The US Senate fell short of enacting the USA Freedom Act, the first bill in 30 years that attempted to seriously curtail the spying activities of the National Security Agency. The bill had the support of both privacy advocacy groups like the EFF and lawmakers. The bill needed 60 votes to pass and came just two votes shy of hitting that milestone: the final vote was 58 yeah, 42 nay - with a majority of Republicans (41 of the 42 votes) voting against the bill.
Internet rights group the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) is calling on all internet users to call their elected representatives this week and tell them to support the Senate's USA FREEDOM Act.
While the bill isn't perfect, it is the first piece of legislation to tackle the NSA's unchecked power in 30 years, according to the EFF. The USA Freedom Act would - according to the EFF - do the following:
Never underestimate the power of a lame duck congress. Newsweek reports that the NSA surveillance reform bill, AKA the USA Freedom Act, will get a vote this year, thanks to a big push by Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont).
The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has promoted its long-time legal director Cindy Cohn to the position of executive director of its digital rights division. Cohn, who has been serving in the legal director role since 2000, is best known for going after the National Security Agency's domestic spying programs long before Edward Snowden's leaks surfaced.
Verizon's wireless subsidiary is funding a tech site called SugarString but writers who sign up to work for the web site have to agree not to write about two subjects: net neutrality and surveillance or spying activities. While there are lots of stories about technology and culture on the site, the two aforementioned subjects can never be written about on Sugarstring.
It turns out that it's not cool for the National Security Agency (NSA) chief technology officer Patrick Dowd to work "up to 20 hours a week" for IronNet, a private consulting firm founded and run by former NSA chief Keith Alexander. An internal review of this situation was recently undertaken by the NSA and the agency decided that it simply was not a good idea.
Alexander acknowledged that there are issues (we assume a conflict of interest) with allowing the arrangement to continue as well.
According to this Reuters report, the National Security Agency (NSA) has launched an internal investigation into a top official’s part-time work for a private cybersecurity firm founded by former NSA director Keith Alexander.
Earlier this month we reported that Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) would be hosting a roundtable on government spying this week called "The Impact of Mass Surveillance on the Digital Economy," with leading executives from the tech sector.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) is shining a spotlight this week on a new Australian bill that would make it so that Internet service providers in the country would have to collect and store personal user data and give law enforcement agencies access to it for up to two years. The unnamed bill, currently being referred to as the "mandatory data retention bill," will be introduced to the Australian federal parliament during the week of October 27.
If there was ever a seemingly unflappable group of individuals it is America's librarians, who take the privacy of their patrons very, very seriously. Since the introduction of the Patriot Act the group representing our nation's librarians has been fighting to protect its patrons from government intrusion.
Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden (D-Oregon) will host a "Chairman's Roundtable" on Oct. 8 to discuss the impact of mass surveillance by the government (through agencies like the NSA) on the digital economy.
Joining Sen. Wyden will be the Executive Chairman of Google, Eric Schmidt; Executive Vice President and General Counsel for Microsoft, Brad Smith; Facebook General Counsel, Colin Stretch ; Dropbox General Counsel, Ramsey Homsany; and Lead Partner at Greylock Partners, John Lilly.
According to documents obtained by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and discussed at length in a new post on the ACLU's official blog by Alex Abdo (a staff attorney in the ACLU's Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project), most of the National Security Agency's (NSA) authority to collect data and spy on both international and domestic targets is derived from Executive Orde
Former NSA contractor Edward Snowden has been honored with a Swedish human rights award for leaking classified documents that revealed the NSA vast intelligence gathering operations throughout the world. Snowden will receive the Right Livelihood Award -- often referred to as the "alternative Nobel" -- alongside Alan Rusbridger, editor of British newspaper The Guardian who published a series of articles based on the cache of documents leaked by Snowden to media outlets around the world.
Yahoo announced this week that it wants to release 1,500 pages of documents related to a protracted court battle with the National Security Agency over its participation in the PRISM program. The NSA surveillance program was revealed last summer as part of the Edward Snowden leaks. During that time a leaked slide about PRISM showed that Yahoo was one of the program's first participants, and began contributing to the database in March of 2008.
Former NSA contractor Edward Snowden has been approved by the Russian government for another three years, according to Politico, Snowden could return to the United States if he's willing to face charges for leaking thousands of classified documents to the media, but the chances of that happening are somewhere between slim and none.
John Napier Tye, a former State Department section chief for Internet freedom, is calling on the government to answer questions related to a recent op-ed published by the Washington Post.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) and 35 other rights groups and organizations, companies, and security experts have banded together to roundly denounce the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act (CISA).
The groups sent a letter on Monday asking U.S. president Barack Obama to veto S. 2588 of 2014. The group's letter says that this new reincarnation of the failed CISPA bill from last year fails to offer a comprehensive solution to cybersecurity threats and "contains inadequate protections for privacy and civil liberties."
On August 20 of last year, White House press secretary Josh Earnest said that the White House had no information on a story about the UK spy agency GCHQ demanding that newspaper The Guardian destroy a laptop under the government's supervision containing what was believed to be a cache of documents from former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.
"I’ve seen the published reports of those accusations, but I don’t have any information for you on that…," he said at that time. "The only thing I know about this are the public reports about this."
In a not-so-shocking conclusion, the panel put together by President Barack Obama and tasked with examining the privacy and legal fallout from the massive National Security Agency spying activities revealed by whistleblower Edward Snowden, has concluded in a new 191-page report that the NSA activity was lawful yet "close to the line of constitutional reasonableness."
According to top-secret documents leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, the National Security Agency was authorized by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court in 2010 to spy in one way or another on 90,000 targets in 193 countries. Any country that was not part of the "Five Eyes" group (a joint operation with spy agencies in U.S., England, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand) was a potential target.
The National Reconnaissance Office is looking closely at technology used for video games to help it improve how it gathers and analyzes intelligence data, according to a research proposal released Monday and reported on by USA Today. The NRO specifically wants to take advantage of the video game industry's "innovative algorithms" and "enhanced visualization techniques," according to the proposal.
The U.S. House of Representatives voted 293-123 to cut funding for NSA spying programs that are aimed at Americans. Late last night an amendment to a defense appropriations bill put forth by Reps. James Sensenbrenner (R-WI), Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), and Thomas Massie (R-KY) passed with wide support, though it still has to get the same approval in the U.S. Senate.
A federal judge has ruled that the United States government must immediately halt the destruction of classified documents and file a brief explaining its actions today. The federal government must not destroy any more documents and file a brief by noon today on its spying activities, a federal judge ruled, responding to the Electronic Frontier Foundation's request for an emergency hearing.
Edward Snowden was inspired by video games, according to what one of the key journalists responsible for releasing the details contained in the classified documents leaked by the former NSA contractor tells GQ. Greenwald says that Snowden saw himself as video game hero fighting against an seemingly insurmountable force, much like a video game protagonist does.
This week a key House committee approved a package of NSA reforms that would end the spy agency's practice of collecting Americans' phone records. It took lawmakers nearly a year after former NSA contractor Edward Snowden disclosed the program's existence to do something about it.
The House Judiciary Committee voted 32-0 on Wednesday to rein in the NSA with the USA FREEDOM Act. The bill would place new requirements on the government when it comes to gathering, targeting and searching telephone metadata for intelligence purposes.