FBI Director: Government Surveillance ‘Enhances Liberty’

As technology companies enhance their user security software, FBI director James Comey said the government should expand its surveillance law. Encryption tools that allow users to lock their phones permanently threaten FBI operations, director says. (Photo: ario_/flickr/cc) In a speech on Thursday, FBI director James Comey invoked “national security and public safety” to push for more permissive government surveillance policies, claiming new encryption technologies are poised to leave law enforcement agencies “in the dark” as they try to hunt down terrorists and child molesters. Civil liberties watchdogs criticized Comey’s claims, saying that the encryption tools would have no bearing on police and FBI operations, and that privacy is a federally guaranteed right. Laura W. Murphy, director of the Washington Legislative Office of the American Civil Liberties Union, said Comey “is wrong in asserting that law enforcement cannot do its job while respecting Americans’ privacy rights. In fact, federal law […] Read More

The Next Shoe Just Dropped: Court Denies Attorney-Client Privilege

Submitted by Simon Black via Sovereign Man blog, In the Land of the Free, people grow up hearing a lot of things about their freedom. You’re told that you live in the freest country on the planet. You’re told that other nations ‘hate you’ for your freedom. And you’re told that you have the most open and fair justice system in the world. This justice system is supposedly founded on bedrock principles– things like a defendant being presumed innocent until proven guilty. The right to due process and an impartial hearing. The right to counsel and attorney-client privilege. Yet each of these core pillars has been systematically dismantled over the years: 1. So that it can operate with impunity outside of the law, the federal government has set up its own secret FISA courts to rubber stamp NSA surveillance. According to data obtained by the Electronic Privacy Information Center, […] Read More

2012: Tracking School Children With RFID Tags? It’s All About the Benjamins

BY DAVID KRAVETS 09.07.12 6:30 AM Just as the U.S. Department of Agriculture mandates Radio Frequency Identification Device chips to monitor livestock, a Texas school district just begun implanting the devices on student identification cards to monitor pupils’ movements on campus, and to track them as they come and go from school. Tagging school children with RFID chips is uncommon, but not new. A federally funded preschool in Richmond, California, began embedding RFID chips in students’ clothing in 2010. And an elementary school outside of Sacramento, California, scrubbed a plan in 2005 amid a parental uproar. And a Houston, Texas, school district began using the chips to monitor students on 13 campuses in 2004. It was only a matter of time. Radio frequency identification devices are a daily part of the electronic age, and are fast becoming a part of passports, libraries and payment cards, and are widely expected to replace bar-code labels […] Read More