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U.S. privacy board: NSA mass surveillance illegal and should be shut down

The bulk telephone data collection by a US intelligence agency is a massive violation of civil liberties and should be shut down, a government advisory panel said Thursday. A report by the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board, a panel created on the recommendation of the 9/11 Commission, concluded the…

Will Monsanto become the NSA of agriculture?

Will Monsanto Become The NSA Of Agriculture? (via Techdirt) Monsanto is best-known for its controversial use of genetically-modified organisms, and less well-known for being involved in the story of the defoliant Agent Orange (the company’s long and involved story is well told in the book and film “The World…  …

New federal spending bill will demand transparency on NSA surveillance programs

2014 Federal Spending Bill Contains Demands For Transparency On NSA Surveillance Programs (via Techdirt) Hidden in the 1,500+ pages of the $1.1 trillion federal funding bill is a stipulation aimed at giving the NSA’s much-heralded oversight some actual oversight. The wording specifically targets the NSA’s bulk collection programs, and if…

Anti-SOPA coalition launches day of action against the NSA

Almost exactly two years after national protests defeated the so-called Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and one year after information activist Aaron Swartz took his own life, Washington is in the midst of another…  …

Anti-communist watchdog: NSA should spy on ‘progressive’ lawmakers like Bernie Sanders

After Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) demanded to know whether the NSA was spying on U.S. Congress members, one self-styled media watchdog suggests that maybe they should. “Not one article has dared to ask whether Sanders and other ‘progressive’ members of Congress should be under surveillance because of their contacts with…

Grad student proves NSA can link metadata to your identity with ‘marginal effort’

A Stanford graduate student has shown just how easily names can be matched with phone records, contradicting some of the legal justification offered by federal authorities for the National Security Agency’s bulk collection of phone data. President Barack Obama said in June that the surveillance captured only which telephone numbers…

NSA officials consider Edward Snowden amnesty in return for documents

National Security Agency officials are considering a controversial amnesty that would return Edward Snowden to the United States, in exchange for the extensive document trove the whistleblower took from the agency. An amnesty, which does not have the support of the State Department, would represent a surprising denouement to an…

How the NSA reportedly uses Google cookies could be next privacy flash point

Web cookies that allow advertisers to keep tabs on individual Internet users’ browsing habits are being co-opted by the National Security Agency to focus its cyberespionage – potentially reinvigorating the debate over consumer rights to online privacy, leaked documents show.;  …

Happy Thanksgiving from the NSA

Here’s this week’s news from the NSA. Yes, when it comes to international espionage and snooping, in less than a century we’ve gone from a US Secretary of State declaring, “Gentlemen do not read each other’s mail” to a former French foreign…  …

Dutch government faces lawsuit for collaboration with NSA

A group of lawyers, journalists and privacy advocates in the Netherlands is taking the government to court to prevent Dutch intelligence using phone data illegally acquired by the US National Security Agency. Five individuals, among them a prominent investigative journalist and a well-known hacker, and four organisations filed the case…

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