National Security and Medical Information
Electronic Frontier Foundation (no date)
When exploring medical privacy issues, it's very useful to have an overview of the laws that affect control and privacy of medical information. We encourage you to read our legal overview.
The government has many options for obtaining your medical records on the grounds of national security. And if your medical records are swept up in a national security investigation, you likely won't be asked to consent and potentially won't ever know your medical records were accessed.
The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) Privacy Rule that went into effect in 2003 included a national security exception that permits doctors, hospitals, and any other "covered entity" to disclose individual health information "to authorized federal officials for the conduct of lawful intelligence, counter-intelligence, and other national security activities authorized by the National Security Act." This exception overrides the normal requirement that your authorization is needed before your medical information can be disclosed for anything other than your treatment, bill payment, or your health care provider’s business operations.
This national security exception appears to allow covered entities to disclose health records, at their own discretion, to any federal agency that plays a role in intelligence, counter-intelligence, and national security activities. This includes but isn't limited to the CIA, the FBI, and the NSA.
For example, a hospital could disclose any or all of the patient medical records in its possession to the NSA on the hospital’s own initiative, and could even allow the NSA or other federal agencies to access the hospital’s health record system on a permanent, ongoing basis. This could be done without a court order, without any procedural or substantive protections or barriers, and even without any request from the agency. . . .
Bio-terrorism, Central Intelligence Agency, Electronic Frontier Foundation, Federal, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), Health Records, Intelligence Community, Medical, Medical Records, Military, National Security, National Security Act, National Security Agency, Notice of Privacy Practices (NPP), Patriot Act, President, Privacy, Section 215 of the Patriot Act, Secret Service, Surveillance
Letter from ACLU and 40 other groups requesting that Congress review Section 215 of the Patriot Act
March 18, 2019
The Honorable Jerrold Nadler
Committee on the Judiciary
U.S. House of Representatives
2138 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
The Honorable Doug Collins
Ranking Member Committee on the Judiciary
U.S. House of Representatives
2138 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
Dear Chairman Nadler and Ranking Member Collins:
The undersigned organizations, which are dedicated to preserving privacy, civil liberties, and advancing transparency and accountability, write to request that you hold hearings and make public information critical to permit an informed debate over the reauthorization of Section 215 and other provisions of the Patriot Act, which are set to expire December 15, 2019. . . .
Access Now, ADC American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, American Civil Liberties Union, American Library Association, Americans for Prosperity, Arab American Institute, Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law, Call Detail Records, Carpenter v. United States 138 S.Ct. 2206, Cell Phones, Center for Democracy & Technology, Civil Liberties, Civil Rights, Color Of Change, Committee on the Judiciary, Consumer Action, Council on American-Islamic Relations, CREDO Action, Committee on Oversight and Reform, Defending Rights & Dissent, Demand Progress, Department of Homeland Security, Department of Justice, Electronic Frontier Foundation, Electronic Privacy Information Center, Fight for the Future, First Amendment, FISA Amendments Act, Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, Free Press Action, FreedomWorks, Government Accountability Project, Government Information Watch, Government Transparency, Human Rights Watch, Immigrant Legal Resource Center, Indivisible, Liberty Coalition, Million Hoodies Movement for Justice, Muslim Justice League, Muslim Public Affairs Council, NAACP, National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, National Coalition Against Censorship, National Immigration Law Center, National Security, National Security Agency, New America's Open Technology Institute, Open the Government, Patriot Act, PEN America, Privacy, Project on Government Oversight, Restore The Fourth Inc., Section 215 of the Patriot Act, Section 702 of FISA Amendments Act, TechFreedom, Telephones, Transparency International, “Unique Identifiers", USA Freedom Act, US House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence
Court Denies EFF Effort to Obtain Classified Significant Surveillance Court Opinions
Electronic Frontier Foundation, Aaron Mackey,March 28, 2019
A federal court’s ruling earlier this week has blunted a key provision of the surveillance reform law that required the government to be more transparent about legal decisions made by the United States secret surveillance court.
After Edward Snowden revealed the government’s ongoing mass collection of Americans’ telephone phone records in 2013, Congress responded by passing the USA Freedom Act in 2015. In addition to limiting the NSA’s surveillance authority, Congress also clearly intended to end the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court’s (FISC) ability to keep the decisions it made behind closed doors secret.
Since its inception in the 1970s, the government has asked the FISC to decide what constitutional or other legal protections, if any, Americans and others enjoy while seeking approval of the government’s secret mass surveillance programs. Though we were not happy with many aspects of the final USA Freedom language, EFF was pleased that the final language did require that the government review and declassify “each decision, order, or opinion” that contained significant interpretations of the Constitution or other laws and to make them “publicly available to the greatest extent practicable.” We believe this language, along with statements from Members of Congress during the debate, clearly require the FISC to release decisions both from before 2015 as well as after. . . .
California, District Court, Edward Snowden, Electronic Frontier Foundation, Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, Freedom of Information Act Requests, Government Transparency, Law, Lawsuits, National Security, National Security Agency, Phone Records, Privacy, Secret Law, Surveillance, USA Freedom Act
Jurist MARCH 1, 2019 04:21:01 PM
A three-judge panel of the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit unanimously ruled Thursday that a federal district court improperly limited the scope of a lawsuit alleging that the FBI had illegally targeted mosques and Islamic individuals for surveillance on a basis of religion.
The suit, brought by the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California on behalf of an Imam and two Muslim parishioners, charged that the FBI had illegally and unconstitutionally conducted espionage of their mosque based solely on their religion, violating due process and First Amendment protections. The FBI countered that their activities were protected by state secret privileges and that to defend against the allegations in court would threaten national security by exposing the FBI’s anti-terrorism activities to public scrutiny. The district judge agreed with the FBI’s defense and dismissed the majority of the claims in 2012. . . .
American Civil Liberties Union, Civil Rights, Federal Bureau of Investigation, First Amendment, Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, Law Enforcement, Muslims, National Security, State Secret Privileges, Surveillance, Terrorism
Is Big Tech Merging With Big Brother? Kinda Looks Like It
Wired, David Samuels Opinion, 1.23.19 07:00 AM
A FRIEND OF mine, who runs a large television production company in the car-mad city of Los Angeles, recently noticed that his intern, an aspiring filmmaker from the People’s Republic of China, was walking to work.
WHEN HE OFFERED to arrange a swifter mode of transportation, she declined. When he asked why, she explained that she “needed the steps” on her Fitbit to sign in to her social media accounts. If she fell below the right number of steps, it would lower her health and fitness rating, which is part of her social rating, which is monitored by the government. A low social rating could prevent her from working or traveling abroad.
China’s social rating system, which was announced by the ruling Communist Party in 2014, will soon be a fact of life for many more Chinese.
By 2020, if the Party’s plan holds, every footstep, keystroke, like, dislike, social media contact, and posting tracked by the state will affect one’s social rating.
Personal “creditworthiness” or “trustworthiness” points will be used to reward and punish individuals and companies by granting or denying them access to public services like health care, travel, and employment, according to a plan released last year by the municipal government of Beijing. High-scoring individuals will find themselves in a “green channel,” where they can more easily access social opportunities, while those who take actions that are disapproved of by the state will be “unable to move a step.” . . .
Amazon, Amazon Web Services, Azure Government Cloud Service, Big Brother, Central Intelligence Agency, China, Democratic Party, Dragon Fly, Facebook, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Google, GovCloud, Intelligence Community GovCloud, Joint Enterprise Defense Initiative, Microsoft, National Security, National Security Agency, Privacy, Security Classifications, Silican Valley, Social Rating System, Surveillance, Venezuela, Washington Post, Wired, Yahoo
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