The WasteWatcher: The Staff Blog of Citizens Against Government Waste

Privacy

The Net Neutrality Sham

Among the many problems with Sen. Ed Markey’s (D-Mass.) Congressional Review Act (CRA) resolution of disapproval of the Restoring Internet Freedom Order (RIFO) is the gaping hole in privacy protection that will occur if the legislation is enacted into law.  It is the one issue that supporters do not wish to be brought up or discussed publicly in their zeal to overturn the RIFO.

An Open Internet Excludes Net Neutrality

There is a huge misunderstanding regarding net neutrality.  Silicon Valley dot-coms and big e-commerce corporations are pushing the idea that the Restoring Internet Freedom Order approved by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on December 14, 2017 somehow rolled back protections for consumers, and will lead to the end of the internet as we know it.  But, it did nothing of the sort.  It simply rolled back the heavy hand of government over the internet, and restored consumer protection to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), which was stripped out by the 2015 Open Internet Order.

Microsoft/Ireland Case Poses Opportunity for Congress

Republicans and Democrats in Congress have a hard time agreeing on anything.  But, they might concur that it is not appropriate for law enforcement officials to order a cloud services provider to turn over customer data stored in another country without that country’s permission.

Time to Address FCC's Privacy Order

There is a point where over-regulation can lead to uncertainty.  Such is the case with the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) Privacy Order.

ATF Fails to Comply with Appropriations Act Restrictions

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) operates 25 firearms-related data systems, 16 of which contain purchaser information given to the ATF by federal firearms licensees (FFLs).

IRS Hiring of Outside Litigator Appears to Violate Law and Infringe Privacy

In what appears to be an unprecedented and illegal action, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has apparently for the first time hired a law firm to assist in the income tax audit and investigation of a taxpayer.

Make Vanishing Rights Reappear

The government cannot come into your home and rifle through your personal belongings without a warrant or a subpoena authorizing such a search.  However, unless the outdate Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA), which was enacted in 1986, is amended, files stored online with cloud computing vendors, email service providers and others may be subject to such unauthorized searches.  Under ECPA’s current provisions, hundreds of federal entities, including the FBI, DEA, and IRS, as well as state and local law enforcement agencies, can demand access to emails and documents stored in the cl

Navigating Healthcare Privacy

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has awarded $67 million in grants to more than 100 organizations to assist individuals needing help navigating the confusing process of signing up for Obamacare.

ECPA Reform Moves Forward

Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) applauds approval by voice vote today of S. 607, the Electronic Communications Privacy Act Amendments Act of 2013, by the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Police Chiefs Issue Guidance for Cloud Computing

On February 21, 2012, a Swineline blog post proposed that cloud computing is a viable option for law enforcement.

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