EFF comments on the new USA Freedom Act
Fri 1 May 2015, 11:16

Similar to last year's bill, the new USA Freedom Act attempts to end the bulk collection of calling records under Section 215 of the Patriot Act by limiting collection to instances where there is "reasonable, articulable suspicion" that a "specific selection term" used to request call detail records is associated with international terrorism. The government must use a specific selection term, which represents an "individual, account, or personal device."

NSA domestic phone spying program illegal by appeals court
Thu 7 May 2015, 19:42

A US federal appeals court ruled on Thursday that the NSA spying program that collects data about millions of Americans' phone calls is illegal. The court's ruling is adding pressure on lawmakers to decide quickly whether to end or replace the program, which was intended to help fight terrorism.

Regional cyber security summit in Bucharest
Mon 11 May 2015, 09:40

A regional summit on cyber security organized by the Romanian Ministry for Information Society together with the U.S. Department of Commerce and the U.S. Embassy in Bucharest is taking place between May 11 and May 13. Representatives of 17 countries in Central and Eastern Europe will attend the summit and present their cyber security policies.

US Senate special session on Patriot Act renewal
Sun 31 May 2015, 19:00

The Senate convenes today for a rare Sunday session. Senators will consider whether to renew key provisions of the PATRIOT Act, including the NSA bulk collection program, due to expire tonight. Senator Rand Paul has said he will oppose any renewal. Also under consideration is the FREEDOM Act, sponsored by Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Senator Mike Lee (R-TX). In 2013, EPIC filed a petition in the Supreme Court, In re EPIC, supported by experts, scholars, and members of the Church Committee, arguing that the NSA program was unlawful. In 2014, EPIC and a broad coalition urged the President to end the program. The Sunday debate will be broadcast live on CSPAN2 at 4 pm EDT.

US wants to collect bulk call records for six more months
Tue 9 Jun 2015, 10:00

The U.S. Department of Justice has filed to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court for permission to continue the bulk collection of call records for another six months, as the new USA Freedom Act allows for this transition period.

The filing, made public Monday, was submitted to the court last Tuesday, the same day President Barack Obama approved as law the USA Freedom Act, which puts curbs on the bulk collection of domestic telephone records by the National Security Agency.

The new legislation was passed by the Senate following the expiry at midnight of May 31 of the authorization of the bulk collection under section 215 of the Patriot Act. It leaves the phone records database in the hands of the telecommunications operators, while allowing a targeted search of the data by the National Security Agency for investigations.

US to require HTTPS for all government websites
Tue 9 Jun 2015, 04:40

The US government is mandating the use of the HTTPS security protocol on all of its public websites and web services by the end of 2016. Deploying HTTPS will authenticate communications with government websites and encrypt the data sent back and forth, which will help protect against snooping and imposter websites.