Thirty-nine organizations are pressing for Congress to investigate whether the government has exceeded the limits of what is allowed by Section 215 of the Patriot Act.
The PCLOB has now lacked a quorum for over 19 months, hamstringing its ability to function.
Since 2005 the National Association of News Editors has branded the third week of March “Sunshine Week.” But in 2018, Sunshine Week is looking less bright. Sunshine Week has been obscured by an eclipse. Zach Garrett cautions against allowing partisan politics to obscure the real issues.
Eclipse of Sunshine Week: NCAC Joins Coalition Condemning Government Threats to Openness, Ethics and Accountability
NCAC has joined a large group of organizations in opposing the continued, and growing, threats to openness, ethics and accountability created by a culture of secrecy in the US government. NCAC and its cosignatories have designated this week, which should celebrate public access to information, the Eclipse of Sunshine Week.
NCAC has joined a bipartisan coalition of 44 organizations to urge members of the House of Representatives to vote "yes" on the USA RIGHTS amendment and "no" on the FISA Amendments Reauthorization Act (S. 139) if the USA RIGHTS amendment does not pass.
Because Section 702 has a potentially chilling effect on privacy and free speech, it has to be reauthorized periodically. It is set to expire at the end of the year.
In the letter to the Attorney General, the groups condemned the Department’s overbroad reach and expressed alarm over DOJ investigative tactics that offend the rights of all individuals to political dissent and free assembly.
SIGN: Petition Demanding Congress Strengthen Judicial Protections for Government Whistleblowers; NCAC Joins Open Letter to Trump Admin. Demanding Whistleblower Protections
The petition focuses on the legal rights of whistle blowers, demanding adequate protections to ensure they receive a fair trial in any subsequent court action taken against them.
The online petition has been launched in response to the news DHS Secretary Kelly is likely to implement the proposal.
The letter to U.S Department of Justice praises the policy but pushes back against certain justifications for rule exemptions.
The Senate Intelligence Committee's report on the CIA's detention and interrogation program, a landmark document that details the effectiveness agency's use of torture, will be preserved by the outgoing Obama administration.
NCAC has joined OpenTheGovernment.org and other allies in protesting a new FBI proposal to exempt its new system of records from parts of the Privacy Act.
NCAC is one of 28 signatories on a letter sent by the Center for Democracy & Technology to the DHS urging the rejection of a proposal to ask foreign travelers about their social media presence.
Published in January, The Guantanamo Diary is an intense account of Mohamedou Ould Slahi’s excruciating experiences as a prisoner of the U.S. war on terror. Slahi was detained in his native Mauritania in 2001; a CIA rendition plane flew him to Jordan for brutal interrogation sessions, and from there he was taken to Afghanistan and then finally to the infamous [...]
Published in January of this year, The Guantanamo Diary is an intense account of Mohamedou Ould Slahi's excruciating experiences as a prisoner of the U.S. war on terror. Slahi was detained in his native Mauritania in 2001 before a CIA rendition plane flew him to Jordan for brutal interrogation sessions. From there, Slahi was flown to Afghanistan and then finally [...]
Congressional efforts to punish online sex trafficking are overbroad, counterproductive and will chill free speech.
(Update: NCAC signed on to another letter in January 2015 organized by the Center for Democracy & Technology.) NCAC and other organizations concerned with human rights sent the below letter to the Unites States Senate to convey strong opposition to S.2536, the "Stop Advertising Victims of Exploitation" (SAVE) Act. While we believe that Congress should provide additional funding for victims [...]
"Complacency is ever the enabler of darkest deeds." Robert Fanney recognized, as we do at NCAC, that silence and apathy lead to repression and censorship. In our 40th anniversary year, we celebrate the artists, authors, students, educators, librarians, lawmakers, celebs du jour, and yes, even corporations, who refused to remain silent on the top threats to free speech in 2014. [...]
In a joint letter to the Assistant Attorney General for the National Security Division and the Acting Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division, NCAC and the below signatories question the legality of federal watchlisting practices. The letter deems the current system of labeling thousands of people, including American citizens, as suspected terrorists as "bloated and unfair." The signatories [...]
Free Expression Network member EFF have posted "The Top 5 Claims That Defenders of the NSA Have to Stop Making to Remain Credible" and it's a scathing takedown of anyone relying on these old chestnuts to prop up an argument for continued mass surveillance.
On Wednesday, the House Judiciary Committee approved a bill to limit NSA’s mass surveillance. The USA Freedom Act has the support of some groups pressing for reform which characterize it as an important first step in curbing the government’s bulk collection of private records, while noting that more still needs to be done. See http://newamerica.net/node/109858. Other organizations express concerns that [...]
Secret without Reason and Costly without Accomplishment: Questioning the National Security Agency’s Metadata Program
Mueller, John & Mark G. Stewart, "Secret without Reason and Costly without Accomplishment: Questioning the National Security Agency's Metadata Program," I/S: A Journal of Law and Policy for the Information Society (2014) Download a PDF. Excerpt When Edward Snowden’s revelations emerged in June 2013 about the extent to which the National Security Agency was secretly gathering communications data as part of the country’s [...]
Similar legislation has been introduced in 12 states. From Truthout.org: On Tuesday, January 28th, a transpartisan group of four Vermont state representatives introduced legislation that would block some of the practical effects of mass data collection by the National Security Agency (NSA). Rep. Teo Zagar (D-Windsor-4-1), along with co-sponsor Reps. Susan Davis (P/D-Orange-1), Patricia Komline (R-Bennington-Rutland) and William Stevens (I-Addison-Rutland) [...]
Responses to recent disclosures about official surveillance of private communications and activities are rolling in. The most recent is from the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board, which today released a Report on the Telephone Records Program Conducted under Section 215 of the USA PATRIOT Act and on the Operations of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. The PCLOB is an independent [...]
This is a good, concise history of abuses by the intelligence community and offers a great argument against warrantless surveillance. Without that break-in by the Media 8, J. Edgar Hoover’s “shadow FBI,” a criminal conspiracy at the heart of a developing national security state, might never have been revealed. (The CIA, officially banned from domestic spying on Americans, turned out [...]
Fifty-four civil liberties and public interest groups sent a letter to Congressional leadership today opposing S. 1631, the FISA Improvements Act. The bill, promoted by Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), seeks to legalize and extend NSA mass surveillance programs, including the classified phone records surveillance program confirmed by documents released by Edward Snowden this summer. From EFF’s blog post on the [...]
Yesterday, a federal judge issued an order holding that the National Security Agency's tracking and collecting cellphone "metadata" without a warrant is "almost certainly" unconstitutional under the 4th Amendment. The court issued a preliminary injunction against the NSA's tracking cellphone information of the named plaintiffs. This is the first serious legal fallout from the disclosures by Edward Snowden last summer [...]
In a letter to members of Congress, NCAC and other civil society groups, companies and investors call for a complete overhaul of government surveillance. The letter demands transparency and oversight ahead of a U.S. Senate Judiciary hearing on 21 November on “Oversight of U.S. government surveillance authorities.”
Right now the NSA is spying on everyone’s personal communications, and it’s operating without any meaningful oversight. Since the Snowden leaks started, more than 569,000 people from all walks of life have signed the StopWatching.us petition telling the U.S. Congress … Continue reading →
The nation is abuzz this week following Edward Snowden’s leaks about the NSA’s comprehensive (and fully unconstitutional) surveillance program (Click here for the Guardian’s live feed of Snowden-related news). Those of us who spend our time protecting civil liberties are appalled at the behavior of this administration and its intelligence and security agencies, and perhaps even more disturbed by the rhetoric [...]
UPDATE: Now at 114 co-signers! Demand swift action from Congress to stop unchecked domestic surveillance and its chilling effect on free speech.
A coalition of 16 journalism groups today urged the Bush administration to abide by guidelines the Pentagon and media groups established after the 1991 Persian Gulf War if an invasion of Iraq occurs. The plea came as the coalition issued an updated Statement of Principles first released a year ago. Journalists remember how their hands were tied a decade [...]
Newsday September 16, 2002 In the post 9/11 world, there is undoubtedly a government official whose job is to invent innocuous-sounding, if not reassuring, acronyms for government initiatives against terrorism. Operation TIPS is a case in point. The Terrorism Information and Prevention System will recruit millions of utility, transportation and other workers to report on "potentially unusual or suspicious [...]
UPDATE: MIT was denied the security clearance necessary to complete a full review of the situation to determine if data was in fact manipulated. Theodore Postol, Professor of Science and Technology and National Security at MIT, wrote a letter describing how the Missile Defense Agency had doctored the results of the National Missile Defense Test. Postol was then visited by Pentagon [...]