House Republican Tom Cotton looks set to defeat Democratic incumbent Mark Pryor in Arkansas and take over his seat in the United States Senate. If this happens, it is a distinct possibility that Cotton will become one of the most vocal opponents of any efforts to reform surveillance and constrain the National Security Agency or any other government agency’s power.
|By: Kevin Gosztola Tuesday November 4, 2014 3:17 pm|
|By: DSWright Tuesday November 4, 2014 8:05 am|
The British equivalent of the NSA, the GCHQ, was reportedly deployed by the British government to at least two climate talks to spy on other countries according to documents released by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden. Now UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon has said there will be an investigation into the spying and the use of talks about climate change as an opportunity to commit espionage.
|By: DSWright Friday October 31, 2014 11:16 am|
Amazon’s $600 million contract with the CIA related to cloud computing services has caused alarm throughout the civil liberties community. The terms of the deal have not been disclosed raising concern that the CIA could be using its access to Amazon’s massive data to conduct intelligence work rather than simply storing data. In light of the ongoing domestic spying scandal regarding the NSA, fewer and fewer people are willing to take government assurances on protecting the public’s privacy.
|By: Kevin Gosztola Tuesday October 28, 2014 8:00 am|
The Nation Magazine published an interview with National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden, and one of the parts that is most remarkable is his commentary on civil disobedience and the movement that was ignited in 2011 by Occupy Wall Street.
|By: DSWright Friday October 24, 2014 3:50 pm|
Though Silicon Valley and the tech industry is generally known as being more liberal than other economic sectors it is worth noting that it too has its share of plutocrat reactionaries. Though venture capitalist Tom Perkins became the face of the faction with his comparison of Occupy Wall Street to Nazis, a more relevant example would be Mark Andreessen who not only stands out as opposing measures to rein in wealth equality but has trumpeted his support for domestic surveillance programs.
|By: Tom Engelhardt Monday October 20, 2014 6:30 pm|
Here’s a Ripley’s Believe It or Not! stat from our new age of national security. How many Americans have security clearances? The answer: 5.1 million, a figure that reflects the explosive growth of the national security state in the post-9/11 era. Imagine the kind of system needed just to vet that many people for access to our secret world (to the tune of billions of dollars). We’re talking here about the total population of Norway and significantly more people than you can find in Costa Rica, Ireland, or New Zealand. And yet it’s only about 1.6% of the American population, while on ever more matters, the unvetted 98.4% of us are meant to be left in the dark.
|By: DSWright Friday October 10, 2014 10:26 am|
Need more evidence that the government wants access to all your private information? Then check out the recent move by Attorney General Eric Holder and the FBI to subvert the use of strong cryptography by the average citizen.
As noted by Cory Doctorow, the move to weaken civilian use of strong crypto is actually a rehash of an issue that was temporarily settled in 1995 when the Electronic Frontier Foundation won a court case that declared computer code to be part of free speech.
|By: Kevin Gosztola Monday September 29, 2014 1:45 pm|
The American Civil Liberties Union posted a trove of documents obtained in their Freedom of Information Act lawsuit for information about an executive order President Ronald Reagan signed, which gives the government broad authority to engage in surveillance of international communications, including the communications of numerous Americans. One key “exemption” gives intelligence agencies the ability to get around regulations intended to protect privacy.
Executive Order 12333 “governs” most of what the National Security Agency does, when it comes to collection of information on “Americans’ cellphone and Internet usage.”
|By: Kevin Gosztola Friday September 19, 2014 4:59 pm|
The Associated Press reports the CIA has decided to restrict “spying on friendly governments in Western Europe in response to the furor over a German caught selling secrets to the United States.” The revelations on top secret NSA surveillance from NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden have also played a role in the CIA’s decision.
|By: DSWright Monday September 15, 2014 1:17 pm|
New Zealand Prime Minister John Key has been having a rough past couple of days. Key is now entangled in two separate but related scandals involving collaboration with the US government and business interests to violate the rights of Kim Dotcom and others residing in New Zealand.