Privacy News Online | Weekly Review: May 22nd, 2020
Featured: Privacy News Online – Week of May 22nd, 2020
Congress plans to expand Patriot Act with DOJ access to your web browsing and search activity without a warrant
The Patriot Act is up for renewal in Congress as the USA FREEDOM Reauthorization Act of 2020 and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has added in an amendment that would open up internet history to the list of information that the FBI and DOJ would be able to access without a warrant. This amendment is a gross extension of the Patriot Act which shouldn’t be renewed in the first place, but doubly so now that the government is trying to expand its surveillance powers past phones to the internet.
These are the 37 Senators that voted to let the FBI seize your internet history without a warrant
Senators Wyden and Daines attempted to add an amendment to the USA FREEDOM Reauthorization Act of 2020 that would have required the FBI to obtain a warrant before accessing internet history; however, the vote to add the amendment fell short by one vote. All in all, 37 Senators from both sides of the aisle voted against the amendment and the USA FREEDOM Reauthorization Act of 2020 continues to the House of Representatives.
Tell your House Representative to vote against letting the FBI access internet history without a warrant
Now that the USA FREEDOM Reauthorization Act of 2020 is in the House of Representatives with its internet privacy violating amendment in tow, it is the best time to reach out to elected officials in Congress and let them know that their constituents do not want this law to pass. There is hope that a new amendment will stop the bill from allowing the FBI to access internet history without a warrant; however, failing that, it is just as good to allow the USA FREEDOM Reauthorization Act of 2020 to fall flat on its face, and leave the Patriot Act unrenewed.
How a VPN can protect your internet history from The Patriot Act
If the USA FREEDOM Reauthorization Act of 2020 passes and the FBI gains the ability to access anybody’s internet history without a warrant, there will be one way to protect your internet history: a VPN service with a proven no logging policy. If you use a VPN, when they look at your internet history, all the FBI will see is that you connected to a VPN server – they won’t know what websites or apps you visited and used. Of course, the usefulness goes out the door if the VPN you use keeps logs because the FBI can just get your internet history from the VPN provider instead.
More Privacy News This Week:
Noyb files complaint against Google under GDPR, saying Android Advertising ID can be tracked
Max Schrems’s privacy advocacy group, Noyb has filed a GDPR legal complaint against Google for their use of the Android Advertising ID. The Advertising ID is not opt-in, as is required by GDPR and in fact isn’t even opt-out. Noyb’s privacy lawyer commented:
“It is grotesque: Google claims that if you want them to stop tracking you, you have to agree to new tracking. It is like cancelling a contract only under the condition that you sign a new one. Google´s system seems to structurally deny the exercise of users´ rights.”
Salami seller peddles his own meat to customer by using her contact tracing details
New Zealand is one of the countries that has mandated restaurants gather contact information of patrons as part of their contact tracing process. A woman going to Subway was harassed by a worker after she left via the contact information that she left – including her home address, phone number, and full name. Subway originally collected the data via pen and paper but will be moving to a more secure digital process now – and the offending worker has been suspended.
Here’s how China has made mass surveillance a “killer application” for AI: will the US do the same?
A report by the US National Security Council on Artificial Intelligence that was revealed by FOIA request has some interesting things to say about China’s AI industry. The report notes that AI in China has been largely subsidized by large government contracts and investments, that coupled with a lack of privacy laws has potentially given China a headstart in the AI race. The question is whether the US and other western countries will follow suit.
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