Online Privacy

More Transparency Needed For Government's Use of National Security Powers For Data Requests From Companies

More Transparency Needed For Government's Use of National Security Powers For Data Requests From Companies

By Alex Abdo, Staff Attorney, ACLU National Security Project at 2:27pm

Google's transparency report reveals that the U.S. government asked Google for data on its users 6,321 times during the second half of 2011—a 75% increase from two years ago.

Friday links roundup

Friday links roundup

By Jay Stanley, Senior Policy Analyst, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 5:47pm

A roundup of some items that caught our eye recently, but we haven’t had a chance to write about.

San Francisco’s MUNI train system is installing new “intelligent” cameras that will track and monitor commuters, raising…

ACLU Backs Up Twitter In Court Over Attempt to Defend Users’ Rights

ACLU Backs Up Twitter In Court Over Attempt to Defend Users’ Rights

By Aden Fine, Senior Staff Attorney, ACLU Speech, Privacy and Technology Project at 2:52pm

We filed a friend-of-the-court brief today in New York state court in support of Twitter’s efforts to protect the constitutional rights of one of its users. As we posted earlier this month, Twitter took a great step to defend its users’…

Password Protection Act of 2012: A Good Start Against Employer Snooping

Password Protection Act of 2012: A Good Start Against Employer Snooping

By Chris Calabrese, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 6:06pm

Today Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Representative Martin Heinrich (D-NM) and a number of cosponsors filed the Password Protection Act of 2012 in the Senate and House to prevent employers from strong-arming employers and job applicants into sharing…

Google Turns on Encrypted Search by Default for Users

Google Turns on Encrypted Search by Default for Users

By Chris Conley, Staff Attorney, ACLU of Northern California Technology and Civil Liberties Project at 5:57pm

This week, our federal online privacy law turns 25. The ACLU is hosting a blog series that will address some of the many reasons why the "Electronic Communications Privacy Act of 1986" (ECPA) is in need of an upgrade! Spread the word…

ACLU Guide to New Facebook Privacy Controls

ACLU Guide to New Facebook Privacy Controls

By Chris Conley, Staff Attorney, ACLU of Northern California Technology and Civil Liberties Project at 11:30am

Today Facebook is rolling out a series of changes to its privacy controls. We reviewed the changes in detail on Tuesday; now here’s how you can take advantage of these changes:

Turn On “Profile Review” One of the biggest…

The Software That Stares at Goats? Pentagon Building System For Massive E-Mail Privacy Violation

By Jay Stanley, Senior Policy Analyst, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 1:14pm

Here we go again. Earlier this month the Pentagon announced a new effort to build a system aimed at allowing it to scan billions of communications in order to detect "anomalies" in people's behavior that will predict who is about to snap and turn into…

How to Decode the True Meaning of What NSA Officials Say

How to Decode the True Meaning of What NSA Officials Say

By Jameel Jaffer, ACLU Deputy Legal Director and Director of ACLU Center for Democracy & Brett Max Kaufman, Legal Fellow, ACLU National Security Project at 12:09pm

This piece was originally published on Slate.

James Clapper, the director of national intelligence, has been harshly criticized for having misled Congress earlier this year about the scope of the National Security Agency's surveillance activities.…

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…

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