The Facebook-Cambridge Analytica data exploitation crisis seems to be waking up a new wave of Americans to the fundamental downsides of our purposeful addiction to social media providers. Russia’s information war, designed to foment domestic unrest, exposed more of us to the reality of online manipulation, but many viewed this ...

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted 3-2 on Thursday to dismantle their authorities to enforce net neutrality rules that prohibit internet service providers, such as Verizon, AT&T, and Comcast, from interfering in the traffic streams that take place over their infrastructure. The reversal of the FCC’s 2015 decision means the ...

Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance act is set to expire in five weeks, and to hear current and former intelligence officials tell it, changing a single word in this statute will result in no less than the loss of American lives. This hyperbole is obscuring the nature of ...

Ever wonder whether the National Security Agency picked up your text message or email because you mentioned ISIS leader Abu Bakr al Baghdadi to a friend? Claims of privacy infringement on Americans by the National Security Agency have been in headlines for years. Much of the criticism has related to ...

The National Security Agency recently announced changes to its intelligence collection practices under Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA). The Cipher Brief spoke with Chris Inglis, the former deputy director of the NSA, about what these changes mean, why they might have come about, and how significant ...

The NSA recently said it would stop collecting signals intelligence solely “about” foreign targets by tapping the backbone of the internet resident within the United States. The announcement comes ahead of congressional consideration of the NSA’ s broader authorities outlined in Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), ...

The National Security Agency (NSA) announced on Friday a change in its intelligence collection under Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence and Surveillance Act (FISA). The move comes under the backdrop of the looming deadline of December 31, 2017 when the authorities granted by 702 will expire if not reauthorized ...

Like many other governments, China is seeking to reestablish its sovereignty over the digital sphere with a new Cybersecurity Law. But while the law could help address China's national security issues, critics argue the law gives the government free reign to conduct surveillance and systematically censor political dissent, while also ...

Surveillance law is absolutely necessary because it compels the government to write down, for all to clearly see, the rules that they must abide by as they undertake intrusive powers, often in secret, to investigate criminal activity and protect a country. To do so is to protect the rule of ...

On November 29, Royal Assent was given to the UK Investigatory Powers Act, after eight months of intensive Parliamentary scrutiny, with hundreds of amendments made, following lengthy pre-legislative debate in three Parliamentary Committees.  The Act draws on the input from three separate, independent inquiries that were set up after a ...

On January 1st, the United Kingdom began the implementation of the Investigatory Powers Act, widely considered the most comprehensive—and intrusive—surveillance law in the Western world. The Act authorizes government access to bulk datasets such as travel logs, financial transactions, biometrics, the interception of digital communications data, the hacking of devices, ...

What if the U.S. government could force entry—in other words, hack—into electronic devices around the world, using only one warrant, even if the owners of those devices were not suspected of any criminal activity - and it would be legal? The U.S. Department of Justice has made new changes to ...

With the growth of cybercrime facilitated by the global nature of the Internet, law enforcement is adapting their toolsets to better tackle the challenges presented by technologies that blur legal jurisdiction. The Cipher Brief spoke with Elaine Lammert, former Deputy General Counsel at the FBI, about the recent changes made ...

On December 1, Congress authorized sweeping new government hacking and surveillance authorities by allowing changes to Rule 41 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure to take effect. Republican leaders stonewalled bipartisan efforts in the Senate and the House to stop or delay the change and it went into effect ...

Earlier this month, Director of National Intelligence (DNI) James Clapper described reaching out to the private sector as a “daunting task,” and that “there is still much to be done,” to improve information sharing in the age of digital communications. Brad Brekke, the FBI’s director of private sector engagement, added ...

All Americans – including both company executives and law enforcement officials across the nation – want to keep our country safe and secure. This shouldn’t be a shocking statement, but so often we hear the debates around encryption, privacy, and data security framed as a battle between law enforcement or ...

At least twice in the past year, the U.S. was Twappled.  That is, multibillion-dollar U.S. corporations used their significant position in their respective industry to obstruct the U.S. from conducting activities intrinsic to the purpose of government, but which these corporations saw as inconsistent with their own interests and ideals.  ...

The Justice Department has dropped its legal effort to force Apple to unlock the iPhone used by one of the shooters in the San Bernardino terrorist attack after the government found another way to crack the phone — without the tech giant’s help. With no legal precedent set in the ...

The current conflict between Apple and the FBI over developing a means to circumvent security features on the iPhone has reignited the tense debate about the tradeoff between security and privacy in the U.S. The Cipher Brief spoke to Robert Eatinger, former Senior Deputy General Counsel at the CIA, about ...

The current dispute between Apple and the FBI amplifies the ongoing debate between U.S. tech firms and law enforcement agencies about encryption.  At issue in this case is how to access an iPhone that belonged to one of the people responsible for the San Bernardino shooting in December 2015. The ...

Apple should not be coerced into hacking into the San Bernardino shooter's iPhone, and we must get to a point as a society where law enforcement does not even make such a request. Mobile devices are not mere repositories for addresses, appointments, and email. As many people use them now, ...

As the Director of the National Counterterrorism Center, Matthew Olsen oversaw the integration and analysis of all intelligence related to terrorism.  He recently co-authored a report for Harvard's Berkman Center for Internet and Society about the ongoing encryption debate, and discussed the report with The Cipher Brief. The Cipher Brief: ...

Discussion and debate about international privacy-related standards have been around since the 1940s, when the recognition of privacy as a basic right was ratified by the United Nations (U.N.) Declaration of Human Rights of 1948.  Since then, the number of data privacy requirements has grown dramatically, as nations seek to ...

The increased tempo of commercial partnerships between American and Chinese technology companies has begun to raise eyebrows in Washington. National security circles worry that such partnerships are degrading the American military’s technological superiority, because American technologies are being transferred to Chinese partners tied to the military. Such concerns are valid.   ...

Robert Atkinson, founder and president of the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, discussed implications for western technology firms operating in China as the Chinese government begins to demand access to encryption keys. Atkinson views this move as an attempt by the Chinese government to push its own protectionist policies, under ...

Before Chinese President Xi Jinping made it to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue for his meeting with President Obama this fall, his Boeing 747-400 had a layover in Redmond, Washington, where he met with chief executives from the top American technology companies. Western tech firms have come into conflict with the Chinese ...

The U.S. technology sector received a surprise jolt in October when the European Court of Justice struck down the Safe Harbor Framework, setting off a scramble to accommodate this sudden shift in privacy regulations. The framework was established in 2000 to provide guidance on how companies could transfer customer information ...

The European Union and the United States have been close allies for decades and "partners of first resort," to use the words of both former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and current Secretary of State John Kerry. We are the largest trading bloc in the world and the primary destination ...

Twelve days after the Paris attacks, I was waiting for a flight at London's Heathrow Airport, which seemed to be running with its customary sedate orderliness despite Brussels being on "lockdown" and police raids still taking place in Paris and Belgium.  While checking online for the latest developments in the ...

The safe harbour was a convenient fiction that enabled business-as-usual processes to take place between the EU and the U.S. Many were shocked when the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) ruled it invalid, but in reality, the judgment should not have come as a surprise. The reasoning ...

Here we go again.  Security vs. privacy.  Round n.   Of course, I'm referring to the aftermath of the horrific ISIS attacks in Paris.  What did we (the U.S., France and like minded societies) know before the event?  When did we know it?  Could we have known more?  What may have ...

The Cipher Brief spoke with Raj De to discuss the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act (CISA). Mr. De recently served as the General Counsel at the National Security Agency, after holding senior appointments in the White House and the Department of Justice.  He is currently a partner at Mayer Brown, where ...