Individual Privacy

The Privacy Channel features information concerning the intrusion into private lives and society. Learn more about wiretapping, social security or the Patriot Act.

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There are three levels of security classification for U.S. documents related to national security. What are they and who decides how they're protected against unauthorized disclosure?

By Jeffrey Fields

Encryption grants your data privacy, while locking out others, including law enforcement. Could encryption ever stay strong and grant law enforcement access?

By Greg Fish

Some say that publishing someone's personal information online for the purpose of harassment is bad, even if that person spouts hate speech. Do you agree?

By Dave Roos


The world's largest social media playground is looking to make private conversations a little more secure.

By Chris Opfer

It's a bold move: limiting or shutting off Internet access for an entire country. But it's happened twice recently, and it's bound to happen again.

By Jonathan Strickland

How do we monitor and investigate terrorist communications without sacrificing the public's privacy and freedom? That's a million-dollar question.

By Dave Roos

This week the U.S. Senate passed the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act. If you have an Internet connection and U.S. citizenship, you should know what it's about.

By Jonathan Strickland


Before humanity got a handle on the idea of potentially being recorded at any moment, some public figures learned that lesson the hard way. Here are 10 recordings that were damning to the parties involved.

By Bernadette Johnson

Shrouded in mystery. Exposed by a fresh-faced cubicle dweller. An introduction to the National Security Agency, its mission and activities, and the domestic spying programs uncovered in the Edward Snowden leak.

By Chris Opfer

Did you really think NSA stood for No Snooping Allowed? Of course not. But there's at least one more source of data for them to collect that you may not have considered -- and it's in your car.

By Kristen Hall-Geisler

Do we have a right to privacy? It isn't specifically laid out in the Constitution, but we do have the right to protect our private information. But what happens to that privacy once you die?

By Ed Grabianowski


If you get tagged for extra security screening each time you take a flight, you may be on a government watch list. Find out how you -- innocent you -- made the list.

By Cristen Conger

Can you kiss your old life goodbye and start anew? In the movies, people do it all the time, but a real-life clean slate is a little more complicated.

By Charles W. Bryant

Supporters claim it's been instrumental for security investigations and terrorist arrests, while critics counter that it gives the government too much power and undermines democracy. Let's take a look at what the Patriot Act is, what people say about it, and whether it's really working.

By Ed Grabianowski

E-mail is now protected from secret government searches thanks to a recent U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling. Read about this landmark e-mail privacy ruling.

By Jacob Silverman


The United States is involved in a massive expansion in the DNA-collecting capabilities of the federal government. Find out who this law affects and about the controversy surrounding DNA databases.

By Julia Layton

It's easy to tap a phone. Keeping a wiretap secret, now that's the tricky part. That’s where the recording equipment and surveillance teams come in. Learn how government spies and other pros go about listening in.

By Tom Harris

What do the numbers on a Social Security card mean? Are they random? And how easy is it for someone to steal your identity using your Social Security number?

By Patrick J. Kiger