EFFector Vol. 20, No. 33 August 22, 2007 firstname.lastname@example.org A Publication of the Electronic Frontier Foundation ISSN 1062-9424 In the 437th Issue of EFFector: * White House Flouts NSA Subpoena Deadline, But Will Congress Fight Back? * Judges Grill Government at NSA Surveillance Hearing * Senator Cites EFF FOIA Work in Call for Investigation of Attorney General * EFF FOIA Docs: Soldiers Rarely Blog Information That Threatens Military Operations * miniLinks (13): Concerns Raised on Wider Spying Under New Law * Administrivia For more information on EFF activities & alerts: http://www.eff.org/ Make a donation and become an EFF member today! http://eff.org/support/ Tell a friend about EFF: http://action.eff.org/site/Ecard?ecard_id=1061 effector: n, Computer Sci. A device for producing a desired change. : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : * White House Flouts NSA Subpoena Deadline, But Will Congress Fight Back? Yesterday, the White House once again flouted Congress' authority and failed to comply with Senate subpoenas regarding the NSA's illegal domestic spying. In response, Senator Patrick Leahy threatened contempt proceedings and stated that the compliance deadline, which was already delayed twice, would not be pushed back again. That's certainly welcome news, but Congress can't let this turn into yet another set of empty threats. Tough talk is not enough -- after all, Congress has already made numerous requests for critical information about the spying program and let the President dodge them again and again. Instead of forcing his hand, it practically rewarded his evasiveness by capitulating to the Administration's outrageous demands and radically expanding domestic spying powers earlier this month. Congress cannot allow itself to be pushed around any longer. It needs to make good on its threats and pry the truth out of the Administration using all available means, including by holding it in contempt. And that must only be a first step towards the ultimate goal of stopping the President's abuse of power. Truth and accountability for the warrantless wiretapping of Americans should have come before any legislative changes were given even the slightest consideration. Now Congress needs to undo its mistake, starting with a repeal of the so-called "Protect America Act," the Administration's FISA "modernization" power grab. Take action now and tell Congress to stop the warrantless wiretapping: http://action.eff.org/fisa Read EFF's article from August 7, "Congress Caves on Warrantless Snooping -- What Happened, and How to Fix It": http://www.eff.org/deeplinks/archives/005395.php See EFF's page on the NSA's warrantless domestic surveillance: http://www.eff.org/Privacy/Surveillance/NSA/ For this post and related links: http://www.eff.org/deeplinks/archives/005410.php : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : * Judges Grill Government at NSA Surveillance Hearing In a packed San Francisco courtroom last Wednesday, EFF urged the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to allow AT&T customers to continue to fight against illegal spying on their telephone and Internet communications. A ruling probably won't come out for months, but at the hearing the judges were certainly asking the right questions about the serious constitutional issues at stake. The government is trying to get the case thrown out, arguing that thin claims of "state secrets" can trump the courts' constitutional duty to uphold the rule of law. All three judges grilled the government's attorney on this point and appeared worried that granting the government's motion to dismiss would amount to an abdication of authority. Judge Harry Pregerson asked the government's attorney, "Are you saying the courts are to rubber-stamp the determination of the executive of what's a state secret? What's our job?" As we've argued, the courts are well equipped to protect state secrets while determining whether the spying is illegal and to put a stop to it. Judicial review is one of the essential checks that define our democracy. No president, now or in the future, should be allowed unfettered authority to evade the courts and trample on your freedoms. The panel of judges also heard oral arguments on the future of Al-Haramain Islamic Foundation v. Bush, a case alleging that federal agents illegally wiretapped calls between the charity and its lawyers. The government wants this case dismissed on state secrets grounds as well. View the video from the hearing: http://www.archive.org/details/gov.courts.ca9.2007.08.16 Read Wired's Threat Level blog blow-by-blow: http://blog.wired.com/27bstroke6/2007/08/nsa-hearing-ope.html For more on EFF's case against AT&T: http://www.eff.org/legal/cases/att Join EFF now and support us in this critical case: http://secure.eff.org/att For this post and related links to major news reportage of the hearing: http://www.eff.org/deeplinks/archives/005408.php : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : * Senator Cites EFF FOIA Work in Call for Investigation of Attorney General EFF's Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) work has helped to prompt the head of the Senate Judiciary Committee to ask for an investigation into whether the attorney general has lied to Congress. In a letter to the Justice Department Office of the Inspector General, Senator Patrick Leahy asked the agency watchdog to probe "potentially false or misleading testimony given by Attorney General Alberto Gonzales during his appearances before various congressional committees." The evidence cited by Leahy includes documents that EFF obtained through a FOIA lawsuit against the Justice Department for records related to the FBI's misuse of National Security Letters. Leahy's request shows why the FOIA is an important tool for making sure that government works the way it should. Through its FOIA Litigation for Accountable Government (FLAG) project, EFF files FOIA requests and lawsuits for documents about the government's use of investigative power, among other things. Our goal is to pry information out of government filing cabinets and make it available for all to see, which helps to ensure that public officials are held accountable for their actions. For more on EFF's FLAG Project: http://www.eff.org/flag/ See EFF's FOIA litigation page - EFF v. Department of Justice: http://www.eff.org/flag/07656JDB/ Read the complete post and related links: http://www.eff.org/deeplinks/archives/005409.php : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : * EFF FOIA Docs: Soldiers Rarely Blog Information That Threatens Military Operations According to documents released to the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) by the Army and Defense Department, soldier journalists post far less information that could harm military operations than official .mil websites do. These documents call into question the need for new restrictions on soldiers' online speech, which some critics say will cause military bloggers to cut back on their posts or shut down their sites altogether. The documents, which EFF obtained through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit, shed light on the work of the Army Web Risk Assessment Cell (AWRAC) a unit that monitors official and unofficial military websites "for information and trends of data that could be used to breach security or pose a threat to defensive and offensive operations and military personnel." Read EFF Staff Attorney Marcia Hofmann's full analysis here: http://www.eff.org/deeplinks/archives/005405.php : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : * miniLinks The week's noteworthy news, compressed. ~ Concerns Raised on Wider Spying Under New Law Do the changes to FISA give the Executive even greater spying powers? http://www.nytimes.com/2007/08/19/washington/19fisa.html?ex=1345176000&en=2e7a7948ff52f9fe&ei=5090&partner=rssuserland&emc=rss ~ And While We're Talking About Government Surveillance... The Bush Administration plans to increase the use of satellite data to spy on Americans. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/08/15/AR2007081502430.html ~ Bizarre Details in Al-Haramain Case The lawyer in an important spying case has had to endure ridiculous restrictions. http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-secret15aug15,0,3599833.story?coll=la-home-center ~ "The Internet Is the New Afghanistan" The NY Police Commissioner says he thinks the Internet is driving terrorism. http://news.com.com/2100-1028_3-6202801.html ~ Iraqi Biometric Database Could Become Extermination List A U.S. military-run biometric database could become a hit list if it falls into the wrong hands. http://blog.wired.com/27bstroke6/2007/08/iraqi-biometric.html ~ S.F. Surveillance Cameras Practically Worthless The controversial cameras have proven useless in fighting crimes, just as critics predicted. http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2007/08/14/MNIPRHRPE.DTL ~ What Place Has "Morality" in the Top Level Domain Space? ICANN wants to censor top-level domains on grounds relating to morality, and the concerns of "established institutions." Let them know what you think: http://www.keep-the-core-neutral.org/action1 ~ Allofmp3.com Boss Is Acquitted by Russian Court The recording industry is disappointed with the verdict. http://technology.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/tech_and_web/article2271673.ece ~ Pearl Jam Not First to Be Censored by AT&T AT&T has been accused of censoring political speech before. http://www.suntimes.com/entertainment/505989,10att.article ~ Vista Prevents Users Playing High-Def Content Vista's DRM prevents users from playing high-quality video and audio. http://www.pcworld.com/article/id,135814-pg,1/article.html ~ See Who's Editing Wikipedia A new tool exposes the organizations behind Wikipedia entries. http://www.wired.com/politics/onlinerights/news/2007/08/wiki_tracker ~ Lyrics Sites Out of Tune With Copyrights Copyright holders are taking on companies that post music lyrics online. http://news.com.com/Lyrics+sites+out+of+tune+with+copyrights/2100-1027_3-6203085.html ~ Diebold's "Fresh Beginning" Equals Same Failure Diebold: New name, same bad voting machines! http://machinist.salon.com/blog/2007/08/16/diebold_name/index.html : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : . : * Administrivia EFFector is published by: The Electronic Frontier Foundation 454 Shotwell Street San Francisco CA 94110-1914 USA +1 415 436 9333 (voice) +1 415 436 9993 (fax) http://www.eff.org/ Editor: Julie Lindner, Education Outreach Coordinator email@example.com Membership & donation queries: firstname.lastname@example.org General EFF, legal, policy, or online resources queries: email@example.com Reproduction of this publication in electronic media is encouraged. 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