The Internet Archive, a project to create a digital library of the web for posterity, successfully fought a secret government Patriot Act order for records about one of its patrons and won the right to make the order public, civil liberties groups announced Wednesday morning.
On November 26, 2007, the FBI served a controversial National Security Letter .pdf on the Internet Archive’s founder Brewster Kahle, asking for records about one of the library’s registered users, asking for the user’s name, address and activity on the site.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation, the Internet Archive’s lawyers, fought the NSL, challenging its constitutionality in a December 14 complaint .pdf to a federal court in San Francisco. The FBI agreed on April 21 to withdraw the letter and unseal the court case, making some of the documents available to the public.
Washington, D.C. — The Computer & Communications Industry Association sent a letter to House members Friday asking them not to support retroactive immunity for major telecommunications companies as part of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act legislation.
For some background on this story, and what telecom immunity for warrentless wiretapping has to do with national security, the Electronic Frontier Foundation has a good rundown here.
WASHINGTON, Aug. 5 — President Bush signed into law on Sunday legislation that broadly expanded the government’s authority to eavesdrop on the international telephone calls and e-mail messages of American citizens without warrants.
Congressional aides and others familiar with the details of the law said that its impact went far beyond the small fixes that administration officials had said were needed to gather information about foreign terrorists. They said seemingly subtle changes in legislative language would sharply alter the legal limits on the government’s ability to monitor millions of phone calls and e-mail messages going in and out of the United States.
By Ryan Singel August 06, 2007 | 2:11:02 AMCategories: Surveillance
A new law expanding the government’s spying powers gives the Bush Administration a six-month window to install possibly permanent back doors in the nation’s communication networks. The legislation was passed hurriedly by Congress over the weekend and signed into law Sunday by President Bush.
The bill, known as the Protect America Act, removes the prohibition on warrantless spying on Americans abroad and gives the government wide powers to order communication service providers such as cell phone companies and ISPs to make their networks available to government eavesdroppers.
The great thing is that there’s absolutely no possibility of abuse, and not a shred of a chance that anyone other than the most extremely guilty party will lose any of their precious privacy. If I were a blogger (Oh, wait a minute…no…must not doubt…must…shake it off…) or a journalist, or an academic, or a political activist, or someone with family overseas, I would worry extra-less than ever now! ;-)
Besides, what’s the big deal about privacy anyway? What? Are we a nation of teenagers who don’t want our parents reading our diaries? Grow Up.