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Russia Provides Edward Snowden Additional Time For Asylum

Edward Snowden is likely staying in Russia for the foreseeable future. The 31-year-old former NSA analyst, who famously leaked (and continues to leak) documents and anecdotes about the US government’s massive surveillance initiative, has been granted a three-year residence permit in Russia, according to the AFP.

Unlocking Consumer Choice and Wireless Competition Act Gets Through Senate

Late Tuesday, the Senate passed the Unlocking Consumer Choice and Wireless Competition Act with a unanimous vote. The bill, introduced by Democratic Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy, reverses a Library of Congress decision regarding DMCA exemptions and would once again make unlocking your cellphone legal.

You have the right to be forgotten

If you have been following the news the last few weeks, you’ve seen an incredible change in the way individuals can control what kind of information Google returns about them. First an EU court ruled that Google must offer citizens the right to block information and then Google responded by placing a form that allows those requests to be made. There are plenty of explanation of how it works–here is a good one fromDanny Sullivan–so I won’t belabor the basics here. What is really interesting is what might happen next. Read More…

NSA Allowed To Continue Spying On American Citizens Phone Records

The Electronic Privacy Information Center, also known as EPIC, skipped lower federal courts and took their petition against the NSA straight to the Supreme Court.
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Hundreds Of Anti-NSA Protesters Gathered In Washington

Hundreds of anti-NSA protestors gathered in Washington, D.C. on Saturday to take part in the “Stop Watching Us” rally. The people marched in front of the Capitol to protest the National Security Agency’s mass surveillance of American citizens. Several White House politicians were in attendance at the rally that the ACLU called the “biggest protest yet against NSA spying.”
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Secret Social Network Was Created By NSA To Spy On Americans

How many social networks do you use today? If you’re like most Internet users, you at least have a Facebook and Twitter account. After that, you might also hop onto Google+, Instagram, Vine or Pinterest. If you really want to push your social hipster cred, you might even still rock a MySpace profile. Regardless of your social network allegiances, you all also belong to a social network that you don’t even know about.
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List of How Many People Who Were Targeted By The NSA In 2012 To Be Declassified

Earlier this month, President Obama outlined four ways that he would like to reform the NSA and FISA court. A big part of those reforms was increased transparency, and it looks we’ll finally be getting a little more transparency.
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Lavabit Halts Email Service Due To U.S. Government

In early July, it was suggested that former NSA contractor Edward Snowden used Lavabit. For those unaware, it’s a small email provider based out of Texas that promises the utmost privacy through encryption. The service had a small following, but now it’s gone.
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Email Privacy Amendment Unanimously Passed By House

The ECPA amendment that would require government agencies to obtain a warrant when accessing email hasn’t made much headway since the Senate Judiciary Committee approved it back in April. Now the House is trying to make sure email privacy is here to stay with a different strategy.
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Under Certain Conditions The NSA Can Use Incidental Data

One of the scariest parts about the NSA’s spying program is its collection of incidental data – information that may or may not be about American citizens that just so happens to be picked up with information on non-U.S. targets. It’s been said that the NSA can’t use this data, but a new report says they can under certain conditions.
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Cellphone Unlocking Bill Hearing To Be Held By House

Pretty much everybody in Washington agrees with the common man – you should be able to unlock your cellphone without fear of repercussion. Where we tend to disagree is how to go about doing this. Unfortunately, the House has decided to hold a hearing on a cellphone unlocking bill that does absolutely nothing to fix the problem.
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Governments are Leading Many IT Innovations

This week I am back to covering emerging technologies and their practical uses. I have been seeing some innovative social business efforts from government for some time so this post, Governments Are Out Front in IT Innovation, was not a surprise. It mentions President Obama’s campaign to see innovation in IT, ranging from its use of big data to open source technologies. On his first day in office, the President also pledged to make the federal government a model for open data. It will take time but there is progress. The use of big data by his re-election campaign to target get out the vote efforts remains a model for this space.
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