In This Issue:
- USA Freedom Act Brings Changes to Surveillance Program
- Connecticut Enacts Bill Imposing Tighter Data Security Obligations
- Pennsylvania Court Dismisses Data Breach Negligence Claim
- Nevada Federal Court Dismisses Claims Against Zappos over Customer Data Breach
- Recent Decision Keeps Spotlight on Cyber Insurance
- EU Moves One Step Closer to New General Data Protection Regulation
- Excerpt from USA Freedom Act Brings Changes to Surveillance Program:
The new Freedom Act changes the way the government collects information in bulk.
On June 2, 2015, following expiration of three controversial provisions of the USA Patriot Act, President Barack Obama signed into law the USA Freedom Act, setting into motion a change to the National Security Agency’s (NSA) controversial surveillance program. The reception of the Freedom Act’s passage has been mixed; some believe it to be a meaningful post-9/11 surveillance improvement, while others maintain it does little to ameliorate privacy concerns.
As reported in the May 2015 edition of Privacy & Cybersecurity Update, the NSA’s mass data collection program first came under public scrutiny in 2013 following former government contractor Edward Snowden’s information leak. Under the authority of Section 215 of the Patriot Act, the program involved telecommunications operators delivering telephone record metadata directly to the NSA. The NSA would then comb through this data to gather information on anticipated terrorist threats. In May 2015, in ACLU v. Clapper,1 the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit rejected the interpretation of Section 215 that granted the government this sweeping power. The court found that allowing the collection of business records that are “relevant to an authorized investigation” under Section 215 could not be read to include the dragnet collection of telephone records for a broad counterterrorism effort. Clapper thus foreshadowed the imminent dismantling of the existing surveillance apparatus.
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