Privacy Posts

FBI Surveillance Sets Up Clash with Facebook

Agency Solicits Vendor Proposals to Collect Data from Facebook, Other Social Media to Head Off Safety Threats: (“An effort by the FBI to more aggressively monitor social media for threats sets up a clash with Facebook Inc.’s privacy policies and possibly its attempts to comply with a record $5 billion settlement with the U.S. government reached last month. * * * The Federal Bureau of Investigation is soliciting proposals from outside vendors for a contract to pull vast quantities of public data from Facebook, Twitter Inc. and other social media “to proactively identify and reactively monitor threats to the United States and its interests.”)

NSA Destroying Millions of Illegally Intercepted Call and Text Records

NSA Purges Hundreds of Millions of Call and Text Records: (“The National Security Agency has purged hundreds of millions of records logging phone calls and texts that it had gathered from American telecommunications companies since 2015, the agency has disclosed. It had realized that its database was contaminated with some files the agency had no authority to receive. * * * The agency began destroying the records on May 23, it said in a statement. Officials had discovered “technical irregularities” this year in its collection from phone companies of so-called call record details, or metadata showing who called or texted whom and when, but not what they said.”)

The CLOUD Act Remains an Enemy to Privacy and Human Rights

Somewhat Improved, the CLOUD Act Still Poses a Threat to Privacy and Human Rights: (“The president just signed a 2,232 page omnibus bill to fund the government and avoid another shutdown. This was a quintessential must-pass bill, and it was used as a vehicle to quietly push through the controversial CLOUD Act, which, though somewhat improved, still poses a threat to privacy and human rights.”)

Alexa and the Right to Privacy

Can Alexa Testify Against You?: (“We live in an age when increasing numbers of people rely on devices to turn off their lights, make a phone call, or set the morning alarm. This may explain why since its launch in 2015, Alexa—or what Amazon bills as a “virtual assistant” —has become a virtual extension of the lives of its estimated eight-million-plus owners.”)

Feds Probe Top Equifax Executives’ Stock Sales

Media Report: Feds Investigating Top Equifax Executives’ Stock Trading: (“Two federal agencies are investigating three top Equifax executives’ stock trades to see whether they violated insider trading laws, according to a media report.  Bloomberg reported Monday that a criminal probe by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Atlanta is focused on Equifax’s chief financial officer and presidents of two business units, who sold a combined $1.8 million in stock in early August, days after the company learned of a massive security breach, but before it was public.)”