The South Florida Sun-Sentinel provides us with one more data point showing the growing frequency with which police are using cell phones as tracking devices—a practice whose surprising prevalence the ACLU shone light on in April.
Tattoo it on your forearm—or better, that of your favorite legislator—for easy reference in the next debate over wiretapping: government surveillance is a security breach—by definition and by design. The latest evidence of this comes from Germany, where there’s growing furor over a hacker group’s allegations that government-designed Trojan Horse spyware is not only insecure, but packed with functions that exceed the limits of German law:
Since this spring’s blink-and-you-missed-it debate over reauthorization of several controversial provisions of the Patriot Act, Senators Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Mark Udall (D-CO) have been complaining to anyone who’d listen about a “Secret Patriot Act“—an interpretation of one of the law’s provisions by the classified Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court granting surveillance powers exceeding those an ordinary person would understand to be conferred from the text of the statute itself
Want to understand a big chunk of what Washington, D.C. does? Learn about “moral panic.”
Moral panic is a dynamic in the political and media spheres in which some threat to social order—often something taboo—causes a response that goes far beyond meeting the actual threat. It’s a socio-political stampede, if you will. You might be surprised to learn how easily stampeded your society is.
The New York Times’s Charlie Savage reports that the FBI is preparing to release a new Domestic Investigations and Operations Guide (DIOG), further relaxing the rules governing the Bureau’s investigation of Americans who are not suspected of any wrongdoing.
Barack Obama’s AutoPen has signed another four-year extension of three Patriot Act powers, but one silver lining of this week’s lopsided battle over the law is that mainstream papers like The New York Times have finally started to take note of the growing number of senators who have raised an alarm o
This morning, the Senate Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Privacy, Technology, and the Law had a hearing entitled: “Protecting Mobile Privacy: Your Smartphones, Tablets, Cell Phones and Your Privacy.”
Among the witnesses was Deputy Assistant Attorney General Jason Weinstein from the Department of Justice’s Criminal Division. Weinstein made a gallingly Orwellian pitch: If you want privacy protection, increase government surveillance.