Cell Phones & Smartphones

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, our privacy suffers as a result.
Vermont Supreme Court Agrees with the ACLU on Electronic Search Limits

Vermont Supreme Court Agrees with the ACLU on Electronic Search Limits

By Dan Barrett, Staff Attorney, ACLU of Vermont, ACLU of Vermont at 12:20pm

The Vermont Supreme Court gave electronic privacy a big boost this morning when it approved restrictions placed upon police when conducting searches of electronic devices.

The case originated when police in Burlington, Vermont were investigating…

In Court: Uncovering Stingrays, A Troubling New Location Tracking Device

In Court: Uncovering Stingrays, A Troubling New Location Tracking Device

By Linda Lye, Staff Attorney, ACLU of Northern California at 12:42pm

The ACLU and Electronic Frontier Foundation have filed an amicus brief in what will be the first case in the country to address the constitutional implications of a so-called “stingray,” a little known device that can be used to track…

Documents Obtained by ACLU Shed Light on Other Telecom Surveillance Techniques

Documents Obtained by ACLU Shed Light on Other Telecom Surveillance Techniques

By Allie Bohm, Advocacy & Policy Strategist, ACLU at 9:57am

For the past year, the ACLU has been gathering information on local law enforcement agencies’ use of cell phone location tracking. (We’ve written about what we’ve learned here, here, here, here, and here.) In addition to everything…

Tuesday: Federal Appeals Court Hears Important Cell Phone Tracking Case

Tuesday: Federal Appeals Court Hears Important Cell Phone Tracking Case

By Chris Soghoian, Principal Technologist and Senior Policy Analyst, ACLU Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project at 3:05pm

Tomorrow, the Department of Justice will tell a federal appeals court panel in New Orleans that law enforcement agents should be permitted to obtain two month’s worth of historical cell phone location information without a warrant. Several civil…

Breaking the Law, Videotaping Suspicious Characters, and Seeing Through Walls (Friday Links Roundup)

Breaking the Law, Videotaping Suspicious Characters, and Seeing Through Walls (Friday Links Roundup)

By Jay Stanley, Senior Policy Analyst, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 5:28pm

Reports circulated this week that Facebook’s new Timeline was placing private messages into people’s public Timeline displays. Facebook said it was certain that was not happening. According to a statement from Facebook:

Our engineers…

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,…

New Public Safety Broadband Network: Tool For A Domestic Secret Police?

New Public Safety Broadband Network: Tool For A Domestic Secret Police?

By Jay Stanley, Senior Policy Analyst, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 6:19pm

Police in Tampa used smartphones and tablets to spy on protesters at the Republican National Convention, according to a report today from the National Journal.

Smartphones have proven to be an excellent tool for empowering individuals faced…

The President Reads His Daily Brief on an iPad (and Other Lessons From the NSA)

The President Reads His Daily Brief on an iPad (and Other Lessons From the NSA)

By Jay Stanley, Senior Policy Analyst, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 11:10am

(Updated below)

I was invited to give a talk on surveillance at the Information Security Systems Association (ISSA) Baltimore Chapter yesterday, and the keynote speaker was Dr. John Levine of the NSA. He works on the “information assurance”…

New Results From Our Nationwide Cell Phone Tracking Records Requests

New Results From Our Nationwide Cell Phone Tracking Records Requests

By Allie Bohm, Advocacy & Policy Strategist, ACLU at 2:04pm

It’s been over a year since 35 ACLU affiliates filed over 380 public records requests with state and local law enforcement agencies seeking information about their policies, procedures, and practices for tracking cell phones. And 13 months later…

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