Email Service Snowden Was Reportedly Using Shuts Down

By: Thursday August 8, 2013 2:45 pm

Update: Silent Circle follows suit.

The owner of Lavabit, an email service believed to be better focused on privacy and security for users than Gmail, has decided to shut down the service. It is notable because this is the service that former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, who blew the whistle on US government surveillance programs, was reportedly using.


Surveillance State Unchecked: Secret Spy Court Rejected Zero Requests in 2012

By: Thursday May 2, 2013 6:30 pm

An annual report to the United States Senate by the Justice Department shows the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court did not deny one single request made to the court by federal law enforcement. All applications to conduct electronic surveillance or “physical searches for foreign intelligence purposes” were granted.

Beginning of the End of FBI National Security Letter Gag Provisions?

By: Tuesday March 19, 2013 7:35 am

On RT America, I discuss the recent court ruling in a lawsuit where an unnamed telecommunications company (believed to be Credo) challenged the gag provisions in FBI national security letters.

A US district court in California found in a decision made public on Friday that Nondisclosure or gag provisions of National Security Letters “significantly infringe upon speech regarding controversial government powers.” The provisions were found to violate the First Amendment and the “separation of powers principles.” The court also determined the provisions were effectively preventing public debate on surveillance.

‘AT&T Hacker’ Sentenced to Prison for Revealing Security Flaw, Digital Rights Organization Joins Appeal

By: Monday March 18, 2013 6:12 pm

Before his sentencing hearing, Andrew Auernheimer, who was convicted on one of charge of conspiracy under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA) and one charge of fraud involving personal information, declared in a statement that he was going to jail for “arithmetic.”

Twenty-six year-old security researcher, known as “Weev,” was sentenced to forty-one months in prison, three years of supervised release and ordered pay $73,000 in restitution to AT&T.

Court Finds FBI-Issued National Security Letters ‘Significantly Infringe Upon Speech’

By: Saturday March 16, 2013 9:00 am

The court determined National Security Letters are not “narrowly tailored on their face, since they apply, without distinction, to both the content of the NSLs and to the very fact of having received one.” The government claims prohibiting recipients from talking about NSLs is “necessary to serve national security in ongoing investigations,” but the government “has not shown that it is generally necessary to prohibit recipients from disclosing the mere fact of their receipt of NSLs.”

9-11′s Surveillance State Legacy

By: Tuesday August 30, 2011 4:25 pm

We had one moment where this was subject to any debate at all, during the fight over the FISA amnesty legislation. But that was really about a small portion of the total data collection. Most of the surveillance remains a secret. Ron Wyden and Mark Udall tried to tease out a little more this summer, when they tried to get the intelligence community to admit to how they were misinterpreting the Patriot Act to allow for more data collection. But that never went anywhere. From NSA surveillance to national security letters to the AT&T room on Folsom Street in San Francisco, what bits and pieces we do know about point to a giant network Hoovering up every piece of information you let out into the world digitally.

Paul, Leahy Team Up on Amendments to Patriot Act Extension

By: Tuesday May 24, 2011 7:05 am

There is still bipartisanship in Washington when something like depriving civil liberties in the name of Terror has to get done. We may have killed Osama bin Laden, but we have yet to slay the Boogeyman.

Leadership Makes Deal to Extend Patriot Act Provisions for Four Years

By: Thursday May 19, 2011 3:42 pm

Congressional leaders in both parties made a deal to extend three expiring provisions of the Patriot Act for four more years with little debate. Earlier this year, the same provisions – roving wiretaps, court-approved access to business records, and “lone wolf” provisions allowing surveillance on foreign citizens without connections to terrorists – were extended for 90 days.

House on Course to Pass Patriot Act Extension Today

By: Tuesday February 8, 2011 12:35 pm

If you blink today, you may miss the House of Representatives passing an extension until the end of the year of several provisions of the Patriot Act that expire in February. They will try to pass it under the suspension of the rules, meaning that they will need a 2/3 vote, but also that nobody can offer amendments. And they will spend a whopping 40 minutes of debate on the topic.

NN10: Surveillance, Spying, and Racial Profiling in Obama Era

By: Friday July 23, 2010 11:50 am

I’m watching a panel on online surveillance with Safir Ahmed (who edited Anatomy of Deceit and all of Markos’ books), Josh Gerstein, Farhana Khera, Laura Murphy, and Adam Serwer.

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