Tag Archives | Big Brother

“Obey”: A Brutally Honest New Film By British Filmmaker Temujin Doran

I could call this film many things:

“A chilling view of the future”

“A harrowing tale of what we may become”

Based on the book The Death of the Liberal Class by Truthdig columnist Chris Hedges, “Obey” brutally conveys our present reality, perhaps in the hope that we may finally wake as a united humanity.

We have been lulled into a state of being in which we are not confronted with monolithic decisions where we choose Liberty or Death; instead we are fed a steady diet of mini-compromises in our lives that we often choose wrongly upon.

I myself and totally guilty of this, but the overall result is a total compromise of every single piece of our dignity and personal sovereignty.  So say that things are as they truly are is a radical notion that may get you shot in the face with a gas canister, like the military veteran of the Oakland Occupy protests or thrown into prison indefinitely like Bradley Manning.… Read the rest

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The Black Hornet Is Here To Help.

After Rand Paul's filibuster this last week, many people are paying a bit more attention to the idea that our government may not always be using their cool toys for our own good. RT's Abby Martin reported on mini drones and the possible ways in which they could be used against the public. One has to wonder if these little dandies might slip through the cracks of public awareness due to their size. Will Rand Paul get up again and passionately rail against the use of these cute lil' fellas? Presently in military use abroad, it seems like only a matter of time before these mini-drones hit the ghettos and suburbs of America to quietly keep an eye on the malcontents. If you can imagine it, it's probably going to be done at some point. Easy as 'playing an Xbox'; mini drones offer a new way for those in power to keep an eye on you...through your second floor bedroom window. Nice undies!
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Warrantless Government Requests For Your Twitter And Google Data Continue To Increase

It seems that using email or social networks, nothing is actually private. The Atlantic Wire reports:

Twitter has released its second biannual Transparency Report and — what do you know? — Twitter is still giving away more user information requested by the U.S. government than ever, and without a warrant.

Twitter got 815 total requests in the last six months, and more than 80 percent of the U.S. government’s asks on user data came without a warrant. Google, too, has seen an uptick in government requests, reporting a total 21,389 requests for information in 2012.

U.S. officials are asking for more of what we’re doing from more of our daily Internet activities — typically without getting a court’s permission. Google, however, is lobbying [for better privacy protection], and this year the Senate will vote on an updated version of the Electronic Communications Privacy Act that requires a warrant for all email and private communication stored over the cloud.

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A DIY Hat To Prevent Your Visibility On Cameras And Video

Via Quora, how, with a couple dollars and a few spare minutes, to make yourself invisible to Big Brother:

Most cameras (especially black and white security cameras) will see low levels of infrared light. This helps them video at dusk/dawn and in lower levels of light. To test this theory turn on your video camera and point your TV remote control at it. Change a few channels and you will see a pulse of light flash that the naked eye obviously can’t see.

With that said you can easily make an infrared hat with cheap $1 infrared LEDs stitched into the front of the hat, the more the better… Attach a 9 volt battery to the LEDS and bam you are now a giant LED flash light. People will see nothing out of the ordinary, but CCTV cameras will only see a large flash of infrared light coming from your head, hiding your face.

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Netflix Pushes For Privacy Law Change To Make Your Viewing History Available To Advertisers And Government

Coming soon–an algorithm to root out criminals and agitators in advance based on Netflix viewing history. Truthout writes:

You might want to think twice about streaming that “subversive” documentary about the Weather Underground on Netflix. If Republicans have their way, you just might end up on a watch list somewhere. This week, the House of Representatives passed an amendment to the 1988 Video Protection Privacy Act, which forbids movie rental companies from sharing or selling their customers’ viewing history. The Senate is expected to take up the amendment soon.

If this passes, what you watch on Netflix may soon become public information that your friends, employers, and even the government will have access to. Netflix favors the law change because it will help them branch into social media…[with] enormous profit-potential in selling your viewing history to advertisers who can target specific demographics based on your preference in movies. Also unmentioned by Netflix is just who else might get this information once it’s taken out of the privacy lockbox.

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Americans Are The Most Spied On People In World History

 Washington’s Blog on life in an era of firsts:

The US surveillance regime has more data on the average American than the Stasi ever did on East Germans. The American government is collecting and storing virtually every phone call, purchases, email, text message, internet searches, social media communications, health information, employment history, travel and student records, and virtually all other information of every American. Some also claim that the government is also using facial recognition software and surveillance cameras to track where everyone is going.

Moreover, cell towers track where your phone is at any moment, and the major cell carriers, including Verizon and AT&T, responded to at least 1.3 million law enforcement requests for cell phone locations and other data in 2011. And – given that your smartphone routinely sends your location information back to Apple or Google – it would be child’s play for the government to track your location that way.

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Arkansas Town Enacts Martial Law, ID Checks Of Everyone In Public

The mayor explains that normal constitutional protections don’t apply, because, due to the high rate of property crime, anyone walking outdoors in his city is a criminal suspect. Via Russia Today:

In order to curb the rising crime rate in this town of barely 25,000, Mayor Mike Gaskill and Police Chief Todd Stovall endorsed a plan to send cops dressed in full-fledged SWAT gear and equipped with AR-15s into downtown Paragould starting in 2013. What’s more, Stovall says, is he intends to have the cops collecting identification from everyone and anyone.

“If you’re out walking, we’re going to stop you, ask why you’re out walking, check for your ID,” the Daily Press reports him saying during last week’s meeting. “We will be asking for picture identification. We will be ascertaining where the subject lives and what they are doing in the area. We will be keeping a record of those we contact.”

“To ask you for your ID, I have to have a reason,” he said.

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Why Privacy Matters Even if You Have Nothing to Hide

Via the Chronicle of Higher Education, law professor Daniel J. Solove reveals all:

The nothing-to-hide argument is everywhere. In Britain, for example, the government has installed millions of public-surveillance cameras in cities and towns, which are watched by officials via closed-circuit television. In a campaign slogan for the program, the government declares: “If you’ve got nothing to hide, you’ve got nothing to fear.”

But the problem with the nothing-to-hide argument is the underlying assumption that privacy is about hiding bad things. By accepting this assumption, we concede far too much ground and invite an unproductive discussion about information that people would very likely want to hide. As the computer-security specialist Schneier aptly notes, the nothing-to-hide argument stems from a faulty “premise that privacy is about hiding a wrong.” Surveillance, for example, can inhibit such lawful activities as free speech, free association, and other First Amendment rights essential for democracy.

One such harm, for example, which I call aggregation, emerges from the fusion of small bits of seemingly innocuous data.

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All Americans’ Emails Are Collected By The FBI, Says NSA Whistleblower

William Binney, a former award-winning mathematician and code-breaker at the National Security Agency, talks to Russia Today regarding the virtual surveillance of the entire public:
The FBI has access to the data collected, which is basically the emails of virtually everybody in the country. All the congressional members are on the surveillance too, no one is excluded. If they become a target for whatever reason – the government can go in, the FBI, or other agencies, pull all that data collected on them over the years, and we analyze it all. So, we have to actively analyze everything they’ve done for the last 10 years at least. That’s why they're building Bluffdale [database facility], because they have to have more storage, because they can’t figure out what’s important, so they are just storing everything there. So, emails are going to be stored there in the future, but right now stored in different places around the country.
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Brazil Announces National System Of Mandatory Radio-Frequency ID Chips For Vehicles

Brazil’s new roadway surveillance system, the administration of which apparently involves private contractors, is dubbed SINIAV, and involves installing antennae at strategic points across the country to detect details of all passing cars via windshield-mounted RFID chips. On Boing Boing, Cory Doctorow explains:

In Brazil, a new regulation requires drivers to add radio ID tags to their car windshields, which broadcast “vehicle year or fabrication, make, model, combustible, engine power and license plate number.” This will be read by checkpoints throughout the country, and centrally processed and retained, in a system called Siniav.

The administration claims that this system will be “confidential and secure” because its contractors will sign confidentiality agreements.

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