Daily Adams

Surveillance

Encryption for free speech 

If we are going to continue to preserve our right to free speech in the electronic age, then we need to use tools like encryption,” says Ladar Levison, founder of the Lavabit, the encrypted email service used by Edward Snowden prior to the NSA leaks.

Weak Claims Against Encryption 

“The idea that terrorists will stop using end-to-end encryption – where a message is unintelligible from when it leaves the sender until it reaches its recipient – if the US bans companies from using it is preposterous. As Johns Hopkins cryptography professor Matthew Green tweeted, “You could strangle the whole U.S. tech industry, and ISIS…

Slipping away

“But, the bigger surprise: even with a deadline looming, warnings of impending doom from surveillance justifiers, and pressure from Senate leadership, the extension received less support than the reform bill. In other words, more senators believe that the prospect of completely losing some surveillance authority is less damaging than allowing the government to continue its…

FUD

“In a last-ditch effort to scare lawmakers into preserving unpopular and much-abused surveillance authorities, the Senate Republican leadership and some intelligence officials are warning that allowing Section 215 of the Patriot Act to sunset would compromise national security. (One particularly crass example from Senator Lindsey Graham: “Anyone who neuters this program is going to be…

Defender of the Surveillance State

“On the other side is a camp led by Mitch McConnell, who has proposed legislation extending the government’s spying powers without any new limitations or safeguards. Even before Thursday, McConnell’s case against reform was grounded in an almost surreal denial of the facts about the NSA program. McConnell has insisted that the NSA’s telephone program…

Bizarre Illegality of Bulk Surveillance 

“There’s a program that Congress never approved. The House weirdly had to vote to get rid of it. They did so. But the Senate had to follow suit, voting to get rid of the program that they never passed. And they failed even though 57 Senators were in favor. So an illegal program will continue,…

The Patriot Act Balance of Power

“If Section 215 sunsets, pro-reform advocates will have  more leverage to push for stronger surveillance reforms than those currently on the table, because the new status quo will tip more in favor of those who oppose mass surveillance under the Patriot Act. However, they will have to strongly push back against fearmongering from anti-reformists and…

Defending a Free Society

“The focus of the senator’s alarm, and rightly so, was a pair of bipartisan renewal bills in both houses that fall short of remedying the problem. The bills would cut back, but not end, the domestic phone-data sweeps that eroded individual rights while accomplishing little in protecting the nation. They avoid the issue of bulk…

Bicycling While Black

“The Tampa Bay Times’ recent disclosure that police are targeting Blacks who ride bicycles — including children as young as three years old — for dramatically high rates of stops and searches is the latest piece in the nationwide debate about racial profiling that has followed the police-involved deaths of Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Walter…