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Jones Day | Congress Passes CLOUD Act to Facilitate Law Enforcement Access to Overseas Data April 11, 2018

Posted by sandyclaus in Security, Security State.
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Two Key Takeaways Providers of electronic communications and certain cloud services should analyze how the Act will apply to them and be prepared to respond to legal process under the new regime. Companies and individuals who use such services should consider whether the privacy and other implications of the Act require any change in their practices.

Source: Jones Day | Congress Passes CLOUD Act to Facilitate Law Enforcement Access to Overseas Data

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The U.S. CLOUD Act and the EU: A Privacy Protection Race to the Bottom | Electronic Frontier Foundation April 11, 2018

Posted by sandyclaus in Copyright and Trademark Enforcement, Security, Security State.
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U.S. President Donald Trump’s $1.3 trillion government spending bill, signed March 23rd, offered 2,323 pages of budgeting on issues ranging from domestic drug policy to defense. The last-minute rush to fund the U.S. government through this all-or-nothing “omnibus” presented legislators with a golden opportunity to insert policies that would escape deep public scrutiny. Case in point: the Clarifying Lawful Use of Overseas Data (CLOUD) Act, whose broad ramifications for undermining global privacy should not be underestimated, was snuck into the final pages of the bill before the vote. Between the U.S. CLOUD Act and new European Union (EU) efforts to dismantle international rules for cross-border law enforcement investigations, the United States and EU are racing against one another towards an unfortunate finish-line: weaker privacy protections around the globe.  The U.S. CLOUD Act allows the U.S. President to enter into “executive agreements” with qualifying foreign governments in order to directly access data held by U.S. technology companies at a lower standard than required by the Constitution of the United States. To qualify, foreign governments would need to be certified by the U.S. Attorney General, and meet certain human rights standards set in the act. Those qualifying governments will have the ability to bypass the legal safeguards of the Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT) regime.

Source: The U.S. CLOUD Act and the EU: A Privacy Protection Race to the Bottom | Electronic Frontier Foundation

Biohacker Regrets Injecting Himself With CRISPR on Live-Stream – The Atlantic February 27, 2018

Posted by sandyclaus in Science Policy, Security.
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Source: Biohacker Regrets Injecting Himself With CRISPR on Live-Stream – The Atlantic

Spyware embedded by U.S. in foreign networks, security firm says – Houston Chronicle February 17, 2015

Posted by sandyclaus in NSA, Security, Security State, US Military.
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Spyware embedded by U.S. in foreign networks, security firm says – Houston Chronicle.

What ISIS Really Wants – The Atlantic February 17, 2015

Posted by sandyclaus in Atheism, Internet Freedom, Politics, Security, Security State.
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What ISIS Really Wants

The Islamic State is no mere collection of psychopaths. It is a religious group with carefully considered beliefs, among them that it is a key agent of the coming apocalypse. Here’s what that means for its strategy—and for how to stop it.

via What ISIS Really Wants – The Atlantic.

NSA To Sanders: We Can’t Tell You If We’re Spying On You In Order To Protect You January 15, 2014

Posted by sandyclaus in NSA, Security, Security State.
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The National Security Agency on Friday told Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) that it cannot reveal whether the agency has been targeting members of Congress in its metadata collection because doing so would violate privacy provisions accorded to civilians in the program, the Huffington Post reported Tuesday.

\”Among those protections is the condition that NSA can query the metadata only based on phone numbers reasonably suspected to be associated with specific foreign terrorist groups,\” NSA chief Keith Alexander wrote in a letter to Sanders.

via NSA To Sanders: We Can’t Tell You If We’re Spying On You In Order To Protect You.

Former FISA chief judge Bates slams key proposed NSA reforms as unnecessary, counterproductive – 1/14/2014 4:09:17 PM | Newser January 15, 2014

Posted by sandyclaus in NSA, Security, Security State.
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Speaking for the entire U.S. judiciary, U.S. District Judge John D. Bates sent a letter to the Senate Intelligence Committee saying that appointing an independent advocate to the secret surveillance court is unnecessary and possibly counterproductive, and he slammed other key reforms as adding too heavy a caseload to the secret courts work. In current FISC hearings, judges only hear from the government seeking a spy warrant.

via Former FISA chief judge Bates slams key proposed NSA reforms as unnecessary, counterproductive – 1/14/2014 4:09:17 PM | Newser.

Reclaiming the Radical Imagination: Challenging Casino Capitalism’s Punishing Factories January 13, 2014

Posted by sandyclaus in Occupy, Politics, Security, Security State, Shadow Economy.
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Chris Hedges is right when he argues that \”any state that has the capacity to monitor all its citizenry, any state that has the ability to snuff out factual public debate through [the] control of information, any state that has the tools to instantly shut down all dissent is totalitarian.\” [7]  While Hedges is aware that this disciplinary culture of fear and repression is rooted in a political economy that treats people as objects and makes the accumulation of capital the subjects of history, he underestimates one important element of the new authoritarianism produced by casino capitalism. That is, what is novel about existing registers of discipline and control is that they operate in a new historical conjuncture in which the relationship among political power, cultural institutions and everyday life has become more powerful and intense in the ability to undermine the radical imagination and the power and capacities of individuals to resist repression and make the crucial decisions necessary to take control over the forces that shape their lives.

via Reclaiming the Radical Imagination: Challenging Casino Capitalism’s Punishing Factories.

Ten Myths About the NSA, Debunked | The Nation January 13, 2014

Posted by sandyclaus in NSA, Security, Security State.
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The debate Edward Snowden envisioned when he revealed the extent of National Security Agency NSA spying on Americans has taken a bad turn. Instead of a careful examination of what the NSA does, the legality of its actions, what risks it takes for what gains, and how effective the agency has been in its stated mission of protecting Americans, we increasingly have government officials or retired versions of the same demanding—quite literally—Snowden’s head and engaging in the usual fear-mongering over 9/11. They have been aided by a chorus of pundits, columnists, and present as well as former officials offering bumper-sticker slogans like \”If you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear,\” all the while claiming our freedom is in direct conflict with our security.It’s time to face these arguments directly. So here are ten myths about NSA surveillance that need debunking. Lets sort them out.

via Ten Myths About the NSA, Debunked | The Nation.

Why Are US Special Operations Forces Deployed in Over 100 Countries? | The Nation January 9, 2014

Posted by sandyclaus in Security, US Military.
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The Rise of the Military’s Secret Military

Born of a failed 1980 raid to rescue American hostages in Iran (in which eight US service members died), US Special Operations Command was established in 1987. Made up of units from all the service branches, SOCOM is tasked with carrying out Washington’s most specialized and secret missions, including assassinations, counterterrorist raids, special reconnaissance, unconventional warfare, psychological operations, foreign troop training and weapons of mass destruction counter-proliferation operations.

In the post-9/11 era, the command has grown steadily. With about 33,000 personnel in 2001, it is reportedly on track to reach 72,000 in 2014. (About half this number are called, in the jargon of the trade, “badged operators”—SEALs, Rangers, Special Operations Aviators, Green Berets—while the rest are support personnel.) Funding for the command also jumped exponentially as SOCOM’s baseline budget tripled from $2.3 billion to $6.9 billion between 2001 and 2013. If you add in supplemental funding, it has actually more than quadrupled to $10.4 billion.

Not surprisingly, personnel deployments abroad skyrocketed from 4,900 “man-years”—as the command puts it—in 2001 to 11,500 in 2013. About 11,000 special operators are now working abroad at any one time and on any given day they are in seventy to eighty countries, though The New York Times reported that, according to statistics provided to them by SOCOM, during one week in March 2013 that number reached ninety-two.

via Why Are US Special Operations Forces Deployed in Over 100 Countries? | The Nation.