Kudos, Virginia, land of spies! The state has enacted a privacy law requiring a warrant for state and local law enforcement content surveillance and location tracking. The statute explicitly includes a warrant requirement for police use of controversial cell site simulator or stingray technology, which allows cops to bypass phone companies and track phones directly.
I just had the privilege of attending a small conversation session with Edward Snowden and a number of technology and policy leaders at SXSW. He spoke for about an hour on a range of subjects related to his disclosures, possible federal legislation—good and bad—coming down the pike, and specific issues at the intersection of technology and privacy.
Osama bin Laden knew full well the US government was spying on al Qaeda, long before Edward Snowden blew his whistle. In documents recently made public during a terrorism trial in the United States, bin Laden writes:
Just when you think things can't get more ridiculous in the government surveillance space...
Apparently the Post Office police maintain their own secret spy budget. Fox News' Denver affiliate reports on what happened after a customer at a Denver post office noticed a strange looking utility box, and the journalists looked into it:
The FBI's network for sharing so-called 'suspicious activity' information within the Bureau and with the Department of Defense is called Guardian. FBI maintains a separate system for state and local law enforcement suspicious activity reports called eGuardian.
Apparently the Drug Enforcement Administration operates a 'Central Tracking System' through which "all DEA assets and investigative targets" are monitored in real time and historically.
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President Obama has come out in favor of unbreakable encryption technology, slamming as unworkable the installation of 'backdoors' into software to enable security services to snoop on private communications and internet traffic.
Obama's comments come in response to a proposal outlining a sweeping anti-terrorism law that would require companies to hand over encryption keys and private user data to government officials.