The NSA Commission’s Report is Released

The Review Group on Intelligence and Communications Technologies, created by President Obama in the wake of the Snowden revelations, has released its 300 page report. I haven't had a chance to read it yet, but Amy Davidson has a summary of its positions and recommendations. … [Read more...]

NSA Review Panel to Advocate Real Reform?

Politico has an article on the now-completed report by the commission appointed by President Obama to make recommendations after Edward Snowden revealed just how intrusive and clearly illegal the NSA's data mining operations have become. And the article claims that the commission may be recommending real reform, though not as much as critics would like. … [Read more...]

Fed. Judge: NSA Metadata Collection Unconstitutional

A federal judge has ruled that a lawsuit filed over the NSA's bulk collection of cell phone metadata violates the Fourth Amendment, but that ruling was stayed immediately to give the government the chance to appeal it to a higher court. But the language in the ruling is very important and spot on. … [Read more...]

I’m Gonna Send the NSA a Fruit Basket

Trigger warning: This article contains unfathomable sadness.You're definitely going to want to get a box of Kleenex out before you read the incredibly haunting tale of the people who work at the NSA. It seems their morale is down now that Edward Snowden has blown the whistle on a vast range of clearly unconstitutional abuses at the agency. … [Read more...]

Government Using Illegal Surveillance for Blackmail

In a replay of the 1960s COINTELPRO program, Glenn Greenwald is now publishing documents that show that the federal government has been using their illegal surveillance programs to find dirt on "radicalizers" in order to blackmail or discredit them. … [Read more...]

Al Gore’s Fantasy World

Former Vice President Al Gore must have some rose-colored glasses the size of Jupiter if he really believes what he told an audience in Montreal a few days ago. He said that he expects Congress to rein in the surveillance programs of the NSA and other executive agencies. … [Read more...]

NSA Spying on the Vatican?

A report in an Italian news outlet alleges that the NSA has been targeting the Vatican for surveillance, listening in on conversations involving cardinals and archbishops. The NSA denies the report, but then they would deny it, wouldn't they? … [Read more...]

DOJ Notifies Defendants of Warrantless Wiretap Evidence

This is a very interesting development that could lead somewhere important. The Department of Justice is now informing defendants if any evidence in their case was procured through a warrantless wiretap. Why is this important? Because it gives them standing to challenge illegal surveillance. … [Read more...]

Schneier on the NSA’s Absurd Rationalizations

The Obama administration's argument for why it's okay to collect everyone's electronic communications (like the Bush administration) is that it isn't really a search until a human looks at or listens to all that data. And trust them, they have rules about that. Bruce Schneier explains why that's absolute nonsense. … [Read more...]

NSA Analysts Spying on Spouses, Partners

The Inspector General of the National Security Agency has sent a letter to Sen. Charles Grassley about cases where NSA personnel have used their ability to listen in on phone calls and other communications to spy on girlfriends, boyfriends, husbands and wives. It's happened 12 times since 2003. Some examples: … [Read more...]

NSA Spied on Political Enemies in Cold War

Foreign Policy reports on newly declassified documents that show that the NSA spied on a whole range of people that the LBJ and Nixon administrations considered their political enemies, including at least two sitting U.S. Senators, Martin Luther King and even -- for crying out loud -- Art Buchwald. … [Read more...]

Obama’s Absurd Interpretation of Section 215

As part of an effort to quell concerns about the federal government's data mining programs, the Obama administration has released a white paper explaining why they think they have the legal authority to get telephone metadata on every single cell phone user in the country. To call that rationale absurd is to engage in flattery. It says, in part: … [Read more...]