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Accessing your internet browsing history is now the FBI’s top legislative priority

Tech firms and privacy groups are fighting back against an amendment proposed by the Obama administration that would give the FBI a top-level view of your “electronic communicational records” (ECTRs) without the need for a warrant.

ECTRs include everything from the web sites you’ve visited to the duration of your browsing on a particular page. It’s all up for grabs as part of a proposal being considered this week by the Senate Judiciary Committee, and legislation is already moving forward to allow national security agents to apply for an administrative subpoena called a “national security letter,” or NSL, that would let agents bypass a judge’s approval to view such information in terrorism and spy cases.

According to FBI Director James Comey, the amendment is a correction to a typo in the Electronic Communications Privacy Act that has hindered the bureau’s ability to work in “a very, very big and practical way.” As such, amending the existing surveillance laws has become the FBI’s “top priority” in 2016.

Source: Accessing your internet browsing history is now the FBI’s top legislative priority – CNET


Students From MIT And Harvard Launch ‘NSA-Proof’ Email

Following a year of NSA bulk Internet surveillance program leaks, a group of Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard students have come together to create what they call “NSA-proof” email.

Dubbed ProtonMail by its five creators, the service is designed to be a more-secure replacement for the now-defunct Lavabit — the former email platform of choice for NSA contractor and prolific surveillance program leaker Edward Snowden.

ProtonMail launched its open beta over the weekend after weeks of testing in private, and the service is incorporated in Switzerland, “which offers some of the strongest privacy protection in the world for both individuals and entities,” according to the platform’s website.

Thanks to the service’s deep user authentication requirements and end-to-end encryption protocols, which mask data throughout the entire transmission process from one inbox to another without ever going through decryption across the Web, not even ProtonMail employees can see users’ data, let alone government surveillance agencies.

Read more:

Students From MIT And Harvard Launch ‘NSA-Proof’ Email | The Daily Caller.

NSA Records All Calls in 2 Countries, Report Says

The NSA collects and stores practically all phone calls — including both metadata and content — inside the Bahamas, according to a new report by The Intercept.

The program, revealed by documents provided by Edward Snowden, is called SOMALGET, and is part of a broader surveillance effort named MYSTIC, which was revealed by The Washington Post in March.

SOMALGET is used to intercept and store the audio of every phone call in the Bahamas and another country, which The Intercept agreed not to name “in response to specific, credible concerns that doing so could lead to increased violence.” The digital publication, however, does name three countries where the MYSTIC program, which allows the NSA to sweep up metadata, is in place as of 2013: Mexico, Kenya, and the Philippines.

The NSA reportedly gained access to the telephone networks of the Bahamas and the other, unnamed country thanks to interception mechanism overtly installed by American companies in those countries. The unnamed companies added these “backdoors” to so-called “lawful intercept systems” sold to the Bahamas to grant the Drug Enforcement Agency the ability to request legal wiretaps on foreign networks. The NSA is reportedly taking advantage of those systems, which are legal and known by the foreign country, to surreptitiously record all phone calls.

NSA Records All Calls in 2 Countries, Report Says.

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