The TechNet trade association has been lobbying for CISPA, a bill the EFF describes as a “misguided cybersecurity bill that would create a gaping exception to existing privacy law while doing little to address palpable and pressing online security issues” (previously). Google's Eric Schmidt signed TechNet's letter supporting CISPA. [more inside]
The ACLU reports that the IRS claims in an internal document that it has the authority to access citizens' online communications without a warrant. The IRS claimed in a 2009 document that "the Fourth Amendment does not protect communications held in electronic storage, such as email messages stored on a server, because internet users do not have a reasonable expectation of privacy in such communications." It still retains that position even after the 2010 case of US v Warshak which determined that citizens have a reasonable expectation of privacy in such communications. [more inside]
The Justice Department, after a legal battle with the ACLU to avoid having to admit it, recently released documents showing that the federal government’s use of warrantless “pen register” and “tap and trace” surveillance has multiplied over the past decade. But the Justice Department is small potatoes. Every day, the NSA intercepts and stores 1.7 billion emails, phone calls, texts, and other electronic communications. [more inside]
The Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA) is a controversial surveillance bill that proposes broad legal exemptions for the U.S. government and private companies to share "cyber threat intelligence" that go well beyond the FISA Amendments Act which legalized the NSA's warrantless wiretapping program. [more inside]
These Are The Prices AT&T, Verizon and Sprint Charge For Cellphone Wiretaps. After a flurry of public records requests to over 200 police departments, the ACLU has obtained a trove of documents detailing police tracking of cell phone location, call logs and more, including a price list for subscriber information from every major US carrier. [more inside]
The ACLU of Maryland is defending Anthony Graber for violating Maryland wiretap laws because he recorded a video of a plain clothes officer drawing a gun during a traffic stop without first identifying himself as a police officer. The Maryland State Police raided Graber's parents' after learning of the video on YouTube. Another person has since been similarly charged under the same statute. [more inside]
Secret U.S. court OKs electronic spying Big Brother much? John Ashcroft is well on his way to becoming the next J. Edgar Hoover, or worse. The government can already secretly spy on what books we're reading, thanks to the Patriot Act. Previous MeFi threads have covered the evils of Total Information Awareness and how it makes everyone a suspect. Now a "secret court" gives the government a green light to spy while the ACLU tried to figure out if there is any recourse.