Tag Archive | United States Department of Justice

Digital data privacy rules turn 25 – POLITICO.com

By Tony Romm, October 19, 2011, Politico.com TONY ROMM

… And as the Electronic Communications Privacy Act turns 25 this week, members of Congress are hearing it is time to revisit a law that never anticipated the day consumers would use Gmail, Facebook, Twitter, the iPhone and other tech staples of the digital age. Lawmakers have updated the statute over the years, but disagreements linger in 2011 over how best to revise it again. In addition, the Department of Justice has actively avoided changes to the ECPA that might curtail its broad powers — maligned by privacy hawks and civil libertarians alike — to investigate crimes involving digital evidence. At the same time, federal courts are weighing cases that threaten the DoJ’s use of the law. …

For full text of this nice overview article, visit Digital data privacy rules turn 25 – Tony Romm – POLITICO.com.

Court: Some data on government cell phone tracking should be public – CNN.com

By Bill Mears, CNN Supreme Court Producer, September, 2011

Washington (CNN) — Information about how and when the government gathers and uses cell phone location data to track certain criminal suspects should be made available to the public, a federal appeals court ruled Tuesday. At issue was whether the Justice Department could be forced to release once-sensitive records from past cases, following a lawsuit by the American Civil Liberties Union. A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia said the public’s interest outweighed any privacy concerns raised by the government over their warrantless wiretapping.

For full text of article, visit: Court: Some data on government cell phone tracking should be public – CNN.com.

The Publication of National Security Information in the Digital Age

The Publication of National Security Information in the Digital Age

By Mary-Rose Papandrea, Journal of National Security Law & Policy, June 26, 2011

In one of her speeches on Internet freedom, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said that “[t]he fact that WikiLeaks used the internet is not the reason we criticized its actions.” Although Clinton is correct that it is essential to separate the technology. … New technology has made it much easier to leak and otherwise disseminate national security information. At the same time, leaks continue to play an essential role in checking governmental power and often make invaluable contributions to our public debate. … One dominant theme in the discussion of how to strike the balance between an informed public and the need to protect legitimate national security secrets is whether new media entities like WikiLeaks are part of “the press” and whether Julian Assange and his cohorts are engaging in“journalism.” As the gathering and distribution of news and information becomes more widely dispersed, and the act of informing the public more participatory and collaborative, however, determining who is engaging in journalism and what constitutes the press has become increasingly difficult. It is not possible to draw lines based on the medium of communication, the journalistic background of the publisher, the editing process, the size of the audience, or the methods used to obtain the information.

For full text of the report, visit The Publication of National Security Information in the Digital Age | Journal of National Security Law & Policy.

Hearing on Protecting Mobile Privacy: Your Smarthphones, Tablets, Cellphones and Your Privacy

The Senate Committee on the Judiciary, Subcommittee on Privacy, Technology and the Law, has scheduled a hearing entitled “Protecting Mobile Privacy: Your Smartphones, Tablets, Cell Phones and Your Privacy” :

Tuesday, May 10, 2011
Dirksen Senate Office Building, Room 226
10:00 a.m.

Panel I

Jessica Rich
Deputy Director
Bureau of Consumer Protection
Federal Trade Commission
Washington, DC

Jason Weinstein
Deputy Assistant Attorney General
Criminal Division
U.S. Department of Justice
Washington, DC

Panel II

Justin Brookman
Director, Project on Consumer Privacy
Center for Democracy and Technology
Washington, DC

Alan Davidson
Director of Public Policy, Americas
Google Inc.
Washington, DC

Ashkan Soltani
Independent Researcher and Consultant
Washington, DC

Guy L. “Bud” Tribble
Vice President of Software Technology
Apple Inc.
Cupertino, CA

Jonathan Zuck
Association for Competitive Technology
Washington, DC

Michigan: Police Search Cell Phones During Traffic Stops

…The Michigan State Police have a high-tech mobile forensics device that can be used to extract information from cell phones belonging to motorists stopped for minor traffic violations. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Michigan…learned that the police had acquired the cell phone scanning devices and in August 2008 filed an official request for records on the program, including logs of how the devices were used. The state police responded by saying they would provide the information only in return for a payment of $544,680.  … A US Department of Justice test of the CelleBrite UFED used by Michigan police found the device could grab all of the photos and video off of an iPhone within one-and-a-half minutes. The device works with 3000 different phone models and can even defeat password protections.

For full text of the article, visit The Newspaper.com, posted April 19, 2011, at Michigan: Police Search Cell Phones During Traffic Stops.

Spatial Law and Policy: Government’s Use of Tracking Technology: More Than A Constitutional Issue?

Government’s Use of Tracking Technology: More Than A Constitutional Issue?

Kevin Pomfret, Spatial Law and Policy Blog, Friday, March 4, 2011

I have written in the past about a series of recent court cases in the United States involving the Fourth Amendment and a reasonable expectation of privacy from a location standpoint. … From a legal standpoint these cases raise some very difficult and important issues regarding both the Fourth Amendment and the clearly outdated Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA). I will not go into the details of either here, other than to say that courts are split in both types of cases as to whether a warrant is required before location data is collected or obtained. However, as equal importance as the legal analysis is that the public position of the Obama administration – through the Department of Justice – in each federal case appears to have been that a warrant is not required. …

For full text of the article, visit Spatial Law and Policy: Government’s Use of Tracking Technology: More Than A Constitutional Issue?.

Senator proposes mobile-privacy legislation | Privacy Inc. – CNET News

Ron Wyden

Image via Wikipedia

Senator proposes mobile-privacy legislation

by Declan McCullagh, Privacy Inc, January 26, 2011

Federal law needs to be updated to halt the common police practice of tracking the whereabouts of Americans’ mobile devices without a search warrant, a Democratic senator said today. Ron Wyden, an Oregon Democrat, said it was time for Congress to put an end to this privacy-intrusive practice, which the Obama Justice Department has sought to defend in court. Sen. Wyden (right) tells Cato Institute audience that tracking cell phones is as privacy-invasive as searching someone’s home. …

For full text of article via Senator proposes mobile-privacy legislation | Privacy Inc. – CNET News.

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