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Author Topic: Privacy, Big Brother (State and Corporate) and the 4th & 9th Amendments  (Read 106828 times)
Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #550 on: May 05, 2012, 11:59:09 AM »

but misses relevant SCOTUS case

http://blog.sfgate.com/crime/2012/05/04/smell-of-pot-doesnt-justify-police-break-in-court-says-or-maybe-it-does/?tsp=1
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #551 on: May 14, 2012, 11:33:48 PM »

The subject of drone use by the police came up on the Bret Baier Report tonight and Charles Krauthammer let rip on drones.  Absolutely positively not!  He doesn't care that their use would save money! The first person to shoot one down will become a folk hero, even if it takes a bazooka!

Bret Baier "I've never seen you so animated!"

Twas true, CK was quite passionate on the point.
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bigdog
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« Reply #552 on: May 15, 2012, 05:19:00 AM »

I read an article yesterday talking about the security at the London Olympics.  The author claims that (many) drones will be employed there, too. 
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dreatx
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« Reply #553 on: May 28, 2012, 03:09:46 PM »

Here is something that is causing me some internet difficulty:  What are some good search terms or sites to where one can track the actually incidences of direct police action stopping a violent crime.  I know that it does happen but, for me, it is not quantifiable. 

http://washington.cbslocal.com/2012/05/23/groups-concerned-over-arming-of-domestic-drones/

Also, I think we should all carefully watch how drones are deployed in the US.  First we start with police intel missions.  Then what?  Using drones for SWAT type actions?  And then what?  Remember, this is the same country where law enforcement bombed a city block in Philly.

I am concerned that, for law and order types, there is an overdependence on the assumption that people in power will do the right thing.  The more the balance of power shifts in favor of those that want to control society, the more opportunity there is for something outlandish to happen.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #554 on: May 29, 2012, 10:23:18 AM »

"Sam Sutter, the district attorney in Bristol County, Mass., called ShotSpotter “an extremely valuable tool” that had helped his office bring charges in four nonfatal shootings.  In my view legally,” he said, “what is said and picked up by the ShotSpotter recording does not have the expectation of privacy because it’s said out in public, and so I think that will turn out to be admissible evidence.”

What is being asserted here it that the government can film and record us any and everywhere.

Anyone here comfortable with that?
=========================================

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/29/us/shots-heard-pinpointed-and-argued-over.html?_r=1&nl=todaysheadlines&emc=edit_th_20120529
========================
MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. — At 7:22:07 p.m. on a recent Thursday, an electronic alarm went off in the soundproof control room of a suburban office building here.
A technician quickly focused on the computer screen, where the words “multiple gunshots” appeared in large type. She listened to a recording of the shots — the tat-tat-tat-tat-tat of five rounds from a small-caliber weapon — and zoomed in on a satellite map to see where the gun had been fired: North 23rd Street in Milwaukee, 2,200 miles away.
At 7:23:48, the technician, satisfied that the sounds were gunshots, sent an alert to the Milwaukee Police Department. Less than two minutes later, or at 9:25:02 p.m. Wisconsin time, a tactical team arrived at the address to find five .22-caliber shell casings and a bleeding 15-year-old boy who had been shot in the arm. The casings, said Chris Blaszak, a detective assigned to the department’s intelligence fusion center, were found within 17 feet of where the alert had placed the gunman. Total elapsed time: 3 minutes, 55 seconds.
Milwaukee is one of an increasing number of cities around the country — just under 70 to date, including some in the New York area — that are using a gunshot detection system called ShotSpotter to pinpoint the location of gunfire seconds after it occurs. Last year, the company that developed ShotSpotter began offering a more affordable system, and that has brought in new clients and led other cities to consider trying it.
The detection system, which triangulates sound picked up by acoustic sensors placed on buildings, utility poles and other structures, is part of a wave of technological advances that is transforming the way police officers do their jobs.
But like other technologies, including license plate scanners, body cameras and GPS trackers, the gunshot-detection system has also inspired debate.
In at least one city, New Bedford, Mass., where sensors recorded a loud street argument that accompanied a fatal shooting in December, the system has raised questions about privacy and the reach of police surveillance, even in the service of reducing gun violence.
And with recession-plagued police departments having to cut personnel and services, some cities have questioned the system’s benefits relative to its cost. The Detroit City Council last year rejected the Police Department’s proposal for a three-year, $2.6 million contract, with one council member objecting that not enough officers were available to respond to the alerts.
Cities that installed ShotSpotter in the past bought the equipment and managed the alerts themselves, a model that often involved laying out hundreds of thousands of dollars. But the company now offers a subscription plan for a yearly fee of $40,000 to $60,000 per square mile that includes round-the-clock monitoring of alerts by trained reviewers here in Mountain View.
Many police officials say the system has significantly improved response time for crimes involving firearms and has increased community confidence and helped deter gun crime by demonstrating that the police can show up quickly at the right place.
The technology, they say, has given officers critical information about what to expect upon arriving at a crime scene — like whether a gun was fired from a car and if so, how fast and in what direction the car was traveling — and has offered a level of precision in locating gunfire rarely afforded by 911 calls.
Sgt. Chris Bolton of the Oakland, Calif., Police Department, which has installed ShotSpotter in high-crime neighborhoods in East and West Oakland, said that before the system was in place, “a patrol officer would receive a gunshot call from the community and you could spend up to 30 minutes driving within, I would say, three to four blocks of that location, just to make sure there isn’t a victim in need of assistance, a crime ongoing or any evidence.”
If nothing else, ShotSpotter has made it clear how much unreported gunfire takes place on city streets. In many high-crime urban neighborhoods, gunshots are a counterpoint to daily life, “as common as the birds chirping,” as Cmdr. Mikail Ali of the San Francisco Police Department put it.
But whether out of apathy, fear or uncertainty, people call the police in only a fraction of cases.
In the Bayview-Hunter’s Point neighborhood of San Francisco, for example, where one square mile is covered by ShotSpotter sensors, only 10 percent of the verified incidents of gunfire detected by the system were accompanied by 911 calls, Commander Ali said. In Oakland, Sergeant Bolton said, only 22 percent of the verified gunfire the system detected over a three-month period was also reported by residents.
Chief Chris Magnus of Richmond, Calif., a community of 120,000 north of Berkeley that routinely ranks among country’s most violent cities, recalled listening to a ShotSpotter recording of a gun battle in 2010 that involved more than 100 rounds fired from four guns.
“It was just mind-boggling,” he said. “This is like 11 at night on a summer night, and nobody even called it in.”
The technology was developed in the 1990s by Robert Showen, an engineer who hoped it might help address an increase in gun-related homicides in East Palo Alto, Calif. As it has evolved, it has become more accurate, the company says, with fewer false positives and false negatives. The challenge for the system is to distinguish rounds of gunfire from other sharp noises like backfires, firecrackers or the thwap-thwap-thwap of a helicopter’s propeller. ShotSpotter’s alerts label the recorded event and attach a probability that the identification is correct.


http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/29/us/shots-heard-pinpointed-and-argued-over.html?_r=1&nl=todaysheadlines&emc=edit_th_20120529
========================
MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. — At 7:22:07 p.m. on a recent Thursday, an electronic alarm went off in the soundproof control room of a suburban office building here.
A technician quickly focused on the computer screen, where the words “multiple gunshots” appeared in large type. She listened to a recording of the shots — the tat-tat-tat-tat-tat of five rounds from a small-caliber weapon — and zoomed in on a satellite map to see where the gun had been fired: North 23rd Street in Milwaukee, 2,200 miles away.
At 7:23:48, the technician, satisfied that the sounds were gunshots, sent an alert to the Milwaukee Police Department. Less than two minutes later, or at 9:25:02 p.m. Wisconsin time, a tactical team arrived at the address to find five .22-caliber shell casings and a bleeding 15-year-old boy who had been shot in the arm. The casings, said Chris Blaszak, a detective assigned to the department’s intelligence fusion center, were found within 17 feet of where the alert had placed the gunman. Total elapsed time: 3 minutes, 55 seconds.
Milwaukee is one of an increasing number of cities around the country — just under 70 to date, including some in the New York area — that are using a gunshot detection system called ShotSpotter to pinpoint the location of gunfire seconds after it occurs. Last year, the company that developed ShotSpotter began offering a more affordable system, and that has brought in new clients and led other cities to consider trying it.
The detection system, which triangulates sound picked up by acoustic sensors placed on buildings, utility poles and other structures, is part of a wave of technological advances that is transforming the way police officers do their jobs.
But like other technologies, including license plate scanners, body cameras and GPS trackers, the gunshot-detection system has also inspired debate.
In at least one city, New Bedford, Mass., where sensors recorded a loud street argument that accompanied a fatal shooting in December, the system has raised questions about privacy and the reach of police surveillance, even in the service of reducing gun violence.
And with recession-plagued police departments having to cut personnel and services, some cities have questioned the system’s benefits relative to its cost. The Detroit City Council last year rejected the Police Department’s proposal for a three-year, $2.6 million contract, with one council member objecting that not enough officers were available to respond to the alerts.
Cities that installed ShotSpotter in the past bought the equipment and managed the alerts themselves, a model that often involved laying out hundreds of thousands of dollars. But the company now offers a subscription plan for a yearly fee of $40,000 to $60,000 per square mile that includes round-the-clock monitoring of alerts by trained reviewers here in Mountain View.
Many police officials say the system has significantly improved response time for crimes involving firearms and has increased community confidence and helped deter gun crime by demonstrating that the police can show up quickly at the right place.
The technology, they say, has given officers critical information about what to expect upon arriving at a crime scene — like whether a gun was fired from a car and if so, how fast and in what direction the car was traveling — and has offered a level of precision in locating gunfire rarely afforded by 911 calls.
Sgt. Chris Bolton of the Oakland, Calif., Police Department, which has installed ShotSpotter in high-crime neighborhoods in East and West Oakland, said that before the system was in place, “a patrol officer would receive a gunshot call from the community and you could spend up to 30 minutes driving within, I would say, three to four blocks of that location, just to make sure there isn’t a victim in need of assistance, a crime ongoing or any evidence.”
If nothing else, ShotSpotter has made it clear how much unreported gunfire takes place on city streets. In many high-crime urban neighborhoods, gunshots are a counterpoint to daily life, “as common as the birds chirping,” as Cmdr. Mikail Ali of the San Francisco Police Department put it.
But whether out of apathy, fear or uncertainty, people call the police in only a fraction of cases.
In the Bayview-Hunter’s Point neighborhood of San Francisco, for example, where one square mile is covered by ShotSpotter sensors, only 10 percent of the verified incidents of gunfire detected by the system were accompanied by 911 calls, Commander Ali said. In Oakland, Sergeant Bolton said, only 22 percent of the verified gunfire the system detected over a three-month period was also reported by residents.
Chief Chris Magnus of Richmond, Calif., a community of 120,000 north of Berkeley that routinely ranks among country’s most violent cities, recalled listening to a ShotSpotter recording of a gun battle in 2010 that involved more than 100 rounds fired from four guns.
“It was just mind-boggling,” he said. “This is like 11 at night on a summer night, and nobody even called it in.”
The technology was developed in the 1990s by Robert Showen, an engineer who hoped it might help address an increase in gun-related homicides in East Palo Alto, Calif. As it has evolved, it has become more accurate, the company says, with fewer false positives and false negatives. The challenge for the system is to distinguish rounds of gunfire from other sharp noises like backfires, firecrackers or the thwap-thwap-thwap of a helicopter’s propeller. ShotSpotter’s alerts label the recorded event and attach a probability that the identification is correct.
===============
In the Bayview-Hunter’s Point neighborhood of San Francisco, for example, where one square mile is covered by ShotSpotter sensors, only 10 percent of the verified incidents of gunfire detected by the system were accompanied by 911 calls, Commander Ali said. In Oakland, Sergeant Bolton said, only 22 percent of the verified gunfire the system detected over a three-month period was also reported by residents.

Enlarge This Image
 Annie Tritt for The New York Times
The system issued an alert about multiple gunshots it detected in Richmond.
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.Enlarge This Image
 Annie Tritt for The New York Times
A Richmond corner where the system detected gunfire and a man was found shot.
Chief Chris Magnus of Richmond, Calif., a community of 120,000 north of Berkeley that routinely ranks among country’s most violent cities, recalled listening to a ShotSpotter recording of a gun battle in 2010 that involved more than 100 rounds fired from four guns.

“It was just mind-boggling,” he said. “This is like 11 at night on a summer night, and nobody even called it in.”

The technology was developed in the 1990s by Robert Showen, an engineer who hoped it might help address an increase in gun-related homicides in East Palo Alto, Calif. As it has evolved, it has become more accurate, the company says, with fewer false positives and false negatives. The challenge for the system is to distinguish rounds of gunfire from other sharp noises like backfires, firecrackers or the thwap-thwap-thwap of a helicopter’s propeller. ShotSpotter’s alerts label the recorded event and attach a probability that the identification is correct.

A 2006 study of test shots fired at the Charleston Navy Yard, conducted at the company’s request and financed by the National Institute of Justice, found that ShotSpotter correctly detected 99.6 percent of 234 gunshots at 23 firing locations. The system also located 90.9 percent of the shots to within 40 feet.

Still, some criminal justice experts say that how well the technology works and how essential it is to police departments has yet to be proved.

“Whether this will be seen long-term as a short-term law enforcement fad or fundamental to the way police work, that, I think, is the question,” said Peter Scharf, a criminologist at Tulane University. “I don’t think the effectiveness or efficiency arguments have been settled quite yet.”

But Chuck Wexler, executive director of the Police Executive Research Forum, a nonprofit group in Washington, said that especially in cities like Richmond, where gun violence is frequent and police response time can make a difference, the use of ShotSpotter makes sense. “I think it’s a real advantage,” he said.

Over the course of several hours on two recent evenings in the control room here in Mountain View, reviewers listened to recordings identified as gunfire, backfire or firecrackers in 13 cities, including Oakland; Panama City, Fla.; Wilmington, N.C.; and Milwaukee. In each case they decided whether an alert was accurate, and those judged to be valid were sent on to the cities’ police departments.

Sgt. Eric Smith of the Richmond Police Department said that in ShotSpotter alerts, he has heard in the background “doors slamming, birds chirping, cars on the highway, horns honking.”

In New Bedford, the ShotSpotter recording of the street argument is likely to play a role in the case against two men, Jonathan Flores and Jason Denison, who are charged with murder in the killing of Michael Pina on Dec. 2.

At a bail hearing in January, an assistant district attorney said the system had recorded arguing and yelling on the corner of Dartmouth and Matthew Streets.

Frank Camera, the lawyer for Mr. Flores, said that if the prosecution used the recording as evidence, the issue of privacy could be raised under the state’s wiretapping statute. Mr. Denison’s lawyer, Kathleen Curley, said she planned to file a motion to that effect on behalf of her client.

Mr. Camera said that whether he, too, would argue that the recording constituted a privacy violation depended on what is on the tape.

In one section, he said, a voice can be heard saying “No, Jason! No, Jason!” — a statement that could help his client — but in other parts the words cannot be easily distinguished. He said he was having the tape enhanced to try to clarify it.

In any case, Mr. Camera said, the new technology is “opening up a whole can of worms.”

“If the police are utilizing these conversations, then the issue is, where does it stop?” he said.

Sam Sutter, the district attorney in Bristol County, Mass., called ShotSpotter “an extremely valuable tool” that had helped his office bring charges in four nonfatal shootings.

“In my view legally,” he said, “what is said and picked up by the ShotSpotter recording does not have the expectation of privacy because it’s said out in public, and so I think that will turn out to be admissible evidence.”

James G. Beldock, a vice president at ShotSpotter, said that the system was not intended to record anything except gunshots and that cases like New Bedford’s were extremely rare. “There are people who perceive that these sensors are triggered by conversations, but that is just patently not true,” he said. “They don’t turn on unless they hear a gunshot.”

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JDN
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« Reply #555 on: May 29, 2012, 11:01:17 AM »

"Sam Sutter, the district attorney in Bristol County, Mass., called ShotSpotter “an extremely valuable tool” that had helped his office bring charges in four nonfatal shootings.  In my view legally,” he said, “what is said and picked up by the ShotSpotter recording does not have the expectation of privacy because it’s said out in public, and so I think that will turn out to be admissible evidence.”

What is being asserted here it that the government can film and record us any and everywhere.

Anyone here comfortable with that?
=========================================

While I am not necessarily "comfortable with that" since I do a lot of photography, I know that if I am in a public place I'm free to shoot away regardless of the subjects objections.  I think "in a public place" the basic rule is no expectation or right to privacy.  Numerous court cases have supported this position. 

That said, I am not real excited about cameras, satellites, etc. recording my every move in public.  Others, like my friend argue, "Well, if I do nothing wrong, and it helps prevent crime, why not?  It won't affect me."
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bigdog
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« Reply #556 on: May 30, 2012, 04:21:24 AM »

http://worldnews.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/05/30/11949657-report-obama-changes-definition-of-civilian-in-drone-wars?lite

It is often been reported that President Obama has urged officials to avoid wherever possible the deaths of civilians in covert US actions in Pakistan and elsewhere. But reporters Jo Becker and Scott Shane reveal that Obama inserted a loophole.
 

"Mr. Obama embraced a disputed method for counting civilian casualties that did little to box him in. It in effect counts all military-age males in a strike zone as combatants, according to several administration officials, unless there is explicit intelligence posthumously proving them innocent."
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bigdog
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« Reply #557 on: May 30, 2012, 11:52:06 AM »

A Foreign Policy article related to the above story posted earlier in the day:

http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2012/05/29/where_the_drones_are

Obama's policy of killing by remote control is by no means new. Over the last decade, America's overseas use of drones has expanded exponentially in scope, location, and frequency. Beyond their use across the battlefields of Afghanistan, Libya, and Iraq, U.S. drones have been used to target suspected militants and terrorists in Pakistan, Yemen, and Somalia, as well as to conduct surveillance missions over Colombia, Haiti, Iran, Mexico, North Korea, the Philippines, Turkey, and beyond.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #558 on: May 30, 2012, 05:44:13 PM »

"That said, I am not real excited about cameras, satellites, etc. recording my every move in public.  Others, like my friend argue, "Well, if I do nothing wrong, and it helps prevent crime, why not?  It won't affect me.""

Hypothetical:  How would you feel about someone following you everywhere you go in public, videoing everything you say and do?

============

Regarding Obama:  I see that he has David Axelrod in the room with him as he selects his targets.  tongue cry angry
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #559 on: July 09, 2012, 11:06:30 AM »

TD: If you take what has been happening in the post-9/11 security world, what you’re see is the establishment of a surveillance society – the establishment of a surveillance network. People don’t realize the extent to which we’re surveilled in many, many ways. The extent to which vast amounts of our transactional data in all forms – electronic forms, your emails, your tweets, bank records and everything else – are all subject or suspect in terms of surveillance. It raises the specter of the rise of so-called “soft tyranny.” It raises the specter of you being automatically suspicious until you prove that you’re not; the specter of a universal and persistent wiretap on every single person. If not – they can create one. Because what happens if they don’t like you? What if you speak ill will against the government? What if you say something they consider disloyal? That is not the country I took an oath to defend four times in my government career.
There is also a fear element. Fear in itself is control. What would people do when they are fearful is they would begin to censor themselves. It sends an extraordinary chilling message that if you speak out – they are going to hammer you hard. Our security has become our state religion, you don’t question it. And if you question it – your loyalty is questioned.


http://www.rt.com/news/america-surveillance-society-drake-697/
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #560 on: July 09, 2012, 11:18:56 AM »


http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/09/us/cell-carriers-see-uptick-in-requests-to-aid-surveillance.html?nl=todaysheadlines&emc=edit_th_20120709

More Demands on Cell Carriers in Surveillance
By ERIC LICHTBLAU
Published: July 8, 2012
•   
WASHINGTON — 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 New York Times
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.
The reports also reveal a sometimes uneasy partnership with law enforcement agencies, with the carriers frequently rejecting demands that they considered legally questionable or unjustified. At least one carrier even referred some inappropriate requests to the F.B.I.
The information represents the first time data have been collected nationally on the frequency of cell surveillance by law enforcement. The volume of the requests reported by the carriers — which most likely involve several million subscribers — surprised even some officials who have closely followed the growth of cell surveillance.
“I never expected it to be this massive,” said Representative Edward J. Markey, a Massachusetts Democrat who requested the reports from nine carriers, including AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon, in response to an article in April in The New York Times on law enforcement’s expanded use of cell tracking. Mr. Markey, who is the co-chairman of the Bipartisan Congressional Privacy Caucus, made the carriers’ responses available to The Times.
While the cell companies did not break down the types of law enforcement agencies collecting the data, they made clear that the widened cell surveillance cut across all levels of government — from run-of-the-mill street crimes handled by local police departments to financial crimes and intelligence investigations at the state and federal levels.
AT&T alone now responds to an average of more than 700 requests a day, with about 230 of them regarded as emergencies that do not require the normal court orders and subpoena. That is roughly triple the number it fielded in 2007, the company said. Law enforcement requests of all kinds have been rising among the other carriers as well, with annual increases of between 12 percent and 16 percent in the last five years. Sprint, which did not break down its figures in as much detail as other carriers, led all companies last year in reporting what amounted to at least 1,500 data requests on average a day.
With the rapid expansion of cell surveillance have come rising concerns — including among carriers — about what legal safeguards are in place to balance law enforcement agencies’ needs for quick data against the privacy rights of consumers.
Legal conflicts between those competing needs have flared before, but usually on national security matters. In 2006, phone companies that cooperated in the Bush administration’s secret program of eavesdropping on suspicious international communications without court warrants were sued, and ultimately were given immunity by Congress with the backing of the courts. The next year, the F.B.I. was widely criticized for improperly using emergency letters to the phone companies to gather records on thousands of phone numbers in counterterrorism investigations that did not involve emergencies.
Under federal law, the carriers said they generally required a search warrant, a court order or a formal subpoena to release information about a subscriber. But in cases that law enforcement officials deem an emergency, a less formal request is often enough. Moreover, rapid technological changes in cellphones have blurred the lines on what is legally required to get data — particularly the use of GPS systems to identify the location of phones.
As cell surveillance becomes a seemingly routine part of police work, Mr. Markey said in an interview that he worried that “digital dragnets” threatened to compromise the privacy of many customers. “There’s a real danger we’ve already crossed the line,” he said.
With the rising prevalence of cellphones, officials at all levels of law enforcement say cell tracking represents a powerful tool to find suspects, follow leads, identify associates and cull information on a wide range of crimes.
“At every crime scene, there’s some type of mobile device,” said Peter Modafferi, chief of detectives for the Rockland County district attorney’s office in New York, who also works on investigative policies and operations with the International Association of Chiefs of Police. The need for the police to exploit that technology “has grown tremendously, and it’s absolutely vital,” he said in an interview.
Page 2 of 2)
The surging use of cell surveillance was also reflected in the bills the wireless carriers reported sending to law enforcement agencies to cover their costs in some of the tracking operations. AT&T, for one, said it collected $8.3 million last year compared with $2.8 million in 2007, and other carriers reported similar increases in billings.
Federal law allows the companies to be reimbursed for “reasonable” costs for providing a number of surveillance operations. Still, several companies maintained that they lost money on the operations, and Cricket, a small wireless carrier that received 42,500 law enforcement requests last year, or an average of 116 a day, complained that it “is frequently not paid on the invoices it submits.”
Because of incomplete record-keeping, the total number of law enforcement requests last year was almost certainly much higher than the 1.3 million the carriers reported to Mr. Markey. Also, the total number of people whose customer information was turned over could be several times higher than the number of requests because a single request often involves multiple callers. For instance, when a police agency asks for a cell tower “dump” for data on subscribers who were near a tower during a certain period of time, it may get back hundreds or even thousands of names.
As cell surveillance increased, warrants for wiretapping by federal and local officials — eavesdropping on conversations — declined 14 percent last year to 2,732, according to a recent report from the Administrative Office of the United States Courts.
The diverging numbers suggest that law enforcement officials are shifting away from wiretaps in favor of other forms of cell tracking that are generally less legally burdensome, less time consuming and less costly. (Most carriers reported charging agencies between $50 and $75 an hour for cellphone tower “dumps.”)
To handle the demands, most cell carriers reported employing large teams of in-house lawyers, data technicians, phone “cloning specialists” and others around the clock to take requests from law enforcement agencies, review the legality and provide the data.
With the demands so voluminous and systematic, some carriers have resorted to outsourcing the job. Cricket said it turned over its compliance duties to a third party in April. The outside provider, Neustar, said it handled law enforcement compliance for about 400 phone and Internet companies.
But a number of carriers reported that as they sought to balance legitimate law enforcement needs against their customers’ privacy rights, they denied some data demands because they were judged to be overreaching or unauthorized under federal surveillance laws.
Sometimes, the carriers said, they determined that a true emergency did not exist. At other times, police agencies neglected to get the required court orders for surveillance measures, left subpoenas unsigned or failed to submit formal requests.
C Spire Wireless, a small carrier, estimated that of about 12,500 law enforcement demands it received in the last five years, it rejected 15 percent of them in whole or in part. (Most carriers did not provide figures on rejections.)
At TracFone, another small carrier providing prepaid service, an executive told Mr. Markey that the company “shares your concerns regarding the unauthorized tracking of wireless phones by law enforcement with little or no judicial oversight, and I assure you that TracFone does not participate in or condone such unauthorized tracking.”
T-Mobile, meanwhile, said it had sent two law enforcement demands to the F.B.I. because it considered them “inappropriate.” The company declined to provide further details.
Requests from law enforcement officials to identify the location of a particular cellphone using GPS technology have caused particular confusion, carriers said. A Supreme Court ruling in January further muddled the issue when it found that the authorities should have obtained a search warrant before tracking a suspect’s movements by attaching a GPS unit to his car.
Law enforcement officials say the GPS technology built into many phones has proved particularly critical in responding to kidnappings, attempted suicides, shootings, cases of missing people and other emergencies. But Sprint and other carriers called on Congress to set clearer legal standards for turning over location data, particularly to resolve contradictions in the law.
While the carriers said they always required proper legal orders before turning over nonemergency information, their assurances were somewhat at odds with anecdotal evidence recently gathered by the American Civil Liberties Union from more than 200 law enforcement agencies nationwide.
The reports provided to the A.C.L.U. showed that many local and state police agencies claimed broad discretion to obtain cell records without court orders, and that some departments specifically warned officers about the past misuse of cellphone surveillance in nonemergency situations.
Chris Calabrese, a lawyer for the A.C.L.U., said he was concerned not only about officials gathering phone data on people with no real connection to crimes but also about the agencies then keeping those records indefinitely in internal databases.
“The standards really are all over the place,” Mr. Calabrese said. “Nobody is saying don’t use these tools. What we’re saying is do it with consistent standards and in a way that recognizes that these are tools that really can impact people’s privacy.”

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bigdog
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« Reply #561 on: July 12, 2012, 04:55:31 PM »

Truth???

 shocked shocked shocked shocked


http://www.neatorama.com/2012/07/11/homeland-securitys-new-molecular-scanner/
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« Reply #562 on: July 12, 2012, 08:37:22 PM »

We are FUCT  cry angry angry

I followed that link to this one, which is more thorough:
http://gizmodo.com/5923980/the-secret-government-laser-that-instantly-knows-everything-about-you
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« Reply #563 on: July 12, 2012, 09:21:17 PM »

http://www.naturalnews.com/036452_laser_scanner_molecular.html


NaturalNews) Within the next two years, a spooky, powerful and invisible new technology will be deployed by the U.S. government that can instantly scan and identify every molecule on your body or person: the cocaine residue on your dollar bills, prescription drugs in your purse, marijuana in your pocket and even trace powder residue from your practice session at the gun range.

And it can detect all this invisibly, silently, from a range of 50 meters away.

"New Homeland Security Laser Scanner Reads People At Molecular Level" declares a CBS News headline (http://washington.cbslocal.com/2012/07/11/new-homeland-security-laser...). "The scanner is called the Picosecond Programmable Laser. The device works by blasting its target with lasers which vibrate molecules that are then read by the machine that determine what substances a person has been exposed to. This could be Semtex explosives to the bacon and egg sandwich they had for breakfast that morning."


Government to log every chemical on your body
These laser detection devices are slated to be widely deployed across airports, roadside checkpoints, sports stadiums and anywhere else the government wants to surveil the public. Data collected by these devices can even be tagged to your identity so that the government compiles a database of which chemicals were detected on you at each location, for each day of your life.

This information, of course, can then be used by the government to target people they call "terrorists" -- anyone who believes in liberty, the Constitution, the founding fathers or limited government. Once nationwide gun confiscation orders are handed down from Washington, these scanning devices can be used to detect trace levels of gunpowder on people merely strolling through a public place. If you're carrying ammunition or have recently practiced with firearms, you'll be flagged, tagged and dragged into the very secret military prisons expanded by President Obama under the National Defense Authorization Act which nullifies due process and the Bill of Rights. (http://www.naturalnews.com/034537_NDAA_Bill_of_Rights_Obama.html)

Into pot instead of guns? Your days of carrying some Mary Jane are over, too, as the government can detect traces of THC on your clothing, hands or facial skin from fifty meters away. It's not limited to marijuana, either: this device can detect and catalog your use of any recreational drugs, including cocaine, heroin, ecstasy or anything.

Not into abusing drugs? Never worry: the government can instantly know what prescription drugs you're using, too. The laser scanning device can catalog what prescription medications you're on and tag your profile with this data. It may even be used against you in court someday -- if you're even allowed your day in court anymore.


You'll be chemically naked at all checkpoints
As Gizmodo reports: (http://gizmodo.com/5923980/the-secret-government-laser-that-instantly...)

The technology is so incredibly effective that, in November 2011, its inventors were subcontracted by In-Q-Tel to work with the US Department of Homeland Security. In-Q-Tel is a company founded "in February 1999 by a group of private citizens at the request of the Director of the CIA and with the support of the U.S. Congress." According to In-Q-Tel, they are the bridge between the Agency and new technology companies.

Their plan is to install this molecular-level scanning in airports and border crossings all across the United States. The official, stated goal of this arrangement is to be able to quickly identify explosives, dangerous chemicals, or bioweapons at a distance.

The machine is ten million times faster -- and one million times more sensitive -- than any currently available system. That means that it can be used systematically on everyone passing through airport security, not just suspect or randomly sampled people.


Laser scanner penetrates clothing, can even detect chemistry inside your body
If reports are to be believed, this technology can even penetrate clothing and skin, detecting chemical inside your body. On the positive side, this could be a miraculous medical diagnostic device capable of, for example, instantly detecting your level of vitamin D or magnesium. But it won't be used that way, of course. Instead of empowering the People, this technology will be used to enslave them.

In an instant, even without your knowledge, this device will be able to determine what you ate for breakfast, whether you're ovulating, whether you have cancer, how long ago you consumed alcohol, and even how much adrenaline is currently pumping through your veins. Everything about you will be scanned, tracked and logged by the government, then combined with your search engine logs, web surfing habits, mobile phone text records, grocery purchasing habits, credit card records and everything else they have on you to create a total police state profile of your psychology and behavior.

This information will, of course, be used against you to expand the power of the state while crushing independence and liberty. Such is the pattern of all new technology: Spy drones, robotics, nanotech, the internet and so on.

The technology can also be used to selectively arrest and prosecute almost anyone for "possession of cocaine." How? As U.S. court cases have already proven, there is no threshold for drugs below which you cannot be arrested for possession. Thus, even carrying a trace speck of cocaine -- which exists on all currency -- can get you arrested and charged with possession. Since everybody has traces of cocaine on their cash (and on their hands), this technology can be used to selectively arrest and prosecute anyone the government wishes to "put away," even for political reasons. All it takes is a single cocaine molecule on your person and you're flagged as a criminal.

Even CBS news acknowledges the technology could be used by "Big Brother," although they don't explore the horrifying implications of it. Imagine the government knowing your entire biochemistry in an instant, covertly and remotely. They could theoretically even detect who avoids GMOs, fluoride and vaccines, thereby flagging "food freedom terrorists" who deliberately avoid being poisoned by the criminal corporate mafia.

The uses of this technology are endless. And so is its potential for abuse by a mafia police state government that respects no human rights, no law and nothing from the U.S. Constitution.

Sources include:
http://washington.cbslocal.com/2012/07/11/new-homeland-security-laser...

http://www.tgdaily.com/general-sciences-features/64572-source-of-anim...

Learn more: http://www.naturalnews.com/036452_laser_scanner_molecular.html#ixzz20SuIRGL5
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« Reply #564 on: July 13, 2012, 09:05:33 AM »

Sent by a not always reliable source:


http://endoftheamericandream.com/archives/14-incredibly-creepy-surveillance-technologies-that-big-brother-will-soon-be-using-to-spy-on-you?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=14-incredibly-creepy-surveillance-technologies-that-big-brother-will-soon-be-using-to-spy-on-you

That Big Brother Will Be Using To Spy On You
Posted: 09 Jul 2012 02:51 PM PDT

Most of us don't think much about it, but the truth is that people are being watched, tracked and monitored more today than at any other time in human history.  The explosive growth of technology in recent years has given governments, spy agencies and big corporations monitoring tools that the despots and dictators of the past could only dream of.  Previous generations never had to deal with "pre-crime" surveillance cameras that use body language to spot criminals or unmanned drones watching them from far above.  Previous generations would have never even dreamed that street lights and refrigerators might be spying on them.  Many of the incredibly creepy surveillance technologies that you are about to read about are likely to absolutely astound you.  We are rapidly heading toward a world where there will be no such thing as privacy anymore.  Big Brother is becoming all-pervasive, and thousands of new technologies are currently being developed that will make it even easier to spy on you.  The world is changing at a breathtaking pace, and a lot of the changes are definitely not for the better.
 
The following are 14 incredibly creepy surveillance technologies that Big Brother will be using to watch you....
 
#1 "Pre-Crime" Surveillance Cameras
 
A company known as BRS Labs has developed "pre-crime" surveillance cameras that can supposedly determine if you are a terrorist or a criminal even before you commit a crime.

Does that sound insane?

Well, authorities are taking this technology quite seriously.  In fact, dozens of these cameras are being installed at major transportation hubs in San Francisco....In its latest project BRS Labs is to install its devices on the transport system in San Francisco, which includes buses, trams and subways. The company says will put them in 12 stations with up to 22 cameras in each, bringing the total number to 288. The cameras will be able to track up to 150 people at a time in real time and will gradually build up a ‘memory’ of suspicious behaviour to work out what is suspicious.

#2 Capturing Fingerprints From 20 Feet Away
 
Can you imagine someone reading your fingerprints from 20 feet away without you ever knowing it?
This kind of technology is actually already here according to POPSCI....

Gaining access to your gym or office building could soon be as simple as waving a hand at the front door. A Hunsville, Ala.-based company called IDair is developing a system that can scan and identify a fingerprint from nearly 20 feet away. Coupled with other biometrics, it could soon allow security systems to grant or deny access from a distance, without requiring users to stop and scan a fingerprint, swipe an ID card, or otherwise lose a moment dealing with technology.

Currently IDair’s primary customer is the military, but the startup wants to open up commercially to any business or enterprise that wants to put a layer of security between its facilities and the larger world. A gym chain is already beta testing the system (no more using your roommate’s gym ID to get in a free workout), and IDair’s founder says that at some point his technology could enable purchases to be made biometrically, using fingerprints and irises as unique identifiers rather than credit card numbers and data embedded in magnetic strips or RFID chips.

#3 Mobile Backscatter Vans
 
Police all over America will soon be driving around in unmarked vans looking inside your cars and even under your clothes using the same "pornoscanner" technology currently being utilized by the TSA at U.S. airports....

American cops are set to join the US military in deploying American Science & Engineering's Z Backscatter Vans, or mobile backscatter radiation x-rays. These are what TSA officials call "the amazing radioactive genital viewer," now seen in airports around America, ionizing the private parts of children, the elderly, and you (yes you).

These pornoscannerwagons will look like regular anonymous vans, and will cruise America's streets, indiscriminately peering through the cars (and clothes) of anyone in range of its mighty isotope-cannon. But don't worry, it's not a violation of privacy. As AS&E's vice president of marketing Joe Reiss sez, "From a privacy standpoint, I’m hard-pressed to see what the concern or objection could be."

You can see a YouTube video presentation about this new technology right here.
 
#4 Hijacking Your Mind
 
The U.S. military literally wants to be able to hijack your mind.  The theory is that this would enable U.S. forces to non-violently convince terrorists not to be terrorists anymore.  But obviously the potential for abuse with this kind of technology is extraordinary.  The following is from a recent article by Dick Pelletier....

The Pentagon’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) wants to understand the science behind what makes people violent, and then find ways to hijack their minds by implanting false, but believable stories in their brains, with hopes of evoking peaceful thoughts: We’re friends, not enemies.

Critics say this raises ethical issues such as those addressed in the 1971 sci-fi movie, A Clockwork Orange, which attempted to change people’s minds so that they didn’t want to kill anymore.

Advocates, however, believe that placing new plausible narratives directly into the minds of radicals, insurgents, and terrorists, could transform enemies into kinder, gentler citizens, craving friendship.

Scientists have known for some time that narratives; an account of a sequence of events that are usually in chronological order; hold powerful sway over the human mind, shaping a person’s notion of groups and identities; even inspiring them to commit violence. See DARPA proposal request HERE.

#5 Unmanned Drones In U.S. Airspace
 
Law enforcement agencies all over the United States are starting to use unmanned drones to spy on us, and the Department of Homeland Security is aggressively seeking to expand the use of such drones by local authorities....
The Department of Homeland Security has launched a program to "facilitate and accelerate the adoption" of small, unmanned drones by police and other public safety agencies, an effort that an agency official admitted faces "a very big hurdle having to do with privacy."

The $4 million Air-based Technologies Program, which will test and evaluate small, unmanned aircraft systems, is designed to be a "middleman" between drone manufacturers and first-responder agencies "before they jump into the pool," said John Appleby, a manager in the DHS Science and Technology Directorate's division of borders and maritime security.

The fact that very few Americans seem concerned about this development says a lot about where we are as a nation.  The EPA is already using drones to spy on cattle ranchers in Nebraska and Iowa.  Will we eventually get to a point where we all just consider it to be "normal" to have surveillance drones flying above our heads constantly?
 
#6 Law Enforcement Using Your Own Cell Phone To Spy On You
 
Although this is not new technology, law enforcement authorities are using our own cell phones to spy on us more extensively than ever before as a recent Wired article described....

Mobile carriers responded to a staggering 1.3 million law enforcement requests last year for subscriber information, including text messages and phone location data, according to data provided to Congress.

A single "request" can involve information about hundreds of customers.  So ultimately the number of Americans affected by this could reach into "the tens of millions" each year....

The number of Americans affected each year by the growing use of mobile phone data by law enforcement could reach into the tens of millions, as a single request could ensnare dozens or even hundreds of people. Law enforcement has been asking for so-called “cell tower dumps” in which carriers disclose all phone numbers that connected to a given tower during a certain period of time.

So, for instance, if police wanted to try to find a person who broke a store window at an Occupy protest, it could get the phone numbers and identifying data of all protestors with mobile phones in the vicinity at the time — and use that data for other purposes.

Perhaps you should not be using your cell phone so much anyway.  After all, there are more than 500 studies that show that cell phone radiation is harmful to humans.
 
#7 Biometric Databases
 
All over the globe, governments are developing massive biometric databases of their citizens.  Just check out what is going on in India....In the last two years, over 200 million Indian nationals have had their fingerprints and photographs taken and irises scanned, and given a unique 12-digit number that should identify them everywhere and to everyone.

This is only the beginning, and the goal is to do the same with the entire population (1.2 billion), so that poorer Indians can finally prove their existence and identity when needed for getting documents, getting help from the government, and opening bank and other accounts.

This immense task needs a database that can contain over 12 billion fingerprints, 1.2 billion photographs, and 2.4 billion iris scans, can be queried from diverse devices connected to the Internet, and can return accurate results in an extremely short time.

#8 RFID Microchips
 
In a previous article, I detailed how the U.S. military is seeking to develop technology that would enable it to monitor the health of our soldiers and improve their performance in battle using RFID microchips.

Most Americans don't realize this, but RFID microchips are steadily becoming part of the very fabric of our lives.  Many of your credit cards and debit cards contain them.  Many Americans use security cards that contain RFID microchips at work.  In some parts of the country it is now mandatory to inject an RFID microchip into your pet.

Now, one school system down in Texas actually plans to start using RFID microchips to track the movements of their students....Northside Independent School District plans to track students next year on two of its campuses using technology implanted in their student identification cards in a trial that could eventually include all 112 of its schools and all of its nearly 100,000 students.  District officials said the Radio Frequency Identification System (RFID) tags would improve safety by allowing them to locate students — and count them more accurately at the beginning of the school day to help offset cuts in state funding, which is partly based on attendance.

#9 Automated License Plate Readers
 
In a previous article, I quoted a Washington Post piece that talked about how automated license plate readers are being used to track the movements of a vehicle from the time that it enters Washington D.C. to the time that it leaves....
More than 250 cameras in the District and its suburbs scan license plates in real time, helping police pinpoint stolen cars and fleeing killers. But the program quietly has expanded beyond what anyone had imagined even a few years ago.
With virtually no public debate, police agencies have begun storing the information from the cameras, building databases that document the travels of millions of vehicles.

Nowhere is that more prevalent than in the District, which has more than one plate-reader per square mile, the highest concentration in the nation. Police in the Washington suburbs have dozens of them as well, and local agencies plan to add many more in coming months, creating a comprehensive dragnet that will include all the approaches into the District.

#10 Face Reading Software
 
Can computers tell what you are thinking just by looking at your face?  Don't laugh. Such technology is actually being actively developed.  The following is from a recent NewScientist article....

IF THE computers we stare at all day could read our faces, they would probably know us better than anyone.

That vision may not be so far off. Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Media Lab are developing software that can read the feelings behind facial expressions. In some cases, the computers outperform people. The software could lead to empathetic devices and is being used to evaluate and develop better adverts.

#11 Data Mining
 
The government is not the only one that is spying on you.  The truth is that a whole host of very large corporations are gathering every shred of information about you that they possibly can and selling that information for profit.  It is called "data mining", and it is an industry that has absolutely exploded in recent years.

One very large corporation known as Acxiom actually compiles information on more than 190 million people in the U.S. alone....The company fits into a category called database marketing. It started in 1969 as an outfit called Demographics Inc., using phone books and other notably low-tech tools, as well as one computer, to amass information on voters and consumers for direct marketing. Almost 40 years later, Acxiom has detailed entries for more than 190 million people and 126 million households in the U.S., and about 500 million active consumers worldwide. More than 23,000 servers in Conway, just north of Little Rock, collect and analyze more than 50 trillion data 'transactions' a year.

#12 Street Lights Spying On Us?
 
Did you ever consider that street lights could be spying on you?

Well, it is actually happening.  New high tech street lights that can actually watch what you do and listen to what you are saying are being installed in some major U.S. cities.  The following is from a recent article by Paul Joseph Watson for Infowars.com....

Federally-funded high-tech street lights now being installed in American cities are not only set to aid the DHS in making “security announcements” and acting as talking surveillance cameras, they are also capable of “recording conversations,” bringing the potential privacy threat posed by ‘Intellistreets’ to a whole new level.

#13 Automated ISP Monitoring Of Your Internet Activity
 
As I have written about before, nothing you do on the Internet is private.  However, Internet Service Providers and the entertainment industry are now taking Internet monitoring to a whole new level.... If you download potentially copyrighted software, videos or music, your Internet service provider (ISP) has been watching, and they’re coming for you.

Specifically, they’re coming for you on Thursday, July 12.

That’s the date when the nation’s largest ISPs will all voluntarily implement a new anti-piracy plan that will engage network operators in the largest digital spying scheme in history, and see some users’ bandwidth completely cut off until they sign an agreement saying they will not download copyrighted materials.

Word of the start date has been largely kept secret since ISPs announced their plans last June. The deal was brokered by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), and coordinated by the Obama Administration.

Spying On Us Through Our Appliances
 
Could the government one day use your refrigerator to spy on you?  Don't laugh.  That is exactly what CIA Director David Petraeus says is coming....

Petraeus says that web-connected gadgets will 'transform' the art of spying - allowing spies to monitor people automatically without planting bugs, breaking and entering or even donning a tuxedo to infiltrate a dinner party.

'Transformational’ is an overused word, but I do believe it properly applies to these technologies,' said Petraeus.

'Particularly to their effect on clandestine tradecraft. Items of interest will be located, identified, monitored, and remotely controlled through technologies such as radio-frequency identification, sensor networks, tiny embedded servers, and energy harvesters -  all connected to the next-generation internet using abundant, low-cost, and high-power computing.'

Petraeus was speaking to a venture capital firm about new technologies which aim to add processors and web connections to previously  'dumb' home appliances such as fridges, ovens and lighting systems.

For many more ways that Big Brother is spying on you, please see these articles....
 
"Every Breath You Take, Every Move You Make – 14 New Ways That The Government Is Watching You"
 
"30 Signs That The United States Of America Is Being Turned Into A Giant Prison"
 
The things that I have written about above are just the things that they admit to.
 
There are also many "black box technologies" being developed out there that the public does not even know about yet.
 
So how far will all of this go?
 
Has Big Brother already gone way too far?
 

--
It is not because things are difficult that we do not dare; It is because we do not dare that they are difficult. -- Seneca
« Last Edit: July 13, 2012, 09:08:23 AM by Crafty_Dog » Logged
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« Reply #565 on: July 14, 2012, 11:48:09 AM »



http://www.aele.org/law/2012all07/2012-07MLJ501.pdf
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« Reply #566 on: July 15, 2012, 06:46:10 AM »

It was an interesting and informative read.
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« Reply #567 on: September 06, 2012, 12:38:24 PM »



Thoughts?
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« Reply #568 on: September 06, 2012, 12:41:56 PM »



Hmmmm...
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« Reply #569 on: September 06, 2012, 01:15:10 PM »



Because...
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« Reply #570 on: September 06, 2012, 01:22:30 PM »

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/31/technology/finspy-software-is-tracking-political-dissidents.html

The software proved to be the stuff of a spy film: it can grab images of computer screens, record Skype chats, turn on cameras and microphones and log keystrokes. The two men said they discovered mobile versions of the spyware customized for all major mobile phones.

But what made the software especially sophisticated was how well it avoided detection. Its creators specifically engineered it to elude antivirus software made by Kaspersky Lab, Symantec, F-Secure and others.

The software has been identified as FinSpy, one of the more elusive spyware tools sold in the growing market of off-the-shelf computer surveillance technologies that give governments a sophisticated plug-in monitoring operation. Research now links it to servers in more than a dozen countries, including Turkmenistan, Brunei and Bahrain, although no government acknowledges using the software for surveillance purposes.
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« Reply #571 on: September 11, 2012, 02:55:50 PM »


Marc F. --

There are thousands of tales of “Government Bullies” intruding upon the daily lives and business of ordinary Americans, and my new book exposes these horror stories.

It is meant to set brushfires in the minds of men.

Our Founders envisioned an America in which citizens would bully the government, not the other way around.

This book is my effort to bring that America back.


Please read this exerpt from the Introduction of Government Bullies:

Ronald Reagan famously said, "The nine most terrifying words in the English language are, 'I'm from the government and I’m here to help.'"

Three decades later, American life is micromanaged at every imaginable level. Citizens’ basic day to day activities are subject to government scrutiny.

We endure a federal government that has invaded virtually every aspect of our lives—from light bulbs, to toilets, to lemonade stands and beyond.

Our federal government regulates everything and anything. How much water goes into your commode. How much water comes out of your showerhead. The temperature of the water in your washing machine. How many miles to the gallon your car must get.

Americans’ privacy is violated at every turn.

Since the implementation of the Patriot Act, your banking records, your credit card account, your gun registration, and your phone bill have become easy pickings for government snoops, who can do pretty much anything they like with your personal information without the hassle of having to get a warrant.

The government can literally break down your door, seize your property, and even seize you, based on rules and regulations created by unelected bureaucrats with zero accountability.

Congress has abdicated its constitutional role as the federal body that makes laws by allowing agencies like the EPA, FDA, USDA, and TSA to make their own laws through regulations and red tape. These agencies have assumed frightening new powers over the everyday lives of American citizens, giving these government entities free rein over you and me in ways unprecedented in our country’s history.

Our ever-growing nanny state now includes an arsenal of unconstitutional and unprecedented surveillance and law enforcement powers.

These government powers aren’t exactly subtle in action or intent.

Does anyone think a government with thirty-eight armed federal agencies is kidding around? They’re not.

They mean business.

Your business...
 


So please take a look at Government Bullies today. You can buy it here.

You and I can fight back.

Exposing the horror stories is always the first step.

The more Americans read this book, the more they hear these stories of Government Bullies, the more people we will have on our side in this battle.

Tell your friends about it. Help spread the word of what out of control government regulators are doing to our freedom and our economy.

In Liberty,

Rand Paul


P.S. The book is available through Amazon.com here
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« Reply #572 on: September 25, 2012, 09:09:14 AM »



Drones in Domestic Surveillance Operations: Fourth Amendment Implications and Legislative Responses, view at http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/natsec/R42701.pdf
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« Reply #573 on: September 28, 2012, 05:40:19 AM »

U.S. Is Tightening Web Privacy Rule to Shield Young
By NATASHA SINGER
Published: September 27, 2012
 
Federal regulators are about to take the biggest steps in more than a decade to protect children online.

The moves come at a time when major corporations, app developers and data miners appear to be collecting information about the online activities of millions of young Internet users without their parents’ awareness, children’s advocates say. Some sites and apps have also collected details like children’s photographs or locations of mobile devices; the concern is that the information could be used to identify or locate individual children.

These data-gathering practices are legal. But the development has so alarmed officials at the Federal Trade Commission that the agency is moving to overhaul rules that many experts say have not kept pace with the explosive growth of the Web and innovations like mobile apps. New rules are expected within weeks.

“Today, almost every child has a computer in his pocket and it’s that much harder for parents to monitor what their kids are doing online, who they are interacting with, and what information they are sharing,” says Mary K. Engle, associate director of the advertising practices division at the F.T.C. “The concern is that a lot of this may be going on without anybody’s knowledge.”

The proposed changes could greatly increase the need for children’s sites to obtain parental permission for some practices that are now popular — like using cookies to track users’ activities around the Web over time. Marketers argue that the rule should not be changed so extensively, lest it cause companies to reduce their offerings for children.

“Do we need a broad, wholesale change of the law?” says Mike Zaneis, the general counsel for the Interactive Advertising Bureau, an industry association. “The answer is no. It is working very well.”

The current federal rule, the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act of 1998, requires operators of children’s Web sites to obtain parental consent before they collect personal information like phone numbers or physical addresses from children under 13. But rapid advances in technology have overtaken the rules, privacy advocates say.

Today, many brand-name companies and analytics firms collect, collate and analyze information about a wide range of consumer activities and traits. Some of those techniques could put children at risk, advocates say.

Under the F.T.C.’s proposals, some current online practices, like getting children under 13 to submit photos of themselves, would require parental consent.

Children who visit McDonald’s HappyMeal.com, for instance, can “get in the picture with Ronald McDonald” by uploading photos of themselves and combining them with images of the clown. Children may also “star in a music video” on the site by uploading photos or webcam images and having it graft their faces onto dancing cartoon bodies.

But according to children’s advocates, McDonald’s stored these images in directories that were publicly available. Anyone with an Internet connection could check out hundreds of photos of young children, a few of whom were pictured in pajamas in their bedrooms, advocates said.

In a related complaint to the F.T.C. last month, a coalition of advocacy groups accused McDonald’s and four other corporations of violating the 1998 law by collecting e-mail addresses without parental consent. HappyMeal.com, the complaint noted, invites children to share their creations on the site by providing the first names and e-mail addresses of their friends.

“When we tell parents about this they are appalled, because basically what it’s doing is going around the parents’ back and taking advantage of kids’ naïveté,” says Jennifer Harris, the director of marketing initiatives at the Yale Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity, a member of the coalition that filed the complaint. “It’s a very unfair and deceptive practice that we don’t think companies should be allowed to do.”

Danya Proud, a spokeswoman for McDonald’s, said in an e-mail that the company placed a “high importance” on protecting privacy, including children’s online privacy. She said that McDonald’s had blocked public access to several directories on the site.

Last year, the F.T.C. filed a complaint against W3 Innovations, a developer of popular iPhone and iPod Touch apps like Emily’s Dress Up, which invited children to design outfits and e-mail their comments to a blog. The agency said that the apps violated the children’s privacy rule by collecting the e-mail addresses of tens of thousands of children without their parents’ permission and encouraging those children to post personal information publicly. The company later settled the case, agreeing to pay a penalty of $50,000 and delete personal data it had collected about children.

It is often difficult to know what kind of data is being collected and shared. Industry trade groups say marketers do not knowingly track young children for advertising purposes. But a study last year of 54 Web sites popular with children, including Disney.go.com and Nick.com, found that many used tracking technologies extensively.

“I was surprised to find that pretty much all of the same technologies used to track adults are being used on kids’ Web sites,” said Richard M. Smith, an Internet security expert in Boston who conducted the study at the request of the Center for Digital Democracy, an advocacy group.

Using a software program called Ghostery, which detects and identifies tracking entities on Web sites, a New York Times reporter recently identified seven trackers on Nick.com — including Quantcast, an analytics company that, according to its own marketing material, helps Web sites “segment out specific audiences you want to sell” to advertisers.

Ghostery found 13 trackers on a Disney game page for kids, including AudienceScience, an analytics company that, according to that company’s site, “pioneered the concept of targeting and audience-based marketing.”

David Bittler, a spokesman for Nickelodeon, which runs Nick.com, says Viacom, the parent company, does not show targeted ads on Nick.com or other company sites for children under 13. But the sites and their analytics partners may collect data anonymously about users for purposes like improving content. Zenia Mucha, a spokeswoman for Disney, said the company does not show targeted ads to children and requires its ad partners to do the same.

Another popular children’s site, Webkinz, says openly that its advertising partners may aim at visitors with ads based on the collection of “anonymous data.” In its privacy policy, Webkinz describes the practice as “online advanced targeting.”

If the F.T.C. carries out its proposed changes, children’s Web sites would be required to obtain parents’ permission before tracking children around the Web for advertising purposes, even with anonymous customer codes.

Some parents say they are trying to teach their children basic online self-defense. “We don’t give out birth dates to get the free stuff,” said Patricia Tay-Weiss, a mother of two young children in Venice, Calif., who runs foreign language classes for elementary school students. “We are teaching our kids to ask, ‘What is the company getting from you and what are they going to do with that information?’ ”
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« Reply #574 on: October 05, 2012, 12:37:05 AM »



http://www.pjtv.com/?cmd=mpg&mpid=105&load=7537
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« Reply #575 on: October 06, 2012, 12:58:29 PM »

Yeah, yeah, I know, a fund raiser email-- but the question is presented:  If we don't like being on Government camera 24/7 and think it quite unAmerican, what are we to do?


Dear Marc F.,

As Ben Franklin stated, "Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."

Sadly, the statists in Washington, D.C. keep choosing to take away more and more of our liberties for some bureaucrat's vision of so-called "safety."

In today's world, "security" really means handing over the last bits of freedom to Big Government's prying eyes.

Just recently, the Senate Armed Services Committee called for drones returning from Afghanistan to be used "freely and routinely" in U.S. airspace.
 


Government agencies are training drones by tracking civilian cars over American cities.

Law enforcement agencies are buying them up by the dozen – happy to let the spying begin.

The Congressional Research Service states domestic drones could be equipped "with facial recognition or soft biometric recognition, which can recognize and track individuals based on attributes such as height, age, gender, and skin color."

More than 30,000 are expected to be flying across the United States in the near future.

This isn't something out of George Orwell's 1984. It's America in 2012.

And it's all designed so politicians can line the pockets of their crony capitalist pals – while you and I pay the price with our tax dollars and our freedom.

Marc F., I'm not telling you all this to dishearten you – although I understand it may be discouraging to look the facts straight in the face.

I'm telling you this because these are the battles you and I can't ignore if we are going to maintain our last vestiges of freedom as Americans – and regain what we've lost.

After all, in recent years, we've witnessed the passage of the so-called "Patriot" Act, which allows the government to wiretap and spy on American citizens.

We've seen the passage of the NDAA - allowing the government to lock up and detain American citizens indefinitely without so much as a warrant.

And we see the TSA routinely groping elderly women and children at airports.

Ten years after its creation, a congressional report was issued saying the TSA was "bloated and ineffective."

More than 25,000 security breaches have occurred under its watch.

Our liberties are being stolen from us daily – and for NOTHING.

So what's next? What else will the security statists demand of us in order to finally make us "safe and secure"?

"Black boxes" in every car?

Cameras on every street corner? In every house?

RFID tracking chips implanted in every man, woman, and child – all designed to ensure we're "safe"?

So government bureaucrats can ensure we don't smoke the wrong thing?

To ensure our sodas aren't too big or our cheeseburgers too greasy?

How much liberty will politicians steal before the American people wake up and say "ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!!!"?

I believe you and I are at a tipping point.

More and more Americans ARE getting fed up.

Senator Rand Paul has already introduced legislation to get the out-of-control TSA screeners out of our airports.

And he recently introduced a bill that would stop the government from arbitrarily using drones to spy on Americans by forcing it to obey the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

But more attacks on our Fourth Amendment rights are coming at the American people full-speed ahead.

It's up to you and me to stop them.

You and I must be prepared to take on the statists and defend our freedoms.

That's exactly what Campaign for Liberty has been doing - and will continue to do - in the coming weeks and months.

Our goal is to reawaken men and women from coast to coast and rally them to defend liberty before it's too late.

Because it's not too late.

Not yet.

The free soul of America still exists.

But it's up to you and me to create a grassroots fire that no politician in his or her right mind would dare ignore.

In Liberty,

 
John Tate
President

P.S. The Big Government statists are wasting no time further eroding our Fourth Amendment rights.

And with government ramping up its use of drones to spy on the American people on our own soil, it's never been more important that you and I stand up for those rights.

Campaign for Liberty has been fighting this ongoing battle for years now, and we will stay on the frontlines of the fight to STOP the invasion of our privacy by an out-of-control government.

If you can chip in with a generous contribution of $25 or even just $10 to help C4L continue the fight to defend our privacy rights, I'd greatly appreciate it.
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« Reply #576 on: October 06, 2012, 06:40:32 PM »

Are manned police aircraft scary?
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« Reply #577 on: October 06, 2012, 07:47:48 PM »

Given practical realities, there will be a limit as to the number, and we will know when they are there.

With the new technology we appear headed to a New World where unseen cameras will be everywhere recording everything and storing it for always.  This is a HUGE paradigm shift.
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« Reply #578 on: October 06, 2012, 08:05:04 PM »

Unmanned aircraft require a pilot still. As far as cameras everywhere  that ship sailed long ago.
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« Reply #579 on: October 14, 2012, 12:44:10 PM »



When the Most Personal Secrets Get Outed on Facebook .
By GEOFFREY A. FOWLER
 
Taylor McCormick was outed after he was added to a Facebook group that automatically informed friends he had joined a choir, Queer Chorus, at the University of Texas, Austin.

AUSTIN, Texas—Bobbi Duncan desperately wanted her father not to know she is lesbian. Facebook told him anyway.

One evening last fall, the president of the Queer Chorus, a choir group she had recently joined, inadvertently exposed Ms. Duncan's sexuality to her nearly 200 Facebook friends, including her father, by adding her to a Facebook Inc. discussion group. That night, Ms. Duncan's father left vitriolic messages on her phone, demanding she renounce same-sex relationships, she says, and threatening to sever family ties.

The 22-year-old cried all night on a friend's couch. "I felt like someone had hit me in the stomach with a bat," she says.

Soon, she learned that another choir member, Taylor McCormick, had been outed the very same way, upsetting his world as well.

The president of the chorus, a student organization at the University of Texas campus here, had added Ms. Duncan and Mr. McCormick to the choir's Facebook group. The president didn't know the software would automatically tell their Facebook friends that they were now members of the chorus.

The two students were casualties of a privacy loophole on Facebook—the fact that anyone can be added to a group by a friend without their approval. As a result, the two lost control over their secrets, even though both were sophisticated users who had attempted to use Facebook's privacy settings to shield some of their activities from their parents.

"Our hearts go out to these young people," says Facebook spokesman Andrew Noyes. "Their unfortunate experience reminds us that we must continue our work to empower and educate users about our robust privacy controls."

In the era of social networks like Facebook and Google Inc.'s Google+, companies that catalog people's activities for a profit routinely share, store and broadcast everyday details of people's lives. This creates a challenge for individuals navigating the personal-data economy: how to keep anything private in an era when it is difficult to predict where your information will end up.

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Lance Rosenfield/Prime for The Wall Street Journal
 
Bobbi Duncan sings with the Queer Chorus at the University of Texas and was also inadvertently outed after joining the chorus's Facebook group.
.

Many people have been stung by accidentally revealing secrets online that were easier kept in the past. In Quebec, Canada, in 2009, Nathalie Blanchard lost her disability-insurance benefits for depression after she posted photos on Facebook showing her having fun at the beach and at a nightclub with male exotic dancers. After seeing the photos, her insurer, Manulife Financial, hired a private investigator and asked a doctor to re-evaluate her diagnosis, according to Ms. Blanchard's lawyer.

Ms. Blanchard didn't realize her photos were visible to the public, according to the lawyer, who added that depressed people often try to disguise their illness to family and friends. Ms. Blanchard sued to have her benefits reinstated. The matter was settled out of court.

A Manulife spokeswoman declined to discuss the case, saying "we would not deny or terminate a valid claim solely based on information published on websites such as Facebook."

Losing control online is more than a technology problem—it's a sociological turning point. For much of human history, personal information spread slowly, person-to-person if at all.

Boost Your Privacy
Check your Facebook privacy controls with this guide.



 .
.
The Facebook era, however, makes it possible to disclose private matters to wide populations, intentionally or not. Personal worlds that previously could be partitioned—work, family, friendships, matters of sexuality—become harder to keep apart. One solution, staying off Facebook, has become harder to do as it reaches a billion people around the world.

Facebook is committed to the principle of one identity for its users. It has shut down accounts of people who use pseudonyms and multiple accounts, including those of dissidents and protesters in China and Egypt. The company says its commitment to "real names" makes the site safer for users. It is also at the core of the service they sell to advertisers, namely, access to the real you.

Closeted gays and lesbians face particular challenges in controlling their images online, given that friends, family and enemies have the ability to expose them.

In Austin, Ms. Duncan and Mr. McCormick, 21, deliberately tried to stay in the closet with their parents, even as they stepped out on campus. Ms. Duncan's parents home-schooled her and raised her in Newton, N.C., where the family attended a fundamentalist church. Now a linguistics student, she told her best friend in the summer of 2011 that she might be gay.

As she struggled with her sexuality, she adjusted her Facebook privacy settings to hide any hint of it from her father, whom she had helped sign up for Facebook. "Once I had my Facebook settings set, I knew—or thought I knew—there wasn't any problem," she says.

Mr. McCormick, studying to become a pharmacist, came out in July 2011 to his mother in his hometown of Blanco, Texas, but not to his father, whom Mr. McCormick describes as a member of a conservative church that teaches homosexuality is sin.

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Referee Brian Stropolo wearing a Saints jacket and cap in this photo that he had posted on Facebook. 'I don't believe you will see him back on the field,' an NFL spokesman says.
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He set Facebook controls for what he calls a "privacy lockdown" on posts that his father, in San Antonio, could see. "We have the one big secret when we're young," he says. "I knew not everyone was going to be accepting."

UT Austin was more accepting. As many university campuses have for years, it offered a safe space for young people to come out without parents knowing. Last fall, Ms. Duncan and Mr. McCormick attended the first rehearsal for the Queer Chorus, a group for gay, lesbian and transgender students and their allies.

"This is a great place to find yourself as a queer person," says the chorus's then-president, Christopher Acosta. The group is known for renditions of pop songs in which it sometimes changes the gender of pronouns. Ms. Duncan agreed to play piano and sing alto. Mr. McCormick, who has a slight frame, surprised the chorus with his deep bass.

At the rehearsal, on Sept. 8, Mr. Acosta asked if any members weren't on the chorus's Facebook group, where rehearsals would be planned. Mr. McCormick and Ms. Duncan said they weren't.

When Joining a 'Group' Reveals Too Much
How Facebook Shares Users' Memberships With Their Friends Online

Someone creates a 'group' on Facebook around a shared interest or activity.
If the group's creator sets it to be 'open,' other Facebook users can see its activities.
The creator has the ability to add his or her Facebook friends to the group.
Getting added generates a notice that can appear on their friends' Facebook pages—alerting others to their membership.
People added to a group this way have the option to leave, but are first added by default.
.
That night, Mr. Acosta turned on his MacBook Pro and added the two new members to the chorus Facebook group. Facebook, then and now, offers three options for this sort of group: "secret" (membership and discussions hidden to nonmembers), "closed" (anybody can see the group and its members, but only members see posts), and "open" (membership and content both public).

Mr. Acosta had chosen open. "I was so gung-ho about the chorus being unashamedly loud and proud," he says.

But there was a trade-off he says he didn't know about. When he added Ms. Duncan, which didn't require her prior online consent, Facebook posted a note to her all friends, including her father, telling them that she had joined the Queer Chorus.

When Mr. Acosta pushed the button, Facebook allowed him to override the intent of the individual privacy settings Ms. Duncan and Mr. McCormick had used to hide posts from their fathers. Facebook's online help center explains that open groups, as well as closed groups, are visible to the public and will publish notification to users' friends. But Facebook doesn't allow users to approve before a friend adds them to a group, or to hide their addition from friends.

After being contacted by The Wall Street Journal, Facebook adjusted the language in its online Help Center to explain situations, like the one that arose with Queer Chorus, in which friends can see that people have joined groups.

Facebook also added a link to this new explanation directly from the screen where users create groups.

"I was figuring out the rules by trial and error," says Mr. Acosta.

A few hours later, Ms. Duncan's father began leaving her angry voice mails, according to Ms. Duncan and a friend who was present.

“I remember I was miserable and said, Facebook decided to tell my dad that I was gay.”
Bobbi Duncan
 

"No no no no no no no," Ms. Duncan recalls telling a friend. "I have him hidden from my updates, but he saw this," she said. "He saw it."

Ms. Duncan's father didn't respond to requests for comment for this article.

Her father called repeatedly that night, she says, and when they spoke, he threatened to stop paying her car insurance. He told her to go on Facebook and renounce the chorus and gay lifestyles.

On his Facebook page, he wrote two days later: "To all you queers. Go back to your holes and wait for GOD," according to text provided by Ms. Duncan. "Hell awaits you pervert. Good luck singing there."

Ms. Duncan says she fell into depression for weeks. "I couldn't function," she says. "I would be in class and not hear a word anyone was saying."

Mr. McCormick's mother phoned him the night his name joined the Queer Chorus group. "She said, 'S—has hit the fan…Your dad has found out.' I asked how," Mr. McCormick recalled, "and she said it was all over Facebook."

His father didn't talk to his son for three weeks, the younger Mr. McCormick says. "He just dropped off the face of my earth."

Mr. McCormick's father declined to participate in this article.

Privacy critics including the American Civil Liberties Union say Facebook has slowly shifted the defaults on its software to reveal more information about people to the public and to Facebook's corporate partners.

"Users are often unaware of the extent to which their information is available," says Chris Conley, technology and civil-liberties attorney at the ACLU of Northern California. "And if sensitive info is released, it is often impossible to put the cat back in the bag."

Facebook executives say that they have added increasingly more privacy controls, because that encourages people to share. "It is all about making it easier to share with exactly who you want and never be surprised about who sees something," said Chris Cox, Facebook's vice president of product, in an interview in August 2011 as the site unveiled new privacy controls. Facebook declined to make Mr. Cox available for this article.

Still, privacy advocates say control loopholes remain where friends can disclose information about other users. Facebook users, for example, can't take down photos of them posted by others.

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Lance Rosenfield/Prime for The Wall Street Journal
 
Mr. McCormick, center, and Ms. Duncan at the piano
.A greater concern, they say, is that many people don't know how to use Facebook's privacy controls. A survey conducted in the spring of 2011 for the Pew Research Center found that U.S. social-network users were becoming more active in controlling their online identities by taking steps like deleting comments posted by others. Still, about half reported some difficulty in managing privacy controls.

This past September, the National Football League pulled referee Brian Stropolo from a game between the New Orleans Saints and the Carolina Panthers after ESPN found a photo of Mr. Stropolo wearing a Saints jacket and cap that he had posted on Facebook.

It remains unclear whether the photo was intended to be public or private.

An NFL spokesman said, "I don't believe you will see him back on the field." The NFL declined to make Mr. Stropolo available.

Privacy researchers say that increasing privacy settings may actually produce what they call an "illusion of control" for social-network users. In a series of experiments in 2010, Carnegie Mellon University Associate Professor Alessandro Acquisti found that offering people more privacy settings generated "some form of overconfidence that, paradoxically, makes people overshare more," he says.

Allison Palmer, vice president of campaigns and programs at the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, says her organization is helping Facebook to develop resources for gay users to help them understand how best to maintain safety and privacy on the site.

"Facebook is one of the few tech companies to make this a priority," she says.

Mr. Acosta, the choir president, says he should have been sensitive to the risk of online outings. His parents learned he was gay when, in high school, he sent an email saying so that accidentally landed in his father's in-box.

Today, he says, his parents accept his sexuality. So before creating his Facebook group, he didn't think about the likelihood of less-accepting parents on Facebook.

"I didn't put myself in that mind-set," he says. "I do take some responsibility."

Some young gay people do, in fact, choose Facebook as a forum for their official comings-out, when they change their Facebook settings to publicly say, "Interested In: Men" or "Interested In: Women." For many young Americans, sexuality can be confidential but no longer a shameful subject. Sites like Facebook give them an opportunity to claim their sexuality and find community.

For gays, social media "offers both resources and risks," says C.J. Pascoe, a Colorado College sociology professor who studies the role of new media in teen sexuality. "In a physical space, you can be in charge of the audiences around you. But in an online space, you have to be prepared for the reality that, at any given moment, they could converge without your control."

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg has long posited that the capability to share information will change how we groom our identities. "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," he said in an interview for David Kirkpatrick's 2010 book, "The Facebook Effect." Facebook users have "one identity," he said.

Facebook declined to make Mr. Zuckerberg available.

Days after their outings, Ms. Duncan and Mr. McCormick met at the campus gender-and-sexuality center, which provides counseling. On a couch, they swapped tales. "I remember I was miserable and said, 'Facebook decided to tell my dad that I was gay,' " she says. "He looked at me and said, 'Oh really, you too?'"

Mr. McCormick's mother, Monica McCormick, meanwhile, was worried how the Facebook disclosure might affect her business selling insurance. "Every kid in this town now knows," she says. "I am sure that I have lost clients, but they are not going to tell you why. That is living in a small town."

Mr. McCormick and his father eventually talked about his sexuality over an awkward lunch at a burger joint and haven't discussed it much since. But Mr. McCormick feels more open and proud about his sexuality. He changed his Facebook profile to "Interested In: Men."

After Ms. Duncan's Sept. 8 outing, she went through long periods of not speaking with her father.

For a while, Ms. Duncan's mother moved into her daughter's apartment with her. "I wanted to be with her," says her mother, who is also named Bobbi. "This was something that I thought her father had crossed the line over, and I could not agree with him."

Speaking of Mr. Duncan, she says: "The big deal for him was that it was posted and that all his friends and all his family saw it."

The younger Ms. Duncan says she tried to build bridges with her father around the year-end holidays. But the arguments persisted.

"I finally realized I don't need this problem in my life anymore," she says. "I don't think he is evil, he is just incredibly misguided."

She stopped returning her dad's calls in May.

She and Mr. McCormick remain in the chorus. Mr. Acosta changed the Facebook group to "secret" and the chorus established online-privacy guidelines.

Today, Ms. Duncan has her first girlfriend. "I am in a really good place," she says, but wouldn't want anybody to have her experience. "I blame Facebook," she says. "It shouldn't be somebody else's choice what people see of me."
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« Reply #580 on: October 16, 2012, 03:20:07 PM »



An interesting 4th Amendment case here;

http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2...t-judge-rules/
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« Reply #581 on: November 01, 2012, 10:45:30 AM »



Supreme Court wary of use of police drug dogs outside homes
Most justices, hearing arguments on police use of dogs to sniff for illegal drugs at the front door of a home, suggest that it violates the 4th Amendment ban on unreasonable searches.
 
Franky, the police dog involved in the 4th Amendment case before the U.S. Supreme Court. (Alan Diaz, Associated Press / December 6, 2011)
 
By David G. Savage, Los Angeles Times
 
November 1, 2012
WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court justices spent part of their Halloween day debating whether visitors, including policemen with dogs, have a right to stand on the front porch of a house and knock on the door, or whether such unwanted visits may violate the rights of the homeowner.

The question arose in a case involving whether police may use a dog to sniff for illegal drugs at the front door of a home.

A lawyer defending a Florida police officer said that since trick-or-treaters can visit a front porch, so can a police officer with his trained dog.

"It's well-established, we think, going back to the common law, that there is an implied consent for people — visitors, salesmen, Girl Scouts, trick-or-treaters — to come to your house and knock on the door," said Washington attorney Gregory Garre.

But Garre ran into sharp opposition from most of the jurists, including Justice Antonin Scalia.

It is "not implied consent for the policeman to come up with the dog," said Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

Scalia agreed. "When the officer's going there to conduct a search, it's not permitted," he said.

Garre was defending a Miami police officer who took his drug dog, Franky, to the front of a house searching for evidence of marijuana. When Franky gave his signal near the front door, the officer obtained a search warrant and found marijuana growing inside.

The Supreme Court took up the case to decide whether such an action violates the 4th Amendment's ban on unreasonable searches.

"In my neighborhood, neighbors can bring their dog up on the leash when they knock on your front door, and I think that's true in most neighborhoods in America," Garre said. "Homeowners that don't like dogs and want them off their property [can] put a fence around it to say, 'No dogs allowed.'"

"So now we tell all the drug dealers: Put up a sign that says 'No dogs'?" asked Justice Sonia Sotomayor.

Justice Stephen G. Breyer said a homeowner "would resent someone coming up with a large animal sitting on a front step … and sniffing for five to 15 minutes."

Ginsburg said that if the court were to approve this law enforcement tactic, police could "just go down the street, have the dog sniff in front of every door, or go into an apartment building."

Scalia, one of the court's conservative leaders, has drawn a line against searches that invade private space. In January, he wrote an opinion limiting law enforcement's use of GPS devices to track a car's movements. Putting the device on the vehicle was a "physical intrusion" into the owner's private property, he said.

A decade earlier, Scalia wrote a 5-4 opinion forbidding police from using a heat scanner to detect heat spots that might reveal indoor growing of marijuana.

On Wednesday, Scalia and the four liberal justices sounded as though they would limit police use of dogs around homes or apartments to sniff for illegal drugs.

But the justices suggested they were not inclined to require more proof that drug-sniffing dogs are usually right when they "alert" and trigger a search of a car or truck. Many police departments use trained dogs to sniff around cars that have been stopped along the road, and an alert from a dog gives an officer probable cause to search inside.  Last year, the Florida Supreme Court said it had doubts about the reliability of some police dogs, and it said officers must present data showing how well dogs do in detecting drugs.  That would "in effect put the dogs on trial," Garre said, urging the court to say police must show only that their dogs were well-trained.

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« Reply #582 on: November 01, 2012, 04:13:43 PM »


http://news.cnet.com/8301-13578_3-57542510-38/court-oks-warrantless-use-of-hidden-surveillance-cameras/

Court OKs warrantless use of hidden surveillance cameras
 
In latest case to test how technological developments alter Americans' privacy, federal court sides with Justice Department on police use of concealed surveillance cameras on private property.
 


by Declan McCullagh
| October 30, 2012 10:45 AM PDT



Police are allowed in some circumstances to install hidden surveillance cameras on private property without obtaining a search warrant, a federal judge said yesterday.
 
CNET has learned that U.S. District Judge William Griesbach ruled that it was reasonable for Drug Enforcement Administration agents to enter rural property without permission -- and without a warrant -- to install multiple "covert digital surveillance cameras" in hopes of uncovering evidence that 30 to 40 marijuana plants were being grown.
 
This is the latest case to highlight how advances in technology are causing the legal system to rethink how Americans' privacy rights are protected by law. In January, the Supreme Court rejected warrantless GPS tracking after previously rejecting warrantless thermal imaging, but it has not yet ruled on warrantless cell phone tracking or warrantless use of surveillance cameras placed on private property without permission.
 
Yesterday Griesbach adopted a recommendation by U.S. Magistrate Judge William Callahan dated October 9. That recommendation said that the DEA's warrantless surveillance did not violate the Fourth Amendment, which prohibits unreasonable searches and requires that warrants describe the place that's being searched.
 
"The Supreme Court has upheld the use of technology as a substitute for ordinary police surveillance," Callahan wrote.
 
Two defendants in the case, Manuel Mendoza and Marco Magana of Green Bay, Wis., have been charged with federal drug crimes after DEA agent Steven Curran claimed to have discovered more than 1,000 marijuana plants grown on the property, and face possible life imprisonment and fines of up to $10 million. Mendoza and Magana asked Callahan to throw out the video evidence on Fourth Amendment grounds, noting that "No Trespassing" signs were posted throughout the heavily wooded, 22-acre property owned by Magana and that it also had a locked gate.
 

U.S. Attorney James Santelle, who argued that warrantless surveillance cameras on private property "does not violate the Fourth Amendment."
 (Credit: U.S. Department of Justice)
Callahan based his reasoning on a 1984 Supreme Court case called Oliver v. United States, in which a majority of the justices said that "open fields" could be searched without warrants because they're not covered by the Fourth Amendment. What lawyers call "curtilage," on the other hand, meaning the land immediately surrounding a residence, still has greater privacy protections.
 
"Placing a video camera in a location that allows law enforcement to record activities outside of a home and beyond protected curtilage does not violate the Fourth Amendment," Justice Department prosecutors James Santelle and William Lipscomb told Callahan.

As digital sensors become cheaper and wireless connections become more powerful, the Justice Department's argument would allow police to install cameras on private property without court oversight -- subject only to budgetary limits and political pressure.
 
About four days after the DEA's warrantless installation of surveillance cameras, a magistrate judge did subsequently grant a warrant. But attorneys for Mendoza and Magana noticed that the surveillance took place before the warrant was granted.
 
"That one's actions could be recorded on their own property, even if the property is not within the curtilage, is contrary to society's concept of privacy," wrote Brett Reetz, Magana's attorney, in a legal filing last month. "The owner and his guest... had reason to believe that their activities on the property were not subject to video surveillance as it would constitute a violation of privacy."
 
A jury trial has been scheduled for January 22
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« Reply #583 on: November 17, 2012, 02:42:07 PM »


http://www.wnd.com/2012/11/what-petraeus-affair-reveals-about-your-emails/

What Petraeus affair reveals about your emails
 by Steve ElwartEmail | Archive

Steve Elwart, P.E., Ph.D., is the executive research analyst with the Koinonia Institute and a subject matter expert for the Department of Homeland Security. He can be contacted at steve.elwart@studycenter.com.More

Catch him Cheating On You1). Enter His Email Address 2). See Hidden Pics & Social Profiles Now! Spokeo.com/Find-Cheaters




“Hell has no wrath like a woman scorned.” The saying took on a new meaning, with wrath being source of the “Petraeus-gate” that started when a general’s mistress believed he was cheating her.
 
The fact that Jill Kelley, a friend of the Petraeus family, received what she felt were threatening emails was apparently enough to bring the FBI into the case, prodded along by an agent-friend of the recipient.






 
The FBI started the investigation under the authority of the 1986 United States Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA). The act allows for “government entities” to acquire a warrant to access email records less than 180 days old “if there is reasonable cause to believe a crime has been committed.” For email older than six months, a federal agency only needs to get a subpoena signed by a federal prosecutor, not a judge, to obtain the messages.
 
Because of the wording of the law, Americans have fewer privacy protections for their electronic emails than would for those same messages than if they were printed out and stuck in a drawer.
 
In the eyes of the law, email kept on an individual’s hard drive in their home computer has the same protection as one’s personal papers, which require a search warrant. Emails stored on a remote server “in the cloud” do not have the same protection.
 
The writers of the law also did not envision the cloud. Email stored in the cloud has the same legal protection as documents in a public warehouse: the government can obtain them with a simple subpoena; no court procedure is required.
 
To make things really confusing, the government’s interpretation of the ECPA was rejected by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, the federal appellate court that covers the western United States, including California, and the home to many online email companies and the servers that host their messages. As a result, the DOJ advises “Agents outside of the Ninth Circuit can therefore obtain such email (and other stored electronic or wire communications in ‘electronic storage’ more than 180 days) using a subpoena…” but reminds agents in the Ninth Circuit to get a warrant.
 
Cloud email servers use the power of many different servers across the Internet. It does not reside in one place. Mail services such as those offered by Google (gmail) will store email messages (from your inbox, draft, and deleted folders) long after you have forgotten them. FBI and other investigating agencies routinely gain access to electronic inboxes and information about email accounts offered by Google, and other Internet mail providers.
 
The Associated Press and The Wall Street Journal report that Jill Kelley contacted the FBI about “five to ten” anonymous emails that started in May and reportedly warned Kelley to “stay away” from an unnamed man. In the resulting investigation, the FBI discovered electronic paper trail eventually led to an “anonymous” account that was used by Paula Broadwell and her husband.
 
Is it just a matter of time before America collapses? Discover the details in “The Fall of America and the Western World.”
 
In examining this and other accounts, agents uncovered sexually explicit emails that Broadwell exchanged with another party who also used what has been reported to be a Gmail account. Eventually, investigators were able to determine that the other party was CIA Director David Petraeus using an assumed name.
 
While it hasn’t been specified exactly how the FBI were able to track the emails back to Broadwell, anyone with knowledge of how email works can make an intelligent assessment.
 
Petraeus and Broadwell used anonymous accounts with fake names that they set up for the purpose of their illicit affair. While they knew enough to cover some of their tracks, they weren’t sophisticated enough to take sufficient steps to completely protect their identity.
 
There are some services, such as Tor Project that can hinder tracing attempts. Other services such as Hotspot Shield and LogMeIn Hamachi can create a virtual private network to help preserve privacy. But this system is not fool-proof. Many of these services still use U.S. based servers that may have logs that can be read by investigating agencies or hackers.
 
Any email messages that are sent leave a trail. Many email services contain hidden codes called “metadata” that will contain the IP address of the sender’s computer’s internet connection device called a “router.” Other services, such as Gmail, will only include the IP address and Internet name of the servers that pass along the email.
 
The FBI spent weeks tracing the route these messages took. The FBI cross-referenced the IP addresses of the email’s origins against hotel guest lists, looking for common names. The messages were traced back not only to the Broadwell home, but also to the hotels where she was staying while sending some of the messages. (The travel patterns revealed by the emails coincided with her travel to promote her biography of Petraeus.)
 
The FBI could also request email data from the email service without the knowledge of the user. In fact, the email service is prohibited by law in notifying the user that the records were accessed.
 
Google is routinely approached by investigating agencies for email information. In fact, they issue what they call a “Transparency Report” every six months, to provide users with statistics about government requests for data and takedowns. For the period of January to June 2012, Google fulfilled 35,000 government requests for email information, 16,000 from the United States alone. How many of these requests were accompanied by a warrant is never disclosed.
 
Armed with the metadata and information from the email service, the FBI now had Broadwell’s name and in the course of the investigation uncovered another disturbing element, the possibility that classified information was being sent to Broadwell, who is also a reporter.
 
Federal prosecutors now had the probable cause they needed to request a warrant to monitor Broadwell’s other email accounts. Through this warrant they were able to determine that Broadwell and another person had set up a private email account to exchange messages.
 
A little more digging uncovered that fact that anonymous person Broadwell was communicating with was Petraeus.
 
(In a bizarre twist, another Army general, John Allen, the U.S. commander in Afghanistan, was also caught up in the investigation, being suspected of exchanging 20,000 to 30,000 pages of potentially inappropriate communications with Jill Kelley, the woman who sparked the investigation in the first place.)
 
The investigators also discovered that Broadwell and Petraeus had used a technique that is common among terrorist organizations and organized crime. They used the oft-neglected draft folder.
 
In this technique, one person will write a message and rather than send the message, they will save it to their draft folder. The other person will then log into the account, usually through a web browser and read the message in the folder.
 
Ironically, storing emails in a draft folder, rather than an inbox, may make it easier for the government to intercept their communications. This is because the Department of Justice has argued that emails in the “draft” or “sent mail” folder are not in “electronic storage” (as defined by the Stored Communications Act), and thus not deserving of warrant protection. Instead, the government has argued it should be able to get such messages with just subpoena rather than a warrant.
 
Some of the techniques the FBI user to track down Broadwell, Gen. Petraeus and later, Gen. Allen can also be utilized by any computer user.
 
For example, for a Gmail account, a person can see this metadata by doing the following:
 1.Log into the Gmail account and open a message.
 2.In the upper right corner of the message, next to the “reply” button, click on the “down” button.
 3.Then click on the “Show original” selection.
 4.A new window will open showing all the data that was hidden in the message.
 


A guide is available to download that will give instructions for looking at metadata for 19 different type of email accounts.
 
With this metadata, the IP address of the sender can be determined and then use an IP address locator such as WhatIsMyIPAddress to find out the ISP where the email account is registered as well as its geographic location. This is good information to have if a computer user is getting attacked by multiple spam messages coming from one sender.
 
It is also interesting to look up your own email address to see what information is available on you.
 
So far, the results of the investigation are varied: the distinguished military careers of two long-serving servicemen are effectively ended, three marriages damaged, perhaps irreparably, and the insecurity of our electronic communication has been exposed.
 
Congress is supposed to be looking into the antiquated communications law, but don’t hold your breath. The Justice Department has warned that updating that telephone-modem-era law would have an “adverse impact” on investigations. The White House, for its part, does not seem to be in a hurry to secure an individual’s rights against having their privacy violated.
 
Interestingly, in congressional testimony, James A. Baker, associate deputy attorney general for the Department of Justice, has suggested that people’s online privacy is enhanced if the government has easier access to private data. “By authorizing law enforcement officers to obtain evidence from communications providers, ECPA enables the government to investigate and prosecute hackers, identity thieves, and other online criminals. Pursuant to ECPA, the government obtains evidence critical to prosecuting these privacy-related crimes.”
 
Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., said, “With the explosion of cloud computing, social networking sites, and other new technologies, determining how best to bring this privacy law into the digital age will be one of Congress’s greatest challenges.”
 
That email invisibility cloak many Americans think they have is full of holes.
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« Reply #584 on: November 20, 2012, 10:24:03 AM »



http://news.cnet.com/8301-13578_3-57552225-38/senate-bill-rewrite-lets-feds-read-your-e-mail-without-warrants/?part=rss&subj=news&tag=title
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« Reply #585 on: November 24, 2012, 05:26:20 PM »



http://www.theblaze.com/stories/texas-student-successfully-defies-total-surveillance-state-citing-mark-of-the-beast/
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« Reply #586 on: November 28, 2012, 05:35:45 PM »

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bB_jp3Sm1BY
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« Reply #587 on: November 28, 2012, 09:28:13 PM »


According to a post here:
http://www.survivalistboards.com/showthread.php?t=97606&page=2,

"Short summary of the story...

*Land owner (Ray Kirkus) was building an illegal septic or sewer system in his backyard that was allegedly polluting neighborhood wells.

*Local health department official (Julie Wolfe) had been by the day before to try to document the concern, but Ray chased her off.

*Julie returns the next day with the a local Sheriff (Deputy Cooper) to assist.

*Ray did indeed sue the Health Department et al., however his case was thrown out and he was ordered to vacate his property as a health hazard.

*Ray sells this property on eBay, and moves to Michigan."
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« Reply #588 on: November 28, 2012, 09:30:49 PM »

http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/is-the-united-states-still-the-land-of-the-free/2012/01/04/gIQAvcD1wP_story.html


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« Reply #589 on: November 28, 2012, 10:16:01 PM »

BD:  Thanks for the background info on the Kirkus case.
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« Reply #590 on: November 29, 2012, 11:17:28 PM »

BD:

Although we don't know what happened on Day One, I have considerable sympathy for a citizen with the clear and simple idea that the State can't come on his property without a warrant.   It strikes me a profoundly arrogant for this bureaucrat to simply walk on his land without stating her statutory authority for doing so.
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« Reply #591 on: November 30, 2012, 05:41:48 AM »

Guro, as you know we often agree on issues related to civil liberties. As noted, I found the short description on a particular site. I am unsure of the legitimacy of the information.

Did you read the Washington Post article posted 11/28 here?
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« Reply #592 on: November 30, 2012, 08:21:52 AM »

I'm confused.  The only post on this thread on 11/28 was mine of the youtube clip.
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« Reply #593 on: November 30, 2012, 08:25:02 AM »

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« Reply #594 on: November 30, 2012, 09:38:07 AM »


A very interesting piece.  Surprising to me that a list of lost freedoms only includes those lost as a result of us being under attack by Islamic terrorism, with no alternative offered as to how to protect ourselves without these losses of freedoms.

"If a president can take away your freedom or your life on his own authority, all rights become little more than a discretionary grant subject to executive will."

Law enforcement as we knew it, innocent until proven guilty with prosecution after the crime occurs, does not work against suicide bombers and planned acts of war.  Did founders like George Washington have his troops hold fire in war until after each target had the right to a speedy trial and to confront his accusers?

If my cell number is found in a killed Afghan terrorist's speed dial, I expect some surveillance on me until my innocence becomes clear.  That is actually a gain not a loss of freedom IMHO.

"President Obama has claimed, as President George W. Bush did before him, the right to order the killing of any citizen considered a terrorist or an abettor of terrorism. Last year, he approved the killing of U.S. citizen Anwar al-Awlaqi and another citizen under this claimed inherent authority. Last month, administration officials affirmed that power, stating that the president can order the assassination of any citizen whom he considers allied with terrorists. (Nations such as Nigeria, Iran and Syria have been routinely criticized for extrajudicial killings of enemies of the state.)"

Does the power to kill a terrorist, a planner of war and attacks against the United States, operating in Yemen make us akin to Syria, Iran or Nigeria?  Good grief.

Sudarsan, Raghavan; Michael D. Shear (December 25, 2009). "U.S.-aided attack in Yemen thought to have killed Aulaqi, 2 al-Qaeda leaders". The Washington Post.
Usborne, David; The Centre for Social Cohesion, a British think-tank (April 8, 2010). "Obama orders US-born cleric to be shot on sight". London: The Independent.
Newton, Paula (March 10, 2010). "Purported al-Awlaki message calls for jihad against US". CNN. Archived from the original on April 19, 2010.
Scott Shane and Robert Worth, "Challenge Heard on Move to Kill Qaeda-Linked Cleric", The New York Times, November 8, 2010.


Meanwhile we have lost the right to work, to keep fruits of our labor, to save, to invest, to hire, to choose our healthcare, to grow wheat or open a lemon stand on our property, but no mention within this author's '10 reasons the U.S. is no longer the land of the free'.  Topics for another thread perhaps.
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« Reply #595 on: December 07, 2012, 07:19:26 PM »



NSA Whistleblower Explains Chilling Interview: ‘Everyone in the U.S. Is Under Virtual Surveillance’

Posted on December 5, 2012 at 8:45am by Erica Ritz


William Binney, a whistleblower at the National Security Agency (NSA), had his life turned upside down after revealing to the public just how much information the United States government is gathering on its citizens. He says the most recent wave began after September 11, 2001, but that it has only accelerated in recent years.

A 32-year veteran of the agency, Binney had the title of senior technical director and was considered one of the foremost mathematicians and code breakers in the business, according to a documentary featured in the New York Times. He quit, however, after the NSA started using programs it had developed to spy on foreign governments, to spy on Americans.

He has not been silent since his resignation, and is warning Americans from every platform he can find. He recently gave a chilling interview to Russia Today, and then spoke with TheBlaze TV.

With Russia Today, Binney reiterated how the government is collecting information on everyone, not just national security risks and suspected national security risks. Then, if you become a target “for whatever reason,” he explained, ” the government can go in– or the FBI, or other agencies of the government– they can go into their database, pull all that data collected.”

And with hundreds of thousands of pages of regulations these days, you are doing something wrong.

Here is a partial transcript from the interview:

RT: You blew the whistle on the agency when George W. Bush was the president. With President Obama in office, in your opinion, has anything changed at the agency, in the surveillance program? In what direction is this administration moving?

WB: The change is it’s getting worse. They are doing more. He is supporting the building of the Bluffdale facility [in Utah], which is over two billion dollars they are spending on storage room for data. That means that they are collecting a lot more now and need more storage for it…

[...]

RT: It seems that the public is divided between those who think that the government surveillance program violates their civil liberties, and those who say, ‘I’ve nothing to hide. So, why should I care?’ What do you say to those who think that it shouldn’t concern them?

WB: The problem is if they think they are not doing anything that’s wrong, they don’t get to define that. The central government does, the central government defines what is right and wrong and whether or not they target you. So, it’s not up to the individuals. Even if they think they aren’t doing something wrong, if their position on something is against what the administration has, then they could easily become a target.

RT: Tell me about the most outrageous thing that you came across during your work at the NSA.

WB: The violations of the Constitution and any number of laws that existed at the time. That was the part that I could not be associated with. That’s why I left. They were building social networks on who is communicating and with whom inside this country. So that the entire social network of everybody, of every US citizen was being compiled over time. So, they are taking from one company alone roughly 320 million records a day. That’s probably accumulated probably close to 20 trillion over the years. [Emphasis TheBlaze]
Here is the video, via Russia Today, for more:



When Binney appeared on TheBlaze TV on Tuesday, co-host Pat Gray asked whether he had any fear for his safety, being one of the few people who has had access to the top levels of the NSA to go public with the information. There are only a few others, but Binney says he believes he is just doing his duty as an American.

“I feel I’m doing the job that a citizen is supposed to do, standing up for the Constitution and the rights of the people,” he said humbly.

Binney proceeded to explain the transformation he witnessed within the NSA– how the program would go from graphing the social networks of potential terrorists, to compiling such graphs on everyone.

At first, he tried to change the organization from the inside:

“I was working with several others [within] the NSA who were with me in this, trying to get the government to address the unconstitutional and illegal activity that they were doing… but we were basically totally unsuccessful in getting them to even recognize that they should change their ways and start doing things legally, out in the open, in a constitutionally acceptable way.”
Binney then discussed the recent resignation of Gen. David Petraeus over an extra-marital affair, and how his private communications were intercepted.

“As far as the actual government goes, [adultery] is not a high crime and misdemeanor here,” co-host Stu Burguiere weighed in. “It’s sort of secondary, and they’ll go to that extent to out somebody who may have had a political issue. That’s frightening.”

Combine that with the government’s friendly relationship with Google (and Google’s work to be able to predict your future actions), the history of big government, and this government’s willingness to declare its political opponents enemies and terrorists, and it would be foolish not to be concerned about the course we’re on.

Watch the entire interview from TheBlaze TV. http://www.video.theblaze.com/media/video.jsp?content_id=25516775&source=THEBLAZE
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« Reply #596 on: December 07, 2012, 07:25:25 PM »

You realize that Russia Today is a propaganda arm of the KGB/FSB, right?
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« Reply #597 on: December 07, 2012, 07:33:30 PM »

Yeah, and you realize I don't trust certain elements of our government, right?  evil cheesy

Here's some more:
============

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2006/04/08/200431/-All-About-NSA-s-and-AT-T-s-Big-Brother-Machine-the-Narus-6400


All About NSA's and AT&T's Big Brother Machine, the Narus 6400

by bewertFollow .




Email
38 Comments / 38 New
.

 Earlier today we found out that the EFF had sued AT&T over their secret work with the NSA on surveillance of millions of US citizens without wiretaps. We learned that paragraph 65 of this complaint shows EFF is trying to turn it into a nationwide Class Action suit covering all current and former customers (any after 9/2001) of AT&T. And we learned that a retired AT&T technician had stepped forward and disclosed the installation of secret NSA spy equipment in the San Francisco trunk facility. As well as the belief that similar equipment is in place in Seattle, San Jose, Los Angeles and San Diego.

Specifically, this equipment was the Narus ST-6400, a machine that was capable of monitoring over 622 Mbits/second in real time in May, 2000, and capturing anything that hits its' semantic (i.e. the meaning of the content) triggers. The latest generation is called NarusInsight, capable of monitoring 10 billion bits of data per second.

 Follow me over the jump and let's learn some more about the private company Narus, it's founder Ovi Cohen, and board member Bill Crowell. Shall we?
.


Narus is a private company founded in 1997 by Ori Cohen, who had been in charge of technology development for VDONet, an early media streaming pioneer. It has venture funding from an all-star team of investors including JP Morgan Partners, Mayfield, NeoCarta, Presidio Venture Partners, Walden International, Intel, NTT Software and Sumisho Electronics.

 Of note is that while Hoover's company factsheet on Narus continues to list Mr. Cohen as Chairman, while Narus's own website listing of the Board of Directors no longer mentions Mr. Cohen.

 Prior to 9/11 Narus worked on building carrier-grade tools to analyze IP network traffic for billing purposes, to prevent what they term "revenue leakage". Post-9/11 they have continued down that path while adding more semantic monitoring abilities for surveillance purposes. They even brought in former Deputy Director of the NSA William P. Crowell as an addition to their Board of Directors. From the Press Release announcing this:

Crowell is an independent security consultant and holds several board positions with a variety of technology and technology-based security companies. Since 9/11, Crowell has served on the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Task Force on Terrorism and Deterrence, the National Research Council Committee on Science and Technology for Countering Terrorism and the Markle Foundation Task Force on National Security in the Information Age.

 His past positions have included president and chief executive officer of Cylink, a leading provider of e-business security solutions, as well as a series of senior positions at the National Security Agency, including deputy director of operations and deputy director of the Agency. Crowell has served as chairman of the President's Export Council (PEC) Subcommittee on Encryption, which worked with the Administration, Congress and private industry to substantially loosen restrictions on the export of encryption products and technology.

 "Narus has an impressive track record of working with tier-one carriers to keep their networks running safely, continuously and profitably," said William Crowell. "I look forward to helping Narus as they forge new strategic partnerships and continue to break new ground in the telecommunications industry."


 So these guys (1) build hugely cool network monitoring devices and (2) are tied into US (at least) national security organizations at the highest levels. What are these hugely cool machines capable of?

 From the Key Features list of NarusInsight

-Universal data collection from links, routers, soft switches, IDS/IPS, databases, etc. provides total network view across the world's largest IP networks.

-Normalization, Correlation, Aggregation and Analysis provide a comprehensive and detailed model of user, element, protocol, application and network behaviors, in real time.

 -Seven 9s reliability from data collection to data processing and analysis.

 -Industry-leading packet processing performance that supports network speeds of up to OC-192 at layer 4 and OC-48 at layer 7, enabling carriers to monitor traffic at either the edge of the network or at the core.

-Unsurpassed and limitless scalability to support the world's largest, most complex IP networks.

-Unparalleled flexibility -- NarusInsight's functionality can easily be configured to meet any specific customer requirement (Narus Software Developer Kit -SDK).

-Unparalleled extensibility -- NarusInsight's functionality can easily be configured to feed a particular activity or IP service such as security, lawful intercept or even Skype detection and blocking.


 How powerful is this? OC-192 carries about 10 gigabits of data per second.  Ten billion bits per second, monitored in real-time. That is stunning. This is one damned powerful machine, one of the most powerful I've ever heard of in 25 years in IT.

 And what does it monitor while looking at this 10 billion bits of IP data per second? First lets take a look at what the network model is, the OSI model of seven layers. NarusInsight focuses on two layers: number four, the transport layer, built on standards like TCP and UDP, the physical building blocks of internet data traffic, and number seven, the application layer, built on standards like HTTP and FTP, which are dependent on the application using them, i.e. Internet Explorer, Kazaa, Skype, etc. It monitors 10 billion bits per second at level four and 2500 million bits per second at level seven. For reference, the 256K DSL line I am using equals .25 million bits per second. So one NarusInsight machine can look at about 39,000 DSL lines at once in great detail. That is a pretty damn big number. This is some really serious hardware with equally serious software. Which is our next subject.

 So what exactly is done to and with this data? That's kind of a grey area, so let's try to find what we can. The starting point is called the Internet Protocol Detail Record, which Narus helped found. From that FAQ I just linked to, we learn that

IPDR stands for the Internet Protocol Detail Record, the name comes from the traditional telecom term CDR (Call Detail Record), used to record information about usage activity within the telecom infrastructure (such as a call completion).

NDM-U stands for Network Data Management - Usage. It refers to a functional operation within the Telecom Management Forum's Telecom Operations Map. The NDM function collects data from devices and services in a service providers network. Usage refers to the type of data which is the focus of this document.

IPDR.org is the non-profit organization that promotes use of the IPDR NDM-U and other related standards. The principle deliverable for IPDR.org is the NDM-U specification and related development tools.
 And is it actually being used?
IPDR.org has been in existence since 1999 and more than a dozen vendors have actual IPDR implementations "etched in code". Their systems are actually able to talk to each other and interoperate. Version 2.5 and up of the NDM-U represents a stable basis for development. IPDR.org's Interoperability Pavilion is a working demonstration of multiple companies exchanging service usage data in that format.
 Service usage data. That would be data on the actual usage of the Internet. And what kind of data would this be? Way back in 1999, this article stated
In an effort to provide more complex network traffic analysis, Narus is introducing its semantic network traffic service. The company cites research which predicts the fast-growing ISP sector will become stagnant without the ability to offer differentiated services. In order to gain significant revenues from these services, a technology was necessary to allow usage based pricing.

"We realized that, at the heart of the data that is needed to accurately measure usage and enable 'pay-as-you-go' business models for Internet service providers, is what we call the 'semantics' of network traffic," said Ori Cohen, Narus' founder and chief executive officer.

"In short, by seeing the 'semantics' of network traffic, service providers can see 'inside' the data, providing much more detailed insight about the use of the Internet and the perceived value of specific applications than existing technologies allow."

Semantic Traffic Analysis uses network technology to consistently capture and analyze all IP data streams on heavily trafficked networks remotely and non-invasively. In addition, the semantics of the data stream are determined also, as well as the protocol used and the application taking place. A variety of other data is available as well.
 Remember that semantics is not just the data, but rather the meaning of the data. It looks at the the data in a more comprehensive way than looking for keywords. Each NarusInsight machine does this at 2500 million bits per second, in real-time.

You really wonder why BushCo doesn't want to talk about this stuff? It's the biggest invasion of privacy in history by several orders of magnitude.

How can we know? From Narus' Lawful Intercept and Regulatory Compliance page:

Explosive Internet growth in recent years has transformed worldwide communications, yielding tremendous efficiencies and benefits, as well as many risks.

 For example, terrorist attacks around the globe have been carefully orchestrated through Internet-based forms of communications such as e-mail, messaging, hidden Web pages and now VoIP, forcing governmental organizations and law enforcement agencies to re-evaluate how they are providing public security as it becomes so much easier and faster to communicate electronically.

Recent mandates and the resulting standards referenced under CALEA in the United States and ETSI in Western Europe aim to preserve the right of law enforcement agencies to conduct authorized electronic surveillance in an effort to protect the public and its right to privacy. However, these mandates create IT headaches for carriers as they struggle to meet the requirements.

 With a suite of products targeted at meeting lawful intercept requirements, Narus simplifies lawful intercept tasks helping carriers and agencies meet requirements without experiencing any degradation in service quality.  

 Key benefits
 -Packet-mode data intercepts for Service Providers and Carriers.
-Wireline to wireless and WiFi or dialup to broadband.
-"Instant Compliance" with CALEA and ETSI for simple, fast and hands-free compliance.
-Carrier-grade speeds, performance and scalability.
-Supports all of your services, out-of-the-box.
-Securely manages resources while simplifying audits and reporting.
-Network and vendor agnostic.
-Enables additional application for revenue generation or revenue protection.


This data flows right into NarusInsight Intercept Suite, which enables

Packet-level, flow-level, and application-level usage information is captured and analyzed as well as raw user session packets for forensic analysis, surveillance or in satisfying regulatory compliance for lawful intercept.

 The Lawful Intercept module offers carriers and service providers compliance with regulatory requirements regarding lawful intercept. The Lawful Intercept module provides an end-to-end solution consisting of Administration, Access and Delivery functions. The Lawful Intercept module is compliant with CALEA and ETSI standards. It can be seamlessly integrated with third party products for testing/validation or as a complete law enforcement solution.

 The Directed Analysis module seamlessly integrates with NarusInsight Secure Suite or other DDoS, intrusion or anomaly detection systems, securely providing analysts with real-time, surgical targeting of suspect information (from flow to application to full packets). The Directed Analyis module provides industry standard formats and offers tools for archival and integration with third party investigative tools.

 These capabilities include playback of streaming media (i.e. VoIP), rendering of web pages, examination of e-mail and the ability to analyze the payload/attachments of e-mail or file transfer protocols. Narus partner products offer the ability to quickly analyze information collected by the Directed Analysis or Lawful Intercept modules. When Narus partners' powerful analytic tools are combined with the surgical targeting and real-time collection capabilities of Directed Analysis and Lawful Intercept modules, analysts or law enforcement agents are provided capabilities that have been unavailable thus far.


 Imagine how great a tool "instant compliance" with the Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act could be with this kind of reach and detail. Especially if a secret Presidential Directive allows it to be used without the warrants required under the Act.

 That's what it appears we are up against, folks. Real-time semantic data monitoring on a huge scale. A scale beyond what most of us can even comprehend. It's scarey(sic).
.
Originally posted to bewert on Fri Apr 07, 2006 at 10:47 PM PDT.
« Last Edit: December 07, 2012, 07:35:35 PM by Crafty_Dog » Logged
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« Reply #598 on: December 07, 2012, 07:40:36 PM »

Any tangible evidence of illegal wiretaps?
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« Reply #599 on: December 07, 2012, 07:44:55 PM »

As noted various times in this thread at this point it is hard to tell what would be illegal under current laws, or how anyone would be able to know, particularly as long as Big Brother does not seek to use it in court.

Here's what seems to be a thoughtful analysis of the content of my previous post:
=============

The thing that rarely seems to come up in these discussions is the voluntary role of telecommunications corporations in digital surveillance. Everybody complains about "Big Brother", Bush, Obama, the Man, etc. But the government doesn't own much national digital infrastructure itself, and it has a hard time managing even the stuff it does own. It's well known at this point that the beginnings of the NSA warrantless surveillance program came when ATT allowed them to install fiber optic taps at various core switching locations around the country, and convinced most of the large telcos to turn over years' worth of call detail records from the public phone system to them.

All large telcos today have automated systems for processing surveillance requests from law enforcement agencies, and some of them are well known to produce customer data for any LE request without a warrant or subpoena. Sprint, for example, has admitted to servicing millions of LE requests per year.

The article , , ,  regarding Narus traffic analyzers is from 2006 and mentions real-time, full-packet analytics on 10 Gpbs links. That's par for the course for that timeframe for high-end, expensive equipment. Long-haul 10G links were common but not ubiquitous at that time. They're much more common today, with 40G and 100G links starting to come into widespread use now. Full-packet analytics at those speeds is still at the experimental stage in civilian networking, and I suspect it is in the same state in intelligence networks; the private sector is the technology leader in this area.

They can almost certainly store full-packet data for non-realtime analysis at almost any speed. It then becomes a matter of getting lots of access points (and nobody has admitted to those numbers that I've seen), deduplicating multiple copies of the data, and indexing it in a useful format. Those technologies are getting pretty advanced--Google, Facebook, etc are the world leaders here and those technologies have certainly found their way into the intel toolbox. There are also relatively simple ways of deciding in near real-time whether a chunk of data is "interesting" enough to be stored for off-line analysis. This greatly reduces the amount of uninteresting data that needs to be archived.

I would guess that the "secret sauce" lies in the algorithms they're using for flow analytics. You can store flow records (i.e., who talks to who, with vague metadata about the content) in 1-5% of the space it takes to store full content, before compression. You can also get flow records without necessarily having a tap into the traffic flow (although you still need the cooperation of the circuit owner). The NSA is the great granddaddy of intel/comms pattern analysis, and they have the advantage of being able to cross reference not only Internet data but all the other stuff that they can access (PSTN CDRs, traditional SIGINT and HUMINT, etc). I imagine they're pretty good at it. I've talked to dudes from civilian networks who have found some amazingly cool stuff from doing large-scale flow analytics.
 
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