Gov. Can Plant Hidden Cameras In Your Home

This government, our government, a supposedly moderate government of Barack Obama (he has an iPad and a Spotify playlist and likes dogs and is funny on Jay Leno! He must be moderate!) is now claiming the legal right to install surveillance cameras in your home or on your property without a warrant. And is doing so, in some cases.

If they hate us for our freedoms over in Pakistan or wherever, I’m pretty certain the hatred will dry up soon, because this is not freedom. As CNET reported, “Police are allowed in some circumstances to install hidden surveillance cameras on private property without obtaining a search warrant, a federal judge said yesterday.”

The government has evidently lost its mind, as have our federal judges.

via Business Insider.

Clear 4th Amendment Violation.  Need to get these cases up to the U.S. Supreme Court as soon as possible.

I love this author’s taken on the matter.  It’s clear that we’re not hated for our freedoms.  We have so few left.  We have sold our liberty for the illusion of security and now have neither.

Very sad.

Huge Increase in Warrantless Electronic Surveillance

Pen register and trap and trace devices now generally refer to the surveillance of information about—rather than the contents of—communications. Pen registers capture outgoing data, while trap and trace devices capture incoming data. This still includes the phone numbers of incoming and outgoing telephone calls and the time, date, and length of those calls. But the government now also uses this authority to intercept the “to” and “from” addresses of email messages, records about instant message conversations, non-content data associated with social networking identities, and at least some information about the websites that you visit (it isn’t entirely clear where the government draws the line between the content of a communication and information about a communication when it comes to the addresses of websites).

via ACLU.

For the record, I agree with the ACLU exactly one time.  This is it.

Our government has taken to spying on its own citizens, that’s us, on an unprecedented level.  As more and more communications go electronic it’s easier and easier to intercept.  That it is done without a warrant is truly frightening.  If these communications are so important then the FBI should present evidence to a judge and get a warrant.

Mind you, this is the same FBI that cannot find hundreds of guns from Fast and Furious.  This is the same presidential administration that refuses to turn over records regarding those guns or the Fast and Furious catastrophe.  The same administration that promised to the “the most open and transparent in history” and has proven to be just as closed and private as Dick Cheney and the Bush years.

When it comes to spying on you but keeping gov. secrets Obama = Bush.

You’re Being Watched by Your Government

Back in July I wrote about how your government was utilizing all kinds of technology to spy on you.  At the time it appeared to just be speculation; now we know it to be true.

Part I

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) is suing the Justice Department for details of last month’s ruling by a secretive U.S. court that National Security Agency’s domestic spying program violated the U.S. Constitution, Jon Brodkin of arstechnica reports.

The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) found that “on at least one occasion” the NSA had violated the Fourth Amendment’s restriction against unreasonable searches and seizures.  …

The kicker is that there is ample evidence that the NSA has gone above and beyond the powers granted through the 2008 FISA Amendment Act by actively spying on the electronic communications of American citizens within the U.S. and by coercing service providers to feed it any and all information it wants.via Business Insider.

And it that’s not scary enough for you, check this out!

Part II

A Naomi Wolf article in the Guardian about the rise of security cameras at Occupy hangouts and the multi-billion dollar biometric technologies industry includes this story:

A software engineer … visited Disneyland, and … the theme park offered him the photo of himself and his girlfriend to buy – with his credit card information already linked to it. He noted that he had never entered his name or information into anything at the theme park, or indicated that he wanted a photo, or alerted the humans at the ride to who he and his girlfriend were – so, he said, based on his professional experience, the system had to be using facial recognition technology. He had never signed an agreement allowing them to do so, and he declared that this use was illegal. He also claimed that Disney had recently shared data from facial-recognition technology with the United States military.

It turns out that Disney applies biometrics – that is, the statistical analysis of biological data – in the form of scanning visitor fingerprint information and identifying people with facial recognition software.

In fact, “Walt Disney World is responsible for the nation’s largest single commercial application of biometrics” and after 9/11 the government sought “Disney’s advice in intelligence, security and biometrics,” as reported in 2006 by Karen Hamel of News 21.

Hamel listed several former Disneyland employees that have gone on to fill “some of the most sensitive positions in the U.S. intelligence and security communities,”

via Business Insider.

That’s more than just a little creepy.

There’s also a guy who used to work for the NSA who’s coming forward and blowing the whistle.

 

New Govt Laser Reads You At Molecular Level

The Department of Homeland Security will soon be using a laser at airports that can detect everything about you from over 160-feet away.

Gizmodo reports a scanner that could read people at the molecular level has been invented. This laser-based scanner – which can be used 164-feet away — could read everything from a person’s adrenaline levels, to traces of gun powder on a person’s clothes, to illegal substances — and it can all be done without a physical search. It also could be used on multiple people at a time, eliminating random searches at airports.

The laser-based scanner is expected to be used in airports as soon as 2013, Gizmodo reports.

via CBS DC.

Really?!  Is this what we’ve come to?

I wonder what the ACLU’s position is going to be on this.  At the airport I kinda understand; you are giving your consent to be searched.  That’s the bargain for what is supposed to be a safe flight.

But how long before Mayor Bloomberg decides that he wants to use this on people just walking down the street?

1984 here we come!!

Your Home’s Router is Spying on You

It must be spy on American’s week given posts on law enforcement asking for your cell data and how the NSA is going to expand its spying on Americans on a massive scale.  Now we have this:

Cisco Systems told users of its new high-end home routers — in a roundabout way — they couldn’t use their routers for porn or to send certain types of e-mail and a whole list of other things.  …

Last week, Cisco sent out an upgrade to the software that makes its routers work, called firmware. The upgrade affected two models, the EA4500 and the EA2700. Without asking, Cisco moved them to its “Cisco Connect Cloud” service.  …

[T]he Cisco Connect Cloud Terms of Service forbids a whole bunch of things including porn, sending advertising e-mails — it won’t even allow you to “encourage any conduct” that would violate the law.

Wait, there’s more. Cisco reportedly [also] deleted a portion of [its] privacy statement that said Cisco would keep track of Connect Cloud customers’ “network traffic” and “Internet history,” ExtremeTech reported.

via Business Insider.

Does anyone think any company could have gotten away with this in the 1960’s or 1970’s?  The outrage would have been tremendous.

We’re failing as a society to realize that it’s not polite to air our collective and individual dirty laundry.  And we should be especially wary of sharing our family business with corporations that usually have a cozy relationship with the government.

This is very very very bad.

In addition to establishing Internet Freedoms and Net Neutrality we need to start a national discussion on Internet Privacy.

NSA to Spy on Everyone… Everyone.

Under construction by contractors with top-secret clearances, the blandly named Utah Data Center is being built for the National Security Agency. A project of immense secrecy, it is the final piece in a complex puzzle assembled over the past decade. Its purpose: to intercept, decipher, analyze, and store vast swaths of the world’s communications as they zap down from satellites and zip through the underground and undersea cables of international, foreign, and domestic networks. The heavily fortified $2 billion center should be up and running in September 2013. Flowing through its servers and routers and stored in near-bottomless databases will be all forms of communication, including the complete contents of private emails, cell phone calls, and Google searches, as well as all sorts of personal data trails—parking receipts, travel itineraries, bookstore purchases, and other digital “pocket litter.” It is, in some measure, the realization of the “total information awareness” program created during the first term of the Bush administration—an effort that was killed by Congress in 2003 after it caused an outcry over its potential for invading Americans’ privacy.

But “this is more than just a data center,” says one senior intelligence official who until recently was involved with the program. The mammoth Bluffdale center will have another important and far more secret role that until now has gone unrevealed. It is also critical, he says, for breaking codes. And code-breaking is crucial, because much of the data that the center will handle—financial information, stock transactions, business deals, foreign military and diplomatic secrets, legal documents, confidential personal communications—will be heavily encrypted. According to another top official also involved with the program, the NSA made an enormous breakthrough several years ago in its ability to cryptanalyze, or break, unfathomably complex encryption systems employed by not only governments around the world but also many average computer users in the US. The upshot, according to this official: “Everybody’s a target; everybody with communication is a target.”

via Wired.com.

Like most Wired articles this one goes into incredible detail about how the government spy’s on you and me.

Frankly, it’s kinda terrifying.  I wrote in an earlier post about how we’re at the point in time where Fahrenheit 451 meets 1984.  The government now has all the data in needs to know everything about your life.  All they have to do now is choose to control it… oh, wait.  Check out the Obama health care bill.

Somewhere right now a government jack-booted thug is ordering a few rat masks.

Cell Carriers Asked for Your Data

In the first public accounting of its kind, cellphone carriers reported that they responded to a startling 1.3 million demands for subscriber information last year from law enforcement agencies seeking text messages, caller locations and other information in the course of investigations.

The cellphone carriers’ reports, which come in response to a Congressional inquiry, document an explosion in cellphone surveillance in the last five years, with the companies turning over records thousands of times a day in response to police emergencies, court orders, law enforcement subpoenas and other requests.

via NYTimes.com.

We’re very close to the junction of Fahrenheit 451 and 1984.

Google’s Brin: Web Faces Greatest Threat Ever

The principles of openness and universal access that underpinned the creation of the internet three decades ago are under greater threat than ever, according to Google co-founder Sergey Brin.

In an interview with the Guardian, Brin warned there were “very powerful forces that have lined up against the open internet on all sides and around the world”.   “I am more worried than I have been in the past,” he said. “It’s scary.”

The threat to the freedom of the internet comes, he claims, from a combination of governments increasingly trying to control access and communication by their citizens, the entertainment industry’s attempts to crack down on piracy, and the rise of “restrictive” walled gardens such as Facebook and Apple, which tightly control what software can be released on their platforms.

via The Guardian.

I’m not actually a big “Brin” or Google fan.  Although I do believe the story is accurate, it may be nothing more than a Google play for more “openness” so that Google kind find out more and more about you… so they can track you.

We need to face the fact that Google is beyond spooky.  It tracks everything about you and has some undisclosed relationships with the government.  That’s not a good combination.

Perhaps Brin should do a little spring cleaning in his own house before pointing fingers at Facebook and others.