PRIVACY + SECURITY BLOG

News, Developments, and Insights

high-tech technology background with eyes on computer display

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 […]

Read More…

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 […]

Read More…

ACLU v. NSA and the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act

NSA

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 […]

Read More…

The CIA “Family Jewels” Documents

CIA Logo

The CIA has recently released about 700 pages of previously-classified documents, some of which reveal abuses in the name of national security. The CIA calls these documents the “family jewels.” The documents were created in connection with a report of CIA abuses for its former director, James Schlesinger. According to a BBC article: […]

Read More…

FBI Plans Data Mining Project

Data Mining

Several years ago, the Department of Defense began developing a program called Total Information Awareness, a massive data mining project analyzing personal information on every citizen of the United States. After a series of blistering op-eds and strong negative public reaction, the Senate voted to stop all funding for the program. […]

Read More…

Can the First Amendment Serve as a Source of Criminal Procedure?

Constitution First Amendment

Typically, when we think of the constitutional criminal procedure that regulates government information gathering, we think of the Fourth and Fifth Amendments. But many government investigations involve collecting information about speech, association, religion, and the consumption of ideas. The NSA surveillance of telephone calls, for example, involves speech. National Security Letters can be used to […]

Read More…