Online Privacy

ACLU in POLITICO: Roll Back the Surveillance State

ACLU in POLITICO: Roll Back the Surveillance State

By Laura W. Murphy, Director, ACLU Washington Legislative Office & Michelle Richardson, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 2:13pm

Because of the extraordinary revelations last week by the Guardian, Congress and the American people now know that the Patriot Act is being used by the National Security Agency to collect the phone records of all Americans, every day. There's no more debate about whether the government, and the military at that, is spying on us: only whether Congress is going to stop them.

Section 215 of the Patriot Act allows the government to obtain ‘any tangible thing' relevant to an investigation. According to Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, this authority has been used to collect all phone records in the U.S., even those of law-abiding citizens who have no connection to crime or terrorism whatsoever. The administration and a few members of Congress have confirmed and defended this practice as necessary to protect national security.

But there's no reason to believe that the government's collection efforts stop there.

Read the rest of the piece at POLITICO: http://www.politico.com/story/2013/06/roll-back-the-surveillance-state-92550.html

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U.N. Human Rights Report Foreshadows Recent Surveillance Revelations

U.N. Human Rights Report Foreshadows Recent Surveillance Revelations

By Allison Frankel, Criminal Law Reform Project, ACLU at 3:44pm

Revelations this week that the U.S. government has the ability to secretly tap into a wide range of Americans' online activities, including Skype video chats and Facebook communications, serve as an eerie reminder of the threat state surveillance poses…

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:

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...

With CISPA, "It's all just a little bit of history repeating..."

With CISPA, "It's all just a little bit of history repeating..."

By Robyn Greene, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 4:48pm

The Propellerheads may have been talking about fashion trends when they sang that "to me it seems quite clear that it's all just a little bit of history repeating." But that sentiment rings loud and true today when talking about the privacy-busting…

The Bipartisan Push for Digital Due Process Rights Grows Stronger Every Day

The Bipartisan Push for Digital Due Process Rights Grows Stronger Every Day

By Sandra Fulton, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 1:55pm

It's a big week for reforming the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA), a little-known law which safeguards internet communications but hasn't been touched in nearly 30 years.

Yesterday the ACLU joined Americans for Tax Reform to push…

Privacy Violations Have Costs!

Privacy Violations Have Costs!

By Sandra Fulton, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 6:00am

Last June I wrote about a police officer whose driver's license record was repeatedly accessed by a state-run database without proper authorization. She is an attractive woman and her fellow officers were treating her record like a Facebook page. She…

CISPA Claws Back to Life

CISPA Claws Back to Life

By Michelle Richardson, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 1:54pm

It's baa-aaack.

The House cybersecurity bill that allows the National Security Agency (NSA) and the military to collect your private internet records is scheduled for an encore appearance on Wednesday. House Intelligence Committee Chairman…

ACLU Guide: Tips for Companies on Protecting User Privacy and Free Speech in 2013

By Nicole Ozer, Technology & Civil Liberties Policy Director, ACLU of Northern California at 3:22pm

Last year was jam-packed with stories of companies making costly mistakes on user privacy and free speech. To help companies get a fresh start in 2013, the ACLU of California has just released the new edition of Privacy and Free Speech: It's Good for…

White House-Led Effort to Create Online ID Standards Proceeding; Stakeholders Gather in Phoenix

White House-Led Effort to Create Online ID Standards Proceeding; Stakeholders Gather in Phoenix

By Jay Stanley, Senior Policy Analyst, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 2:32pm

In April 2011, the White House set forth a proposed "National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace," or NSTIC. The document was a proposal to create a mechanism by which people could identify themselves online to another party with…

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