"Members of Congress are about to introduce a bill that will undermine the law that undergirds free speech on the Internet. If passed, the bill known as the Eliminating Abusive and Rampant Neglect of Interactive Technologies (EARN IT) Act, will fulfill a long-standing dream of U.S. law enforcement. If passed, it could largely mark the end of private, encrypted messaging on the Internet."
Members of Congress are about to introduce a bill that will undermine the law that undergirds free speech on the Internet. If passed, the bill known as the Eliminating Abusive and Rampant Neglect of Interactive Technologies (EARN IT) Act, will fulfill a long-standing dream of U.S. law enforcement....
"Senators Lindsey Graham and Richard Blumenthal are quietly circulating a serious threat to your free speech and security online. Their proposal would give the Attorney General the power to unilaterally write new rules for how online platforms and services must operate in order to rely on Section 230, the most important law protecting free speech online. The AG could use this power to force tech companies to undermine our secure and private communications."
"We must stop this dangerous proposal before it sees the light of day. Please tell your members of Congress to reject the so-called EARN IT Act."
Senators Lindsey Graham and Richard Blumenthal are quietly circulating a serious threat to your free speech and security online. Their proposal would give the Attorney General the power to unilaterally write new rules for how online platforms and services must operate in order to rely on Section 230, the most important law protecting free speech online. The AG could use this power to force tech companies to undermine our secure and private communications. We must stop this dangerous proposal before it sees the light of day. Please tell your members of Congress to reject the so-called EARN IT Act.
"A National Security Agency system that analyzed logs of Americans’ domestic phone calls and text messages cost $100 million from 2015 to 2019, but yielded only a single significant investigation, according to a newly declassified study."
"Moreover, only twice during that four-year period did the program generate unique information that the F.B.I. did not already possess, said the study, which was produced by the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board and briefed to Congress on Tuesday."
"Without oversight, it is inconceivable that tactics turned against undocumented immigrants won’t eventually be turned to the enforcement of other laws. As the world has seen in the streets of Hong Kong, where protesters wear masks to avoid a network of government facial-recognition cameras, once a surveillance technology is widely deployed in a society it is almost impossible to uproot." -- The New York Times Editorial Board
"The American Civil Liberties Union plans to fight newly revealed practices by the Department of Homeland Security which used commercially available cell phone location data to track suspected illegal immigrants."
"'DHS should not be accessing our location information without a warrant, regardless whether they obtain it by paying or for free. The failure to get a warrant undermines Supreme Court precedent establishing that the government must demonstrate probable cause to a judge before getting some of our most sensitive information, especially our cell phone location history', said Nathan Freed Wessler, a staff attorney with the ACLU’s Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project."
"Sidestepping the need to obtain a search warrant, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has reportedly been accessing phone location data belonging to millions of Americans by buying it straight from private marketing firms. The data is drawn from seemingly ordinary phone apps, including mobile games and weather apps, the Wall Street Journal reports."
"DHS uses the data purchased from private marketing companies to generate law enforcement leads and search for undocumented immigrants, according to the Journal, which first broke news of the arrangements on Friday."
"In a landmark 2018 decision, the Supreme Court ruled that the Fourth Amendment protects cellphone location information. As a result, police are required to obtain a warrant before obtaining location data. But according to the Journal, government lawyers have argued that a warrant is not required because the data is already commercially available."
Sidestepping the need to obtain a search warrant, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has reportedly been accessing phone location data belonging to millions of Americans by buying it straight from private marketing firms. The data is drawn from seemingly ordinary phone apps, including mobile games and weather apps, the Wall Street Journal reports.
"As the U.S. military and defense contractors eye a potential drone war with Iran as tensions with the country remain elevated, the defense industry is also preparing to test-fly domestic versions of its combat drones over major American cities in an effort to fully integrate military-grade drones into civil airspace alongside commercial air traffic in the coming years."
"That’s right, those robotic killing machines used for counterterrorism strikes in the Middle East are coming home — and could eventually be used to surveil large protests and communities of color throughout the U.S."
"The Poway-based defense contractor General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc., will test-fly its SkyGuardian drone, outfitted with a 79-foot wingspan and advanced surveillance capabilities of more than 2,000 feet, over San Diego, California, sometime this year."
"Immigration and border agents may be scooping up cellphone information from thousands of innocent U.S. citizens in their effort to track a few people who’ve crossed the border illegally — using invasive surveillance tools that were originally developed to protect military operations."
"That’s the big concern raised in a lawsuit the American Civil Liberties Union filed yesterday against U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Customs and Border Protection, demanding to know how widely the agencies are using the tools called StingRays and who they’re targeting."
"Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Customs and Border Protection (CBP) are using incredibly invasive surveillance technology as part of their continued efforts to target and tear apart communities across the country. They’re doing so in near-total secrecy and without any public accountability."
"The ACLU has been asking ICE and CBP for basic information about this program for years, and now we’re asking a federal court to intervene."
"Customers and users who thought their personal info was shielded from law enforcement probing are now finding out these protections can be undermined by a warrant targeting anyone that matches a certain DNA profile."
Cops have discovered a new source of useful third-party records: DNA databases. Millions of people have voluntarily handed over personal information to a number of services in exchange for info on medical markers or distant family...
"A federally sponsored anti-terrorism fusion center in Oregon assisted a taskforce monitoring protest groups organizing against a fossil fuel infrastructure project in the state, according to documents obtained by the Guardian."
"The Oregon Titan Fusion Center – part of a network set up to monitor terrorist activities – disseminated information gathered by that taskforce, and shared information provided by private security attached to the gas project with some of the task force members."
"Observers, including the American Civil Liberties Union, argue these efforts break Oregon law."
"The F.B.I. has used secret subpoenas to obtain personal data from far more companies than previously disclosed, newly released documents show."
"The requests, which the F.B.I. says are critical to its counterterrorism efforts, have raised privacy concerns for years but have been associated mainly with tech companies. Now, records show how far beyond Silicon Valley the practice extends — encompassing scores of banks, credit agencies, cellphone carriers and even universities."
"The demands can scoop up a variety of information, including usernames, locations, IP addresses and records of purchases. They don’t require a judge’s approval and usually come with a gag order, leaving them shrouded in secrecy. Fewer than 20 entities, most of them tech companies, have ever revealed that they’ve received the subpoenas, known as national security letters."
"The documents, obtained by the Electronic Frontier Foundation through a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit and shared with The New York Times, shed light on the scope of the demands — more than 120 companies and other entities were included in the filing — and raise questions about the effectiveness of a 2015 law that was intended to increase transparency around them."
"Breaking a long silence about a high-profile National Security Agency program that sifts records of Americans’ telephone calls and text messages in search of terrorists, the Trump administration on Thursday acknowledged for the first time that the system has been indefinitely shut down — but asked Congress to extend its legal basis anyway."
"In a letter to Congress delivered on Thursday and obtained by The New York Times, the administration urged lawmakers to make permanent the legal authority for the National Security Agency to gain access to logs of Americans’ domestic communications, the USA Freedom Act. The law, enacted after the intelligence contractor Edward J. Snowden revealed the existence of the program in 2013, is set to expire in December, but the Trump administration wants it made permanent."
"In a rebuttal, Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) said the attorney general’s remarks were 'outrageous, wrongheaded and dangerous'."
"'If we give this attorney general and this president the unprecedented power to break encryption across the board burrow into the most intimate details of every American’s life – they will abuse those powers', the senator said."
"You might not think of your car as a treasure trove of personal data, but it frequently is -- performance data, phone contacts and location info may be sitting under the hood. And the American Civil Liberties Union wants to be sure police can't just take it. The organization is filing a friend-of-the-court brief in Georgia's Supreme Court on June 19th to argue that personal data on cars is protected by the US Constitution's Fourth Amendment and thus requires a warrant. It's tied to a case, Mobley vs. State, where police used a car's "black box" to level more serious charges."
"After a deadly car crash, Georgia police downloaded data from the Event Data Recorder on Mobley's car to determine his speed before the crash, using that to level more severe accusations against him. Georgia has contended that this was legal under the Fourth Amendment's 'vehicle exception' allowing searches for physical items, but the ACLU believes this doesn't count for digital data. It likened this to requiring a warrant for phone data -- just because the device holding the data is obtainable without a warrant doesn't mean the data is also up for grabs."
"An ongoing lawsuit by the EFF and ACLU challenging warrantless device searches at the border has uncovered some disturbing news. The CBP and ICE have guidelines that govern these searches but they're so expansive they allow these agencies to search any device for almost any reason. We know this because it came straight from the agencies in their testimony during this case."
"The government has long argued -- mostly successfully -- that the our rights as Americans (and those we extend to those entering our country) simply don't apply at the border. Why? The best the government can offer is that national security trumps the Constitution within 100 miles of any border, port, or international airport. Securing the nation apparently can't be done without violating rights, so rights will just have to be violated."
An ongoing lawsuit by the EFF and ACLU challenging warrantless device searches at the border has uncovered some disturbing news. The CBP and ICE have guidelines that govern these searches but they're so expansive they allow these agencies to...