Several U.S. technology companies, Google, Facebook, Apple, Microsoft, Twitter, Yahoo, LinkedIn, and AOL, published an open letter to the government in newspapers on December 9, 2013. The letter requests an end bulk collection of user data, including email, address books, and video chats, and lists accountability and transparency principles the companies support.
Office of the Director of National Intelligence General Counsel Robert Litt delivered remarks titled, "Privacy, Technology, and National Security: An Overview of Intelligence Collection," at the Brookings Institution on July 18, 2013.
The Guardian obtained a secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court order requiring Verizon to give the National Security Agency "information on all telephone calls in its systems, both within the U.S. and between the U.S. and other countries" on an "ongoing, daily basis" from April 25 through July 19, 2013.
Director of National Intelligence James Clapper released a statement to address the recent "unauthorized disclosure" of a U.S. Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court order. The document requires Verizon to provide the National Security Agency with detailed telephone call records of millions of U.S.-based customers on a daily basis. In response, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence has declassified selected details related to the "business records" provision of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.
Authors: Anna C Henning, Elizabeth B. Bazan, Charles Doyle, and Edward C Liu
This report discusses the history of constitutional interpretations and legislative responses relevant to the collection of private information for criminal investigation, foreign intelligence gathering, and national security purposes. Next, it summarizes the relevant statutory frameworks and changes made by the USA PATRIOT Act and subsequent measures
The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) provides a statutory framework by which government agencies may, when gathering foreign intelligence information, obtain authorization to conduct wiretapping or physical searches, utilize pen registers and trap and trace devices, or access specified business records and other tangible things.
Facebook and Google have aroused concerns about encroachments on privacy online, but media expert Jeff Jarvis says policymakers need to be careful not to overreact and encroach on the Internet's value as a public sphere and lifeline in closed societies.
Senator Christopher Dodd gave this speech on the Senate floor on December 17, 2007, during a hearing about the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. He argues that companies have violated their customers' privacy rights in handing over information to the government without warrants and that they should not be granted immunity.
Authors: Elizabeth B. Bazan, Gina Marie Stevens, and Brian T. Yeh
This CRS report focuses on US Government attempts to collect and analyze information on telephone calling patterns within the United States. The report summarizes statutory authorities regarding access by the Government, for either foreign intelligence or law enforcement purposes, to information related to telephone calling patterns or practices, and discusses statutory prohibitions against accessing or disclosing such information, along with relevant exceptions to those prohibitions.
Authors: Gina Marie Stevens and Tara Alexandra Rainson
This CRS report considers the issue of the privacy of cellular telephone records. It discusses recent legislative and regulatory efforts to protect the privacy of customer telephone records, and efforts to prevent the unauthorized use, disclosure, or sale of such records by data brokers. In addition, it provides a brief overview of the confidentiality protections for customer information established by the Communications Act of 1934.
The Council on Foreign Relations' David Rockefeller Studies Program—CFR's "think tank"—is home to more than seventy full-time, adjunct, and visiting scholars and practitioners (called "fellows"). Their expertise covers the world's major regions as well as the critical issues shaping today's global agenda. Download the printable CFR Experts Guide.