Justice Dept asks FISA Court for extension of spying program

June 9, 2015 - GamePolitics Staff

Despite the passage of the USA Freedom Act of 2015 - passed earlier this month - the Justice Department has aims on getting reauthorization from the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISA Court) to continue the National Security Agency's bulk telephone collection program, according to Ars Technica.

In a Justice Department memo dated June 2 to the FISA Court, the agency said that it needed an additional six months to continue the program in the name of an "orderly transition" to a new telephone metadata spying program that works under the new law.

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'USA Freedom Act' is now law

June 3, 2015 - GamePolitics Staff

On the evening of June 2, the Senate passed the USA Freedom Act by a vote of 67 - 32. Shortly thereafter, President Barak Obama signed the bill into law. The bill was expedited in part because portions of the USA Patriot Act expired on June 1. Supporters of the bill and opponents of bulk data collection under Section 215 of the Patriot Act say that it is a first step in reforming the warrantless domestic surveillance activities of the NSA.

Shortly after the vote President Obama sent out an approving tweet and then signed it into law:

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The 'USA Patriot Act' expires, 'USA Freedom Act' fails to pass

June 1, 2015 - GamePolitics Staff

The Patriot Act has officially expired this morning after the Senate failed to pass reauthorization of the bill on Sunday night. Along with it, many of the NSA's most controversial programs under Section 215 of the law (detailed over the last several years thanks to leaks from former NSA contractor Edward Snowden) have also expired, though it is likely that it will be extended within the week.

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Twenty-eight groups urge the Senate to let the 'USA Patriot Act' expire, vote no on extension

May 19, 2015 - GamePolitics Staff

A total of 28 rights groups and organizations sent a letter to lawmakers in the Senate urging them to oppose S. 1357. S. 1357 would extend the USA Patriot by two months up until July 31. The USA Patriot Act is set to expire on June 1 and the groups who sent the letter say that lawmakers should let it expire as it was intended to do.

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Rand Paul promises to do 'everything possible' to end the NSA's domestic surveillance programs

May 19, 2015 - GamePolitics Staff

Republican Senator and 2016 presidential candidate Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) promised at a speech yesterday in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania that he will do "everything possible" to halt the National Security Agency's bulk surveillance and collection of phone data as the deadline for the renewal of the USA Patriot Act inches closer.

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Chris Christie calls fears of government surveillance 'baloney'

May 18, 2015 - GamePolitics Staff

Republican presidential candidate and New Jersey governor Chris Christie will call the widespread fear of government surveillance a bunch of "baloney" in an upcoming speech to be delivered in New Hampshire today, according to Politico.

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The 'USA Patriot Act' passes the House

May 14, 2015 - GamePolitics Staff

The USA Patriot Act has passed the House of Representatives by a wide margin, putting the legislation to curtail the National Security Agency's bulk collection of phone meta-data in the hands of the Senate. If the bill manages to make its way through the Senate (either by reconciliation with a Senate version of the bill or an adoption of the original), it would make it so that the government's phone surveillance database would be housed at individual phone carriers for a certain amount of time.

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Lobbying groups urge Congress to pass the USA Freedom Act

May 12, 2015 - GamePolitics Staff

Seven lobbying and trade groups representing Apple, Facebook, Google, Microsoft and many others urged Congress to severely limit the National Security Agency's collection of personal data under various domestic and international surveillance programs, NBC News reports.

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Senate Majority Leader fights for reauthorization of the Patriot Act without changes

May 8, 2015 - GamePolitics Staff

A few hours after the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York ruled that the National Security Agency's collection of phone call meta data was not authorized by Congress (and therefore illegal), Senate Majority Leader McConnell (R-Kentucky) took to the Senate floor to fight for the USA Patriot Act - including the controversial Section 215 which the NSA has used to spy on Americans.

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Court of Appeals rules that NSA data collection was not authorized by Congress

May 7, 2015 - GamePolitics Staff

The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled today that the National Security Agency's collection of phone call meta data was not authorized by Congress. The court said that a lower court ruling was in error when it ruled in December of 2013 that an American Civil Liberties Union lawsuit against the NSA be dismissed.

The ACLU sued the NSA over its collection of "bulk telephony metadata," arguing that it violated the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution concerning warrantless searches.

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EFF strongly opposes Senate effort to reauthorize Section 215 of the USA Patriot Act

April 22, 2015 - GamePolitics Staff

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) issued a brief statement today strongly opposing attempts by the Senate to push a bill through that would reauthorize Section 215 of the USA Patriot Act. Last night Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Intelligence Committee Chair Senator Richard Burr introduced S.

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Rights groups back effort to curtail the power of The Patriot Act

April 14, 2015 - GamePolitics Staff

A new website backed by dozens of rights groups and other organizations wants the powers given to the NSA and other government surveillance agencies under section 215 of The Patriot Act to end. The coalition of rights groups under the banner of Fight215.org includes the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the American Civil Liberties Union, Free Press, DownsizeDC, TechFreedom, Fight for the Future, R Street Institute, Human Rights Watch, the Sunlight Foundation Media Alliance, Student Net Alliance, MLFA, and many others.

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Rights groups take UK surveillance fight to Europe's highest court

April 10, 2015 - GamePolitics Staff

Rights groups Amnesty International, Liberty and Privacy International, and others have announced that it will take its fight against security agencies such as GCHQ in the United Kingdom conducting mass surveillance and data collection on British citizens to Europe's highest court.

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Lawmakers reintroduce the 'Surveillance State Repeal Act'

March 26, 2015 - James Fudge

The reintroduction of an old bill takes a run at repealing the Patriot Act and rolling back all the authority the NSA has in conducting mass surveillance.

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Global Government Surveillance Reform group urges lawmakers to revise Patriot Act

March 25, 2015 - GamePolitics Staff

Google, AOL, Apple, LinkedIn, Yahoo!, Microsoft, Twitter, and Facebook - as members of the Global Government Surveillance Reform - (you can read the coalition's mission statement here) have sent an open letter pushing for real reform of government surveillance practices and to make sure that these reforms are constitutional.

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Edward Snowden Ready To Return To The U.S.

March 3, 2015 - GamePolitics Staff

NSA whistleblower and fugitive Edward Snowden said through his lawyer that he would be willing to return to the United States to face charges for leaking classified NSA documents on the agencies vast spying apparatus used against American citizens, foreign governments, and people around the world.

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The Guardian Details The NSA's Spying Activities on Leaky Apps Like 'Angry Birds'

January 28, 2015 - GamePolitics Staff

Update: It turns out that this story is incredibly old and a bit of a rerun of a story we wrote last year. Some confusion on the date on the left hand side of The Guardian led us to believe the story was brand new. We apologize for the error. Nevertheless the data in the report is still valuable today because there are still plenty of "leaky apps" out there being used to gather data from. Whether apps in the Angry Birds series still have problems remains a mystery but we assume Rovio took this and other reports to heart and did something about it..

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Sen. Barbara Boxer Will Not Seek Reelection in 2016

January 8, 2015 - GamePolitics Staff

One of the most critical voices of NSA mass surveillance in the Senate will not seek re-election in 2016. Senator Barbara Boxer announced in a video for her political action committee (featuring her grandson as the interviewer) that she will not seek reelection to the Senate during the 2016 election cycle. Instead she'll focus her efforts on her political action committee, Pac For Change.

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NSA Does Document Dump on Christmas Eve

December 26, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Boing Boing points out that the National Security Agency quietly dumped a cache of documents on its web site on Christmas Eve. Perhaps the agency was hoping that holiday revelers would miss the document dump. The release of these heavily redacted documents - quarterly and annual reports to the President's Intelligence Oversight Board from Q4/2001 to Q1/2013 - were in response to the ACLU's ongoing Freedom of Information Act requests - which the group went to court for multiple times in 2014.

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Appeals Court to Hear Oral Arguments in Idaho Woman's Case Against NSA Next Week

December 4, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

An appeals court will hear oral arguments in Smith v. Obama, a case filed by an Idaho nurse against the Nation Security Agency's controversial telephone data collection program, in Seattle on Monday, Dec. 8.

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U.N. To Vote On Resolution Condemning Mass Surveillance

November 26, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

According to an AFP report (by way of GIGA OM), the United Nations is set to vote on a resolution that will condemn mass surveillance activities from various governments and provide some sort of legal redress for those who have been unduly targeted by such activities.

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Report: NSA Official Warned NSA Director About Bulk Surveillance Back in 2009

November 21, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

An unnamed high ranking NSA official had a strong disagreement with then-director Keith Alexander in 2009 over the bulk metadata program, according to a new Associated Press report (as highlighted by Ars Technica).

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Senate Fails to Pass 'USA Freedom Act'

November 19, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

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.

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EFF Calls on Americans to Support the Passage of the USA Freedom Act

November 17, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

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:

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Senate To Take Up 'USA Freedom Act' This Year

November 13, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

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).

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EFF Promotes Cindy Cohn to Executive Director of Digital Rights

November 6, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

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.

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Senate Loses Major Critic of Mass Surveillance in Sweeping Election

November 5, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Sometimes when politicians lose elections it's a bad thing for certain issues. Last night Sen. Mark Udall (D-CO) lost his bid for reelection against Rep. Cory Gardner (R) in a tidal wave victory that turned over control of the Senate to the Republicans.

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Verizon-Backed Tech Site Forbidden From Writing About 'Spying' and 'Net Neutrality'

October 29, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

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.

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NSA CTO Cannot Moonlight for Private Security Firm

October 22, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

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.

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NSA Launches Internal Review of CTO's Work for Private Security Firm

October 20, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

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.

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Andrew EisenI think more professional gamblers should get into games publishing. They'll play the odds but they'll also take risks to maximize profits.06/30/2015 - 11:57pm
Andrew EisenAt the end of the day, the ball is rolling and it's rolling in the right direction. Maybe not as fast as we'd like, but it is moving. All we can do is play the games that interest us and make our thoughts known.06/30/2015 - 11:55pm
Matthew Wilsonits unfortunate that the dataset is so tiny for female leads, and is a mixed bag, so money people get the wrong idea.06/30/2015 - 11:54pm
Andrew Eisen"Duke Nukem Forever sold poorly. See? Games staring white guys don't sell!" Pretty silly thing to say.06/30/2015 - 11:50pm
Andrew EisenOr, at the very least, that gamers aren't turned off by female leads.06/30/2015 - 11:49pm
Matthew Wilsonyou would think games like metriod, portal and tomb raider would show that it work, but hopefuly those knew ones will.06/30/2015 - 11:47pm
Andrew EisenBut, luckily strides are being made and the money peoples are slowly learning that diversity -> larger targeted audience -> more potential dollars.06/30/2015 - 11:43pm
Andrew EisenSure does. That's why there should be more than just one or two attempts. (7 games at E3 with female leads and 35 with a gender option. I think it's safe to say that not all of these will fail!)06/30/2015 - 11:42pm
Matthew Wilsonthat puts alot of presure on the early stuff to do well. lets hope games like recode and harizon are good, and sell well.06/30/2015 - 11:38pm
Andrew EisenLuckily, money people also like to follow trends. So, it's a "simple" matter of making proper representation a trend. And wouldn't you know it, we're seeing the beginnings of exactly that!06/30/2015 - 11:34pm
Andrew EisenBut yeah, money people are risk averse. That's why we see so many sequels, reboots, and adaptations. To a lot of money people, "there's no evidence this works because it's rarely ever been tried" is the same as "this doesn't work."06/30/2015 - 11:33pm
Andrew EisenThat's why I think it's worth convincing the money peoples that proper representation (in any of its forms) isn't a financial risk, it's the path to expanding your audience and making even MORE money!06/30/2015 - 11:32pm
Matthew Wilson@AE will I agree, I kinda understand why. when your risking 50 to 100 mil you are going to try to do the safest thing you can sadly.06/30/2015 - 11:27pm
Matthew Wilsonhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p0a6H_7_A5o a fairly impressive fake nx showing by hyberes5606/30/2015 - 11:23pm
Andrew EisenYou see that kind of nonsense in the movie business too.06/30/2015 - 11:02pm
Andrew EisenI think the bigger problem are those who see such things as substantive evidence that games with female leads don't sell well.06/30/2015 - 11:01pm
Matthew Wilsonit doesnt help that games like beyond good and evil did not do well.06/30/2015 - 10:58pm
MechaCrashThey don't advertise games with women leads because they don't sell because they don't advertise them because they don't sell because (repeat ad nauseum).06/30/2015 - 10:52pm
Andrew EisenAnd, with representation getting better and better, I think that's exactly what we'll see over the years.06/30/2015 - 10:49pm
Andrew EisenOf course, there's always the opposite viewpoint: perhaps more women would be inclined to join in the so-called AAA space if representation was better.06/30/2015 - 10:48pm
 

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