The Nevada Supreme Court said Thursday that the state’s wiretap law permits the interception of cellphone calls and text messages even though it has not been updated since 1973.
But a three-justice panel of the court said Nevada’s law regarding “wire communications” includes cellphones. The court said that “wireless” cellphone communications do involve the use of a wire when the communication reaches a cellular tower and is then transmitted by wire through a switching station to another transmitting tower.
The federal Wiretap Act is the major privacy law that protects privacy in communications.
In this post, I want to focus on a particularly tricky and important application of the problem that is raised in a case now pending in the Third Circuit: How does the Wiretap Act apply to surveillance of websurfing? Say a person is surfing the web, and a surveillance device is monitoring the URLs that a person is visiting. When, if at all, can that violate the Wiretap Act? Are the URLs contents or metadata, and if URLs are contents, who are the parties to that communication that can consent?
Under the draft provisions of the latest trade deal to be leaked by Wikileaks, countries could be barred from trying to control where their citizens’ personal data is held or whether it’s accessible from outside the country.
Wikileaks has released 17 documents relating to the Trade in Services Agreement (TISA), currently under negotiation between the US, the European Union and 23 other nations. These negotiating texts are supposed to remain secret for five years after TISA is finalized and brought into force.
The National Institute of Standards and Technology is probably best known for the cybersecurity guidelines it released in late 2013, but the organization frequently authors reports on critical issues in the technology space. The NIST recently released a draft of one such report designed to aid federal organizations in processing private citizen information. Now entering a public commenting period that will remain open until July 13, the report, “Privacy Risk Management for Federal Information Systems,” seeks to create a universal vocabulary for discussing the challenges of private data processing, while providing modes of thinking that can be applied as information processing continues to evolve.
[…]For more on the “Privacy Risk Management for Federal Information Systems Framework” draft and to submit comments, visit NIST.gov.