Tag Archives | Big Brother

Kuwait’s Top Book Censor Discusses Her Job

getimage1-uspostersWondering what it’s like to decide what knowledge is outlawed? The head of book censorship at Kuwait’s Ministry of Information explains how one goes about becoming a censor and defends the practice as a skilled art. The Kuwait Times writes:

The censors who are responsible for censoring books and other publications do an interesting job, which becomes harder during some periods of the year, yet it seems they enjoy it. In Kuwait, freedoms are respected yet within certain limits.

Dalal Al-Mutairi, head of the Foreign Books Department at the Ministry of Information [says]: “Many people consider the censor to be a fanatic and uneducated person, but this isn’t true. We are the most literate people as we have read much, almost every day. We read books for children, religious books, political, philosophical, scientific ones and many others.”

Working as a censor is interesting. “I like this work. It gives us experience, information and we always learn something new.

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Drones for Domestic Surveillance (Video)

Via RT America:
In January of 2012, the US Congress passed legislation that will open up the US sky to unmanned drones. The robotic aircraft will be used for military and police operations and will add to America's current arsenal of around 7,000 drones. According to some accounts, peaceful protest might be a reason that feds would deploy the unmanned craft. There are currently 300 active drone permits in the US, but will that soon swell out of control? Amie Stepanovich, a member of the National Security Council for EPIC, joins us for more.
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CIA’s Secret Fear: High-Tech Border Checks Will Blow Spies’ Cover

EyeScanThe Watchmen’s tools working against the Watchers? Jeff Stein writes on WIRED’s Danger Room:

When Tom Cruise had to break into police headquarters in Minority Report, the futuristic crime thriller, he got past the iris scanners with ease: He just swapped out his eyeballs.

CIA agents may find that just a little beyond the call of duty. But meanwhile, they’ve got to come up with something else: The increasing deployment of iris scanners and biometric passports at worldwide airports, hotels and business headquarters, designed to catch terrorists and criminals, are playing havoc with operations that require CIA spies to travel under false identities.

Busy spy crossroads such as Dubai, Jordan, India and many EU points of entry are employing iris scanners to link eyeballs irrevocably to a particular name. Likewise, the increasing use of biometric passports, which are embedded with microchips containing a person’s face, sex, fingerprints, date and place of birth, and other personal data, are increasingly replacing the old paper ones.

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Google Will Now Pay You To Track Everything You Do Online, Via A Black Box

Would you sell off your privacy in return for a $5 gift card every three months? Ars Technica reports:

Google quietly started up the Screenwise data collection program Tuesday night, taking the e-mail addresses of people interested in “add[ing] a browser extension that will share with Google the sites you visit and how you use them.” For their participation, Google offers users a $5 Amazon gift card for every three months they stay with the program. Less publicly, Google also started looking for people who would install a piece of hardware on their network to do more extensive monitoring.


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How Facebook Turns You Over To The Police

Ah, the social network. A Boston Phoenix story detailing law enforcement’s hunt for “Craigslist Killer” Philip Markoff reveals what Facebook sends to the cops when they subpoena your profile information (a topic about which Facebook has been very tight-lipped). What do the police receive? All of your wall posts and shares, everyone you’ve ever friended or defriended, every photo you’ve ever been tagged in (even if private or deleted), all of your “likes”, and your entire step-by-step history of activity, including every time you’ve viewed anyone’s profile:


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Coming Soon to US: Big Brother Barking Orders at You

Big Brother surveillance cameras that bark orders at you is already in full effect in London and could be coming soon to the US. Luke Rudkowski (www.youtube.com/wearechange), Abby Martin (www.youtube.com/AbbyMediaRoots) and Mark Dice (www.youtube.com/theresistance) made an entertaining video highlighting the issue so San Diego residents can be aware of the scary and very likely possibility of Big Brother barking "laws" at you in your neighborhood:
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Homeland Security Manual Lists Government Key Words For Monitoring Social Media

Andrea Stone writes in the Huffington Post:

Ever complain on Facebook that you were feeling “sick?” Told your friends to “watch” a certain TV show? Left a comment on a media website about government “pork?”

If you did any of those things, or tweeted about your recent vacation in “Mexico” or a shopping trip to “Target,” the Department of Homeland Security may have noticed.

In the latest revelation of how the federal government is monitoring social media and online news outlets, the Electronic Privacy Information Center has posted online a 2011 Department of Homeland Security manual that includes hundreds of key words (such as those above) and search terms used to detect possible terrorism, unfolding natural disasters and public health threats. The center, a privacy watchdog group, filed a Freedom of Information Act request and then sued to obtain the release of the documents.

The 39-page “Analyst’s Desktop Binder” used by the department’s National Operations Center includes no-brainer words like “”attack,” “epidemic” and “Al Qaeda” (with various spellings).

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Occupy The National Security State

Spray The Founders?Aaron Cynic writes at Diatribe Media:

It seems sadly fitting the USA Patriot Act turned ten years old the day after police in Oakland, California assaulted peaceful demonstrators with tear gas and rubber bullets. While police violence had been already rampant in New York in Zuccotti Park, Oakland marked one of the first major violent confrontations with Occupy demonstrators. Soon after, police in cities across American began raids on Occupy camps, many of which culminated in the use of pepper spray, tear gas, rubber bullets and sonic weapons. The evidence that such raids were coordinated by city mayors continues to mount, even though they vehemently deny any collusion. Most recently, police at UC Davis in California nonchalantly pepper sprayed peaceful students sitting on a plaza.

For ten years, we’ve watched one of the most draconian laws passed with incredible haste systematically destroy the freedoms that were supposedly under attack by terrorists and the “axis of evil.” In the name of national security, the Patriot Act has allowed our government — one that touts itself as the freeist in the world — the ability to spy on its citizens without justification, search their homes without warrants, and even penalize them for speaking a word of such actions.… Read the rest

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Taxi Surveillance Cameras and The Continuing Decay of Privacy

Travis BickleWhere to mate? 1984 please.

“You lookin’ at me?” —Travis Bickle (performed by Robert De Niro), Taxi Driver (1976)

The use of surveillance cameras in taxis that record both sound and images hit the headlines last week, when it emerged that the City Council of the historic English city of Oxford was making them compulsory for all local private hire vehicles [1]. Many commentators were shocked by the depths to which the surveillance society had now stooped but few spotted that this phenomenon has been around for over a decade, and not just in the UK.

CCTV in taxis is a worldwide development. The globalised surveillance industrial complex offers one-solution-fits-all products regardless of regional differences or actual need. Wherever taxi cameras have been introduced the measure has courted controversy and time and time again privacy laws around the world have seemingly been unable to restrain this addition to the surveillance panoply.… Read the rest

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Supreme Court Troubled By Warrantless GPS Tracking

The SupremesI guess the justices of the highest court in the land (a.k.a. the Supremes) realized that the U.S. government has the power to watch any of them without any legal action … Mark Sherman reports in the AP:

The Supreme Court invoked visions of an all-seeing Big Brother and satellites watching us from above. Then things got personal Tuesday when the justices were told police could slap GPS devices on their cars and track their movements, without asking a judge for advance approval.

The occasion for all the talk about intrusive police actions was a hearing in a case about whether the police must get a search warrant before using GPS technology to track criminal suspects. The outcome could have implications for other high-tech surveillance methods as well.

The justices expressed deep reservations about warrantless GPS tracking. But there also was no clear view about how or whether to regulate police use of the devices.

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