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Tag Archive: Privacy

The USA Liberty Act — aka Don’t Let the Constitutional be the Enemy of the Unconstitutional

The House Judiciary Committee has completed its markup of a major surveillance reform bill intended to better protect Americans’ privacy and enhance transparency. Responding to civil liberties advocates’ concerns that the bill doesn’t go far enough, Reps Ted Poe (R-Tx.) and Zoe  Lofgren (D-Calif.) offered an amendment to require U.S.…   continue »

Top Experts: Can Facebook Legally Disclose Russian Ads–What does the Stored Communications Act say?

I asked several of the most highly respected legal experts for their views on an issue yet to receive significant attention in the news: whether and to what extent, if any, a federal law—the Stored Communications Act—restricts Facebook’s ability to share the content of Russian ads and related information with Congress and the public.…   continue »

Recap of Recent Pieces on Just Security (Oct. 14-20)

ISIS, Iraq, Syria, and Yemen

Russia Investigation

Guantanamo Military Commissions and Legal Ethics

International Human Rights Mobilization

Cybersecurity, Digital Privacy, and Encryption

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Opponents of Closing Sec. 702’s Backdoor Search Loophole are Distorting How the Fix Works

With less than five months to go until Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) expires, we still do not have a clear path forward to a reauthorization that would also address the law’s substantial problems.  A major reason for this is an impasse on what to do about the law’s most significant flaw: that it permits the government to seek out the content of Americans’ communications that have been swept up through Section 702 without any suspicion of wrongdoing, let alone a warrant, a problem known as “the backdoor search loophole.” Unfortunately, opponents of reforming the loophole have either failed to understand how the proposed fix to the loophole would actually work, or are describing it inaccurately in an effort to discredit reform.…   continue »

National Security-Related Congressional Hearings, June 12-16

Monday, June 12

7:00pm – House Committee on Armed Services – The Fiscal Year 2018 National Defense Authorization Budget Request from the Department of Defense (here)

Tuesday, June 13

9:30am – Senate Armed Services Committee – Department of Defense Budget Posture (here)

10:00am – Senate Committee on Foreign Relations – Review of the FY 2018 State Department Budget Request (here)

10:00am – House Foreign Affairs Committee – Subcommittee on Middle East and North Africa – Challenges and Opportunities for the U.S.-Saudi Relationship (here)

2:00pm – House Oversight Committee – Subcommittee on Government Operations and Subcommittee on Information Technology – The Federal Information Technology Acquisition Reform Act (FITARA) Scorecard 4.0 (here)

2:30pm – Senate Intelligence Committee – Open Testimony of Attorney General of the United States, Jeff Sessions (here)

2:30pm – Senate Committee on Foreign Relations – Subcommittee on East Asia, the Pacific, and International Cybersecurity – State-Sponsored Cyberspace Threats: Recent Incidents and U.S.  continue »

Questions to Ask As DHS Proposes Border Drones With Facial Recognition


In what could prove to be a Frankenstein combination of invasive technologies, the Department of Homeland Security is considering a project to arm Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) with drones using facial recognition scanning at the border. Specifically, the proposal states that “DHS is interested in sUAS [small drone] sensor technology with the following attributes ….…   continue »

Censorship at the Border Threatens Free Speech Everywhere

Defending one’s political and religious beliefs to government officials is an obligation we associate with life in authoritarian regimes, not open societies.  It’s becoming common, though, for foreign citizens who visit the United States—and even for Americans returning home after travel abroad—to be interrogated about their beliefs by customs and border personnel.…   continue »