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Tag Archives: National Security Agency (NSA)

The U.S. Intelligence Community and Non-Neutral Principles

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Thursday, February 26, 2015 at 3:30 PM

Last week, Ben’s NSA Constitution Day speech emerged after a long “declassification” process.  One puzzle Ben grapples with in this speech is why reasonable, educated Americans have–and will continue to have–such a high level of discomfort with what the NSA and other intelligence agencies do. The types of activities NSA is asked to do and the secrecy . . .
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Steptoe Cyberlaw Podcast, Episode #55: An Interview with Nuala O’Connor

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Wednesday, February 25, 2015 at 2:40 PM

In Episode 55 of the Cyberlaw Podcast, we revive This Week in NSA to explore the claim that GCHQ stole mass quantities of cell phone encryption keys.  Meanwhile, Jason explains the complex political battles over Rule 41, Michael explains why so many companies have rallied to Twitter’s first amendment claim against the Justice Department, and both of them . . .
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The Lawfare Podcast: My Constitution Day Speech at NSA

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Saturday, February 21, 2015 at 1:55 PM

In mid-September, I delivered the annual Constitution Day address at the National Security Agency. I had meant to post the speech back then, except that it being NSA and all, I wasn’t allowed to bring my own recording equipment into the building and thus had to wait until the NSA folks released the audio of my own . . .
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Steptoe Cyberlaw Podcast, Episode #54: An Interview with Ben Wittes

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Friday, February 20, 2015 at 10:11 AM

Episode 54 of the Cyberlaw Podcast features a guest appearance by Lawfare’s own Ben Wittes, discussing cybersecurity in the context of his forthcoming book, The Future of Violence, authored by Ben and Gabriella Blum.  (The future of violence, you won’t be surprised to hear, looks bright.)  Ben also floats the idea of taping an episode of all the Lawfare-affiliated . . .
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Two Historical Notes on Equation

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Wednesday, February 18, 2015 at 5:25 PM

Yesterday’s New York Times carried a story about how the United States has found a way to “permanently embed surveillance and sabotage tools in [targeted] computers and networks.” If the reporting on Equation is to be believed, the scope and sophistication of the enterprise is truly breathtaking. But the particular technique—hiding malware in the firmware . . .
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NSA, CIA, and FBI Implementation of PPD-28

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Monday, February 9, 2015 at 12:00 PM

As we continue to read through documents released on February 3 that collectively detail the intelligence community’s efforts to implement Presidential Policy Directive-28, (PPD-28), we thought it would be helpful to overview briefly, and to compare. implementing documents issued by three agencies in particular: NSA, CIA, and FBI. Overall, there is a great deal of overlap between the three . . .
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PCLOB Releases Recommendation Assessment Report

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Thursday, January 29, 2015 at 4:14 PM

The Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board has released an assessment of the status of each of the Board’s 22 recommendations regarding Section 215 and Section 702 programs. More information, including the assessment, a fact sheet, and a table summarizing the Board’s recommendations, can be found in the release by the Board—the relevant part of . . .
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Who Else May Be Working with the French?

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Thursday, January 8, 2015 at 12:23 PM

Reuters reports: FBI Director James Comey on Wednesday said the U.S. agency is working with French law enforcement to bring those responsible for the attack on satirical publication Charlie Hebdo to justice. No surprise there, since President Obama promised “every bit of assistance that we can going forward.” Every bit of assistance the U.S. government can . . .
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Obstacles Loom for States’ Proposed “Fourth Amendment Protection” Laws

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Wednesday, January 7, 2015 at 9:30 AM

Legislators in several states have proposed bills over the past year intended to hamper the NSA’s efforts to collect signals intelligence.  In Utah, the site of a large NSA data center, a proposed bill would prevent the state, its cities, and its agencies from providing “material support or assistance in any form to any federal . . .
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NSA Releases IG Reports on Possibly Illegal Agency Activities

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Friday, December 26, 2014 at 2:22 PM

On December 23, the NSA released a set of redacted reports detailing “intelligence activities . . . that [it has] reason to believe may be unlawful or contrary to Executive order or Presidential directive,” reports which had been submitted to the President’s Intelligence Oversight Board (IOB) pursuant to Executive Order 12333. The declassification includes quarterly . . .
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NSA Swag Made in Pakistan

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Wednesday, December 24, 2014 at 3:37 PM

Three years ago, Lawfare broke the important news that CIA branded gear at the CIA’s gift shop was being imported from, of all places, Pakistan. Now, just in time for your last-minute holiday shopping, comes news that NSA hoodies on sale at Fort Meade are also made in frenemy territory. Can’t make this stuff up. Too . . .
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Steptoe Cyberlaw Podcast, Episode #47: An Interview with Joanne McNabb

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Wednesday, December 17, 2014 at 3:05 PM

Our guest this week is Joanne McNabb, Director of Privacy Education and Policy for the California Attorney General’s Office.  Joanne discusses the findings and recommendations in the recently released 2014 California Data Breach Report.  She also offers insight into some of the key factors the Attorney General’s Office considers in deciding whether or not to investigate . . .
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Steptoe Cyberlaw Podcast, Episode #46: An Interview with Shane Harris

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Wednesday, December 10, 2014 at 4:00 PM

Our interview focuses on Shane Harris and his new book, @War:  The Rise of the Military-Internet Complex.   It’s a good read and a good book, marred by the occasional deployment of easy lefty tropes – government contractors are mercenaries, the military sees war as an opportunity to expand turf, cybersecurity is a threat to privacy, . . .
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Memo to NSA: Stop Saying You Apply the FIPPs

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Tuesday, November 25, 2014 at 11:51 AM

The intelligence community has no set of general principles for judging the privacy impact of their programs.  Some privacy scholars believe that the Fair Information Protection Principles (FIPPs) serve this purpose and can apply to intelligence programs as they do to myriad other government programs.  The NSA itself said in a recent report on collection . . .
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Live Q&A Today with NSA’s Civil Liberties and Privacy Director

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Monday, November 24, 2014 at 12:12 PM

The Office of the Director of National Intelligence is hosting an “online, interactive” Q&A today with Rebecca Richards, the NSA’s point person for civil liberties and privacy. Users can submit their questions via Tumblr here, and Ms. Richards will answer them live beginning at 2 PM EST.

A Modest Proposal: FAA Exclusivity for Collection Involving U.S. Technology Companies

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Monday, November 24, 2014 at 8:00 AM

I’ve been wrestling with an idea on electronic surveillance reform, and when I recently consulted with Benjamin Wittes about it, he encouraged me to post here and seek the feedback of Lawfare’s readership. So here goes my maiden Lawfare post: a modest proposal for reform of the legal authorities under which NSA collects communications content . . .
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Pew Study Says Exactly What You’d Expect on Privacy

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Thursday, November 13, 2014 at 9:09 AM

The Pew Research Internet Project has released a new public opinion study that shows exactly what you would expect the public believes about privacy, surveillance, and related matters. The study seems to have involved a major effort, and I read it yesterday expecting to find some new insight into public opinion about privacy. Nope. Nothing. . . .
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Steptoe Cyberlaw Podcast, Episode #39: An Interview with Tom Finan

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Thursday, October 23, 2014 at 11:51 AM

Our guest today is Tom Finan, Senior Cybersecurity Strategist and Counsel at DHS’s National Protection and Programs Directorate (NPPD), where he is currently working on policy issues related to cybersecurity insurance and cybersecurity legislation.  Marc Frey asks him why DHS, specifically NPPD, is interested in cybersecurity insurance, what trends they are seeing in this space for . . .
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Susan Landau on NSA Efforts to Secure Private Sector Telecommunications Infrastructure

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Thursday, October 16, 2014 at 5:44 PM

Susan Landau has a new paper – entitled Under the Radar: NSA’s Efforts to Secure Private-Sector Telecommunications Infrastructure – up at the Journal of National Security Law and Policy.  From the abstract: Landau explains the National Security Agency’s little-known function of providing communications security (COMSEC) to private companies, which has involved an improvement of security . . .
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Steptoe Cyberlaw Podcast, Episode #38: An Interview with Shaun Waterman

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Thursday, October 16, 2014 at 4:30 PM

Our guest for the podcast is Shaun Waterman, editor of POLITICO Pro Cybersecurity. Shaun is an award-winning journalist who has worked for the BBC and United Press International; and an expert on counterterrorism and cybersecurity. We begin as usual with the week’s NSA news. NSA has released its second privacy transparency report. We’ve invited Becky Richards, NSA’s privacy and civil liberties . . .
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