Cell phone

On Sunday, President Obama signed a five-year extension of a 2008 law that governs warrantless wiretapping. We discuss what the law authorizes the government to do, and the tug-and-pull over what information intelligence officials say must be kept secret.

Lee Tien, senior staff attorney at the Electronic Frontier Foundation
Carrie Cordero, director of national security studies at the Georgetown University Law Center and adjunct professor of law

  • Frank

    For your general safety, follow these tips:
    1. Keep your cell phone turned off at all times unless you’re making a call, since it is a tracking device.
    2. Avoid sending personal texts (SMSs) and emails that reveal private information about you, since these are being stored to the NSA server in Utah.
    3. Encrypt your computer’s hard drive (it’s easy on the Mac at least, else use TrueCrypt) and definitely set a boot password.
    4. Learn about Tor and how it can protect your privacy while browsing the Web.
    5. Buy everything with cash, since all credit card purchases are recorded and probably stored in the Utah server complex.
    6. Don’t use social media unless you do so for work, or anonymously.
    7. Never assume there aren’t any crooks or criminals operating inside government, or in the privatized security apparatus.

  • N. Bruce Nelson

    The things that really contribute to our safety are those that promote more openness. We need to be admitting more students from Middle Eastern countries, and more of our young people need to travel and study in the region.

    Sure, there is risk, but it is far less risky than military and surveillance “solutions”. It was increasing openness that brought down the Iron Curtain. The universal surveillance of East Germany was a failed policy. Why would we want to mimic the policies that lead to the fall of that government?

    I speak from the perspective of study abroad and Peace Corps service.

  • FayNissenbaum

    I am unclear on how much all internet traffic is monitored by FISA. Here is the story the caller just mentioned about the NSA capturing all our emails in San Francisco:


  • Frank

    Much of the security state is privatized. The security-services companies have a vested interest in making the public think there is a terror threat when there is not, and hyping threats to the sky. They would happily cast innocents as guilty to maximize profits. You should also expect collusion between feds and these companies to create fake threats, known as false-flag operations.

  • Chemist150

    I’m guilty of free speech and I speak out because I want to be heard.

Sponsored by

Become a KQED sponsor