Free Future

Yet Another Surveillance Tool in FBI Hands. But How Are They Using It?

Yet Another Surveillance Tool in FBI Hands. But How Are They Using It?

By Katie Haas, Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project at 3:23pm
Yesterday, we filed a Freedom of Information Act request with the FBI asking for details about a surveillance tool we know too little about, called a port reader. According to news reports, port readers copy entire emails and instant messages as they move through networks, in real time. They then delete the contents of the messages, leaving only the "metadata" — the sender, recipient, and time of a message, and maybe even the location from which it was sent — behind for the government. According to the same reports, the FBI is taking steps to install port readers on the networks of major U.S. phone and Internet companies, going so far as to make threats of contempt of court to providers that don't cooperate.
The NSA's Shadow Database

The NSA's Shadow Database

By Patrick C. Toomey, Staff Attorney, ACLU National Security Project at 4:58pm

Last week saw the release of yet another independent report condemning the NSA's bulk collection of Americans' phone records. In its report, the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board (PCLOB) called for an end to the program, concluding that it…

The Shrinking Rationale For Government Surveillance Camera Systems

The Shrinking Rationale For Government Surveillance Camera Systems

By Jay Stanley, Senior Policy Analyst, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 10:42am

Yesterday I wrote about how the spread of cameras throughout our public lives is irrevocably changing our privacy in public spaces, as well as society expectations around video surveillance—with people increasingly surprised when an unusual incident…

Private Cameras Will Hurt Privacy - But is There a Solution?

Private Cameras Will Hurt Privacy - But is There a Solution?

By Jay Stanley, Senior Policy Analyst, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 11:09am

The ACLU has long opposed the spread of government video surveillance in American public life. We published this piece, The Four Problems With Public Video Surveillance, way back in February 2002 for example, and we had been saying similar things long…

Annotated: The Most Important Passage from President Obama's NSA Speech

Annotated: The Most Important Passage from President Obama's NSA Speech

By Alex Abdo, Staff Attorney, ACLU Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project at 4:41pm

President Obama just gave a landmark speech about NSA surveillance and the future of digital privacy...

ACLU Seeks Information About Pentagon Infiltration of “World of Warcraft”

ACLU Seeks Information About Pentagon Infiltration of “World of Warcraft”

By Rita Cant, Attorney, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project & Lee Rowland, Staff Attorney, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 12:44pm

Picture it. You’re online, ensconced in a muscled avatar, hacking your way through a World of Warcraft quest. A burly blacksmith appears on screen, and instead of brandishing a blunderbuss, turns to you and whispers: “Nothing is better than joining…

In Court Today: Defending Medical Records from Warrantless Search

In Court Today: Defending Medical Records from Warrantless Search

By Nathan Freed Wessler, Staff Attorney, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 12:28pm

I will be in federal district court in Oregon today for oral argument in the ACLU’s challenge to the Drug Enforcement Administration’s practice of obtaining Oregon patients’ confidential prescription records without a warrant. We represent patients…

The FCC's DIY Net Neutrality Fix

The FCC's DIY Net Neutrality Fix

By Gabe Rottman, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 5:24pm

The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals today issued a long-awaited decision in a challenge to the Federal Communications Commission’s “net neutrality” or “open internet” regulations. As expected, the court invalidated two of these rules.

One…

Concern High About Both NSA and Corporate Surveillance Among Americans Polled

Concern High About Both NSA and Corporate Surveillance Among Americans Polled

By Jay Stanley, Senior Policy Analyst, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 1:13pm

While I was semi-disconnected from the grid over the holidays, one of the things I missed was an article in the Washington Post detailing the results of a poll on Americans’ privacy attitudes. The article, which contains lots of “man on the street”…

Graphs by MIT Students Show the Enormously Intrusive Nature of Metadata

Graphs by MIT Students Show the Enormously Intrusive Nature of Metadata

By Kade Crockford, Director, ACLU of Massachusetts Technology for Liberty Project at 11:47am

You've probably heard politicians or pundits say that “metadata doesn't matter.” They argue that police and intelligence agencies shouldn't need probable cause warrants to collect information about our communications. Metadata isn’t all that…