Dec 302013
 
 December 30, 2013  Posted by  Court

Conor Friedersdorf writes:

Many Americans reacted with outrage when they learned that the NSA stores details about phone calls made by virtually everyone in the United States. They felt a strong, if vague, notion that the practice must violate their constitutional rights. Couldn’t NSA analysis of telephone metadata reveal sensitive, private details about most anyone in the country, like their network of friends, the identity of their sexual partners, or their contact with medical or mental health professionals? Aren’t mass searches of innocents anathema to the Fourth Amendment?

The legal response from NSA defenders has leaned heavily on the precedent set in Smith v. Maryland, a Supreme Court case decided in 1979, before the era of big data.

Read more on The Atlantic.

Dec 292013
 
 December 29, 2013  Posted by  Breaches, Featured News, Govt, Surveillance

“TAO:” not to be confused with “Tao,” unless you consider it the NSA’s path or way….

Here’s your must-read news story for today, from Spiegel in Germany:

The NSA’s TAO hacking unit is considered to be the intelligence agency’s top secret weapon. It maintains its own covert network, infiltrates computers around the world and even intercepts shipping deliveries to plant back doors in electronics ordered by those it is targeting.

Read the Spiegel article here.  The article credits “Spiegel Staff,” but at the very end of the article, it says:

REPORTED BY JACOB APPELBAUM, LAURA POITRAS, MARCEL ROSENBACH, CHRISTIAN STÖCKER, JÖRG SCHINDLER AND HOLGER STARK

Dec 292013
 
 December 29, 2013  Posted by  Misc

This statement in an OpEd in the Des Moines Register by Anthony Gaughan, associate professor of law at Drake University,  gave me pause:

The greatest threat to your privacy is not posed by the NSA. It’s posed by hackers, thieves and corporations.

So what do you think is the single greatest threat to privacy?