I Fought the Law

Here’s the Lawsuit Twitter Just Filed Against the FBI

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Tech giants like Google, Twitter, and Facebook have a surveillance problem on their hands: they have created some of the most ubiquitous surveillance networks in human history, and now the U.S. government is taking advantage of those systems by making them hand over their records. Now, Twitter is trying to tell the world exactly what’s been happening.

In a blog post called “Taking the fight for #transparency to court,” Twitters VP of Legal announced that they’re filing a lawsuit against the FBI and the Department of Justice:

It’s our belief that we are entitled under the First Amendment to respond to our users’ concerns and to the statements of U.S. government officials by providing information about the scope of U.S. government surveillance – including what types of legal process have not been received.

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It's the Cops!

LAPD Adds a Couple of Drones To Its Arsenal, Tells Public Not To Be Alarmed

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When drug runners started using drones to scout out marijuana growing fields that were ripe for the raiding, it was only a matter of time before the police nabbed a couple for themselves.

The Los Angeles Police Department recently added two small camera-equipped, remote control helicopters to their arsenal, the Los Angeles Times reported over the weekend. The drones were a gift from the Seattle Police Department, who quickly changed their minds about the drones as soon as everyone in Seattle freaked out about having little police helicopters flying around. Read More

privacy wars

Harvard and MIT Students Launch ‘NSA-Proof’ Email Service

ProtonMail was created in Switzerland, where privacy laws are totally chill. (Facebook)

Troubled by Edward Snowden’s revelations about the U.S. government’s snooping habits, a group of Harvard and MIT students created an email service they insist is completely NSA-proof.

The new email platform is called ProtonMailBostInno reports. The service’s five brainy founders met while working at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) in Switzerland. They bonded over a shared desire to build an email service even more secure than Lavabit, Mr. Snowden’s now-defunct email service of choice.

Following a few weeks in private beta, ProtonMail is launching its open beta phase starting today. Read More

Surveillance

Terrifying Eavesdropping Lamp Live-Tweets Your Private Conversations

Sounds great. (Screengrab: Vimeo)

Welcome to 2014, where it’s possible that a seemingly harmless piece of furniture could be broadcasting your private conversations across the Internet.

Two artists have just unveiled a creepy product called the Conversnitch, Wired reports, and sadly, it has nothing to do with Quidditch. Rather, it’s a device that looks exactly like a lamp, except it records nearby conversations, transcribes the audio files, and then posts snippets of the conversations to Conversnitch’s Twitter account.

The creators, Brian House and Kyle McDonald, believe the Conversnitch is reflective of the current NSA-related privacy threats Americans are currently facing. Read More

Rise of the Drones

New Drones Can Steal Information Straight From Your Smartphone

Put these AWAY. (Photo: File)

Drones are incredibly versatile, able to do everything from delivering beer to, er, killing innocent people :(. And now, hackers have developed a new skill for the flying robots — and it’s definitely on the disconcerting end of the drone use spectrum.

Hackers have developed a drone that can steal information from smartphones, CNNMoney reports. It’s being tested in London, and research on the drones’ functionality will be presented at the Black Hat Asia cybersecurity conference in Singapore next week. Read More

It's Zuck's World We're Just Living In It

Facebook’s First Transparency Report Reveals It Turned ‘Some Data’ Over in 79% of U.S. Requests

Look, it was either this or take up Brit Kits. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

Guess Facebook knows we’re all feeling a little paranoid these days. Today the company released its first “Global Government Requests Report,” which aims to shed a little more light on exactly what the social network is handing over to the authorities.

Google, of course, has been doing this for years, and last year Twitter hopped on the bandwagon, as well. Read More