Electronic Frontier Foundation: Law Enforcement’s Secret “Super Search Engine” Amasses Trillions of Phone Records for Decades

Although the government still hides too much information about a secret telephone records surveillance program known as Hemisphere, we have learned through EFF’s Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuits that police tout the massive database of private calls as “Google on Steroids."

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Indiana State Police tracking cellphones – but won’t say how or why

From Indianapolis Star: This year, the Indiana State Police paid $373,995 for a device that law enforcement personnel have described as a powerful tool in the fight against crime and terrorism.

It could allow investigators in a surveillance vehicle to park in a crowded area and track the movements of anyone nearby with a cellphone and capture the numbers of people’s incoming and outgoing calls and text messages.

All of which concerns civil liberties and open-government groups.

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Media outlets push FISC for info on secret government surveillance

From Courthouse News Service: WASHINGTON (CN) – The once-secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court has mishandled demands to reveal the government's attempted justifications of its program of collecting the call and email data of Americans, a media coalition said.

Reporters Committee for the Freedom of the Press filed the amicus brief with the FISC, just before Thanksgiving last week, alongside Bloomberg, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Courthouse News Service and 21 other media organizations.

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EFF: FBI should release surveillance justification document

From PC World: The Federal Bureau of Investigation should make public a legal opinion it used to justify a past telephone records surveillance program because other agencies may still be relying on the document for surveillance justifications, the Electronic Frontier Foundation argued in court Tuesday.

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Peter Scheer: NSA may have adhered to legal rules, but legal rules can’t keep up with changes in surveillance technology

From First Amendment Coalition: A year or two from now, when investigators have taken stock of all the revelations in the NSA records released by Edward Snowden, the verdict is likely to be that the exposed NSA surveillance activities were NOT unlawful.

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Google urges US gov to be more open about online spying

From Firstpost: Search giant Google Inc pushed the US government to be more open about its online spying on Wednesday in the first such testimony before Congress by a major technology company since a series of news leaks began in June.

In written testimony submitted to a US Senate judiciary subcommittee, a Google executive said that the official secrecy was contrary to American values and hurting US economic interests.

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Court records reveal terror suspect who escaped UK surveillance was suing UK authorities

From The Washington Post: LONDON — A terror suspect who vanished after switching into women’s clothes at a London mosque is seeking damages from the British government for alleged complicity in torture and mistreatment, the U.K.’s High Court revealed Thursday.

Mohammed Ahmed Mohamed, 27, evaded stringent government surveillance when he disappeared Friday wearing a burka. Police are still searching for him.

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Anti-war site, upon notifying FBI of cyber-threat, became surveillance target

From RT: The Federal Bureau of Investigation spent years conducting surveillance on a prominent libertarian anti-war web site, in part because the agency mistakenly believed that the activist page had tried to hack the FBI's own site, according to a new report.

FBI documents viewed by the The Guardian reveal that an investigation into Antiwar.com was motivated by an examination of a “threat” that planned to “hack the FBI web site.” Yet the site never threatened any such thing.

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Declassified FBI files detail secret surveillance team

From RT: The Federal Bureau of Investigation has turned over new documents detailing how the FBI collects cell phone location information about criminal suspects, but most of the secretive program will remain under wraps for now.

The latest trove of documents was published this week by the Electronic Privacy Information Center, a DC-based public interest research group that specializes in issues involving surveillance and security.

Visit RT for more.

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NSA inundated by FOIA requests after Snowden leaks

From MuckRock: A veritable FOIA frenzy ensued in 2013 following a series of leaks about NSA surveillance programs, recently released documents show.

From June 6 to September 4, the National Security Agency’s FOIA load increased 1,054 percent over its 2012 intake. In that three-month span, the agency received 3,382 public records requests. For comparison, the NSA received just 293 requests over the same period in 2012.

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