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White House refuses petition to pardon Edward Snowden, slamming his ‘dangerous’ actions

Contrary to some recent reports, the White House is not softening on Snowden. On Tuesday, the administration responded to a “We the People” petition asking for clemency for Edward Snowden. The White House’s reply (which was, unsurprisingly, a “no”) slammed Snowden’s “dangerous decision” to “steal” information, and accused him of “running away from the consequences of […]

NSA promises to destroy old phone records–as soon as they’re done getting sued over them

(AP Photo/Karly Domb Sadof, FIle)

The NSA promises it’s going to destroy your phone records—just not quite yet. That’s the gist of the Obama administration’s announcement Monday that the NSA will eventually be required to get rid of all the records they collected under a since-expired metadata collection program. “As soon as possible, NSA will destroy the Section 215 bulk […]

Capitol Police no longer need probable cause for searches

In the future, trips to Capitol Hill might get a little more unpleasant: police will no longer need probable cause to search anyone on the premises, including the outdoor grounds.  Congressional officials ordered the new rules, which grant Capitol Police broad authority for searches, Roll Call reported. The new language reads, “At the direction of the […]

Officials panic when they can’t find a law banning this teen’s homemade gun-firing drone

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A few weeks, ago, 18-year-old Austin Haughwout of Clinton, Connecticut uploaded a video to Youtube of a gun-firing drone he had fashioned himself, allowing him to fire a semiautomatic handgun from an overhead drone. The video quickly went viral, receiving millions of views. Alarmed local and federal authorities are now investigating whether his invention breaks any […]

This former senator wants to see Edward Snowden publicly hanged

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Plenty of “national security” types are in favor of throwing Edward Snowden in prison—but one former senator decided to take things a bit further, and call for Snowden to be publicly hanged. According to The Hill, former Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.), once a ranking member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, enthuisiastically endorsed execution for Snowden […]

The TSA is getting sued over its failure to follow procedures for invasive body scanners

(AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

The Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI), a libertarian think tank, is suing the TSA for “failing to follow basic required administrative procedures” before using invasive body scanners on passengers. The suit accuses the agency of neglecting their duty to publish rules and regulations for scanner use and open them up to public comment and judicial review. […]

Snowden documentary maker is suing the government for detaining and harassing her over 50 times

Dirk Wilutzky, from left, Laura Poitras and Glenn Greenwald accept the award for best documentary feature for “Citizenfour” at the Oscars on Sunday, Feb. 22, 2015, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. (Photo by John Shearer/Invision/AP)

Laura Poitras, the Oscar-winning documentary filmmaker who recorded the first meetings between Edward Snowden and journalist Glenn Greenwald, is suing the government over their “Kafkaesque harassment” of her at the U.S. border. “I’m filing this lawsuit because the government uses the U.S. border to bypass the rule of law,” Poitras said in a statement. “This […]

US: More than 21 million affected by government data breach

In this June 5, 2015, file photo, the Homeland Security Department headquarters in northwest Washington. The Obama administration says hackers stole Social Security numbers from more than 21 million people and took other sensitive information when government computer systems were compromised. The number affected by the breach is higher than the 14 million figure that investigators gave The Associated Press in June. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration says hackers stole Social Security numbers from more than 21 million people and took other sensitive information when government computer systems were compromised. The Office of Personnel Management says more than 19 million who had applied for background investigations were affected. The government also said nearly 2 million people […]

Holder says DOJ may strike a deal with Snowden; praises ‘necessary debate’ on NSA spying

(AP Photo, File)

Is the Justice Department softening on Snowden?

Oregon launches pay-by-the-mile driving program with big privacy concerns

(Associated Press)

Look out Oregon drivers. Big Brother is coming for your cars. The state launches its pilot program, called OReGO, July 1, marking the first pay-by-the-mile program in the U.S. Oregon’s Department of Transportation has been trying to come up with a way  for years to replace the gas tax, which has seen declining revenues thanks to […]

An NSA surveillance program so sophisticated it’s as easy as searching Google

FILE - In this June 6, 2013 file photo, a sign stands outside the National Security Agency (NSA) campus in Fort Meade, Md. There was a break in the case of a man who fired shots on several occupied vehicles and the headquarters of the NSA when he returned to the scene of the first shooting, police said Wednesday. The 35-year-old Prince George's County man was arrested Tuesday night near Arundel Mills mall, where shots were fired Feb. 24. A man driving away from a gas station near the mall was injured by glass shot out from his car, police said.  (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File)

Two years ago, the Guardian published information about an NSA surveillance program called XKeyscore—the agency’s “widest-reachest” program, which allows NSA analysts to easily search through things like emails and browser history.    Now The Intercept has published 48 classified documents about the program, claiming it’s as easy to search through as Google, and contains a massive […]

TSA tweets a picture of law-abiding traveler’s hiding place for $75,000 in cash

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Sure, the TSA may fail to apprehend weapons 95 percent of the time–but they did manage to tweet this pic of $75,000 in cash stowed in a law-abiding traveler’s suitcase, with the appearance and location of the suitcase conveniently included. TSA Public Affairs spokesperson Lisa Farbstein tweeted this picture on Tuesday: If you had $75,000, is this how you'd transport it? Just asking! TSA […]

Poll suggests millennials might abandon social media over privacy concerns

(AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

The endless polls about young people are endlessly confusing—are we libertarian or authoritarian? Self-centered or self-sacrificing? Snowden sympathizers or NSA fans? Now a new survey of 18-49 year-olds from USA Network finds that, contrary to multiple other polls, young people are concerned about privacy and may be willing to change their online behavior accordingly. Color me somewhat […]

Inside the fight for taco emoji justice

Taco Emoji

Defenders of truth and liberty are rising up in response to the apparently controversial taco emoji. L.A. Taco at First We Feast believes that our smartphones are taking part in cultural racism with the release of this corporate, Americanized taco emoji. There wasn’t always an emoji for tacos — but there were five sushi emojis, First We […]

Privacy group files complaint against Uber, claims they ‘regularly’ abuse customer data

(AP Photo/Eric Risberg)

Over the past year, Uber has been plagued by stories calling their privacy policies into question. Perhaps most infamously, BuzzFeed and Forbes reported that Uber employees abused their “God view” feature, which allowed them to see a detailed map revealing user names and locations.  There have been various calls for legislation cracking down on the […]

Deleting your browser history could get you 20 years behind bars

Khairullozhori Matanov and his lawyer Paul Glickman stand before Judge Marianne B. Bowler on Friday, May 30, 2014 in Boston. (AP Photo/Jane Flavell Collins)

A little known law could land you up to 20 years behind bars for deleting your browser history or other potentially incriminating evidence should you ever be involved in a federal investigation. Friend of the Boston bombers, 24-year-old former cab driver Khairullozhon Matanov, had dinner with the Tsarnaev brothers the night of the Boston bombings in […]

Snowden celebrates NSA victory in NYT editorial: ‘The balance of power is beginning to shift’

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Two short years after Edward Snowden met secretly with journalists Glenn Greenwald and Laura Poitras in a Hong Kong hotel room, a lot has changed.

Twitter shuts down Politwoops archive of deleted tweets by U.S. politicians

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Twitter brought down the hammer on the deleted-tweet saving site Politwoops this week and you could almost hear all of the 2016 hopefuls breathe a collective sigh of relief. Politwoops, run by the government transparency advocacy group Sunlight Foundation, has tracked the deleted tweets of U.S. law-makers since 2012, making their Twitter “oops” last forever […]

During Patriot Act debates, Edward Snowden broke his record of times mentioned in Congress

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As Congress battled over the Patriot Act last month, Edward Snowden broke a record for most times his name has ever been cited in Congress.

Apple CEO slams government’s anti-encryption crusade as ‘attack on our civil liberties’

(AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

On Monday evening, Apple CEO Tim Cook delivered a lengthy speech on privacy and encryption to the Electronic Privacy Information Center, declaring that Apple “doesn’t want your data.”