The law that enables the warrantless collection and searching of the communications of US citizens is set to expire at the end of 2017. In today’s show, David Ruiz and I discuss several bills in Congress that attempt to curb the rampant abuses of this legislation (Section 702 of the FISA law). These long-overdue reforms go a long way towards restoring the principles of the Fourth Amendment and reclaiming basic civil liberties that we let slip away in fear after 9/11.

In the news this week, I’ll update you on the Reaper botnet and tell you about an effort to safeguard our elections systems before the next major election. I’ll also help you double-check your smartphone app permissions, making sure they don’t have any more access than they need to things like your camera, microphone, location, and contacts.

David Ruiz is a writer covering NSA surveillance and federal surveillance policy for Electronic Frontier Foundation, a digital rights non-profit. As 2017 closes, he is deeply involved in covering the multiple bills before Congress that seek to reform or reauthorize Section 702 of the FISA Amendments Act, a law that is currently one of the U.S. government’s most powerful surveillance tools. Previously, David worked as a journalist covering legal affairs for some of Silicon Valley’s largest companies, including Google, Facebook, Twitter and Uber. He has also had his work featured in KQED, The East Bay Express,, The Sacramento Bee and KZSU Stanford 90.1 FM. Beyond writing, David also hosts a personal podcast called Death Knell, which explores the grieving process after death.

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Carey Parker began programming computers in middle school when personal computers were just starting to become popular. For years, these twin interests percolated until he attended Purdue University and he learned you could get paid to do this stuff – it was called Electrical Engineering! After obtaining a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in EE, Carey wrote software for multiple companies, large and small. In recent years, particularly after the Edward Snowden revelations in 2013, he became deeply concerned about computer security and privacy. In 2014, he combined his passion for computers, cybersecurity and fantasy novels with the long-time desire to write the book: Firewalls Don’t Stop Dragons.