Media coalition urges better protection of First Amendment rights in NSA, FISA court matters

From Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press: The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, joined by 36 other news media organizations, filed public comments calling on the president’s Review Group on Intelligence and Communications Technologies to more carefully balance the secrecy sometimes required in national security investigations with the public’s right to know what its government is doing.

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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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NSA bought hacking tools from Vupen, a French based zero-day exploit seller

From The Hacker News: The US government, particularly the National Security Agency has been paying a French security firm for backdoors and zero day hacks.

According to a contract newly released in response to a Freedom of Information request, last year the NSA purchased a 12-month subscription to a “binary analysis and exploits service” sold by Vupen, a zero-day Exploit Seller based in France.

Visit The Hacker News for more.

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Justice Dept. watchdog never probed judges’ NSA concerns

From USA TodayThe Justice Department's internal ethics watchdog says it never investigated repeated complaints by federal judges that the government had misled them about the NSA's secret surveillance of Americans' phone calls and Internet communications.

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Doubts raised about independence of White House panel on NSA privacy

From Miami Herald: WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama has announced the names of the five members of a task force to examine the National Security Agency’s controversial collection of Internet and cell phone records, but privacy and open government advocates say they don’t believe the panel is likely to be very critical of the NSA program.

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Yahoo issues transparency report

From Stuff.co.nz: Yahoo has released its first-ever transparency report, shedding some light on the number of government data requests it receives.

The report comes amid damaging disclosures that the National Security Agency can crack the encryption of online traffic – email, medical records, online shopping and other web activities – of the world’s biggest internet companies, including Yahoo.

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US and UK spy agencies defeat Internet privacy and security

From The Guardian:  US and British intelligence agencies have successfully cracked much of the online encryption relied upon by hundreds of millions of people to protect the privacy of their personal data, online transactions and emails, according to top-secret documents revealed by former contractor Edward Snowden.

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Hundreds of pages of NSA spying documents to be released

From Electronic Frontier Foundation: In a major victory in one of EFF's Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuits, the Justice Department conceded yesterday that it will release hundreds of documents, including FISA court opinions, related to the government’s secret interpretation of Section 215 of the Patriot Act, the law the NSA has relied upon for years to mass collect the phone records of millions of innocent Americans.

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