Privacy Matters

Pushing back the surveillance state: we must get behind these two bills

Things often seem so bad on the privacy front that it’s hard to imagine anything concrete that can be done to roll back surveillance. 

But one Member of Congress is trying to do exactly that.  And we should pressure our elected representatives to give him their support.

Trapwire and data mining: What we know

These days every news cycle brings us more thoroughly disturbing reasons to be concerned about pervasive digital monitoring in the United States. This week things got extra interesting with the revelation of an enormous, shadowy surveillance company with deep ties to the CIA: Trapwire exploded on the surveillance scene like a bat out of hell. And people are justifiably freaked out about it.

NSA whistleblower Bill Binney at HOPE 9

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NSA whistleblower and cryptographer William Binney gave the keynote at the 2012 HOPE conference in New York City. 

The "lawful interception" fig leaf obscures real state of surveillance

Last month I wrote about how cell phone spoofing technology manufacturers are hawking their goods to police departments, advertising the secret sniffing devices as ideal for covertly monitoring protests.

NYPD's Domain Awareness System raises privacy, ethics issues

A couple of weeks ago AP reported that the NYPD and Microsoft jointly developed a surveillance platform for the police department called "Domain Awareness System." The story was short on details, but told us "the program combines city-wide video surveillance with law enforcement databases" "to track both criminals and potential terrorists."

NDAA lawsuit back in court

President Obama courageously signed the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act on New Years' Eve, when most adults in the United States were probably in some state of inebriation. That particular version of the routine military funding bill allows the government to indefinitely detain people accused of being militants in the broadly defined war on terror against al Qaeda and "associated forces."

Terror Tuesday: Playing politics with the "kill lists"

Image: ACLUm/DonkeyHotey

“Sunlight,” wrote Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis in 1933, “is said to be the best of disinfectants; electric light the most efficient policeman.”

"Massive fraud, waste and abuse" at the NSA

Military exercises in Worcester a surprise to residents, including the local police?

Above: Worcester, MA on August 2, 2012

Can the right expensive technology keep us safe?

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