This might keep you up at night, assuming that the National Security Agency's unprecedented levels of spying bother you: new documents obtained by the Washington Post and presented in this in-depth report details a system capable of capturing an entire country's calls and storing them for thirty days.
Senator Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) has been talking about a class action lawsuit against the NSA and the Obama administration over the spy agency's collection of phone metadata and other collection activities.
The lawsuit was filed today in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, with Rand Paul and conservative group Freedom Works named as lead plaintiffs. The lawsuit is aimed at President Barack Obama, Director of National Security James Clapper, Director of the NSA Keith Alexander, and Director of the FBI James Comey Jr.
Today is the day that advocacy groups and businesses have designated as a day of protest online against the NSA's unfettered surveillance and data collection practices. Led by the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the collective are calling on websites and internet users to show their support by displaying special banners online and to contact their elected official in D.C. to let them know that the mass surveillance being conducted by the NSA needs to come to an end.
The head of the House Intelligence Committee Rep. Mike Rogers (R-MI) has lashed out at one of the key journalists publishing stories about the documents leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden. While not mentioning him by name, Rogers basically calls The Guardian's Glen Greenwald a thief, implying that he is committing some sort of crime and is selling the documents leaked by Edward Snowden. You may recall that Greenwald was one of the first journalists to break the story about Edward Snowden and his cache of NSA-related documents and materials..
It sounds far-fetched when someone says that playing something as innocent as Angry Birds is helping spy agencies gather information about you, but that is just what happens when users launch what this Pro Publica investigation claims is a "leaky app."
Outgoing National Security Agency deputy director John C. Inglis tells National Public Radio that the spy agency would welcome the creation of a public advocate position to take part in Foreign Intelligence Surveillance (FISA) Court deliberations as a check against NSA requests. Inglis, who is retiring after being the number 2 man in the agency for seven years says that an advocate for the constitutionality of requests to be included would be fine as long as it doesn't impede the expediency of the NSA's activities.
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has officially appealed a recent decision by a New York District Court Judge that determined that the National Security Agency's (NSA) wide-scale surveillance of mobile phone data was legal and within the confines of the law. The filing with the Federal Appeals Court could ultimately lead to the case being heard by the U.S. Supreme Court.
Apple has responded strongly to reports that the National Security Agency claims a "100-percent success rate" in attaching spyware to iOS apps. The revelation about the NSA's targeting of Apple products comes from a recent Der Speigel report featuring leaked documents from former NSA contractor Edward Snowden provided to various journalists. The NSA program targeting Apple products is called DROPOUTJEEP, and allows the agency to intercept SMS messages, access contact lists, locate a phone using cell tower data, and even activate the device’s microphone and camera.
Google passed along a note letting us know that its petition on the White House web site has surpassed 107,000 signatures. The "We The People" petition calls for the White House and lawmakers to give the stuff we store online the same legal protections (Fourth Amendment) as the stuff we store offline. The petition only needed 100,000 signatures to ellicit a response from the White House at some point in the future, so it is good that it has passed this particular milestone.
A federal judge ruled on Monday that the NSA's broad and massive surveillance of Americans' phone records is likely unconstitutional, but put aside his decision to allow the government to appeal. U.S. District Court Judge Richard Leon ruled in a lawsuit brought by a conservative activist named Larry Klayman that the legal challenge to the massive surveillance program would likely succeed on the grounds that it violates the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.
Google sent out a call to action today urging internet users to sign a petition on Whitehouse.gov demanding that the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA) be reformed to include more protections for online activity and to reflect the change in the way people use the Internet. As is the case with petitions on the site, the White House is only obligated to respond once the petition has reached 100,000 signatures. As of this writing the petition has 43,928 of the signatures it needs by Dec. 12.
On October 26 organizers of StopWatchingUs will hold a rally in Washington D.C. on the anniversary of the Patriot Act. StopWatchingUs is a nonpartisan coalition of organizations, individuals, and companies that oppose the unconstitutional mass surveillance being conducted by the National Security Agency. The collective seeks "a full Congressional investigation of America’s surveillance programs, reform to federal surveillance law, and accountability from public officials responsible for hiding this surveillance from lawmakers and the public."
According to newly declassified documents, a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court judge slammed the National Security Agency in 2009 for what he called "flagrant violations" of the privacy rights of U.S. citizens over a three-year period of searches of telephone records.
Earlier this week we reported that Patriot Act chief author Rep. James Sensenbrenner (R-Wisc.) had come out against the NSA in ACLU v. NSA, a lawsuit that seeks an immediate injunction that would halt all spying activity on American citizens, among other things. But what we didn't report is that a former Presidential candidate (and former Senator) and a former Vice-President have also sided with the ACLU.
On Thursday the U.S. Justice Department was rebuked by a U.S. District Court Judge for seeking to delay proceedings in a case against the NSA brought forward by the American Civil Liberties Union. The Justice Department had asked the court for an extension of time in the case so that it could declassify related documents, but U.S. District Judge William Pauley rebuked the agency, telling lawyers for the DOJ that it was in a courtroom and not some sort of marketplace.
Michigan Republican Rep. Justin Amash is proving to be a worthy adversary against the Republican establishment and the White House when it comes to national security issues, and he seems to have no problem throwing his enthusiastic support behind causes to stop the NSA's clandestine spying programs, much to the chagrin of hawks on both sides of the aisle.