Posts tagged privacy
An unnamed California healthcare provider is suing the embattled Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and 15 agents for allegedly seizing 60,000,000 medical records belonging to “more than 10,000,000 Americans, including at least 1,000,000 Californians.”
The complaint, posted by National Review, states that IRS agents’ search warrant for financial information did “not authorize any seizure of any healthcare or medical record of any persons, least of all third parties completely unrelated to the matter.”
The medical records reportedly included sensitive private information about individuals’ gynecological counseling, sexual and drug treatment, and psychological services received.
Read the rest at Breitbart: http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2013/05/17/Claim-IRS-Illegally-Seized-60-Million-Private-Medical-Records
Posted by Laissez Faire Today
Law enforcement agencies are increasingly using sophisticated cameras, called “automated license plate readers,” or ALPRs, to scan and record the license plates of millions of cars across the country. These cameras, mounted on top of patrol cars and on city streets, can scan up to 1,800 license plate per minute, day or night, allowing one squad car to record more than 14,000 plates during the course of a single shift.
Photographing a single license plate one time on a public city street may not seem problematic, but when the data are put into a database, combined with other scans of that same plate on other city streets, and stored forever, it can become very revealing. Information about your location over time can show not only where you live and work, but your political and religious beliefs, your social and sexual habits, your visits to the doctor, and your associations with others. And according to recent research reported in Nature, it’s possible to identify 95% of individuals with as few as four randomly selected geospatial data points (location plus time), making location data the ultimate biometric identifiers.
To better gauge the real threat to privacy posed by ALPRs, the Electronic Frontier Foundation and the ACLU of Southern California asked the LAPD and LA Sheriff’s Department for information on their systems, including their policies on retaining and sharing information and all the license plate data each department collected over the course of a single week in 2012.
After both agencies refused to release most of the records we asked for, we sued. We hope to get access to these data, both to show just how many data the agencies are collecting and to show how revealing they can be.
Automated license plate readers are often touted as an easy way to find stolen cars — the system checks a scanned plate against a database of stolen or wanted cars and can instantly identify a hit, allowing officers to set up a sting to recover the car and catch the thief. But even when there’s no match in the database and no reason to think a car is stolen or involved in a crime, police keep the data.
According to the LA Weekly, the LAPD and LASD together already have collected more than 160 million “data points” (license plates plus time, date, and exact location) in the greater LA area — that’s more than 20 hits for each of the more than 7 million vehicles registered in LA County. That’s a ton of data, but it’s not all — law enforcement officers also have access to private databases containing hundreds of millions of plates and their coordinates collected by “repo” men.
Law enforcement agencies claim that ALPR systems are no different from an officer recording license plate, time and location information by hand. They also argue the data don’t warrant any privacy protections because we drive our cars around in public. However, as five justices of the Supreme Court recognized last year in U.S. v. Jones, a case involving GPS tracking, the ease of data collection and the low cost of data storage make technological surveillance solutions such as GPS or ALPR very different from techniques used in the past.
Police are open about their desire to record the movements of every car in case it might one day prove valuable. In 2008, LAPD police Chief Charlie Beck (then the agency’s chief of detectives) told GovTech magazine that ALPRs have “unlimited potential” as an investigative tool. “It’s always going to be great for the black-and-white to be driving down the street and find stolen cars rolling around… But the real value comes from the long-term investigative uses of being able to track vehicles — where they’ve been and what they’ve been doing — and tie that to crimes that have occurred or that will occur.” But amassing data on the movements of law-abiding residents poses a real threat to privacy, while the benefit to public safety is speculative, at best.
In light of privacy concerns, states including Maine, New Jersey, and Virginia have limited the use of ALPRs, and New Hampshire has banned them outright. Even the International Association of Chiefs of Police has issued a report recognizing that “recording driving habits” could raise First Amendment concerns because cameras could record “vehicles parked at addiction-counseling meetings, doctors’ offices, health clinics, or even staging areas for political protests.”
But even if ALPRs are permitted, there are still common-sense limits that can allow the public safety benefits of ALPRs while preventing the wholesale tracking of every resident’s movements. Police can, and should, treat location information from ALPRs like other sensitive information — they should retain it no longer than necessary to determine if it might be relevant to a crime, and should get a warrant to keep it any longer. They should limit who can access it and who they can share it with. And they should put oversight in place to ensure these limits are followed.
Unfortunately, efforts to impose reasonable limits on ALPR tracking in California have failed so far. Last year, legislation that would have limited private and law enforcement retention of ALPR data to 60 days — a limit currently in effect for the California Highway Patrol — and restricted sharing between law enforcement and private companies failed after vigorous opposition from law enforcement. In California, law enforcement agencies remain free to set their own policies on the use and retention of ALPR data, or to have no policy at all.
Some have asked why we would seek public disclosure of the actual license plate data collected by the police — location-based data that we think is private. But we asked specifically for a narrow slice of data — just a week’s worth — to demonstrate how invasive the technology is. Having the data will allow us to see how frequently some plates have been scanned; where and when, specifically, the cops are scanning plates; and just how many plates can be collected in a large metropolitan area over the course of a single week. Actual data will reveal whether ALPRs are deployed primarily in particular areas of Los Angeles and whether some communities might, therefore, be much more heavily tracked than others. If these data are too private to give a week’s worth to the public to help inform us how the technology is being used, then isn’t it too private to let the police amass years’ worth of data without a warrant?
After the Boston Marathon bombings, many have argued that the government should take advantage of surveillance technology to collect more data, rather than less. But we should not so readily give up the very freedoms that terrorists seek to destroy. We should recognize just how revealing ALPR data are and not be afraid to push our police and legislators for sensible limits to protect our basic right to privacy.
Jennifer Lynch and Peter Bibring
A version of this article was originally posted here.
Posted by JudgeNapolitanoFTW
Judge Napolitano discusses Natural Rights and why The Patriot Act is exactly the type of legislation the Founding Fathers wrote the Constitution to PREVENT! Courtesy of Campaign For Liberty.
By Dave Hodges
Many of us in print and broadcast media are rethinking our association with Facebook. Several of our journalistic brothers and sisters have been censored and/or otherwise treated unprofessionally by this entity. Facebook has become replete with trolls who patrol the cyber corridors of this monolithic entity chastising and censoring whoever exposes the liberal, anti-human, depopulation agenda of the New World Order. Whether it is gun control, criticism of NWO puppet Obama or anything that the Mark Zuckerberg people disagree with, they will kick your Facebook account to the curb for daring to express a legitimate political opinion.
Facebook’s Zuckerberg, The Self-Perceived Purveyor of Integrity and Morality
Mark Zuckerberg, the creator of Facebook emphasized three times in a single interview with David Kirkpatrick in his book, The Facebook Effect “You have one identity, and the days of you having a different image for your work friends or co-workers and for the other people you know are probably coming to an end pretty quickly. Having two identities for yourself is an example of a lack of integrity.”
Who appointed Mr. Zuckerberg to be the moral police and the judge of integrity? It sounds like Zuckerberg can take his place with Soros, Gates, Turner, et al., and the rest of the global elite who think they have the right to treat humanity as their own personal property and view the masses as a disposable commodity.
Julian Assange Assessment of Facebook
Whistle blower, Julian Assange, once stated that “Facebook in particular is the most appalling spying machine that has ever been invented. Here we have the world’s most comprehensive database about people, their relationships, their names, their addresses, their locations and the communications with each other, their relatives, all sitting within the United States, all accessible to US intelligence. Facebook, Google, Yahoo – all these major US organizations have built-in interfaces for US intelligence. It’s not a matter of serving a subpoena. They have an interface that they have developed for US intelligence to use.”
Never before in American cyber history do we see such an arrogant and agenda serving entity operating their propaganda so far in the open as we do with Facebook. This propaganda end of the New World Order is being blatantly exposed.
A couple of days ago, famed researcher and highly respected journalist, Jon Rappoport was banned from sharing his articles on Facebook. In this instance of blatant censorship, Jon’s banned article was merely a review of certain aspects of American presidents ranging from Nixon to Obama. Like so many of us that understand history and can see the tyrannical path that Obama is trying to take us down, Rappoport identified Obama’s unconstitutional missteps. And for daring to tell the truth, Facebook banned Rappoport for the mere expression of a legitimate personal opinion.
Readers may recall when members of Infowars.com and the popular talk show host, Michael Rivero were banned in December of 2012, until the public outcry for Facebook to reinstate their respective accounts backed Facebook into a corner from which they acquiesced and reinstated the previously banned media figures.
Rules For Thee but Not For Me
Facebook’s does not apply their holier than thou attitude to their own corporate behavior. As Zuckerberg talks about rectifying Americans lack of integrity through timely Facebook exposure, Facebook fails to pay its own fair share of taxes as a result of tax loopholes and deductions. Facebook paid no income tax for the fiscal year 2012, despite reaping $1.1 billion in U.S. corporate profits. While Americans have just been subjected to higher taxes, billion-dollar corporations like Facebook, General Electric, Boeing and Wells Fargo have all been able to avoid paying any corporate income taxes, reports Citizens for Tax Justice.
Reddit Co-Founder Dissociates From Involvement With Facebook
In a recent interview with CNN, Reddit.com co-founder Alex Ohanian explains that he won’t be investing in Facebook, the largest technology IPO in the history of the Internet.
Facebook founder, Zuckerberg, has stated that he expects to make billions of dollars off of the site’s initial public offering, Ohanian says that he won’t be investing in Facebook in order to enrich Zuckerberg. Ohanian’s reasons for avoiding Facebook as an investment vehicle is tied to the fact that he strongly believes that Facebook’s stance in favor of the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act, CISPA, is very dangerous to the viability of the internet.
I applaud Ohanian’s stance as it is clear that Ohanian respects free speech. It is safe to say that Facebook and CISPA are two birds of a feather as they both support blatant censorship regarding views which differ from their own.
Tax evasion, legal or not, seems to be a trait of Facebook personnel, both past and present. Not only does Facebook not pay taxes while the rest of America is suffering under crushing tax increases, Zuckerberg’s former co-founder, Eduardo Saverin, renounced his U.S. citizenship back in August of 2012 in order to pay less tax. I guess that birds of a feather Facebook together.
Can it be said that Facebook is a shining example of duplicity and censorship? I think so and I welcome being banned by the monolith because soon Zuckerberg will learn the lesson the phrase “pride goeth before the fall.” Someday, Facebook will face some very stiff competition and the millions who have been irritated by the trolls which send warning messages for sending simple personal messages could very well be looking for new jobs. Technology is fleeting and Facebook could someday go the way of Myspace.
My Recent Personal Experiences With Facebook
A couple of nights ago, I was trying to send an invitation to former Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney through Facebook’s messaging system for the purpose of inviting her to appear on my talk show. Facebook blocked my invitation with a popup which said my ability to message has been suspended. Yet, I was able to send messages to other people on Facebook, just not Congresswoman McKinney.
Before attempting to message Congresswoman McKinney, I contacted a mutual acquaintance Lorie Meacham, about assisting her help in procuring McKinney as a guest on my talk show in order to discuss her knowledge of government sponsored child sex trafficking (e.g. Dyncorp). As I was online with Meacham, I tried to message McKinney and was blocked. To me, this means that Facebook was monitoring our communication and proactively blocked me. Isn’t interesting that I was blocked because I was interested in the topic of child sex trafficking? Coincidence? Perhaps. Lorie Meacham reported today that she is unable to message me either as the censorship of the free expression of ideas continues..
None of this is surprising given Facebook’s long associations with organizations like In Q tel which is the communications arm of the CIA. Here is a short video which helps the viewer understand the origins of Facebook and who it truly serves and how and why this organization got its start.
Let my hypothesize with some of you who have no problem giving Facebook any and all information about yourself because “you have nothing to hide.” What if Facebook is a big data mining device? It is, read your service agreement. What if this information in conjunction with other data is ever used to determine your loyalty to the government? It could, again, read your service agreement. What if this data would someday be used to decide who lives and dies based upon your threat matrix score? If you don’t think this is possible google the MIAC Report and all of a sudden, I start looking more like Paul Revere than a mentally ill conspiracy theorist.
More Facebook Transgressions
I have also had issues with my personal settings on Facebook. In my life, I have only lived in two areas (Denver and Phoenix) and reported that to Facebook as I was setting up my account. Yet, Facebook has me listed of visiting some third location called “Ready Aim Fire” in New Jersey. Given my Second Amendment advocacy, should I consider this to be an example of Facebook humor or is this a thinly veiled threat from our unapproachable Facebook overlords who will charge me $89 to investigate? Please note, I have never been to New Jersey and I am unable to reset this feature.
Lorie Meacham also related to me of a same-day Facebook exchange she was having with a friend in New Zealand about the recent FBI arrest of Malcolm X’s grandson as he was planning to go to Iran. The conversational text between the two parties was erased by Facebook for being “abusive.” Lorie and I are still trying to make sense how a conversation can be considered to be abusive as long as both parties are willing participants? The short answer is that it is not abusive and constitutes, yet, another example of blatant censorship. These actions are taking place because Facebook has obviously instructed its trolls to censor certain stories as was the case with Jon Rappoport.
That same night and wanting to achieve some measure of privacy, Lorie and I decided to take the conversation off of Facebook to the phone. This is where our evening became very weird. Lorie and I were talking about the possibility of discussing these censorship events on my show and our call was immediately terminated (I was on a land line) and we could not re-establish a connection.
I have subsequently related these stories to Julie Telgenhoff. Julie sponsors one of the most dynamic groups on Facebook entitled, A Sheep No More. Julie has indicated that her members have recently experienced difficulty sharing articles with other Facebook members. Most of the articles are critical of the Obama administration as well as espousing views which run contrary to the New World Order (Agenda 21, etc.). This should demonstrate to everyone which side of the fence that Facebook sits on.
My phone disconnect from Lorie Meacham and the seemingly instantaneous monitoring and censorship should not be surprising given the fact that Facebook’s origins are tied to the CIA’s In-Q-tel (refer to the above video).
I personally do not need Facebook to deliver my message especially with what is coming. Mark my words, in some future date, not too far from now, most people are going to forget about Facebook and will have moved on to the next toy.
Since I aired my frustration with Facebook on my talk show, All of us would be wise to review our Facebook terms of service. Facebook reserves the right to gather all internet habits that you have. They reserve the right to share your data with anyone. They are creating profiles which they are allegedly sharing with the government.
To the trolls who work for this entity, do you really think that you are going to have a seat at the table of the New World Order? Do you think they will let you hang out with them under Denver International Airport in the vast expanse of tunnels which runs through the mile high state when their contrived set of disasters are visited upon us? Or will you trolls end up like so many Brown Shirts from the past in which you will be cast aside without a second thought upon the stockpile of humanity?
And to all of us, we have bigger fish to fry than Facebook. Venting our indignation against such a tool of censorship and oppression is a waste of time. We need to keep directing our attention on the gardeners, not their tools. For it is the gardeners who are trying to erase most of humanity from the planet.
History is filled with examples in which a problem is just a solution in disguise. The research on intention as a force in the universe has clearly demonstrated that if we think about the things that don’t want, we will get more of what we don’t want. As we call attention to the great level of injustice which presently dominates world affairs, let’s simultaneously call attention to the fact that there is a spiritual solution to every problem.
I choose to not the let the Facebook issue dominate my thoughts. I have exposed Facebook for what it is, now let Mr. Zuckerberg own his own Karma. Realize that Facebook only has the power to ban a few of us, but if we don’t give Facebook more attention than what they deserve, our collective messages of freedom, self-determination and ultimate empowerment will push forward like a giant tsunami. Subsequently, if Facebook tries to ban and censor everyone who expresses humanity’s inherent desire for freedom, they will be left with no customers and they will die a natural death. Even the dumbed down sheeple lament the fences that keeps them in their pre-designed pastures.
There was freedom before Facebook and there will be freedom after the demise of Facebook. Freedom will always win out over tyranny, so express yourself without fear. Freedom is the wellspring of creativity. The globalists only know how to destroy. We in the freedom movement will push humanity forward in creative ways never before imagined and eventually the corporate despots will be swept away by the forces which will propel humanity to a higher plane of existence.
Posted by SheenNewsTV
Across the country, people are begging for new ways to prevent another Sandy Hook incident from happening again. Now, the New York City Police Department has sprung into action and are planning on using the latest technology called “Terahertz Imaging Detection,” the device scans people who are suspected of caring a firearm without their knowledge. Danny Panzella from Truth Squad TV weighs in.
By Madison Ruppert
Editor of End the Lie
The new Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) drone authorization list obtained by the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit reveals more than 20 additional public entities allowed to fly drones over the United States.
This news comes as Charlottesville, Virginia passes a resolution banning drones, the entire state of Virginia might pass a drone moratorium, a Justice Department white paper was leaked outlining the supposed legal justification for the drone assassination program, the Obama administration is reportedly going to release legal memos to intelligence committees and the location of a CIA drone base in Saudi Arabia was revealed after two large media outlets withheld it at the government’s request.
This brings the total to 81 public entities authorized by the FAA to fly drones as of October 2012, according to the list obtained by the EFF. Keep in mind, documents obtained by the EFF reveal that drones are already flying over the United States.
Furthermore, we now know the military is operating drones domestically and sharing data with law enforcement, at least one National Guard unit uses drones, the Department of Homeland Security has embraced small spy drones and colleges and universities are offering more drone piloting programs to keep up with this drone boom.
End the Lie contacted the EFF’s media liaison by phone, confirming that this list is not merely applicants but indeed entities that have been authorized to fly drones over America.
Some of the newly approved agencies include the State Department, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and several sheriff’s departments including Canyon County Sheriff’s Office (Idaho), Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office (Northwest Oregon), Grand Forks Sheriff’s Department (North Dakota) and King County Sheriff’s Office (covering Seattle, Washington).
Another interesting new addition highlighted by the EFF is the Barona Band of Mission Indians Risk Management Office (near San Diego, California).
Interestingly, Ohio had several new entities approved, including the Medina County Sheriff’s Office, Ohio Department of Transportation, Sinclair Community College and Lorain County Community College.
The concerns raised by this new list are legion. One of the most significant concerns is the privacy and civil liberties implications of domestic drone use, especially given the advances in drone technology.
Among the most worrisome advances are: the capability of potentially constant surveillance thanks to solar power and laser-based charging methods, drone-based facial recognition technology, automated tracking systems, a drone-based camera capable of capturing 36 square miles of imagery at once, ultra-stealthy drones and even fully automated weapons systems.
The EFF also points out, “Even the smallest drones can carry a host of surveillance equipment, from video cameras and thermal imaging to GPS tracking and cellphone eavesdropping tools. They can also be equipped with advanced forms of radar detection, license plate cameras, and facial recognition.”
The EFF hopes that the release of the new list will “spur more people to ask their local law enforcement agencies about their drone programs.”
Thanks to a partnership with MuckRock, it’s even easier to request this information from your local agencies.
The EFF is encouraging people to “ask hard questions of government officials about who is funding drone development in their communities and what policies the government will demand agencies follow if they fly drones.”
“We need greater transparency and citizen push-back to protect Americans from privacy-invasive domestic drone use,” the EFF concludes.
About Madison Ruppert
Madison Ruppert is a Los Angeles-based independent journalist and researcher as well as the founder, owner, administrator and editor of EndtheLie.com. He has no affiliations with any government agencies, political parties, non-governmental organizations, or economic schools. He is available for freelance writing assignments and appearances or interviews in any format. He can be reached by emailing Admin@EndtheLie.com
Those concerned about Facebook’s controversial privacy policies may have yet another reason to worry. The social network is reportedly developing a smartphone application which will track the location of its users – even when the app isn’t running.
The app is scheduled to be released in mid-March, two anonymous sources told Bloomberg.
It’s allegedly designed to help users find nearby friends by revealing those friends’ locations. But unlike Facebook’s current mobile app, which allows users to let others know where they are by “checking in” at a location, the new app would continuously follow the user once the program is activated.
The app would track user whereabouts in the “background” of Apple’s mobile operating system – even when the app isn’t open on the phone, one of the sources said. It remains unclear whether the app will run on other platforms.
It’s a technique that would likely require the social networking site to ask permission from users. But there’s a loophole – Facebook may have already gotten consent from its users to run the feature.
The app may fall under Facebook’s data policy – which tells users that a company may use location information “to tell you and your friends about people or events nearby, or to offer deals to you that you might be interested in.”
“When we get your GPS location, we put it together with other location information we have about you (like your current city)…but we only keep it until it is no longer useful to provide you services, like keeping your last GPS coordinates to send you relevant notifications,” the data use policy says.
The app isn’t drastically different from current applications, such as Apple’s “Find My Friends” and Math Camp Inc.’s “Highlight,” which constantly track user locations to help people find friends or places of interest.
When approached by Bloomberg to speak about the tracking application, Facebook Spokesman Derick Mains declined to comment.
Based on past precedents, the new app is bound to raise concern from users who value their privacy.
Facebook is no stranger to controversy surrounding its privacy settings. The site has already been under fire from US and European regulators, who claim it doesn’t do enough to keep user data private.
In early January, the EU pressured internet giants such as Facebook to boost personal security controls and limit the collection of data without users’ consent.
Last September, the site was forced to stop using its facial recognition software in Europe following an investigation by the Office of the Data Protection Commissioner in Ireland.
And now, the social network’s new “Graph Search” system – which is waiting to be tested – is raising red flags.
The system is designed to search Facebook for very specific information, such as ‘Friends who like Star Wars and Harry Potter’ and ‘Languages my friends speak.’
But after using the system, computer programmer and ‘Gadget Geek’ Tom Scott found the program can conduct much juicier searches.
For instance, it will easily find ‘Married people, who like prostitutes’ or ‘Current employers of people who like racism,’ Scott revealed in a blogpost.
News of the location tracking app comes less than one week after Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg emphasized the need for new mobile products during Facebook’s Fourth Quarter Earnings Conference Call, which was broadcast on the internet.
“A lot of what we had to do last year was simply to improve our mobile development process…the next thing we’re going to do is get really good at building new mobile-first experiences,” Zuckerberg said during the call.
And while this may, indeed, be a “mobile-first experience,” it remains unclear whether it’s an experience that Facebook users will actually want.
By Steve Watson
Activists warn public is being categorized as “low-grade enemy”
Legislation to stave off the use of drones by law enforcement and government agencies in Virginia has advanced in the State Senate, as well as the House, bringing closer a two-year moratorium on the unmanned craft.
A House panel approved sending their version of the bill, HB2012 sponsored by Del. Benjamin L. Cline, to the floor by a 9-4 vote, while the Senate Courts of Justice, also endorsed the legislation Monday.
While the House bill advocates a blanket ban on the use of drones, the Senate version has an exception where missing person searches are concerned.
Delegate Todd Gilbert, who sponsored a similar drone bill last year said that strict limitations should be imposed upon the use of drones, including requiring search warrants for surveillance or collecting evidence for criminal investigations.
Claire Guthrie Gastañaga, executive director for the American Civil Liberties Union of Virginia noted that “All of us are about to sacrifice our privacy to this new technology.”
“The Fourth Amendment should be the floor to protect our privacy, not the ceiling.” Gastañaga added.
At the House hearing, law enforcement groups argued that warrants may not be able to be obtained in time to use the technology effectively. Russell County Sheriff’s Office said it had already purchased two drones, and argued against the introduction of stipulations.
Last year, Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell described warrantless drones as “great”, citing “battlefield successes”.
“If you’re keeping police officers safe, making it more productive and saving money… it’s absolutely the right thing to do.” McDonnell said on the deployment of drones in the State.
Residents seem to disagree, particularly in Charlottesville, where the City Council is considering making the city a no-drone zone.
Over the weekend, anti-drone activists led by resident David Swanson, held a rally, complete with a giant model of a drone, to educate more people on the matter and pressure the Council to act.
“They can put drones outside our windows, drones can listen in on our phone calls, drones can spy on us in ways that will be far too tempting to any police department and they’re already openly saying that’s what they need it for,” Swanson said.
“We have police departments across the country picking up the use of drones with tear gas, with rubber bullets to control crowds,” he added. “We don’t think we need to be controlled, we think such police departments need to be controlled.”
Swanson added that the way the military uses drones overseas is a core reason to prohibit their use domestically.
“A government that would target and kill an American abroad would target and kill an American at home,” Swanson said, adding that “There’s this trend toward looking at the public as sort of a low-grade enemy.”
The anti-drone resolution will be debated at a City Council meeting tonight at 7p.m.
A new Congressional Research Service report published last week warned that drones could be used for stalking, voyeurism, and laws need to be amended to protect the rights of citizens.
Steve Watson is the London based writer and editor for Alex Jones’ Infowars.com, and Prisonplanet.com. He has a Masters Degree in International Relations from the School of Politics at The University of Nottingham, and a Bachelor Of Arts Degree in Literature and Creative Writing from Nottingham Trent University.
San Francisco, California is the second-most densely populated urban area in the US, but those nearly one million residents of the City by the Bay are about to lose what little amount of privacy they have.
The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission has started work on a program that will update a number of the city’s 18,000 streetlights during the next few years. Those new installations might do a whole lot more than just illuminate sidewalks and keep streets lit for cars, though. Through part of a pilot program, city officials can send data wirelessly between more than a dozen of those streetlights.
What kind of data can a lamppost collect, though? In San Francisco, the answer is a lot. According to a report in the SF Bay Guardian, Paradox Engineering of Switzerland has already started testing streetlamps in the city that have the ability to wirelessly transmit data from traffic signals and surveillance cameras from one device to another. Soon, though, there will be more than just 14 cameras with that kind of capability. Additionally, the city is currently searching five vendors to test even more advanced lampposts across the city.
During last year’s Living Labs Global Award in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, the LLGA gave Paradox the go-ahead to start testing lights in San Francisco. In a just-issued Request for Proposals, the city calls on others to pitch similar products. In the request, the City writes that as they begin replacing the 18,000 streetlights, the SFPUC “also plans to install an integrated wireless communication monitoring and control system” in order to manage the devices.”
“Ideally, the wireless system will accommodate other wireless devices, unrelated to street lighting, in a common wireless system mesh network,” the request reads.
When the City goes more into detail, the kind of devices that will need to connect to the lamps are brought to light. “Future needs for the secure wireless transmission of data throughout the City,” reads the report, may include gunshot monitoring, electric meter reading, street surveillance, public information broadcasts and other types of monitoring.
“San Francisco thought they were upgrading their 18,000 lamps with LEDs and a wireless control system, when they realized that they were in fact laying the groundwork for the future intelligent public space,” LLGA cofounder Sascha Haselmeyer tells Open Source Cities.
San Francisco isn’t the first city to bring this new form of surveillance to light — literally — but it might be the biggest. In 2011, Farmington Hills, Michigan became the first city in the US to rely on something called the Intellistreets project to watch over pedestrians. For $3,000 a piece, those high-tech luminaries don’t just provide light, but also record audio and video, all data that can be sent from device to device.
“This is not a system with spook technology,” Intellistreets founder Ron Harwood told WXYZ News when his small Michigan town first started trying out the devices. With 18,000 traffic lights in a city of 800,000 possibly embracing that same technology, though, it says a lot about the growing trend of secretive surveillance in the US.
“We’ve become somewhat accustomed to being visually monitored by the surveillance cameras that dot our urban landscapes, but audio monitoring and widespread, covert monitoring are not so common,” the PrivacySOS.org blog reports.
San Francisco first began installing public surveillance cameras in 2005, and four years later a report from the University of California Berkeley found that the devices failed to detersviolent crimes, including homicide, as well as rapes and drug dealing.
“Precious public safety dollars need to be spent on solutions that actually work to reduce violent crime, like community policing, intervention programs and improved lighting, not on more ineffective and intrusive cameras,” Nicole Ozer of the American Civil Liberties Union’s Northern California office said in 2009. Four years later, however, it seems as if the city is deadest on installing even more devices.
“In a few years, there may be no place to hide from San Francisco police surveillance – unless you drive to get around,” PrivacySOS adds. “The increasingly aggressive San Francisco surveillance regime appears to disproportionately affect low income people. In the privacy of your own car, you are probably free from city monitoring. But if you walk to work or take the bus, you better mind what you say.”
Talking Surveillance Cameras Coming to U.S. Streets
I am afraid it’s so. Now to have your grievances redressed by your government you will have to submit to a face scan. Folks, we live in a police state.
How did they get a biometric facial photo? Likely your REAL ID drivers license. Don’t you just love how you were informed that the State was taking a biometric photo of you? Tennessee is one of 13 States to have complied with all 18 benchmarks of the REAL ID, which includes a biometric facial image capture.
It’s bad enough that you have to submit to x-rays. Now have your face scanned. What’s next, rectal inspections?
Read more about government privacy invasion through the drivers license here. There are multiple articles. Try reading them all.
My letter to the Tennessee General Assembly:
A facial scan to get into the capitol building is completely unacceptable. One should not have to submit to tyrannical measures simply to redress their grievances.
Tennessee has become a vassal to the federal government, complying with all 18 benchmarks of the REAL ID act, while pretending to resist it through non-binding resolutions. While you set around begging the federal government to repeal the unconstitutional law, your let State bureaucrats implement it anyway.
Stop the tyranny now. People coming to the State legislature are not suspected of crimes. There’s no probable cause to assume that someone discontent with their government and/or some law(s) is a criminal and needs to be searched through x-rays and facial scans simply to address their elected representatives. Redress is protected by the first amendment.
Remember that you are servants of the people, not kings on thrones. This pedestal of tyranny that you stand on needs to be knocked out from under you and destroyed. If you are so afraid of serving, then don’t. Let someone else who doesn’t live in fear, and therefore subject the people to tyranny as result, serve.
Let freedom ring!
Image added to original post.