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: DSWright Friday October 31, 2014 11:16 am|
|By: Kevin Gosztola Monday October 20, 2014 11:16 am|
The United States government has moved to dismiss a lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) on behalf of five US citizens who say they were victims of a domestic surveillance program, which involves the collection of “suspicious activity reports” on individuals.
|By: Kevin Gosztola Thursday October 2, 2014 3:15 pm|
A federal appeals court ruled that law enforcement does not need to get a warrant in order to legally use evidence obtained from surveillance in a criminal case. The court also effectively endorsed consultation among officials in the executive branch instead of going to a judge for a warrant as “good faith” conduct.
In 2010, FBI agents attached a GPS tracking device to the car of Harry Katzin in order to track his movements because they suspected he was involved in the robberies of multiple Rite-Aid pharmacies.
|By: Kevin Gosztola Wednesday October 1, 2014 9:33 am|
In a case involving a Freedom of Information Act request for information related to government policies and procedures for law enforcement use of cell phone tracking, a federal judge has ordered the release of records, which the Justice Department sought to keep secret by claiming they would “alert law violators”—otherwise known as criminals—to how to evade detection.
The ACLU in Northern California and San Francisco Bay Guardian filed a lawsuit seeking documents on location tracking technology on July 31, 2012. The Justice Department has produced a few documents but has continued to insist that many of the documents requested are “work product” so they are protected from disclosure. The agency has also refused to search for documents that were requested.
|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 Wednesday September 24, 2014 4:29 pm|
A federal district court judge has dismissed a civil lawsuit brought by former and current employees of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), who spoke out against “serious managerial and medical misconduct” at the Center for Devices and Radiological Health and were subsequently placed under surveillance by FDA officials. The judge determined the employees had failed to exhaust all administrative remedies and the court lacked jurisdiction to rule on their claims against the government.
|By: Kevin Gosztola Wednesday September 17, 2014 10:11 am|
The American Civil Liberties Union has accused the manufacturer of StingRay surveillance products of providing inaccurate information and possibly even lying to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), which is the agency that is supposed to regulate communications over cable, radio, satellite, television and wire.
|By: Kevin Gosztola Monday September 15, 2014 11:07 am|
A federal appeals court issued a decision suppressing evidence found by a Naval Criminal Investigative Service special agent and used to prosecute a civilian for child pornography. The NCIS special agent had conducted dragnet surveillance of all civilians in an entire state. The “extraordinary nature of the surveillance” demonstrated “a need to deter future violations” of the Posse Comitatus Act and send a message to the government that military personnel are not permitted to enforce civilian laws.
|By: msmolly Sunday August 31, 2014 1:03 pm|
The Washington Post published a startling report that described how private companies who sell surveillance systems are marketing them to governments around the world, providing the means to track the movements of anyone who carries a cell phone — here or abroad.
A set of network protocols known as Signaling System No. 7 (SS7) allows cell phone carriers to collect location information from cell phone towers and share it with each other. So a US carrier can find a customer even if he or she travels to another country.
|By: Kevin Gosztola Wednesday August 13, 2014 1:45 pm|
National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden in an interview with journalist James Bamford for Wired Magazine has revealed for the first time that he was disturbed by a “Strangelovian cyberwarfare program in the works,” which was codenamed “MonsterMind.”