Spying

Open Source Intelligence and Crime Prevention

Open Source Intelligence and Crime Prevention

By Gabe Rottman, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 5:00pm
Buried on page A25 of Thursday’s New York Times is a tiny story on what’s likely to become a big problem after the recent horrific mass shooting. According to the report, top intelligence officials in the New York City Police Department met on Thursday to explore ways to identify “deranged” shooters before any attack. One of these tactics would involve “creating an algorithm” to identify keywords in online public sources indicative of an impending incident. In other words, they seek to build an algorithm to constantly monitor Facebook and Twitter for terms like “shoot” or “kill.”
Cyber Protection Act Too Broad, Infringes on Our Privacy Rights

Cyber Protection Act Too Broad, Infringes on Our Privacy Rights

By Michelle Richardson, Legislative Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 11:12am

This week is “Cybersecurity Week” in the House of Representatives, and members will vote on a handful of bills intended to protect cybersecurity — the ability to prevent and respond to threats from foreign governments, terrorists…

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How the NSA Got Away with Spying on American–Muslim Civil Rights Activists

By Alex Abdo, Staff Attorney, ACLU Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project at 2:20pm

An article published by The Intercept this week revealed that the government has conducted surveillance of several prominent American Muslims—including a former official in the Department of Homeland Security, a professor at Rutgers University, and…

Is the Government Reading Our Email, Texts and IMs Without a Warrant? You Bet.

Is the Government Reading Our Email, Texts and IMs Without a Warrant? You Bet.

By Catherine Crump, Staff Attorney, ACLU Speech, Privacy and Technology Project at 3:36pm

Today the ACLU filed a batch of Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests to learn more about the government's practice of reading people's email, text messages and other private electronic communications without a warrant.

It has been…

Government Confirms That It Has Secret Interpretation of Patriot Act Spy Powers

Government Confirms That It Has Secret Interpretation of Patriot Act Spy Powers

By Alex Abdo, Staff Attorney, ACLU Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project at 12:59pm

The government has just officially confirmed what we've long suspected: there are secret Justice Department opinions about the Patriot Act's Section 215, which allows the government to get secret orders from a special surveillance court (the FISA…

On the Prospect of Blackmail by the NSA

On the Prospect of Blackmail by the NSA

By Jay Stanley, Senior Policy Analyst, ACLU Speech, Privacy & Technology Project at 11:47am

Sometimes when I hear public officials speaking out in defense of NSA spying, I can’t help thinking, even if just for a moment, “what if the NSA has something on that person and that’s why he or she is saying this?”

Of course it’s…

The Ten Most Disturbing Things You Should Know About the FBI Since 9/11

The Ten Most Disturbing Things You Should Know About the FBI Since 9/11

By Matthew Harwood, Media Strategist, ACLU at 12:24pm

Next Tuesday, James Comey will have his first job interview for succeeding Robert Mueller as director of the FBI.

Members of the Senate Judiciary Committee will not only have the chance to determine whether Comey is qualified for the job—and…

Is the FBI’s Community Outreach Program a Trojan Horse?

Is the FBI’s Community Outreach Program a Trojan Horse?

By Mike German, Senior Policy Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 3:33pm

In December 2011, the ACLU released FBI documents obtained through the Freedom of Information Act, which showed that San Francisco FBI agents were exploiting community outreach programs for intelligence-gathering purposes. Now it appears FBI…

Boston Police Store License Plate Data For “Intelligence” Purposes

Boston Police Store License Plate Data For “Intelligence” Purposes

By Kade Crockford, Director, ACLU of Massachusetts Technology for Liberty Project at 2:29pm

This summer ACLU affiliates all around the country filed open-records requests seeking information about how government agencies are using automated license plate readers. One set of records, released this week to the ACLU of Massachusetts by the police…

Comey's Hollow MLK Guidance to FBI Agents

Comey's Hollow MLK Guidance to FBI Agents

By Laura W. Murphy, Director, ACLU Washington Legislative Office & Michael German, Senior Policy Counsel, ACLU Washington Legislative Office at 10:21am

Newly sworn in FBI Director James Comey has ordered all new FBI agent trainees to visit the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial in Washington, DC, so they can reflect on the FBI's infamous history of hounding the civil rights leader and recognize "the…

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