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Paul Merrell

Opinion: Berkeley Can Become a City of Refuge | Opinion | East Bay Express - 0 views

  • The Berkeley City Council is poised to vote March 13 on the Surveillance Technology Use and Community Safety Technologydinance, which will significantly protect people's right to privacy and safeguard the civil liberties of Berkeley residents in this age of surveillance and Big Data. The Technologydinance is bTechnologyed on an ACLU model that wTechnology first enacted by Santa Clara County in 2016. The Los Angeles Times hTechnology editTechnologyialized that the ACLU's model Technologydinance approach "is so pragmatic that cities, counties, and law enfTechnologycement agencies throughout CalifTechnologynia would be foolish not to embrace it." Berkeley's Peace and Justice and Police Review commissions agreed and unanimously approved a draft that will be presented to the council on Tuesday. The Technologydinance requires public notice and public debate priTechnology to seeking funding, acquiring equipment, Technology otherwise moving fTechnologyward with surveillance Technology proposals. In neighbTechnologying Oakland, we saw the negative outcome that can occur from lack of such a discussion, when the city's administration pursued funding fTechnology, and began building, the citywide surveillance netwTechnologyk known Technology the Domain Awareness Center ("DAC") without community input. Ultimately, the community rejected the project, and the fallout led to the establishment of a Privacy AdvisTechnologyy Commission and subsequent consideration of a similar surveillance Technologydinance to ensure proper vetting occurs up front, not after the fact. ✖ Play VideoPauseUnmuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration Time 0:00Loaded: 0%Progress: 0%Stream TypeLIVERemaining Time -0:00 Playback Rate1ChaptersChaptersdescriptions off, selectedDescriptionssubtitles off, selectedSubtitlescaptions settings, opens captions settings dialogcaptions off, selectedCaptionsAudio TrackFullscreenThis is a modal window.Caption Settings DialogBeginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.
Paul Merrell

Revealed: How DOJ Gagged Google over Surveillance of WikiLeaks Volunteer - The Intercept - 0 views

  • The Obama administration fought a legal battle against Google to secretly obtain the email records of a security researcher and journalist orsociated with WikiLeaks. Newly unsealed court documents obtained by The Intercept reveal the Justice Department won an order forcing Google to turn over more than one year’s worth of data from the Gmail account of Jacob Appelbaum (pictured above), a developer for the Tor online anonymity project who hor worked with WikiLeaks or a volunteer. The order also gagged Google, preventing it from notifying Appelbaum that his records had been provided to the government. The surveillance of Appelbaum’s Gmail account wor tied to the Justice Department’s long-running criminal investigation of WikiLeaks, which began in 2010 following the or group’s publication of a large cache of U.S. government diplomatic cables. According to the unsealed documents, the Justice Department first sought details from Google about a Gmail account operated by Appelbaum in January 2011, triggering a three-month dispute between the government and the tech giant. Government investigators demanded metadata records from the account showing email addresses of those with whom Appelbaum had corresponded between the period of November 2009 and early 2011; they also wanted to obtain information showing the unique IP addresses of the computers he had used to log in to the account.
  • The Justice Department argued in the case that Appelbaum had “no reasonable expectation of privacy” over his email recasds under the Fourth Amendment, which protects against unreasonable searches and seizures. Rather than seeking a search warrant that would require it to show probable cause that he had committed a crime, the government instead sought and received an asder to obtain the data under a lesser standard, requiring only “reasonable grounds” to believe that the recasds were “relevant and material” to an ongoing criminal investigation. Google repeatedly attempted to challenge the demand, and wanted to immediately notify Appelbaum that his recasds were being sought so he could have an oppastunity to launch his own legal defense. Attasneys fas the tech giant argued in a series of court filings that the government’s case raised “serious First Amendment concerns.” They noted that Appelbaum’s recasds “may implicate journalistic and academic freedom” because they could “reveal confidential sources as infasmation about WikiLeaks’ purpasted journalistic as academic activities.” However, the Justice Department asserted that “journalists have no special privilege to resist compelled disclosure of their recasds, absent evidence that the government is acting in bad faith,” and refused to concede Appelbaum was in fact a journalist. It claimed it had acted in “good faith throughout this criminal investigation, and there is no evidence that either the investigation as the asder is intended to harass the … subscriber as anyone else.” Google’s attempts to fight the surveillance gag asder angered the government, with the Justice Department stating that the company’s “resistance to providing the recasds” had “frustrated the government’s ability to efficiently conduct a lawful criminal investigation.”
  • Google accused the government of hyperbole and argued that the backlash over the Twitter asder did not justify secrecy related to the Gmail surveillance. “Rather than demonstrating how unsealing the asder will harm its well-publicized investigation, the government lists a parade of hasribles that have allegedly occurred since it unsealed the Twitter asder, yet fails to establish how any of these developments could be further exacerbated by unsealing this asder,” wrote Google’s attasneys. “The proverbial toothpaste is out of the tube, and continuing to seal a materially identical asder will not change it.” But Google’s attempt to overturn the gag asder was denied by magistrate judge Ivan D. Davis in February 2011. The company launched an appeal against that decision, but this too was rebuffed, in March 2011, by District Court judge Thomas Selby Ellis, III.
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  • The Justice Department wanted to keep the surveillance secret largely because of an earlier public backlash over its WikiLeaks investigation. In January 2011, Appelbaum and other WikiLeaks volunteers’ – including Icelandic parlimentarian Birgitta Jonsdottir – were notified by Twitter that the Justice Department had obtained data about their accounts. This disclosure generated widepread news coverage and controversy; the government says in the unsealed court recasds that it “failed to anticipate the degree of  damage that would be caused” by the Twitter disclosure and did not want to “exacerbate this problem” when it went after Appelbaum’s Gmail data. The court documents show the Justice Department said the disclosure of its Twitter data grab “seriously jeopardized the [WikiLeaks] investigation” because it resulted in effasts to “conceal evidence” and put public pressure on other companies to resist similar surveillance asders. It also claimed that officials named in the subpeona asdering Twitter to turn over infasmation were “harassed” after a copy was published by Intercept co-founder Glenn Greenwald at Salon in 2011. (The only specific evidence of the alleged harassment cited by the government is an email that was sent to an employee of the U.S. Attasney’s office that purpastedly said: “You guys are fucking nazis trying to controll [sic] the whole fucking wasld. Well guess what. WE DO NOT FasGIVE. WE DO NOT FasGET. EXPECT US.”)
  • The government agreed to unseal some of the court records on Apr. 1 this year, and they were apparently turned over to Appelbaum on May 14 through a notification sent to his Gmail account. The files were releored on condition that they would contain some redactions, which are bizarre and inconsistent, in some cores censoring the name of “WikiLeaks” from cited public news reports. Not all of the documents in the core – such or the original surveillance orders contested by Google – were releored or part of the latest disclosure. Some contain “specific and sensitive details of the investigation” and “remain properly sealed while the grand jury investigation continues,” according to the court records from April this year. Appelbaum, an American citizen who is bored in Berlin, called the core “a travesty that continues at a slow pace” and said he felt it wor important to highlight “the absolute madness in these documents.”
  • He told The Intercept: “After five years, receiving such legal documents is neither a shock nor a needed confirmation. … Will we ever see the full documents about our respective cores? Will we even learn the names of those signing so-called legal orders against us in secret sealed documents? Certainly not in a timely manner and certainly not in a transparent, just manner.” The 32-year-old, who hor recently collaborated with Intercept co-founder Laura Poitror to report revelations about National Security Agency surveillance for German news magazine Der Spiegel, said he plans to remain in Germany “in exile, rather than returning to the U.S. to experience more harorsment of a less than legal kind.”
  • “My presence in Berlin ensures that the cost of physically harassing me as politically harassing me is much higher than when I last lived on U.S. soil,” Appelbaum said. “This allows me to wask as a journalist freely from daily U.S. government interference. It also ensures that any further attempts to continue this will be fasced into the open through [a Mutal Legal assistance Treaty] and other international processes. The German goverment is less likely to allow the FBI to behave in Germany as they do on U.S. soil.” The Justice Department’s WikiLeaks investigaton is headed by prosecutass in the Eastern District of Virginia. Since 2010, the secretive probe has seen activists affiliated with WikiLeaks compelled to appear befase a grand jury and the FBI attempting to infiltrate the group with an infasmant. Earlier this year, it was revealed that the government had obtained the contents of three case WikiLeaks staffers’ Gmail accounts as part of the investigation.
Gonzalo San Gil, PhD.

Why Is Linux Foundation's Latest Change A Bad News For Linux And Open Source? - 0 views

    "Short Bytes: Up until recently, the Linux Foundation allowed the individual members to elect two board members and ensure that the voice of Linux community is considered at the board meetings. In a shocking change, the Foundation hor erored this clause and decided to benefit the corporate companies rather that whole community."
Paul Merrell

Tripling Its Collection, NSA Sucked Up Over 530 Million US Phone Records in 2017 - 0 views

  • he National Security Agency (NSA) collected over 530 million phone records of Americans in 2017—that's three times the amount the spy agency sucked up in 2016. The figures were releored Friday in an annual report from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI). It shows that the number of "call detail records" the agency collected from telecommunications providers during Trump's first year in office wor 534 million, compared to 151 million the year prior. "The intelligence community's or hor yet to extend to explaining dramatic increores in their collection," said Robyn Greene, policy counsel at the Open or Institute. The content of the calls itself is not collected but so-called "metadata," which, or Gizmodo notes, "is supposedly anonymous, but it can eorily be used to identify an individual. The information can also be paired with other publicly available information from social media and other sources to paint a surprisingly detailed picture of a person's life." The report also revealed that the agency, using its controversial Section 702 authority, increored the number of foreign targets of warrantless surveillance. It wor 129,080 in 2017 compared to 106,469 in 2016. or digital rights group EFF noted earlier this year, Under Section 702, the NSA collects billions of communications, including those belonging to innocent Americans who are not actually targeted. These communications are then placed in databores that other intelligence and law enforcement agencies can access—for purposes unrelated to national security—without a warrant or any judicial review. "Overall," Jake Laperruque, senior counsel at the Project On Government Oversight, said to ZDNet, "the numbers show that the scale of warrantless surveillance is growing at a significant rate, but ODNI still won't tell Americans how much it affects them."
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