Online Privacy

The Burdens of Total Surveillance

The Burdens of Total Surveillance

By Jay Stanley, Senior Policy Analyst, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 1:33pm

Last week’s Washington Post report that the CIA had requested that Boston bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev be placed on a terrorist watch list raises an interesting point about total surveillance societies: in addition to all their negative implications for citizens, they actually bring some disadvantages for the authorities as well.

It’s not clear what information the CIA’s request was based upon, but reportedly it came from Russian authorities. It is also possible that Tsarnaev’s communications were flagged by US agencies such as the NSA. Either way, it seems as though there’s a real possibility that Tamerlan’s name came to the attention of the authorities through some dragnet-style surveillance technique.

If so, the conundrum for the authorities is this:

Who’s a Radical Now?

Who’s a Radical Now?

By Michael German, Senior Policy Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 11:10am

The Bipartisan Policy Center published a report last week called, “Countering Online Radicalization in America,” which strongly endorsed First Amendment principles in rejecting censorship as an appropriate tactic for addressing violent…

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…

A Bot of One’s Own

A Bot of One’s Own

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

Yesterday I wrote about receiving a robo-call that was so slickly done I didn’t even realize I was talking to a computer for several minutes. I mulled over whether the use of such technology raises any serious privacy or other ethical issues.…

Twitter Forced to Hand Over Occupy Wall Street Protester Info

By Naomi Gilens, ACLU Speech, Privacy and Technology Project at 5:28pm

This morning, faced with the threat of criminal and civil contempt, Twitter turned over information about Occupy Wall Street protester Malcolm Harris to a New York criminal court judge. This development follows Twitter’s months-long effort to…

Online Tracking and Consumer “Choice”

Online Tracking and Consumer “Choice”

By Jay Stanley, Senior Policy Analyst, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 7:45am

A group of privacy researchers (including some responsible for the excellent privacy studies done by the Berkeley Center for Law and Technology) have an interesting paper out this week in the Harvard Law & Policy Review on behavioral advertising.…

A Modest Proposal For Protecting Our Privacy

A Modest Proposal For Protecting Our Privacy

By Jay Stanley, Senior Policy Analyst, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 3:38pm

One of the biggest problems with protecting privacy in the United States is that, almost alone in the advanced-industrial world, we do not have an overarching privacy law that codifies the basic privacy principles that are accepted around the world…

Declaration of Internet Freedom an Important Stake in the Ground

Declaration of Internet Freedom an Important Stake in the Ground

By Jay Stanley, Senior Policy Analyst, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 4:38pm

On the blog Above the Law, Elie Mystal has written a critique of the Declaration of Internet Freedom that the ACLU and many other parties have signed. (Mystal's piece was republished by Forbes).

Mystal’s critique is that the document…

How Do I Get Out of This Relationship?

How Do I Get Out of This Relationship?

By Sandra Fulton, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 10:03am

We have written extensively about online data brokers and their penchant for mining public records and secretly following you around the web in order to create profiles based on personal information they glean. They then share that information with…

One Small Step by the Senate Judiciary Committee, One Giant Leap for Online Privacy

One Small Step by the Senate Judiciary Committee, One Giant Leap for Online Privacy

By Sandra Fulton, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 3:50pm

Yesterday marked a major step for Americans taking control of their privacy online. In a rare demonstration of bipartisan support, the Senate...

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