• SURVEILLANCESpain Sacks Intelligence Chief in Wake of Pegasus Scandal

    Paz Esteban was replaced after a controversy over the use of the Pegasus spyware to hack top Spanish officials’ cellphones, as well as spying on Catalan separatists.

  • SURVEILLANCEThe Movement to Ban Government Use of Face Recognition

    By Nathan Sheard and Adam Schwartz

    Our faces are unique identifiers that can’t be left at home, or replaced like a stolen ID or compromised password. Facial recognition technology facilitates covert mass surveillance of the places we frequent, people we associate with, and, purportedly, our emotional state. Communities across the country are fighting back.

  • SURVEILLANCEGoogle Fights Dragnet Warrant for Users’ Search Histories Overseas, but It Is Continuing to Give Data to Police in the U.S.

    By Naomi Gilens, Jennifer Lynch, and Veridiana Alimonti

    Google is fighting back against a Brazilian court order to turn over data on all users who searched for specific terms, including the name of a well-known elected official and a busy downtown thoroughfare. Google should be applauded for challenging this digital dragnet search in Brazil, but the company must also stand up for the rights of its users against similar searches in the U.S. and elsewhere.

  • SURVEILLANCEDHS Sued Over Vetting Program to Collect and Data Mine

    The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) the other day filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for records about a multi-million dollar, secretive program that surveils immigrants and other foreign visitors’ speech on social media.

  • SURVEILLANCEWe Need Answers about the CIA’s Mass Surveillance

    By Matthew Guariglia and Andrew Crocker

    The Central Intelligence Agency has been collecting American’s private data without any oversight or even the minimal legal safeguards that apply to the NSA and FBI, an unconstitutional affront to our civil liberties. The whos, whats, whys, and hows of this semi-disclosed CIA program are still unknown, and the public deserves the right to know exactly what damage has been done.

  • SURVEILLANCEIn 2021, the Police Took a Page Out of the NSA’s Playbook: 2021 in Review

    By Jennifer Lynch

    Dragnet searches were once thought to be just the province of the NSA, but they are now easier than ever for domestic law enforcement to conduct as well. With increasing frequency, law enforcement has been using unconstitutional, suspicionless digital dragnet searches in an attempt to identify unknown suspects in criminal cases.

  • SurveillanceU.S. Supreme Court Hears Case of Surveillance of Muslims

    By Ken Bredemeier

    A decade ago, three Muslim men filed suit against the FBI, alleging the Bureau deployed a confidential informant who claimed to be a convert to Islam to spy on them based solely on their religious identity. On Monday, the Supreme Court heard the argument by the administration that it has the right to invoke the protection of “state secrets” to withhold information from the plaintiffs.

  • PrivacyFace Recognition Is So Toxic, Facebook Is Dumping It

    By Matthew Guariglia

    Facebook’s decision to end its face-recognition program comes at a time when face recognition technology is receiving push back, criticisms, and legislative bans across the United States, and the globe.

  • SurveillanceU.S. Tightens Export Controls on Items Used in Surveillance of Private Citizens, other Malicious Cyber Activities

    The Commerce Department has released an interim final rule, establishing controls on the export, reexport, or transfer (in-country) of certain items that can be used for surveillance of private citizens or other malicious cyber activities. 

  • SurveillanceSurveillance Equipment: Scrutiny Necessary for the Police, Manufacturers

    Facial recognition, body cameras and other digital technologies are increasingly used by police departments, municipalities and even gated communities, but these tools, manufactured by private companies, raise the specter of unchecked surveillance.

  • SurveillanceCalif. Sheriff Sued for Sharing Drivers’ License Plate Data With ICE, CBP, Other Out-of-State Agencies

    License plate scans occur through Automated License Plate Readers (ALPRs): high-speed cameras mounted in a fixed location or atop police cars moving through the community that automatically capture all license plates that come into view, recording the exact location, date, and time that the vehicle passes by. The information can paint a detailed picture of our private lives, our daily schedules, and our social networks.

  • SpywarePegasus Project Shows the Need for Real Device Security, Accountability and Redress for those Facing State-Sponsored Malware

    By Cindy Cohn

    It is no surprise that people around the world are angry to learn that surveillance software sold by NSO Group to governments has been found on cellphones worldwide. People all around the world deserve the right to have a private conversation. Communication privacy is a human right, a civil liberty, and one of the centerpieces of a free society. And while we all deserve basic communications privacy, the journalists, NGO workers, and human rights and democracy activists among us are especially at risk, since they are often at odds with powerful governments.

  • SpywareSpyware: Why the Booming Surveillance Tech Industry Is Vulnerable to Corruption and Abuse

    By Christian Kemp

    The latest revelations about NSO Group’s Pegasus spyware are the latest indication that the spyware industry is out of control, with licensed customers free to spy on political and civilian targets as well as suspected criminals. We may be heading to a world in which no phone is safe from such attacks.

  • Pegasus affairGrowing Unease in Israel over Pegasus Case

    Israel is worried that the Pegasus spyware revelations may turn a PR black eye into a diplomatic crisis. Israel never exhibited any qualms about dealing with and selling arms to pretty unsavory regimes, but such deals were typically kept secret. The fact that the Israeli Ministry of Defense authorized the NSO Group to sell the Pegasus spyware to regimes which then used it to spy on opposition figures, civil society activists, and journalists – and, in the case of Saudi Arabia, to track Jamal Khashoggi and kill him — has raised questions about what did the government know and when did it know it.

  • SurveillanceJournalists, Activists among 50,000 Targets of Israeli Spyware: Reports

    Israeli cyber firm NSO Group claims that its Pegasus surveillance malware is sold to governments so they can better track terrorists and criminals, but many of the 45 governments deploying the surveillance software use it to track journalists, opposition politicians, and civil society activists. Some of these governments are authoritarian (for example, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Kazakhstan, UAE, Saudi Arabia). Other are democracies (for example, India, Mexico, South Africa). The only EU member country to deploy the surveillance malware is Hungary, which places it in violation of the EU’s strict privacy and surveillance regulations.