EFF in the News
Hanni Fakhoury, an attorney with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, said cases should be reopened to examine whether police were untruthful in affidavits in requests for court orders to use the devices.
"All of this is extraordinarily insane, and so improper on so many levels," he said. "This thing is designed to keep judges in the dark."
The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), a non-profit that focuses on defending civil liberties in the digital world, looked into the controversial technology of automatic license plate readers (ALPRs). Little boxes are placed at intersections and affixed to police cars, and they constantly scan the streets for license plates. The devices can read up to 60 plates per second and they typically record the date, time, and GPS location of any plates. That is a lot of data being gathered everyday by these machines.
The new lawsuit, filed in California on behalf of Human Rights Watch by the Electronic Frontier Foundation, won’t let the issue quietly fade. It demands declarations the collection violated First and Fourth amendment rights along with destruction of records and injunctions against future collection.
Mark Rumold, an attorney for the Electronic Frontier Foundation, said the government will have a tough time making the case that the DEA program was legal. "Whatever constitutional wiggle room that might exist in the national security context vanishes when the surveillance program is aimed at enforcement of domestic criminal laws, like drug trafficking laws," he told me.
Human Rights Watch, represented by the Electronic Frontier Foundation, filed their lawsuit in Los Angeles federal court on Wednesday morning to stop the DEA from hoovering up billions of records of Americans’ international calls without a warrant.
Kurt Opsahl talks to Dark Reading about government surveillance and privacy in anticipation of his Interop keynote.
Privacy rights and cybersecurity will take center stage at Interop later this month when the Electronic Frontier Foundation's head attorney takes the podium for a keynote titled "How the NSA is Spying on You." Dark Reading spoke with Kurt Opsahl, general counsel for the EFF, to get a preview of his talk and tackle some of the privacy issues that are driving his advocacy.
“That does sound bad!” Jacob Hoffman-Andrews, senior staff technologist for the Electronic Frontier Foundation, wrote in an email Wednesday after he learned of the situation. “It’s not likely to lead to bulk data breaches, but it means that individual’s data is at risk whenever they are accessing these websites.”
"This is an improvement, but it doesn't do nearly enough," Jacob Hoffman-Andrews, a technologist for the Electronic Frontier Foundation, told the New York Times. "Verizon should discontinue its header injection program, or at a minimum make it opt-in."
“Today, it’s testing at the border, tomorrow it could be facial recognition deployed in public places,” worries Dave Maass, a researcher at the Electronic Frontier Foundation. “Today, the photos taken are being kept segregated from other departments and agencies, tomorrow they could be shared for a whole host of other purposes.”
What little we know about the FBI’s history with spyware raises questions. For instance, there was internal confusion about how to deploy spyware that suggests that the FBI hasn’t been sure how much it intruded on privacy. While the agency now requires a warrant and a Pen/Trap order to use CIPAV, documents obtained by the Electronic Frontier Foundation show several FBI agents discussed deploying the spyware without warrants before finally asking for clarification in 2007.