This week's update is quick and dirty. Just the facts:
- Congressmen want answers from Apple about the company's data retention and privacy policies.
- After Microsoft acquired Skype, the major technology firm installed a backdoor into the voice over IP (VOIP) communication service, allowing for law enforcement to more easily spy on your Skype chats.
- The head of the creepy, far-out military research office DARPA is moving to Google. What? Yeah, that's right. Read all about the ties that bind government spooks and the biggest data aggregator and collector in the world. Otherwise known as your email provider.
- Since the Supreme Court decision in US v. Jones, during which the court ruled that placing a GPS device on someone's car constituted a search under the Fourth Amendment and therefore requires a warrant, a number of good decisions on GPS tracking have come down in lower courts. Check EFF's breakdown for the scoop.
- The New Republic published a great piece on interception software and Middle East despots. It features an interview with EFF's Trevor Timm, and is well worth reading to get a sense of what's going on in other countries. But what about US domestic law enforcement use of interception technologies? It happens here, as well. One program, CARNIVORE, is particularly creepy.
- The FBI has some pretty advanced technologies, but apparently it can't figure out how to decrypt an Android phone. Oops.
- And finally, the FBI continues to make use of its ultra-secretive National Security Letter subpoenas to quietly pry information about us out of the hands of our communications providers, banks, and other companies that hold our personal data. In an exciting development, one unnamed tech firm is challenging the gag order they received along with an NSL. Read all about it, and the ACLU's successes in shedding light on this opaque process.