Entire Kim Dotcom Spying Operation Was Illegal, High Court Rules – TorrentFreak


The whole New Zealand-based spying operation against Kim Dotcom and his Megaupload co-defendants was illegal, the High Court has ruled. The revelation appears in a newly released decision, which shows the GCSB spy agency refusing to respond to questions about its activities on the basis that could jeopardize national security.

Source: Entire Kim Dotcom Spying Operation Was Illegal, High Court Rules – TorrentFreak

US border cops must get warrants to search citizens’ gadgets – draft bipartisan law emerges • The Register

Right now, anyone – citizen or not – entering the Land of the FreeTM can be subject to warrantless probing of their electronics, which can be seized for further study in the lab for months if necessary. It’s just that citizens can’t be prevented from entering their home country: you can have your equipment taken and scanned, you can be questioned for hours, but you’re still ultimately allowed in. Foreigners, on the other hand, have no such protections: they can be searched, grilled, and sent back the way they came, if immigration officials deem you to be a problem.
The draft legislation – which is still in its early stages – is essentially designed to make it a lot tougher to stop and search citizens on the spot when they return to the US of A. However, the bill is weighed down with one major caveat. If officers have serious concerns about a traveller but have no time to get a warrant, they can seize the electronics and later apply for a warrant retroactively. If the warrant application fails, all the information harvested must be destroyed and may not be used in further prosecutions.

Source: US border cops must get warrants to search citizens’ gadgets – draft bipartisan law emerges • The Register

The FBI Is Building A National Watchlist That Gives Companies Real Time Updates on Employees


Will the FBI’s Rap Back service notify your boss that you got arrested protesting the inauguration?

Source: The FBI Is Building A National Watchlist That Gives Companies Real Time Updates on Employees

Malcolm Gladwell’s Ridiculous Attack On Ed Snowden Based On Weird Prejudice About How A Whistleblower Should Look | Techdirt

So, suffice it to say I was already skeptical of Gladwell’s recent piece attacking Ed Snowden as not being a “real” whistleblower. But the piece is much, much worse than even I expected. The short, Gladwellian-style summary of it might be: real whistleblowers have to look the part, and they need to be part of an Ivy League elite, with clear, noble reasons behind what they did. Here’s how Gladwell describes Daniel Ellsberg, the guy who leaked the Pentagon Papers, and to whom Gladwell has given his stamp of approval as a “Real Whistleblower™”

Source: Malcolm Gladwell’s Ridiculous Attack On Ed Snowden Based On Weird Prejudice About How A Whistleblower Should Look | Techdirt

City Passes Ordinance Mandating CCTV Surveillance By Businesses, Including Doctors And Lawyers Offices | Techdirt

All commercial businesses located here will now be required to install and maintain security cameras or face a fine or jail following passage of a new citywide ordinance by the Mayor and Board of Aldermen Tuesday night.“A matter that has been of increasing concern to the board lately is keeping the citizens of Madison safe, as well as the people who come here to visit our stores, through the use of security cameras,” City Attorney John Hedglin said. “It’s very important to have a record of what happens in as many places as possible.”The ordinance has 30 days before it takes effect.

Source: City Passes Ordinance Mandating CCTV Surveillance By Businesses, Including Doctors And Lawyers Offices | Techdirt

UK’s new Snoopers’ Charter just passed an encryption backdoor law by the backdoor • The Register


How far will it go? You’ll have to ask the Home Secretary

Source: UK’s new Snoopers’ Charter just passed an encryption backdoor law by the backdoor • The Register

Top FBI Lawyer Argues Against Requiring Warrant for Data That Tracks People’s Location


IF LAW ENFORCEMENT was forced to get a warrant to obtain information about a suspect’s whereabouts from the phone providers, it would be “crippling,” according to James Baker, general counsel at the FBI.“I don’t know how we would handle that,” said Baker, speaking on a panel at the American Bar Association’s annual conference on national security law in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday. The executive branch would suffer from “a huge amount of uncertainty and confusion while we are doing investigations.”

Source: Top FBI Lawyer Argues Against Requiring Warrant for Data That Tracks People’s Location

President Obama Claims He Cannot Pardon Snowden; He’s Wrong | Techdirt

In a big interview with the German media outlet Der Spiegel, President Obama was asked about his interest in pardoning Ed Snowden in response to the big campaign to get him pardoned. Obama’s response was that he could not, since Snowden has not been convicted yet

Source: President Obama Claims He Cannot Pardon Snowden; He’s Wrong | Techdirt

Amid Clinton Controversy, FBI Documents Show Why Americans Should Worry About Intelligence Gathering


Critics are right to be concerned about the FBI’s expanded power, especially when it comes to recruiting and deploying informants. That’s true regardless of why FBI Director James Comey acted as he did toward Hillary Clinton.

Source: Amid Clinton Controversy, FBI Documents Show Why Americans Should Worry About Intelligence Gathering