OPINION -- The alleged Privacy Act violation by Trump administration officials in publicly disclosing former FBI Special Agent Peter Strzok’s personal text messages without his permission as described in his lawsuit filed last Tuesday in U.S. Federal District Court in the District of Columbia could present a major new problem ...

Robert Eatinger, former senior deputy general counsel at the CIA, says the legislation that Congress just passed extending controversial surveillance authorities, known as Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, still provides certain protections against misuse. With the U.S. Senate’s passage of the bill, the legislation heads to the ...

Politicians who support broad, unchecked government surveillance authorities are once again rushing to approve a sweeping program at the expense of Americans’ personal liberty and constitutional rights. A House bill would extend Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, which enables massive, warrantless spying on Americans as a feature ...

In one month, the authorities provided under Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence and Surveillance Act (FISA) are due to expire unless reauthorized by Congress. Lawmakers are expected to renew FISA, but may put another expiration deadline on the bill, and also may add limitations on how the government is ...

The NSA surveillance programs under the authorities laid out in the Foreign Intelligence and Surveillance Act (FISA) Section 702 have been making headlines since former NSA contractor Edward Snowden first leaked them in 2013. The backlash of the leaks has caused many to criticize the surveillance law for its lack ...

The Senate Intelligence Committee approved legislation last week to renew the National Security Agency’s internet surveillance program, currently authorized under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) Section 702, which is due to expire at the end of the year if Congress does not pass a new bill. The full Senate ...

Top intelligence officials called this week for Congress to reauthorize a provision that allows the Intelligence Community to target communications of non-U.S. persons overseas that can also incidentally — and controversially — sweep up information related to U.S. citizens. Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), which sunsets ...

Views of data and privacy vary from country to country. But former Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff says the internet was made to be global. The Cipher Brief’s Kaitlin Lavinder talked with Chertoff, who is the co-founder and executive chairman of The Chertoff Group, about differing approaches to data in ...

Today China began enforcing its controversial new Cybersecurity Law, which broadly demands that multinational companies make data accessible to the Chinese government while strengthening the regime's control over content found inappropriate. Such measures have been made under the auspices of bolstering Chinese national security, but could have profoundly negative impacts ...

In the final few days of the Obama Administration, CIA Director John Brennan, after consulting with the Director of National Intelligence, brought years of CIA and interagency efforts to a close by updating the CIA’s decades-old procedures for collecting, retaining, or disseminating information concerning United States (U.S.) persons.  These updated ...

Presidential inaugurations not only mark the beginning of a new administration, but also the end of one too. As many remain uncertain about the policies of the new Trump Administration, it is important to also take a look back at the progress made by the Obama Administration. Coinciding with the ...

Edward Epstein began his career as an investigative journalist while he was still a graduate student at Cornell more than a half century ago, taking on the Warren Commission's report on the Kennedy assassination in his book, Inquest.  In the years since, he has afflicted the comfortable—as the saying goes—going ...

Do Chinese authorities need more laws to surveil people? From the earliest days of the Chinese Communist Party, authorities have kept the closest of eyes on all behavior for signs of dissent. At that time, party members were obliged to report on one another; during the Cultural Revolution, that grim ...

Last month, China’s legislature passed the Cybersecurity Law, which is due to take effect next summer. The controversial law has received a number of criticisms from technology companies, Western government officials, and human rights advocates. The Cipher Brief spoke with Adam Segal, Director of the Digital and Cyberspace Policy Program ...

As cyber attacks against U.S. government and private networks have increased in severity in recent years, the Congress and President have actively sought to identify, with the assistance of the U.S. private sector, conditions in U.S. law that could be hampering America’s development of an effective defense against such attacks, ...

A confusing legal landscape and ever changing technology has created a challenging environment for businesses to navigate.  The Cipher Brief recently spoke to Chris Pogue, the Chief Information Security Officer at Nuix, about the nature of the problem and what needs to be done to bring government and the private ...

It’s time for Americans to understand the new world we have entered into. Terrorism linked to today’s electronics represents a modern version of the ancient means of insurgent warfare against governmental authority. In the old days it was knives or poison; then came armed rebellion and now it’s terrorism that ...

The interesting thing about the Apple vs. FBI encryption debate is that that there is little disagreement that encryption is a valuable tool for protecting individuals’ privacy and preventing information from falling into the wrong hands.  There is also little disagreement that we want law enforcement and intelligence agencies to ...

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, ...

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 ...

One of the key lessons of 2015 was that cybersecurity is more important than ever – a lesson that Sony and the Office of Personnel Management learned the hard way. In the wake of these hacks, information sharing has become a very popular way for private companies and the government ...

Countering cyber-threats can be difficult, and information sharing has come to be seen as a constructive way to attack the problem. Elaine Lammert, a former Deputy General Counsel with the FBI, spoke with the Cipher Brief about the need for a holistic approach to cybersecurity and the importance of trust ...

Threat intelligence sharing has a complex history within the security industry. The premise is simple: cybercriminals will often launch attacks with similar components, using the same tactics, or even re-use the same malware or exploits over and over again. If every organization was sharing intelligence on the attacks being launched ...

Late last year, the text of the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act (CISA) found its way into a consolidated spending bill and was signed into law by President Barack Obama on December 18, 2015.  CISA is designed to "improve cybersecurity in the United States through enhanced sharing of information about cybersecurity ...

The government is in a bind – it wants to stop criminals and terrorists, but it also wants to support strong encryption. Navigating this quandary has been a problem for a while, and it is entering a new phase. Specifically, the government appears to be shifting its focus from compulsion ...

Michael Chertoff, the former Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, sat down with The Cipher Brief to explain why he believes a secure communications infrastructure protected by strong encryption is for the greater public good. The Cipher Brief: U.S. law enforcement has publicly expressed its concern that bad actors ...

When the Clinton Administration decontrolled encryption in the late 1990s after a long and acrimonious debate, it did so because it had decided that the benefits of making strong encryption available to internet users, and the benefits to U.S. companies operating in a global market, outweighed the cost to law ...

The private sector perspective on encryption technology is critical to understanding the crux of the debate.  Amid news that Dell had agreed to buy RSA’s parent company, EMC, in the largest deal in the IT industry's history, RSA President Amit Yoran sat down with The Cipher Brief to talk about ...

“Are we so mistrustful of government—and of law enforcement—that we are willing to let bad guys walk away...willing to leave victims in search of justice?”  – FBI Director James Comey, Brookings, October 16, 2014 Strong encryption appears to be safe – for now. In Congressional testimony on Thursday, FBI Director James ...

According to press reports, the White House has considered and rejected four options to address the so-called “going dark” problem where the growing ubiquity of encryption is making it harder for law enforcement agencies to collect evidence and investigate crimes. Options considered include adding an encrypted port to devices, using ...

Mike Rogers is a former Congressman who served as the chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. In a discussion with The Cipher Brief, Rogers said it is critical for the government and private sector to find a solution to the encryption dilemma that satisfies the needs of ...

Large-scale cyber attacks like those experienced by OPM, Sony, Anthem, and Target have intensified the ongoing criticism that the US government lacks a coherent cybersecurity policy. The Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act (CISA), which is currently awaiting a vote in the Senate, is the latest effort to develop a strategy.  While ...

The Senate is expected to consider the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act (CISA) (S. 754) soon. Information sharing legislation that would fill gaps in existing law to make it easier for companies to share cyber threat indicators (CTIs) is probably necessary. Unfortunately, CISA is not the answer for many reasons. First, ...

It’s impossible to overstate the threat of cyber attacks to our economy and our national security. McAfee and the Center for Strategic and International Studies last year estimated cyber crime costs our economy more than $400 billion and 200,000 lost jobs. The cybersecurity company Symantec reported that just last year, ...