There’s a lot going on! Here’s a roundup of what’s happening in the US on various fronts ….
Restore the Fourth has a congressional call-in day on Friday, leveraging StopWatching.us’s 1-323-STOP-NSA number. Restore the Phones: Tell Congress this Isn’t Over has the details, including a link to a basic script. Restore the Fourth is also planning another round of protests on August 4, and a campaign focused on town hall meetings during Congress’ summer recess. There are lots of other exciting ideas bubbling up in the discussions and in local organizing meetings. Get involved!
- The EFF got a big win when federal judge today rejected the U.S. government’s latest attempt to dismiss Jewel vs. NSA, rejecting the government’s claim that the the state secrets privilege means the case can’t even be heard. Of course, this is just one small step in a very long road (the EFF filed Jewel five years ago, and this victory builds on the earlier Hepting case which was dismissed after Congress gave the telco’s retroactive immunity in 2008), but it’s a great ruling. Philip Bump in Atlantic Wire has more.
- EPIC filed a writ of mandamus directly with the Supreme Court. Lyle Dennison on SCOTUSblog has a good discussion of how unusual this is and disection of EPIC’s brief. James Risen in the New York Times and David Kravetz in Wired have more, including the context of other lawsuits by ACLU and Judicial Watch.
- A coalition of privacy organizations filed an amicus brief backing Google and Microsoft’s requests to reveal aggregate data about the federal government’s access to user information. Yahoo is also fighting for transparency, petitioning the FISA Court to declassify documents from the 2008 decision which show that Yahoo “objected strenuously” to providing the government with customer data.
- Secret Court’s Redefinition of ‘Relevant’ Empowered Vast NSA Data-Gathering, by Jennifer Valentino-DeVries and Siobhan Gorman in Wall Street Journal, and Eric Lichtblau’s In Secret, Court Vastly Broadens Powers of N.S.A in the New York Times, both based on discussions with “current and former officials”, go into a lot of detail about the underlying legal approaches that have been used to justify the mass surveillance. Marcy Wheeler has some additional analysis on Emptywheel, as does Orin Kerr on the Volokh Conspiracy