House leadership is trying to ram through a reauthorization of FISA and PATRIOT Act surveillance authorities using an obscure Congressional mechanism

House leadership is trying to ram through a reauthorization of FISA and PATRIOT Act surveillance authorities using an obscure Congressional mechanism

Not only would this prevent the House of Representatives from voting on the popular Wyden-Daines amendment which would force the government to obtain a warrant before spying on people’s Internet activity, but it would also prevent the House from ratifying the Lee-Leahy amendment which has been passed by the Senate to protect journalists, political candidates, and religious groups from government surveillance.

Privacy News Online | Weekly Review: May 22nd, 2020

Privacy News Online | Weekly Review: May 22nd, 2020

The Patriot Act is up for renewal in Congress as the USA FREEDOM Reauthorization Act of 2020 and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has added in an amendment that would open up internet history to the list of information that the FBI and DOJ would be able to access without a warrant.

Leaked Senate Talking Points Say Internet Surveillance Warrants Would Force FBI To Let Terrorists Bomb Things

Leaked Senate Talking Points Say Internet Surveillance Warrants Would Force FBI To Let Terrorists Bomb Things

A spokesperson for Sen. Ron Wyden, an intelligence committee member and a sponsor of the pro-privacy amendment the talking points seek to undermine, said that if an individual is a known spy, “then obviously there’s probable cause that he is an agent of a foreign power and a warrant is readily available.”.

House leaders agree to vote on amendment restricting surveillance of internet browsing

House leaders agree to vote on amendment restricting surveillance of internet browsing

Lofgren and Davidson advocated for their amendment in a letter Wednesday to the House Rules Committee, noting that the Wyden-Daines proposal had a bipartisan majority of the Senate and that at least two senators indicated they would have voted for it had they been present.The House is expected to pass the surveillance measure next week.

Civil liberties groups are urging Congress to block the FBI from viewing Americans' web-browsing history without a warrant

Civil liberties groups are urging Congress to block the FBI from viewing Americans' web-browsing history without a warrant

The Senate last week passed a reauthorization of the Patriot Act that included language from Mitch McConnell granting the FBI authority to see web-browsing records without a warrant.

Wyden, Rounds and Eshoo Lead Bipartisan Call to Secure U.S. Capitol Phone Networks

Wyden, Rounds and Eshoo Lead Bipartisan Call to Secure U.S. Capitol Phone Networks

– U.S. Senators Ron Wyden, D-Ore., and Mike Rounds, R-S.D., with Rep. Anna Eshoo, D-Calif., led 20 members of the House and Senate in a request to encrypt phone calls between the chambers to protect communications against foreign surveillance.

Access your browsing history w/o a warrant? Senate votes yes.

Access your browsing history w/o a warrant? Senate votes yes.

There was some good news: a second amendment did pass, which allows judges ruling on Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) requests to seek input from independent experts.

These are the 37 Senators that voted to let the FBI seize your internet history without a warrant

These are the 37 Senators that voted to let the FBI seize your internet history without a warrant

A key amendment to the USA Freedom Reauthorization Act of 2020 that would have required authorities to obtain a warrant before gaining access to American internet browsing and search history just failed on the Senate floor by a single vote.

Congress plans to expand Patriot Act with DOJ access to your web browsing and search activity without a warrant

Congress plans to expand Patriot Act with DOJ access to your web browsing and search activity without a warrant

As if the original phone metadata siphoning provisions of the Patriot Act aren’t enough, Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has introduced an amendment which would allow the Department of Justice (DOJ) to have access to anybody’s web browsing and search history under Section 215.

Senate privacy hawks score a win that delays surveillance renewal

Senate privacy hawks score a win that delays surveillance renewal

“My sense from my House counterparts was this is a carefully crafted compromise and that it could potentially unravel if it comes back with this amendment,” Virginia Sen. Mark Warner, the top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, told POLITICO.

Now there's nothing stopping the PATRIOT Act allowing the FBI to slurp web-browsing histories without a warrant

Now there's nothing stopping the PATRIOT Act allowing the FBI to slurp web-browsing histories without a warrant

The bi-partisan push to install the privacy protection mechanism was led by Senators Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Steve Daines (R-MT), and came following the news a planned addition to the PATRIOT Act, which is due to be renewed this week, would allow law enforcement to collect people’s browsing histories without a warrant.

Senator Wyden Wants Congress to Investigate Which Local Cops Have Hacking Tools

Senator Wyden Wants Congress to Investigate Which Local Cops Have Hacking Tools

"Government hacking is among the most invasive forms of surveillance—tracking someone’s movements, turning on their webcam and microphone, or accessing photos and other sensitive data on a phone or computer," Senator Wyden told Motherboard in a statement.

U.S. lawmaker says any COVID-19 contact tracing tech should be voluntary and limited

U.S. lawmaker says any COVID-19 contact tracing tech should be voluntary and limited

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Senator Edward Markey, a Democrat and online privacy advocate, said in a letter released Wednesday that any digital coronavirus contact tracing should be voluntary, transparent and collect only the information needed to identify who might be at risk of contracting the respiratory ailment that has killed more than 45,000 people in the United States.

Apple responds to senators’ privacy fears over COVID-19 screening tools

Apple responds to senators’ privacy fears over COVID-19 screening tools

HIPAA governs when a company can disclose data to a third party, and Apple says there aren’t any third parties involved in collecting the information, since “data are entered into the website and app directly by users.”.

Democratic senators question Google over decision to release coronavirus location data

Democratic senators question Google over decision to release coronavirus location data

The senators sent a letter to Google CEO Sundar Pichai questioning the company’s new COVID-19 Community Mobility Reports, which involve the publication of anonymized and aggregated location data for individuals in 131 countries and regions to show movement trends.

Why Don’t We Just Ban Targeted Advertising?

Why Don’t We Just Ban Targeted Advertising?

Republican senator Orrin Hatch, then 84 years old, asked how Facebook could make any money by offering a free service.Above all, they’ve tried to browbeat the companies into adopting better policies around things like fact-checking, content moderation, and political ads.

Coronavirus: Pa. senator wants to suspend HIPAA amid COVID-19 pandemic

Coronavirus: Pa. senator wants to suspend HIPAA amid COVID-19 pandemic

Mastriano said HIPAA preventing the public release of the names of people who have tested positive endangers the lives of people who have been in close contact with them.

Mastriano: Federal HIPAA Regs Should be Suspended During Coronavirus Pandemic

Mastriano: Federal HIPAA Regs Should be Suspended During Coronavirus Pandemic

HARRISBURG – As a result of the COVID-19 Coronavirus outbreak, State Senator Doug Mastriano (R-33) is introducing a measure calling upon the federal government to temporarily suspend the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).

US Politicians Want to Ban End-to-End Encryption on Messaging Services like Telegram and Whatsapp

US Politicians Want to Ban End-to-End Encryption on Messaging Services like Telegram and Whatsapp

The Eliminating Abusive and Rampant Neglect of Interactive Technologies Act. A planned bipartisan measure in the U.S. Senate could stop all messaging services, such as the crypto community’s favorite Telegram and Facebook controlled Whatsapp, from offering end-to-end encryption for users.

Don't be fooled, experts warn, America's anti-child-abuse EARN IT Act could burn encryption to the ground

Don't be fooled, experts warn, America's anti-child-abuse EARN IT Act could burn encryption to the ground

Backed by senators Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Josh Hawley (R-MO) and Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), the proposed law intends to make technology companies "earn" their exemption from liability allowed under Section 230 of the US Communications Decency Act by requiring internet companies to follow a set of best practices to keep CSAM off their networks.

The EARN IT Act Is a Sneak Attack on Encryption

The EARN IT Act Is a Sneak Attack on Encryption

A bipartisan pair of US senators today introduced long-rumored legislation known as the EARN IT Act. Meant to combat child sexual exploitation online, the bill threatens to erode established protections against holding tech companies responsible for what people do and say on their platforms.

Domestic phone surveillance program from the Patriot Act may finally see the grave

Domestic phone surveillance program from the Patriot Act may finally see the grave

As a result, key members in the House and Senate are now opposing reauthorization of the phone records surveillance – though they are still planning to reauthorize other parts of the surveillance act.

Bill Would Reform NSA Surveillance Program

Bill Would Reform NSA Surveillance Program

A bipartisan cadre of lawmakers in the House and Senate have introduced legislation that would reform the 9/11-era authorities used by the intelligence community to access Americans’ phone records and other domestic communications.

Your annual reminder that Facebook tracks your location after you opt out

Your annual reminder that Facebook tracks your location after you opt out

Several major news organizations and outlets, from AFP to CNBC to The Hill, are reporting that Facebook told US senators that it continues to track users’ location even after they’ve turned those settings off within the app.

Rand Paul Joins Elizabeth Warren, Ron Wyden To Question Surveillance By Credit Agencies

Rand Paul Joins Elizabeth Warren, Ron Wyden To Question Surveillance By Credit Agencies

A bipartisan Senate trio is asking credit agencies Equifax, Experian and TransUnion to disclose more information about how the companies work with the FBI to spy on American consumers.

FBI secretly demands a ton of consumer data from credit agencies. Now lawmakers want answers

FBI secretly demands a ton of consumer data from credit agencies. Now lawmakers want answers

Three lawmakers — Democratic senators Ron Wyden and Elizabeth Warren, and Republican senator Rand Paul — have sent letters to Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion, expressing their “alarm” as to why the credit giants have failed to disclose the number of government demands for consumer data they receive.

US senators on encryption back doors: “We will impose our will” on Apple and Facebook

US senators on encryption back doors: “We will impose our will” on Apple and Facebook

“Because this time next year, if we haven’t found a way that you can live with, we will impose our will on you.” Apple and Facebook representatives at the hearing came under fire from senators in both parties, while Manhattan district attorney Cy Vance, one of the biggest advocates of back doors, was treated as a star witness.

U.S. senators threaten Facebook, Apple with encryption regulation

U.S. senators threaten Facebook, Apple with encryption regulation

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - U.S. senators grilled Apple Inc and Facebook Inc executives over their encryption practices on Tuesday and threatened to regulate the technology unless the companies make encrypted user data accessible to law enforcement.

Joe Biden's Record On Privacy May Give Democrats Pause – InsideSources

Joe Biden's Record On Privacy May Give Democrats Pause – InsideSources

Joe Biden’s record on privacy issues extends back to at least 1994 when, as a US Senator from Delaware, he introduced the Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act (CALEA).

Amazon admits it has enacted zero civil liberties protections as part of surveillance doorbell partnerships

Amazon admits it has enacted zero civil liberties protections as part of surveillance doorbell partnerships

Amazon has confirmed that civil rights organizations were correct about the threats Ring technology and police partnerships pose to privacy and civil liberties in statements to U.S. Senator Edward Markey.

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