#IMWeekly: November 25, 2013

by adamlewis

Indonesia Indonesia recalled its ambassador from Australia and announced it would review ongoing cooperation between the two countries—including the position of the Australian ambassador in Jakarta. The move was made in response to documents released by Edward Snowden that revealed that Australian intelligence operators had attempted to tap the phones of the Indonesian President and his wife.

Iran Iran has blocked Cryptocat, “a tool that allows for secure and encrypted chat, and is popular with human rights activists and journalists around the world.” This latest expansion of Iran’s “Filternet” comes despite recent promises by President Hassan Rouhani and other high level officials to relax Internet restrictions.

United States The US Supreme court declined to consider a challenge to the legitimacy of the NSA’s global surveillance operations. The petition brought by the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) specifically challenged whether the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court exceeded its authority when it ordered Verizon to give all of its telephone metadata to the NSA. The case was the first to reach the Supreme Court since documents released by Edward Snowden earlier this summer shed light on the NSA’s activities. The Court offered no explanation for why it declined to hear EPIC’s plea—a request that was unusual for being filed directly to the Court without prior lower court action. There are, however, other challenges to the surveillance program that are pending in lower courts and may reach the Supreme Court in the not too distant future.

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