Lots to report today as the Senate engages in a token show of ornament rage necessitated by Edward Snowden’s ongoing leaks of all those NSA secrets, some Google blowback in Britain, and lots more.
We open with a headline from The Hill:
US intelligence chiefs lobby to prevent Congress curbing surveillance powers
NSA director and director of national intelligence to appear before Senate committee a day after senators propose reform bill
Next up, getting our hopes up, via The Guardian:
NSA reform bill to trim back US surveillance unveiled in Congress
Ron Wyden says Snowden disclosures have ‘caused a sea change’ and announces most comprehensive package so far
From the McClatchy Washington Bureau, DiFei politics:
Feinstein may suggest changes to FISA today
Senate Intelligence Committee Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., is expected today to unveil a bill that would change the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act in response to anger over the NSA’s wide collection of Americans’ telephone records.
But Techdirt neatly gets to the heart of her hypocrisy:
Redefining English: Senator Feinstein Says The Press Needs To Stop Calling Patriot Act Surveillance Program A ‘Surveillance Program’
from the wow dept
From Slashdot, we want it all and we want it now:
No Upper Bound On Phone Record Collection, Says NSA
PCWorld reports that “[a] U.S. surveillance court has given the National Security Agency no limit on the number of U.S. telephone records it collects in the name of fighting terrorism, the NSA director said Thursday. The NSA intends to collect all U.S. telephone records and put them in a searchable ‘lock box’ in the interest of national security, General Keith Alexander, the NSA’s director, told U.S. senators.”
From The Guardian, mum’s the word in Washington:
US intelligence chiefs urge Congress to preserve surveillance programs
Officials refuse to say in Senate testimony whether cell site data had ever been used to pinpoint an individual’s location
From the New York Times, evidence that they’re getting their way, since the proposed legislation would allow to NSA to keep on vaccuming up all our calls and online activities:
Senators Push to Preserve N.S.A. Phone Surveillance
The Senate Intelligence Committee appears to be moving quickly to pass a bill aimed at building public confidence in a once-secret National Security Agency program.
And lest you get your hopes up that one good thing might happen from a GOP government shutdown, consider this from The Hill:
Shutdown unlikely to stop NSA spying
A government shutdown, set for Oct. 1 if lawmakers fail to strike a deal, would be unlikely to impede the National Security Agency’s surveillance programs.
From the Salt Lake Tribune, reporting some unsurprising news about the Utah Data Center at Camp Williams, that $1.5 billion complex bigger than five Costcos and filled with computers to store all the snooped-up, spooked-up data of ours:
Shhh … NSA’s Utah Data Center may be open already
Spy agency » Officials won’t say directly whether it’s up and running or not.
Back to The Guardian, and targets:
UK detention of Reprieve activist consistent with NSA’s view of drone opponents as ‘threats’ and ‘adversaries’
A top secret NSA document provides context for yesterday’s abusive detention of Baraa Shiban
And on the subject of drones, from the Los Angeles Times, another unsurprising surprise:
FBI has been using drones since 2006, watchdog agency says
Operating with almost no public notice, the FBI has spent more than $3 million to operate a fleet of small drone aircraft in domestic investigations, according to a report.
From the BBC, a blast from the past:
NSA spied on Martin Luther King, documents reveal
The US National Security Agency spied on civil rights leader Martin Luther King and boxer Muhammad Ali during the height of the Vietnam War protests, declassified documents reveal.
From the Washington Post, targeting a humorist:
Declassified documents show NSA listened in on MLK, Muhammad Ali and Art Buchwald
And from the Department of Oops, via the Los Angeles Times:
L.A. students breach school iPads’ security
As students at Roosevelt High and other schools hack L.A. Unified-issued iPads for non-schoolwork, the district ponders solutions.
More from Engadget:
LA officials may delay school iPad rollout after students hack them in a week
Off to China, for a pullback of a policy announced yesterday, via SINA English:
No special access to banned websites at free trade zone in Shanghai: official
The management measures over the Internet at the China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone will be consistent with the rest of the country’s, official sources were quoted by the news portal people.com.cn as saying on Wednesday
The Daily Dot reports censorship closer to home:
Facebook censors ACLU screed about censoring boobs
Facebook blocked the American Civil Liberties Union because of its blog post condemning censorship of a statue of a naked woman.
Then, for good measure, it banned the ACLU from posting for 24 hours.
More censorship, not unexpected, via Techdirt:
Russians Censor Website About Russians Censoring Websites
from the we’ve-gone-meta dept
And from Quartz, the Brits turn their goggles on Google:
Public enemy #1
“Too big, too powerful and too influential”—why British lawmakers are obsessed with Google
More from The Register:
Google’s boffins branded ‘unacceptably ineffective’ at tackling web piracy
‘Not beyond wit’ to block rip-offs say MPs demanding copyright safeguards
And by way of proof, consider a second headline from The Register:
Google’s latest PRIVACY MELTDOWN: Web chats sent to WRONG people
Now your buddies can play NSA spook
More woes for the Web giant from Mashable:
Google’s Gmail Keyword Scanning May Violate Wiretap Law
Google’s Gmail automatic keyword scanning might violate laws in the United States against wiretapping, a federal judge ruled on Thursday.
And a disturbing note from Slashdot:
Malware Now Hiding In Graphics Cards
The Washington Post reports yet another social media hazard:
Comedian Dan Nainan arrested after journalist punched in face over tweets
And to close, one last hazard of the digital realm from Business Insider:
Apple’s iOS 7 Is Making People Sick