Some context for some surveillance

When news broke recently that federal officials were pushing for new regulations to facilitate online eavesdropping (“U.S. Tries to Make It Easier to Wiretap the Internet”, New York Times, September 27, 2010), it seemed like there were two ways to interpret the situation: Did the proposed powers represent a significant change from the status quo? The administration’s proposal… would require reconfiguring of the Internet to provide easier access to online communications. —ACLU Or did the proposed powers merely enable law-enforcement officials to continue doing what they had been doing? We’re not talking expanding authority. We’re talking about preserving our ability [More]

Senate panel reviews espionage laws: uh-oh for the media?

Here’s a quick advisory for anyone interested in government-media tensions:  A  Senate panel will take a look at the Espionage Act this morning.  This hearing should be closely watched by media groups for any signs that the simmering tensions between the press over leaks will once again boil into direct conflict. In 2006, the government grew increasingly hostile to press reporting based on unauthorized disclosures.  This year has not seen the kinds of revelations similar to the government’s warrantless wiretapping, monitoring international banking transactions, and secret prisons in Eastern Europe, each of which drew criticism from Congress and the executive [More]