Posts tagged surveillance
Edward Snowden at TED Talks, “PRISM” program “deputizes corporate America to do the NSA’s dirty work” (Video)0
Edward Snowden at TED Talks, “PRISM” program “deputizes corporate America to do the NSA’s dirty work” (Video)
This is a fascinating video and well worth the time.
It is vital that Silicon Valley pushes back now and redeems itself while it can. It’s not only the right thing to do, it is hugely important for our trust based economy.
Video published by TED
Appearing by telepresence robot, Edward Snowden speaks at TED2014 about surveillance and Internet freedom. The right to data privacy, he suggests, is not a partisan issue, but requires a fundamental rethink of the role of the internet in our lives — and the laws that protect it. “Your rights matter,” he say, “because you never know when you’re going to need them.” Chris Anderson interviews, with special guest Tim Berners-Lee.
Tim Berners-Lee: Why We Need a ‘Digital Bill of Rights’
Tim Berners-Lee, the man credited with “creating” the World Wide Web (WWW) in 1989 and advisor to the UK government, has called for an internet user’s bill of rights (IUBR) to protect user’s rights and prevent governments and corporate influence.
Berners-Lee originally created the system that allows websites and links to be formed; a back-bone of the modern-day internet.
Fascinating contribution considering in 1969 the Department of Defense (DoD) unveiled their Advanced Research Projects Agency Network (ARPANET) which connected mainframe computers across the globe and gave birth to the internet we know today.
Berners-Lee said this IUBR would be a Magna Carta of sorts to ensure that the internet remain “accessible to all, from any device, and one that empowers all of us to achieve our dignity, rights and potential as humans.”
On the subject of privacy on the internet, Berners-Lee said: “These issues have crept up on us. Our rights are being infringed more and more on every side, and the danger is that we get used to it. So I want to use the 25th anniversary for us all to do that, to take the web back into our own hands and define the web we want for the next 25 years.”
The Web We Want initiative (WWI), championed by Berners-Lee, endeavors to re-invent the internet with the IUBR in order to establish corroboration for national and regional campaigns to bring the internet to all citizens of every nation.
Berners-Lee explained: “The Web community – and the world at large – are wrestling with tough issues around security, surveillance, privacy, open infrastructure, net neutrality, content protection, and more.”
Two years ago, Berners-Lee spoke out against the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA), asserting that: “The amount of control you have over somebody if you can monitor internet activity is amazing . . . You get to know every detail, you get to know, in a way, more intimate details about their life than any person that they talk to because often people will confide in the internet as they find their way through medical websites … or as an adolescent finds their way through a website about homosexuality, wondering what they are and whether they should talk to people about it.”
Berners-Lee continued: “The idea that we should routinely record information about people is obviously very dangerous. It means that there will be information around which could be stolen, which can be acquired through corrupt officials or corrupt operators, and [could be] used, for example, to blackmail people in the government or people in the military. We open ourselves out, if we store this information, to it being abused.”
According to the Pew Research Internet Project (PRIP) 87% of Americans use the internet. Surprisingly, 90% of those polled said the internet makes their life better overall.
Murray Sabrin Issues Statement on “Double-Dealer” Diane Feinstein
The Murray Sabrin campaign has issued the following statement, following news that the CIA has been spying on Congress.
“When it comes to respecting the Constitution and the privacy rights of Americans, for Sen. Dianne Feinstein, what’s good for the goose is an outrageous violation of the gander’s rights,” said U.S. Senate candidate Murray Sabrin. “It’s no skin off her nose when the National Security Agency does it to us, but when the Central Intelligence Agency does it to her, it’s a constitutional crisis.”
“Shouldn’t the same rules apply to both the goose and the gander?” questioned Sabrin.
In the wake of revelations that the CIA may have rooted through U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee files as part of an ongoing congressional review of agency practices, Feinstein, a California Democrat and chair of the committee, took to the Senate floor on Tuesday to fulminate against it for violating “principles embodied in the United States Constitution.”
In her speech she accused the agency of violating “Fourth Amendment protections against unreasonable searches, as well as laws against domestic surveillance.”
All well and good and, when the facts are revealed, perhaps entirely justified, but Ms. Feinstein sang a markedly different tune last month when she offered what one report called “a full-throated defense of the (NSA’s) collection of data on billions of American phone calls.”
“There’s no question but what the NSA’s monitoring of the private communications of law-abiding Americans is unconstitutional,” said Sabrin. “And this view is shared across the political spectrum - even former Vice President Al Gore agrees with it.”
“Yes, there are real threats, and we must be cognizant of them, remaining vigilant at all times. The best way to do that is to start in our own backyard by respecting and zealously guarding our constitutionally protected civil liberties, including the right to be free from unwarranted government snooping,” said Sabrin.
“If the purpose of our national intelligence effort is to protect our freedom and liberty, it makes absolutely no sense to destroy them in the process. That thinking tosses the baby out with the bath water,” he said. “My next door neighbor on her cell phone is no less deserving of constitutional protection than Sen. Feinstein.”
Feinstein has a track record of double dealing on constitutionally protected civil liberties. For years, she’s been one of the Senate’s leading advocates of harsh and punitive gun-control legislation, never seeing a restriction on or the outlawing of a type of firearm she didn’t like. But in the meantime, she didn’t think twice about arming herself when faced with threats against herself and her family, a right she doesn’t think Americans deserve as if they can’t be trusted with it.
And what of New Jersey’s junior Sen. Cory Booker, the politician Sabrin seeks to replace this coming Election Day – how has he weighed in on the important issue of safeguarding the constitutional liberties of Americans? Apparently, he’s a complete MIA.
A search of online news sources revealed that Booker has been silent on Fourth Amendment and surveillance issues since last October’s Senate Special Election campaign, where he was harshly criticized by fellow New Jersey Democrats who ran against him in the primary for being all over the lot on the issue in a seeming effort to please whomever he was speaking with at the moment.
This time around, he’s completely silent.
“While issues of violations of our constitutionally protected civil liberties are being debated in the U.S. Senate and throughout the country, Cory Booker is dropping F-bombs on Twitter and talking about driving to Hawaii ,” said Sabrin. “He’s not even bothering to phone it in. Maybe he’s afraid the NSA will listen in.”
Imaged added to Bob’s original post with image credit to murraysabrin2014.com
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.
Find closed captions and translated subtitles in many languages at http://www.ted.com/translate
Webcam Spying: All the Gov Surveillance Agencies are Doing It
Apparently the GCHQ, the British equivalent to the National Security Agency (NSA) has been watching millions of Yahoo users with their webcams.
Documents given to the press by Edward Snowden state that this scheme called operation Optic Nerve (ON) was a collaboration of the GCHQ and the NSA in order to gather 1.8 million users’ images from webcams between 2008 and 2010.
According to the report, “it would appear that a surprising number of people use webcam conversations to show intimate parts of their body to the other person. Also, the fact that the Yahoo software allows more than one person to view a webcam stream without necessarily sending a reciprocal stream means that it appears sometimes to be used for broadcasting pornography.”
The document continues: “Face detection has the potential to aid selection of useful images for ‘mugshots’ or even for face recognition by assessing the angle of the face. The best images are ones where the person is facing the camera with their face upright.”
The tech corporation stated: “We were not aware of nor would we condone this reported activity. This report, if true, represents a whole new level of violation of our users’ privacy that is completely unacceptable and we strongly call on the world’s governments to reform surveillance law consistent with the principles we outlined in December. We are committed to preserving our users’ trust and security and continue our efforts to expand encryption across all of our services.”
In 2013, Marcus Thomas, former assistant director of the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) Operational Technology Division commented : “The FBI has been able to covertly activate a computer’s camera—without triggering the light that lets users know it is recording—for several years, and has used that technique mainly in terrorism cases or the most serious criminal investigations.”
Spying via webcam is apparently quite easy.
Last December, researchers at Johns Hopkins University (JHU) discovered security vulnerabilities within the Apple iSight system in the MacBook laptop and iMac desktop units that allow an third party to disable the webcam indicator LED.
Matthew Brocker and Stephen Checkoway authored a paper entitled, “iSeeYou: Disabling the MacBook Webcam Indicator LED” which outlines the process of reprogramming the iSight camera via the microcontroller to disable the LED activation light.
The paper reads: “In the past few years, the ever-expanding set of sensors present in commodity laptops and smartphones has prompted the security and privacy community to begin searching ways to detect and limit the undesired use of sensors,” the “iSeeYou. At the same time, researchers have demonstrated attacks exploiting the presence of sensors.”
This allowed Brocker and Checkoway to take photos and video of the subject from the webcam.
Shockingly, their technique also worked on 1Mac G5 and Intel-based iMacs; as well as 2008 MacBook Pros.
According to the paper: “Our results in this paper demonstrate that, at least in some cases, people have been correct to worry about malware covertly capturing images and video. We show a vulnerability in the iSight webcam that affects a particular range of Apple computers … that can be exploited to turn on the camera and capture images and video without the indicator illuminating.”
Jesse Ventura goes Off the Grid on DRONES
Published by NextNewsNetwork
If another country surveilled the United States with unmanned aircrafts, what would our government do? In this #OffTheGrid clip, Jesse Ventura argues that we’d probably declare war! What do you think the U.S. would do? Tweet Jesse @GovJVentura.
Download your free Next News “Heroes & Villains” Poster here: http://nextnewsnetwork.com/the-2013-h…
Feds want to track your DNA like a licence plate (Yep we’re there)
This isn’t surprising. I think many of us just assumed that to some degree this sort of research has been going on. The surveillance state contractor infrastructure expands, and our privacy shrinks, again.
This is the yin and yang of Big Data. All the data points now floating out in the cybersphere about us, our health, our political dispositions, what food we eat, what beer we drink, are just waiting to be connected into patterns. This has great potential to make life better for human beings. Big Data can help us live healthier, work more efficiently, identify business opportunities, etc. The possibilities are as vast as the stars in the galaxy.
But Big Data also has great danger as many of us recognize. The government with what often seems like unlimited resources running algorithms over the ocean of readily available data is a scary proposition. And as the surveillance state infrastructure expands (if we let it) the vast sums of taxpayer dollars available (thanks Congress) will provide perverse incentives for firms to develop ever more invasive technologies.
Of course it’s not like American companies are the only ones developing this stuff either.
Documents WND located through routine database research reveal the ability to follow people by detecting “certain characteristics of operational interest” is designed for U.S. military and intelligence-gathering superiority.
It remains unknown when such capabilities might transition to the realm of domestic counterterrorism or law enforcement operations; however, the feds – through the Air Force Research Lab, or AFRL – are recruiting private-sector assistance in order to make this “biosignature” spying a reality.
Image credit: http://www.againstcronycapitalism.org
About Nick Sorrentino
Nick Sorrentino is the co-founder and editor of AgainstCronyCapitalism.org. A political and communications consultant with clients across the political spectrum, he lives just outside of Washington DC where he can keep an eye on Leviathan.
The Future of Internet Governance Could Be Finalized Later This Year
The “real” owners of the internet are having a meeting to discuss how they can successfully obtain complete governance over the World Wide Web.
The US State Department (USSD), under the Office of International Communications and Information Policy (OICIP) with direction from the Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs (EB/CIP) announced earlier this month that the US “will participate in the ‘Global Multi-stakeholder Meeting on the Future of Internet Governance’ to be held on April 23 and 24, 2014” in Brazil.
The task of the EB/CIP is to ensure that information and communication technology is formulated, coordinated and overseen to the agendas of the USSD.
The USSD explained that this current administration “believes that the meeting presents an opportunity to advance the global community’s understanding of Internet governance and promote its evolution toward a more inclusive structure if: (1) the agenda is developed in a truly multi-stakeholder fashion; (2) participation at the meeting is broad and inclusive; and (3) any follow on activity is guided by, and ultimately supportive of, the multi-stakeholder system rather than an intergovernmental mechanism of centrally imposed regulation or mandates.”
According to the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), this meeting in Brazil “will focus on crafting Internet governance principles and proposing a roadmap for the further evolution of the Internet governance ecosystem.”
The leadership and “technical organizations” that now possess governing control over the internet are under the guidance of the Montevideo Statement on the Future of Internet Cooperation (MSFIC) which called for “a neutral, open forum to discuss Internet challenges.”
The Net1 Initiative was created in response to the MSFIC “to provide an inclusive and open venue supporting discussion of Internet governance matters for all those interested (individuals, governments, civil societies, technicians, etc.) and to deliver the results of those discussions to the agendas of established and developing Internet governance institutions.”
In 2013, ICANN “began rolling out thousands of alternatives to the traditional .com ending used by most websites. New endings using the Latin alphabet, such as .clothing and .singles, became available in January, and hundreds of others are on the way.”
Last month, at the World Economic Forum (WEF) the Global Commission on Internet Governance (GCIG) was announced as a “two-year initiative that will present a comprehensive stand on the future of multi-stakeholder Internet governance.”
The GCIG was created by the Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI) and the Royal Institute of International Affairs (RIIA).
One purpose of the GCIG is to “create and advance a strategic vision for the future of Internet governance that can act as a rallying point for states that are striving for a continued free and open Internet.”
Using influence to foster debate, the GCIG will lobby heads of state, incorporate public relations tactics and inject pro-agenda propaganda into the mainstream ideology across the globe.
Two concerns of the GCIG are:
• Authoritarian controls by government over the Internet
• Loss of customer confidence due to revelations of widespread surveillance
The GCIG will advise on how to:
• Avoid risks
• Establish norms regarding conduct
• Initiate cybercrime cooperation
• Proliferation and disarmament
This project is supported by technological leaders who want “greater transparency” when it comes to government surveillance on citizens; with or without their knowledge.
The Day We Fight Back – Tomorrow We Take A Stand!
As I posted last month, on February 11, a broad coalition of internet-involved organizations will go online to protest massive electronic surveillance by governments around the world including illegal NSA spying. The Day We Fight Back action hopes to repeat the successful beating of SOPA/PIPA bills in 2012. The protest coalition includes organizations holding high stakes on online freedoms, like the open-source software developer Mozilla Foundation, link aggregator Reddit, the digital rights group Electronic Frontier Foundation, Demand Progress, Campaign for Liberty, the ACLU, Tumblr and almost 6,000 more as of writing this post.
If Aaron Swartz was still with us I am sure he would be on the front line.
ChrisInMaryville will be participating in this protest.
Per Mike at Liberty Blitzkrieg who will also be participating: The protest is encouraging websites to put up a banner that will highlight ways to call and email your Congressional representatives in order to push them to support the USA Freedom Act, the only NSA focused legislation currently moving through Congress that actually has teeth to it in order to defend the 4th Amendment.
The organizations web site explains it’s mission:
DEAR USERS OF THE INTERNET,
In January 2012 we defeated the SOPA and PIPA censorship legislation with the largest Internet protest in history. Today we face another critical threat, one that again undermines the Internet and the notion that any of us live in a genuinely free society: mass surveillance.
In celebration of the win against SOPA and PIPA two years ago, and in memory of one of its leaders, Aaron Swartz, we are planning a day of protest against mass surveillance, to take place this February 11th.
Together we will push back against powers that seek to observe, collect, and analyze our every digital action. Together, we will make it clear that such behavior is not compatible with democratic governance. Together, if we persist, we will win this fight.
WHAT WE’LL DO ON FEBRUARY 11th:
If you’re in the US: Thousands of websites will host banners urging people to call/email Congress. We’ll ask legislators to oppose the FISA Improvements Act, support the USA Freedom Act, and enact protections for non-Americans.
If you’re not in the US: Visitors will be asked to urge appropriate targets to institute privacy protections.
The Hill covered the protest. Here are some excerpts:
Thousands of websites on Tuesday will take a stand against government surveillance by plastering protests across their home pages.
Tech companies and civil liberties organizations are hoping the demonstration, called The Day We Fight Back, will replicate their success in defeating the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and Protect IP Act (PIPA) in 2012.
This time activists are focusing their energy on supporting the USA Freedom Act, which would end or curtail many of the most controversial surveillance programs at the National Security Agency and elsewhere.
More than 4,500 websites have pledged to help people contact their representatives in Congress to push for the Freedom Act, which was authored by Rep. James Sensenbrenner Jr. (R-Wis.) and Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.). Many sites are planning to post a banner on their pages with a widget so people can make a phone call or send an email to the lawmakers’ offices.
“Dear Internet, we’re sick of complaining about the NSA,” the banner reads. “We want new laws that curtail online surveillance. Today we fight back.”
Advocacy groups across the political spectrum, from the environmentalist organization Greenpeace to the conservative FreedomWorks have signed onto the push.
Now here’s a very powerful video on the protest. In many ways this is a tribute to the legacy and sacrifices of the late Aaron Swartz.
This is the civil rights issue of our time. 5,443 websites have announced their participation. Be on the right side of history.
California company builds 5-foot android robocops to control crime-ridden areas
The local neighborhood watch may be beefing up its robotic arsenal if a new technology startup gets its way anytime soon.
In a bid to make local communities safer and give local law enforcement agencies more tools to fight crime, California-based Knightscope recently unveiled a line of K5 robots that it believes will “predict and prevent crime with an innovative combination of hardware, software and social engagement.”
The new K5 units have a look that resembles R2-D2 from “Star Wars,” but their casual design masks a highly advanced robot that its creators hope will drastically cut down on crime. Weighing in at 300 pounds, the five-foot K5 can patrol a neighborhood and uses a built-in laser to form a 3D map of the surrounding area in 270-degree sweeps. Four built-in cameras, meanwhile, are capable of scanning up to 1,500 license plates a minute.
“Data collected through these sensors is processed through our predictive analytics engine, combined with existing business, government and crowdsourced social data sets, and subsequently assigned an alert level that determines when the community and the authorities should be notified of a concern,” the company’s website states.
According to Fox News, Knightscope already has multiple clients lined up to test beta versions of the K5 in 2014. Rather than sell the robots outright, the company will charge $1,000 a month for daily eight-hour shifts. Inspired to take action after 20 children were killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre, Knightscope CEO William Li is convinced that innovation in law enforcement is necessary to effectively make use of officers’ time and manpower.
“Our aim is to cut the crime rate by 50% in a geo-fenced area, which would increase housing values and safety while lowering insurance costs,” he told USA Today. “If we can do that, I think every mayor will be calling us.”
That prospect doesn’t sound comforting to everyone, however, especially civil liberties advocates wary of warrantless surveillance in light of the domestic spying done by the National Security Agency.
“Clearly, this kind of surveillance technology has an unbounded capacity to collect personal information that a single patrol officer doesn’t,” Marc Rotenberg, executive director of the watchdog group Electronic Privacy Information Center, said to USA Today.
“These are the same concerns we’re facing with CCTV (closed-circuit television) and Google’s mapping cars. Laws need to be updated to acknowledge these technologies, and companies, in turn, need to act responsibly.”
One such law is currently being considered in California, where a recently introduced bill would impose restrictions on the use of surveillance drones. The proposal would ban the use of unmanned aerial drones in the state without a court-issued warrant, potentially calming concerns that government agencies could abuse the technology.
As RT reported last week, a study by the Electronic Frontier Foundation found predator drones flew over 700 missions between 2010 and 2012 on behalf of numerous agencies, including local law enforcement. Cattle rancher Rodney Brossart of North Dakota became the first American to be arrested with the help of a drone back in 2011. He was just recently sentenced to three and a half years in prison for terrorizing local police, though his attorney argued the drone was dispatched without a warrant.