Devices that intercept calls and text messages and dig into data stored on your mobile phone are being marketed to police departments across the United States “as being perfect for covert operations in public order situations.” Or, as the ACLU’s Privacy SOS blog puts it: protests.
The release of Twitter’s first “Transparency Report” comes with the revelation that the microblogging site has received more government requests pertaining to its users’ accounts in the first half of 2012 than in the entirety of 2011.
The White House is set to announce a new screening regimen that will target passengers based on intelligence about suspected terrorists. Currently, everybody from a list of 14 countries gets special attention. The intel about terrorist suspects had better be more nuanced than dark-skinned or Muslim, or we may just have to go running to the ACLU.
If new rule changes go through, the FBI will be allowed to open national security investigations without evidence of wrongdoing. Instead, the agency could pursue cases based on profiles of Americans it deems likelier to commit crimes such as terrorism. The policy would be in keeping with the Bush administration's dragnet, fact-phobic approach to terrorism; the president himself has been critical of profiling.