Posts Tagged spying

Sign Petition To Stop Warrantless Spying

From EFF:

The law behind the NSA’s sweeping Internet surveillance programs—Section 702, as enacted by the FISA Amendments Act—is set to expire at the end of 2017. Built-in expiration dates like this force lawmakers to review, debate, and update wide-reaching surveillance laws that impact their constituents’ privacy.

The looming Section 702 sunset gives Congress a chance to rein in the warrantless surveillance of millions of innocent people’s online communications. But some have another, much more dangerous idea.

Sen. Tom Cotton and a group of other Senate Republicans recently introduced a bill (S. 1297) that would not only reauthorize Section 702 without making much-needed changes, but it would also make the law permanent, effectively forfeiting lawmakers’ responsibility to periodically reexamine Section 702 and the impact it has on their constituents.

It would be unacceptable for Congress to ignore our privacy concerns and hand off their obligation to review surveillance law.

Sign our petition and tell Congress to oppose S. 1297.

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Your Cell Phone Is Spying On You And It’s Great (or is it?)

From The CATO Institute:

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British Government Changes Law To Allow Themselves To Break Into Computers

From Hacker News:

The UK Government has quietly changed the Anti-Hacking Laws quietly that exempt GCHQ, police, and other electronic intelligence agencies from criminal prosecution for hacking into computers and mobile phones and carrying out its controversial surveillance practices.
The details of the changes were disclosed at the Investigatory Powers Tribunal, which is currently hearing a challenge to the legality of computer hacking by UK law enforcement and its intelligence agencies.

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Surveillance Planes Tracked Over Baltimore

From The Washington Post:

Discovery of the flights — which involved at least two airplanes and the assistance of the FBI — has prompted the American Civil Liberties Union to demand answers about the legal authority for the operations and the reach of the technology used. Planes armed with the latest surveillance systems canmonitor larger areas than police helicopters and stay overhead longer, raising novel civil liberties issues that have so far gotten little scrutiny from courts.

 

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Surveillance State Repeal Act Introduced In House

From FreedomWorks:

That’s why it’s so refreshing to see a bill like the Surveillance State Repeal Act. It’s bold and effective. Specifically, here is what the bill would do:

  1. Repeals the Patriot Act (which contains the provision that allows for the bulk collection of metadata from U.S. citizens).
  2. Repeals the FISA Amendments Act (which contains provisions allowing for the government to monitor emails).
  3. It would extend judges’ terms on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court and technical and legal experts to advise on technical issues raised during proceedings.
  4. Mandate that the Government Accountability Office (GAO) regularly monitor such domestic surveillance programs for compliance with the law and issue an annual report.
  5. Ban the federal government from mandating that the manufacturer of an electronic device must install spy software.
  6. Gives people a proper channel to report illegal activity in their department.
  7. Says that no information related to a U.S. person may be acquired without a valid warrant based on probable cause—including under Executive Order 12333.
  8. Retains tools that are useful to law enforcement such as not requiring a new warrant if the suspect switches devices in an attempt to break surveillance.
  9. Protects intelligence collection practices involving foreign targets for the purpose of investigating weapons of mass destruction.

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Your Apps Are Following You

From The Wall Street Journal:

Computer scientists at Carnegie Mellon University concluded that a dozen or so popular Android apps collected device location – GPS coordinates accurate to within 50 meters – an average 6,200 times, or roughly every three minutes, per participant over a two-week study period.

The researchers recruited 23 users of Android version 4.3 from Craigslist and the Carnegie Mellon student body. Participants were allowed to use their own choice of apps after installing software that noted app requests for a variety of personal information; not only location but also contacts, call logs, calendar entries, and camera output. They weren’t told the purpose of the study and were screened to weed out people who had a technical background or strong views about privacy.

 

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How To Prevent The Government From Spying On Your Cellphone

From Democracy Now:

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Sharyl Attkisson Sues DOJ For $35 Million

From Fox News:

In a series of legal filings that seek $35 million in damages, Attkisson alleges that three separate computer forensic exams showed that hackers used sophisticated methods to surreptitiously monitor her work between 2011 and 2013.

“I just think it’s important to send a message that people shouldn’t be victimized and throw up their hands and think there’s nothing they can do and they’re powerless,” Attkisson said in an interview.

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USA Freedom Act

The EFF gives a rundown of the bill and why it is important:

The USA Freedom Act is a bill that was first proposedlast year by Senator Patrick Leahy and Representative Jim Sensenbrenner. The original version of the bill limited the NSA’s call records collection program, introduced aspecial advocate into the secretive court overseeing the spying, mandated much needed transparency requirements, and included significant reform of Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Amendments Act (FISAA), the law used to collect Americans’ communications in bulk.

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MQ-4C Triton in Flight Testing Over U.S.

From ArsTechnica:

The drone is just the first piece in what the Navy calls Broad Area Maritime Surveillance, or BAMS. The MQ-4C Triton will be used to keep tabs on a wide area using “radar, infrared sensors and advanced cameras to provide full-motion video and photographs to the military,” according to The Washington Post. Eventually, a network of these drones could be deployed to fly around the world and provide 24-hour, 7-day-a-week coverage of a given area.

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New DARPA Drone Has 1.8 Billion Pixel Camera

From Washington Free Beacon:

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FREEDOM Act To Reign In NSA Spying

From The EFF:

The new Senate version of the USA FREEDOM Act would:

  • End the NSA’s illegal collection of millions of Americans’ telephone records by amending one of the worst provisions of the PATRIOT Act, Section 215
  • Create a panel of special advocates that can argue for privacy and civil liberties in front of the FISA Court, the secret court that approves the NSA’s surveillance plans
  • Provide new reporting requirements so that the NSA is forced to tell us how many people are actually being surveilled under its programs, including the program that allows the NSA to see the contents of Americans’ communications without a warrant

Support Senate Bill 2685 by emailing your members of congress here.

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Possible Backdoor in iPhone OS

From The Daily Mail:

A security expert has warned Apple’s iOS software contains potentially sinister tools that could be used by governments to spy on iPhone and iPad users.

Speaking at the ‘Hackers on planet Earth’ conference in New York, Jonathan Zdziarski said that most users are unaware of the lack of protection for iPhone data.

He added files found hidden within the firm’s software contain a file-relay service that can be used to access the user’s address book, photos, voicemail and any accounts configured on the device.

However, Apple has denied the claims the backdoor was created deliberately for government or surveillance purposes.

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Chinese Hack Government Networks

From ZDNet:

According to the New York Times, senior American officials said hackers gained access to the system in March before the infiltration was detected and blocked.

The hackers appeared to be targeting files “on tens of thousands of employees who have applied for top-secret security clearances,” and data including employment records, personal information — such as drug use — and the foreign contacts of security applicants may have been placed at risk.

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Smartphones Track Your Movements

From KOMONews:

Students at the University of Washington volunteered their phones to see how easy it can be to see where the device has been. The frequent locations setting creates a map, and tapping on a specific locations reveals the dates and times of a particular visit and even how long you were there.

The students were taken aback that it was so easy to track their history.

“That’s kind of crazy,” Sebastian Aste said. “It’s interesting how accessible your life can be.” 

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