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Blog

Rule 41 Violates Fourth Amendment

The Advisory Committee on Criminal Rules for the Judicial Conference of the United States has proposed an amendment to Rule 41. While these rules are typically procedural changes, the proposed changes in Rule 41 are actually a substantive policy change that provides federal law enforcement sweeping new powers to remotely search and seize electronic storage media.

10/14/2016
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Blog

Yahoo Case Highlights Trouble for Privacy Rights

Last year, Yahoo received a court order from the Justice Department (who obtained it from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court) obligating Yahoo to scan all of its users’ emails for specific information, which has not been disclosed. We do know some of that search involved finding traces of malware. By modifying a standard spam filter, Yahoo was able to search through all of its users’ emails, not just individual accounts, in real time. Yahoo claims to have since discontinued this practice.

10/13/2016
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Blog

Circumventing Cell Towers and Constitutions

On Wednesday, House Oversight Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) singled out StingRay scanners, stating that the committee is set to investigate these devices and their use in government surveillance. While mired in technical language, this is an issue of importance to all Americans.

09/12/2016
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Blog

The Digital Age Warrants Constitutional Protections

In the majority opinion for the unanimous Court in Riley v. California (2014), Chief Justice John Roberts wrote, “The fact that technology now allows an individual to carry such information in his hand does not make the information any less worthy of the protection for which the Founders fought.” This “go get a warrant” sentiment is echoed again and again in more recent cases involving cell phone privacy. By taking a closer look at how exactly a search warrant works, it becomes increasingly clear that this protection is needed now more than ever as we enter the digital age.

07/19/2016
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Blog

Ruling Celebrated as Fourth Amendment Victory Leaves Unanswered Questions

A federal judge in New York ruled for the first time on Tuesday that the use of a surveillance device to capture cell phone location information constitutes a warrantless search. In the case, Lambis v. United States, government officials used a stingray device to track a drug suspect. Stingrays, also known as “cell site simulators,” force cell phones in the area to transmit signals that pinpoint the user’s location through cell site location information, or CSLI data.

07/13/2016
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Press Release

FreedomWorks Statement on Senate Vote on McCain Amendment to Expand Warrantless Searches

Following an unsuccessful vote on the amendment offered by Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) to expand warrantless searches, FreedomWorks CEO Adam Brandon commented:

06/22/2016
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Press Release

Congress Fails to Extend Constitutional Protections Into Digital World

Following the vote in the House of Representatives on an amendment sponsored by Reps. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.) and Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.) to end unlawful surveillance of Americans through Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, FreedomWorks Chief Economist and Vice President of Research Wayne Brough commented:

06/16/2016
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Blog

With Unanimous Passage through the House, the Email Privacy Act will Modernize Online Data Privacy

Back in the 1980s, everyone was walking around with their perms and mullets, Bruce Springsteen and Michael Jackson were playing sold out concerts, and people still couldn’t believe that Darth Vader was Luke’s father (spoilers). Clearly, things have changed a lot since then, yet, curiously, privacy standards regarding emails have not. While email certainly wasn’t a dominant form of communication back in the 80’s, the computer revolution that our society has undergone makes online data and information more valuable than ever. It’s time for our privacy standards, then, to reflect the new and ever-more-digitized world we live in.

04/28/2016
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Press Release

FreedomWorks Applauds Passage of Email Privacy Act in the House of Representatives

Following the passage of the Email Privacy Act (H.R. 699) in the House of Representatives, FreedomWorks CEO Adam Brandon commented:

04/27/2016
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Press Release

Hypocrisy Is in the Air in Lawmakers’ Reaction to NSA Snooping

Following the news of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence’s intent to probe the National Security Agency’s snooping lawmakers who had been in contact with Israeli officials, FreedomWorks Legislative Affairs Manager Josh Withrow commented:

12/31/2015

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