Secrecy & Surveillance

NCAC Urges Speaker Pelosi to Support Critical Change to Patriot Act

By |2020-05-18T15:42:32-04:00May 18th, 2020|News|

NCAC has joined a coalition of more than 50 civil liberties, civil rights and government transparency organizations in urging Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and other members of Congress to include civil liberties reforms in the USA Freedom Reauthorization Act of 2020, a bill that would extend surveillance provisions of the Patriot Act which expired in March. The coalition’s [...]

NCAC Urges Privacy Protection Reforms

By |2020-05-20T11:36:16-04:00April 21st, 2020|News|

NCAC has joined a coalition of 36 organizations led by the ACLU, FreedomWorks, and Demand Progress, to urge Congress to reform the USA Freedom Reauthorization Act of 2020, a bill that would extend provisions of the Patriot Act which expired in March and pose unprecedented threats to Americans’ civil liberties.  These provisions include the controversial “lone wolf” and “roving wiretap” [...]

Government Transparency Is Not a Partisan Issue: Eclipse of Sunshine Week

By |2020-01-03T15:50:37-05:00March 16th, 2018|Blog|

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

By |2019-06-12T17:57:59-04:00March 13th, 2018|Blog|

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.

The Censored Truth of a Guantanamo Prisoner

By |2016-01-19T10:39:53-05:00May 12th, 2015|Censorship News Articles|

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 [...]

The Censored Truth of a Guantanamo Prisoner

By |2016-01-15T11:33:26-05:00February 12th, 2015|Blog|

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 [...]

NCAC Co-signs Letter to US Senate Expressing Concerns Over SAVE Act

By |2019-03-07T22:47:19-05:00November 13th, 2014|Incidents|

(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 [...]

The Top 40 Free Speech Defenders of 2014

By |2020-01-05T23:18:58-05:00October 23rd, 2014|Blog|

"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. [...]

NCAC Joins Letter Calling for Reform of US Government Watchlisting System

By |2016-01-25T10:59:05-05:00October 15th, 2014|Incidents|

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 [...]

NSA Surveillance Reform Bill Makes For Tentative Progress

By |2020-01-03T14:47:28-05:00May 8th, 2014|Blog|

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 Other organizations express concerns that [...]

Secret without Reason and Costly without Accomplishment: Questioning the National Security Agency’s Metadata Program

By |2020-01-03T14:43:54-05:00April 4th, 2014|Blog|

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 [...]

Vermont legislation would “refuse material support” for NSA mass data collection

By |2020-01-03T14:08:29-05:00February 5th, 2014|Blog|

Similar legislation has been introduced in 12 states. From 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) [...]

NSA’s collection of metadata “should end,” according to new report

By |2020-01-03T14:08:24-05:00January 23rd, 2014|Blog|

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 [...]

TomDispatch on Surveillance Abuses, Past and Present

By |2020-01-03T14:08:20-05:00January 13th, 2014|Blog|

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 [...]

NCAC joins 53 other organizations to oppose the FISA “Improvements” Act – Add your voice today!

By |2019-03-07T21:56:49-05:00December 18th, 2013|Blog|

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 [...]

Federal Judge Rules NSA Program Likely Unconstitutional

By |2020-01-03T14:08:13-05:00December 17th, 2013|Blog|

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 [...]