Radical Librarianship: how ninja librarians are ensuring patrons’ electronic privacy | boingboing

It’s no secret that libraries are among our most democratic institutions. Libraries provide access to information and protect patrons’ right to explore new ideas, no matter how controversial or subversive. Libraries are where all should be free to satisfy any information need, be it for tax and legal documents, health information, how-to guides, historical documents, children’s books, or poetry.

And protecting unfettered access to information is important whether that research is done using physical books or online search engines. But now it has become common knowledge that governments and corporations are tracking our digital lives, and that surveillance means our right to freely research information is in jeopardy. [Read more]

Finally, a chance to protect Americans from NSA : Column | USA Today

Fifteen months after Edward Snowden provided the first documents describing the startling scope of the National Security Agency’s spying program, Congress has returned from August recess with a chance to vote on surveillance reform. Unfortunately, if the surveillance vote doesn’t happen in the coming weeks, it might not happen at all.

Sen. Patrick Leahy’s reformed USA Freedom Act, a bill that would begin to rein in the NSA’s domestic surveillance program, is the best chance we have to make surveillance reform a reality in 2014. It has undergone multiple changes since it was first proposed a year ago. In its current compromise form, the bill still only begins to protect the many privacy rights that have been compromised by excessive surveillance. Nonetheless, if passed, it will be a crucial first step towards upholding Fourth Amendment protections against unreasonable searches, while simultaneously reinforcing our counterterrorism efforts by making surveillance more strategic and evidence-based. [Read more]

Wife: NSA Official. Husband: Exec At Firm Seeming To Do Or Seek Business With NSA | BuzzFeed

A large government contracting firm that appears to be doing or seeking business with the National Security Agency employs the spouse of one of the most powerful officials at the agency, according to corporate records, press releases, and company websites. But the NSA has declined to address whether there is a potential conflict of interest or to disclose any information about contracts or the official’s financial holdings.

The spouse, for years, has also had an intelligence technology company incorporated at the couple’s suburban residence in Maryland. [Read more]

Did the NSA Demand Apple’s Data? | US News

People rushed to buy Apple’s new iPhone 6 Friday, but the company may have dropped a privacy warning that the National Security Agency wants information about its users.

Apple CEO Tim Cook announced an updated privacy policy this week to reassure people about the company’s security and vigilance. But the company’s latest transparency report is missing language from previous versions that Internet freedom activists recognized as a clue about NSA spying. [Read more]

Spying and storing: Assange says ‘Google works like NSA’ | RT

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange equated Google with the National Security Agency and GCHQ, saying the tech giant has become “a privatized version of the NSA,” as it collects, stores, and indexes people’s data. He made his remarks to BBC and Sky News.

“Google’s business model is the spy. It makes more than 80 percent of its money by collecting information about people, pooling it together, storing it, indexing it, building profiles of people to predict their interests and behavior, and then selling those profiles principally to advertisers, but also others,” Assange told BBC. [Read more]

NSA chief has regrets on ISIS intelligence collection | CBS

National Security Agency (NSA) Director Adm. Mike Rogers said Thursday that his agency’s collection of intelligence on the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS, also known as ISIL) could have been “stronger.”

“If I’m honest with myself, I wish the transition of ISIL from an insurgency to an organization that was now focused on holding ground, territory, the mechanism of governance….in hindsight I wish we had been a little bit – I’ll only speak for me and the NSA – I wish we’d been a little stronger about,” he said. [Read more]

Journalists ‘should not be exempt’ from national security rules | The Guardian

A committee reviewing changes to Australia’s national security laws has rejected calls for journalists to be exempt from a new measure criminalising disclosure of “special intelligence operations”.

But the parliamentary joint committee on intelligence and security recommended changes to the Abbott government’s bill, including greater oversight of such operations and written confirmation that the director of public prosecution must take into account the public interest in publication. [Read more]

 

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