Jan 282016
 January 28, 2016  Posted by  Govt

Conservative attorney and thinker Mark J. Fitzgibbons is unhappy.  In an OpEd in the Washington Examiner, he writes:

California Attorney General Kamala Harris must be so ambitious that she is willing to tempt fate of multiple civil lawsuits and even criminal charges so she can intimidate her ideological opponents — and even her supporters. Ms. Harris oversees licensing of charities across the country that ask Californians for contributions. She’s also a candidate for the United States Senate.

In disregard of the 1958 landmark civil rights decision NAACP v. Alabama and post-Watergate reforms to the Internal Revenue Code to protect tax information privacy, Ms. Harris is now telling charities and other nonprofit organizations that in order to get from her a charitable solicitation license they must first provide her office a confidential federal tax schedule listing their most valuable donors.

Read more on Washington Examiner.

Jan 282016
 January 28, 2016  Posted by  Misc

And in honor of it, all of the candidates for President in both major political parties will issue statements explaining how they will protect our privacy from government and business over-reach.

Okay, so I’m just kidding. The reality is that none of the candidates has really addressed privacy issues, despite all the hours upon endless hours of debate. And their brief and less-than-shining attempts to address the encryption backdoor issue show that privacy advocates will continue to have our work cut out for us in the next administration.

So what are you doing for Data Privacy Day? No big plans, you say? How about spending 15 minutes reviewing your online privacy settings and your kids’ settings. Turn off location services if you don’t really need them – you can always turn them back on if you need them for GPS or mapping.

And maybe, if you have a few extra dollars, donate to an organization that advocates for your privacy.

Jan 282016
 January 28, 2016  Posted by  Business, Court

Kevin Lessmiller reports:

LexisNexis and a police reports website obtained North Carolina Motor Vehicle Department records and illegally used them for marketing purposes, a class action lawsuit claims.

Deloris and Leonard Gaston are licensed drivers living in Charlotte, N.C., who say they were involved in car accidents in Mecklenburg County.

The Gastons sued LexisNexis Risk Solutions Inc. and PoliceReports.US LLC earlier this month in North Carolina Federal Court. The class action complaint was filed on behalf of a proposed class of people whose motor vehicle records were obtained by LexisNexis and PoliceReports without their consent.

Read more on Courthouse News.

via Joe Cadillic

Jan 272016
 January 27, 2016  Posted by  Surveillance, U.S.

Mark Jaycox and Dave Maass write:

The House Judiciary Committee has plans for a “members only” meeting next week to discuss Section 702 of the FISA Amendment Acts, the law the NSA relies on to operate its notorious PRISM surveillance program and to tap into the backbone of the Internet, also known as “upstream” collection.

While we wish that “members only” meant that Congressional watchdogs would all don vintage jackets from the 1980s while reining in the NSA, the sad truth is that our elected representatives are once again cutting out the public from an important debate over mass surveillance.

Today, EFF joined two dozen civil liberties, human rights, and transparency organizations in sending a letter to House Judiciary Leaders demanding that they open the hearing, at least in part, to the public.

Read more on EFF.