Supreme Court justices wrestled with Microsoft’s dispute with the US Justice Department over whether prosecutors can force technology companies to hand over data stored overseas, with some signaling support for the government and others urging Congress to pass a law to resolve the issue. Microsoft argues that laws have not caught up to modern computing infrastructure and it should not hand over data stored internationally. The Justice Department argues that refusing to turn over easily accessible data impedes criminal investigations.
President Donald Trump, pressing for new social media regulations, plans to nominate a senior administration official to be a member of the Federal Communications Commission. The nomination of Nathan Simington, a senior adviser at the Commerce Department’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration, comes after the White House abruptly announced in early August it was withdrawing the nomination of FCC Commissioner Mike O’Rielly to serve another term.
Seven years after the former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden blew the whistle on the mass surveillance of Americans’ telephone records, an appeals court has found the program was unlawful – and that the US intelligence leaders who publicly defended it were not telling the truth. In a ruling handed down Sept 3, the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit said the warrantless telephone dragnet that secretly collected millions of Americans’ telephone records violated the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act and may well have been unconstitutional.
The Trump administration has filed a motion asking a court to dismiss a lawsuit against the president’s executive order targeting social media companies, calling it a “profound misunderstanding.” The lawsuit was brought in June by the Center for Democracy and Technology. CDT argued Trump’s social media executive order violates the First Amendment rights of social media companies, will chill future online speech and reduce the ability of Americans to speak freely online.
The White House withdrew the nomination of Federal Communications Commissioner Mike O'Rielly to serve another term, a surprising development that came after his nomination was approved by the Senate Commerce Committee in July. The announcement came less than a week after Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Jim Inhofe (R-OK) said he would block O'Rielly's nomination over the five-member FCC's unanimous decision to allow Ligado Networks to deploy a low-power nationwide mobile broadband network.