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Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Digital Cameras And The NSA

When digital cameras came out we all rejoiced that we no longer had to have film developed.

With our new found freedom we started taking a lot of pictures everywhere of everything.

Then cell phones came out with built in cameras and we really went nuts taking pictures.

Most of of hit the point where we had a lot of pictures to manage, in fact too many pictures.

So we tapered off and stopped being silly about taking so many pictures.

Well in like manner the NSA Wants To Dump the Phone Records It Gathered Over 14 Years

 According to The Next Web, the NSA would like to get rid of something that a lot of people wish they'd never had in the first place:

 phone records that the agency has collected over a decade and a half (more, really) of mass surveillance

 However, the EFF wants to make sure that the evidence of snooping doesn't get buried along with the actual recorded data. 

From the article:
  [T]he government says that it can't be sued by bodies like the EFF. 

The organization is currently involved in two pending cases seeking a remedy for the past 14 years of illegal phone record collection. 

 EFF wrote a letter (PDF) to the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act court last December which it has now made public, explaining that it is ready to discuss options that will allow destruction of the records in ways that still preserve its ability to prosecute the cases.

 It'll be interesting to see how this pans out:

 If the government doesn't agree to a discussion about how to handle these phone records, it's possible that they will remain on file for years to come. 

Plus, it could allow the NSA to avoid being held accountable for its illegal mass surveillance.

 PCWorld reports that
"[A] U.S. surveillance court has given the National Security Agency no limit on the number of U.S. telephone records it collects in the name of fighting terrorism, the NSA director said Thursday. 

The NSA intends to collect all U.S. telephone records and put them in a searchable 'lock box' in the interest of national security, General Keith Alexander, the NSA's director, told U.S. senators."

But don't worry; it's just metadata, until it isn't.

 (Your row in the NSA database may already be getting cozy in its nice new home in Utah.)

 The latest on an U.S. District Court ruling over NSA spying.
"A federal judge ruled Monday that the National Security Agency's phone surveillance program is likely unconstitutional, Politico reports. 

U.S. District Court Judge Richard Leon said that the agency's controversial program, first unveiled by former government contractor Edward Snowden earlier this year, appears to violate the Constitution's Fourth Amendment, which states that the 'right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated.' 

'I cannot imagine a more "indiscriminate" and "arbitrary invasion" than this systematic and high-tech collection and retention of personal data on virtually every single citizen for purposes of querying it and analyzing it without judicial approval,' Leon wrote in the ruling. 

The federal ruling came down after activist Larry Klayman filed a lawsuit in June over the program.

 The suit claimed that the NSA's surveillance 'violates the U.S. Constitution and also federal laws, including, but not limited to, the outrageous breach of privacy, freedom of speech, freedom of association, and the due process rights of American citizens.'"


  "It is time to enforce the fourth amendment. I hope there are many more fourth amendment challenges in the pipeline. The bill of rights is the only thing left to save us from government tyranny."
Todd Palin


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