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Tag Archive: Domestic Surveillance

How High Was the Bar for Getting a FISA Warrant to Monitor Carter Page?

 

During summer of the 2016 presidential campaign, the FBI obtained a warrant from a secret court, known as the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, to monitor a Donald Trump foreign policy adviser Carter Page due to Page’s communications with Russian agents, according to the Washington Post.…   continue »

Sally Yates, Russia Testimony & Executive Privilege in the Trump Era

This week has shed light on the Trump administration’s aggressive approach to executive privilege, but it has also cast doubt over President Donald Trump’s ability to assert it successfully over the longer term. We watched this play out when the Justice Department warned former Acting Attorney General Sally Yates that she needed White House clearance to testify before the House intelligence committee due to issues of executive privilege.…   continue »

Incidental Collection Is Extremely Troubling, Regardless of Legality

A lot of ink has been spilled over statements by House Intelligence Committee Chairman Nunes that President Trump’s communications were incidentally collected pursuant to a surveillance order under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA). This has a lot of Americans scratching their heads and asking what incidental collection is, so now seemed like a good time to explain.…   continue »

Encryption Backdoors, Vault 7, and the Jurassic Park Rule of Internet Security

Surely without a hint of irony, just a day after WikiLeaks dumped a vault-load of documents detailing the Central Intelligence Agency’s use of hacking tools and software exploits, FBI Director James Comey told an audience at a Boston College conference on cybersecurity that “[t]here is no such thing as absolute privacy in America.” Comey’s elevator pitch in support of his claim was that “there is no place outside of judicial reach,” citing the fact that even time-tested testimonial privileges of the spousal, clergy–penitent, and attorney–client sort can be pierced by judges in “appropriate” circumstances.…   continue »

It Ain’t Easy Getting a FISA Warrant: I Was an FBI Agent and Should Know

 

In his latest round of twiplash, President Trump on Saturday leveled a very serious accusation: that President Obama had personally ordered the “tapping” of telephone lines in Trump Tower in the months leading up to the November 2016 election. His tweets (scarily) reveal more about what he believes the office of the President is capable of than the reality of what the law allows.…   continue »

Just Security Event: Surveillance and the Trump Administration

Join Just Security for a fireside chat on U.S. surveillance and a celebration of Jennifer Granick‘s new book, American Spies: Modern Surveillance, Why You Should Care, And What to Do About It. Opening remarks by Senator Ron Wyden, followed by a discussion between Granick and Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times Washington Correspondent Charlie Savage on U.S.…   continue »

Trump’s CVE Program: Going From Bad to Worse

Men walk to Friday Prayer at the Omar Mosque in Paterson, N.J. in 2012 after revelations that the NYPD had crossed into New Jersey to conduct surveillance on Newark and area muslims.

Over the last five years, the Obama administration struggled to develop and carry out a program to prevent violent extremism through community engagement and developing counter-narratives to extremist messages.…   continue »

Recent Rule 41 Changes: A Catch-22 for Journalists

In early December, the final effort in the Senate to delay amendments to Rule 41 of the Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure was blocked, putting the updates into effect and making journalists — who have long been advised by lawyers, civil society groups, and others to use anonymization tools and encryption in newsgathering — even more vulnerable to government surveillance.…   continue »