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December 1, 2015
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Tag: Privacy

Why Government Access to Encrypted Messages Won’t Make Us Safer

Since the Paris attacks, some officials and pundits have argued that government agencies should have a “back door” to encoded apps. But such a capability would only compromise the communications of law-abiding citizens, and terrorists would quickly find new ways to evade detection.

Posted on Nov 25, 2015 READ MORE

The Paris Attacks Are Being Used to Justify Agendas They Have Nothing to Do With

The aftermath of the Paris terrorist attacks has “devolved into a dark and dishonest debate” in which governments consider banning encryption and barring Syrian refugees from entering their countries. But the attackers were neither Syrian nor refugees and there’s no evidence they used encryption to communicate.

Posted on Nov 20, 2015 READ MORE

Encryption’s Role in the Paris Attacks Appears Negligible

Information coming out of Paris contradicts intelligence officials’ claims that Edward Snowden’s leaks and the increased use of encrypted communications helped the attackers carry out their deadly rampage.

Posted on Nov 19, 2015 READ MORE

Privacy Not Included: Federal Law Lags Behind New Tech

The federal privacy law known as HIPAA doesn’t cover home paternity tests, fitness trackers or health apps. When a Florida woman complained after seeing the paternity test results of thousands of people online, federal regulators told her they didn’t have jurisdiction.

Posted on Nov 19, 2015 READ MORE

Scapegoating Edward Snowden Is ‘Irrational’ and Troubling, Advocates Warn

Shifting the blame to “unauthorized disclosures,” security officials seize on Paris tragedy to expand the surveillance state.

Posted on Nov 18, 2015 READ MORE

Data-Grabbing ‘Stingrays’ Are Attacking Our Civil Liberties

The secrecy surrounding police use of these “anti-terrorism” devices in ordinary criminal investigations is a big and growing problem, ACLU experts say, one that puts some defendants at an unfair and illegal disadvantage.

Posted on Nov 11, 2015 READ MORE

Apple Boss Says He’ll Resist U.K. Spy Law

Apple CEO Tim Cook pledged Wednesday to resist the British government’s effort to gain access to digital users’ encrypted data through a proposed spying law.

Posted on Nov 11, 2015 READ MORE

Privacy Bill Would Make Warrantless ‘Stingray’ Surveillance Illegal

Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, has introduced a bill aimed at controlling the use of a surveillance tool that is disguised as a cellphone tower in order to extract metadata.

Posted on Nov 4, 2015 READ MORE

Top Tech Companies Get Failing Grade on Privacy Rights

The most comprehensive assessment to date of the user agreement policies of Facebook, Google and Microsoft says the world’s top tech companies are failing when it comes to privacy and freedom of expression.

Posted on Nov 4, 2015 READ MORE

Facing Encryption, Law Enforcement Recommends More Informants

A new document created by a state intelligence fusion center and the Department of Homeland Security says that widespread use of surveillance-hindering encryption software has created a need for more informants.

Posted on Nov 4, 2015 READ MORE

Chelsea Manning Pens Document Condemning Secret Surveillance Court System

Her 129-page document proposes “concrete” solutions to the rampant and unchecked violations of privacy and civil liberties by the U.S. government.

Posted on Nov 3, 2015 READ MORE

Senate Cedes More Power to National Security Agency With New Spying Bill

Under the guise of “cybersecurity,” the Senate passed a spying bill that “carves a giant hole in all our privacy laws and allows tech and telecom companies to hand over all sorts of private information to intelligence agencies without any court process whatsoever,” writes Trevor Timm at The Guardian.

Posted on Oct 28, 2015 READ MORE

Ahead of Senate Vote, Edward Snowden Speaks Out to Stop CISA Surveillance Bill

Joining privacy rights groups in opposition to the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act (CISA), Snowden says it is “not going to make us any safer.”

Posted on Oct 27, 2015 READ MORE

Federal Judge Throws Out Lawsuit by ACLU and Nation Magazine Against the NSA

In dismissing the plaintiffs’ claim that they were threatened by unwarranted surveillance, the judge ludicrously reasoned that, because the NSA did not admit to its spying, the plaintiffs’ fears were “subjective.”

Posted on Oct 24, 2015 READ MORE

Edward Snowden and Allies Issue Warnings as Australia Unleashes Mass Spying

“Go dark against data retention,” consumer advocates tell users in a new campaign against invasive surveillance laws.

Posted on Oct 13, 2015 READ MORE

Your Smart Home Knows Way Too Much About You

A data scientist’s experiment reveals surprising information about interconnected smart devices.

Posted on Oct 12, 2015 READ MORE

A ‘Yelp’-Style App for Rating People Is Coming, and It’s Absolutely Terrifying

Set to launch in November, the “Peeple” app will allow you to rate everyone in your life on a scale of one to five stars—and, of course, they’ll be able to do the same to you.

Posted on Sep 30, 2015 READ MORE

Can Apple, Google and Facebook Save Us From Big Brother?

The big tech companies have the resources to launch a campaign for privacy that could change the world. As one scholar and researcher has written, “They may be our best chance out of this surveillance mess.”

Posted on Sep 11, 2015 READ MORE

One Day Soon, That Drone Overhead May Be Pointing a Taser at You

In a troubling and unprecedented action, North Dakota has legalized police use of drones carrying “less than lethal” weapons. Warrants? None needed. Other states could follow unless laws are written to stop this chilling threat. 

Posted on Sep 1, 2015 READ MORE

U.K. Surveillance ‘Worse Than Orwell,’ Says U.N. Privacy Chief

Joseph Cannataci, recently appointed as the first U.N. digital privacy chief, has called British oversight a “bad joke” and says the world needs a “Geneva Convention” for the Internet to safeguard personal data.

Posted on Aug 25, 2015 READ MORE

VIDEO: ‘Democracy Now!’: Whistleblower Describes NSA ‘Installation’ at AT&T

Mark Klein, a former AT&T communications technician who became a whistleblower, has been aware for many years of the unconstitutionally cozy relationship his onetime employer has shared with the National Security Agency, but as he tells Amy Goodman on Tuesday’s “Democracy Now!” he didn’t know everything.

Posted on Aug 18, 2015 READ MORE

Inside AT&T’s ‘Deeply Collaborative’ Relationship With the NSA

Although the fact that telecom giants have been in cahoots with the National Security Agency at the expense of consumers’ privacy isn’t news, a fresh exposé by The New York Times about AT&T’s eager service to the intelligence organization is enough to make users unplug from the company once and for all.

Posted on Aug 16, 2015 READ MORE

Hillary Clinton Gives Justice Department Access to Email Server

The front-runner for the Democratic presidential nomination has given federal investigators access to a personal email server she used to send emails that contained information that U.S. officials say may have been designated “top secret” and “sensitive compartmented information”—one of the highest classification ratings.

Posted on Aug 12, 2015 READ MORE

Germany Rejects Facebook’s Real-Name Policy

Germany has taken on the global social media site by ruling that its real-name policy violates German citizens’ right to privacy.

Posted on Jul 30, 2015 READ MORE

ACLU Moves to Shut Down NSA’s Ongoing Bulk Phone Data Collection

Just after he signed the USA Freedom Act in early June, President Obama took steps to ensure that the government’s contentious practice of collecting Americans’ phone records in bulk, one of the main sticking points in the tussle over the bill, could continue through the end of 2015.

Posted on Jul 14, 2015 READ MORE

AUDIO: ‘Left, Right & Center’: Greece, Hacks and Trump on Top

Truthdig Editor-in-Chief Robert Scheer and the other “Left, Right & Center” panelists discuss Greece’s pursuit of another bailout from the EU, two major security breaches of U.S. government databases and whether Donald Trump could win America’s Latino vote.

Posted on Jul 11, 2015 READ MORE

It’s Not Just the NSA—the IRS Is Reading Your Emails Too

Once your emails reach the tender age of 180 days, government agencies can easily gain access to them without your even knowing it. The Email Privacy Act would change that.

Posted on Jul 10, 2015 READ MORE

Cybersecurity, Encryption and the Golden Age of Surveillance

The governments of both the United States and the United Kingdom want a master key to everyone’s digital life.

Posted on Jul 8, 2015 READ MORE

Privacy Is Freedom

In an excerpt from his new book, Truthdig Editor-in-Chief Robert Scheer points to Chief Justice John Roberts’ decision in SCOTUS’ 2014 cell phone wiretapping case, which affirmed that the ideas embodied in the Fourth Amendment represent the basic idea that sparked the American Revolution.

Posted on Jul 5, 2015 READ MORE

George Washington’s Farewell Address: A ‘Warning Against the Impostures of Pretended Patriotism’

On Independence Day, against official claims that mass domestic surveillance is needed to ensure U.S. security, Truthdig reprints the farewell address of the first president of the United States.

Posted on Jul 4, 2015 READ MORE

Government Wants to Improve Its Cybersecurity and Weaken Ours

The FBI wants tech companies to build “back doors” into encryption that protects user information but allows government to access the data. But even if that was OK with you, it wouldn’t work, says one expert.

Posted on Jun 23, 2015 READ MORE

Google Listening Software Installed on Computers Without Consent

For a company whose governing motto has been “Don’t be evil,” this move seems to confirm some of the worst fears of privacy and Internet rights activists.

Posted on Jun 23, 2015 READ MORE

Dear Candidate Clinton: Pardon Edward Snowden

The Democratic front-runner needs the backing of the left to win the White House, but she must be made to pay a price for that support: reversal of her criticism of the whistleblower.

Posted on Jun 16, 2015 READ MORE

Has America Changed Since Edward Snowden’s Disclosures?

On the second anniversary of Snowden’s historic act of civil disobedience, it is worth reviewing what has changed—and what has not.

Posted on Jun 14, 2015 READ MORE

Google to Californians: Help Us Protect Your Electronic Privacy

In an email message to subscribers, Google supported a proposed update of California telecommunications law, a change that would restrict authorities’ ability to look at people’s email and other electronic information without a warrant.

Posted on Jun 10, 2015 READ MORE

Robert Scheer: Cyberwarfare Is ‘Where the Real Money Is’ (Part 1 of 10)

Just how and when did the military-industrial complex become the military-intelligence complex? And what’s the link between Amazon and the Pentagon?

Posted on Jun 9, 2015 READ MORE

L.A. Times Editors Advocate Prosecution of Edward Snowden

A recent L.A. Times editorial called for the whistleblower’s prosecution. As Glenn Greenwald writes in denouncing the editorial, this is part of a wider journalistic war on transparency.

Posted on Jun 8, 2015 READ MORE

AUDIO: Chris Hedges and Robert Scheer: Rebellion and the Freedom Act

Update: Transcript added. Truthdig Editor-in-Chief Robert Scheer and columnist Chris Hedges argue over the significance of the USA Freedom Act—specifically, whether it represents a meaningful challenge to the national security and surveillance state.

Posted on Jun 7, 2015 READ MORE

Can the U.S. Government Still Spy on Me?

The expiration of certain parts of the Patriot Act and passage of the USA Freedom Act ended authority for several forms of surveillance of U.S. citizens. But the government still has ways of listening to your phone calls.

Posted on Jun 6, 2015 READ MORE

Argentina’s President Was First Head of State to Meet With Edward Snowden

Argentinian President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner met with the whistleblower in “secret talks” in 2013.

Posted on Jun 5, 2015 READ MORE

John Cusack: Barack Obama Is ‘as Bad or Worse’ Than George W. Bush

Actor John Cusack has said Barack Obama is “as bad or worse” than former President Bush when it comes to civil liberties, drone strikes, freedom of the press and the National Security Agency.

Posted on Jun 5, 2015 READ MORE

NSA Limits

Posted on Jun 5, 2015 READ MORE

Say It Plain: Stop Spying on Us

The recent debates over the USA Patriot and Freedom acts missed the point: Rather than discuss the details of how much to curb the government’s right to spy on us, Americans need to question the legitimacy of all government spying and push back as hard as possible against dubious claims to protect us.

Posted on Jun 4, 2015 READ MORE

Spy in the Sky

Posted on Jun 4, 2015 READ MORE

VIDEO: Robert Scheer to Chris Hedges: ‘I Will Not Blame’ the American Masses for Imperialism (7/7)

In the final installment of the seven-part interview on The Real News Network, after columnist Chris Hedges tells the Truthdig Editor-in-Chief Robert Scheer that he thinks the American public has been “far more complicit [in the culture of violence] than you give allowance for,” Scheer gives an impassioned response about his own experience with manipulation of the working class by elites.

Posted on Jun 4, 2015 READ MORE

Senate Passes USA Freedom Act, Restricting NSA Surveillance Powers

Passage of the act will end the bulk collection of Americans’ phone records.

Posted on Jun 2, 2015 READ MORE

Patriot Act Extension

Posted on Jun 2, 2015 READ MORE

VIDEO: Robert Scheer Identifies a ‘Serious Division’ Between His and Chris Hedges’ Views (Part 6/7)

In perhaps the liveliest portion of the seven-part interview on The Real News Network, Robert Scheer and Chris Hedges discuss the culture of violence in the United States as their opposing views on American history come to light.

Posted on Jun 2, 2015 READ MORE

Undercutting the Patriot Act Is a Major Win for Rand Paul and Edward Snowden

The senator was a legislative force against the invasive law, but most of the credit goes to the now-exiled whistleblower who revealed the government’s massive and secret abuse of our privacy rights.

Posted on Jun 1, 2015 READ MORE

VIDEO: Chris Hedges to Robert Scheer: Why Do You Respect America’s Founding Fathers? (Part 5/7)

In the fifth installment of Truthdig columnist Chris Hedges’ interview with Truthdig Editor-in-Chief Robert Scheer about Scheer’s new book, Hedges challenges him on his reverence for the wealthy, male elites who created the United States.

Posted on May 30, 2015 READ MORE

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