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Tag Archive: Privacy

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 »

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 »

The Investigatory Powers Act: The Official Entrenchment of Far-Reaching Surveillance Powers


What was formerly known as the Investigatory Powers Bill, referred to elsewhere as the “revised Snoopers’ Charter,” has received Royal Assent and, as of Nov. 29, is officially law in the UK. The Act (full text here) does introduce additional safeguards, as well as a new body of oversight and the involvement of judges in the authorization of surveillance warrants.  continue »

New UN Report Highlights Freedom of Expression Violations Across the Globe

UN Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression, David Kaye, yesterday issued his fourth report, a comprehensive survey of global trends i n restrictions on freedom of expression. From Chinese cybersecurity legislation and the censorship of social media, to the detention of journalists covering the Black Lives Matter protests, Kaye’s 24-page study addresses an array of threats to this fundamental right, and it presents several recommendations for state action.…   continue »

Mass Hacks of Private Email Aren’t Whistleblowing, They are at Odds With It


The Exxon Valdez after leaking more than 10 million gallons of oil into Alaska’s Prince William Sound in March, 1989. Image via NOAA/Wikimedia

The world of 2016 is one where leaking a lot is much easier than leaking a little. And the indiscriminate compromise of people’s selfies, ephemeral data, and personal correspondence — what we used to rightly think of as a simple and brutal invasion of privacy — has become the unremarkable chaff surrounding a few worthy instances of potentially genuine whistleblowing. …   continue »

The UK Snooper’s Charter and the Anderson Report on Bulk Powers

In August, the UK’s Independent Reviewer of Terrorism Legislation, David Anderson QC, released his “Report of the Bulk Powers Review”. He was asked to undertake the review after concerns were expressed about the Snooper’s Charter – the Investigatory Powers Bill – and the provision it makes, in Parts 6 and 7, for four bulk powers:

1) bulk interception

2) bulk acquisition

3) bulk equipment interference

4) bulk personal datasets

The defining feature of these bulk powers is that they allow public authorities to collect, store and have access, for specified purposes, to large quantities of data, a significant portion of which is not associated with current targets (Sections 1.5-1.7 of the Report).…   continue »

Correcting the Record on Section 702: A Prerequisite for Meaningful Surveillance Reform, Part III

In our previous posts, we’ve argued that the NSA is collecting massive amounts of data about US citizens under conditions that have nothing to do with terrorism or national security, thanks to the authorities granted to the US government by section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.…   continue »