Feeds

US privacy group sues NSA for Echelon info

Yeah, now we got 'em on the run...

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

US National Security Agency officials may or may not be shaking in their boots in response to a recent onslaught of public interest in their alleged activities. In past months, the US Congress has cast a jaundiced eye on the Agency and may bring it somewhat to heel in the next session; and the American Civil Liberties Union has launched a Web site called Echelon Watch, which posts information and fairly responsible speculation on NSA's global eavesdropping network. Now the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) has filed suit in federal court demanding public disclosure of internal NSA documents addressing the legality of the Agency's intelligence activities. "The charter of the National Security Agency does not authorise domestic intelligence gathering. Yet we have reason to believe that the NSA is engaged in the indiscriminate acquisition and interception of domestic communications taking place over the Internet," EPIC director Marc Rotenberg said via a press release issued Friday to mark the happy occasion. One issue is the unknown technique by which the NSA sifts the global electronic cloud for information it needs, and is entitled to gather. The Agency has refused to disclose the details on grounds that doing so would compromise its effectiveness; but critics suspect that this argument merely conceals the fact that the technology is inadequate to safeguard the privacy of ordinary citizens. We would not be surprised to find that such is the case. Still, we wonder what EPIC hopes to gain with this suit, beyond a bit of negative PR directed against an Agency which has already proven itself cheerfully insensitive to such pressures. It is highly unlikely that a judge would order the public release of internal NSA documents, though one might wish to examine them in chambers. This provides an interesting publicity situation for the NSA, which, if it were cleared of wrongdoing by the court, would nevertheless remain the favourite straw-ghoul of conspiracy theorists, whose paranoid delusions extend eagerly to encompass the entire federal judicial system. Indeed, a positive court finding would only reinforce fears that the NSA's malevolent power reaches all the way to the top. It is entirely possible that the Agency welcomes such speculation, if, as we suspect, its reputation as a lot of Bad Muthas derives more from the fears of the unbalanced than from its own record of accomplishment. ®

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

More from The Register

next story
6 Obvious Reasons Why Facebook Will Ban This Article (Thank God)
Clampdown on clickbait ... and El Reg is OK with this
Mozilla's 'Tiles' ads debut in new Firefox nightlies
You can try turning them off and on again
No, thank you. I will not code for the Caliphate
Some assignments, even the Bongster decline must
Kaspersky backpedals on 'done nothing wrong, nothing to fear' blather
Founder (and internet passport fan) now says privacy is precious
Banking apps: Handy, can grab all your money... and RIDDLED with coding flaws
Yep, that one place you'd hoped you wouldn't find 'em
TROLL SLAYER Google grabs $1.3 MEEELLION in patent counter-suit
Chocolate Factory hits back at firm for suing customers
Primetime precrime? Minority Report TV series 'being developed'
I have to know. I have to find out what happened to my life
Ex-IBM CEO John Akers dies at 79
An era disrupted by the advent of the PC
prev story

Whitepapers

Gartner critical capabilities for enterprise endpoint backup
Learn why inSync received the highest overall rating from Druva and is the top choice for the mobile workforce.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.