Archive for March 2014

BORDC News Digest for 03/31/14

Monday, March 31, 2014 at 5:42 pm by

Current News 

3/31, Thomas Claburn, Information Week, Microsoft Clarifies Email Snooping Policy

3/30, Brian Knowlton, New York Times, Feinstein Gives Tentative Nod to Data Curbs

3/30, Chris Hedges, TruthDig, Fighting the Militarized State

3/29, Lawrence Shapiro, Liberty Voice NSA and British Signals Intelligence Spy on German Tech Companies

3/28, Paige Lavender, Huffington Post, Dick Cheney On Torture: ‘If I Would Have To Do It All Over Again, I Would’

3/28, Celeste Katz, NY Daily News, Reaction Roundup: DC’s Philip Eure appointed NYPD inspector general

The people of Maine can stop torture

Monday, March 31, 2014 at 9:15 am by

collins-kingResidents of Maine have a unique opportunity to advance human rights and restore checks and balances on executive power. The state’s Senators both sit on the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (SSCI), which has conducted an investigation to establish the facts surrounding the CIA’s use of torture as an instrument of detention and interrogation. A 6,300-page report presents the most comprehensive review to date of the agency’s program, documenting abuses vastly beyond those previously acknowledged—but it remains secret, pending the committee’s vote on whether to declassify portions of it to let the public finally see the facts.

It gets worse: the CIA was caught spying on the SSCI’s torture investigation, and stands accused by its chief ally in Congress, committee Chair Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), of stealing documents from the committee’s computers and impeding its investigation. Moreover, a senior CIA lawyer who himself appears complicit in torture has ironically sought a Justice Department criminal investigation into how the committee gained access to the documents.

Dissecting Obama’s proposed NSA reforms

Friday, March 28, 2014 at 9:03 am by

Original commentary by Peter Van Buren from Fire Dog Lake published on March 28, 2014.


So, after nine months of ignoring the Snowden revelations, downplaying the the Snowden revelations, not telling the truth about the Snowden revelations, insulting the Snowden revelations, sending members of his administration to lie to Congress about the Snowden revelations and claiming everything the NSA does is legal, righteous

and necessary to keep the barbarians outside the gates, Obama is coincidentally now proposing some “reforms” without acknowledging the Snowden revelations. Let’s have a look based on what we know right now.

BORDC News Digest for 03/27/14

Thursday, March 27, 2014 at 5:33 pm by

Current News 

3/27, Shahid Buttar, People’s Blog for the Constitution, The president’s proposal is a red herring that will ultimately strengthen the hand of the NSA

3/27, Stephanie Nebehay, Reuters, U.N. watchdog urges Obama to curb drone use, surveillance

3/26, Dan Gillmor, The Guardian, Obama’s NSA phone-record law ignores the other (big) data we’re giving away

3/26, Peter Van Buren, Fire Dog Lake, Using Metadata to Catch a Whistleblower

The president’s proposal is a red herring

Thursday, March 27, 2014 at 2:40 pm by


In a March 26 interview responding to President Obama’s recent proposal to restrain unconstitutional and illegal bulk metadata collection by the National Security Agency, BORDC executive director Shahid Buttar told UpRising Radio:

How state secrecy protects government agencies from embarrassment, then and now

Thursday, March 27, 2014 at 9:37 am by

Original commentary published on Privacy SOS blog on March 24.

J. Edgar Hoover's obsession with secrecy is a legacy that scars present-day government agencies.

J. Edgar Hoover’s obsession with secrecy is a legacy that scars present-day government agencies.

Often when the government wants to keep something secret, it claims that transparency would endanger national security. We’ve been hearing a lot of this lately in light of the new information about the FBI and NSA’s surveillance activities disclosed to the press by former contractor Edward Snowden. The leaks have caused “grave harm” to national security and even US foreign policy, Snowden’s critics repeat over and over again.

BORDC News Digest for 03/26/14

Wednesday, March 26, 2014 at 5:39 pm by

Current News 

3/26, Reuters, The Guardian, Fisa court names Thomas Hogan as new presiding judge

3/26, Nina Totenberg, NPR, Protesters Want To Sue Secret Service: Do They Have The Right?

3/26, Martha Mendoza, StarTribune, Intelligence disclosures show vulnerabilities in US privacy rights

3/25, Calvin Sneed, Channel 9 NewsPolice for Profit: Confusion about the Law?

3/25, Bradley Klapper, The Kansas City Star, Senators to vote next week on torture report

3/25, Jameel Jaffer, The Guardian, The House’s NSA bill could allow more spying than ever. You call this reform?

3/24, Business Standard, ANIFormer US President Jimmy Carter criticizes drone use, NSA surveillance program

Drones may be the new weapon of choice

Wednesday, March 26, 2014 at 8:55 am by

drone1Drone devices are being lauded as the new frontier in the technology sector and both commercial and government actors can’t wait to get their hands on it. While it is undeniable that this technology can serve as a useful tool, it is important to note that drones can also be wielded as weapons.

Many drone advocates argue that commercial drone use doesn’t pose a genuine threat to civil liberties and that potential abuses are more likely among government agencies. But, it is incredibly difficult to assert that commercially collected data won’t fall into government hands. One need look no further than the National Security Agency (NSA) to see how government agencies are capable of collecting and aggregating commercial data, without a warrant, to serve their own purposes.

BORDC News Digest for 3/25/14

Tuesday, March 25, 2014 at 6:28 pm by

Current News 

3/25, Cindy Saine, Voice of AmericaObama, Legislators Propose Plans to Stop Massive NSA Phone Data Collection

3/24, Glen Ford, Black Agenda Report, CIA Losing Friends in Congress

3/24, C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger, Baltimore Sun, Bill calls for end to NSA bulk telephone ‘metadata’ collection [Commentary]

3/24, Jessica Van Sack, Boston Herald, Microsoft case shows privacy’s a myth

3/24, Jeff Stein, Newsweek, The CIA Doesn’t Want You to Know How Badly It Botched Torture

3/23, Andy Worthington, Eurasia Review, Guantánamo, Where Unsubstantiated Suspicion Of Terrorism Ensures Indefinite Detention, Even After 12 Years

3/20, Mary Silver, Epoch Times, Oversight Group Testimony Says Patriot Act Flawed

BORDC News Digest for 03/24/14

Monday, March 24, 2014 at 5:55 pm by

3/24, Dave Lindorff, CounterPunch, Dark Questions About a Deadly FBI Interrogation in Orlando

3/24, Chris Edwards, Townhall Finance, The Federal Spying Budget

3/23, Burgess Everett, POLITICO, Democrats have votes to release CIA report

3/21, Candice Bernd, AlterNet, From Tacoma to Texas, Hunger Strikers Challenge Private Immigration Detention Centers

3/21,AFP-JIJI, Japan Times, Intelligence officials deny U.S. is waging industrial espionage

3/21, Amy Goodman and Juan Gonzalez, AlterNet, Could the NSA Gain Ability to Record and Replay Every Call, Everywhere?