Tag Archives: Congress

US Immigration And Technology

Cale Weissman writes at PandoDaily:

“In the long term (and ideally) we would, as a nation, confront our dismal education system, which doesn’t graduate nearly enough computer-literate people. In the short term, our best bet is to do what we do best: Import what we need and get rid of policies that only serve to undermine our economic well being.”

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The FBI And Gmail Spying Powers

“It’s no secret that under the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, the feds can easily obtain archive copies of emails. When it comes to spying on emails or Gchat in real time, however, it’s a different story, writes Ryan Gallagher of Slate.

From the perspective of law enforcement, the data that passes through email, cloud services and chat is difficult to monitor in real time. As Gallagher notes, “That’s because a 1994 surveillance law called the Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act only allows the government to force Internet providers and phone companies to install surveillance equipment within their networks.” For newer forms of communication, the FBI’s spying power is restricted.

Gallagher summarizes a recent speech by the FBI’s general counsel, Andrew Weissmann, and reports that the agency will push a proposal this year to expand their “Internet spy powers.”

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Google Testifies To Congress Calling For Email Privacy

Writing on The Verge, Carl Franzen reports that Google’s legal director, Richard Salgado, will testify in front of a subcommittee in the House of Representatives. Salgado will argue for a legislative update on the 1986 Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA).

The subcommittee’s meeting subject: “Lawful access to stored content,” will deal with our society’s mismatch between new information technology and outdated legal paradigms.

Other companies and privacy advocates have spent years calling for updates to ECPA. The law currently gives government agencies and law enforcement organizations the ability to request all user email older than 180 days with just a subpoena, while access to newer email requires a stricter search warrant. The law has also been used to enable the government to request other cloud-based user information and even mobile device location information. But Google and those calling for reform want to see search warrants required to access all stored web user info and emails, regardless of their freshness or whether users have opened them.

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White House Reverses Its Stance On Cell Phone Unlocking After Citizen Petition

After being interviewed on Monday by Amy Goodman on “Democracy Now!” the political activist and former GOP staffer, Derick Khanna received a call from the White House. Khanna was told that the Obama administration would change it’s stance and come out against the Librarian of Congress who, in January 2013, decided that cellphone unlocking was a criminal offense.

The Administration said it will also put forth its own legislation that will decriminalize cellphone unlocking and would be in favor of tablet unlocking as well (so long as the consumer owns the device, and is not under contract by a carrier).

Khanna, along with Sina Khanifar, collected over 114,000 signatures on their online petition at “We The People,” a website run by the White House.

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