• 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.

  • CYBERSECURITYCloud Server Leasing Can Leave Sensitive Data Up for Grabs

    Renting space and IP addresses on a public server has become standard business practice, but according to computer scientists, current industry practices can lead to “cloud squatting,” which can create a security risk, endangering sensitive customer and organization data intended to remain private. New research provides solutions for companies, cloud-service providers to help minimize security risks.

  • 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.

  • PRIVACYCOVID Tests May Leak Personal Data

    In Sweden, when you take a PCR test to have a certificate issued – and last year, 14 million PCR tests were performed — your personal data are handled by private companies. Researchers have discovered a critical security weakness at such a company that handles these certificates in all major cities in Sweden.

  • 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.

  • PANDEMIC & PRIVACYGerman Police Unlawfully Accessed Data on Contact-Tracing App

    Police investigators in the German city of Mainz used the Luca app to search for witnesses in a case they were working on. To get around federal and state laws banning such use of the contact-tracing app, the city’s prosecutor office simulated a COVID-19 infection originating near the scene of the incident under investigation.

  • ARGUMENT: TRUST & TRACING APPSHow Our Outdated Privacy Laws Doomed Contact-Tracing Apps

    Last spring, when the disease first started its rapid spread, contact-tracing apps were heralded as a promising way to control it by tracking diagnoses and exposure through self-reporting and location tracking. Jessica Rich writes that these apps have had mixed success worldwide, but “they’ve been a huge failure in the United States.” He adds: “A key reason for this failure is that people don’t trust the tech companies or the government to collect, use, and store their personal data, especially when that data involves their health and precise whereabouts.”

  • 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.

  • SpywareU.S. Sanctions NSO Group, Israeli Maker of Pegasus Spyware

    The U.S. authorities said the NSO Group’s spyware helped authoritarian governments “silence dissent.” The new measures will limit NSO Group’s access to U.S. components and technology.

  • 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. 

  • 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.

  • Vaccine PassportsVaccine Passports Are Coming. But Are They Ethical?

    By Julian Savulescu

    It is the foundational ethical principle of any liberal society that the state should only restrict liberty if people represent a threat of harm to others. Ethics is about weighing different values. Decisions about vaccination should be fundamentally ethical, not political or purely medical.