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Blog

Congress Poised to Pull a Cybersecurity End-Around

The Senate and House intelligence committees are working towards selling out Americans' privacy this weekend for the illusion of cybersecurity. Specifically, the Senate's Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act (CISA) and its two House counterparts (the NCPAA and PCNA) are merging -- but indications are that they may be doing so by adopting the worst provisions from each of the three bills. Worst of all, the majority of the input appears to be coming more from the intelligence committees, and not from the people who would actually have oversight of the information sharing regime in the Homeland Security Committees.

12/05/2015
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Blog

Mass Surveillance and the Politics of Fear

As Senator Tom Cotton is working to reverse some of the important surveillance reforms in the USA Freedom Act, establishment Republicans are lining up to defend his actions. Jennifer Rubin of the Washington Post, responding to a FreedomWorks press release, accuses the liberty wing of the Republican Party of “preying on the public’s fears.”

12/03/2015
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Press Release

Bill That Sidesteps Protections in the USA Freedom Act is Big Brother on Steroids

Following the introduction of legislation to allow the National Security Agency to sidestep protections in the USA Freedom Act, FreedomWorks CEO Adam Brandon commented:

12/02/2015
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Blog

The IRS's Plan to Chill Charitable Giving

Don’t you love donating to causes you believe in? Don’t you love that warm fuzzy feeling from knowing that contributing to a worthy cause? And don’t you especially love that you can support whatever organization you choose anonymously? That last one is especially important given the news over the last few years that the IRS has been targeting conservatives with audits and denial of tax-free status for nakedly political reasons. Well, if the IRS has their way, this may be a luxury that will soon go the way of the dinosaur. A new rule is proposing that non-profit organizations collect the “tax identification numbers” of all their donors who give over $250. For you and me, that means our Social Security numbers.

11/18/2015
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Blog

Key Vote YES on the Wyden Amendment to Strengthen Privacy Protections in CISA

As one of our over 6.9 million FreedomWorks activists nationwide, I urge you to contact your senators and ask them to vote YES on the Wyden amendment to add crucial privacy protections to the Cyber Information Sharing Act (CISA), S. 754.

10/26/2015
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Blog

Senate Set to Advance Flawed Cybersecurity Bill That Feeds Government Surveillance

This week, the Senate is set to finally take up its Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act (CISA), S. 754. In the wake of several high-profile international hacking events, CISA is being sold as an essential component of national cybersecurity. Unfortunately, not only does this bill not address the fundamental difficulties with protecting our critical data, it also creates perverse incentives for companies and adds further to the massive collection of our private data by government agencies.

10/20/2015
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Blog

California Helps Pave the Way for Digital Privacy Reform

As attempts to reform the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA) are continually stalled out in Washington, California took the initiative, and Gov. Jerry Brown (D-CA) signed a new bill into law last week. CalECPA or S.B. 178 greatly strengthens state privacy standards compared to federal requirements under ECPA. Most importantly, the legislation mandates that state authorities must obtain a warrant to access any private emails, regardless of age. This is a notable change from the previous standard, which allowed authorities access to the same content without a warrant as long as the emails were dated past 180 days. Additionally, the bill would also require California authorities to obtain a warrant not only for emails, but for digital records, texts, and a user’s geographical location as well. Even further, the protections provided in this bill would be applied to online storage services in addition to electronic devices.

10/14/2015
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Blog

ECPA Reform is a Continued Necessity

On Wednesday, September 16, the Senate Committee on the Judiciary held another important hearing to discuss reforming the Electronic Communications Privacy Act of 1986, more specifically in regard to S.356, the Electronic Communications Privacy Act Amendments Act of 2015. This proposed amendment, which was introduced to the Senate in February by Senators Mike Lee (R-UT) and Patrick Leahy (D-VT), has somehow been continually ignored despite attracting 22 cosponsors in the Senate and almost 300 cosponsors in the House, enough for a comfortable supermajority.

09/30/2015
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Op-ed Placement

Student Privacy Is in Danger, but Arizona Is Fighting Back

One of the most pernicious aspects of Common Core is the data collection that has come hand-in-hand with the standards.

09/02/2015
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Blog

The “Balance” Between Safety and Privacy: Why Going Dark Offers a Shining Light

On July 8th the Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing titled “Going Dark: Encryption, Technology, and the Balance Between Public Safety and Privacy.” In his opening statement, Senator Chuck Grassley explained that “[c]ompanies are increasingly choosing to encrypt these devices in such a way that the company itself is unable to unlock them, even when presented with a lawful search warrant.”

07/24/2015

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