Jun 302013
 June 30, 2013  Posted by  Surveillance

From the no-surprise dept.:

The president of the European parliament has called for “full clarification” from the US over claims it bugged EU offices in America and accessed computer networks.

Martin Schulz said it would have a “severe impact” on relations between the EU and the US if revelations by German magazine Der Spiegel are true.

Der Spiegel reported that the US had bugged offices and gained access to EU internal computer networks, according to secret documents – the latest in a series of exposures of alleged US spy programmes.

Read more of Jonathan Haynes’ report in The Guardian.  Der Spiegel did not publish the report or file upon which their reporting was based, and did not respond to a tweet from PogoWasRight.org yesterday asking them whether they would publish it.  The fact that they saw at least parts of the file have raised speculation that Snowden may have provided files to at least four media outlets, but because they claim to have only seen parts of it, it’s not clear whether Snowden provided Der Spiegel with any files.

In related news, The Guardian  reported yesterday on a blog post by Simon Davies that focused on claims by former NSA contractor Wayne Madsen about collaboration between EU countries and the U.S. on surveillance.  The thrust of that interview was to make the public more aware of what has allegedly been going on for years. The Guardian subsequently removed their story while they investigated its claims after someone on Twitter pointed out that Madsen might not be the most reliable source, but the story had already gained a certain amount of traction with Salon also reporting his statements based on  the now-taken down The Guardian report.

Jun 292013
 June 29, 2013  Posted by  Court, Non-U.S.

Daniel Tencer reports:

More than 1,000 Canadians will likely be exposed to legal action over unauthorized downloading of movies, observers of an ongoing court battle predict.

The Federal Court in Toronto resumed hearings this past week into a request by Voltage Pictures, maker of The Hurt Locker, to access internet subscriber information for some 2,000 IP addresses the filmmaker says it linked to unauthorized downloading of its movies. It’s believed some 1,000 to 1,200 individuals are linked to those IP addresses.

Read more on Huffington Post.

Jun 292013
 June 29, 2013  Posted by  Laws, Surveillance, U.S.

Salvador Rizzo reports that the New Jersey Senate passed S2702 by a vote of 36-0 on Thursday.

The Senate measure (S2702) would let state, county and local police and fire departments and offices of emergency management deploy the drones, with some restrictions.

Officials would be able to use the devices in criminal investigations and events that “substantially endanger the health, safety and property of the citizens of this state,” including high-risk and missing-person searches, fires and forest fires, hurricanes, floods, droughts, explosions, acts of terrorism and civil disorder.

In each case, the agency chief would have to approve the drone’s use. Departments would have to log each time they used a drone and for what purpose, and submit that information yearly along with maintenance reports to the state attorney general.

Read more on NJ.com. The bill goes to the Assembly now.

Jun 292013
 June 29, 2013  Posted by  Laws, Surveillance, U.S.

An editorial from the Los Angeles News Group:

Senate Bill 467, by Sen. Mark Leno, D-San Francisco, would require a government agency to obtain a search warrant before obtaining the contents of emails, Facebook or Twitter messages or the like that are stored with a third party, such as Google or Yahoo or in the cloud.

The agency would be required to notify the user within three days that his content had been obtained and to furnish the user with a copy of the warrant, unless the agency has requested and received a court order delaying the notification for cause.


Leno’s bill is opposed by a number of law enforcement associations — those of the state’s district attorneys, sheriffs and police chiefs, for example. Their objections to additional “burdens” on law enforcement are easily dismissed in the name of due process and Fourth Amendment protections. But another objection expressed by the California District Attorneys Association and the L.A. County DA’s Office has merit. Because the bill applies to all third-party storage providers, not just to those that serve the public, it could keep a county or other government employer from checking its own employees’ official email accounts to make sure they’re not being used for personal or other prohibited or illegal purposes.

That should be fixed. Then this bill should become law.

Read the full OpEd on Daily Bulletin.

Of course, states like Texas and California might not need such laws if Congress updated ECPA to walk back from Third Party Doctrine and to establish the right to privacy and Fourth Amendment protections of information we share with providers.