ACLU Sues TSA Over Domestic Electronics Searches
The American Civil Liberties Union wants to know more about the Transportation Security Administration's policies concerning searches of electronic devices on domestic flights. As such, the ACLU has file a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit against the TSA seeking the agency's records. "The federal government's policies on searching the phones, laptops, and tablets of domestic air passengers remain shrouded in secrecy,” said ACLU attorney Vasudha Talla. "TSA is searching the electronic devices of domestic passengers, but without offering any reason for the search.We don’t know why the government is singling out some passengers, and we don’t know what exactly TSA is searching on the devices. Our phones and laptops contain very personal information, and the federal government should not be digging through our digital data without a warrant." Specifically, the lawsuit seeks the TSA's records related to policies, procedures, or protocols for conducting searches, as well as information about what devices are used to conduct the searches, and what training is involved. The ACLU notes that in October 2017 the TSA did announce heightened screening procedures for domestic flights, but the agency has yet to divulge any details. The ACLU first asked the TSA for details in December, but it has yet to receive any information from the agency. Customs and Border Control has more latitude to search the electronics of passengers arriving via international flights.
Google Makes It Easier to Find and Book Hotels and Flights
Google today improved the way Google Search finds and sorts hotels and flights when planning trips. To start, searching for hotels should now include better price filters and quickly discoverable details, such as hotel amenities.
Google Flights to Predict Delays
Google today improved its Google Flights tool by adding the ability to predict flight delays. The company is pairing historical flight data with machine learning algorithms to determine delays before the airline itself can.
ACLU, EFF File Lawsuit Over Warrantless Phone Searches
The American Civil Liberties Union and the Electronic Frontier Foundation have sued the Department of Homeland Security for searching American citizens' smartphones at the border without a warrant. Specifically, the groups say the Customs and Border Protection and Immigration and Customs Enforcement agencies have delayed citizens' entry into the country lest they give up smartphone passwords.
California to Require Warrants for Stingrays
California Governor Jerry Brown signed a new law that prohibits the government from snooping on citizens' electronic communications without first obtaining a warrant. The law, called the California Electronic Communications Privacy Act, forbids the government from "accessing electronic device information by means of physical interaction or electronic communication with the device." For example, police will no longer be able to use stingrays unless they get permission from a judge to do so.