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Category Archives: Surveillance

The Internet Metadata Memo: A Summary

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Monday, August 18, 2014 at 11:45 AM

There is much to pore over in last week’s release by the Director National Intelligence. Responding to FOIA litigation, the DNI’s office posted more than thirty legal filings and related documents bearing on NSA’s historical, bulk collection of certain internet metadata—the addressing, routing, and header information in e-mails. Some of this stuff is old, including the . . .
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Plaintiffs file response in Klayman v. Obama

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Thursday, August 14, 2014 at 9:54 AM

Yesterday plaintiffs-appellees filed their response in Klayman v. Obama, the Section 215 metadata collection case up on appeal in the D.C. Circuit. As expected, most of the brief is dedicated to arguing that (1) Judge Richard Leon was correct in barring the government from collecting any Section 215 metadata associated with the personal Verizon accounts . . .
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My Twitter Exchange with Glenn Greenwald this Morning

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Thursday, August 7, 2014 at 8:39 AM

The thing kind of speaks for itself: [View the story "My Twitter Exchange with Glenn Greenwald " on Storify]

Snowden Residency in Moscow Extended

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Thursday, August 7, 2014 at 7:45 AM

So reports the New York Times: MOSCOW — Edward J. Snowden, the American intelligence contractor who published a raft of secret documents and then fled to Russia, has been granted a three-year residence permit, his lawyer announced Thursday. Anatoly G. Kucherena, the lawyer, told a news conference that Mr. Snowden was not given asylum in Russia, . . .
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The FISA Court and Article III: A Surreply to Orin

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Tuesday, August 5, 2014 at 9:31 AM

As I suspected it would, the exchange between my friend Orin Kerr and me on the constitutionality of the appellate review provisions in the Senate version of the USA FREEDOM Act has morphed into a broader conversation about whether the FISA Court itself is consistent with Article III. Consider the three major points of Orin’s reply to . . .
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On the CIA Inspector General’s Findings

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Friday, August 1, 2014 at 7:12 AM

I have largely refrained, until now, from wading into the dispute between the Senate Intelligence Committee and the CIA over the mutual hacking allegations, on the theory that the facts were all contested and I couldn’t make heads or tails of what had really happened. That changed yesterday with the release of a summary of . . .
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Is Putin Selling Out Edward Snowden?

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Thursday, July 31, 2014 at 5:24 PM

This is rank, arguably irresponsible, speculation. I have had no—that is to say zero—conversations with anyone who knows anything about Snowden’s status in Russia. I can thus offer no particularly good reason to believe that Vladimir Putin is getting ready to rid himself of Edward Snowden. But would you take four bad reasons? When you put them all . . .
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Article III, Appellate Review, and the Leahy Bill: A Response to Orin Kerr

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Thursday, July 31, 2014 at 10:54 AM

Orin’s post from yesterday afternoon wonders whether the Leahy bill’s provision for “certification” of decisions by the FISA Court to the FISA Court of Review (and from there to the Supreme Court) violates Article III’s case-or-controversy requirement. In effect, Orin’s charge is that, at the point of certification, the FISA Court is (or, at least, could . . .
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Snowden in Russia: Limbo Update

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Thursday, July 31, 2014 at 7:58 AM

From the ITAR/TASS news—if you can call it that—agency: MOSCOW, July 31. /ITAR-TASS/. US intelligence leaker Edward Snowden still waits for the Russian authorities’ decision either to extend his temporary asylum in Russia for another year or grant him a political asylum, his lawyer Anatoly Kucherena said on Thursday. “Edward still remains in Russia and . . .
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Yeah, But Is It a Good Bill? Thoughts on the Leahy FISA Reform Proposal

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Wednesday, July 30, 2014 at 10:46 PM

Yesterday evening, Jodie Liu and I summarized Sen. Leahy’s new FISA reform bill—which represents a legislative compromise between many of the major stakeholders in the NSA debate. One question we did not treat is whether the bill is any good. Short answer: In my opinion, at least, it’s mix—a proposal that will do some good but . . .
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Who Is Saying What About the Leahy Surveillance Bill

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Wednesday, July 30, 2014 at 2:00 PM

Below you’ll find a compilation of public statements on Senator Patrick Leahy’s new and improved USA Freedom Act, which he unveiled yesterday. Suffice it to say:  the reviews are generally positive, give or take some rather qualified, less committal remarks from the Chairs of the Senate and House Intelligence Committees. Administration Ned Price, Spokesman for the . . .
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Senator Leahy’s NSA Reform Bill: A Quick and Dirty Summary

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Tuesday, July 29, 2014 at 7:21 PM

As Wells reported this morning, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy unveiled his version of the NSA reform bill today. Leahy’s bill is important because, well, it’s not just Leahy’s bill. It’s the bill. It represents a compromise between the intelligence community, the administration more generally, civil liberties groups, industry, and fairly wide range of . . .
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Senator Leahy Unveils New USA Freedom Act

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Tuesday, July 29, 2014 at 11:48 AM

Here is Senator Patrick Leahy’s (D-Vt.) proposal to restrict various forms of surveillance–which he is discussing, at this hour, on the Senate floor.  We hope to post some analysis of the bill shortly.

On NSA’s Subversion of NIST’s Algorithm

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Friday, July 25, 2014 at 2:00 PM

Of all the revelations from the Snowden leaks, I find the NSA’s subversion of the National Institute of Standards’s (NIST) random number generator to be particularly disturbing. Our security is only as good as the tools we use to protect it, and compromising a widely used cryptography algorithm makes many Internet communications insecure. Last fall the Snowden . . .
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What Exactly Was Edward Snowden’s Job?

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Wednesday, July 23, 2014 at 8:29 PM

The New York Times the other day ran this story about an interview Edward Snowden gave to the Guardian in Moscow. The Guardian interview made a few waves because of Snowden’s claim that NSA analysts passed around racy photos they had intercepted. I was struck by a different aspect of it. The New York Times characterized it as follows: . . .
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Progress on NSA Reform?

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Tuesday, July 22, 2014 at 4:29 PM

So reports the LA Times.  Here’s a short summary: As part of the deal, the intelligence community agreed to a stricter definition of the search terms the NSA may use to seek data from telephone companies that might be useful in connecting the dots between known terrorists, said the official who would not be identified . . .
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Jonah Force Hill: The Growth of Data Localization Post-Snowden (Lawfare Research Paper Series)

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Monday, July 21, 2014 at 9:14 PM

Ever since the Edward Snowden revelations began, countries outraged by U.S. intelligence practices have been batting around the idea of forcing countries to store data on their citizens within those countries’ borders. So-called data-localization laws have been discussed in Brazil and Germany and elsewhere, and they very much frighten U.S. technology companies, who worry that . . .
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On Emergency U.K. Data Retention Legislation

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Saturday, July 19, 2014 at 4:00 PM

After Edward Snowden leaked, the UK Government dripped. Or, to put it less metaphorically, a major controversy played out in the UK over the past week around the speed, tone and scope of the coalition Government’s proposal to introduce, in little more than a week and through rushed emergency legislation, its (unfortunately abbreviated) bill on . . .
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The Tanking of US-German Relations: A Recent History in Links

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Thursday, July 17, 2014 at 2:15 PM

If you’ve been focused the last few weeks on ISIS, on Gaza, on the Iran deal, or on the Afghan elections, you might have missed the precipitous decline of U.S.-German relations that is taking place before our eyes—a decline that is occurring almost entirely because of disagreements over intelligence matters. Russell Miller published a lengthy summary of a . . .
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Privacy and Power: A Reflection on the German-American Intelligence Crisis

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Tuesday, July 15, 2014 at 12:00 PM

The Germans are angry.  They have been simmering since Edward Snowden’s disclosures last summer revealed the startling extent of American intelligence-gathering and data-collection activities in Europe. Now they are boiling-over. The discovery, in the last few days, of paid American informants in the German Federal Intelligence Service and the Ministry of Defense, left President Joachim . . .
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