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As Warrantless Surveillance Scandal Grows Massive, Government’s Privacy & Liberty Board is…

… out to lunch:

As new revelations continue to burst forth — today we find out that even an Internet-free computer is no match for the warrantless spying of the NSA — the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board appears to be planning nothing. The one entity within the federal government tasked with protecting […]

The Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board Agenda for 2014 is…

That’s empty, and that’s it. The Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board agenda for 2014 is empty. It hasn’t held a meeting since November 4.

What do you call a government board that is designed to protect Americans’ civil liberties interests against the pressure of the entire United States government, that is […]

Deanonymization: Definitely Not Delovely

Earlier this evening I found myself perusing Facebook’s privacy policy. Facebook writes in reassuring tones that don’t reassure:

We only provide data to our advertising partners or customers after we have removed your name and any other personally identifying information from it, or have combined it with other people’s data in a way that it […]

Obama Administration Agencies Blow Off Required Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Reports

This month, the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board issued its second semi-annual public report on its investigations of the activities of the United States government and the extent to which those activities violate the constitutional rights of everyday people. A juicy tidbit in that report seems to have escaped notice. Let’s cover it.

Focus […]

Your Private Information Is Now In The Public Domain

Oopsie. President Barack Obama approved a massive electronic spying program that could seize and search the content and metadata of people’s telephone calls, emails, movements, purchases and Internet activity without any search warrant. It’s now clear that the National Security Agency surveillance program was targeting prime ministers and presidents of many allied nations in Europe […]

Transcript: Speech of David Segal at the October 26 Stop Watching Us Rally in Washington DC

The following is my transcription of a speech given by David Segal of Demand Progress at the Stop Watching Us demonstration held in Washington DC on October 26 2013 in opposition to massive government surveillance.

We all know why we’re here today. We’re here because 4 months ago, Americans and the rest of the world […]

The ACLU’s Shenna Bellows Speaks Out on the 4th Amendment for Constitution Day

On August 17, Shenna Bellows of the ACLU spoke in Augusta, Maine on the occasion of Constitution Day. With her permission, I’ve transcribed her speech to share it here with you.

Good morning. It’s a pleasure to be here today on Constitution Day. Happy Constitution Day! The ACLU is an organization whose mission is to […]

What’s the Harm?

As the revealed extent of indiscriminate surveillance and data mining by the U.S. government slowly deepens and widens, the old Cold War defense is rearing its head again: “If you don’t have anything to hide, you don’t have anything to fear.” There are all sorts of broad philosophical problems with that kind of argument, but […]

Automatic License Plate Readers: Persistent Privacy Invaders with a 0.0047% Hit Rate that Don’t Stop Crime

The American Civil Liberties Union has recently released a report showing that license plate readers, mounted on police cars and designed to automatically scan plates and pull up associated driver information:

Are present in all 50 states of the USA; Add information to identify where cars are located and when they were located there; Are […]

Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board Introduces Website and First Report

Empowered to subpoena testimony and documents from the U.S. Government, evaluate the constitutionality of “War on Terror” programs, and report its findings to Congress and the public, the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board (PCLOB) was supposed to have begun its activities in 2008. But President Barack Obama refused to nominate any members of the […]

Roll Call: Who In Congress Voted To Keep The NSA Spying On American Phone Calls?

Did Democratic Party members vote in 2008 and 2012 because they thought that Barack Obama would work with the Republican Party to prevent reform of George W. Bush’s unconstitutional electronic surveillance systems? President Obama seems to think so. […]