Tag Archives | surveillance state

How Zionist Extremists Helped Create Britain’s Surveillance State

Flag of the Lehi movement (blue on white)A provocative title to say the least, but it’s Foreign Policy‘s not ours:

The years after World War II were not kind to Britain’s intelligence services — especially MI5, its domestic counterintelligence and security agency. In the name of austerity, funding of the nation’s intelligence services was slashed, their emergency wartime powers removed, and their staff numbers drastically reduced. MI5′s ranks were reduced from 350 officers at its height in 1943, to just a hundred in 1946. Its administrative records reveal that it was forced to start buying cheaper ink and paper, and its officers were instructed to type reports on both sides of paper to save money. And there were some serious discussions within the government, as there had been after World War I, about shutting MI5 down altogether. Unfortunately for MI5, in the post-war years it faced the worst possible combination of circumstances: reduced resources, but increased responsibilities.

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The UK Surveillance State’s Finest Export: Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR)

Alexandria VA Dodge Charger Police Car ANPR

A City of Alexandria Dodge Charger police car equipped with mobile ANPR. Two forward facing ANPR units are mounted on the trunk of this vehicle. Photo: Something Original (CC)

Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) might not sound quite as invasive to your privacy as it actually is. James Bridle, perhaps flush with worldwide attention from his much admired Surveillance Spaulder, has written a tremendous history of ANPR, starting in Britain 30 years ago and now aggressively used around the world. In this portion of his lengthy essay at Medium, he discusses ANPR in the United States:

In the United States, implementations have multiplied many times over in recent years. Thanks to lobbying and financial support from insurance companies, Oklahoma and Arizona, among other states, have introduced extensive ANPR networks aimed at catching uninsured drivers. Other deployments, meanwhile, have a more familiar feeling.

When the city of San Leandro, California, purchased ANPR cameras for its police force in 2009, local resident Michael Katz-Lacabe, using a Freedom of Information request, discovered that his car had been captured by the system more than 100 times in a matter of months.

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Don’t Worry About Obama Spying On You—Just Kidding, You Should Worry

article-obama-1207Ah, the sweet smell of Thursday morning outright denial-of-reality.

Yes, in a sweeping scoop from The Guardian‘s Glenn Greenwald, it has been revealed that the Obama administration since at least April has been hoovering up millions of Verizon subscribers’ phone data – customers within the United States, calling other customers within the United States. Monitoring such ‘domestic only’ communications is strictly forbidden by the NSA’s mandate, but don’t worry, some hardcore Obama policy defenders on Twitter and on the cable news networks this morning have a reality distortion field… or wish they had one.

You see, according to such apologists for warrantless spying, this isn’t a big deal because a) Bush was doing it in some form also and b) it’s just ‘metadata.’

To address point A: and their point is? Weird world we live in when the best justification you can come up with is that the Mission Accomplished Guantanamo waterboarding torture war with the wrong country guy with a ranch in Crawford, Texas did it also.… Read the rest

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Obama Might Back Laws Making it Easier to Spy on Internet Users

aa-surveillance-state-homeland-security-means-no-privacyYou have a friend request from Homeland Security…

Via New York Times:

The Obama administration, resolving years of internal debate, is on the verge of backing a Federal Bureau of Investigation plan for a sweeping overhaul of surveillance laws that would make it easier to wiretap people who communicate using the Internet rather than by traditional phone services, according to officials familiar with the deliberations.
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The F.B.I. director, Robert S. Mueller III, has argued that the bureau’s ability to carry out court-approved eavesdropping on suspects is “going dark” as communications technology evolves, and since 2010 has pushed for a legal mandate requiring companies like Facebook and Google to build into their instant-messaging and other such systems a capacity to comply with wiretap orders. That proposal, however, bogged down amid concerns by other agencies, like the Commerce Department, about quashing Silicon Valley innovation.

While the F.B.I.’s original proposal would have required Internet communications services to each build in a wiretapping capacity, the revised one, which must now be reviewed by the White House, focuses on fining companies that do not comply with wiretap orders.

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Tip for Julian: Don’t Eat at Popeyes

image courtesy zigazou76

If Julian Assange ever escapes from the Peruvian embassy he may not want – as a fugitive on the run – to eat at Popeyes. And, if he absolutely must have chicken-and-sausage jambalaya, then he better think about paying in cash. Wali Enterprises, a leading Popeyes franchisee, will be rolling out a new video surveillance system – Envysion Insight – to all of their locations.

Already used by dozens of fast food restaurants, Envision Insight allows cash registers to be integrated with video monitoring systems. Now, instead of scanning thousands of hours of CCTV footage, security staff (or the interested police officer) can simply enter a receipt number to call-up a specific section of archived video. And, since receipt numbers are matched to credit and debit cards which match to personal names, it shouldn’t be too hard to get footage of your comings and goings at many retail outlets.… Read the rest

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Big Brother And His Drones: What YOU Can Get Out of Surveillance and the Machine Future

From Mr. VI over at Modern Mythology:

It’s time to face facts– technology advances by harnessing human drives, and the most primal are sex and death.

Drones and cybersex. So, what can YOU get out of it? Pornography and the military-industrial complex are often the prime funders of technological research. Without DARPA, we wouldn’t have the internet, and without the urge to stream porn, we wouldn’t be constantly trying to improve data compression techniques.

Without lust, there’d be no YouTube – and without the urge to achieve maximum effect with minimum effort, we wouldn’t develop labour saving devices. We wouldn’t develop technology to extend our reach, and refine our apparent control over the situation. Without apparent scarcity and rarity, we wouldn’t consider certain things precious, and we certainly wouldn’t care about loss. We wouldn’t care about extending our sphere of influence, or expanding our territory.

Here in the UK, we’re seemingly constantly under the eye of CCTV. According to the BBC, one London Borough, Wandsworth, has more cameras than Dublin, San Francisco, Johannesburg and Boston COMBINED.

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Ordering A Pizza In The Panopticon

How much of the ACLU's prescient 2004 short film Ordering Pizza, which envisions ordering a pizza online in a future dystopian electronic surveillance state, has is already starting to come true? Getting takeout has never been so traumatic:
We are facing a flood of powerful new technologies that expand the potential for centralized monitoring, an executive branch aggressively seeking new powers to spy on citizens, a docile Congress and courts, as well as a cadre of mega-corporations that are willing to become extensions of the surveillance state. We confront the possibility of a dark future where our every move, our every transaction, our every communication is recorded, compiled, and stored away, ready for access by the authorities whenever they want.
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Camover: A Game to Destroy CCTV Cameras

Picture: Quevaal (CC)

Oliver Stallwood writes at the Guardian:

As a youth in a ski mask marches down a Berlin U-Bahn train, dressed head-to-toe in black, commuters may feel their only protection is the ceiling-mounted CCTV camera nearby. But he is not interested in stealing wallets or iPhones – he is after the camera itself. This is Camover, a new game being played across Berlin, which sees participants trashing cameras in protest against the rise in close-circuit television across Germany.

The game is real-life Grand Theft Auto for those tired of being watched by the authorities in Berlin; points are awarded for the number of cameras destroyed and bonus scores are given for particularly imaginative modes of destruction. Axes, ropes and pitchforks are all encouraged.

The rules of Camover are simple: mobilise a crew and think of a name that starts with “command”, “brigade” or “cell”, followed by the moniker of a historical figure (Van der Lubbe, a Dutch bricklayer convicted of setting fire to the Reichstag in 1933, is one name being used).

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Senate Reauthorizes Warrantless Wiretaps

Picture: Jim Chute (CC)

For your own good, dontchaknow:

Via Raw Story:

The U.S. Senate passed a bill on Friday that reauthorizes and extends the FISA Amendments Act of 2008, a law that was originally meant to retroactively grant legal immunity to the Bush administration and telecoms, along with temporary authorization to wiretap non-Americans inside the United States without first having to acquire a warrant.

The law was set to expire at midnight on Friday, but the Senate’s vote means it will almost certainly be extended through December 2017.

Before passing the extension by a vote of 73-23, lawmakers blocked amendments by Sens. Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Jeff Merkley (R-OR) and Rand Paul (R-KY) that would have narrowed the window of reauthorization, added more oversight to the program and required annual reports to Congress on the privacy impacts of the program.

The extension continues warrantless wiretapping powers that apply even in the event that one person participating in the communication is an American citizen, despite the Fourth Amendment’s requirement for court oversight.

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