Privacy news update, 6-29

Gov Oversight Board Will Weigh In On The Legality Of PRISM

Seattleland: SPD Drones Draw Flak in L.A. as Airborne Spying Comes Under Attack, Literally

Maybe Congress Will Now Move to Protect Email From Warrantless Searches

When a Health Plan Knows How You Shop

Airship flies above NSA data center, decries “Illegal Spying Below

FBI Issued 19,000 National Security Letters In 2013

US pushing local cops to stay mum on surveillance

Snarky Lawmaker Reminds Former NSA Chief That Selling State Secrets Is Illegal

Over NSA worries, Germany ends government contract with Verizon

Forced to Hand Over Data, Facebook Files Appeal

Cisco open-sources experimental cipher

Courts may hear challenges to secret cell tracking devices after new ruling

How Nest Is Already Using All That Data From Its Army of Smoke Alarms

The British Government Just Set a Dangerous Precedent for Online Spying

NSA Transparency Report Offers More Questions Than Answers

Poll Indicates Broad Support For Email Privacy Overhaul

Digital Privacy Is Fundamentally Different From Physical Privacy

When a car rats you out: Your license plate vs. your privacy

LAPD’s two drones under lock-and-key by feds until rules in place

3 ways Glenn Greenwald changed how I look at privacy

What a Toilet Hoax Can Tell Us About the Future of Surveillance

Philz Coffee Drops Euclid Analytics Over Privacy Concerns

Number Six

Privacy News roundup, 6-22-14

Congress passes crackdown on NSA surveillance
also from Wired:and Slashdot

– NOTE – the above is only the House, not Congress + Obama signature, so not really ‘passed’ yet. And the bill also has limits on Gitmo stuff which will surely be a direct challenge to Obama – but a big first step, anyway – #6

Court rules police need warrant for cell phone location tracking
Also from Wired here and here.

How Secret Partners Expand NSA’s Surveillance Dragnet


To Speed Up Security Lines, Airports Start Tracking Your Smartphone

Apple Cuts Off a Way to Secretly Track Shoppers

Microsoft: NSA security fallout ‘getting worse’ … ‘not blowing over’and from BusinessWeek

Judge Orders DOJ To Turn Over FISA Surveillance Documents

Slippery Google greases up, aims to squirm out of EU privacy grasp

Top Canadian court: Cops need warrant to get names from ISPsand Slashdot

Facial recognition tech convicts man in Chicago robbery case

NSA’s Novel Claim: Our Systems Are Too Complex To Obey the Law

Emails Show Feds Asking Florida Cops To Deceive Judges About Surveillance Tech

Microsoft fights US warrant for customer data stored overseas

Jindal vetoes REAL ID bill

Microsoft promises no snooping in new fine print for web services

GPS tracking case has left unsettled questions

Google’s Nest Buys Home Monitoring Camera Company Dropcam

Ex-NSA Chief Pitches Banks Costly Advice on Cyber-Attacks

Who Doesn’t Want to Close the E-Mail Privacy Loophole?

Europe’s High Court Will Look at Facebook’s Possible Role in NSA Spying

UK says cyber-spies monitor Facebook, Google use

Five surveillance myths stalling NSA reform, debunked

From The Guardian…

Five surveillance myths stalling NSA reform, debunked

As you cruise the internet, check Facebook or shoot out a few tweets today, you might notice something strange: a massive digital protest aimed at stopping the NSA surveillance machine. Over 6,000 organizations, companies and websites have pledged their support to roll back the surveillance state by inundating members of Congress with calls, emails, tweets and Facebook posts in support of the USA Freedom Act, a bill with nearly 150 bipartisan cosponsors that would end the bulk collection of Americans’ sensitive records. Today is The Day We Fight Back.

But to fight back effectively, Americans need to know where the facts stand right now, more than eight months since the Edward Snowden leaks began.

Within minutes after the Guardian published that first leak on the NSA’s activities, pro-surveillance forces starting making bold claims about how necessary broad spying is to our very security. And almost every justification for indiscriminate spying on Americans and people abroad has been methodically refuted ever since. It turns out that assertions made by the administration, members of Congress and security commentators were little more than myths. So enough with the misleading statements and half-truths designed to distort reality. Here’s a quick rundown and rebuttal of the surveillance falsehoods that still need refuting to this day.
Myth No 1: NSA surveillance programs have thwarted terror attacks here at home.

At early congressional hearings, administration representatives insisted that spying programs, including the now infamous collection of phone records in bulk, had stopped 54 terror incidents. As members pushed for more detail, the administration said around 10 of those were based in the US. Weeks later, the number shrank to four – and then ultimately a single case in Southern California, where a San Diego cab driver was convicted of sending $8,500 to a Somali terrorist group.

In fact, there were no attacks in America thwarted by domestic spying. This led both the independent Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board and the president’s hand-picked Surveillance Review Group to find that the phone records program added no unique value to the many surveillance programs already underway.
Myth No 2: NSA data-crunching programs only work if you collect all information on everyone.

Pro-surveillance advocates immediately took up this banner once it was reported that essentially all phone calls in the US were collected under provisions of the Patriot Act. Of course, this argument fell apart once no cases could be found supporting the need for bulk collection. The claim was also dealt a serious blow by the conclusion of the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board that bulk collection has not provided the NSA any information that it could not have acquired using targeted surveillance.

The Washington Post and Wall Street Journal are now reporting that the collection rate of phone records is somewhere between 20 and 30% and is largely targeted at landlines. If this is true, the “collect-it-all” argument has no leg to stand on.
Myth No 3: All relevant decision-makers were briefed on the programs and approved them.

Some members of Congress were briefed on the telephone record program, but by and large they were not. In fact, the House Intelligence Committee is still denying members of the House access to information about NSA surveillance to this very day.

The rest of the newly revealed programs – such as a decade-long program to track email communications, overseas hacking and broad searches of internet records – have not been addressed by the administration in any detail. Most members of Congress are unaware of how these and even broader programs affect people here and abroad.
Myth No 4: There’s simply no other less-intrusive way to achieve the same ends.

It’s not clear what the “ends” are since they don’t seem to be tied to actually stopping terrorist attacks. But if the NSA’s goal is to collect phone and other records to advance investigations, the government has many tools already at its disposal that operate with some sort of specificity or suspicion, including emergency authorities that allow them to seize records and follow process later if life or limb is at risk. Both the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board and the president’s Review Group confirmed this in their respective reports.
Myth No 5: President Obama’s changes sufficiently address the privacy violations revealed in the last eight months.

The president’s apparent decision to stop the NSA from amassing Americans’ phone records without suspicion is a good first step but addresses only the tip of the iceberg. Notably absent from the president’s recent speech on surveillance was a commitment to end other forms of bulk collection. Congress needs to finish the job by rewriting the laws to ensure that no records or communications can be collected in a mass, suspicion-free fashion and that the government’s tools be targeted only at those suspected of wrongdoing.

Moreover, Congress needs to address the significant way in which international and foreign surveillance affects the rights of not just US citizens and residents, but of foreigners, whose right to privacy the president recently recognized. Part of the solution will undoubtedly involve clarifying and adding appropriate limitations on vague surveillance laws and executive orders.

Now that you know where the truth stands, the administration and its supporters are left only with claims that trolling through our data provides “peace of mind” and that someday in the future these massive databases will somehow thwart a terrorist attack. Those are inadequate justifications for widespread spying on everyday people, particularly in a democracy. That’s why the ACLU and over 6,000 other organizations, companies and websites are taking action. Today we tell our members of Congress that the time has come to take our privacy back and rein in the NSA by passing the USA Freedom Act.

Join us, and tell Congress that indiscriminate mass surveillance is un-American.

Eric Schmidt – Still hypocrite, still a piece of s***

So Eric, what about the ‘NSA room’ you have to let them tap your network? What about the fact that you really do NOT anonymize search traffic? Why do you keep lying? Why not be like AT&T and just admit you don’t care about your customers anymore? And why is it OK for corporations to use drones but not private citizens then? Oh right, that’s because corporations are ‘people’…I forgot. GFY, Assh***! Open your mouth, insert NSA…..

Lying is still ‘evil’ Eric….

Eric Schmidt says consumers shouldn’t have drones, even though Google wants to use them
Drones should be banned from private use, says Google’s Eric Schmidt

Number Six