• PRIVACYDozens of Rogue California Police Agencies Still Sharing Driver Locations with Anti-Abortion States

    In October 2023, California Attorney General Rob Bonta clarified that a 2016 state law, SB 34, prohibits California’s local and state police from sharing information collected from automated license plate readers (ALPR) with out-of-state or federal agencies. Despite the Attorney General’s definitive stance, dozens of law enforcement agencies have signaled their intent to continue defying the law by sharing ALPR information with law-enforcement agencies of states with restrictive abortion laws, putting abortion seekers and providers at risk.

  • CHINA WATCHBritish Documentary Alleges China Influences Universities, Spies on Hong Kongers in UK

    By Lyndon Lee

    A BBC Channel 4 documentary claims the Chinese government is interfering with academic freedom and spying on Hong Kong activists in the United Kingdom. The film also alleges that Chinese government agents pretending to be journalists used fake profiles and avatars to target Hong Kong activists now living in the U.K.

  • ARGUMENT: MARTIME SURVEILLANCEOutsourcing Surveillance: A Cost-Effective Strategy to Maintain Maritime Supremacy

    Persistent surveillance is one of the most valuable types of surveillance missions. But, Josh Portzer and Aaron Stein write, “Persistent surveillance is a challenging problem for two reasons: capacity and cost. In today’s budgetary climate, “simply increasing U.S. military capacity is not tenable. [But] by increasing the number of sensors globally, the Department of Defense would not only gain valuable, near-persistent surveillance data in areas of interest at (relatively) affordable prices, but also would enjoy the option of gray-zone operations given the strategic ambiguity that outsourcing provides.”

  • PRIVACYEFF to Supreme Court: Fifth Amendment Protects People from Being Forced to Enter or Hand Over Cell Phone Passcodes to the Police

    The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) last week asked the Supreme Court to overturn a ruling undermining Fifth Amendment protections against self-incrimination and find that constitutional safeguards prevent police from forcing people to provide or use passcodes for their cell phones so officers can access the tremendous amount of private information on phones.

  • SURVEILLANCEAbuse-Resistant Digital Surveillance

    Digital surveillance of suspects must be silent so as not to alert them. However, systems currently in use lack stringent technical mechanisms to ensure the legality of these measures. Security protocols to make legally required monitoring of digital communications more resistant to misuse and mass surveillance.

  • SURVEILLANCE“Surveillance: From Vision to Data” Explores History of Surveillance

    The term surveillance may suggest images of high-tech cameras or George Orwell’s ever-watching Big Brother, but surveillance involves more than watching and being watched. To understand surveillance and its consequences, look to data: who collects it, what information is compiled, how it is interpreted, and ultimately, why it matters.

  • SURVEILLANCEAdtech Surveillance and Government Surveillance are Often the Same Surveillance

    By Matthew Guariglia

    In the absence of comprehensive federal privacy legislation in the United States, the targeted advertising industry, fueled by personal information harvested from our cell phone applications, has run roughshod over our privacy.

  • HAMAS ATTACKHow Did Israeli Intelligence Miss Hamas’ Preparations to Attack? A U.S. Counterterrorism Expert Explains How Israeli Intelligence Works

    By Javed Ali

    Hamas is on Israel’s doorstep. One would think Israel could better understand what is happening in Gaza and the West Bank, as opposed to 1,000 miles away in Iran. How did Israel not see something this advanced right next door? Some Israeli officials have said they believed Hamas was already deterred by recent Israeli counterterrorism operations, and that the group lacked the capability to launch an attack on the scope and scale of what occurred.

  • SURVEILLANCEApple and Google Are Introducing New Ways to Defeat Cell Site Simulators, But Is it Enough?

    By Cooper Quintin

    Cell-site simulators (CSS)—also known as IMSI Catchers and Stingrays—are a tool that law enforcement and governments use to track the location of phones, intercept or disrupt communications, spy on foreign governments, or even install malware.

  • SURVEILLANCEThere’s a Cop in My Pocket: Policymakers Need to Stop Advocating Surveillance by Default

    By Tarah Wheeler and Geoffrey Cain

    All this year, U.S. leaders have attempted to pass a wave of misguided online security bills, designed to break that encryption and place Americans in a panopticon of surveillance by default. Encryption, cybersecurity, and technology policies, like the RESTRICT and EARN-IT Acts, with nonexistent tradeoffs address symptoms, not problems, and they do it badly.  

  • ARGUMENT: REGULATING COMMERCIAL SPYWAREThe Scourge of Commercial Spyware—and How to Stop It

    Years of public revelations have spotlighted a shadowy set of spyware companies selling and servicing deeply intrusive surveillance technologies that are used against journalists, activists, lawyers, politicians, diplomats, and others. Democratic nations (thus far) lag behind the United States in executing spyware-related policy commitments.

  • TRANSPORTATION SECURITYThe Impending Privacy Threat of Self-Driving Cars

    By Matthew Guariglia

    With innovations often come unintended consequences—one of which is the massive collection of data required for an autonomous vehicle to function. The sheer amount of visual and other information collected by a fleet of cars traveling down public streets conjures the threat of the possibility for peoples’ movements to be tracked, aggregated, and retained by companies, law enforcement, or bad actors—including vendor employees.

  • ARGUMENT: REGULATING AIRegulate National Security AI Like Covert Action

    Congress is trying to roll up its sleeves and get to work on artificial intelligence (AI) regulation. Ashley Deeks writes that only a few of these proposed provisions, however, implicate national security-related AI, and none create any kind of framework regulation for such tools. She proposes crafting a law similar to the War Powers Act to govern U.S. intelligence and military agencies use of AI tools.

  • AIHow an “AI-tocracy” Emerges

    By Peter Dizikes

    Many scholars, analysts, and other observers have suggested that resistance to innovation is an Achilles’ heel of authoritarian regimes. But in China, the use of AI-driven facial recognition helps the regime repress dissent while enhancing the technology, researchers report.

  • SPYWAREThe Executive Order on Commercial Spyware: Implications and Prospects

    By Rohit Kumar Sharma

    The growing national security threat from misuse of commercial spyware is increasingly being recognized. The US has been taking the lead in addressing the growing menace of unregulated spyware companies and the proliferation of intrusive tools. The Biden administration’s latest Executive Order will ensure that commercial spyware firms will be subjected to unprecedented scrutiny.