Posts tagged monitoring
Christopher Soghoian: Government surveillance — this is just the beginning
Published by TED
About: Privacy researcher Christopher Soghoian sees the landscape of government surveillance shifting beneath our feet, as an industry grows to support monitoring programs. Through private companies, he says, governments are buying technology with the capacity to break into computers, steal documents and monitor activity — without detection. This TED Fellow gives an unsettling look at what’s to come.
TEDTalks is a daily video podcast of the best talks and performances from the TED Conference, where the world’s leading thinkers and doers give the talk of their lives in 18 minutes (or less). Look for talks on Technology, Entertainment and Design — plus science, business, global issues, the arts and much more.
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We all know, or should know, of the evils, health hazards and invasion of personal privacy posed when RFID technology is considered as a tracking and data warehousing method considered for humans, pets or livestock in general. The documentation of the health hazards such as cancer, tumors, etc. are well documented. For those not in the know regarding this technology I will include a short video with Katherine Albrecht at the bottom of this post.
What plans D.C. has for the 2016 elections is a mystery, as both Republicans and Democrats compete to out perform the other in voter fraud with many voters either have a home address at their local McDonalds or rose from the grave to vote at the poling locations.
This story caught my eye today from GhanaWeb.com covering the Ghana upcoming elections in 2016.
EC urged to deploy RFID for next election
The Electoral Commission (EC) has been advised to roll out a radio-frequency identification (RFID) scheme for Election 2016 to guarantee the integrity of and public confidence in the biometric registration and verification system.
Consequently, the next government should seek funds to support the EC to deploy information technology to run a credible, transparent, as well as free and fair general election.
Mr Haruna Iddrisu, the Minister of Communications, who gave the advice at the second Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Information Technology Association of Ghana (ITAG) in Accra, stressed that the move had become necessary if Ghana’s electoral process was to be effectively driven by Information and Communications Technology (ICT).
He tasked IT professionals to make meaningful suggestions and recommendations to the EC to ensure that the electoral and democratic process was improved and further deepened.
Mr Iddrisu suggested that it should be made possible for all the polling stations in the 275 constituencies to be equipped with computers and other ICT tools to reduce cases of multiple registration and voting and other forms of electoral fraud.
He expressed optimism that an image recognition system would assist in giving meaning to the “one man, one vote” policy.
Full story located here: http://www.ghanaweb.com/GhanaHomePage/politics/artikel.php?ID=260748
As many people considered the last US presidential election a false illusion of choice, while many stayed home and chose not to participate in the process, a move as planned in Ghana would only reduce the traffic to the poles so that only those collecting their postal mail at McDonalds or those residing in their local cemetery would be casting ballots. But then, that may be the desired output from both wings of the welfare / warfare state bird of prey?
In Texas, children attending school in the Northside Independent School District will be required to carry RFID chipped cards while on campus. The 6,000 student’s movements will be monitored by faculty, in a pilot program that hopes to expand to tracking all students in the 12 districts.
Principal Wendy Reyes of Jones Middle School, explains: “It’s going to give us the opportunity to track our students in the building. They may have been in the nurse’s office, or the counselor’s office, or vice principal’s office, but they were markedly absent from the classroom because they weren’t sitting in the class. It will help us have a more accurate account of our attendance.”
Schools being the intended beta-test ground for social conditioning, is using RFID chips to track students as cattle is monitored on a ranch; impeding on their privacy and dignity.
RFID technology is furthered by corporations like Proteus Biomedical that have developed the microchip that is activated by human stomach acids, embeds into the lining of the stomach and remotely sends information collected through sensors about the environment. These transmission can be syphoned to the internet, a doctor’s office via computer or any intercepting entity.
Called “smart pills”, the bio-tech corporations Novartis are creating microchipping that will assist in organ transplants and anti-rejection drugs as well as using human clinical trials to test safety measures. How will the pharmaceutical corporations explain away the fact that electronic capacitors are toxic to the human body and swallowing them on a regular basis will cause serious complications?
Continuous data broadcasting impedes on privacy which could be used for nefarious use. Being a human reception tower to be interceded by anyone with a WiFi connection or “pharmecurticals microchipping scanners”.
Ottawa Airport Wired with Microphones as Border Services Prepares to Record Travellers’ Conversations0
‘Sections of the Ottawa airport are now wired with microphones that can eavesdrop on travellers’ conversations.
The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) is nearing completion of a $500,000 upgrade of old video cameras used to monitor its new “customs controlled areas,” including the primary inspection area for arriving international passengers. As part of the work, the agency is introducing audio-monitoring equipment as well.’
Read more: Ottawa Airport Wired with Microphones as Border Services Prepares to Record Travellers’ Conversations
By Madison Ruppert
If you’re unfamiliar with this technology, a great primer on the subject has been written by Brent Daggett for End the Lie and I highly recommend you take a few minutes to explore some of the other applications of RFID, many of which are nothing short of disturbing.
As is so often done when it comes to surveillance technology, this is being sold to us as something for our own good and the good of our children. This is identical to how the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) is pushing their ludicrously unconstitutional license plate surveillance program I detail in the below video:
The Northside Independent School District (NISD) of San Antonio, Texas has already approved the tracking devices and according to local news outlet KVUE, an ABC affiliate, two schools in the district will have the program in place next year.
They characterize the RFID-equipped student IDs as somewhat “like a GPS for teachers and administrators” which will help them pinpoint the location of students around campus.
“Every parent wants us to know where their child is at school,” claimed NISD spokesman Pascual Gonzalez.
I find this claim nothing short of laughable. Never before has this even been an issue, let alone one which “every parent” would be concerned about.
Growing up my parents knew I was at school; they couldn’t care less if I was in the bathroom, the library, a classroom or any other location.
To me, Gonzalez’s claim is so absurd that it is almost hard to believe that anyone would even attempt to use such a nonsensical argument.
What parent cares what particular room their child is in? One legitimate concern might be if your child is ditching school, but an RFID isn’t required for that, there’s this crazy newfangled thing called “attendance” or “roll” which determines if students are present in class.
If I had a child in a public school, I would be much more concerned about him or her being targeted by police, attacked and/or criminalized. The last of my concerns would be if my child was in the restroom at 11:18 AM or where in the cafeteria they were during lunch time.
Any parent who desperately wants to know precisely where their child is at school during every minute of every day would, in my humble opinion, likely benefit from some professional counseling.
(PRISON PLANET) The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has followed in the footsteps of the DHS in looking to hire a private contractor that will monitor news coverage of the agency’s activities on a 24/7 basis.
“FEMA is planning to award a 100% small business set-aside contract to a media monitoring firm that can monitor, archive and measure all local news in “major Nielsen markets,” all nationally broadcast news and all cable outlets for their news coverage of FEMA activities in the field across the U.S., reports Government Security News.
The program is similar in nature to a Department of Homeland Security monitoring effort that stoked controversy and a congressional hearing after it emerged that the DHS had hired an outside contractor, General Dynamics Advanced Information Systems, to monitor social media outlets along with a list of websites, on a “24/7/365 basis,” in order to uncover “any media reports that reflect adversely on the U.S. Government and the Department.”
This included monitoring remarks by residents of Standish, Michigan in “newspaper comment talkbacks, local blogs, Twitter posts, and publicly available Facebook posts,” to gage the response to a plan to bring Guantanamo Bay detainees to a local prison.
Although the FEMA contract does not specifically mention the monitoring of blogs and comments made by Internet users, it does call for the program to “Monitor the effectiveness of public affairs messaging,” which implies that feedback from citizens regarding FEMA’s activities will be part of the process.
The FEMA contract for the monitoring service explains that the agency is looking for information on “media statistics including the audience exposure and publicity value” for news items related to FEMA.
Concerned about its reputation in the eyes of American citizens who are growing increasingly wary of big government, this is not the first time FEMA has reached out to try and massage its image following the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, which “evoked some of the harshest criticism the agency has ever faced.”
As we exclusively reported in 2006, a story that was later confirmed by KSLA news agency the following year, FEMA has created ‘Clergy Response Teams’ trained by the federal government to “quell dissent” and pacify citizens to obey the government in the event of a declaration of martial law.
The program recruited pastors and other religious representatives to become secret police enforcers who teach their congregations to “obey the government” in preparation for the implementation of martial law, property and firearm seizures, mass vaccination programs and forced relocation.
Even in the absence of such emergencies, the federal government has already announced that it is actively monitoring social media for signs of “social unrest”, in a bid to pre-empt any sign of civil dislocation within the United States.
Representatives from the Department of Homeland Security yesterday stonewalled a Congressional hearing into the DHS’ monitoring of news and social media by refusing to give specific answers on what measures were being taken to prevent the program creating a “chilling effect” whereby people would be afraid to leave negative comments in online forums for fear of retribution.
The Electronic Privacy Information Center, who obtained 300 documents via a FOIA requestdetailing how the DHS was tracking websites like the Drudge Report, Huffington Post, Facebook and Twitter, submitted a statement to the Subcommittee Hearing arguing that “The DHS monitoring of social networks and media organizations is entirely without legal basis and threatens important free speech and expression rights.”
Watch a KSLA report on FEMA’s ‘Clergy Response Teams’ below.
by: J. D. Heyes
How out-of-hand has the “war on terror” become? So much so that now, the Department of Homeland Security has taken to monitoring social media Web sites trolling for would-be terrorists, as if the world’s most dangerous killers were Tweeting their plans.
Only, DHS isn’t just trolling for terrorists by monitoring Twitter and Facebook. No, the department – which at least one presidential contender, Rep. Ron Paul, believes is out of control – is wasting valuable and limited assets evaluating media reports, organizations and news sites like The Drudge Report for anti-government attitudes and social unrest.
But wait, you ask. What does monitoring American-based Web sites and social media applications have to do with the war on terror? Probably nothing, but you may remember that the Department of Homeland Security was born out of legislation passed immediately after the 9/11 attacks to protect “the American people from terrorist threats.”
First Amendment, anyone?
You’re not the only one who isn’t buying the spying. The Electronic Privacy Information Center, a watchdog organization looking to protect civil liberties, privacy, the First Amendment and constitutional values in an increasingly interconnected world, has convinced a House subcommittee that the DHS activity is suspicious enough to warrant closer examination. The hearings come on the heels of the group’s acquisition of some 300 pages of DHS documents resulting from a Freedom of Information Act request which lay bare the agency’s “intelligence gathering” activities online.
“The Department of Homeland Security’s monitoring of political dissent has no legal basis and is contrary to core First Amendment principles,” says EPIC’s director, Ginger McCall, who says a government agency that monitors what ordinary Americans are saying about federal policies goes too far, and has direct implications on freedom of speech.
“The language in the documents makes it quite clear that they are looking for media reports that are critical of the agency and the U.S. government more broadly,” she said. “This is entirely outside of the bounds of the agency’s statutory duties.”
EPIC says documents it has obtained show that DHS has used contractors to monitor Twitter, Facebook, Hulu, Wikileaks, Drudge and other news sites including the Huffington Post. The documents reveal that the contractors were required to provide DHS with reaction regarding potential “threats and hazards,” as well as any media reports that reflect adversely on the U.S. Government and the Department of Homeland Security (D.H.S.) ability to prevent, protect and respond, to recovery efforts or activities related to any crisis or events which impact National Planning Scenarios.”
The program should also highlight “both positive and negative reports on FEMA, C.I.A., C.B.P., ICE, etc., as well as organizations outside of D.H.S.,” the documents said.
Looking over your shoulder
Now, DHS officials admit that, yes, the agency was monitoring the Web for any negative opinion of the government. But they said the operation was only undertaken as a one-and-done test, then quickly dropped, because it didn’t meet “operational requirements or privacy standards” which “expressly prohibit reporting on individuals’ First Amendment activities.”
According to CNBC, the Federal Reserve “is planning on monitoring what you say about it on social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook”. Apparently we are not supposed to be alarmed though, because as the CNBC headline states, the Federal Reserve just “wants to be your Facebook friend“. In fact, the CNBC article says that anyone that feels threatened by the fact that the Federal Reserve will be monitoring what we say on Facebook and Twitter is just “paranoid“. Well, if it came out that Barack Obama was setting up a system that would identify “key bloggers” and monitor “billions of conversations” on the Internet to see what was being said about him, wouldn’t there be thousands of articles expressing outrage? Sure there would be. The Federal Reserve is supposed to be an independent central bank that is above politics. So why in the world would they need to perform “sentiment analysis” on what is being said about them on “Facebook, Twitter, Blogs, Forums and YouTube“? The Federal Reserve obviously intends to identify the negative things that are being said about it and the specific people that are saying those things. So is it really being “paranoid” to point out that all of this is more than a little bit creepy?
The other day, this story about the new “Social Media Monitoring Solution” that is being developed by the Federal Reserve was first broken by Zero Hedge. Then I wrote about this story on The Economic Collapse and a lot of other bloggers started writing about it too.
Well, it turns out that somebody must have hit a nerve or something. Just check out what CNBC had to say today….
Although the Fed claims its move into the social realm is so that it may better monitor its public perception, some of the paranoids of the blogosphere are screaming Big Brother.
“Said otherwise, the Fed has just entered the counterespionage era and will be monitoring everything written about it anywhere in the world,” Zero Hedge writes.
In other words, the Federal Reserve wants to develop a highly sophisticated system that will gather everything that you and I say about the Federal Reserve on the Internet and that will analyze what our feelings about the Fed are. Obviously, any “positive” feelings about the Fed would not be a problem. What they really want to do is to gather information on everyone that views the Federal Reserve negatively. It is unclear how they plan to use this information once they have it, but considering how many alternative media sources have been shut down lately, this is obviously a very troubling sign.
So should I be honored that a CNBC story is quoting me or should I be horrified that they are calling me one of “the paranoids of the blogosphere”?
Look, it is not unusual for a large company to be involved in “data mining” operations. Data mining has become a billion dollar business.
But for the Federal Reserve to be so paranoid that it feels like it must monitor everything that is being said about it on Facebook, Twitter, forums and blogs is more than a little creepy.
Is it really irrational to question why our “independent central bank” wants to spy on what we are saying online?
Look, nobody can stop the Federal Reserve from tracking what all of us are saying about it on the Internet. It is perfectly legal for them to do. But it definitely does smell like something that “Big Brother” would do.
If the Fed wanted to “poke” me on Facebook or send me a few “tweets” on Twitter that would be fine, but all of this “eye in the sky” stuff is just ridiculous.
Someone needs to tell the Federal Reserve that if it has a “public relations problem” it is not because of a few half-crazed bloggers.
Millions of Americans really did get upset when the giant financial bubbles caused by reckless Fed policies resulted in the largest financial calamity since the Great depression.
Millions of Americans really did get upset when Ben Bernanke promised us over and over and over in 2005, 2006 and 2007 that everything was going to be okay and then the U.S. economy plunged into a horrific recession anyway.
Millions of Americans really did get upset when they learned that the Fed made trillions of dollars of secret loans to their friends during the last financial crisis.
The truth is that the Federal Reserve system is fundamentally flawed.
It is a perpetual debt machine that was designed to enslave the United States government to a mountain of debt that never stops expanding.
Right now, the U.S. national debt is more than 4700 times larger than it was when the Federal Reserve was created back in 1913.
So should we be thankful to the Fed for that?
But instead of engaging us in rational debate, the Fed apparently wants to chill our free speech by letting us know that we are being watched.
This is part of a disturbing trend that is rapidly growing in America. Those in power want us to know that they are watching us so that we will not be so eager to speak out.
For example, a new website known as “Attack Watch” has been launched that will be gathering information on those that say “negative” things about Barack Obama on the Internet.
But sadly, it is not just those in power that are seeking to chill free speech. Right now we are a nation that is deeply divided. Everywhere you look, someone is engaged in political intimidation. Some of the things that liberals say that they want to do to Tea Party activists are obscene enough to make a sailor blush. Some conservatives say hateful things about Barack Obama and other top Democrats that are absolutely embarrassing.
Every single day “liberal” news outlets feed into the hatred that liberals have for conservatives, and every single day “conservative” news outlets feed into the hatred that conservatives have for liberals.
And if you think things are bad right now, just wait until we get closer to the 2012 election. The hatred is going to grow to levels that we have never even seen before.
But this is the way that the elite like it. They like us frothing at the mouth and totally engaged in the false left/right paradigm.
Meanwhile, our real problems go unsolved and the elite continue to strengthen their hold on this country.
Please wake up. There are only minor differences between most Democrats and most Republicans. Nearly every single one of them deserves to be voted out of office.
We need to speak up even louder and let the American people know that there are other choices.
They don’t have to be stuck with having to choose between the lesser of two evils.
All across America, millions of Americans are waking up to the reality that neither political party plans to balance the budget, neither political party plans to restore our civil liberties and neither political party plans to shut down the Federal Reserve.
We need fundamental political and economic change in America, and we are not going to get that from either the Republicans or the Democrats.
We desperately need for this country to fall in love with the U.S. Constitution again and to return this nation to the principles that is was founded upon.
That is not going to happen under Barack Obama, it is not going to happen under Rick Perry, it is not going to happen under Mitt Romney and it is not going to happen as long as the Federal Reserve is running our economy.
America is literally being run into the ground by “establishment Democrats”, by “establishment Republicans” and by the Federal Reserve. Our current leadership has us on a path that will only lead to disaster.
Is this really the way that our story is going to end?
Or is America going to wake up and demand something better?
It is up to you America.