OVERNIGHT TECH: Tech companies pledge to keep fighting NSA secrecy

The “decision to block our ability to share with our users more granular information related to national security requests ultimately breeds mistrust and suspicion — both of the United States and of companies that must comply with government legal directives,” a Yahoo spokesman said in a statement. 

“We urge the U.S. Government to reconsider this decision and grant our petition for greater transparency around national security requests for user data."

A Microsoft spokesman said the company “will continue to press for additional transparency, which is critical to understanding the facts and having an informed debate about the right balance between personal privacy and national security.”

A Google spokesman said the company is “disappointed” and called for greater transparency in the FISC process, as the government’s motion was partially redacted.

Google believes “more openness in the process is necessary since no one can fully see what the government has presented to the court,” the spokesman said.

Cybercriminals seize on shutdown: Spammers are using the government shutdown to target victims via email, according to a Symantec blog post. The computer security company said most of the shutdown-related spam emails it has seen “encourage users to take advantage of clearance sales on cars and trucks,” with subject lines like “Half-off our autos for each day the US Govt is shut down.”

Commerce votes off: The Senate Commerce Committee has postponed Thursday’s planned vote on the nomination of Michael O’Rielly to the Federal Communications Commission and Terrell McSweeny to the Federal Trade Commission. 

Privacy oversight hearing postponed: The Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board announced that it is postponing its Friday hearing on government surveillance programs because “a significant number of witnesses” will not be able to testify “due to the federal government lapse in appropriations.” The board will use its carryover funds from 2013 “to remain in operation and continue its examination of the surveillance programs,” it said.

Personnel notes: Alexander Hoehn-Saric, a former adviser to FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel, has joined Charter Communications as vice president of government affairs. Anne Veigle has been promoted from vice president of media affairs to senior vice president of communications at USTelecom. 


The Washington Post will host a cybersecurity summit Thursday, featuring House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers (R-Mich.), former CIA Director Gen. Michael Hayden and former White House Cybersecurity Coordinator Howard Schmidt.


The FBI shut down Silk Road, an online marketplace for illegal drugs and computer hacking tools, and arrested its alleged operator.

The government shutdown and the resulting decrease in funding for the intelligence community could leave the U.S. vulnerable to terrorist attacks, Sen. Ted CruzTed CruzThe Memo: Trump tries to quiet race storm Cruz calls for Justice Department investigation into Charlottesville violence THE MEMO: Trump's base cheers attacks on McConnell MORE (R-Texas) says.

Foreign countries will have an easier time recruiting U.S. intelligence community employees as spies after sequestration and the shutdown, the director of national intelligence says.

Battle lines are being drawn between Senate Intelligence Committee Chairwoman Dianne FeinsteinDianne FeinsteinTrump's Democratic tax dilemma Feinstein: Trump immigration policies 'cruel and arbitrary' The Memo: Could Trump’s hard line work on North Korea? MORE (D-Calif.) and Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick LeahyPatrick LeahyGrassley shouldn't allow Senate Democrats to block judicial nominees Trump’s rhetoric and bluster could lose US an ally in Mexico Congress must act to protect data privacy before courts make surveillance even easier MORE (D-Vt.) over the necessity of surveillance programs such as a program that collects phone call data in bulk, with Feinstein vowing to protect the collection program.

NSA Director Gen. Keith Alexander admitted during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing Wednesday that the agency collected in bulk Americans’ cellphone location data in 2010 and 2011.

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