Spying and Surveillance

Court Rules NSA Bulk Spying Illegal: New Vindication for Snowden, and Uncertainty for PATRIOT Act

Court Rules NSA Bulk Spying Illegal: New Vindication for Snowden, and Uncertainty for PATRIOT Act

A federal appeals court has ruled the National Security Agency’s bulk collection of millions of Americans’ phone records is illegal. The program was exposed by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden; the ACLU filed its lawsuit based largely on Snowden’s revelations. In a unanimous decision Thursday, a three judge panel of the Second Circuit Court of Appeals in New York called the bulk phone records collection “unprecedented and unwarranted.” The ruling comes as Congress faces a June 1st deadline to renew the part of the Patriot Act that authorizes the NSA’s bulk data surveillance. Another measure, the USA Freedom Act, would lead to limited reforms of some of the NSA’s programs.

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Education Departments Are Now Spying on Students Through Social Media

Education Departments Are Now Spying on Students Through Social Media

One of the globe’s biggest publishers of textbooks and other educational materials has taken to monitoring the social media accounts of students to see if they discuss their exams.

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NSA Review Committee Finds ‘No Significant Value’ in Mass Phone Surveillance

NSA Review Committee Finds ‘No Significant Value’ in Mass Phone Surveillance

A former member of President Obama’s National Security Agency review committee said there is no significant value in mass surveillance programs… A January 2014 analysis of 225 terrorism cases inside the United States since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks found that the bulk collection of phone records by the NSA “has had no discernible impact on preventing acts of terrorism.” The study by the New America Foundation found that traditional law enforcement and investigative methods were used in most of the cases and the monitoring did little to help.

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‘This Must End Now’: Web Companies, Rights Groups Call for Immediate Halt to Bulk Data Collection

Posted by on March 25, 2015 in Government, Spying and Surveillance with 0 Comments
‘This Must End Now’: Web Companies, Rights Groups Call for Immediate Halt to Bulk Data Collection

More than 50 technology companies, privacy and human rights advocates on Wednesday sent a letter (pdf) to U.S. President Barack Obama, members of Congress, and other executive and intelligence officials demanding immediate curbs to government surveillance and an end to the bulk collection of citizens’ communications under the U.S. Patriot Act.

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10 Reasons to Vote Against Use of Military Force

10 Reasons to Vote Against Use of Military Force

[Dennis Kucinich to Congress:] Why would Congress, as a co-equal branch of government, be so ready to give up its constitutional power to this president with an Authorization to Use Military Force (AUMF), which represents a wholesale appropriation of war power? This could be one of the most important votes you will ever cast, so I want to share with you, collegially, information that I hope will be of use in your deliberations. I present some thoughts for your consideration as you enter into a momentous, new debate over the authorization of military force, this time against the Islamic State.

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Why a Growing Number of Americans Are Leaving the U.S.

Why a Growing Number of Americans Are Leaving the U.S.

Many Americans are renouncing their citizenship and moving overseas. Could this be due to an increasingly oppressive government?

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The Locations of Global Spy Stations Have Now Been Exposed

The Locations of Global Spy Stations Have Now Been Exposed

An NSA map shows it is one of a global network of oddly-named satellite interception stations. These stations are the eyes of the Five Eyes alliance.

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New Snowden Archive Offers Public Access to Surveillance Docs

New Snowden Archive Offers Public Access to Surveillance Docs

The Snowden Archive will allow us to better understand the scope and scale of mass surveillance programs, and help the public engage in conversation about government surveillance practices.

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More Surveillance Won’t Protect Free Speech

Posted by on January 12, 2015 in Government, Spying and Surveillance with 0 Comments
More Surveillance Won’t Protect Free Speech

Following a terrorist attack, it is not uncommon to hear calls from politicians and government officials for increased surveillance. That’s why what we’re hearing this week—in the wake of the attack on Charlie Hebdo—alarms us. On Friday, French Prime Minister Manuel Valls suggested that “it will be necessary to take further measures” to address the threat of terrorism, despite the fact that French intelligence had collected “reams of intelligence” on the terror suspects, and despite a draconian anti-terror law established last November. As our German colleagues point out in a joint statement, France already has some of the strictest security measures in Europe.

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DARPA’s Autonomous Microdrones Designed to Enter Houses

Posted by on December 28, 2014 in Government, Spying and Surveillance with 0 Comments
DARPA’s Autonomous Microdrones Designed to Enter Houses

As drone expert, P.W. Singer said about microdrones, “At this point, it doesn’t really matter if you are against the technology, because it’s coming.” According to Singer, “The miniaturization of drones is where it really gets interesting. You can use these things anywhere, put them anyplace, and the target will never even know they’re being watched.”

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What We Learned About NSA Spying in 2014—And What We’re Fighting to Expose in 2015

Posted by on December 28, 2014 in Government, Spying and Surveillance with 0 Comments
What We Learned About NSA Spying in 2014—And What We’re Fighting to Expose in 2015

After a banner year for shedding light on the NSA’s secret surveillance programs in 2013, the pace of disclosures in 2014—both from whistleblowers and through Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuits—slowed significantly.But that’s not because all the secrets of NSA surveillance have been revealed.

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The USA Freedom Act: What’s to Come and What You Need to Know

Posted by on November 17, 2014 in Government, Politics, Spying and Surveillance with 1 Comment
The USA Freedom Act: What’s to Come and What You Need to Know

The USA Freedom Act, the leading contender for NSA reform, is set for a vote this week. The bill has some problems, but is a major step forward for surveillance reform. That’s why we’re asking you to call your Senator and urge them to support the USA Freedom Act. Here’s a rundown of what’s to come, what you need to know, and what may happen this week:

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Mass Surveillance Program Violates Privacy Rights, International Law: UN Report

Posted by on October 15, 2014 in Government, Spying and Surveillance with 0 Comments
Mass Surveillance Program Violates Privacy Rights, International Law: UN Report

‘Literally every Internet user’ is at risk of having their rights violated by intelligence agencies

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Snowden Slams Dropbox, Facebook As Threats To Privacy

Posted by on October 14, 2014 in Government, Spying and Surveillance, Whistleblower with 1 Comment
Snowden Slams Dropbox, Facebook As Threats To Privacy

Dropbox, Facebook and Google are a few of the biggest threats to individuals’ privacy, Edward Snowden warned at a forum this weekend. Advising consumers to only use encrypted services that promise to not share data with the government or other corporations, the whistleblower gave some quick tips on how to protect personal data and ensure privacy. RT’s Ben Swann recaps the advice.

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Glenn Greenwald: Why Privacy Matters (TED)

Posted by on October 11, 2014 in Spying and Surveillance with 0 Comments
Glenn Greenwald: Why Privacy Matters (TED)

Glenn Greenwald was one of the first reporters to see — and write about — the Edward Snowden files, with their revelations about the United States’ extensive surveillance of private citizens. In this searing talk, Greenwald makes the case for why you need to care about privacy, even if you’re “not doing anything you need to hide.”

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