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With Surveillance Limits Ending, ACLU Sues Everyone

Feds aren't revealing anything about surveillance, suit says

(Newser) - A civil rights group has sued the US government, saying it needs more information about surveillance of Americans' phone and financial records to guide the public debate over what will happen when the law that regulates the scrutiny expires next year, the AP reports. The American Civil Liberties Union sued... More »

Trump Ridicules Report About Risky iPhone Habits

NYT says China and Russia are eavesdropping on his iPhone calls

(Newser) - A new report from the New York Times accuses President Trump of being so lax with his phone habits that Russia and China routinely listen in on his personal conversations. Trump, however, ridiculed the idea in a morning tweet . "The so-called experts on Trump over at the New York... More »

As Guy Rants About Boss, Guess Who He Pocket-Dials?

Fired Georgia man is suing, claiming his now ex-boss violated his privacy by listening in

(Newser) - For 12 minutes, James Stephens ranted to his wife about his boss. Then he realized that while he was ranting, he had pocket-dialed the man, Georgia Subsequent Injury Trust Fund Director Mike Coan, who heard the whole conversation. According to Stephens, who lost his job, that means Coan broke the... More »

Mayor Allegedly Records Strip Poker Game at His Youth Camp

Witnesses say participants were underage camp counselors

(Newser) - A California mayor has been charged with secretly recording a strip poker game featuring at least one 16-year-old, Reuters reports. The incident allegedly took place last August in Stockton mayor Anthony Silva's bedroom at the summer camp he runs for inner-city kids in need. According to the Los Angeles ... More »

Report: Germans Spied on Kerry, Clinton

German intelligence eavesdropped on their calls 'by mistake'

(Newser) - Germany's foreign intelligence agency eavesdropped on calls made by US Secretary of State John Kerry and his predecessor Hillary Clinton, German magazine Der Spiegel reported today. The respected news weekly reported that the agency, known by its German acronym BND, tapped a satellite phone conversation Kerry made in 2013... More »

NSA 'Time Machine' Can Record All Calls in a Nation

It can also replay the voices at any time within 30 days

(Newser) - The Washington Post has a new NSA scoop courtesy of Edward Snowden that is only going to heighten the Big Brother fears. It seems the agency has a program called MYSTIC that can record every phone call in a foreign country—and this isn't metadata, it's actual voice... More »

Man Nabbed Over Prank Calls to Pro Coaches

Kenneth Tarr allegedly presented fake job offers

(Newser) - Famous last words: "I'm like the world's most safe criminal." A Los Angeles man has been arrested after allegedly making prank calls to at least a dozen NFL, NBA, and college football coaches offering them new jobs. Kenneth Tarr, 32, allegedly called the likes of ex-Tampa... More »

Man Live-Tweets as Ex-NSA Boss Bashes Obama

Michael Hayden's interview overheard on train

(Newser) - Let this one sink in, America: The guy who used to run the National Security Agency is such a careful, clever operative that he gives his secret phone conversations in public. Michael Hayden gave an "on background" interview yesterday while riding the train from New York to Washington, DC,... More »

Court Seals It: We Live in a 'Surveillance State'

Glenn Greenwald: Justices protect Obama's 'Kafkaesque' warrantless wiretapping

(Newser) - The Supreme Court yesterday gave the green light to the Justice Department to continue eavesdropping on Americans without need of a warrant. In so doing, the court's five conservative justices agreed with the "Kafkaesque reasoning" of the Obama administration, which was borrowed and expanded upon from the Bush... More »

Gitmo Lawyers: Agents Are Spying on Us

Guantanamo commander admits that cells are bugged

(Newser) - A defense lawyer for alleged 9/11 attackers is crying foul after spotting hidden listening devices in cells used to meet with her clients at Guantanamo Bay, the Guardian reports. And the response from Gitmo's commander—that the bugs were set up by secret agents, yet no eavesdropping is underway—... More »

Saints Deny New Charge: Spying on Opposing Coaches

GM Mickey Loomis allegedly eavesdropped from Superdome suite

(Newser) - First the bounty scandal —and now eavesdropping? New Orleans Saints General Manager Mickey Loomis has been accused of listening in on visiting coaches for almost three years using an electronic device in his Superdome suite, ESPN reports. The US Attorney's Office in eastern Louisiana confirmed the accusation today,... More »

Feds Push for Stronger Law on Wiretapping

Government can't keep up with phone companies' upgrades

(Newser) - Law enforcement and counterterrorism officials are pressing to change a 1994 wiretapping law to force wireless carriers to make their phones easier to wiretap. Telecom companies have been upgrading their services faster than the government can keep up, the New York Times explains. Now an Obama administration task force is... More »

Your Cell Phone May Be Eavesdropping

(Newser) - Be careful where you leave your cell phone. All it takes is a quick download—the equivalent of loading a ringtone—to install software that wiretaps your calls and even records ambient noise when the phone is unused. Experts say a surprising number of spouses, co-workers, and parents are using... More »

Gonzales: I'm a Casualty of War on Terror

Controversial ex-AG defends White House role

(Newser) - Controversial former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales didn't deserve the flak he got as a high-ranking Bush administration official, he tells the Wall Street Journal. Gonzales was pilloried for his involvement in the government's "war on terror" policies, but he denies drafting the legal opinions that supported harsh interrogation techniques... More »

NYPD Clashes With Justice on Surveillance

Cops say feds blunt anti-terror efforts; AG testy in series of letters

(Newser) - The Department of Justice has firmly rejected efforts by the New York Police Department to relax restrictions on eavesdropping, triggering a war of words between the agencies’ heads, the New York Times reports. The NYPD wants broader latitude for electronic surveillance, and less red tape for its requests, but Justice... More »

Military Snooped on Troops' Phone Sex

Intercept operators listened to calls of troops, journalists, aid workers for fun

(Newser) - The US military routinely listened in on highly personal private phone calls of Americans calling home from the Middle East, two former operators told ABC News. President Bush has insisted that only the calls of terror suspects are monitored, but the whistleblowers say operators monitored the calls of blameless military... More »

Big Brother Comes to Sweden

New surveillance law has country partying like it's 1984

(Newser) - Don’t believe the hype: “Sweden is no cuddly liberal democracy,” writes Nathalie Rothschild for Spiked, berating her home country for “introducing the most Draconian surveillance law in Europe.” Known as the FRA law but nicknamed "Lex Orwell" by opponents, the legislation gives intelligence agencies... More »

Telecoms Gain Immunity From Wiretap Suits

'It’s not compromise; it’s pure theater,' says one plaintiff.

(Newser) - Yesterday's Congressional deal on warrantless wiretapping will wipe out some 40 pending lawsuits against phone companies that took part in the Bush administration's eavesdropping scheme, ending 5 months of Democratic resistance to giving the telcos immunity for their actions. In what the New York Times calls to the biggest change... More »

Eavesdropping on Internet Calls Is Easy

Researchers find potential encryption security problems

(Newser) - Not only are most Internet phone calls not encrypted, but a bandwidth-saving technique could undermine encryption once it’s implemented. Researchers at Johns Hopkins found that a compression method called variable-bit-rate encoding makes it possible for eavesdroppers to identify given phrases in an encrypted VoIP call 50% of the time,... More »

Wiretaps Continue Under Lapsed Law

Nervous phone firms agree to cooperate with government

(Newser) - US spy agencies are continuing wiretap surveillance despite the fact that a law re-authorizing the administration's controversial program failed to pass a divided legislature last weekend. Telecommunications companies are cooperating with the government despite concerns, Reuters reports. Wiretaps will resume under the current law "at least for now,"... More »

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