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NSA Whistleblowers: NSA Collects ‘Word for Word’ Every Domestic Communication

August 3, 2013 2 comments

washingtonsblog.com

Anyone Who Says the Government Only Spies On Metadata Is Sadly Mistaken

PBS interviewed NSA whistleblowers William Binney and Russell Tice this week.

Binney is the NSA’s former director of global digital data, and a 32-year NSA veteran widely regarded as a “legend” within the agency.  Tice helped the NSA spy with satellites.

Binney and Tice confirmed that the NSA is recording every word of every phone call made within the United States:

[PBS INTERVIEWER] JUDY WOODRUFF:   Both Binney and Tice suspect that today, the NSA is doing more than just collecting metadata on calls made in the U.S. They both point to this CNN interview by former FBI counterterrorism agent Tim Clemente days after the Boston Marathon bombing. Clemente was asked if the government had a way to get the Read more…

XKeyscore: The NSA program that collects ‘nearly everything’ that you do on the internet

August 2, 2013 1 comment

extremetech.com

Where is NSA's XKeyscore located?If you were shocked by the NSA’s Prism program, hold onto your hat: The NSA also operates another system, called XKeyscore, which gives the US intelligence community (and probably most of the US’s Western allies) full access to your email, IMs, browsing history, and social media activity. To view almost everything that you do online, an NSA analyst simply has to enter your email or IP address into XKeyscore. No formal authorization or warrant is required; the analyst just has to type in a “justification” and press Enter. To provide such functionality, the NSA collects, in its own words, “nearly everything a typical user does on the internet.” Perhaps most importantly, though, it appears that HTTPS and SSL might not protect your communications from Read more…

How secretly developed software became capable of tracking people’s movements online

February 12, 2013 Comments off

The U.S. government can track where you are, who you’re with, what you look like, and where you’ll likely be next thanks to a tool created by defense contractor Raytheon.

The tool, called Riot, or rapid information overlay technology, looks at your Twitter, Facebook, Gowalla, and Foursquare to determine Read more…

Facing up to the law: increasing surveillance raises privacy concerns

February 12, 2013 Comments off

smh.com

I spy the use of facial recognition systems by law enforcement agencies is becoming more widespread. Illustration: Sam Bennett

ABOUT 15,000 people have had images of their faces captured on an Australian Federal Police database in its first year of operation, igniting fears that the rise of facial recognition systems will lead to CCTV cameras being installed on every street corner.

The database includes pictures of alleged criminals who may not know their images are on file.

The AFP say facial recognition may eventually be considered as credible as fingerprints, but images on their database are not being shared with state police forces. Sharing images on a national database could be possible by 2015.

The president of Australian Councils for Civil Liberties, Terry O’Gorman, said it was troubling that technologies such as facial and number plate recognition had become so widespread and there appeared to be no independent monitoring of the impacts on privacy.

The justification for widespread CCTV has also been questioned, with a report by police in London, the most spied-upon city in the world, showing that only one crime was solved per 1000 cameras.

An AFP forensic and data centres biometrics co-ordinator, Simon Walsh, said international agencies were Read more…

LAPD Uses Anti-Terrorism Devise to Track Cellphone Users

January 29, 2013 1 comment

allgov.com

The Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) is using an anti-terrorism device that indiscriminately sweeps up cellphone communications of innocent bystanders during burglary, drug and murder investigations.

LA Weekly wrote back in September that the police agency purchased Stingray technology in 2006 using Department of Homeland Security (DHS) funds, and is deploying the portable equipment for routine police operations. DHS grant documents said the device was intended for “regional terrorism investigations.”

Stingray pretends that it is a cell tower and fools wireless phones into establishing a connection. Once connected, it can establish cell location and download information of people who are not suspects in an investigation, raising all sorts of privacy issues.

Information obtained by the First Amendment Coalition under the California Public Records Act indicates that LAPD used Stingray 21 times in a four-month period last year. While carriers like AT&T and Sprint typically require a court order before granting law enforcement access to cellphone data, it is not clear that LAPD is asking the courts for a warrant.

Privacy advocates argue that accessing phones with Stingray constitutes a “search and seizure” under the Constitution’s Fourth Amendment, and requires a warrant. The FBI has argued it doesn’t need a warrant because cellphone users have no reasonable expectation of privacy. The U.S.Supreme Court has not yet ruled on the issue.

The records viewed by LA Weekly seemed to indicate that judges were not fully apprised of Stingray’s scope; that it was sweeping a range of cellphones rather than a specific suspect’s phone.

LAPD refuses to comment on Stingray, which is reportedly also being used by local law enforcement in Fort Worth, Texas, Gilbert, Arizona, and Miami.

–Ken Broder

Americans endorse spycams, getting used to drones

January 19, 2013 Comments off

wnd.com

drone_20

A new poll has uncovered a “shocking willingness” on the part of Americans to give up their privacy and freedoms for the sake of “safety,” just at a time when the Obama administration is launching an assault on the self-defense rights guarded by the Second Amendment.

“As leaders in Washington prepare an assault on the Second Amendment, a majority of Americans – 61 percent – said they believe that domestic use of drones by government and law enforcement agencies represents a violation of people’s right to privacy,” said Fritz Wenzel, president of Wenzel Strategies.

It was his public-opinion research and media consulting company, Wenzel Strategies, that released the results of a telephone poll conducted for WND. It was taken Jan. 9-12 and carries a margin of error of plus or minus 3.22 percentage points.

Wenzel said the federal government “has announced plans to use drones domestically in certain circumstances, and the survey finding that 20 percent are Read more…

Categories: Privacy, United States Tags: ,

Big Google is watching you

January 16, 2013 Comments off

businessspectator.com

While travelling overseas at Christmas we naturally turned off mobile data on our phones to avoid being ripped off by the phone companies’ rapacious data roaming charges.

Instead, everywhere I went I asked for the Wi-Fi password and sometimes didn’t even need one. No problem, although using Google maps to get around in the street was impossible.

 

In fact with all three phone networks in Australia whacking up their data prices, I’m thinking of turning off mobile data at home as well. There’s more and more public Wi-Fi around and although the domestic Read more…

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