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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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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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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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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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Internet Amnesia Comes to America

The Internet, the information highway to accessing just about anything imaginable these days within the blink of an eye. It has come a long way since its humble beginnings and is now home to a wealth of information, both public and personal.

07/09/2015
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Email Privacy: What's the Hold Up?

It’s rare when politicians in Washington can agree, and when they do, it’s usually bad news for liberty. But there’s an exception to every rule, and sometimes an idea is so obviously sensible that even the usual forces of reactionary partisanship aren’t enough to stand in its way.

07/01/2015
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Privacy: Hotels get it now too

The Fourth Amendment finds victory today in the Supreme Court case ruling of City of Los Angeles v. Patel. In a narrow 5-4 decision, the Court upheld a foundational principle of our constitution: Warrantless searches and seizures are unconstitutional.

06/24/2015

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