Latest in Surveillance: Snowden NSA Controversy

Internet Metadata Collection

Bulk NSA Internet Program Shows the Complete Incoherence of Surveillance Law

The NSA ended its program involving bulk collection of Internet metadata inside the United States in 2011. This Internet metadata program was the genesis of the legal theory that authorizes bulk collection under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. Its demise has always been a bit mysterious, and the government has only ever said that it determined the program was no longer sufficiently valuable to justify it.

Safe Harbor

Final Thoughts on Reforming Surveillance and European Privacy Rules

Although it is a close call, the decision of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) in Schrems v. Data Protection Commissioner may turn out to be the most important consequence of the Snowden revelations. The CJEU invoked fears of NSA surveillance to strike down the safe harbor agreement that makes it easy for American companies to transfer personal information of Europeans to the United States.

National Security Agency

Understanding the Deeper History of FISA and 702: Charlie Savage's Power Wars on Fiber Optic Cables and Transit Authority

In this post, I want to focus on a narrow slice of Charlie Savage's much-anticipated book Power Wars (published today...go ahead, order it now!), one that might not generate as much attention as the material covering more recent national security law episodes.

Surveillance

The German NSA Affair and the Need for Reform in Berlin

When Chancellor Angela Merkel recently cited the “challenges” concerning the National Security Agency as an area that the German government has “tackled excellently” this term, many observers were surprised – not least because, two years into the “NSA affair,” the German government continues to vocally criticize American surveillance efforts while failing to address the shortcomings of its own intelligence agencies.

FISA: 215 Collection

ODNI and DOJ Release Last Section 215 Collection Order

On Friday, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court authorized the extension of the NSA's collection of bulk telephony metadata under Section 215 of the USA Patriot Act until November 29th, 2015—the latter date marking the end of a transition to new, narrower surveillance rules imposed by the USA Freedom Act.

Surveillance: Snowden NSA Controversy

Leaked Snowden Documents Seem to Contradict NSA Critics

The New York Times believes that the story in newly released Snowden documents is about a cozy relationship between the NSA and AT&T. “AT&T Helped U.S. Spy on Internet on a Vast Scale,” the headline screams.

Hmm . . . the NSA has a relationship with one of the largest American telecommunications providers. Who knew? For better or worse, the fact that any major U.S. telecom is in bed with the NSA is a dog-bites-man story, if ever there was one.

Surveillance

White House Responds to Petition to Pardon Edward Snowden

Today, the White House released a response to a petition to pardon Edward Snowden. The original petition, filed on June 9th, 2013, has received 167,954 signatures and reads:

Edward Snowden is a national hero and should be immediately issued a a full, free, and absolute pardon for any crimes he has committed or may have committed related to blowing the whistle on secret NSA surveillance programs.

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