Brennan Uses Paris Attacks to Call for More Surveillance Power

Hey, here's a surprising development. The head of the CIA is using the attacks in Paris to justify even more power to the federal government to drown the 4th Amendment in a bathtub and give him expanded authority to engage in surveillance and invade our privacy. How shocking that a government agency would use a tragic event to demand more power for that government agency. … [Read more...]

Michigan State Police Using Cell Phone Spy Equipment

A new report from the ACLU, based on a Freedom of Information Act request, reveals that the Michigan State Police have, for nearly a decade, been using Stingray-type equipment that sweeps up all the cell phone traffic in a given area. These devices, which were justified on the grounds that they're necessary to stop terrorism, have instead been used in routine criminal cases. … [Read more...]

Illegal Surveillance: The More Things Change, the More They Stay the Same

A whole bunch of old documents and recordings have been declassified that reveal how illegal surveillance began in the United States in the 30s and 40s. The story sounds remarkably familiar when you read it. Indeed, almost every aspect of the current system of illegal surveillance is echoed in those documents. The only difference is the level of technology being used. … [Read more...]

Jeb Bush Thinks the NSA Needs Even More Power

Jeb Bush, like his brother, thinks that the executive branch can't possibly have enough power, especially when it comes to surveillance (all while claiming to be advocates of "smaller government," which is nothing more than a marketing slogan). That's why he said at a forum in South Carolina that we've shifted the balance too far in favor of civil liberties and taken too much power away from the NSA. … [Read more...]

Obama’s Terrible 4th Amendment Record

One could be forgiven for thinking, in 2008, that President Obama would be a marked improvement over President Bush when it comes to the privacy rights in the 4th Amendment. But one would be wrong. He may, in fact, be worse. He's certainly been no better. A perfect example is the recent Supreme Court ruling on cell phone searches, in which his administration was on the losing end of a 9-0 decision. … [Read more...]

The Supreme Court Got One Right!

Not only did the Supreme Court get a ruling exactly right, it did so unanimously. On Wednesday, the Supreme Court handed down a ruling in Riley v United States that said police cannot search someone's cell phone data during or after an arrest without a warrant. … [Read more...]

The Value of Edward Snowden

On the one-year anniversary of the first information reported based on documents leaked by Edward Snowden, Paul Szoldra offers a handy roundup of all the things that we know about only because of his leaks to Glenn Greenwald and Laura Poitras. A few highlights: … [Read more...]

Feds to Georgia: No Drug Testing Food Stamp Recipients

Several states have passed laws to drug test those who are on public assistance, but Georgia is the first to pass a law applying this to food stamp recipients. But since that is a federal program, the USDA has told Georgia that they cannot drug test as a condition for eligibility. … [Read more...]

House Passes Weak Bill to Restrain NSA

The House of Representatives passed a significantly weaker version of a bill to rein in the NSA's blatantly unconstitutional data mining programs than was originally considered. The USA Freedom Act does contain some useful safeguards, but nothing remotely like what the 4th Amendment requires: … [Read more...]

Former CIA Agent Hammers Feinstein

Former CIA agent Philip Giraldi has some choice words for Dianne Feinstein and other leaders in the legislative and executive branches who tut tut about the Bush torture regime while doing absolutely nothing to bring about justice or to reveal their own role in making it happen. … [Read more...]

Obama to Rein In Telephone Metadata Collection?

The New York Times reports that President Obama is preparing to submit legislation that would rein in the NSA's metadata collection activities. This is a follow up to his statement in January that he wants those records stored elsewhere and to require FISA warrants before being accessed. … [Read more...]

Docs Confirm Metadata Snooping Started Under Bush

Newly released documents that were apparently submitted by the federal government in several legal challenges to the NSA's illegal surveillance programs confirm that the mining of metadata from emails began under direct order from President Bush. … [Read more...]