At this point, it may come as no surprise that the US government has some ability to monitor internet traffic. However, the tremendous extent of government surveillance may be somewhat alarming to those who are interested in privacy on the internet.
An article by RT.com reports that the NSA has the ability to read 75 percent of all U.S. internet traffic. The article points out that programs referred to as Stormbrew, Lithium, Oakstar, Fairview, and Blarney all have the ability to monitor the actual text of emails, not just email metadata. Continue reading Government Surveillance of Internet Traffic
Here in the United States, we are accustomed to freedom of speech guaranteed by the First Amendment of our Constitution.
Indeed, this freedom has been interpreted by the courts to include the freedom to speak freely on the Internet, even anonymously. (However, if such speech causes harm, it is possible that anonymity will be unmasked so that the victim of the speech can seek legal redress).
Unfortunately, other countries are not as open in terms of safeguarding the ability of people to speak their minds — and in this case, Turkey is among them.
Continue reading Talking Turkey: Is New Internet Law a Danger to Democracy?
With potential reforms in the wind with respect to government surveillance practices, the National Security Agency (NSA) has issued a seven-page report that seeks to explain and justify its conduct.
The report, titled “The National Security Agency: Missions, Authorities, Oversight and Partnerships,” begins with a quote from President Obama that calls for “reviewing the authorities of law enforcement, so we can intercept new types of communication, but also build in privacy protection to prevent abuse.”
Continue reading NSA Seeks To Come Clean On Surveillance Practices
The UK is working on proposals for national electronic surveillance that could monitor every electronic message sent and received by its citizens.
This follows the 2008 abandonment of a gigantic government database that would have tracked UK phone and email communications, the AP reports. It appears that the UK government is back at it now, but perhaps with a somewhat different approach.
Recent plans were reportedly disclosed to the Internet Service Providers’ Association by Britain’s Home Office. The Home Office has not said much other than to say that an announcement would initially need to come from Parliament — and perhaps relatively soon. There have not been disclosures about how a new government surveillance service would function, or whether it would be subject to judicial oversight.
Continue reading Nationwide Electronic Surveillance Plan Revived In UK
In the flurry of activity immediately preceding the close of the United States Supreme Court’s term in June, the court accepted Cert on what could be a pivotal 4th Amendment privacy case: United States v. Jones. Jones presents the court with the opportunity to define the extent to which a person has an expectation of privacy with regard to their movements.
First the salient facts. Jones was the owner of a D.C. night club which was under federal investigation for suspected drug trafficking. At the conclusion of the investigation, Jones and the club’s Manager, Lawrence Maynard, were indicted for conspiracy to possess and distribute cocaine. They were tried jointly and convicted.
Continue reading Court To Decide Important Privacy Rights Case