Archive | US

One wiretap order – 3.29 million calls intercepted

US authorities intercepted and recorded millions of phone calls last year under a single wiretap order, authorized as part of a narcotics investigation.

The wiretap order authorized an unknown government agency to carry out real-time intercepts of 3.29 million cell phone conversations over a two-month period at some point during 2016, after the order was applied for in late 2015.

ZDnet: With a single wiretap order, US authorities listened in on 3.3 million phone calls »


»All your data are belong to US«

The Justice Department on Friday petitioned the US Supreme Court to step into an international legal thicket, one that asks whether US search warrants extend to data stored on foreign servers. The US government says it has the legal right, with a valid court warrant, to reach into the world’s servers with the assistance of the tech sector, no matter where the data is stored.

Ars Technica: Does US have right to data on overseas servers? We’re about to find out »


US: Republican Party voter data base found on a publicly accessible server

Sensitive personal details relating to almost 200 million US citizens have been accidentally exposed by a marketing firm contracted by the Republican National Committee.

The 1.1 terabytes of data includes birthdates, home addresses, telephone numbers and political views of nearly 62% of the entire US population.

The data was available on a publicly accessible Amazon cloud server.

BBC: Personal details of nearly 200 million US citizens exposed »


Social media vetting now in effect for US visas

“The U.S. is buttressing its paperwork walls with new requirements for social media disclosures as part of revised visa applications.” (…)

“The new questionnaire will ask for social media handles dating back over the last five years and biographical information dating back 15 years.” (…)

“Quoting an unnamed State Department official, Reuters reported that the additional information would only be requested when the department determines that ‘such information is required to confirm identity or conduct more rigorous national security vetting’.”

Techcrunch: US approves social media background checks for visa applicants »

Reuters: Trump administration approves tougher visa vetting, including social media checks »


US to demand social media handles (for some) when applying for visa

US demands to get access to some travelers social media handles has been in force at border controls for some time now. The latest is that this also will apply at visa applications, but still not for all.

Affected applicants would have to provide their social media handles and platforms used during the previous five years, and divulge all phone numbers and email addresses used during that period. U.S. consular officials would not seek social media passwords, and would not try to breach any privacy controls on applicants’ accounts, according to the department’s notice. US to seek social media details from certain visa applicants »


No reasonable ground to uphold arrest warrant for Assange

It is now the last day in April, five months since Assange was questioned about the rape allegations in Britain. However there is no word from Sweden either of the case against him being dropped or of the rape charges against him being pressed.

Meanwhile the European arrest warrant been not been cancelled, and the extradition request to Britain has not been dropped, even though their purported purpose – to have Assange questioned about the rape allegations – has been fulfilled in Britain.

Meanwhile the British authorities have taken no steps to review their grant of the Swedish extradition request notwithstanding that the purported purpose of that request – to return Assange to Sweden so that he could be questioned about the rape allegations there – has been fulfilled in Britain.

The Duran: The Swedish and British case against Julian Assange grossly abuses his human rights and basic principles of justice »