Tag Archives: surveillance state

US House rejects limits on surveillance state

Source: The Hill

“In a narrow victory for the Trump administration, the House on Thursday voted down a bid to impose new limits on how authorities can use information on Americans collected in foreign spying. The amendment failed by a vote of 183 to 233. Just a few hours before the vote, President Trump roiled the waters by sending out a tweet that appeared to contradict his own administration’s opposition to the changes, which were offered by Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.).” (01/11/18)


State child care laws should not require teenage kids to submit biometric data to the FBI

Source: Electronic Frontier Foundation
by Jennifer Lynch

“Jennifer Parrish, a child care provider in Minnesota who runs a day care out of her home, finds herself at a crossroads due to a recently passed Minnesota law. The law imposes new background check requirements on child care providers, including that they provide biometric information. But the law doesn’t apply just to the providers themselves; it also requires anyone age 13 and up who lives with a family day care provider to submit to the same background check, whether or not they have committed any crime. This means Jennifer’s 14-year-old son, along with about 12,000 other kids in Minnesota, must provide his fingerprints and a face recognition photograph to the state, which will send them to the FBI to be stored for his lifetime in the FBI’s vast biometrics database.” (01/05/18)


Wiretap orders that defy geographical limitations mandated by Congress must not be tolerated

Source: Electronic Frontier Foundation
by Jennifer Lynch & Karen Gullo

“The Supreme Court should recognize and give teeth to the critical, privacy-protecting limitations Congress placed on wiretaps, EFF told the court in an amicus brief we filed with the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. When law enforcement officials wiretap someone’s cell phone, the law doesn’t allow them to tap any phone they want anywhere in the country. The Wiretap Act (also known as ‘Title III’ because it comes from Title III of the 1968 Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Street Act) permits wiretapping, but only under the narrowest of circumstances and subject to restrictive requirements carefully drawn to protect extremely sensitive privacy interests. One of those requirements is that judges can only authorize wiretap orders for interceptions that occur within their districts.” (01/02/18)


No foreign spy program reauthorization without citizen protections

Source: Reason
by US Senator Rand Paul (R-KY)

“The federal government’s greatest constitutional responsibility is keeping America safe and secure. One of many tools in its arsenal is the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), which was meant to strengthen our ability to monitor foreign threats. Since the intention of FISA is to spy on foreigners, we don’t require that the government obey the Constitution. The Fourth Amendment protections of privacy are not extended to foreigners. Congress agreed to a less-than-constitutional standard as long as the targets were foreigners in foreign lands. Even many privacy advocates can accept this lower standard for foreign intelligence. But few, if any, privacy advocates believe that information vacuumed up without constitutional protections should be used against Americans accused of domestic wrongdoing. Unfortunately, that’s what we believe is happening now.” (01/02/18)


Surveillance that never sleeps

Source: CounterPunch
by John W Whitehead

“Just in time for Christmas, the Deep State wants to give America the gift that keeps on giving: never-ending mass surveillance. I’m not referring to the kind of surveillance carried out by that all-knowing and all-seeing Jolly Old St. Nick and his informant the Elf on the Shelf (although, to be fair, they have helped to acclimate us to a world in which we’re always being watched and judged by higher authorities). No, this particular bit of Yuletide gift-giving comes courtesy of the Deep State (a.k.a. the Surveillance State, Police State, Shadow Government and black-ops spy agencies). If this power-hungry cabal gets its way, the government’s power to spy on its citizens will soon be all-encompassing and permanent.” (12/14/17)


NY: Cuomo wants Internet companies to spy on users for him

Source: New York Daily News

“In the wake of Monday’s terror attack in Manhattan, Gov. [Andrew] Cuomo questioned whether internet companies should do more to stop would-be attackers. Cuomo, in a series of cable news appearances, noted that the suspect in the botched bombing, Akayed Ullah, likely downloaded bomb-making information from the web and the governor said internet service providers may need to start sounding the alarm when people frequent such sites. Internet service providers already have ‘machine learning tools’ that allows them to track usage and target advertising, Cuomo said.” (12/11/17)


Would the founding fathers have tracked your cellphone?

Source: The Daily Beast
by Jay Michaelson

“Each year, law enforcement agencies place hundreds of thousands of requests to cellphone companies to turn over people’s ‘cell site location information,’ including pings, which your phone emits regularly and which reveal, with a high degree of precision, where you are at any particular moment. The government does all this without a warrant, meaning they could be surveilling everybody at all times. Pursuant to a 1986 law, law enforcement need only produce ‘specific and articulable facts showing that there are reasonable grounds to believe’ that the requested records ‘are relevant and material to an ongoing criminal investigation.’ That is much less than the ‘probable cause to believe a crime has been committed’ that’s necessary to get a warrant. … Is any of this constitutional? That’s what the justices will decide.” (11/28/17)


EU court to hear landmark UK surveillance case

Source: Amnesty International

“The European Court of Human Rights will hear a landmark case on surveillance tomorrow (7 November) as part of a challenge to the lawfulness of the UK’s surveillance laws and its intelligence agencies’ mass surveillance practices. … The case is the latest stage in a protracted effort from the organisations to challenge the UK’s extremely wide-ranging surveillance powers following startling revelations by the US whistleblower Edward Snowden. In 2013, Snowden revealed how the UK’s GCHQ intelligence agency was secretly intercepting and processing millions of private communications of ordinary people on a daily basis (the ‘Tempora’ programme), and — without a clear legal foundation or proper safeguards — sharing data with the USA’s National Security Agency, as well as other countries’ intelligence agencies.” (11/06/17)


JFK file: FBI monitored MLK’s sex life

Source: Newsweek

“The Trump administration released an FBI document containing allegations about the sexual misconduct of Martin Luther King as part of its declassification of information relating to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. The 1968 document alleges financial improprieties by King’s civil rights organization, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, attempts to tie King to communist organizations and details a series of claims about King’s multiple alleged affairs. It is not clear if any of the information in the dossier was verified. … A section of the document entitled ‘King’s Personal Conduct’ contains a series of claims about King’s extramarital affairs, including a relationship with folk singer Joan Baez.” (11/04/17)


Whistleblower protections in USA Liberty Act not enough

Source: Electronic Frontier Foundation
by David Ruiz

“The USA Liberty Act fails to safeguard whistleblowers—both as federal employees and contractors—because of a total lack of protection from criminal prosecution. These shortcomings—which exist in other whistleblower protection laws—shine a light on much-needed Espionage Act reform, a law that has been used to stifle anti-war speech and punish political dissent.” (10/17/17)