Lawfare's biweekly roundup of U.S.-China technology policy and national security news.
Latest in surveillance
The ‘Big Brother Watch’ Ruling on U.K. Surveillance Practices: Key Points from an American Perspective
Last month, a divided chamber of the European Court of Human Rights (“ECHR”) (that is, a panel of seven judges from ECHR’s “First Section”) issued an opinion declaring several aspects of British surveillance law to be in violation of the European Convention on Human Rights. The case is called, perhaps inevitably, Big Brother Watch and Others v. The United Kingdom. The opinion is ponderous, to say the least.
The National Security Agency has announced a startling failure in the implementation of the USA Freedom Act of 2015. According to a public statement released by NSA on June 28, the call detail records that NSA has been receiving from telephone companies under the Act are infected with errors, NSA cannot isolate and correct those errors, and so it has decided to purge from its data repositories all of the CDRs ever received under the Act.
When reading about Snowden, keep in mind the dedicated NSA employees who strive to uphold the rule of law and protect their country.
The National Security Agency made headlines last week when Politico reported that the agency had made a court filing informing a federal judge that it had accidentally deleted data related to ongoing litigation—Jewel v. NSA—in violation of a court order. The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) sued the NSA in Jewel on behalf of AT&T customers in 2008.
Every day seems to bring a new article about China’s pervasive use of facial recognition technology.
In this surveillance-heavy episode [Please use that link; we're still having trouble with the embed code], Professors Chesney and Vladeck dig into a raft of news about foreign-intelligence collection authorities. They open with an overview of how Section 702 collection authority works, and then unpack the recent news that NSA is dropping the “about” collection component of Upstream collection under 702.
What Is the "Right" Number of Call Detail Records for 42 Targets under FISA's Business Records Authority?
ODNI's transparency report contains loads of interesting information (see, e.g., Adam's post here on FBI queries of the fruits of 702 collection).
Earlier today, HPSCI Chair Devin Nunes announced he will “temporarily” recuse himself from his committee’s Trump/Russia/Surveillance investigation (in his stead, Representative Conaway will take the helm, with support from Representatives Gowdy and Rooney).
A few days, ago, I wrote this post exploring a 1945 memo from TJAG Myron Cramer regarding various legal issues surrounding the program that evolved into Operation Shamrock (as well as various other, more-conventional, collection activities). At the time I didn't feel free to provide a PDF of the memo itself, since I'd gotten it through the (for-pay) ProQuest database.