Senator Chuck Grassley and Senator Patrick Leahy have asked DHS Jeh Johnson to enact a policy on cell phone surveillance devices, known as "Stingrays." The Department of Justice recently adopted new guidelines on Stingray use that requires agents to obtain a search warrant before employing Stingrays. The DOJ policy also prohibits officers from using Stingrays to intercept communications, and requires that all non-target data be deleted after use. 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.
EPIC Challenges FAA Failure to Establish Drone Privacy Rules
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.
EPIC Defends Privacy Laws in Supreme Court Brief
In an amicus brief for the Supreme Court EPIC defended Congress's authority to enact laws that safeguard the privacy of American consumers. The case, Spokeo v. Robins, arises from a data broker's publication of inaccurate, personal information in violation of the Fair Credit Reporting Act.
EPIC, Coalition Urge FCC to End Call Record Data Retention
EPIC and a coalition of leading consumer rights, human rights, and civil liberties organizations, along with members of the EPIC Advisory Board, have petitioned the Federal Communications Commission to end the FCC's rule requiring mass retention of phone records.
EPIC Files FTC Complaint Against Uber about Plan to Track Users and Gather Contact List Data
EPIC has filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission, charging that Uber's plan to track users and gather contact details is an unlawful and deceptive trade practice. Previous EPIC complaints at the FTC have typically led to investigations and then to settlements following a change in business practices.
EPIC is on the front lines of the major privacy and civil liberties debates. In 2015, EPIC has important work to do on algorithmic transparency, student privacy, and government surveillace, among many other issues. Please donate to EPIC today to help us continue this important work.
Privacy in the Modern Age: The Search for Solutions
EPIC's new book, Privacy in the Modern Age: The Search for Solutions is an essential reference for policy makers and researchers, journalists and scholars, and others looking for answers to one of the biggest challenges of our modern day. The premise is clear: there’s a problem - let's find a solution.
Tim Cook Backs Privacy, Crypto, Freedom at EPIC Awards Dinner
Apple CEO Tim Cook gave an impassioned speech at the 2015 EPIC Champions of Freedom Award dinner. Cook said the erosion of privacy represents a threat to the American way of life. Tim Cook is the first business leader to receive the Award from EPIC. (Photo by Jenifer Morris).
FAA has failed 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.
On International Right to Know Day, EPIC submitted comments to the Department of Homeland Security, urging the agency to uphold the Freedom of Information Act. EPIC objected to several of the agency's proposals, including changes to the FOIA that would: (1) prematurely terminate FOIA requests; (2) withhold the names of agencies to which DHS may refer FOIA requests; and (3) increase open government fees for students conducting research. EPIC also supported several changes that will make it easier for the public to obtain information from the DHS. EPIC routinely comments on agency proposals that impact the rights of FOIA requesters.
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EPIC in the News
Privacy Is Dead Anyway, Long Live The Facebook Copyright Hoax
October 1, 2015
Khaliah Barnes, EPIC Associate Director
Fanny Hidvegi, EPIC International Law Fellow
Hilton Mark Center
October 13, 2015 - October 14, 2015
Marc Rotenberg, EPIC President
Berlin House of Representatives
October 14, 2015
Spokeo, Inc. v. Robins: Do courts have jurisdiction to review cases brought by individuals based on violations of their federal privacy rights?
EPIC's State Policy project, launched in the Spring of 2015, aims to track legislation across the country to identify trends and emerging issues impacting privacy and civil liberties.
EPIC recently launched a project on algorithmic transparency, urging companies to show us the code that makes judgements about us.
Machines of Loving Grace by John Markoff