"These particular records are not covered by the Fourth Amendment," FBI Director Robert Mueller said, "the Supreme Court has held that to be the case. And secondly, the determinations to the legality and that standard has been addressed by the FISA court in the affirmative."
Surveillance programs operated by the federal government have sent shock waves into Europe, as international leaders scramble to take a stance on the issues and demand details from the United States. U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron says the GCH--the British equivalent of the NSA--has operated within the law and all information sharing is subject to proper scrutiny.
Lawsuits against federal surveillance often fail due to the difficulty of plaintiffs proving that they have standing, the ACLU says its complaint stems in part from its status as a Verizon Business Network Services customer. The suit seeks a declaration that mass call tracking is unlawful, a prohibition against the government continuing it and the purging from federal databases all records related to the ACLU.
A Homeland Security Department report says that border agents should continue to perform suspicionless searches of electronic devices at borders, because adding a heightened, suspicion-based threshold could be operationally harmful and would not necessarily enhance civil liberties.
Coincidentally, British newspaper The Guardian published June 5 an article revealing a top secret order from the U.S. Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court directing American telecommunications provider Verizon to provide the FBI all telephony metadata recorded by its Business Network Services unit for a 3 month period ending July 19.
Privacy advocates are drawing attention to a line in President Obama's May 22 speech outlining a new direction for U.S. counterterrorism efforts that appears to foreshadow administration support for new online surveillance capabilities.
The National Telecommunications and Information Administration, application developers and consumer groups are close to finalizing a draft code of conduct for mobile applications. May 23 was the second-to-last scheduled meeting for the group, and now a single, June 11 meeting remains.
A European Union effort to require greater regulation around the use of personal data isn't incompatible with developing digital products, said European Commission Director General for Justice Françoise Le Bail before a Washington, D.C., audience earlier this month.
A federal attempt to ensure that Internet communications and services can be wiretapped could undermine national security by making the U.S. government's own communications less secure and by causing hardened communication tools to proliferate among a receptive audience that includes bad guys, says a May 17 paper from privacy advocates and cybersecurity researchers.
A tenet of fair information practice principles is that organizations should only collect personally identifiable information for a specified purpose--whether that should translate into a warrant requirement for government use of unmanned aerial vehicles took up large parts of a May 17 House hearing.