Tag Archives | Surveillance
Be careful what you search? Via Forbes one week ago:
In the ruling Friday, the DC Circuit court decided that the National Security Agency doesn’t need to confirm or deny its relationship with Google in response to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request filed by the Electronic Privacy Information Center, ruling that a FOIA exemption covers any documents whose exposure might hinder the NSA’s national security mission.
After Google revealed in early 2010 that it had been hacked by cyberspies seemingly based in China, the Washington Post reported that Google and the NSA had partnered to help bolster the company’s defenses against future attacks. NSA director Mike McConnell [stated] that a partnership with Google was “inevitable.”
The ruling comes as controversy has been growing around CISPA, a bill that passed the House last month that would allow private firms like Google to share a wide range of information with government agencies like the NSA for cybersecurity reasons.
In this video Luke Rudkowski sits down with fellow journalist and tech expert Tim Pool to find out if you can still protect your sources as a journalist. The two go into great detail about encrypting messages and basic security measures journalists can take to protect their data.
On this episode of Breaking the Set, Abby Martin breaks down the nearly unbelievable tactics used by the FBI to bug homes, including sedating your pets, and staging traffic accidents, and putting up a giant replica of your home as a tarp.
They’re all around us — the number of people being tracked as suspected terrorists will soon cross the one million mark, Reuters reports:
The number of names on a highly classified U.S. central database used to track suspected terrorists has jumped to 875,000 from 540,000 only five years ago, a U.S. official said. Among those was Boston Marathon bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev, whose name was added in 2011.
Maintained by the National Counterterrorism Center, the highly classified database is not a “watchlist,” but a repository of information on people whom U.S. authorities see as known, suspected or potential terrorists from around the world.
The “Terrorist Identities Datamart Environment” is a master database which agencies use to build other catalogs of possible terrorists, like the “no-fly” list which prevents people on it from boarding airplanes.
Karen Greenberg, an expert in counter-terrorism policy at Fordham University, questioned whether the growth in the database’s size made it easier for officials to spot threats before they materialize.
Eccentric German-Finnish billionaire Kim Dotcom and his attorneys fired back at federal prosecutors Wednesday by accusing them, alongside other domestic authorities, of conspiracy to “deprive defendants of their presumption of innocence.” Dotcom is currently fighting attempts to extradite him from his haven in New Zealand, where he has faced illegal surveillance from that government, in addition to the charges of mass copyright violation that motivated the surveillance. According to his indictment by the United States last year, Dotcom’s former media-sharing website Megaupload was at some points responsible for 4 percent of all Internet traffic.
Dotcom’s lawyers wrote Wednesday, “[T]he outside motivating factor in this case stems from Motion Picture Association of America’s (erroneous) view of Megaupload as “the very top of the piracy pyramid,” coupled with the current Administration’s desire to placate an association whose members, as a group, are some of the Democratic Party’s strongest political supporters and most generous campaign contributors.”
Last week (2nd May), in the midst of Privacy Awareness Week , an Australian campaigner, Adam Bonner won a landmark decision against CCTV cameras in New South Wales . The decision did not rule that the cameras in the town of Nowra should be switched off, but instead ordered the local council to stop breaching the Information Protection Principles of the Privacy and Personal Information Protection Act. Remedies were suggested by the Privacy Commissioner but suffice to say Shoalhaven council has switched the cameras off whilst deciding its next move.
The decision of the Administrative Decisions Tribunal New South Wales ordered that:
1. The Council is to refrain from any conduct or action in contravention of an information protection principle or a privacy code of practice;
2. The Council is to render a written apology to the Applicant for the breaches, and advise him of the steps to be taken by the Council to remove the possibility of similar breaches in the future.
You have a friend request from Homeland Security…
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.
If it’s in the name of “security,” telecommunications corporations can now monitor users’ personal messages with special legal immunity granted from existing wiretapping laws, CNET News reports:
Obama administration officials have secretly authorized the interception of communications on networks operated by AT&T and other service providers, a practice that might otherwise be illegal under federal wiretapping laws.
The secret legal authorization from the Justice Department originally applied to a cybersecurity pilot project in which the military monitored defense contractors’ Internet links. Since then, however, the program has been expanded by President Obama to cover sectors including energy, healthcare, and finance starting June 12.
The Justice Department agreed to grant legal immunity to the participating network providers in the form of what participants in the confidential discussions refer to as “2511 letters,” a reference to the Wiretap Act codified at 18 USC 2511 in the federal statute books.
“The Justice Department is helping private companies evade federal wiretap laws,” said Marc Rotenberg, executive director of the Electronic Privacy Information Center, which obtained over 1,000 pages of internal government documents and provided them to CNET this week.
Here’s crossing your fingers that Obama stands strong on his threat to veto if the bill make it through the U.S. Senate. Via CNET on Thursday:
By a 288-127 vote today, the House adopted the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act, better known as CISPA. CISPA would authorize e-mail and Internet providers to share confidential information with the federal government.
The odds of a Democrat-controlled Senate the approving legislation opposed by President Obama are slim, but today’s vote could increase pressure for some sort of legislation this year.
CISPA is “so important to our national security” that it must be adopted, said Rep. Mike Rogers, a Michigan Republican who authored CISPA and heads the House Intelligence Committee.
CISPA is controversial because it overrules all existing laws by saying “notwithstanding any other provision of law,” including privacy policies and wiretap laws, companies may share cybersecurity-related information “with any other entity, including the federal government.”