The Norman Transcript

Headlines

February 26, 2013

Policy’s ambiguity threatens personal privacy

NORMAN — Gaylord College of Journalism and Mass Communication Faculty and guests were treated to a candid and troubling glimpse into the rapid expansion of surveillance methods through popular digital media Monday evening.

Ashley Packard, University of Houston-Clear Lake professor and author of Digital Media Law, joined Chris Soghoian, ACLU principal technologist and senior policy analyst, to provide expert insight into the vast legal liberties certain entities exploit to silently track the daily activities of the Internet’s billions of users.

“Here in the U.S., our laws are very ad hoc regarding privacy and (are) very reactive,” Packard said. “We have laws protecting our health record information, financial information, electronic information. But most of those laws regulate how the people who have that information can use it, not what information they can gather in the first place.”

Though this concept may seem relatively harmless or even defensible from a law enforcement standpoint, the ambiguity of current digital privacy policy has created and continues to create boundless access to increasingly detailed personal information.

“I think one of the reasons the surveillance state has been able to advance as far as it has, both in terms of the scale of surveillance and the extent to which the government can delve into our most private affairs, is because the public doesn’t know what’s going on,” Soghoian said. “It’s much easier to spy on a population that doesn’t know it’s happening or assumes ‘it’s not happening to me.’”

Packard and Soghoian detailed how surveillance of satellites, international Internet cables, security cameras or individuals’ email and social media accounts requires little to no clearance and, once accessed, can be easily dispersed or compromised.

Citing NASA’s security breaches in 2011, Packard and Soghoian also discussed the vulnerability of information in individuals’ background checks — released by individuals on the assumption their information is secure.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Headlines
  • Baker home 3 Moore resident lands in new home 14 months after tornado

    She crawled from the rubble of what used to be her home. The neighborhood was destroyed. It was the afternoon of May 20, 2013, and Jamie Baker was homeless....

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Additional details come to light in Campus Corner incident involving Sooner recruit

    The 911 call from Pickleman’s Gourmet Cafe early Friday morning brought forth more details from the incident that has Oklahoma running back Joe Mixon under investigation for an alleged assault....

    July 30, 2014

  • Police rule out homicide in Norman woman’s death

    Norman Police Capt. Todd Gibson said Tuesday they have eliminated the theory of homicide after a Norman woman was found dead in her home Monday afternoon. “We’re moving in a different direction with the investigation,” Gibson said. “It’s ...

    July 30, 2014

  • Voter registration deadline is Friday

    Friday is the last day to apply for voter registration to be eligible to vote in the Aug. 26 Runoff Primary Election. Races include federal, state and county offices, but for Cleveland County voters, the field is limited....

    July 30, 2014

  • Norman High student argues his way to the top

    Knowing the ins and outs of an argument that involves complex research is the type of skill one expects a high paid attorney to have not a high school student. Yet debate competitor Nicky Halterman has been arguing his way to the top of ...

    July 30, 2014

  • Senate approves new VA secretary

    WASHINGTON — The Senate on Tuesday unanimously confirmed former Procter & Gamble CEO Robert McDonald as the new Veterans Affairs secretary, with a mission to overhaul an agency beleaguered by long veterans’ waits for health care and VA ...

    July 30, 2014

  • Tampering accusations surface in OKC bombing case

    SALT LAKE CITY — A Utah lawyer suing the FBI over his public records request for surveillance videos from the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing said Tuesday that one of his witnesses backed out after being visited by government officials last ...

    July 30, 2014

  • Shelter construction ongoing; residents voice concerns

    A regular quarterly meeting of the Animal Shelter Oversight Board prompted Norman residents to speak up about more than just a photo release issue Monday night involving Friends of the Animals of Norman volunteers and the city of Norman. ...

    July 30, 2014

  • Senate passes highway bill, sends it to House

    WASHINGTON — The Senate on Tuesday voted to change the funding and timing of a House bill to keep federal highway funds flowing to states in an effort to force Congress to come to grips with chronic funding problems that have plagued ...

    July 30, 2014

  • Police log

    Police responded to the following incidents Monday: · 8:20 a.m. larceny report, 2000 block of West Lindsey Street · 9:04 a.m. stolen vehicle, 3400 block of Bart Conner Drive · 9:11 a.m. larceny report, 1200 block of Ed ...

    July 30, 2014