PRIVACY + SECURITY BLOG

News, Developments, and Insights

high-tech technology background with eyes on computer display

NSA Surveillance: Having a Laugh at the Expense of Your Privacy

NSA Surveillance

ABC News reports about a new scandal arising out of the NSA Surveillance Program: Despite pledges by President George W. Bush and American intelligence officials to the contrary, hundreds of US citizens overseas have been eavesdropped on as they called friends and family back home, according to two former military intercept operators who worked at […]

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The NSA: The Total Information Awareness Agency

NSA

Remember when, about five years ago, a program called Total Information Awareness (TIA) came to light. TIA was a plan to create a massive government database of personal information which would then be data mined. The program led to a public outcry, with William Safire writing a blistering op-ed in the New York Times attacking […]

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Random Bag Searches for Train Travel

Luggage Search

According to the AP: Amtrak will start randomly screening passengers’ carry-on bags this week in a new security push that includes officers with automatic weapons and bomb-sniffing dogs patrolling platforms and trains. The initiative, to be announced by the railroad on Tuesday, is a significant shift for Amtrak. Unlike the airlines, it has had relatively […]

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The New Identification: The FBI’s Biometric Database

Fingerprint Biometric

From CNN: The FBI is gearing up to create a massive computer database of people’s physical characteristics, all part of an effort the bureau says to better identify criminals and terrorists. But it’s an issue that raises major privacy concerns — what one civil liberties expert says should concern all Americans. The bureau is expected […]

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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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How Can We Prevent Abuses of Classifying Information?

Redact Document

I previously blogged about how the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit attempted to edit out information about a rather seedy interrogation technique from its opinion. Over at the Volokh Conspiracy, Jonathan Adler writes about another case involving a similar redaction: […]

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The Boy Who Cried “National Security”: The Need for Greater Skepticism About Government Secrecy

Government Secrecy

I just blogged about an incident where the 2nd Circuit sought to have Howard Bashman remove an unredacted judicial decision from his site and replace it with a redacted version. Apparently, the redacted version attempted to remove information about a rather dicey interrogation technique the FBI used. According to Tony Mauro of the Legal Times: […]

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