Sep 302013
 September 30, 2013  Posted by  Govt, U.S.

Peter Bacqué reports:

Using Department of Motor Vehicles records as its core, the state government is quietly developing a master identity database of Virginia residents for use by state agencies.

The state enterprise record – the master electronic ID database – would help agencies ferret out fraud and help residents do business electronically with the state more easily, officials said.

While officials say the e-ID initiative will be limited in scope and access, it comes at a time of growing public concern about electronic privacy, identity theft and government intrusion.

Read more on Richmond Times-Dispatch

Sep 302013
 September 30, 2013  Posted by  Surveillance

Elizabeth Dwoskin and Frances Robinson report:

Google Inc., Facebook Inc. and other American technology companies were put on the defensive when Edward Snowden’s allegations about U.S.-government surveillance of Internet traffic emerged this spring.

Outside the U.S., some companies and politicians saw an opportunity.

Three of Germany’s largest email providers, including partly state-owned Deutsche Telekom AG,  teamed up to offer a new service, Email Made in Germany. The companies promise that by encrypting email through German servers and hewing to the country’s strict privacy laws, U.S. authorities won’t easily be able to pry inside. More than a hundred thousand Germans have flocked to the service since it was rolled out in August.

Read more on Wall Street Journal.

Sep 292013
 September 29, 2013  Posted by  Laws, Surveillance, U.S.

Graham Lee Brewer reports:

An Oklahoma lawmaker said the state needs legislation regulating the use of drones in order to protect the privacy rights of individuals.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Oklahoma is teaming up with Rep. Paul Wesselhoft, R-Moore, a tea party conservative, to support the legislation.


Both Wesselhoft and the ACLU said they are in full support of UAV testing and development in Oklahoma and are focusing on the issue of privacy, not restricting the industry’s growth. HB 1556 would require that any use of drones by law enforcement require a warrant but makes exceptions for their use in emergency situations.

Read more on The Oklahoman.