Category Archives: Privacy

NSA Tracking Cellphone Locations Worldwide, Snowden Documents Show

Link: The National Security Agency is gathering nearly 5 billion records a day on the whereabouts of cellphones around the world, according to top-secret documents and interviews with U.S. intelligence officials, enabling the agency to track the movements of individuals — and map their relationships — in ways that would have been previously unimaginable.

The Single Best Overview of What the Surveillance State Does With Our Private Data

Link: The U.S. surveillance debate is constantly distorted by the fact that national-security officials hide, obscure, and distort so much of what they do. Occasionally a journalist is able to expand the store of publicly available information, most recently thanks to Edward Snowden’s indispensable NSA leaks. But even public information about government surveillance and data retention is difficult to convey to a mass audience. It involves multiple federal agencies with overlapping roles.

Obamacare Marketplace: Personal Data Can Be Used For ‘Law Enforcement and Audit Activities’

Link: The policy states that all information to help in applying for coverage and even for making a payment will be kept strictly confidential and only be used to carry out the function of the marketplace.  There is, however, an exception: “[W]e may share information provided in your application with the appropriate authorities for law enforcement and audit activities.” 

The NSA Has Been Creating Maps of American Citizens’ Social Networks Similar To How The FBI Links Organized Crime Families Together

Link: The NSA has been graphing American’s social networks and plotting them as they do organized crime since at least 2010, according to the latest published Edward Snowden leak. The highly secretive intelligence agency has been mapping out American citizens’ social connections – identifying associates, determining locations, and logging who they talk to – by taking advantage of loosened rules previously meant to restrict surveillance actions.

Gmail Users or People Who Email them Should NOT Expect Privacy, Google Claims in a Stunning Admission

Link: Google has stated that people should not expect privacy when they send messages to a Gmail account. This is according to a brief that was filed last month in a U.S. federal court and recently picked up by Consumer Watchdog. The company claims ‘all users of email must necessarily expect that their emails will be subject to automated processing.’

Lawmakers Introduce New Bill to Compel Gov’t to Declassify Secret Court Opinions

Link: In the wake of two newly published orders from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) by The Guardian, two American legislators have introduced a bill that would require the government to declassify FISC opinions that describe how the secret court has interpreted Section 215 of the PATRIOT Act and Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA).