Posts Tagged surveillance

Deep State Intelligence

From Chronicles Magazine:

It should be stressed that the American intelligence “community” is a scary misnomer, bearing in mind that we are talking of a gigantic apparat which is literally capable of surveilling every spoken and written word everywhere.

Tucker Carlson accused the FBI in his evening program on Fox News—three weeks before he accused the NSA of reading his emails—of setting up and fanning the disturbances on Capitol Hill on Jan. 6. There have been several dozen participants in those events—whom the state-controlled narrative insistently calls rioters or even insurrectionists—who have been shielded from any legal consequences, who have been spared criminal proceedings which are applied with gusto to others. This would be in accordance with the years-long practice of the Federal Bureau of Investigation to incite crimes and felonies, to encourage individuals to plot criminal acts, in order to arrest them—and then to claim credit for having prevented those acts….

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Pushing Back Against Surveillance Tech

From Electronic Frontier Foundation:

At work, employee-monitoring “bossware” puts workers’ privacy and security at risk with invasive time-tracking and “productivity” features that go far beyond what is necessary and proportionate to manage a workforce. At school, programs like remote proctoring and social media monitoring follow students home and into other parts of their online lives. And at home, stalkerwareparental monitoring “kidware” appshome monitoring systems, and other consumer tech monitor and control intimate partners, household members, and even neighbors. In all of these settings, subjects and victims often do not know they are being surveilled, or are coerced into it by bosses, administrators, partners, or others with power over them.

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The Corporate Surveillance State

From The Guardian:

Imagine a government with the power to spy on any critic, reporter or activist. A state with the capacity to extort or silence by tracking not just a person’s movements but her conversations, contacts, photos, notes, emails … the entire content of one’s digital life.
This may sound like something from dystopian fiction, but such targeted surveillance is a grim reality of the digital age. It is increasingly a tool of repressive governments to stifle debate, criticism and journalism. Over and over, researchers and journalists have been uncovering evidence of governments, with the help of private companies, inserting malware through surreptitious means into the smartphones, laptops and other devices belonging to people they are seeking to suppress: people who play essential roles in democratic life, facilitating the public’s right to information.

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Mobile Customer Locations Easily Accessible

From Motherboard:

Motherboard’s investigation shows just how exposed mobile networks and the data they generate are, leaving them open to surveillance by ordinary citizens, stalkers, and criminals, and comes as media and policy makers are paying more attention than ever to how location and other sensitive data is collected and sold. The investigation also shows that a wide variety of companies can access cell phone location data, and that the information trickles down from cell phone providers to a wide array of smaller players, who don’t necessarily have the correct safeguards in place to protect that data.

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Australia Wants Backdoors In Software

From Signal:

One of the myriad ways that the “Assistance and Access” bill is particularly terrible lies in its potential to isolate Australians from the services that they depend on and use every day. Over time, users may find that a growing number of apps no longer behave as expected. New apps might never launch in Australia at all.

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Border Patrol Wants Your Twitter, Facebook Accounts

From The Register:

Under new proposals, each traveler filling out an I-94 travel form or applying for an Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) visa will be asked for “information associated with your online presence/social media identifier.”

In other words, you’ll be asked to hand over your Twitter and Instagram handles, Facebook and LinkedIn URLs, and so on, so you can be watched.

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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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Tell Congress Not To Authorize Section 215 of PATRIOT Act

From the EFF:

Tell Congress: Stop S. 1357. No reauthorization of Section 215 of the Patriot Act—no matter how short.

Congress has a chance to vote no on the NSA’s mass phone record surveillance under Section 215 of the Patriot Act. But NSA apologists are trying to broker a deal to extend Section 215 for another two months. That’s two more months of the NSA sweeping up millions of people’s phone records unconstitutionally. With your help, we can stop Congress from simply rubber-stamping this reauthorization. Tell Congress: no reauthorization of Section 215, no matter how short.

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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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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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EFF Launches Surveillance Self Defense Site

Surveillance Self Defense will teach you how to use technology and software to protect yourself and your data online.

This is a project of the Electronic Frontier Foundation

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Law Enforcement Upset Over New Smartphone Security

From Bloomberg:

The dispute is the latest flare-up that pits the federal government against the nation’s leading technology companies since National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden disclosed last year the extent of U.S. snooping on phone and Internet communications — and how companies cooperated.

U.S. Justice Department and FBI officials are trying to understand how the new Apple and Google Android systems work and how the companies could change the encryption to make it accessible when court ordered. Their requests to the companies may include letters, personal appeals or congressional legislation, said a federal law official who requested anonymity to discuss the sensitive issue.

 

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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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Possible Flaw in TOR Network

The Tor network, which allows for anonymous browsing on the internet, may have been cracked by researchers.

From Gizmodo:

Tor believes this attack came from researchers at Carnegie Mellon’s Computer Emergency Response Team, not an identity thief (or, uh, the government). CERT researchers abruptly canceled a highly anticipated talk they were going to give about the possibility of deanonymizing Tor at the Black Hat conference this year, kicking off speculation that they’d successfully pulled it off.

From Ars Technica:

The campaign exploited a previously unknown vulnerability in the Tor protocol to carry out two classes of attack that together may have been enough to uncloak people using Tor Hidden Services, an advisory published Wednesday warned. Tor officials said the characteristics of the attack resembled those discussed by a team of Carnegie Mellon University researchers who recentlycanceled a presentation at next week’s Black Hat security conference on a low-cost way to deanonymize Tor users. But the officials also speculated that an intelligence agency from a global adversary might have been able to capitalize on the exploit.

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