Despite the guarantee of the Fourth Amendment, U.S. law enforcement and intelligence agencies have made a habit of spying on the citizenry. But in the 21st century, the internet and the ability of computers to store and process vast amounts of data has allowed the government to collect vast amounts of data about each of us.
Government surveillance goes well beyond the NSA/FBI mass surveillance programs revealed by Edward Snowden in 2013. The Drug Enforcement Agency’s automatic license plate readers have been recording our travel for decades; the FBI’s domain awareness program records where we travel, record has been recording license plates for decades, Fusion Centers and Joint Terrorism Task Forces (run by DHS and the FBI respectively) gather information.
Police zeal to embrace military-grade hardware is unprecedented, and the deployment of surveillance technology on the public often occurs with little public debate or warning.
The bill, known as the Empowering Financial Institutions to Fight Human Trafficking Act of 2018 (HR6729) has two very big problems.
State Bureau of Investigation unit prepared “threat assessment” of Atlantic Coast Pipeline protestors
The state’s surveillance and counter-terrorism unit, the Information Sharing and Analysis Center (ISAAC), warned law enforcement officials that the Atlantic Coast Pipeline could attract “violent extremists” who are opposed to the natural gas project in North Carolina, a document obtained by Policy Watch shows.
Why Are 31 US Civil Society & Tech Orgs So Concerned About an Australian Anti-Encryption Draft Bill?
The drafters of this bill sprinkled-in some pro-encryption language, but that doesn’t mask the fact that, if enacted, it would seriously threaten everyone’s digital security by allowing the Australian government to demand that companies redesign their secure products to facilitate surveillance.
Members of the 9/11 Commission were smart enough to understand that federal counterterrorism programs would threaten privacy and civil liberties, so they recommended the creation of a Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board (PCLOB) to review those programs to ensure they include safeguards to protect privacy and civil liberties. It’s been inoperative since January 2017.