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]
All I want is to be left alone in my average home... But why do I always feel I'm in the twilight zone?
In August 2011, 35 ACLU affiliates filed 381 requests in 32 states with local law enforcement agencies seeking to uncover when, why and how they are using cell phone location data to track Americans. So how long do American cell phone carriers retain information about your calls, text messages, and data use? According to data gathered by the US Department of Justice, it can be as little as a few days or up to seven years, depending on your provider. (Via / More)
Should Cops Be Allowed to Scan Your Phone During a Traffic Stop? In Michigan, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has filed a complaint [PDF letter here] alleging that Michigan State Police officers used forensic cellphone analyzers to snoop in drivers' cellphones during routine traffic stops. [Before they fulfill an ACLU FOIA request, the MSP wants a $272,340 deposit up front to cover their costs of retrieving analyzer data, which is obtained without the cellphone owner's knowledge.]
Today the Supreme Court in ruled 8-0 in FCC v. ATT that corporations have no "personal privacy" exemption under the Freedom of Information Act. The opinion ended the speculation that the Supreme Court would use this case to take yet another step towards equating corporations with actual people. For links to the various briefs, lower court decisions, and a summary of the underlying facts and opinion, visit the SCOTUSblog. [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]
Newsfilter. Surveillenve of everything you do online: "It was clear that they would go beyond kiddie porn and terrorism and use it for general law enforcement." Offline: "I'm John Doe, and if I had told you before today that the F.B.I. was requesting library records, I could have gone to jail." Previously, here. On your phone? We've already discussed that, too.
Brittan Elementary, a rural Californian school, has begun requiring their students to wear RFID tags manufactured by Alien Technology. This was done without parental consent and is mandatory. The ACLU is less than enthusiastic.
Is this your fetus? Are you the one I slept with? Remember when we discussed this before? Florida has now been forced by 4 plaintiffs and the ACLU to repeal the so-called Scarlet Letter law that forces women who are pregnant and giving children up for adoption to take out an ad local papers once a week for 4 weeks, stating her name and her sexual history in the last year, to let men know if they *might* be the father. Here is the ACLU legal brief. The details about the decision are in the first link. Thank god for the ACLU.
The ACLU wants to protect your privacy from government electronic surveillance programs like Echelon and Carnivore. Their full page ad in today's NYT claims 4th amendment rights are being violated by the US government, which is overstepping their bounds, and nearly free of up-to-date laws. Is it to late or can anything be done to protect civilian electronic communication?
During the Super Bowl fans were subjucted to a "computerized police lineup" as they were entering Raymond James Stadium. According to law enforcement officials, it was used to "scan the crowd for pickpockets and terrorists..." Now the ACLU has demanded that public hearings about its use be held in Tampa. Were local officials using a legitimate tool of law enforcement or were they acting like Big Brother?