NY Times Reports: Police Use Surveillance Tool to Scan Social Media, A.C.L.U. Says

WASHINGTON — After Apple and the F.B.I. made their battle over encryption public in February, members of Congress quickly jumped into the debate. Some lawmakers promised new rules that would give authorities more access to smartphones, while others promised to fight off those laws.

Yet after several hearings and bills, and the formation of congressional working groups, little has been done to resolve the central tug of war between the tech industry and federal authorities over civil rights versus national security.

Law enforcement officials have argued that hundreds of criminal investigations have been held up by their inability to get access to locked smartphones and encrypted apps. Privacy advocates and tech companies say such access would cost people their personal information and lead to a slippery slope of surveillance.

The debate has flared anew recently, with Open Whisper Systems, maker of the encrypted messaging app Signal, revealing it had received a federal subpoena for user information earlier this year, along with a gag order. Last week, reports also surfaced that Yahoo worked to satisfy a secret court order by scanning incoming emails for digital “signatures” tied to a state-sponsored terrorist organization. Read complete article here: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/10/12/technology/aclu-facebook-twitter-instagram-geofeedia.html?ref=technology