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New Report on NSA's Privacy Violations Fuels Movement for Surveillance Reform

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Friday, August 16 2013

Photo: Jeff Schuler/Flickr

A startling new report published late Thursday evening that reveals for the first time thousands of instances where the National Security Agency overstepped its legal authority by illegally collecting the phone and e-mail communications of U.S. citizens is likely to put privacy and surveillance issues on the front-burner next month when members of Congress return to Washington D.C. from the August recess. Read More

Senate Democrats Unveil Proposal To Overhaul Secret Surveillance Court

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Thursday, August 1 2013

A trio of Senate Democrats on Thursday unveiled two legislative proposals that are designed to bolster Americans' privacy protections when a secret court considers anti-terrorism investigators' domestic surveillance requests. The proposal comes against the backdrop of a bipartisan delegation of members of both the House and the Senate meeting with President Obama Thursday in the Oval Office about the National Security Agency's surveillance programs. Read More

Greenwald to Speak to Lawmakers, Anti-Spying Legislation Proposed, in NSA Surveillance Backlash

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Monday, July 29 2013

After repeated visits to Capitol Hill by national security officials defending the widely controversial and newly disclosed practice of tracking the emails and phone calls of Americans in the name of counterterrorism, legislative proposals are starting to pile up that would curtail National Security Agency surveillance of American citizens. Read More

The Fight To Rein In National Security Surveillance -- Will This Time Be Different?

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Tuesday, July 23 2013

Verizon Wireless is one of the phone companies that has worked with the NSA, according to The Guardian.

When members of the House vote on a controversial amendment to curtail the National Security Agency's big data approach to domestic terrorism Wednesday evening, it'll be a big test of sorts of modern day Internet-empowered activism. Read More

House Judiciary Committee Pushes Obama Administration Officials On Surveillance Overreach

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Wednesday, July 17 2013

Photo: Flickr/Thomas Hawk

Members of the House Judiciary Committee from both sides of the political aisle on Wednesday peppered Obama administration officials with detailed questions over the legality of its surveillance programs with an intensity and focus that suggests that several of them are actively working on legislation that would rein in the extent of that surveillance. Read More

U.S. Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board To Meet Next Wednesday

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Thursday, June 13 2013

A long dormant independent agency that was at least nominally supposed to exercise a modicum of oversight over the booming intelligence-industrial complex is scrambling to meet up next Wednesday, but the public will ... Read More

Michael Scherer, Please Remember We've Argued Over NSA Spying Since Before Millennials Were a Thing

BY Nick Judd | Thursday, June 13 2013

It would be easy to argue that the latest national security leaks are thanks to some combination of Internet culture and Millennial entitlement, as Michael Scherer does in Time's bizarre new cover story and David Brooks tried to do in an intellectually lazy op-ed hanging Edward Snowden, 29, around the neck of "the more unfortunate trends of the age." This overlooks the fact Snowden is part of an argument, now more than 30 years old, over senior government officials who have skirted the Constitution and then withheld the truth about it to Congress and to the American people. Brooks and Scherer are victims of a logical fallacy. Snowden the leaker of NSA secrets can't be a function of his particular time and place. People have been leaking NSA secrets of exactly this nature since before Snowden was even alive. Read More

Google To Justice Department: Let Us Publish National Security Requests

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Tuesday, June 11 2013

Google's Chief Legal Officer David Drummond on Tuesday published an open letter addressed to Attorney General Eric Holder and FBI Director Robert Mueller asking for permission to publish the number and scope of national security-related requests that it receives. In effect, the company is asking the government to lift a gag, imposed in the name of national security, on disclosing the extent to which the search-engine giant passes along user information to the federal government. Read More

Policymakers Divided On NSA Spying Revelations As Popular Outcry Continues

BY Sarah Lai Stirland | Monday, June 10 2013

A rare bipartisan coalition of advocacy groups and political leaders has emerged to decry National Security Agency mass surveillance activities exposed last week by The Guardian and The Washington Post, but as of Monday, policymakers in Washington D.C. appeared to be deeply divided on exactly what action to take in light of the revelations. Read More