OVERNIGHT TECH: Privacy, civil liberties board to consider NSA surveillance programs

"We urge you to review how other authorities, for example national security letter authorities, overlap, expand or complement the specific authorities under sections 215 and 702," the coalition, which includes The Constitution Project and Center for Democracy and Technology, writes. "As part of its report, the PCLOB should recommend critical reforms to ensure the government surveillance programs include robust safeguards for constitutional rights."

ADVERTISEMENT
The coalition argues that the surveillance program that collects domestic phone records from companies includes data that is "highly revealing" and demonstrates "the patterns of individuals' daily activities and their associations with others." The program collects the phone numbers that people call, the duration of those calls and how frequently they call certain numbers. The coalition urged the PCLOB to ask Congress to prohibit this bulk collection of phone metadata.

The groups also argue that a separate NSA surveillance program used to monitor the email communications of potential foreign terrorists is also sweeping up the communications of U.S. citizens.

Report: American-made Internet monitoring devices found in Iran, Sudan: American-made devices that are used to monitor people's Internet communications have been detected on government and commercial computer networks in Iran and Sudan, which violates U.S. sanctions on the sale of goods to those countries, The Washington Post broke late Monday afternoon.

Mark your calendars: Upcoming conference on federal open data policy: The Data Transparency Coalition will hold a conference in September that's focused on the government's plans to open up federal data to the public. This comes after President Obama on Monday outlined his plan to modernize federal government databases. 


ON TAP

The House Energy and Commerce Committee’s subcommittee on Oversight will examine the scope of the cyber espionage threat and look at the policy solutions that have been proposed to reduce it at a Tuesday morning hearing.

James Comey, the nominee to be the next FBI director, will testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee at a Tuesday hearing.


IN CASE YOU MISSED IT:

Snowden claims Web companies gave NSA 'direct access' to systems in new video clip: Former government contractor Edward Snowden said major tech companies like Google, Facebook and Apple provide the National Security Agency "direct access to the back ends" of Web services that people use to communicate and store data, in a brief video clip released by The Guardian for the first time on Monday.

During a video interview with The Guardian's Glenn Greenwald and Laura Poitras, Snowden claimed the NSA's Internet surveillance program, known as Prism, gave the government sweeping access to systems that house people's data or are used "to send birthday wishes."

Former FCC chief counsel joins Paul Hastings: Sherrese Smith, who served as chief counsel and legal adviser to former Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski, has been named a partner at Paul Hastings LLP, the law firm announced on Monday.

Smith will join the firm's telecommunications, media and technology practice, as well as its practice on data security and privacy. She will be based in Paul Hastings's Washington office and is expected to begin her new role in August.

FCC warns companies not to skip income check for 'Obama phones': The Obama administration is urging companies to thoroughly check a person's eligibility before providing cellphone service that is subsidized by the government.

The FCC expressed concerns that wireless companies might be activating phones for the program, known as Lifeline, "prior to fully verifying the eligibility of such consumers."

Obama to make government efficiency push: President Obama on Monday touted his plan to modernize federal government databases through private-sector partnerships that he says will reduce wasteful government spending and help grow the economy.

“We’re working to make huge swaths of your government more transparent and more accountable than ever before,” Obama said at the White House.

 
Please send tips and comments to Brendan Sasso, bsasso@thehill.com, and Jennifer Martinez, jmartinez@thehill.com.

Follow Hillicon Valley on Twitter: @HilliconValley, @BrendanSasso, @JenMartinez