Jun 302015
 June 30, 2015  Posted by  Court, Featured News, Surveillance, U.S.

Charlie Savage reports:

The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court ruled late Monday that the National Security Agency may temporarily resume its once-secret program that systematically collects records of Americans’ domestic phone calls in bulk.

But the American Civil Liberties Union said Tuesday that it would ask the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, which had ruled that the surveillance program was illegal, to issue an injunction to halt the program, setting up a potential conflict between the two courts.

Read more on NY Times.

Jun 302015
 June 30, 2015  Posted by  Govt, Online

Treasury Public Engagement Pages
AGENCY: Departmental Offices, Treasury
ACTION: Notice and request for comment.

SUMMARY: The Department of the Treasury (Treasury) is issuing this notice to inform the public and solicit comments about a new method it is using to collect information and opinions posted on social media platforms. Relying on Treasury-generated “hashtags” and other social media identifiers, Treasury is aggregating public posts relating to Treasury activities and missions from third-party social media websites. Treasury is collecting and, in some cases, republishing this material to facilitate public engagement and awareness of Treasury and bureau initiatives. In this manner, social media will enable Treasury to interact with the public in effective and meaningful ways; encourage the broad exchange of and centrally locate a variety of viewpoints on proposed and existing Treasury missions; and educate the general public about evolving Treasury initiatives.


via Joe Cadillic

Jun 302015
 June 30, 2015  Posted by  Misc

Andy Greenberg reports:

The cryptography behind bitcoin solved a paradoxical problem: a currency with no regulator, that nonetheless can’t be counterfeited. Now a similar mix of math and code promises to pull off another seemingly magical feat by allowing anyone to share their data with the cloud and nonetheless keep it entirely private.

On Tuesday, a pair of bitcoin entrepreneurs and the MIT Media Lab revealed a prototype for a system called Enigma, designed to achieve a decades-old goal in data security known as “homomorphic” encryption: A way to encrypt data such that it can be shared with a third party and used in computations without it ever being decrypted.

Read more on Wired.

Jun 302015
 June 30, 2015  Posted by  Court, Surveillance, U.S.

David Kravets reports:

In 2013, the Supreme Court rejected a challenge to a once-clandestine warrantless surveillance program that gobbles up Americans’ electronic communications—a project secretly adopted in the wake of the 2001 terror attacks on the United States. Congress legalized the surveillance in 2008 and again in 2012 after it was exposed by The New York Times.

Human-rights activists and journalists brought the Supreme Court challenge amid claims that the FISA Amendments Act was chilling their speech. But the Supreme Court tossed the case, telling the challengers’ lawyers from the American Civil Liberties Union to bring proof by real targets of the warrantless e-mail and phone surveillance. In a 5-4 ruling (PDF) by Justice Samuel Alito at the time, the court said the case was based on “assumptions” and that the plaintiffs “merely speculate” that they were being spied upon.

Fast forward to the present day: a US resident of Brooklyn, New York, accused of sending $1,000 to a Pakistani terror group has won the right to become the nation’s second defendant to challenge the surveillance at the appellate level. This could mean a Supreme Court bid is likely several months or more away.

Read more on Ars Technica.