News, Developments, and Insights

high-tech technology background with eyes on computer display

The Lives of Others

The Lives of Others

I recently saw The Lives of Others and was thoroughly impressed with this film. After having seen the amazing Pan’s Labyrinth, I was stunned that another movie could win the Oscar for best foreign film of 2006 (one of the rare categories in the Oscars where worthy films actually win). But after finally seeing it, […]

CCTV as Entertainment

CCTV and Privacy

Britain has implemented an extensive video surveillance system called Closed Circuit Television (CCTV), with over 4 million cameras watching over public areas. The purpose of the cameras is for officials in monitoring centers to watch for suspicious behavior and dispatch the police if they see crime developing. CCTV footage has also been used to investigate […]

ACLU v. NSA and the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act


In an earlier post, I discussed some of the constitutional issues involved in ACLU v. NSA, –F.3d — (6th Cir. 2007). In this case, a panel from the 6th Circuit concluded that the ACLU and other plaintiffs lacked standing to challenge the Bush Administration’s warrantless wiretapping program conducted by the National Security Agency (NSA). The program is […]

National Security Letter Violations by the FBI

FBI logo

According to the a DOJ investigation, the FBI has violated the law on several occasions in connection with the issuance of National Security Letters (NSLs). A NSL is a demand letter issued to a particular entity or organization to turn over various record and data pertaining to individuals. They do not require probable cause, a warrant, […]

DNA Sampling — For Everyone?

DNA Sampling

The New York Times reports: The Justice Department is completing rules to allow the collection of DNA from most people arrested or detained by federal authorities, a vast expansion of DNA gathering that will include hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants, by far the largest group affected. The new forensic DNA sampling was authorized by Congress in […]

Pruning the Airline Screening List

Airplane TSA Screening

For some time, many people have been wrongly placed on the airline no fly list or extra screening list. I blogged about some accounts of this here and here. Now, according to the AP, the TSA will finally try to clean up its lists: The Bush administration is checking the accuracy of a watch list of suspected […]

The Pentagon, the CIA, and National Security Letters

Government Surveillance

From the New York Times: The Pentagon and to a lesser extent the CIA have been using a little-known power to look at the banking and credit records of hundreds of Americans and others suspected of terrorism or espionage within the United States, officials said Saturday. The C.I.A. has also been issuing what are known as […]

Your Terrorist Risk Score


Ever see those creditreport advertisements, the ones for (which aren’t free by the way)? According to the guy in the ad, everybody should know their credit score. And not only do you have a credit score, but you also might have a terrorist risk score. This score, called the Automated Targeting System (ATS), measures […]