A Former Spy Shares Why the U.S. Needs a Data Privacy Law… Yesterday

Photo credit: Susanna Hayward / Getty Images - Hearst Owned
Photo credit: Susanna Hayward / Getty Images – Hearst Owned

From Marie Claire

Data privacy legislation is not about secrecy; it’s about transparency. I know a lot about both. I was one of the original coauthors of the initiative that became the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), the most comprehensive privacy law in the U.S., and before that I was a CIA counterintelligence officer and counsel on the House Intelligence Committee. Surprisingly, it was my career as a spy—where I did things like provide oversight of the NSA wiretapping program Edward Snowden later disclosed—that made me realize how desperately the U.S. needs a law to protect consumers’ online privacy. I’m inspired by this quote shared by Gabriel Weinberg, the founder of the privacy-focused search engine DuckDuckGo: “Everyone knows what you do in the bathroom, but you still close the door.” In other words, your info may not be a secret,

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Australian government cites ‘chilling effect’ on cabinet in bid to block release of papers in Timor-Leste spy case



a man and a woman standing in front of a microphone: Photograph: Lukas Coch/AAP


© Provided by The Guardian
Photograph: Lukas Coch/AAP

Government lawyers have invoked cabinet confidence in an attempt to stop Bernard Collaery and his team from viewing a briefing to the prime minister relevant to the Timor-Leste spying case.

Collaery, a barrister and former ACT attorney general, has been charged over his role in exposing details of a 2004 Australian intelligence operation to bug the Timor-Leste government during commercial negotiations to carve up oil and gas resources in the Timor Sea.



a group of people standing in front of a microphone: Bernard Collaery outside the ACT supreme court last year. Protesters gathered outside the court on Wednesday in support of Collaery and Witness K in the Timor-Leste spying case.


© Photograph: Lukas Coch/AAP
Bernard Collaery outside the ACT supreme court last year. Protesters gathered outside the court on Wednesday in support of Collaery and Witness K in the Timor-Leste spying case.

It is alleged that Collaery, while representing intelligence whistleblower Witness K, illegally shared protected information about the operation.

Related: Australia’s attorney general Christian Porter accused of abusing powers in whistleblower trial

Collaery faces jail time if found guilty.

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