June 2013

  1. NSA also spying on the Washington, D.C. European Union office

    Reports are just coming out today, but it appears this surveillance consists of both NSA bugging and offensive hacking into EU systems.   Just to be clear, that is not a typo. This report shows an NSA policy of aggressive snooping that targets…the European Union.   Not Saudi Arabia.   Not Pakistan.   Not Iran, […]

  2. Foreign Intelligence Star Chamber dismayed to find that rubber stamp “courts” are occasionally identified as such

    So as it turns out, issuing a one-paragraph order authorizing the most expansive domestic spying operation in defiance of every reasonable interpretation of the Fourth Amendment might lead some to conclude that the court responsible for such an order is not exactly an independent adjudicator:   “In my view, that draft report contains major omissions, […]

  3. “The power the Constitution grants it also restrains.”

    Busy news day today.   The Supreme Court struck down DOMA in United States v. Windsor. That is not the story. The story is the majority reasoning. Once again, Kennedy writes a landmark civil rights decision, drawing heavily on due process to do it. The title of this post comes from a particularly epic portion […]

  4. Good writeup of the disturbing details behind what the FISA “court” has become

    Washington Post details the rubber-stampiness that characterizes the FISA “court,” compared to the process adhered to by actual federal courts:   Typical federal courts are presided over by judges nominated by presidents and confirmed by the Senate. Cases are argued by two opposing sides; judges issue orders and opinions that can be read, analyzed and […]


    Washington Post is reporting that the feds have filed a sealed criminal complaint against Edward Snowden. The charge is espionage.   Will Barack Cheney bear any responsibility here? I am guessing he will not touch this with a ten-foot pole. His claim that the highly-guarded, secret, mysterious FISA court is “transparent” will be as close […]

  6. New Snowden NSA docs show unprecedented authorization to snoop on ‘US persons’

    Here’s a good writeup from Zero Hedge: The problems are when one sees the cornucopia of FISA court-approved loopholes that can be exploited. Among them: –Keep data that could potentially contain details of US persons for up to five years; –Retain and make use of “inadvertently acquired” domestic communications if they contain usable intelligence, information […]

  7. Schneier: We are going to have all-out cyber war on our hands unless NSA changes course

    It did not take long after Snowden broke the news about NSA security offensives aimed at Chinese assets that China turned the diplomatic tables on the United States by asking the US government to explain the NSA’s actions. This would be less ironic were it not for the fact that Obama had just finished lecturing […]

  8. Idaho photographer sues BuzzFeed for 3.6M in copyright claim

    The photographer (no name/publicity for trolls) uploaded a picture of a soccer player mid-“header.” BuzzFeed included the photo in a collection of 30 funniest header pics, and other sites picked it up in similar photo collections.   Although BuzzFeed removed the picture from their collection after receiving a copyright notice, the photographer sued BuzzFeed. Ars […]

  9. Important: New study reveals what your cats do when you are not around

    Jonathan Gitlin over at Ars has the scoop:   Earlier this week, we covered a study of how cheetahs hunt in the wild. That study made use of finely grained data gathered by solar-powered radio collars equipped with GPS, accelerometers, gyroscopes, and magnetometers. The Royal Veterinary College’s Alan Wilson, the lead investigator in that study, […]