PRIVACY + SECURITY BLOG

News, Developments, and Insights

high-tech technology background with eyes on computer display

NSA Surveillance: There’s More

Phone NSA 01

A while back, it was reported that the Bush Administration authorized the NSA to engage in warrantless wiretapping. Based on the information released so far, the program was likely illegal. Now, it appears that the warrantless wiretapping program (more innocuously renamed the “Terrorist Surveillance Program,” or “TSP”) is just the tip of a larger iceberg. […]

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The New FISA Amendments and Immunity for Telecommunications Companies

NSA Surveillance

For the past several months, Congress has been wrangling over how to amend the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act to allow for the NSA warrantless surveillance program. The fact that the NSA surveillance program was clearly illegal — even under charitable creative dubiously-plausible fantastical interpretations of the law — seems to have quickly been forgotten. The […]

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Judge Strikes Down Part of USA Patriot Act

Surveillance

In Mayfield v. United States, U.S. District Judge Ann Aiken (District of Oregon) held that parts of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) of 1978, which were altered by the USA Patriot Act in 2001, are unconstitutional. The case was brought by Brandon Mayfield, a who was put under extensive surveillance and then detained for […]

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Congress, the President, and NSA Surveillance

NSA

Congress recently passed a broad authorization of the NSA surveillance program, bowing to pressure from President Bush. From the New York Times: Racing to complete a final rush of legislation before a scheduled monthlong break, the House voted 227 to 183 to endorse a measure the Bush administration said was needed to keep pace with […]

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Enforcing the Surveillance Laws

Surveillance

As many of the recent revelations of government surveillance and information gathering are revealing, government agencies such as the FBI and NSA are violating the law. Recently, the DOJ investigation into the FBI’s use of NSLs reveals many violations of law. So where are the penalties? In the latest surveillance scandal, the FBI says that it […]

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Electronic Surveillance Statistics for 2005

Surveillance Audio

The Department of Justice (DOJ) has released its annual report on the number of Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) orders, Wiretap Act orders, and National Security Letters issued in 2005. For FISA surveillance orders, 2072 applications were made to the FISA court; none were denied. Over the past few years, the number of orders has been steadily increasing: […]

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William Stuntz’s Misguided Theory of Privacy and Transparency

Privacy and Transparency

William Stuntz (law, Harvard) has long been advancing thoughtful provocative ideas about criminal procedure. I’ve always found Stuntz to be insightful even when I disagree (and I have disagreed with him a lot). Stuntz’s recent essay in The New Republic entitled Against Privacy and Transparency has me not just disagreeing, but doing so rather sharply. […]

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