Posts Tagged ‘warrantless surveillance’

This is “The Day We Fight Back”

Monday, February 10, 2014 at 1:22 pm by
Protest against government surveillance in Washington DC. Photograph: Xinhua/Landov/Barcroft Media

Protest against government surveillance in Washington DC. Photograph: Xinhua/Landov/Barcroft Media

Unwarranted mass surveillance has proven to be a universal issue, providing common ground for private corporations, libertarian groups, and civil liberty advocates to unite. On Tuesday February 11, a broad coalition will take a stand against the National Security Agency (NSA) and engage in a global day of action, “The Day We Fight Back.

The Day We Fight Back is tied to the activist and technologist Aaron Swartz and his contributions to the digital rights movement. Swartz was a key individual in the movement to defeat the Stop Online Piracy Act, a bill that sought to limit access to sites with user-generated content. Because of the efforts of Swartz and other activists, the Internet remains intact as a universal platform for all users.


Constitution in Crisis :: BORDC’s December 2013 Newsletter

Sunday, December 15, 2013 at 3:30 pm by

Constitution in Crisis

December 2013, Vol. 12 No. 12

View this newsletter as a webpage:


Dropping in on the NSA

Wednesday, December 11, 2013 at 10:55 am by

As Congress considers dozens of bills to curtail NSA domestic surveillance, the grassroots firestorm opposing dragnet spying has continued to escalate. Coalitions across the country have employed creative tactics to display visual  dissent, reaching beyond the incremental reforms considered by Congress and calling for the National Security Agency (NSA) to be closed entirely.

On December 6, grassroots activists from across the DC / MD / VA area dropped banners reading “Save America. Close the NSA” off a highway overpass outside the NSA headquarters in Ft. Meade, MD. (more…)

Take a creative action for National Bill of Rights Day (we did and it was awesome)

Monday, December 9, 2013 at 6:16 pm by

BORDC Legal Fellow Matthew Kellegrew led a group of activists in a banner drop action against the NSA in Oakland California. This short video shows how you can get out into your community and make your voice heard.

Creative actions are exciting and engaging ways to connect your community to the fight against unconstitutional NSA spying.

News Digest 12/05/13

Thursday, December 5, 2013 at 5:00 pm by

Current News 

12/5, Juan Cole, Informed Comment, Trashing the Law against warrantless GPS tracking: NSA nabs 5 Billion Phone location Records a Day

12/5,Vindu Goel and Nicole Perlroth, New York Times, Internet Firms Step Up Efforts to Stop Spying

12/3, Voices of Russia, Wal-Mart, Bank of America spying on nonprofits — allegedly with former intelligence agencies’ contractors

12/3, Maureen Dowd, New York Times, Mommy, the Drone’s here!

12/4, Nate Rawlings, Time, NSA Opponents Want To Cut Off Utah Facility From Water Supply


Day of action to demand ECPA reform

Thursday, December 5, 2013 at 9:00 am by

ECPA graphic1Today, the Bill of Rights Defense Committee joins a nationwide day of action calling for reform of the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA), a nearly 30 year old law that allows the government to access your email and documents stored in the cloud without a warrant.

In a previous story written by Alok Bhatt about the need to reform the ECPA, he described:

“The severely outdated Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA), enacted in 1986 to restrict government access to then-limited digital data, allows warrantless access to messages stored for over 180 days. In a new era of cloud computing, however, this obsolete provision fails to uphold modern expectations of privacy,”


Gallows humor: jokes about NSA spying

Tuesday, December 3, 2013 at 7:49 am by

While Congress mulls over dozens of competing proposals to reign in the NSA’s domestic dragnet spying activities, the agency continues to run circles around Congress and the courts, while continuing to co-opt the Obama White House.

At a time like this, it may help to rememeber some of the pithy reflections on NSA spying that comedians have shared, like:

  • “Germany is mad at the United States for the NSA eavesdropping. This, ladies and gentlemen, from the country that gave us the Gestapo.” –David Letterman
  • “Due to the government spy scandal, sales of the classic George Orwell book ’1984′ have skyrocketed. So the fallout is worse than we thought. It’s making Americans read.” –Conan O’Brien
  • “President Obama said he welcomes a national debate over our surveillance policies. He said that’s a debate we wouldn’t have had five years ago. Five years ago? It’s a debate we wouldn’t have had two weeks ago if they all hadn’t gotten caught.” –Jay Leno
  • “Mr. President, no one is saying you broke any laws. We’re just saying it’s a little bit weird you didn’t have to.” –The Daily Show’s John Oliver

If these jokes don’t prompt a laugh at your next cocktail party, consider focusing your friends on the laughable job that Congress has done in overseeing domestic spying over the past decade. Unfortunately, there seem to be no shortage of clowns involved in this ongoing sordid enterprise.

News Digest 11/26/13

Tuesday, November 26, 2013 at 5:00 pm by

Current News 

11/26, Dana Liebelson, Mother Jones, The Government’s Secret Plan to Shut Off Cellphones and the Internet, Explained

11/25, Matt Sledge, Huffington Post, NYPD Forced To Produce Muslim Surveillance Records

11/25, Ron Wyden, Mark Udall, and Martin Heinrich, New York Times, NSA’s Google and Yahoo data taps may be legal thanks to decades-old presidential order

11/23, Spencer Ackerman, The Guardian, NSA deputy director skeptical on sharing data with FBI and others

11/20, Charlie Savage, New York Times, Warrantless Surveillance Continues to Cause Fallout


News Digest 11/22/13

Friday, November 22, 2013 at 5:00 pm by

Current News 

11/21, Mark Joseph Stern, Slate, Hayden Sees No End In Sight for the NSA

11/21,The Guardian, UN draft resolution: the right to privacy in the digital age – full document

11/20, Charlie Savage, New York Times, Warrantless Surveillance Continues to Cause Fallout

11/19, John T. Bennett, Defense News, Senate NDAA Amendments Piling Up, Many More Expected

11/18, Adam Liptak, New York Times, Justices Reject Challenge to N.S.A. Program

FBI’s Suspicious Activity Reports threaten privacy and first amendment

Friday, November 1, 2013 at 1:09 pm by

fbiIs an upside down American flag a reasonable indication of criminal activity? What about a group of young Middle Eastern men speaking a non-English language? Does the presence of Muslim women at a shopping mall suggest an intent to commit a crime? Is an artist photographing buildings necessarily a terrorist threat? According to the FBI, these first amendment protected actions are suspicious activities. These are all examples from the summaries of Suspicious Activity Reports (SARs) acquired by the ACLU and originally produced by the Central California Intelligence Center and the Joint Regional Intelligence Center.

The stated purpose of SARs is to collect information about criminal activity that may be related to “terrorist pre-operational planning,” which can then be shared among the different levels of the government. These reports could be issued by local law enforcement officers or could be the result of tips from the public.