a trove of 12 million UDIDs pilfered from an FBI agent’s…

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,…

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,

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,…

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