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EPIC Domestic Surveillance Project

The Domestic Surveillance Project focuses on the privacy and civil liberties implications of emerging technologies used to conduct domestic surveillance. The project focuses on technologies that can be used in public surveillance of the masses, including drones, biometrics (e.g. facial recognition), and license plate readers. The Project also focuses on the privacy and civil liberties implications of surveillance conducted in the name of cybersecurity and the use of opaque algorithms to determine who is a National Security threats.

EPIC's Domestic Surveillance Project educates the public and policymakers through the documents we obtains through FOIA litigation. EPIC's Spotlight on Surveillance highlights specific surveillance issues providing in-depth information on surveillance technology, the privacy and civil liberties implications, and recommendations for mitigating the risks. Moving forward, the Domestic Surveillance Project will focus on the surveillance conducted by agencies like the FBI and DHS in the name of National Security.

Top News

  • Kavanaugh White House Counsel: PATRIOT Act, "measured, careful, responsible, and constitutional approach": On Thursday, the Senate Judiciary Committee released the first production of records for Supreme Court nominee Brett M. Kavanaugh from his time as associate counsel for George W. Bush. Roughly 5,700 pages of documents were made available to the public. The documents show that Kavanaugh assisted in the effort to pass the Patriot Act and drafted a statement that President Bush incorporated in the bill signing. Kavanaugh wrote that the PATRIOT Act will “update laws authorizing government surveillance,” which he claimed, and President Bush then restated, were from an era of “rotary phones.” In fact, the PATRIOT Act weakened numerous U.S. privacy laws, including the subscriber privacy provisions in the Cable Act and the email safeguards in the Electronic Communications Privacy Act. Both laws were enacted after the era of rotary phones. Congress amended the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act after it was revealed that the White House had authorized warrantless wiretapping of Americans beginning in 2002. In an email exchange, Kavanaugh wrote that the PATRIOT Act was a "measured, careful, responsible, and constitutional approach . . . .” EPIC recently submitted two urgent Freedom of Information Act requests for Judge Kavanaugh’s records during his time serving as Staff Secretary for President Bush. (Aug. 11, 2018)
  • EPIC Sues Justices Dept. for Reports on Cell Phone Tracking: EPIC has filed a Freedom of Information Act Carhartt Tanned Bison Dark Oil Men's rwXaqr against the Department of Justice for the release of reports on the collection and use of cell site location information. Modern cell phones generate precise location records, known as “cell site location information,” that was often accessible to law enforcement agencies. However, the Department of Justice has never produced any comprehensive reports concerning the use of cell site data. In Carpenter v. United States, the Supreme Court held that the Fourth Amendment protects location records generated and that the “police must get a warrant when collecting” cell site location information. In the complaint, EPIC stated that it “seeks to determine the use, effectiveness, cost, and necessity in the collection and use of cell site location information so that the public, lawmakers, and the courts may have a better understanding of the use of this investigative technique.” The case is EPIC v. DOJ, No. 18-1814 (D.D.C. filed August 1, 2018). (Aug. 2, 2018)
  • More top news

  • EPIC is planning to submit a Freedom of Information Act request to the Bush Library and the National Archives and Records Administration for records concerning programs of mass surveillance and Supreme Court nominee Brett M. Kavanaugh. Kavanaugh served as Assistant to the President and Staff Secretary for President George W. Bush between July 2003 and May 2006. During that time, the Bush administration undertook a wide range of mass surveillance programs, including the warrantless wiretapping of Americans, which was later deemed unlawful. On the federal appellate court, Judge Kavanaugh wrote that a suspicionless surveillance program "is entirely consistent with the Fourth Amendment." "Critical national security need outweighs the impact on privacy occasioned by the program," wrote Kavanaugh. Other programs backed by the White House when Judge Kavanaugh served as White House Staff Secretary include Total Information Awareness, airport body scanners, and Boots Womens Apricot AmoonyFashion Plush Stiletto US Round with B 8 Soft Material M 5 Solid Banage Closed and Toe Short PU vgqBwZSdg. (Jul. 30, 2018)
  • Through a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit, EPIC obtained Customs and Border Protection's directive on Unmanned Aircraft System Operations and Privacy. The directive allows the agency to disseminate information collected through drone operations with federal, state, local, tribal, and foreign law enforcement agencies. EPIC's FOIA request stems from 2015 for Fall Shoes Purple Soles Sneakers Lovers Light Round Toe Color Heel up 43 Unisex Casual Low Size LED Light Green 2018 Shoes H Red Outdoor Spring qHXa8 that requires all federal agencies to develop and publish policies and procedures that address the privacy, civil liberties, and civil right issues posed by the use of drones. EPIC recently sent a statement to the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs, urging the Committee to not consider a S. 2836, Preventing Emerging Threats Act of 2018: Countering Malicious Drones, until all federal agencies establish drone privacy procedures. (Jul. 20, 2018)
  • In a companion case to EPIC v. FAA, the D.C. Circuit ruled in Taylor v. FAA that the regulations for drones operated by hobbyists are within the agency's statutory authority. The D.C. Circuit previously ruled that EPIC lacked standing to compel the FAA to establish privacy rules for commercial drones. The D.C. Circuit declined to reach the merits of EPIC's challenge. The FAA is expected to issue rules later this year that will require drones to identify themselves with radio beacons, as EPIC had previously urged. (Jul. 13, 2018)
  • In advance of a hearing on “Bolstering Data Privacy and Mobile Security” EPIC has told the House Science Committee that Congress should apply a heightened “super warrant” standard to "StingRays,” a technique for tracking cell phones users. After an EPIC FOIA lawsuit revealed that the FBI was using stingrays without a warrant, the Bureau changed its practices. EPIC filed amicus briefs in U.S. v. Jones and Carpenter v. U.S., two recent Supreme Court cases, arguing that a warrant is required to obtain location information. In a landmark ruling last week, the Supreme Court held that the Fourth Amendment protects location records generated by mobile phones. As a consequence, EPIC said, Congress should update federal privacy law. (Jun. 27, 2018)
  • The D.C. Circuit ruled today in EPIC v. FAA that EPIC lacked standing to compel the FAA to establish privacy rules for commercial drones. In 2012 EPIC, backed by more than one hundred organizations and privacy experts, petitioned the agency to establish privacy safeguards for drones. EPIC also cited a 2012 law requiring the FAA to develop a "comprehensive plan" for drone deployment. EPIC subsequently filed suit against the FAA, challenging the 2016 rule authorizing commercial drone operations without any privacy safeguards. Today the D.C. Circuit declined to reach the merits of EPIC's challenge, finding that neither EPIC nor its members had established an "injury" caused by the FAA rule. EPIC will continue to push for the establishment of drone privacy safeguards at the FAA. The drone privacy case is EPIC v. FAA, No. 16-1297 (D.C. Cir.). (Jun. 19, 2018)
  • As the Senate Commitee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs considers S. 2836, the Preventing Emerging Threats Act of 2018: Countering Malicious Drones, EPIC has sent a statement to the Committee urging that action on the bill be suspended until DHS and other federal agencies establish and publish drone privacy procedures as required by a 2015 Presidential Memorandum. EPIC has brought a series of open government cases against the DHS and the Department of Defense to determine the use of drones by the federal government in the United States. EPIC's cases have determined that drones operated by the DHS intercept private communications, conduct human identification at a distance, and may include military payloads. (Jun. 13, 2018)
  • EPIC and a coalition of twenty organizations called for the Department of Justice Inspector General to investigate the FBI's "grossly inflated" statistic of encrypted devices inaccessible to law enforcement in 2017. The Washington Post reported that the FBI repeatedly stated it was locked out of 7,800 devices, but subsequent review suggested the actual number is about 1,200. The coalition wrote to the IG asking him to investigate the error, why DOJ officials used the data point after it was discovered to be incorrect, and what measures were taken to inform Congress and the public of the FBI's miscalculation. EPIC President Marc Rotenberg previously told POLITICO that the revelation was "a very serious matter" that "calls into question" the FBI's other statements about "the scope of electronic surveillance in the United States." (Jun. 5, 2018)
  • In 2011, EPIC uncovered the first government program to monitor social media. EPIC v. DHS revealed that a government agency was tracking posts on social media to identify critics of government. Today EPIC released a new report on the recent developments in government media monitoring. The report follows a case filed by EPIC this week concerning a new DHS program for "Media Monitoring Services." The report explores different media monitoring systems and points to the absence of effective controls. EPIC's Spotlight on Surveillance also highlights the privacy and civil liberties risks, including chilling free speech, discrimination, unreliability, and misattribution. EPIC's Spotlight on Surveillance project explores the privacy and civil liberties implications of surveillance programs in the United States. EPIC has previously released reports on drones, the FBI's Next Generation Identification program, and "enhanced" driver's licenses. (Jun. 1, 2018)
  • EPIC and a coalition of privacy and civil liberties groups urged the Office of the Director of National Intelligence to abide by the transparency requirements of the USA FREEDOM Act. The Act ended the NSA's bulk collection of domestic call detail information. The Act also requires the public reporting of the number of unique identifiers gathered under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. A related letter to the House Judiciary Committee urged the Committee to oversee the reporting requirement. In 2012, EPIC testified before Congress on the need for better reporting on the use of FISA authorities. Several of EPIC's recommendations were incorporated in the USA FREEDOM Act. (May. 31, 2018)
  • EPIC, the Brennan Center and 55 privacy, civil liberties, and civil rights organizations submitted comments opposing the State Department's plan to collect social media identifiers from individuals applying for visas. The coalition warned that the proposal would "undermine First Amendment rights of speech, expression, and association." Social media monitoring raises serious privacy and civil liberties issues. EPIC previously opposed the State Department's expansion of social media collection as well as a similar proposal by the Department of Homeland Security. In EPIC v. DHS, a 2011 Freedom of Information Act case, EPIC uncovered the first agency plan to monitor social media. (May. 30, 2018)
  • According to the Office of Director National Intelligence 2017 report, the number of Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act orders to collect call records more than tripled last year, from 151 million records in 2016 to 534 million in 2017. In 2012, EPIC testified before Congress on the need for more public reporting concerning the use of FISA authorities. Several of EPIC's recommendations, including better reporting on government surveillance activities, were incorporated in the USA FREEDOM Act. (May. 7, 2018)
  • In advance of a Senate hearing "Keeping Pace with Innovation - Update on the Safe Integration of Unmanned Aircraft Systems into the Airspace," EPIC submitted a statement to inform the committee of EPIC's ongoing work to establish transparency and oversight for the use of unmanned aircraft in the United States. EPIC believes that strong drone privacy rules are vital for the safe integration of commercial drones in the National Air Space. EPIC is now proceeding in the U.S. Court of Appeals of the D.C. Circuit against the FAA for the agency's failure to establish drone privacy safeguards. EPIC has also filed suit to enforce the transparency obligations of the Drone Advisory Committee, a body created by the FAA to study and make recommendations on U.S. drone policy. EPIC has also pursued several open government matters regarding the FAA's decision making process, which appears intended to purposefully avoid the development of meaningful privacy safeguards. (May. 7, 2018)
  • In a letter to Axon's Artificial Intelligence Ethics Board, EPIC and a coalition of civil rights and civil liberties groups called upon the Board to prevent Axon, the largest provider of police body cameras, from implementing real-time facial recognition. The letter states that "real-time facial recognition would chill the constitutional freedoms of speech and association." In 2015, EPIC forewarned that body cameras implemented for police accountability "could easily become a system of mass surveillance." EPIC also highlighted at the time that "the benefits of body cameras as a tool of police accountability have not been established." Last year, the largest study to date of police body cameras concluded that the cameras had no impact on police use of force and civilian complaints. (Apr. 26, 2018)
  • EPIC has filed suit to enforce the open government obligations of the Drone Advisory Committee, an industry-dominated committee that advises the Federal Aviation Administration on U.S. drone policy. For over a year, the Committee has conducted much of its work in secret and ignored the privacy risks posed by the deployment of drones, even after the Committee identified privacy as a top public concern. EPIC's lawsuit would force the Committee to disclose its work to the public. EPIC has a long history of promoting government transparency. EPIC's case to establish drone privacy regulations, EPIC v. FAA, No. 16-1297, is pending before the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals. (Apr. 12, 2018)
  • EPIC has submitted input to the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights for an upcoming report on the right to privacy in the digital age. The OHCHR is soliciting information for a report to Human Rights Council on the right to privacy around the world. EPIC's comments detail shortcomings in US privacy law, including the CLOUD Act, the reauthorization of FISA Section 702, and FTC's failure to enforce consumer privacy guarantees. EPIC also highlighted the need for the Special Rapporteur on Privacy to promote fundamental privacy rights, particularly Article 12 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. (Apr. 6, 2018)
  • In a Federal Register notice released today, the State Department is proposing that all visa applicants submit social media identifiers to the federal government. EPIC previously opposed the agency’s plan, warning that "this proposal leaves the door open for abuse, mission creep, and the disproportionate targeting of Muslim and Arab Americans." Earlier this year, EPIC and a broad coalition of civil rights organizations submitted a Freedom of Information Act request seeking details of the Trump Administration’s “extreme vetting” initiative, including the collection and use of social media information. (Mar. 30, 2018)
  • Through a Freedom of Information Act request, EPIC has obtained the FBI’s “ Policy for Biometric Information Sharing with Domestic and International Agencies.” The documents EPIC obtained also contain details of the United States’ agreement with Iraq to exchange biometric data, including to not subject the information to any dissemination restrictions of the US or Iraq. The FBI maintains one of the world's largest biometric databases, known as the "Next Generation Identification” system, which includes facial IDs gathered from international conflicts. In 2007, EPIC, Privacy International, and Human Rights Watch warned the Secretary of Defense that the “ system of biometric identification contravene international privacy standards and could lead to further reprisals and killings.” EPIC noted in 2010 "President Obama’s address on the end of the combat mission in Iraq has left open the question of what will happen to the massive biometric databases on Iraqis, assembled by the United States, during the course of the conflict." (Mar. 22, 2018)
  • EPIC has filed a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit against the Department of Homeland Security to obtain the public release of information about the use of drones for domestic surveillance. EPIC cited a for Fall Shoes Purple Soles Sneakers Lovers Light Round Toe Color Heel up 43 Unisex Casual Low Size LED Light Green 2018 Shoes H Red Outdoor Spring qHXa8 that required all federal agencies to prepare public reports on drone deployment. EPIC's lawsuit charges that the DHS has failed to make these reports public. In a previous lawsuit against the DHS, EPIC obtained records which revealed that DHS drones had the capability to intercept electronic communications and identity humans at a distance. EPIC has also brought a lawsuit against the FAA to establish drone privacy regulations in the United States. (Mar. 9, 2018)
  • The Secure and Succeed Act (S. Amdt. 1959 to H.R. 2579), sponsored by several Republican Senators, would link DACA with hi-tech border surveillance. Customs and Border Protection would use facial recognition and other biometric technologies to inspect travelers, both US citizens and non-citizens, at airports. The bill also establishes "Operation Phalanx" that instructs the Department of Defense—a military agency—to use drones for domestic surveillance. EPIC has pursued many FOIA cases on border surveillance involving biometrics, drones, and airport body scanners, In a statement to Congress, EPIC warned that "many of the techniques that are proposed to enhance border surveillance have direct implications for the privacy of American citizens." (Feb. 21, 2018)
  • EPIC and other leading open government organizations urged Congress to promote transparency and accountability of the Intelligence agencies. The groups called for the release of annual public reports, all significant opinions by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, and an accounting on the number of Americans subject tp foreign intelligence surveillance. EPIC previously called on lawmakers to require federal agencies to obtain a warrant before searching information about Americans in foreign intelligence databases. Through a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit, EPIC obtained a report detailing the FBI's failure to follow procedures regarding the use of foreign intelligence data for a domestic criminal investigation. EPIC has also testified in Congress on reforms to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. (Feb. 9, 2018)
  • The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit will hear arguments this week in EPIC v. FAA, a lawsuit concerning the FAA's failure to establish privacy rules for commercial drones. EPIC's case is based on an Act of Congress requiring a "comprehensive plan" for drone deployment in the United States and a petition, backed by more than one hundred organizations and privacy experts, calling for privacy safeguards. As EPIC argued in a brief to the Court, "It is not possible to address the hazards associated with drone operations without addressing privacy in the final rule for small commercial drones." Arguments will be held Thursday morning at the American University Washington College of Law. EPIC Senior Counsel Alan Butler will argue the case. EPIC's case is EPIC v. FAA, No. 16-1297 (D.C. Cir.). (Jan. 24, 2018)
  • In a decision that could jeopardize relations with Europe, Congress has renewed "Section 702" of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, which permits broad surveillance of individuals outside of the United States. The FISA Amendment Reauthorization Act also permits government surveillance of Americans and restarts the controversial "about" collection program. Congress rejected updates, including limits on data collection, that would preserve a privacy agreement between Europe and the United States. The European Court of Justice will also soon decide whether to allow data transfers from Ireland to the United States. EPIC served as the US NGO amicus curiae in that case. (Jan. 18, 2018)
  • As the result of a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit EPIC v. NSD, EPIC has obtained a report from the Department of Justice National Security Division detailing the FBI's use of foreign intelligence data for a domestic criminal investigation. Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act authorizes the surveillance of foreigners located abroad. However, the FBI can also use this data to investigate Americans. The report obtained by EPIC also shows that the FBI analyst failed to follow internal guidance to notify superiors of the search, raising questions about whether the FBI is accurately reporting these searches. The USA Rights Act, now pending in Congress, would require a federal agency to obtain a warrant to search foreign surveillance data for information on Americans. (Jan. 9, 2018)
  • Through a Freedom of Information Act request, EPIC has obtained former Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly's notes for an interview with NPR about border security. The notes include talking points about southwest border security and the construction of the southwest border wall. During the interview, Mr. Kelly also described DHS's plans to increase vetting of immigrants and coordination with the White House, despite the fact these issues were not included in the talking points. EPIC previously warned the House Oversight Committee that enhanced surveillance at the border will impact the rights of U.S. citizens. As a result of an earlier FOIA lawsuit, EPIC found that the Customs and Borders Protection is already deploying drones with facial recognition technology near the border. (Jan. 8, 2018)
  • A federal advisory panel has issued a report with recommendations for the remote tracking and identification of drones. The FAA advisory report also said the "FAA must review privacy considerations, in consultation with privacy experts and other Federal agencies, including developing a secure system that allows for segmented access to the ID and tracking information." EPIC backed remote identification and tracking of drones in comments on the agency's drone registration rule. EPIC also recommended privacy protections for the personal data collected for hobbyist drone users, though EPIC's recommendations go beyond the proposals contained in the advisory panel report. EPIC is currently challenging the FAA's failure to establish privacy safeguards. EPIC v. FAA is before the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, with oral arguments scheduled for January 25, 2018. (Dec. 20, 2017)
  • A defense authorization bill signed by the President today restores the FAA's drone registration requirement. The registration requirement was struck down by a federal appeals court earlier this year. EPIC supports registration for commercial drones because of the unique privacy risks they pose. In 2015, EPIC submitted extensive comments to the FAA, proposing that commercial drones also routinely broadcast location, course, speed over ground, as well as owner identifying information, similar to the Automated Identification System for commercial vessels. Earlier this year, EPIC also submitted statements to the House Transportation Committee and the Senate Commerce Committee emphasizing the privacy risks of commercial drones. EPIC is currently challenging the FAA's failure to establish privacy safeguards. EPIC v. FAA is before the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, with oral arguments scheduled for January 25, 2018. (Dec. 12, 2017)
  • In the case of Antović and Mirković v. Montenegro, the European Court of Human Rights held that camera surveillance in lecture halls at the University of Montenegro's School of Mathematics violated Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights (the right to respect one's "private and family life"). The decision follows earlier cases of the Court which recognize privacy rights in the workplace. Some U.S. law schools have deemed all classrooms and meetings rooms as "recordable spaces" and state that voluntary participation therefore constitutes a waiver of legal claims. EPIC has protected the human right to privacy through third-party intervention in the European Court of Human Rights as well as documented the spread of CCTV surveillance technology across American cities. EPIC's Privacy Law Sourcebook provides background on US and international privacy law. The Privacy Law and Society website provides more information about international privacy law. (Nov. 29, 2017)
  • EPIC sent a statement to a House Committee on Transportation ahead of a hearing on drone deployment in the United States. EPIC said that "privacy rules and identification requirements" are vital for the safe integration of commercial drones in the national air space. EPIC explained that the FAA has failed to establish necessary safeguards and has purposefully ignored privacy and public safety risks. In 2015, EPIC sued the FAA, arguing that the agency failed to comply with a Congressional mandate and a petition from leading experts. EPIC also told Congress that the FAA has excluded privacy experts from the agency task force on drone policy. In October 2017, CNN reported the first drone strike on a commercial aircraft. (Nov. 28, 2017)
  • A defense authorization bill released today in the House would restore an FAA drone regulation that was struck down by a federal appeals court earlier this year. The D.C. Circuit had previously ruled that a regulation requiring hobbyists to register their drones violated the FAA Modernization Act, which forbids regulations for "model aircraft." EPIC strongly supports registration for commercial drones but recognizes an exception for hobbyists. EPIC submitted statements to the House Transportation Committee and the Senate Commerce Committee earlier this year emphasizing the unique privacy risks of commercial drones. EPIC is currently challenging the FAA's failure to protect the public from aerial surveillance by commercial drones in federal court. EPIC v. FAA is currently before the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, with oral arguments scheduled for January 25, 2018. (Nov. 9, 2017)
  • EPIC has filed a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit against the Department of Justice National Security Division for a report detailing the FBI's warrantless searches for information about U.S. citizens. Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act allows conduct warrantless searches of non-U.S. persons in foreign intelligence investigations. But there are concerns that the FBI uses this authority to conduct "backdoor searches" on Americans. In EPIC v. NSD, EPIC seeks the release of a report ordered by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court detailing the FBI's use of section 702 data for domestic criminal purposes. EPIC also recently joined coalition of over 50 organizations calling on lawmakers to establish a warrant requirement before the government can search 702 databases for information about U.S. citizens and residents. The USA Rights ActLeather Ankle 2 Abbott Ch Pc Women's Tan Shoes Rockport AqUf8Pnf, now pending in Congress, would end backdoor searches by all federal agencies. (Nov. 1, 2017)
  • A for Fall Shoes Purple Soles Sneakers Lovers Light Round Toe Color Heel up 43 Unisex Casual Low Size LED Light Green 2018 Shoes H Red Outdoor Spring qHXa8 on "Unmanned Aircraft Systems Integration Pilot Program" seeks to promote local state involvement in "development and enforcement" of Federal regulations as well as "inform the development of future Federal guidelines and regulatory decisions" on drone operations nationwide. As the FAA has failed to establish national standards for privacy, many local governments have passed laws to regulate the use of drones. According to the National Conference on Site Legislation, at least 38 states are considering legislation related to drones in the 2017 legislative session. In 2016, EPIC renewed its suit against the FAA, arguing the agency failed to protect the public from aerial surveillance. EPIC v. FAA is currently before the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals. Argument will likely take place this fall. (Oct. 26, 2017)
  • According to a Washington Post article, the FAA's Drone Advisory Committee hosted secret meetings and asked participants to sign confidentiality agreements. Documents obtained earlier by EPIC uncovered similar secret meetings leading to the FAA policy on drones that ignored privacy safeguards. The closed-door meetings appear to violate the Federal Advisory Committee Act. EPIC has also sued the FAA to obtain the meeting documents of the FAA's Drone Registration Task Force. EPIC's case to establish national privacy regulations, EPIC v. FAA is currently pending before the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals. (Oct. 26, 2017)
  • Eleven senators introduced bipartisan legislation to reauthorize the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act with significant new civil liberties protections. Among other reforms, the USA Rights Act codifies the ban on collecting "about" communications, prohibits collection of domestic communications, expands the powers of the Civil Liberties Oversight Board, and requires independent amicus review during the FISC's annual authorization. The bill does not establish certain protections sought by Europeans during the recent Privacy Shield review. Senate Intelligence Committee Chair Richard Burr bill would expand 702 surveillance authorities. EPIC and a coalition of organizations recently urged the markup hearing on the proposal be opened to the public. (Oct. 24, 2017)
  • In the largest study to date of police body cameras, a new report concluded that the cameras had no impact on police use of force and civilian complaints. The report is a result of a project in Washington, D.C. to assess the benefits of the body cameras worn by the Metropolitan Police Department. EPIC previously testified before the D.C. City Council, warning of the risks of mass public surveillance and arguing that police body cameras were "an intrusive and ineffective technology that does not address underlying problems with police accountability." (Oct. 20, 2017)
  • EPIC and a coalition of over 50 organizations called on lawmakers to require federal agencies to obtain a probable cause warrant before searching foreign intelligence databases for information about U.S. citizens and residents. Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act allows agencies - without a warrant and in a broad range of circumstances - to search for information about Americans among communications collected for foreign intelligence purposes. In a letter to leaders of the House Judiciary Committee, the groups explained that this practice "undermine[s] constitutional protections create an unacceptable loophole to access Americans' communications in criminal and foreign intelligence investigations alike." EPIC and a coalition also recently urged Director of National Intelligence Dan Coates to uphold a promise to give a public estimate of how many Americans are caught up in NSA surveillance of foreign targets. EPIC is currently pursuing a Freedom of Information Act request for a government report to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court about FBI search of Section 702 data for domestic criminal investigations. (Oct. 3, 2017)
  • EPIC has filed a FOIA lawsuit against Customs and Border Protection for information about the agency’s deployment of a biometric entry/exit tracking system, including at US airports. Trump's recent Executive Order regarding immigration ordered the expedited implementation of a biometric entry/exit tracking system, which will include U.S. citizens. Biometric techniques, including facial recognition, lack proper privacy safeguards. EPIC previously sued the FBI over the Bureau’s Next Generation Identification database, which contains face prints, fingerprints, and other biometrics of millions of Americans. EPIC's lawsuit against the FBI revealed that biometric identification is often inaccurate. (Jul. 20, 2017)
  • In a statement to Congress, EPIC told members of the Senate Judiciary Committee to press the nominee for FBI Director, Christopher Wray, on his views of FBI databases and domestic surveillance programs. EPIC again expressed concern about the size and scope of the FBI's Next Generation Identification system which stores personal and biometric information on millions of individuals. EPIC also expressed concern over the FBI's failure to issue timely privacy impact assessments, lack of transparency on drone use, and plans to monitor social media. EPIC urged the Committee to obtain the nominee's views on these matters and to ensure his commitment to protect privacy and ensure transparency at the FBI. (Jul. 14, 2017)
  • Both the Senate and House are considering bi-partisan drone bills to protect the ability of states and local government to safeguard privacy. The House's Drone Innovation Act, sponsored by Rep. Jason Lewis (R-MN) and the Senate's Drone Federalism Act, sponsored by Sen. Diane Feinstein (D-CA), would ensure that FAA regulations do not preempt legitimate interests of local governments to protect personal privacy. Earlier this year, EPIC submitted a statement to the House Transportation Committee and a statement to the Senate Commerce Committee to emphasize the unique privacy risks of drones. EPIC explained that the FAA has failed to establish necessary privacy safeguards and that the states must be free to protect privacy interests. In 2015, EPIC sued the agency, arguing the FAA failed to protect the public from aerial surveillance. EPIC v. FAA is currently before the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals. Argument will likely take place this fall. (Jul. 12, 2017)
  • In advance of a hearing on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, EPIC has sent a statement to the Senate Judiciary Committee urging increased public reporting of the government's surveillance activities under section 702. EPIC also highlighted the need to restore the Privacy and Civil Liberties Board (PCLOB) to full strength. As Judge Patricia Wald recently stated in remarks at the EPIC Champions of Freedom Dinner, "an agency dedicated to protecting privacy and civil liberties inside the intelligence community with access to classified material is a uniquely valuable asset in the ever difficult search for the right balance between national security and democratic values." EPIC testified before the House Judiciary Committee in support of increased transparency during the 2012 FISA reauthorization hearings. Analysis of 702 reform by Prof. Laura Donohue. (Jun. 23, 2017)
  • In advance of a White House / OSTP meeting on "emerging technologies," EPIC has sent a statement to the Office of Science and Technology Policy. EPIC urged the Administration to focus on consumer protection and address the numerous privacy and security risks related to the "Internet of Broken Things." EPIC recommended recommended Privacy Enhancing Technologies, data minimization, and security measures for Internet-connected devices. EPIC also urged the Administration to issue regulations on drone privacy as mandated by Congress and to establish minimum safety standards for connected cars. EPIC warned that "The unregulated collection of personal data and the growth of the Internet of Things has led to staggering increases in identity theft, security breaches, and financial fraud in the United States." (Jun. 20, 2017)
  • EPIC has sent a statement to the House Judiciary Committee for a hearing on "Data Stored Abroad." According to news reports, the United States and the United Kingdom are drafting a secret agreement for transnational access to personal data that would bypass legal and judicial safeguards. In November 2016, EPIC filed a FOIA Request for the draft US-UK agreement. The Justice Department recently informed EPIC that responsive documents had been located and would be referred to the State Department for additional processing. EPIC has long pursued public release of international agreements. In 2016, EPIC obtained the "Umbrella Agreement," concerning the transfer of personal data from the EU to the US, after a successful Freedom of Information Act lawsuit. (Jun. 14, 2017)
  • EPIC and over 30 organizations urged the Director of National Intelligence Dan Coates to uphold a promise to provide a public estimate of how many Americans are caught up in NSA surveillance of foreign targets. The coalition, including EPIC, previously pushed for the estimate. Americans' communications are "incidentally" collected under section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, and the FBI searches this data without a warrant or judicial oversight. EPIC, in testimony before Congress and comments to the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board, has repeatedly called for greater oversight and transparency of surveillance authorities. (Jun. 13, 2017)
  • EPIC sent a statement to the House Committee on Transportation & Infrastructure ahead of a hearing on FAA Reauthorization. Emphasizing the unique privacy risks of drones, EPIC explained that the FAA has failed to establish necessary safeguards. In 2015, EPIC sued the agency, arguing that it failed to comply with Congressional directives. Following a petition by EPIC, the agency received hundreds of comments in support of privacy rules. EPIC also told Congress that the FAA has excluded privacy experts from the agency task force on drone policy. (Jun. 9, 2017)
  • Senator Dianne Feinstein, the former chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, today outlined reforms to Toe Women's Square Pumps Closed Silver PU Lace Kitten WeenFashion Shoes Heels Solid up nYBwqIvdF. The law, which allows the NSA "PRISM" and "Upstream" surveillance programs, is set to expire at the end of this year. Senator Feinstein would end permanently the NSA's "about" searches, expand the amicus role at the intelligence court, and require the continued sunsetting of FISA authorities created in the The FISA Amendments Act of 2008. In 2012, EPIC testified before Congress on the need to establish better oversight for Section 702 prior to renewal. (Jun. 9, 2017)
  • As the result of a FOIA Request, EPIC has obtained nearly two hundred pages of reports about the Army surveillance blimp that broke free and crash landed in Pennsylvania. In 2015 the blimp roamed the East Coast before its crash and caused blackouts across the Pennsylvania countryside as it downed power lines. The documents obtained by EPIC include technical reports, a field investigation, and maintenance worksheets. The reports reveal the tail of the blimp failed, raising questions about the government's maintenance of the controversial and very expensive surveillance program. Through an earlier FOIA lawsuit, EPIC uncovered details about the plan to deploy the surveillance blimp over Washington, DC. The Runaway Blimp launched an Internet meme. (Jun. 7, 2017)
  • In advance of a hearing on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, EPIC has sent a Statement to the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence urging increased transparency and new public reporting of the Government's surveillance activities. EPIC also highlighted several legal challenges to an NSA bulk surveillance program abroad. The bulk surveillance program for the communications of non-U.S. persons, sunsets on December 31, 2017. EPIC testified before the House Judiciary Committee during the 2012 FISA reauthorization hearings, recommended improved public reporting, and warned pre-Snowden that the extent of mass surveillance was much greater than was known to the public. (Jun. 6, 2017)
  • A federal appeals court has struck down the FAA's rule requiring hobbyists to register their drones. The D.C. Circuit ruled that a registration requirement violated the FAA Modernization Act which forbade regulations for "model aircraft," including unmanned drones "flown for hobby or recreational purposes." EPIC is currently challenging the FAA's failure to establish privacy rules for "small, commercial" drones. Congress required a "comprehensive plan" for drone deployment in the United States, and more than 100 experts and organizations petitioned the agency for privacy safeguards. EPIC v. FAA is full briefed and arguments before the D.C. Circuit are anticipated this fall. (May. 19, 2017)
  • EPIC has filed a reply brief in EPIC v. FAA, a lawsuit concerning the FAA's failure to establish privacy rules for small commercial drones. EPIC sued the FAA after the agency refused to issue drone privacy rules. Congress had required a "comprehensive plan" for drone deployment in the United States, and more than 100 experts and organizations petitioned the agency for privacy safeguards. In a brief filed last month, the FAA acknowledged "that cameras and other sensors attached to [drones] may pose a risk to privacy interests" but continued to deny the agency's responsibility to set privacy rules. EPIC wrote in reply, "It is not possible to address the hazards associated with drone operations without addressing privacy in the final rule for small commercial drone." EPIC also explained that the FAA "profoundly mischaracterizes the aviation technology at issue" by suggesting that cameras are simply add-ons. "Drone cameras are an integral component of drone operations," EPIC explained. "Without a camera, it would be almost impossible to operate a commercial drone." (May. 12, 2017)
  • Following EPIC’s appeal of a decision to “neither confirm nor deny” the existence of a FISA application to monitor Trump Tower, the Justice Department took the unusual step of submitting the matter for declassification review. After the President tweeted allegations that President Obama “had [his] wires tapped in Trump Tower,” EPIC filed an urgent FOIA request for any FISA applications concerning Trump Tower. The Justice denied the request, but on appeal stated it was referring this matter “so that it may determine if the existence or nonexistence of any responsive records should remain classified.” The Justice Departement issued a similar response to EPIC’s related request concerning alleged surveillance of the Trump team. EPIC had explained in the appeal that “the agency may not hide behind the ‘neither confirm nor deny’ response” after FBI Director James Comey stated before Congress that the FBI and the Justice Department had “no information” to support the President’s tweets.

    (Apr. 28, 2017)
  • The Federal Aviation Administration has filed a brief in response to EPIC's lawsuit, EPIC v. FAA, concerning the FAA's failure to establish privacy rules for commercial drones. EPIC sued the FAA after Congress required a "comprehensive plan" for drone deployment in the United States and the FAA denied EPIC's petition calling for privacy safeguards. In the opposition brief, the FAA acknowledged "that cameras and other sensors attached to [drones] may pose a risk to privacy interests." The FAA claims that the agency is not ignoring drone privacy risks, but documents from a previous Freedom of Information Act request by EPIC showed the agency also failed to complete a drone privacy report required by Congress. (Apr. 28, 2017)
  • A statement from EPIC to the House Oversight Committee for a hearing on border security warns that enhanced surveillance will impact citizens' rights. "The use of drones in border security will place U.S. citizens living on the border under ceaseless surveillance by the government." said EPIC. EPIC noted that Customs and Border Protection is already deploying drones with facial recognition technology on U.S. communities. In 2013, EPIC obtained records under the Freedom of Information Act which revealed that CBP drones could also intercept electronic communications in the United States. State laws in some border states prohibit warrantless aerial surveillance but the United States has failed to enact laws to limit drone surveillance. EPIC has sued the FAA for the agency's failure to create drone privacy safegruards as required by Congress. (Apr. 26, 2017)
  • As a result of a Freedom of Information Act request, EPIC has obtained the FBI's first annual summary report on drone operations. The annual reports are required by an Obama Presidential Memorandum regarding the domestic use of drones by federal agencies. EPIC also obtained related documents about FBI drone operations that were heavily redacted. Additionally, EPIC requested the FBI's drone policies and procedures related to privacy, civil liberties, and civil rights. The FBI has not yet released these documents to EPIC. EPIC will appeal the FBI's failure to release these documents and will also challenge the redactions in the documents that were released. (Apr. 6, 2017)
  • President Trump’s proposed budget reveals a $61 million increase in FBI funds dedicated to fighting encryption. The newly released budget for Fiscal Year 2018 directs the FBI to invest “$61 million more to fight terrorism and combat foreign intelligence and cyber threats and address public safety and national security risks that result from malicious actors’ use of encrypted products and services.” The FY2017 budget set aside $38 million to FBI anti-encryption technology and research. EPIC has advocated for strong encryption since its founding, and consistently pushed back against efforts to weaken the technology. EPIC also published the first comprehensive survey of encryption use around the world. (Mar. 17, 2017)
  • Senator Markey and Representative Welch today introduced the Drone Aircraft Privacy and Transparency Act of 2017. The Act would establish privacy safeguards to protect individuals from drone surveillance. The Drone Privacy Act requires publicly available data collection statements from operators and warrants for drone surveillance by law enforcement. "Drones flying overhead could collect very sensitive and personally identifiable information about millions of Americans, but right now, we don't have sufficient safeguards in place to protect our privacy," said Senator Markey. The Act includes privacy protections EPIC has proposed in statements to Congress and comments to federal agencies. In EPIC v. FAA, EPIC is challenging the failure of the FAA to protect the public from aerial surveillance. (Mar. 15, 2017)
  • EPIC sent a detailed letter to the Senate Commerce Committee ahead of a hearing on drone deployment in the United States. Emphasizing the unique privacy risks of drones, EPIC explained that the FAA has failed to establish necessary safeguard. EPIC has sued the agency, arguing that is has failed to comply with Congressional directives, following a petition by EPIC hundreds of comments the agency receivedin support of privacy rules. EPIC also pointed out that the FAA has excluded privacy experts from the agency task force on drone policy. (Mar. 14, 2017)
  • EPIC has filed the opening brief in a  lawsuit against the Federal Aviation Administration concerning drone surveillance. EPIC charged that the FAA's failure to establish privacy rules for commercial drones is a violation of law. The EPIC lawsuit is based on an  Act of Congress requiring a "comprehensive plan" for drone deployment in the United States and a  petition, backed by more than one hundred organizations and privacy experts, calling for privacy safeguards. EPIC stated that “As the FAA has refused to issue any privacy-related rules and refused to conduct a comprehensive rulemaking, contrary to the FAA Modernization Act and to EPIC's Rulemaking Petition, the Court must now order the agency to do so.” The case is EPIC v. FAA, No. 16-1297. Women's Navy Rialto Rialto Mule Navy 'VIVA' 'VIVA' Rialto Women's Rialto Mule 'VIVA' Women's Navy Mule (Feb. 28, 2017)
  • EPIC has submitted an urgent FOIA request to the Department of Homeland Security about aerial surveillance, social media monitoring and ID theft following statements made by DHS Secretary John Kelly in a Congressional hearing on Homeland Security. The Secretary described plans to expand the use of "aerostats" (surveillance blimps) and monitoring of social media. The Secretary also stated that he has been a victim of data breach. The EPIC FOIA request follows earlier cases brought by EPIC which revealed efforts by the DHS to expand aerial surveillance within the United States, develop techniques for "pre-crime" detection, interrupt Internet service, as well as the impermissible monitoring of social media services and news organizations. (Feb. 8, 2017)
  • The President has issued an executive order requiring every new regulation to be offset by the repeal of at least two existing regulations. The Order could directly impact rules that safeguard consumers against data breach, financial fraud, and identity theft. EPIC has also recommended new public safety regulations concerning aerial drones, connected vehicles, and the Internet of Things. In EPIC v. FAA, EPIC is challenging the failure of the agency to protect the public from aerial surveillance. (Jan. 31, 2017)
  • EPIC has sent a statement to the Senate Commerce Committee, highlighting two significant privacy issues: drones and autonomous vehicles. The Senate Committee met this week to consider the nomination of Elaine Chao for Secretary of Transportation. EPIC sued the FAA, an agency subject to the Committee's oversight, for its failure to establish drone privacy rules, as required by Congress. EPIC also testified last year before the Committee on the risks of connected cars, EPIC has recently submitted comments on federal automated vehicles policy and filed an amicus brief in federal appeals court on the risks to consumers of connected vehicles. (Jan. 12, 2017)
  • Documents obtained by EPIC reveal a steady line of communication between government officials and the drone industry leading up to the government ’s policy on drones. According to the documents obtained through a  Freedom of Information Act request, public officials regularly communicated with privacy sector members of the  Small UAV Coalition, an industry trade group that includes Google, Amazon, and DJI, a Chinese drone company. The government’s “multistakeholder process” has been  criticized for undermining democratic institutions and giving industry lobbyists preferential access to government agencies. EPIC  advocated for enforceable privacy rules prior to deployment of commercial drones in the United States. After the a multistakeholder process produced voluntary guidelines, EPIC   sued the FAA. The case is currently pending before the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals. (Dec. 21, 2016)
  • Advocates, journalists, and businesses have brought a near-record 512 lawsuits under the Freedom of Information Act in 2016. The findings, complied by for FOIAproject.org by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, show a 35 percent increase in FOIA litigation over the past five years. According to the new report, the lawsuits have covered diverse issues including "private email accounts, national security, immigration, the environment and even Donald Trump." In 2016, EPIC brought FOIA suits for the DOJ's secret inspector general reports, the DOT's drone task force records, and the FBI's biometric data transfer memos. (Dec. 9, 2016)
  • Today the Senate Commerce Committee will hold a hearing on "The Dawn of Artificial Intelligence." Experts from industry and academia will provide "a broad overview of the state of artificial intelligence, including policy implications and effects on commerce." In a prepared statement, EPIC urged the Committee to support "Algorithmic Transparency," an essential public policy strategy to make AI accountable. The hearing follows two White House reports - Preparing for the Future of Artificial Intelligence and the National Artificial Intelligence Research and Development Strategic Plan. EPIC is currently litigating several "AI" cases including EPIC v. FAA (drone surveillance), Cahen v. Toyota (autonomous vehicles), EPIC v. CPB (U.S. traveler "risk assessments"), and Secret DNA Forensic Source Code. (Nov. 30, 2016)
  • A hearing today in the European Parliament brought together technologists, ethicists, and policymakers to examine "Algorithmic Accountability and Transparency in the Digital Economy." Recently German Chancellor Angela Merkel spoke against secret algorithms, warning that that there must be more transparency and accountability. EPIC has promoted Algorithmic Transparency for many years and is currently litigating several cases on the front lines of AI, including EPIC v. FAA (drones), Cahen v. Toyota (autonomous vehicles), and algorithms in criminal justice. EPIC has also proposed two amendments to Asimov's Rules of Robotics, requiring autonomous devices to reveal the basis of their decisions and to reveal their actual identity. (Nov. 7, 2016)
  • Through an EPIC Freedom of Information Act request, EPIC obtained documents revealing that the FAA never finished a drone privacy report required by Congress. The Appropriations Act of 2014, which provided funding for the agency, required the FAA to inform Congress on "how the FAA can address the impact of widespread use of [drones] on individual privacy." The FAA drone privacy report was to be completed before the end of 2015 and prior to any drone regulations were issued. Now, as the end of 2016 approaches, the FAA has moved forward with regulations lacking privacy safeguards, and the drone privacy report still unfinished. EPIC is currently suing the FAA for the agency's failure to establish drone privacy rules. (Oct. 24, 2016)
  • EPIC and a coalition of civil liberties organizations urged the Justice Department to review the disparate impact of facial recognition. The letter follows a report on law enforcement use of the technology. The report builds on work pursued by EPIC and others. Freedom of Information Act documents obtained by EPIC showed that the DHS system lacked privacy safeguards, the Pumps Toe Silver WeiPoot Heels Closed Shoes up Solid Lace Women's Low Round PU x6qpUT for its Next Generation Identification system and has agreements to run facial recognition searches on DMV databases. In 2012, EPIC urged the Federal Trade Commission to suspend the use of facial recognition techniques pending the establishment of legal safeguards. And the 2009 Madrid Privacy Declaration, authored by NGOs and privacy experts, calls for a moratorium on the face scanning technology. (Oct. 18, 2016)
  • Today the Federal Trade Commission will host a panel discussion on drones and privacy as part of the agency's Fall Technology Series. The Director of EPIC's Domestic Surveillance Project, Jeramie Scott, will participate in the panel. Mr. Scott previously testified before the Pennsylvania Senate on domestic drone surveillance and submitted a statement for record regarding a Maryland bill to limit drone surveillance. EPIC and leading experts previously urged the FAA to adopt privacy rules for drones, and when the agency refused, EPIC sued. EPIC v. FAA is currently pending before the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals. (Oct. 13, 2016)
  • The White House has released two new reports on the impact of Artificial Intelligence on the US economy and related policy concerns. Preparing for the Future of Artificial Intelligence surveys the current state of AI, applications, and emerging challenges for society and public policy. The report concludes "practitioners must ensure that AI-enabled systems are governable; that they are open, transparent, and understandable; that they can work effectively with people; and that their operation will remain consistent with human values and aspirations." A companion report National Artificial Intelligence Research and Development Strategic Plan proposes a strategic plan for Federally-funded research and development in AI. President Obama will discuss these issues on October 13 at the White House Frontiers Conference in Pittsburgh. #FutureofAI EPIC has promoted Algorithmic Transparency for many years and is currently litigating several cases on the front lines of AI, including EPIC v. FAA (drones), and Cahen v. Toyota (autonomous vehicles). (Oct. 13, 2016)
  • Reuters reported today that Yahoo scanned the private email of Yahoo users pursuant to a secret directive issued by the FBI. The email scanning technique, based on a search for key terms, recalled a similar FBI program “Carnivore” that was found to capture far more information than authorized, according to documents obtained by EPIC under the Freedom of Information Act. The news report also renews concerns about the scope of US Internet surveillance.  The European Court of Justice  struck down an EU-US data transfer deal last year, following revelations that US Internet firms collaborated with the NSA to enable mass surveillance.  A related case,  Mule Women's Rialto Rialto 'VIVA' Rialto Navy Women's 'VIVA' Mule Mule Rialto 'VIVA' Navy Navy Women's Irish Data Protection Commissioner v. Facebook, is now pending. The Irish High Court has selected EPIC as "a friend of the court" to "counterbalance" the submission of the United States intelligence community. (Oct. 4, 2016)
  • In its inaugural meeting, the FAA's newly assembled  Drone Advisory Committee  decided to address privacy concerns posed by the increasing deployment of drones in the United States. The FAA Committee, lacking  consumer and privacy representatives, was assembled to make recommendations to the FAA on drone policy. According to the National Conference on State Legislatures, at least 38 states have considered drone legislation so far this year. EPIC and leading experts previously  urged the FAA to adopt privacy rules for drones, and when the agency refused, EPIC sued.  EPIC v. FAA is currently pending before the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals. (Sep. 19, 2016)
  • EPIC has filed suit against the Federal Aviation Administration, arguing the agency failed to establish privacy rules for drones as required by Congress. Congress in 2012 ordered the FAA to issue "comprehensive" rules for drone use. EPIC and more than 100 organizations and experts subsequently urged the FAA to establish privacy protections prior to permitting widespread drone deployment. The FAA denied EPIC's petition. EPIC then sued the agency, but a federal appeals court ruled that EPIC's suit was premature because the agency had not yet issued a final rule and might still consider the privacy concerns raised by EPIC and others. The FAA then proceeded to issue final rules for small drones without privacy safeguards. EPIC is now challenging the agency final rule. (Aug. 23, 2016)
  • EPIC President Marc Rotenberg and FBI Director James Comey debated "Emerging Issues in National Security and Law Enforcement" at a plenary session of the ABA annual conference in San Francisco. Comey stated that Americans have "never had absolute privacy." Rotenberg replied that the Fifth Amendment grants absolute privacy as a Constitutional right. In response to the Director's comments that the FBI has 650 phones it can not decrypt, Rotenberg pointed out that in 2013, more than 3.1 million cell phones were stolen. "Crime would be much higher in United States if cell phone users did not have strong encryption," said Rotenberg. The EPIC amicus brief in Apple v. FBI highlighted the risk of weak encryption, and noted that stolen cell phones are tied to identity theft and financial fraud. (Aug. 7, 2016)
  • The White House hosted “ Drones and the Future of Aviation.” The FAA Administrator announced that the FAA will approve drone operations over people before the end of the year. The FAA also announced an industry-led task force that will promote voluntary privacy best practices.  In EPIC v. FAA, EPIC challenged the FAA's failure to establish drone privacy regulations following a petition endorsed by more than 100 experts and organizations. The FAA has repeatedly acknowledged the privacy risks of drones, but has refused to establish privacy safeguards. (Aug. 4, 2016)
  • In response to an EPIC Freedom of Information Act  Carhartt Tanned Bison Dark Oil Men's rwXaqr, the Department of Transportation has released to EPIC another set of  documents from the agency's secret meetings with industry groups about drone policy. The newly released documents, which summarize an extensive three-day meeting between the FAA and industry groups, is conspicuously silent on privacy, despite public  comments urging the agency to address  privacy concerns.  In a related development, the FAA  final rule on commercial drones failed to address the privacy risks of deploying  drones  in the United States.  (Jul. 14, 2016)
  • In 2015, combined state and federal wiretap applications  increased 16% from 3,555 to 4,148. But while government surveillance applications went up dramatically, the number of cases where investigators encountered encryption dropped significantly. Encryption was encountered in only 13 cases in 2015. The number of state wiretaps in which encryption was encountered decreased from 22 in 2014 to 7 in 2015.  Law enforcement claims of "going dark” continue to be undermined by surveillance reports. EPIC has repeatedly cited the  Wiretap Reports as a model  Brown Leather Beach Sandals Shoes Adjustable Genuine Slippers Slip Cowhide CNBEAU Men's Casual Non Backless wOYxqEq6f and maintains  comprehensive charts about the reports. The reports reveal, for example, that drug offenses were the most prevalent type of criminal offense investigated using wiretaps: 79 percent of all applications for intercepts (3,292 wiretaps) in 2015 cited illegal drugs as the most serious offense under investigation. (Jul. 1, 2016)
  • The FAA released the final rule on commercial drones today. Despite nearly 180 comments regarding the privacy risks of drones, the FAA failed to address the privacy risks of deploying  commercial drones into the national airspace. EPIC previously filed  suit against the FAA after more than 100 groups and experts  petitioned the agency to conduct a rulemaking on drone privacy. EPIC also  recommended the FAA implement a  national database detailing the surveillance capabilities of commercial drones. The FAA has repeatedly acknowledged the privacy risks of drone deployment, but has so far refused to adopt any privacy safeguards. (Jun. 21, 2016)
  • second batch of previously secret  documents show that the government’s secret drone task force ignored public concerns about drone surveillance. Included in the documents are opening remarks by FAA Administrator Michael Huerta, who urged the task force to take into consideration “the interests of all stakeholders,” but who declined to invite any privacy or consumer advocates to the closed door meetings. The newly released records stem from  EPIC v. DOT, a lawsuit filed to uncover records relating to the private meetings held last November in Washington, DC between agency officials and industry representatives. EPIC expects to obtain more documents from the agency. (Jun. 9, 2016)
  • The Senate Judiciary Committee held a  hearing on the FISA Amendments Act, a law that grants the government broad surveillance powers over Internet communications. The Act, commonly referred to as "Section 702,: is the basis for the NSA’s “ PRISM” program. EPIC testified before the House Judiciary Committee in 2012 on the need to limit the scope of Section 702 surveillance and to improve transparency of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. US and EU NGOs have since called for the end of the section 702. This week Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) stated that "additional reforms are needed to protect Americans’ privacy, and restore global trust in the U.S. technology industry." (May. 13, 2016)
  • The federal appeals court in Washington, DC  ruled today that EPIC’s suit against the Federal Aviation Administration must be set aside because the agency has not yet finalized the rules for drone operations in the United States. EPIC previously filed  suit against the FAA after more than 100 groups and experts  petitioned the agency to conduct a rulemaking on drone privacy. The FAA has repeatedly acknowledged the need to address privacy in drone operations, but has so far refused to adopt any privacy rules. In a related case, EPIC recently uncovered the minutes of a secret FAA drone task force. According to one of the participants, the “Current state of non-regulation negatively affects the public perception of drones. There is no regulatory recourse for anyone who is negatively affected by a small UAV [drones]." (May. 10, 2016)
  • In response to EPIC's FOIA  Carhartt Tanned Bison Dark Oil Men's rwXaqr, the Department of Transportation has released the  minutes of a  secret meeting  of the FAA drone task force. The task force included industry groups such as GoogleX, Amazon, and DJI, but consumer groups and privacy advocates were excluded from the hastily created advisory committee. The documents shed light on the secret meetings held last November. Several participants warned about privacy risks in drone deployment. The minutes also stated, "Current state of non-regulation negatively affects the public perception of drones. There is no regulatory recourse for anyone who is negatively affected by a small UAV [drones]." EPIC has urged the agency to do more to safeguard the public, and in  EPIC v. FAA, challenged the FAA's failure to establish privacy regulations for drones. (May. 9, 2016)
  • EPIC has urged the California Supreme Court to reverse a lower court decision that blocked public release of records about  "automated license plate readers" operated by the state police. The lower court held that information about the public surveillance system was an “investigative record” under California law. EPIC’s amicus  brief stated, "Public scrutiny is essential to counter the unique threats posed by these programs of broad-scale surveillance." EPIC had obtained  documents about the  FBI’s license plate reader program under the FOI law. Those records revealed that the FBI failed to address the system's privacy implications. (May. 6, 2016)
  • Yesterday FAA Administrator Michael Huerta  announced that the FAA will establish a Drone Advisory Committee. According to Administrator Huerta, the committee "will help identify and prioritize integration challenges and improvements." Intel CEO Brian Krzanich will chair the committee. The Federal Advisory Committee Act requires federal agencies to ensure that advisory committees are “objective and accessible to the public.” EPIC previously criticized the FAA Drone Registration Task Force, which met in secret and includes no consumer groups. EPIC is currently suing the FAA for the secret meeting records of the Registration Task Force. EPIC previously sued the FAA for failing to establish privacy rules for  commercial dronesEPIC v. FAA is pending before the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals. (May. 5, 2016)
  • The Department of Justice has published the  2015 FISA report, which summarizes the use of the  Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. The report also details the number of applications rejected or modified by the  FISA Court (FISC). Overall, the Government’s applications for FISA warrants has  declined since 2003  but there was a slight uptick this year with 1,456 orders granted. A significant number of orders were modified by the FISC. The FISC modified 80 orders and the Government even withdrew one application. Prior to the  USA FREEDOM Act, which limited bulk collection under section 215, the FISC modified many of those orders. (May. 3, 2016)
  • The U.S. Supreme Court has  voted to approve changes to Rule 41 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure, which will allow judges to issue "remote access" warrants. These warrants authorize mass computer searches, even when the targets are outside the jurisdiction of the court. EPIC criticized the proposal in a  statement last year, arguing that the procedure enables searches outside traditional Fourth Amendment requirements and would not provide adequate notice to those subject to search.  Congress can amend or reject the proposal. Senator Ron Wyden said today he would introduce legislation to reverse the proposal. (Apr. 28, 2016)
  • Three decisions by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) were made public this week. The Court identified serious “compliance and implementation issues” related to the Section 702 (" PRISM") surveillance program. The FISC found that the NSA did not purge personal data as required by minimization procedures, and also that the FBI failed to exclude attorney-client communications. In 2012, EPIC testified before Congress and recommended the  publication of FISC opinions to facilitate public oversight. (Apr. 20, 2016)
  • Microsoft has  sued the Department of Justice, arguing that orders which prevent the company from notifying users about surveillance are unconstitutional. These secrecy orders, issued in connection with orders to disclose users’ private information, arise in  thousands of cases each year. EPIC has  supported similar challenges to “gag orders" and has  opposed the expansion of “no notice” searches. EPIC has also  recommended notice requirements for e-mail searches. (Apr. 14, 2016)
  • European privacy officials announced today that there must be changes in the draft proposal for EU-US data transfers. The Article 29 Working Party has "strong concerns" that the current text fails to provide adequate protection against commercial misuse and bulk surveillance. The Working Party cited the complexity of the redress mechanism, the lack of independence of the ombudsman, as well as the broad uses of personal data that would be permitted under the agreement. Privacy and consumer organizations have urged the EU to oppose the Privacy Shield proposal. (Apr. 13, 2016)
  • The  report of a secret  FAA committee would relax safety rules for drones operating over populated areas. The report also makes no mention of  the privacy risks of aerial surveillance by small drones.  Like the FAA registration task force, the FAA small drones committee was composed of mostly industry members and did not include any privacy or consumer protection groups. The report recommends allowing drones to fly within 20' above a person or within 10' next to a person. EPIC previously sued the FAA for failing to establish privacy rules for  commercial dronesEPIC v. FAA is pending before the D.C. Circuit. EPIC also filed a  FOIA lawsuit against the FAA for the records of the secret drone  task force meetings. (Apr. 8, 2016)
  • The Transatlantic Consumer Dialogue has urged the European Commission to reject the "Privacy Shield," a proposal to continue the transatlantic transfer of personal data from Europe to the United States. TACD warned that Privacy Shield "does not adequately protect consumers' fundamental rights to privacy" and that it does not provide "effective and meaningful data protection." European officials are carefully reviewing the proposal. EPIC and a coalition of NGOs have urged the US to adopt a robust data protection law and end 702 surveillance. The TACD is a forum of more than 70 consumer organizations in Europe and the United States. (Apr. 7, 2016)
  • EPIC has filed a FOIA lawsuit against the Department of Transportation for records of the closed-door meetings of the "Drone Registration Task Force". The agency created the Task Force late last year to develop recommendations for registering commercial drones. The Task Force--whose membership included no civil liberties organizations or privacy advocates--met in secret last November before releasing a report. EPIC submitted extensive comments to the Task Force. EPIC's lawsuit was filed just after the FAA's Aviation Rulemaking Committee of industry groups and agency officials recommended easing restrictions that prohibit businesses from flying unmanned aerial vehicles. In EPIC v. FAA, EPIC has also challenged the FAA's failure to establish privacy rules for drones. (Apr. 4, 2016)
  • A Federal Appeals court has remanded a case challenging the NSA's bulk collection of telephone records. In Smith v. Obama, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals instructed the lower court to consider the impact of the USA Freedom Act, which ended the bulk data collection program. EPIC, joined by thirty-three technical experts and legal scholars, filed an amicus brief in the case, arguing that modern communications systems are "entirely unlike the telephone network of the 1970s" and that a 1977 case concerning "pen registers" no longer applied. EPIC also challenged the NSA bulk collection program in a petition to the Supreme Court. (Mar. 24, 2016)
  • Today EPIC filed a brief in a case before the European Court of Human Rights. The case involves a challenge brought by 10 human rights organizations arguing that surveillance by British and U.S. intelligence organizations violated their fundamental rights. In its brief, EPIC explained that the NSA's "technological capacities" enable "wide scale surveillance" and that U.S. statutes do not restrict surveillance of non-U.S. persons abroad. "The NSA collects personal data from around the world and transfer that data without adequate legal protections." EPIC routinely files amicus briefs in federal and state cases that raise novel privacy issues. This is EPIC's first brief for the Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg. (Mar. 18, 2016)
  • A Senate committee has adopted several key privacy amendments concerning drone operations in the US. The amendments, sponsored by Senator Markey (D-Mass), limit the scope of drone surveillance and require more accountability for drone operators. Markey stated, "As more and more drones take flight in our skies, the need to protect Americans' privacy is paramount." EPIC urged Congress and the FAA to establish limits on drone surveillance and recommended the FAA establish a database detailing drone surveillance capabilities. EPIC has sued the FAA for its failure to establish commercial drone privacy rules. (Mar. 16, 2016)
  • On March 16, 2016 the Senate will consider the FAA Reauthorization bill. Senator John Thune introduced the legislation to fund the operations of the the federal agency responsible for aviation safety. The bill requires drone operators to post privacy policies, but provides no meaningful privacy safeguards that would limit surveillance by drone operators. EPIC has urged Congress and the FAA to establish real limits on surveillance by drones. EPIC also recommended that the FAA to establish a national database detailing the surveillance capabilities of commercial drones. And after the agency failed to establish privacy rules mandated by Congress, EPIC filed a lawsuit, EPIC v. FAA that is now pending before the DC Circuit Court of Appeals. Mule Navy Rialto Navy 'VIVA' Women's Women's Women's Rialto Mule 'VIVA' Rialto 'VIVA' Mule Navy Rialto (Mar. 14, 2016)
  • EPIC Domestic Surveillance Project Director Jeramie Scot will testify at a hearing on before the Pennsylvania Senate Majority on "Unmanned Aerial Vehicles." The hearing will address the private and public sector use of drones. In a prepared statement, EPIC’s Scott urges the Pennsylvania Senate to enact legislation to limit both law enforcement and commercial drone surveillance. EPIC states, “The increased use of drones to conduct various forms of surveillance must be accompanied by increased privacy protections.” EPIC previously sued the FAA for failing to establish federal privacy rules for commercial drones. EPIC v. FAA is pending before the D.C. Circuit. (Mar. 14, 2016)
  • According to the New York Times, the NSA plans to disclose intercepted private communications to other federal agencies, including records of communications concerning US persons. The substantial change in agency practices "would relax longstanding restrictions on access to the contents of the phone calls and email." In 2013, EPIC and a group of legal scholars and technical experts, petitioned the NSA to undertake a public rule making on "the agency's monitoring and collection of communications traffic within the United States." EPIC has previously urged the Department of Defense to ensure that the NSA complies with the federal Privacy Act and has opposed expansion of the "Operations Records" database. (Feb. 26, 2016)
  • EPIC President Marc Rotenberg will argue EPIC v. FAA before the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals on February 10, 2016. EPIC, joined by more than 100 groups and experts, petitioned the agency to conduct a public rule-making on the privacy impact of increased drone deployment in the United States. The FAA acknowledged the importance of privacy and responded in November 2014 that it would undertake the rulemaking. But in early 2015, the agency reversed course and announced it would not establish privacy safeguards for commercial drones. As of February 5, 2016, the agency has granted more than 3,300 waivers to drone operators who lack certification to demonstrate airworthiness. (Feb. 9, 2016)
  • In comments to the FAA, EPIC urged the agency to make public the surveillance capabilities of drones operated in the United Staes. EPIC also proposed privacy safeguards for personal information. EPIC stated, "It is not the personal information of the drone registrant that should be readily available to the public, but the technical capabilities of the registered drone." The FAA recently published a rule requiring drone registration, which EPIC supported. EPIC previously sued the FAA for failing to establish privacy rules for commercial drones. EPIC v. FAA is pending before the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals. (Jan. 15, 2016)
  • The Department of Homeland Security has released a set of drone privacy best practices. The best practices reflect many of the recommendations made by EPIC in testimony to Congress, including limiting data collection, use, dissemination, and retention. The recommendations also propose a redress program so individuals can challenge inappropriate collection. The best practices are only guidelines, but a Presidential Memorandum on drones and privacy requires that all federal agencies to establish and publish drone privacy procedures by February 2016. EPIC has sued the Federal Aviation Administration, EPIC v. FAA to establish privacy rules for commercial drones. Oral arguments are scheduled before the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals on February 10. (Jan. 6, 2016)
  • Today, the House added the Cybersecurity Act of 2015 to an expansive appropriations bill. The Cybersecurity Act was negotiated behind closed doors and represents a new version of the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act (CISA). Previous versions of CISA have been opposed by a broad coalition of organizations. The current bill, like previous ones, would allow the government to obtain personal information from private companies without judicial oversight. The Act would also expand government secrecy. EPIC previously won a five-year court battle to obtain NSPD 54, a foundational legal document for U.S. cybersecurity policies that revealed the government's interest in enlisting the private sector to monitor user activity. (Dec. 16, 2015)
  • EPIC has launched a with B Closed Round Leather Toe M Winkle Solid Heels PU Pinker Low Patent US Claret AmoonyFashionWomens 6 5 Boots fvAaxqnwn for the 46 surveillance reform recommendations made two years ago by the President's Review Group on Intelligence and Communications Technologies. Although some of the recommendations have been fully implemented, the Administration has failed to implement most of them. The recommendations set out to limit NSA surveillance, expand judicial oversight, create new transparency requirements, update federal privacy laws, and create a new privacy agency. During the review process, EPIC met with the review group and submitted extensive comments to the panel, specifically urging the end of the bulk record collection program. (Dec. 15, 2015)
  • The FAA has published an rule requiring drone registration by December 21st. Owners of small drones will be required to pay a small fee and provide their name, physical address, and e-mail address. The agency announced that the registration database will be searchable, but owner e-mail addresses will not be made public. EPIC filed extensive comments on the proposed registration scheme, recommending that drones broadcast registration IDs and include information about surveillance capabilities. The FAA acknowledged EPIC's comments, but failed to adopt the recommendations. EPIC previously sued the FAA for failing to establish privacy rules for commercial drones. EPIC v. FAA is pending before the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals. (Dec. 14, 2015)
  • The Director of National Intelligence has announced that the NSA's bulk collection of domestic telephone records under "Section 215" ended yesterday when the USA Freedom Act took effect. The Freedom Act ended the NSA's 215 Program and established new transparency and accountability rules for the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. In 2012, EPIC testified before the House Judiciary Committee on the need to reform the Surveillance Court. In 2013, EPIC filed a petition in the Supreme Court, In re EPIC, arguing that the NSA program was unlawful. In 2014, EPIC and a broad coalition urged the President to end the NSA surveillance program. (Nov. 30, 2015)
  • The FAA Drone Task Force Final Report fails to ensure the safe operation of drones in the United States. The committee proposed only that drone operators (1) register online, (2) receive a universal registration number, and (3) mark the number on drones prior to operation. In comments to the agency, EPIC recommended that drones broadcast registration numbers, and that registration include drone surveillance capabilities and contact information for operators, such as phone numbers. The FAA's former top drone official told the Associated Press that drone surveillance capabilities will contribute to safety risks. EPIC previously sued the FAA for failing to establish privacy rules for commercial drones. That case is pending before the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals. (Nov. 23, 2015)
  • This week a House Committee examined " The Fast-Evolving Uses and Economic Impacts of Drones." Chairman Burgess, echoing comments from other committee members, stated, " there are important questions around privacy laws and safety." The FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 required the FAA to develop a "comprehensive plan" to integrate drones into national airspace by September 30, 2015. Despite missing the deadline, the FAA has granted over 2,220 exemptions for commercial drones even as safety and privacy concerns increase. More than 100 privacy experts and organizations petitioned the FAA to establish privacy safeguards prior to the deployment of drones. EPIC has sued the agency, EPIC v. FAA, to establish privacy rules for commercial drones. (Nov. 20, 2015)
  • EPIC has filed an additional brief in EPIC v. FAA. The case follows from an act of Congress requiring a "comprehensive plan" for drone deployment and EPIC's petition, joined by more than 100 hundred experts, that urged the agency to establish drone privacy rules. In the most recent court filing, EPIC challenged the agency's rationale for dismissing the petition. EPIC also argued the FAA improperly ignored privacy concerns in a recent rulemaking on small drones. The FAA conceded that drones, "because of their size and capabilities, may enhance privacy concerns," but still did not propose privacy safeguards. The United States Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit is expected to hear argument in the case early next year. Rialto Women's Mule 'VIVA' Mule Rialto Navy 'VIVA' Women's Navy Rialto Navy Rialto Women's 'VIVA' Mule (Nov. 19, 2015)
  • In comments to the FAA, EPIC urged the agency to require all drone operators to register in a federal drone registry. An FAA task force, lacking any privacy experts, is developing a plan for a national registry. EPIC said registration is critical for public safety and privacy protection. EPIC recommended that the FAA require drones to broadcast identification information and that the registration database detail a drone's surveillance capabilities. EPIC also urged the agency to provide privacy protections for the personal information of hobbyists. Earlier this year, EPIC sued the FAA for failing to establish privacy rules for commercial drones as mandated by Congress. (Nov. 11, 2015)
  • A federal court in Washington D.C. has ordered the National Security Administration to halt the bulk collection of domestic telephone records, ruling that the indiscriminate collection violates the Fourth Amendment. Following the USA Freedom Act, the telephone records program will expire at the end of the month. The government has moved to stay the judge's order. In 2013, EPIC brought the first challenge to the NSA surveillance program in the Supreme Court. EPIC has also testified before Congress on the need to reform the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, and led a broad coalition urging the President to end the NSA surveillance program. (Nov. 10, 2015)
  • The Federal Aviation Administration has filed a brief in response to EPIC's lawsuit, EPIC v. FAA, charging that the agency failed to establish privacy rules for commercial drones as required by law. EPIC sued the agency after Congress required a "comprehensive plan" for drone deployment and a petition, backed by more than one hundred organizations and privacy experts, called for privacy safeguards. In its response to EPIC, the FAA acknowledged that the comprehensive plan "recognizes the privacy issues that may be heightened" by drone surveillance. The FAA also conceded that drones, "because of their size and capabilities, may enhance privacy concerns," but the agency has still not begun the process of developing regulations to safeguard privacy. (Nov. 5, 2015)
  • Rep. Jason Chaffetz has introduced a bill in the U.S. Congress that would prohibit government agencies from using cell-site simulators (or stingrays) without a warrant in most circumstances. The Cell-Site Simulator Act of 2015 would also explicitly exclude stingrays from the pen register statute currently used by law enforcement to conduct stingray operations with less than probable cause. The government would still be able to conduct warrantless stingray operations under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act or in emergencies. An EPIC FOIA lawsuit in 2012 revealed that the FBI was using stingrays without a warrant. EPIC has also filed amicus briefs arguing that cell phone location data is protected by the Fourth Amendment. (Nov. 4, 2015)
  • The FAA has released the membership list of the Drone Registration Task Force, which is charged with drafting recommendations for a federal drone registry. Notably, the Task Force does not include any privacy organization or privacy experts. EPIC filed an expedited FOIA request for the Task Force membership list and called on the FAA to publicly release the information. Earlier this year, EPIC sued the FAA for failing to establish privacy rules for commercial drones as mandated by Congress. The public may submit comments on the Drone Registration plan however the Task Force meeting location and agenda remains secret. (Nov. 2, 2015)
  • EPIC, joined by over 30 other organizations, urged the Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper, to disclose data on how many Americans are caught up in NSA surveillance of foreign targets. Americans’ communications are incidentally collected under Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, and the FBI searches this data without a warrant or judicial oversight. EPIC, in Janel Nine Fashion West Leather Sandals Women's Black ffwEz4S8q before Congress and comments to the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board, has repeatedly called for greater oversight and transparency of surveillance authorities. (Nov. 2, 2015)
  • One of the military's controversial surveillance blimps has broken free from its tether in Maryland and is now drifting over Pennsylvania. According to a report, the blimp is now floating at 16,000 feet and dragging a 6,700 foot cable. Through a FOIA lawsuit filed earlier this year, EPIC uncovered details about the Army's plan to fly two "JLENS" blimps over the Washington, DC area. The several thousand documents uncovered by EPIC describe the use of JLENS, as well as the Army's relationship with the contractor Raytheon, which has proposed a video surveillance capability. (Oct. 28, 2015)
  • Leading digital rights and consumer privacy organizations meeting in Amsterdam have issued a declaration "Fundamental Rights are Fundamental." Calling attention to the recent success of Max Schrems and the failure of self-regulation, the organizations said the "Bridges" report is "remarkably out of touch with the current legal reality and what we need to do to address it." The NGO leaders also criticized the organizers of the Amsterdam conference for "the failure to engage" many new challenges to data protection, including "Big Data" and drone surveillance. Privacy campaigner Simon Davies wrote, "There has never been a moment in history when the privacy regulator community needs to do more to restore trust and relevance. Instead, this week signals a new low in that trust." (Oct. 28, 2015)
  • Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) urged fellow Senators to remove a proposed open government exemption in a pending cybersecurity bill. The Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act (CISA), said Sen. Leahy, "contains an overly broad new FOIA exemption that is both unnecessary and harmful." Sen. Leahy called the FOIA "our nation's premier transparency law," and said that any modifications must go through the Senate Judiciary Committee. "The Senate must have an open and honest debate about the Senate Intelligence Committee's bill and its implications for Americans' privacy and government transparency," remarked the Senator. Last year, EPIC won a five-year court battle against the NSA for NSPD 54, the foundational legal document for U.S. cybersecurity policies. EPIC has also set out recommendations for FOIA reform. (Oct. 27, 2015)
  • In a letter today, EPIC called on the FAA and Department of Transportation to make public the members of a new drone task force. The task force, announced last week, will make recommendations for a federal drone registry. The Transportation Secretary said that the task force will be composed of 25 to 30 individuals, but it is unknown whether privacy and safety advocates will be included. EPIC also filed an expedited FOIA request for the information, citing the fast-approaching November 20th deadline for the task force's recommendations. (Oct. 27, 2015)
  • The House Subcommittee on Information Technology will examine law enforcement use of "Stingrays," a technique for tracking cell phones users. The Department of Justice adopted guidelines that require a warrant before using Stingray devices to track the location of mobile devices. Senators Grassley and Leahy recently asked DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson to adopt a similar policy for DHS. California passed a law requiring a warrant for a Stingray. Documents obtained by EPIC in a FOIA lawsuit revealed the FBI was using the cell-site simulators without a warrant. EPIC also filed amicus briefs in U.S. v. Jones and State v. Earls, arguing that a warrant is required to obtain location information from cell phone subscribers. (Oct. 21, 2015)
  • The Department of Transportation and FAA announced that drone operators will be required to register with a national drone registration database. A task force will develop recommendations for the registration process by November 20. The registration requirement is aimed at protecting public safety and promoting accountability, but creates new privacy risks. EPIC sued the FAA to develop privacy regulations for commercial drones. In EPIC v. FAA, EPIC recently argued that the agency's failure to establish privacy rules for commercial drones is a violation of law and should be overturned. (Oct. 20, 2015)
  • The Supreme Court of New Mexico ruled in State v. Davis that the Fourth Amendment prohibits the warrantless aerial surveillance of, and interference with, a person's private property. Specifically, the court found that "prolonged hovering close enough to the ground to cause interference with Davis' property transformed this surveillance from a lawful observation of an area left open to public view to an unconstitutional intrusion into Davis' expectation of privacy." EPIC filed a friend of the court brief and presented oral argument before the Court. EPIC said that aerial surveillance threatens privacy and property interests and that surveillance in the airspace close to a home violates the Fourth Amendment. The New Mexico Supreme Court agreed. EPIC frequently amicus briefs on emerging privacy and civil liberties issues. (Oct. 19, 2015)
  • California Governor Jerry Brown has signed laws that provide California residents with privacy protections against drones and SmartTVs. AB856 prohibits Chunky Women's Bootie Grey Elastic Panel Heel Inner Breckelle's Zip wzqvfBf flight in the airspace above private property with the intent of taking photos, video, or a sound recording of a person. AB1116 prohibits the use of voice recognition on SmartTVs unless consumers are "prominently inform[ed]" during the initial setup of the TV. The new California law also prohibits the use of voice recording for advertising purposes. Earlier this year, EPIC filed a complaint to the Federal Trade Commission about Samsung's SmartTVs and recommended new consumer safeguards. EPIC has also recommended drone privacy safeguards to the US Congress, the FAA, and State courts. (Oct. 9, 2015)
  • The House Subcommittee on Aviation held a hearing on drone safety after the FAA's failure to meet a Congressional deadline to implement comprehensive drone regulations. The FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 required the agency to develop a "Comprehensive Plan" to integrate drones into the national airspace by September 30, 2015. The agency missed the deadline. However, the FAA has granted over a 1,700 exemptions for drones to operate in the US even as safety and privacy concerns increase. Chairman LaBiondo (R-NJ) said at the hearing, "The real possibility of a mid-air collision must be taken seriously in order to prevent tragic consequences." EPIC recently sued the agency, EPIC v. FAA, to establish privacy rules for commercial drones. (Oct. 9, 2015)
  • FAA has failedShowudesigns Color Sneaker Breathable Running 2 Shoes Animal Walking Women Sport Girls UUnzxS1 to meet a Congressional deadline to implement comprehensive drone regulations. The FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 required the agency to develop a "Comprehensive Plan" to integrate drones into the national airspace by September 30, 2015. The agency missed the deadline. However, the FAA has granted over a 1,700 exemptions for drones to operate in the US even as safety and privacy concerns increase. EPIC recently sued the agency, EPIC v. FAA, to establish privacy rules for commercial drones. (Oct. 2, 2015)
  • EPIC has filed the opening brief in a lawsuit against the Federal Aviation Administration. EPIC charged that the agency’s failure to establish privacy rules for commercial drones is a violation of law and should be overturned. The EPIC lawsuit followed an Act of Congress requiring a “comprehensive plan” for the integration of drones and petition, backed by more than one hundred organizations and privacy experts, calling for privacy safeguards. EPIC stated that “As the agency has determined not to issue rules, contrary to the FAA Modernization Act and EPIC’s Rulemaking Petition, the Court must now order the agency to do so.” The case is EPIC v. FAA, No. 15-1075. The United States Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit is expected to hear oral argument in the case early next year. Press Release - EPIC v. FAA (Sep. 29, 2015)
  • Following lobbying by several tech companies, California Governor Jerry Brown has vetoed a bill that would have prohibited drone trespass over private property. Neighboring Oregon provides a civil action against drone operators who fly lower than 400 feet over private property. EPIC has testified in Congress in support of comprehensive drone privacy legislation, argued before the New Mexico Supreme Court in support of a warrant requirement for low altitude aerial surveillance, and sued the FAA for failing to establish drone privacy safeguards. (Sep. 14, 2015)
  • The House Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing on Unmanned Aerial Vehicles: Commercial Applications and Public Policy Implications. The FAA has granted nearly 1,500 exemptions to commercial drone operators even as public safety risks and privacy concerns increase. EPIC has sued the agency for its failure to establish privacy safeguards prior to the deployment of commercial drones in the United States. The lawsuit, EPIC v. FAA, follows an act of Congress requiring the agency to develop a "comprehensive plan" for the safe integration of drones in domestic airspace, and a petition, organized by EPIC and joined by over 100 experts organizations, calling on the FAA to establish privacy rules. EPIC previously testified in Congress in support of strong privacy legislation. (Sep. 9, 2015)
  • A divided panel of the D.C. Circuit has reversed a lower court decision that the NSA bulk metadata collection program violated the Fourth Amendment. The judges in Aerobics Quick Dive Yoga Beach Shoes gracosy Dry Barefoot Women Sports For Beach Pink Water Men Swim Surf Shoes Shoes wxxXSqZF agreed that the plaintiff did not have sufficient evidence that his telephone records were collected. But the majority of the panel agreed that the plaintiff should be allowed to conduct "discovery" to prove standing, and remanded the case to the lower court. In 2013, EPIC filed a petition in the Supreme Court, In re EPIC, arguing that the NSA program was unlawful. In 2014, EPIC and a broad coalition PY Ballet Page Women's BP016 Bettie Leopard aqY7p0Yw. (Aug. 29, 2015)
  • The federal appeals court in Washington, DC has ordered briefing in EPIC's lawsuit against the Federal Aviation Administration. EPIC filed suit in March after the FAA failed to establish privacy rules for commercial drones as mandated by Congress. The EPIC lawsuit followed an earlier petition to the agency backed by more than a hundred organizations and privacy experts. The FAA had asked the D.C. Circuit to dismiss EPIC's lawsuit. But in today's order, the appellate court directed the parties to prepare merits briefing for a three-judge panel which will consider the case. (Aug. 13, 2015)
  • EPIC submitted a statement for the record today for the Boston City Council hearing on mandating body cameras for the Boston Police. EPIC opposes the use of "police cams" and warned the city council that body cameras could "become the next surveillance technology disproportionately aimed at the most marginalized members of society." EPIC also pointed to the potential liability for cities if harmful images are posted online. EPIC explained that there are "more productive means to achieve police accountability that do not carry the risk of increasing surveillance." EPIC stressed that if body cameras are deployed, police departments must comply with all privacy and open government laws. (Aug. 5, 2015)
  • The Director of National Intelligence announced today that the NSA analysis of "section 215" telephone records previously gathered will end when the USA FREEDOM Act goes into effect on November 29, 2015. Earlier this month, the U.S. Surveillance Court ruled that the NSA could continue collecting records during a 180 day transition period, despite an earlier decision finding the program was unlawful. In 2012, EPIC testified before the House Judiciary Committee on the need to reform the Surveillance Court. In 2013, EPIC filed a petition in the Supreme Court, In re EPIC, arguing that the NSA program was unlawful. In 2014, EPIC and a broad coalition PY Ballet Page Women's BP016 Bettie Leopard aqY7p0Yw. (Jul. 27, 2015)
  • Several states have recently enacted new privacy laws. New Hampshire and Oregon passed student privacy legislation modeled after California's Student Online Personal Information Protection Act. Rhode Island and Connecticut enacted new consumer privacy and data breach notification laws. A new Minnesota law limits the data police may capture using automated license plate readers and requires the deletion of all data not relevant to an investigation. And the Freedom from Unwanted Surveillance Act, a law in Florida regulating the commercial use of drones, went into force this week. EPIC's State Policy Project is monitoring privacy bills nationwide. (Jul. 2, 2015)
  • In 2014, combined state and federal wiretap applications decreased 1%, from 3,577 to 3,555. Investigators encountered encryption in only 25 cases, and were able to obtain plain text in all but four cases. This fact contradicts claims that law enforcement agencies are "going dark" as a result of new encryption technologies. Of the 3,544 arrests based on wiretaps in 2014, only 553 resulted in convictions. The annual Wiretap Report, details government surveillance and provides insight into the debate over surveillance and the use of encryption. EPIC has repeatedly cited the annual Wiretap Report as a model for greater transparency of other surveillance activities . EPIC also maintains comprehensive tables and charts on electronic surveillance. (Jul. 2, 2015)
  • The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court has reauthorized the collection of domestic telephone records for 180 days. The Surveillance Court ignored the recent decision of the Federal Court of Appeals, which held that the NSA bulk collection program is unlawful. In 2012, EPIC testified before the House Judiciary Committee on the need to reform the Surveillance Court. In 2013, EPIC filed a petition in the Supreme Court, In re EPIC, arguing that the NSA program was unlawful. In 2014, EPIC and a broad coalition PY Ballet Page Women's BP016 Bettie Leopard aqY7p0Yw. Congress then passed the Freedom Act to end program, but the FISC didn't get the memo. (Jul. 1, 2015)
  • The Senate has rejected an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act for 2016 that would transfer user data from private companies to government agencies without judicial oversight. Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt) urged Senators to oppose the amendment, stating "we need a cyber-security bill, not a cyber-surveillance bill." Last year, EPIC won a five-year court battle against the NSA for NSPD 54-the foundational legal document for U.S. cybersecurity policies. The Directive reveals the NSA's interest in enlisting companies to monitor user activity in the United States. (Jun. 17, 2015)
  • EPIC has filed extensive comments with the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board, urging enhanced oversight of Executive Order 12333. The Presidential Order was originally adopted in 1981 to limit domestic surveillance but now provides the basis for NSA mass surveillance programs. EPIC called for: (1) new limits on data collection and disclosure; (2) audit trails for surveillance activities; and (3) published legal justifications for surveillance programs. EPIC is also pursuing open government requests concerning 12333 surveillance activities with the NSA, the Attorney General, and the Director of National Intelligence. A related EPIC FOIA case, EPIC v. NSA, led to the public release of the NSA's cyber security authority. (Jun. 17, 2015)
  • South Carolina has become the first state to require law enforcement agencies to deploy body cameras. However, the law exempts police body camera footage from public records law, which appears contrary to the stated goal of promoting police accountability. Many states are considering similar legislation and EPIC's State Policy Project is monitoring bills nationwide. EPIC has submitted testimony to Congress and the D.C. City Council opposing the deployment of body cameras. But where body-worn cameras are deployed, EPIC recommends that the police agencies comply with open government laws. (Jun. 12, 2015)
  • Florida, a state with very broad open government laws, has exempted police body camera footage obtained inside a private residence, a health care, mental health care or social services facility or is taken in a place that a reasonable person would expect to be private from public records law. Many states are considering similar legislation and EPIC's State Policy Project is monitoring bills nationwide. EPIC has submitted testimony to Congress and the D.C. City Council in opposition to the deployment of body cameras. But, where body-worn cameras are deployed, EPIC recommends no exemptions from open government laws. (May. 27, 2015)
  • The Justice Department has released extensive "Policy Guidance" for the use of drones by federal agencies. The Guidance bans the use of drones to monitor activities protected by the First Amendment, requires routine logs of drone use, and requires the protection of civil liberties and privacy in all cases. However, the Guidance "does not create any right, benefit, trust, or responsibility" enforceable against the United States. EPIC supports the recommendations. EPIC has also testified before Congress in support of a comprehensive drone privacy law, petitioned the FAA for drone privacy regulations, and sued the FAA when the agency failed to create privacy safeguards. (May. 25, 2015)
  • EPIC submitted a statement for the record today for the Senate hearing "Can Technology Increase Protection for Law Enforcement Officers and the Public?". EPIC opposes the use of "police cams" and warned Congress that body cameras could "become the next surveillance technology disproportionately aimed at the most marginalized members of society." EPIC also pointed to the potential liability for cities if harmful images are posted online. EPIC explained that there are "more productive means to achieve police accountability that do not carry the risk of increasing surveillance." EPIC stressed that if body cameras are deployed, police departments must comply with all privacy and open government laws. (May. 20, 2015)
  • Florida has a new law prohibiting the use of drones to intentionally record images of people on private property if a reasonable expectation of privacy exists. The law applies to law enforcement and private individuals, and provides for civil damages and injunctive relief. The law follows Florida's 2013 law requiring that police obtain a warrant to use drones to collect evidence. Many states are considering similar legislation and EPIC's State Policy Project is monitoring bills nationwide. EPIC has also testified in Congress in support of comprehensive drone privacy legislation, argued before the New Mexico Supreme Court in support of the warrant requirement, and sued the FAA for failing to establish drone privacy safeguards. (May. 17, 2015)
  • The House of Representatives has passed the USA Freedom Act of 2015. The bill would end the NSA's controversial domestic telephone record collection program--a program the Second Circuit Court of Appeals recently ruled was unlawful. The Freedom Act would also establish new transparency requirements for the Foreign Intelligence Court, recommended by EPIC in Janel Nine Fashion West Leather Sandals Women's Black ffwEz4S8q before the House Judiciary Committee in 2012. EPIC also opposed renewal of the NSA's Section 215 orders and petitioned the Supreme Court to suspend the program. The Senate is expected to take up the bill before the June 1 expiration of Section 215 of the Patriot Act. (May. 14, 2015)
  • EPIC National Security Counsel Jeramie Scott testified today at a hearing before the D.C. City Council regarding police body-worn cameras. EPIC opposes deployment of "police cams" and warned the D.C. Council of the risks of mass public surveillance. EPIC also pointed to potential liability for the city if harmful images are posted online. EPIC's Scott said there are "more productive means to achieve police accountability that do not carry the risk of increasing surveillance." Scott added that if body cameras are deployed, then the Metropolitan Police Department must comply with all privacy and accountability laws. (May. 8, 2015)
  • EPIC has launched the EPIC State Policy Project to track legislation across the county concerning privacy and civil liberties. The EPIC State Project will identify new developments and model legislation. The Project builds on EPIC's extensive work on emerging privacy and civil liberties issues in the states. The new State Project will focus on student privacy, drones, consumer data security, data breach notification, location privacy, genetic privacy, the right to be forgotten, and auto black boxes. (May. 5, 2015)
  • EPIC has filed extensive comments, urging the Federal Aviation Administration to propose drone privacy safeguards. In 2012, EPIC led a coalition of over 100 experts and organizations in petitioning the FAA to establish privacy protections prior to the deployment of commercial drones in the United States. EPIC stated that, "As a consequence of the FAA’s failure to establish drone privacy rules, millions of Americans now face the possibility of unchecked monitoring and harassment." EPIC has sued the agency for its failure to protect the privacy of Americans. (Apr. 25, 2015)
  • Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell has introduced a bill that would extend the Patriot Act until 2020. Specifically, S. 1035 would renew the controversial Section 215 authorities for the NSA's telephone record collection program. The 215 authority is set to expire on June 1. EPIC urged the President and the Attorney General not to renew the 215 order after it became clear that the NSA routinely collected the telephone records of US citizens. EPIC previously petitioned the Supreme Court to suspend the program, arguing that the NSA program exceeded the section 215 legal authority. (Apr. 23, 2015)
  • Human rights organizations have appealed a judgment concerning GCHQ spying to the European Court of Human Rights. Liberty first challenged the GHCQ in case before the UK Investigative Powers Tribunal. The Tribunal ruled in December that the GCHQ complied Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights, but in February 2015 the Tribunal held that the oversight rules were not made accessible to the public as required by Article 8. (Apr. 23, 2015)
  • As the result of a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit, EPIC has obtained several thousand pages about the blimps deployed by the Army, just north of the nation's capital. The records document the use of "JLENS," as well as the Army's relationship with the contractor Raytheon, which has proposed a video surveillance capability. The Army has disputed the claim that JLENS has surveillance capability. EPIC has recently filed suit against the FAA for failure to establish privacy rules for commercial drones in the US. (Apr. 15, 2015)
  • Today EPIC filed suit in the federal appeals court in Washington, DC arguing that the Federal Aviation Administration failed to establish privacy rules for commercial drones as mandated by Congress. Congress had required the FAA to develop a "comprehensive plan" for drone deployment. In 2012 EPIC and more than 100 organizations and experts also urged the federal agency to establish privacy protections prior to the deployment of commercial drones in the United States. The FAA denied the EPIC petition, claiming it "did not raise an immediate safety concern." Then last month the FAA announced a rulemaking on commercial drones and purposefully ignored privacy concerns, stating that privacy "issues are beyond the scope of this rule making." (Mar. 31, 2015)
  • In a prepared statement for a hearing on a bill to limit drone surveillance, EPIC urged Maryland state legislatures to add additional privacy protections. The bill prohibits Chunky Women's Bootie Grey Elastic Panel Heel Inner Breckelle's Zip wzqvfBf surveillance of "specifically targeted individuals or private property," except where a valid search warrant is obtained or explicit consent is given. EPIC recommended that the bill specifically limit police drone surveillance of First Amendment protected activities, require use and data limitations, and include additional transparency and accountability measures. EPIC previously petitioned the FAA to establish clear privacy guidelines for commercial drones and urged Congress to establish privacy safeguards to limit drone surveillance. (Mar. 17, 2015)
  • Wikimedia filed a federal lawsuit against the NSA over the mass surveillance of Internet communications. Wikimedia asked the court to halt the government's upstream collection—the practice of directly tapping into the Internet backbone that carries communications across the U.S. Wikimedia argues that upstream collection exceeds statutory authority and violates the First and Fourth Amendments, as well as Article III of the Constitution. Explaining the case, Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales wrote, "Privacy is an essential right. It makes freedom of expression possible, and sustains freedom of inquiry and association." In 2013, EPIC petitioned the Supreme Court to stop the NSA's bulk telephone metadata program. (Mar. 10, 2015)
  • A federal judge has granted in part EPIC's motion for summary judgment in a FOIA case about the government's surveillance of Wikileaks supporters. Three divisions of the Justice Department - the FBI, the National Security Division, and the Criminal Division - failed to provide any documents in response to EPIC's FOIA request. The FBI stated that there was no surveillance of supporters and that an investigation was ongoing. Judge Rothstein sided with the FBI and the Criminal Division, but held that the National Security Division had failed to justify its withholdings. (Mar. 5, 2015)
  • Senator Markey and Representative Welch introduced the Drone Aircraft Privacy and Transparency Act of 2015. The Act would regulate the use of drones in the United States. The Drone Privacy Act requires publicly available data collection statements from operators and warrants for drone surveillance by law enforcement. Recently announced rules by the FAA and White House "fail to adequately protect the privacy of Americans," according to the Congressmen. The Drone Privacy Act incorporates recommendations by EPIC in testimony to Congress and comments to federal agencies. EPIC petitioned the FAA to establish clear privacy rules for commercial drone operators. (Mar. 3, 2015)
  • The Federal Aviation Administration announced a public rulemaking for the integration of small commercial drones into the National airspace. The rules will establish safety procedures but will not address privacy concerns. The agency stated that privacy "issues are beyond the scope of this rule making." EPIC and 100+ organizations, experts, and members of the public petitioned the FAA to conduct a public rulemaking on the privacy impact of domestic drone use. Several members of Congress, including Senator Markey and Senator Paul have urged the establishment of privacy laws before surveillance drones are deployed in the United States. (Feb. 19, 2015)
  • The President has issued a new Executive Order requiring all federal agencies to adopt privacy rules for drone use. The Order is intended to limit the collection and use of personally identifiable information. The rules will also require agencies to adopt transparency and accountability procedures for drone use. The Order incorporates recommendations made by EPIC in testimony to Congress and comments to several federal agencies. The Federal Aviation Administration has also proposed new regulations for commercial Chunky Women's Bootie Grey Elastic Panel Heel Inner Breckelle's Zip wzqvfBf use in the United States. These rules will establish safety procedures for drone use, including maximum height, weight and line-of-sight operation, but the rules do not address the privacy impact of commercial drone use. EPIC petitioned the FAA to establish clear privacy rules for commercial drone operators. (Feb. 15, 2015)
  • The FAA has settled a case, Huerta v. Pirker, that challenged the agency's ability to regulate the commercial use of drones. The settlement requires the drone operator to pay a $1,100 fine for violating the FAA regulation. Despite the ban, the agency continues to grant exceptions for commercial drone use. A small drone recently crashed on the White House grounds, raising additional concerns the anticipated deployment of drones in the United States. EPIC has petitioned the FAA to establish clear privacy rules for the operation of commercial drones. (Jan. 27, 2015)
  • The DHS Office of Inspector General has released a new report on the drone surveillance program operated on the US border. The Inspector General found that the government "has invested significant funds in a program that has not achieved the expected results, and it cannot demonstrate how much the program has improved border security." The report also found that Customs and Border Protection underestimated the cost of operations. The Inspector General recommends tabling any expansion of the drone surveillance program. In February 2013, EPIC petitioned the agency to suspend the border surveillance program pending the establishment of concrete privacy regulations. The petition followed an EPIC Freedom of Information Act request, which found that border drones carry advanced surveillance equipment that could intercept electronic communications and identify human targets on the ground. For more information, see EPIC: Domestic Drones and EPIC Spotlight on Surveillance: Drones - Eyes in the Sky. (Jan. 6, 2015)
  • Senator Rockefeller, the outgoing Chair of the Senate Commerce Committee and a leading privacy champion, introduced a bill to require privacy safeguards in the commercial operation of drones. The Unmanned Aircraft Systems Privacy Act of 2014 would prohibit surveillance of individuals by companies unless explicit prior consent is obtained and would require the development of remote identification transmission technologies for drones. The bill would also provide a private right on action against invasions of privacy in violation of the act and grant the FTC additional authority to regulate on commercial drone privacy issues. EPIC previously testified before Congress in support of a drone privacy law. EPIC recommended data use and retention limitations as well as additional transparency and accountability measures for drone operators. For more information, see EPIC Spotlight on Surveillance: Drones - Eyes in the Sky and EPIC: Domestic Drones. (Dec. 24, 2014)
  • EPIC filed an amicus brief in a New Mexico Supreme Court case considering the warrantless search of private property. State v. Davis concerns law enforcement surveillance in a low-flying helicopter. EPIC argued that warrantless surveillance around a person's home violates both property interests and an individual's reasonable expectation of privacy. EPIC also warned the New Mexico high court that "Drones will enable broader use of aerial surveillance by law enforcement" agencies. EPIC explained that "it will be necessary to establish privacy rights to protect against constant monitoring." EPIC previously testified before Congress in support of a drone privacy law and petitioned the FAA to establish privacy safeguards for drone use. For more information, see EPIC: State v. Davis and Urethane BalaMasa Womens Ballet Toe On Low Uppers Pointed Pull Silver Flats Cut q8x1nwSfq. (Dec. 8, 2014)
  • In a letter to EPIC, the Federal Aviation Administration denied a petition to initiate a public rulemaking to address privacy and civil liberties issues posed by domestic drones. The agency stated it was not required to solicit public comments on the privacy implications of drones because privacy was "not an immediate safety concern." In March 2012, EPIC joined by over 100 other organizations, experts, and members of the public petitioned the FAA to "conduct a notice and comment rulemaking on the impact of privacy and civil liberties related to the use of drones in the United States." The agency published a notice with proposed privacy requirements for drone operators at FAA designated drone test sites. EPIC submitted comments in response to the notice, urging the agency to mandate minimum privacy standards for drone operators. After considering numerous public comments on the privacy impact of aerial drones, the FAA proposed that test site operators develop privacy policies but did not require any specific baseline privacy standards for drone operators. For more information, see EPIC: Domestic Drones and EPIC Spotlight on Surveillance: Drones - Eyes in the Sky. (Dec. 1, 2014)
  • EPIC's Spotlight on Surveillance Project returns to focus attention on domestic drone surveillance. Congress recently mandated that the Federal Aviation Administration integrate drones into the National Airspace, raising concerns about both safety and privacy. The FAA has begun granting limited exemptions to the current ban on commercial drones. EPIC's Spotlight "Eyes in the Sky" examines the surveillance capabilities of drone technology and recommend comprehensive privacy legislation. EPIC has also testified in Congress in support of drone privacy law, urged the FAA to mandate minimum privacy standards, and pursued several significant FOIA cases. For more information, see EPIC's Spotlight on Surveillance on Drones and EPIC: EPIC v. Army (Surveillance Blimps). (Oct. 23, 2014)
  • The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled in United States v. Dreyer that an agent for the Naval Criminal Investigative Service violated Defense Department regulations and the Posse Comitatus Act when he conducted a surveillance operation in Washington state to identify civilians who might be sharing illegal files. The 1878 Act prevents the U.S. military from enforcing laws against civilians. The appeals court ruled that the NCIS intrusion into civilian networks showed “a profound lack of regard for the important limitations on the role of the military in our civilian society.” The court also ruled that the evidence obtained by NCIS should be suppressed to “deter future violations.” In a petition to the Supreme Court, EPIC challenged the NSA’s surveillance of domestic communications. The NSA is a component of the Department of Defense. For more information, see Women's Faux Ankle Buckle Leather Bootie Heel Chunky apricot gBqwOpv and EPIC v. DOJ: Warrantless Wiretapping Program. (Sep. 26, 2014)
  • The Federal Aviation Administration granted six exemptions for the commercial use of drones to companies in the film and television industry this week. The agency found that the proposed operation do not “pose a threat to national airspace users or national security.” Safety requirements include: line of site tracking, restrict flights to the “sterile area” on the set, inspection after each flight, and prohibiting operation at night. The agency is currently considering another 40 requests from various commercial entities. Currently, no privacy protections are in place to address the commercial use of drones. EPIC has testified in Congress in support of a comprehensive drone privacy law—calling for use limitations, data retention limitations, transparency, and public accountability. The Federal Aviation Administration to develop drone privacy guidelines after an EPIC-lead coalition petition. EPIC also urged the agency to mandate minimum privacy standards for drone operators. For more information, see EPIC: Domestic Drones. (Sep. 26, 2014)
  • According to the Washington Post, the Department of Army will not deploy video surveillance cameras over the nation's capital. The announcement follows the release of documents to EPIC in a Freedom Information Act lawsuit. The blimps provide radar-based aerial surveillance and targeting capabilities. A recent video by the contractor Raytheon revealed that 24/7 video surveillance feed is easily incorporated. An Army Spokesperson told the Post that the blimps will "absolutely, 100 percent" not include video capacity. A similar EPIC FOIA case against the Bureau of Customs and Border Protection revealed that drones are designed to incorporate advance video surveillance gear even when not initially deployed. For more information, see EPIC: EPIC v. Army - Surveillance Blimps, EPIC: Domestic Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) and Drones, and EPIC: Freedom of Information Act Litigation. (Sep. 8, 2014)
  • According to reports, President Obama is set to issue an executive order on drone privacy. The order would call for the development of voluntary best practices for the commercial use of drones. Senator Markey and Representative Welch immediately responded to the reports with a letter to the President urging "strong, enforceable rules - not voluntary best practices...." EPIC has testified in Congress in support of a comprehensive drone privacy law. EPIC called for drone legislation to include use limitations, data retention limitations, transparency, and public accountability. The Federal Aviation Administration agreed to address drone privacy issues after an EPIC-led coalition petitioned the agency two years ago. Last year, EPIC urged the agency to mandate minimum privacy standards for drone operators. For more information, see EPIC: Domestic Drones. (Jul. 25, 2014)
  • The Federal Aviation Administration released a proposed Special Rule for Model Aircraft which will prohibit the use of drones for the delivery of packages and other commercial services. At the end of last year, Amazon had raised the prospect of delivering packages via drones. The agency has requested comments on the proposal. A recent Washington Post series highlighted numerous close encounters between commercial aircraft and small drones, as well as many incidents were drones fell from the sky. The National Park Service has prohibited the use of drones in national parks, citing safety concerns. Last year, EPIC urged the Federal Aviation Administration to mandate minimum privacy standards for drone operators. For more information, see EPIC: Domestic Drones. (Jun. 30, 2014)
  • The Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit today made public the legal analysis justifying the Administration's controversial "targeted killing" drone program. The action follows an earlier ruling by the federal appeals court in New York Times v. Department of Justice. The government had argued that this memo could not be disclosed under the Freedom of Information Act because it was a privileged "deliberative" document. But the plaintiffs explained that the government relied on the analysis to defend the program and that it operated as secret law. EPIC filed an amicus brief, supported by seven open government organization, arguing that under the FOIA such a legal opinion by the Justice Department cannot be a deliberative documents. The federal appeals court agreed, and has now released the opinion to the public. Last week, in EPIC v. NSA the Department of Justice released to EPIC NSPD-54, the President Directive concerning cybersecurity. For more information, see EPIC: New York Times v. DOJ and EPIC v. DOJ - Warrantless Wiretapping Program. (Jun. 23, 2014)
  • The Senate Judiciary Committee will hold an oversight hearing for the Department of Homeland Security. Secretary Jeh Johnson will testify. EPIC has objected to many of the agency's mass surveillance practices, including the secret profiling of American air travelers, the use of drones for aerial surveillance, the amassing of information on Americans into "fusion centers", and the collection of biometric identifiers. EPIC has also warned that the DHS Chief Privacy Officer has failed to safeguard privacy, a legal obligation for that office. According to the DHS, the number of privacy complaints increased in 2013. EPIC has several Freedom of Information Act case pending against the DHS. In an earlier case, EPIC determined the DHS was monitoring social media and news organizations for criticisms of the agency. Another EPIC case led to the removal of the x-ray backscatter devices from US airports. For more information, see EPIC v. DHS - Social Media Monitoring and EPIC v. DHS (Suspension of Body Scanner Program). (Jun. 10, 2014)
  • Over a dozen news media organizations filed an amicus brief opposing the Federal Aviation Administration's ban on commercial drones. The ban was suspended earlier this year by an administrative judge. The news organizations argue that the ban violates the media’s First Amendment right of the press, however the rule concerns public safety not the content of speech or the identity of the speaker. EPIC, joined by over 100 organizations, previously petitioned the Federal Administration Agency to address the privacy issues raised by drones and the Agency agreed to do so. In response to a request for public comments last year, EPIC urged the Federal Aviation Administration to mandate minimum privacy standards for drone operators. For more information, see EPIC: Domestic Drones. (May. 13, 2014)
  • EPIC has filed a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit against the Department of the Army for documents about JLENS, a sophisticated surveillance system that will be deployed over Washington, DC during the next three years. JLENS is comprised of two 250' blimps. One blimp conducts aerial and ground surveillance over a 340-mile range, while the other has targeting capability including HELLFIRE missiles. The JLENS was originally deployed in Iraq. In the FOIA request, EPIC asked the Army for technical specifications as well as any policies limiting domestic surveillance. EPIC has urged Congress to establish privacy safeguards for aerial drones. For more information, see EPIC: EPIC v. Army - Surveillance Blimps, EPIC: Drones - Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, and EPIC Spotlight on Surveillance (2005) - "Unmanned Planes Offer New Opportunities for Clandestine Government Tracking." (May. 7, 2014)
  • A national survey conducted by Pew Research Center and Smithsonian Magazine find the American public optimistic about revolutions in health science and transportation, and concerned about technologies of surveillance. According to the survey, 63% of Americans think it would be a change for the worse if "personal and commercial drones are given permission to fly through most U.S. airspace," while 22% think it would be a change for the better. And 65% expressed concern about increased dependence on robots. Similarly, 53% of Americans think it would be a change for the worse if most people wear implants or other devices that constantly show them information about the world around them. Women are especially wary of a future in which these devices are widespread. Google Glass, an example of such technology, has come under scrutiny from Data Protection authorities as well as Congress. EPIC, joined by 100 other organizations and experts, petitioned the Federal Aviation Administration to address public concerns about privacy and drones. For more information, see EPIC: Google Glass and Privacy and EPIC: Domestic Drones. (Apr. 21, 2014)
  • A federal judge has ruled that commercial drones are legal, stating that the Federal Aviation Administration has not issued an enforceable regulatory rule that governs commercial drone operation. The FAA plans to appeal the decision. In 2012, Congress told the Agency to implement a plan to integrate drones into the National Airspace by 2015. Shortly after, EPIC joined by over 100 other organizations, experts, and members of the public petitioned the FAA to address privacy as part of the integration. As a result, the Agency published a notice with proposed privacy requirements for drone operators. EPIC submitted comments in response to the notice, urging the Agency to mandate minimum privacy standards for drone operators. After considering numerous public comments on the privacy impact of aerial drones, the FAA proposed a regulation that requires test site operators to develop privacy policies but does not require any specific baseline privacy protections. Several states have passed drone privacy laws and bills are also pending in Congress. For more information, see EPIC: Domestic Drones. (Mar. 10, 2014)
  • The Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation held a hearing on "the Future of Unmanned Aviation in the U.S. Economy: Safety and Privacy Considerations."Reebok Cross Men's Fire TR Trainers F6wrFqxZ Senator Diane Feinstein noted the threat that drones pose to both privacy and safety, and described how a drone once flew outside her home during a demonstration. Later in the hearing, Senator Ed Markey, who held up an AR Parrot Drone during the hearing, has written legislation to safeguard privacy. And Senator Cory Booker said that drones put him "between my Star Trek aspirations and my Terminator fears." The Committee heard testimony from FAA Administrator Michael Huerta. The FAA is responsible for integrating drones into the U.S. domestic airspace by 2015. EPIC had petitioned the FAA to implement privacy rules for drones. The FAA responded to EPIC's petition and has required, as an interim step, each of the six selected test sites for drone deployment to establish a public privacy policy. For more information, see EPIC: Domestic Unmanned Aerial Vehicles and Drones. (Jan. 17, 2014)
  • A new Department of Defense report "Unmanned Systems Integrated Roadmap" sets out "a technological vision for the next 25 years" of drone deployment. The DOD report suggests that budgets cuts are increasing the need for autonomous drones with onboard intelligence. One documentary describes the role of the the Department of Defense developing sophisticated surveillance technologies. The new DOD report states that surveillance is one of the primary purposes for pursuing drone technology, particularly for "surveillance missions that involve prolonged observation." An EPIC FOIA request revealed that domestic drones deployed by the Department of Homeland Security can be deployed with the ability to intercept electronic communications and to recognize individuals on the ground. EPIC has recommended privacy safeguards to limit drone surveillance in the United States. For more information, see EPIC: Domestic Unmanned Aerial Vehicles and Drones. (Jan. 7, 2014)
  • In a press release, the Federal Aviation Administration announced the "roadmap" for the integration of drones into domestic airspace. After considering numerous public comments on the privacy impact of aerial drones, the FAA proposed a regulation that requires test site operators to develop privacy policies but does not require any specific baseline privacy protections. The FAA rulemaking came about in response to an extensive petition submitted by EPIC, broadly supported by civil liberties organizations and the general public. EPIC urged the agency to require adherence to the Fair Information Practices, disclosure of data collection and minimization practices, and independent audits. For more information, see Urethane BalaMasa Womens Ballet Toe On Low Uppers Pointed Pull Silver Flats Cut q8x1nwSfq. (Nov. 11, 2013)
  • The Solicitor General has filed a response to EPIC's challenge to the NSA's telephone record collection program. In July, EPIC petitioned the Supreme Court to vacate the order of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court that requires Verizon to turn over all telephone records to the NSA. EPIC argued that the Intelligence Court exceeded its legal authority and could not compel a telephone company to disclose so much personal information unrelated to a foreign intelligence investigation. Legal scholars and former Members of Congress filed briefs in support of EPIC's petition, including privacy and national security scholars, constitutional scholars, federal courts scholars, and members of the Church Committee. Congressman James Sensenbrenner, the primary author of the Patriot Act, has said that the telephone records collection program was never authorized by Section 215. For more information, see Women's Faux Ankle Buckle Leather Bootie Heel Chunky apricot gBqwOpv. (Oct. 14, 2013)
  • The Federal Aviation Administration has responded to an EPIC FOIA Request seeking documents related to applications to fly drones domestically. The FAA provided a list of nearly 200 entities within the Department of Defense, the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Justice, and state and federal law enforcement agencies. The FAA further responded to EPIC's request for information by making the drone licenses, or "certificates," available on a public portal. EPIC has called on the FAA to maintain a searchable database of all drone operators as the Agency seeks to expand domestic drone use. For more information see Urethane BalaMasa Womens Ballet Toe On Low Uppers Pointed Pull Silver Flats Cut q8x1nwSfq. (Oct. 2, 2013)
  • Senator Rand Paul issued a letter to FBI Director Robert Mueller seeking answers about the FBI's domestic use of drones. In a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on FBI oversight, Director Mueller admitted that the FBI uses drones for domestic surveillance. Mueller also stated there were no guidelines in place to regulate the FBIs use of drones and protect the privacy of Americans. EPIC petitioned the Federal Aviation Administration last year to conduct a public rulemaking to address the threat to privacy and civil liberties the domestic use of drones pose. EPIC also petitioned the Bureau of Customs and Border Protection this year to establish privacy regulations for its use of drones. For more information, see Urethane BalaMasa Womens Ballet Toe On Low Uppers Pointed Pull Silver Flats Cut q8x1nwSfq. (Jun. 21, 2013)
  • Following the revelation of that the National Security Agency is monitoring domestic communications, members of Congress are initiating new oversight proceedings. The Senate Intelligence Committee will review the program's legal authority. Members of the House Judiciary Committee wrote to President Obama, saying, "We believe this type of program is far too broad and inconsistent with our nation's founding principles." During a hearing of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Sen. Mark Kirk (R-IL)asked Attorney General Eric Holder whether the NSA has spied on members of Congress. EPIC has sent a letter to leaders in Congresscalling for an investigation into the NSA's activities, and alleging that the FISC's authorization of the Verizon search was unlawful. For more information, see EPIC: Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, EPIC: Clapper v. Amnesty Int'l, and EPIC: USA Patriot Act.
    (Jun. 7, 2013)
  • The Senate Judiciary Committee has approved an Amendment to the immigration bill to limit the range of drones surveillance in the United States. The immigration bill grants the Bureau of Customs and Border Protection authority to operate surveillance drones continuously within the border region. Senator Dianne Feinstein's (D-CA) Amendment reduces the patrol area of surveillance drones from 100 miles around the border to 25 miles. More than two-thirds of the US population lives within 100 miles of the border. In February 2013, EPIC petitioned the Bureau of Customs and Border Protection to suspend the border drone surveillance program pending the establishment of concrete privacy regulations. The petition followed the production of documents to EPIC under the Freedom of Information Act demonstrating that the border drones had the ability to intercept electronic communications and identify human targets. For more information, see Urethane BalaMasa Womens Ballet Toe On Low Uppers Pointed Pull Silver Flats Cut q8x1nwSfq. (May. 15, 2013)
  • Numerous organizations across the political spectrum have urged Congress to reduce the error rate for the employment verification system "E-Verify". A bill now pending in Congress will mandate employer verification of an all employees’ eligibility to work in the United States. In testimony before Congress in 2007, EPIC warned of inaccurate employment determinations in the E-Verify system. EPIC also cautioned against straining the resources of the Social Security Administration and the aggregation of employment data into a central location. In June 2011, EPIC filed comments2750 Grey Superga Women's Superga Superga Women's Gingham Grey 2750 Gingham qtSwp4 with the Department of Homeland Security in opposition of the proposed expansion of E-Verify. For more information, see EPIC: E-Verify and Privacy and EPIC: Spotlight on Surveillance - E-verify System. (May. 9, 2013)
  • EPIC has submitted comments to the Federal Aviation Administration, urging the agency to mandate minimum privacy standards for drone operators. In 2012, Congress told the Agency to implement a comprehensive plan to integrate drones into the National Airspace. Shortly after, EPIC, joined by over 100 other organizations, experts, and members of the public, petitioned the agency to address privacy in the integration process. EPIC's petition noted, "drones greatly increase the capacity for domestic surveillance." In February 2013, the Agency responded to EPIC's petition, announcing it would "address [privacy issues] through engagement and collaboration with the public." As a result, the FAA published a Notice with proposed privacy requirements for drone operators. EPIC recommended that the FAA mandate the proposed privacy standards, which are based on Fair Information Practices, and maintain a public database of all drone operators. For more information, see EPIC: Domestic Unmanned Aerial Vehicles and Drones. (Apr. 23, 2013)
  • EPIC, joined by thirty organizations and more than a thousand individuals, has petitioned the Bureau of Customs and Border Protection to suspend the Blue Walking Summer Mesh 2017 Comfortable New Jacky's Men Breathable Loafers up Lace Lightweight x70qtw, pending the establishment of concrete privacy regulations. The petition states that "the use of drones for border surveillance presents substantial privacy and civil liberties concerns for millions of Americans across the country." The petition follows the revelation that the drones deployed by the federal agency are equipped with technology for signals interception and human identification. For more inform at ion, see Urethane BalaMasa Womens Ballet Toe On Low Uppers Pointed Pull Silver Flats Cut q8x1nwSfq. (Mar. 22, 2013)
  • Congressman Markey has introduced the "Drone Aircraft Privacy and Transparency Act of 2013." The Bill sets out comprehensive transparency requirements for drone operators to protect privacy from unregulated drone surveillance. Under the terms of the bill, drone operators would be required to submit a detailed data collection and data minimization statement prior to obtaining a license to operate drones in the United States. The bill also states that surveillance by law enforcement agencies will require a warrant or extreme exigent circumstances.Congressman Markey said that privacy legislation is necessary to "prevent flying robots from becoming spying robots." For more information, see Urethane BalaMasa Womens Ballet Toe On Low Uppers Pointed Pull Silver Flats Cut q8x1nwSfq. (Mar. 19, 2013)
  • Amie Stepanovich, the Director of EPIC's Domestic Surveillance Project, will testify this week before the Senate Judiciary Committee on "the Future of Drones in America." The hearing will feature expert testimony from EPIC Advisory Board member Professor Ryan Calo. Documents recently obtained by EPIC under the Freedom of Information Act indicate that the Bureau of Customs and Border Protection has deployed drones in the United States with the ability to intercept electronic communication and to identity human targets. As a consequence, EPIC has launched a petition urging the agency to suspend the drone program pending the establishment of comprehensive privacy regulations. Following a similar petition from EPIC, the FAA recently agreed to establish privacy rules for drone deployment. For more information, see EPIC: Domestic Unmanned Aerial Vehicles and Drones. (Mar. 18, 2013)
  • EPIC has published a petition to the Bureau of Customs and Border Protection, demanding the suspension of the drone program pending the development of privacy regulations for the use of drones in US airspace. Documents recently obtained by EPIC under the Freedom of Information Act indicate that the drones are equipped with technology for signals interception and human identification. The agency currently operates ten Predator B drones along the border region, an area that encompasses more than two-thirds of the U.S. population. EPIC is urging individuals and organizations to Sign the Petition before March 18. Under federal law, the agency is required to respond to public petitions. For more information see Urethane BalaMasa Womens Ballet Toe On Low Uppers Pointed Pull Silver Flats Cut q8x1nwSfq and EPIC: Drone Petition to Customs and Border Protection. Mule Women's Navy Navy Mule Mule Women's 'VIVA' 'VIVA' Rialto Rialto Rialto Rialto Women's 'VIVA' Navy (Mar. 4, 2013)
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  • New records obtained by EPIC under the Freedom of Information Act indicate that the Bureau of Customs and Border Protection is operating drones in the United States capable of intercepting electronic communications. The records also suggest that the ten Predator B drones operated by the agency have the capacity to recognize and identify a person on the ground. Approximately, 2/3 of the US population is subject to surveillance by the CBP drones. The documents were provided in response to a request from EPIC for information about the Bureau's use of drones across the country. The agency has made the Predator drones available to other federal, state, and local agencies. The records obtained by EPIC raise questions abut the agency's compliance with federal privacy laws and the scope of domestic surveillance. For more information, see Urethane BalaMasa Womens Ballet Toe On Low Uppers Pointed Pull Silver Flats Cut q8x1nwSfq. (Feb. 28, 2013)
  • The Department of Homeland Security has released a previously internal memo regarding the establishment of a working group to "Safeguard Privacy, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties in the Department's Use and Support of Unmanned Aerial Systems" (drones). The memo states, "[t]he overarching goal of the working group is to determine what policies and procedures are needed to ensure that protections for privacy, civil rights, and civil liberties are designed into DHS and DHS-funded [drone] programs." DHS has developed a program to explore the expansive use of small drones for law enforcement. Customs and Border Protection currently operates 10 Predator B drones in the United States. In testimony before Congress in July 2012, EPIC said that federal agencies operating drones should adopt privacy regulations. For more information, see Urethane BalaMasa Womens Ballet Toe On Low Uppers Pointed Pull Silver Flats Cut q8x1nwSfq. (Feb. 21, 2013)
  • Congressman Poe (R-TX) and Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) have introduced the "Preserving American Privacy Act of 2013," targeted at providing individual privacy protections in regard to drone surveillance. The bill would require all drone operators to submit a public data collection statement that includes a description of the drone's purpose and intended operations. The bill also would require a warrant in order for drone surveillance information to be received as evidence and includes a ban on equipping drones with firearms. EPIC has twice ( 1, 2) asked Congress to protect individual privacy against increased use of domestic drones. EPIC, joined by over 100 organizations, experts, and members of the public, petitioned the FAA to establish privacy safeguards. For more information, see EPIC: Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) and Drones. (Feb. 15, 2013)
  • In response to an extensive petition submitted by EPIC, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has announced it will begin a public rulemaking on the privacy impact of aerial drones. The EPIC petition, joined by over 100 organizations, experts, and members of the public, urged the FAA to develop privacy standards for drone operators. In a letter to EPIC President Marc Rotenberg, the FAA Chief Counsel stated, "the FAA recognizes that increasing the use of [drones] raises privacy concerns. The agency intends to address these issues through engagement and collaboration with the public." The FAA's announcement comes exactly one year after President Obama signed the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012, which directed the FAA to loosen restrictions on government and commercial drone flights in the United States. For more information, see Urethane BalaMasa Womens Ballet Toe On Low Uppers Pointed Pull Silver Flats Cut q8x1nwSfq. (Feb. 14, 2013)
  • Oregon became the most recent state to consider limits on the deployment of drones in the United States. A new bill sets out licensing requirements for drone use in Oregon and would fine those who use unlicensed drone to conduct surveillance. New limitations are also proposed for federal evidence collected by drone use in a state court. Florida, North Dakota, and Missouri are among the other states that are also considering laws that limit drone use within their jurisdiction. For more information, see Urethane BalaMasa Womens Ballet Toe On Low Uppers Pointed Pull Silver Flats Cut q8x1nwSfq. (Feb. 7, 2013)
  • A new report[ from the Congressional Research Service -- "Integration of Drones into Domestic Airspace: Selected Legal Issues" -- states that "perhaps the most contentious issue concerning the introduction of drones into U.S. airspace is the threat that this technology will be used to spy on American citizens." Last year, EPIC warned Congress that "there are substantial legal and constitutional issues involved in the deployment of aerial drones by federal agencies." EPIC, joined by over 100 organizations, experts, and members of the public, has petitioned the Federal Aviation Administration to begin a rule making to establish privacy safeguards. For more information, see EPIC: Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) and Drones. (Jan. 31, 2013)
  • On January 16, 2013, Georgetown University Law School hosted Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT), the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Leahy set out the agenda of the Judiciary Committee in the 113th Congress, vowing to commit the Committee to addressing "out most fundamental rights, and our most basic freedoms." Updates to key legislation, including laws on e-mail privacy and cybersecurity, are included in the Committee's agenda. The Chairman explained that the Committee would also address the need for oversight of US counterterrorism programs as well as privacy issues involved with the growing use of domestic surveillance drones. Furthermore, Senator Leahy emphasized the importance of open government as an American value, promising to "continue to fight for transparency that keeps the government accountable to the people." For more information, see EPIC: Electronic Communications Privacy Act, EPIC: Open Government, and Urethane BalaMasa Womens Ballet Toe On Low Uppers Pointed Pull Silver Flats Cut q8x1nwSfq. (Jan. 17, 2013)
  • On January 15, 2013 EPIC hosted "Drones and Domestic Surveillance," at the National Press Club in Washington, DC. The symposium brought together experts in law, technology, and public policy to discuss the expanding use of unmanned vehicles in the United States. The event featured Representative Ted Poe (R-TX) as the keynote speaker and was moderated by EPIC's Executive Director, Marc Rotenberg. Congressman Poe announced his plans to introduce a bill in 2013, co-sponsored by Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) to protect privacy against increased drone use. Panelists at the event included technologist Bruce Schneier, privacy scholars Laura Donohue and Orin Kerr, CATO fellow Julian Sanchez, EPIC's Amie Stepanovich, and Gretchen West of AUVSI. EPIC, and a coalition of experts and organizations, have petitioned the Federal Aviation Administration to develop privacy regulations for drone use. For more information, see EPIC: Drones and Domestic Surveillance and EPIC: Domestic Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) and Drones. (Jan. 15, 2013)
  • Representative Ed Markey (D-MA) has introduced the Drone Aircraft Privacy and Transparency Act. The bill calls for the Federal Aviation Administration to complete a report on the privacy implications of domestic drone use. In addition, the bill will require drone operators to submit a data collection and data minimization statement concerning the collection of personally identifiable information. EPIC has twice ( 1, 2) asked Congress to protect individual privacy against increased use of domestic drones. EPIC, joined by over 100 organizations, experts, and members of the public, petitioned the FAA to establish privacy safeguards. For more information, see EPIC: Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) and Drones. (Dec. 18, 2012)
  • Aviation groups have asked the Federal Aviation Administration to ignore the privacy implications of increased drone use in the United States. The letter follows the FAA statement that domestic drones “raises privacy issues [that] will need to be addressed.” Earlier this year, EPIC warned Congress, "there are substantial legal and constitutional issues involved in the deployment of aerial drones by federal agencies." EPIC, joined by over 100 organizations, experts, and members of the public, has petitioned the FAA to to establish privacy safeguards. For more information, see EPIC: Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) and Drones. (Dec. 7, 2012)
  • EPIC participated in a Congressional Hearing on the Impact of Domestic Drone Use Technology on Privacy and Constitutional Rights of All Americans, held at Rice University in Houston, Texas. Congressman Ted Poe (R-TX), sponsor of H.R. 6449: Air Travelers' Bill of Rights Act of 2012, convened the hearing. Joining Congressman Poe were Representatives Michael McCaul (R-TX), Hank Johnson (D-GA), and Sandy Adams (R-FL). EPIC's Amie Stepanovich testified on the need for specific laws to limit drone surveillance in the United States. In a prepared statement, EPIC recommended a warrant requirement for drone surveillance by police as well as data use limitations, and transparency obligations for drone operators. In February, EPIC, joined by over 100 organizations, experts, and members of the public, petitioned the FAA to begin a rule making on the privacy impact of drone use. The Agency has not yet responded to the EPIC Petition. For more information, see EPIC: Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) and Drones. (Nov. 5, 2012)
  • A new report from the Government Accountability Office outlines the risks of increased domestic drone use -- "Unmanned Aircraft Systems" -- following adoption of a recent law. The GAO report -- "Measuring Progress and Addressing Potential Privacy Concerns Would Facilitate Integration into the National Airspace System" -- notes widespread concern about privacy. The GAO report found that privacy "concerns include the potential for increased amounts of government surveillance using technologies placed on UAS, the collection and use of such data, and potential violations of constitutional Fourth Amendment protections against unreasonable search and seizures." The report also notes that "non-military unmanned aircraft system GPS signals are unencrypted, risking potential interruption of command and control . . .." Earlier this year, EPIC warned Congress that "there are substantial legal and constitutional issues involved in the deployment of aerial drones by federal agencies." EPIC, joined by over 100 organizations, experts, and members of the public, has petitioned the FAA to begin a rule making to establish privacy safeguards. For more information, see EPIC: Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) and Drones. (Sep. 24, 2012)
  • The 2012 Republican Party Platform calls for strong Constitutional protections for privacy and new safeguards for personal data held by businesses. "We will ensure that personal data receives full constitutional protection from government overreach and that individuals retain the right to control the use of their data by third parties," the platform states. The platform also criticizes TSA screening procedures and calls for warrant requirements for most law enforcement-operated drones. However, other provisions endorse voter identification laws and increased disclosure of personal information to the government for cyber security. For more information, see EPIC: Privacy and Consumer Profiling, EPIC: Whole Body Imaging Technology and Body Scanners, EPIC: Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) and Drones, EPIC: Voter Photo ID and Privacy, and EPIC: Cybersecurity Privacy Practical Implications. (Aug. 29, 2012)
  • The 2012 Republican Party Platform advocates Fourth Amendment limits on government drones. “We support pending legislation to prevent unwarranted or unreasonable governmental intrusion through the use of aerial surveillance or flyovers on U.S. soil, with the exception of patrolling our national borders.” Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) and Representative Austin Scott (R-GA), introduced legislation earlier this year to limit aerial drone surveillance. In March, the House approved an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act of 2013, introduced by Representative Landry (R-LA), that prohibits information collected without a warrant by drones operated by the Department of Defense from being used in court. Congressman Ed Markey (D-MA) has also proposed comprehensive legislation for drones. For more information, see EPIC: Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) and Drones. (Aug. 28, 2012)
  • Representative Ed Markey (D-MA) has announced a bill aimed at protecting individual privacy from drone surveillance. Rep. Markey said, "When it comes to privacy protections for the American people, drones are flying blind." The draft bill requires the FAA to establish privacy safeguards for drone operators and creates new limits on data collection by law enforcement agencies. Earlier this year, EPIC, joined by over 100 organizations, experts, and members of the public, petitioned FAA to begin a rulemaking on the privacy impact of drone use. For more information, see EPIC: Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) and Drones. (Aug. 1, 2012)
  • EPIC has appealed a denial of a Freedom of Information Act request that sought records concerning the sale of surveillance technology by U.S. companies to repressive regimes like Syria and Yemen. "The failure to adequately justify the claim that no segregable portions of records exist violates FOIA, especially given the past practice of releasing aggregate data in response to substantially similar requests," the appeal states. EPIC also filed a Social Shoes Meijunter Modern Women Hollow Dance Latin Ballroom Dancing Breathable Shoes cIqAa5qrT to the Department of Commerce seeking records related to the agency's investigation of companies like Blue Coat Systems, which sold surveillance devices to Syria. Recently, President Obama signed an executive order authorizing U.S. officials to impose sanctions against persons involved in the use of information and communications technology to facilitate human rights abuses in Syria and Iran. For more information, see EPIC: Freedom of Information Act. (Apr. 27, 2012)
  • Through a Freedom of Information Act request, EPIC has obtained documents from the Department of Homeland Security about a secretive "pre-crime" detection program. The "Future Attribute Screening Technology" (FAST) Program gathers "physiological measurements" from subjects, including heart rate, breathing patterns, and thermal activity, to determine "malintent." According to the documents obtained by EPIC, the agency is considering the use of the device at conventions and sporting events, and has already conducted field testing. CNET first reported on the EPIC FOIA request. For more information, see: EPIC: Future Attribute Screening Technology Project. (Oct. 7, 2011)
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  • EPIC and a coalition of privacy, consumer rights, and civil rights organizations filed a statement to the Department of Homeland Security. The group opposed proposed changes to the Watchlist Service, a secretive government database filled with sensitive information. The agency has solicited comments on the program, which entails developing a real-time duplicate copy of the database and expanding the groups and personnel with immediate access to the records. The groups focused on the security and privacy risks posed by the new system, as well as The Privacy Act. Passed by Congress in 1974, the Act requires DHS to notify subjects of government surveillance in addition to providing a meaningful opportunity to correct information that could negatively affect them. EPIC has testified before Congress and published a "Spotlight on Surveillance" report about the Watchlist program. For more information, see EPIC: Secure Flight and EPIC: Passenger Profiling. (Aug. 5, 2011)
  • The Department of Justice has released the 2010 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) report. In 2010, the Justice Department submitted 1,579 FISA search applications to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, a 19% increase over 2009. The court did not deny or modify any applications. Also in 2010 the FBI made 24,287 National Security Letter requests for information pertaining to 14,212 different U.S. persons. This is a substantial increase from the 14,788 national security letter requests concerning 6,114 U.S. persons in 2009. EPIC has recommended greater accountability for the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. For more information, see: EPIC: Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act Court Orders 1979-2010 and EPIC: Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. (May. 9, 2011)
  • The White House Office of Management and Budget has released the federal budget for fiscal year 2012. The stated goal of the budget is to reduce the national deficit by eliminating wasteful programs. However, the budget proposal includes funding for 275  airport body scanners, which EPIC has called "invasive, unlawful, and ineffective." There is funding for federal "fusion centers," widely viewed as unregulated government databases that are used to track people suspected of new crime. The White House budget proposes expansion of the “Secure Communities” program, which has been the target of harsh criticism by civil liberties groups. For more information, see EPIC: EPIC v. DHS (Suspension of Body Scanner Program) and EPIC: Information Fusion Centers and Privacy. (Feb. 18, 2011)
  • "Clear," the flawed airport security program that gathered biometric data on hundreds of thousands of travelers before the company went bankrupt, may return with a new operator. The assets of Verified Identity Pass -- including the fingerprints and iris patterns of previous customers -- have been sold at auction to AlClear, which intends to restart the program.  In Congressional testimony in 2005, EPIC warned that the Registered Traveler program should be subject to the federal Privacy Act. For more information, see EPIC Spotlight On Surveillance: Registered Traveler Card, EPIC "Clear" (May. 4, 2010)
  • According to the newly released 2009 Wiretap report, federal and state courts issued 2,376 orders for the interception of wire, oral or electronic communications in 2009, up from 1,891 in 2008, an increase of more than 25%. U.S. Courts Press release.) As in the previous four years, no applications for wiretap authorizations were denied by either state or federal courts. With the exception of 2008, the total number of authorized wiretaps has grown in each of the past seven calendar years, beginning in 2003. The 2009 Wiretap Report does not include interceptions regulated by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act or interceptions approved by the President outside the exclusive authority of the federal wiretap law and the FISA. See EPIC Wiretapping and EPIC Title III Order Statistics. (May. 3, 2010)
  • The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has plans to greatly expand its use of whole body imaging machines at airports around the country. The x-ray machines, which each cost over $100,000, capture detailed, graphic images of passengers' naked bodies. In June, the House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed a measure that would restrict TSA's use of these machines. The measure is pending in the Senate. The Privacy Coalition has urged the Department of Homeland Security to suspend the program until privacy and security risks can be fully evaluated. EPIC has also filed Freedom of Information Act requests for the contracts with the vendor Rapiscan. For more information, see Brown Penny Walking Breathable Leather Slip Men's Casual Loafers On Driving Hiking TDA Shoes n867xf and EPIC Spotlight on Surveillance. (Oct. 6, 2009)
  • The European Privacy Seal (EuroPriSe) has been awarded to two privacy services, following a review by privacy experts and an independent body. The first EuroPriSe was awarded to German company nugg.ad's Predictive Targeting Networking service, an online advertising service that follows principles of data avoidance and minimization by not maintaining multi-website tracking profiles, deleting IP address records, and offering a blocking cookie for users to opt out. The second certification was awarded to Austrian company Kiwi Security's KiwiVision Privacy Protector, a software module that performs real-time anonymization of video data by obfuscating faces, license plates, and other identifying imagery. For more on Privacy Enhancing Technologies, see EPIC Practical Privacy Tools.

    (Sep. 11, 2009)
  • The Department of Homeland Security released a Privacy Impact Assessment for searching electronic devices possessed by travelers, including US citizens, at US borders. The agency determined that laptops and cell phones are equivalent to briefcases and backpacks and granted itself broad authority to seize these devices from travelers and to copy stored data whether or not wrongdoing is suspected. The DHS policy fails to comply with the intent of the federal Privacy Act and leaves US citizens returning to the United States subject to surveillance by government and an enhanced risk of identity theft. See EPIC Traveler Privacy. (Aug. 28, 2009)
  • The Inspector Generals of the Intelligence Community released a report on the President's Surveillance Program. The report summarizes the unclassified collective results of the reviews. The Program involved the massive, warrantless surveillance of Americans in the United States. The IG Report finds that the absence of effective oversight contributed to the ineffectiveness of the program. In December 2005, EPIC had requested the legal opinions that were prepared to justify the program. The government has refused to produce many key documents, and EPIC sued under the Freedom of Information Act. In March this year, the Attorney General released several related memos, which previously were secret, following President Obama's statement on government transparency. See EPIC FISA, EPIC Surveillance FOIA, EPIC Wiretapping, and EPIC National Security Letters. (Jul. 10, 2009)
  • The Department of Homeland Security is seeking applications for appointments to the agency's Data Privacy and Integrity Advisory Committee. The committee provides advice at the request of the Secretary of DHS and the agency's Chief Privacy Officer on privacy related matters. The agency is seeking to fill two terms that would expire in January 2012, and January 2013. Applications for the positions must be received by the agency on or before June 8, 2009. For more information, see: EPIC's Web page Spotlight on Surveillance. (May. 5, 2009)
  • Senator Dianne Feinstein has announced that the Senate Intelligence Committee will hold a hearing on the National Security Agency's interception of phone calls and private e-mail messages of Americans. Recently, the New York Times reported that the NSA's activities went beyond the legal limits established by the Congress last year. EPIC has a related Carhartt Tanned Bison Dark Oil Men's rwXaqr asking a federal court to force the release of memos on the legal authority for domestic surveillance of American citizens. For more information, see EPIC's page on Freedom of Information Act Work on the National Security Agency's Warrantless Surveillance Program. (Apr. 17, 2009)
  • Attorney General Eric Holder announced that the Department of Justice will make public memos and opinions concerning warrantless surveillance, and other controversial claims of Presidential authority, that were prepared in the wake of 9/11. The documents describe the legal basis for President Bush's domestic surveillance program. After learning of the warrantless wiretap program, EPIC sued the Department of Justice under the Freedom of Information Act to compel disclosure of legal memos concerning the program. Government lawyers subsequently disavowed the justifications for the warrantless surveillance. For more, see EPIC's " National Security Agency's Warrantless Surveillance Program" page. (Mar. 3, 2009)

EPIC's work on the issue of domestic surveillance includes the following subject areas:

Drones and UAVs

Drones raise significant privacy issues because of their ability to conduct aerial surveillance. Drones can carry a number of different surveillance equipment that can gather detailed information on individuals.

Featured Pages

Amicus

FOIA

Litigation

Agency Comments

Additional Resources

Police Body Cameras

Police body cameras are meant to combat police abuse and provide a mechanism for accountability of police officers. But, the devices raise serious privacy issues as they point outwards, towards the public capturing our public movements and already law enforcement is looking to expand the uses beyond police accountability by adding facial recognition capabilities.

Featured Pages

Testimony

Algorithmic Transparency

Opaque, automated decision making by algorithms undermines our privacy and freedom of association. Our social connections and online activities are used by the government and companies to make determinations about our ability to fly, obtain a job, a clearance, etc.

Featured Pages

FOIA

Agency Comments

Cybersecurity

Approaches to cybersecurity that provide liability protection for companies to disclose more user information to the government raise significant privacy issues. It allows the government to obtain information that includes personally identifiable information from companies without judicial review.

Featured Pages

Amicus

FOIA

Agency Comments

Biometrics

Biometric data collection, particularly for facial recognition and DNA analysis, pose significant threats to privacy. Facial recognition allows for covert or even remote identification on a mass scale without consent. DNA can reveal sensitive health data.

Featured Pages

Amicus

FOIA

Agency Comments

Traveler Screening and Surveillance

The government deploys a number of technologies and programs to screen passengers and track their travels in the name of national security. Travelers are screened by privacy evasive technologies like body scanners and the government collects information on passengers every time they fly.

Featured Pages

FOIA

Additional Resources

Public Surveillance

Public surveillance takes many forms--from license plate readers gathering data on passing cars, to closed-circuit TVs monitoring every passerby. Advancing technology is eroding the privacy in public we once enjoyed.

Featured Pages

FOIA

Additional Resources

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