Tag Archive: Data collection


‘Intelligent’ Streetlights To ‘Watch’ Florida Residents

 

 

” The Jacksonville, Florida, city government is preparing to install more than 50 “intelligent” streetlights under a new General Electric pilot program.

  In accordance with the “GE Intelligent City Initiative,” the “data-collecting” LED streetlights will be placed throughout the city’s downtown and surrounding areas.

  According to a Thursday morning presentation by GE, the lights will be “interconnected with one another and will collect real-time data,” as reported by the Jacksonville Business Journal.

“ GE’s intelligent LEDs are a gateway to city-changing technology, with sensors, controls, wireless transmitters and microprocessors built within the LED system,” GE states.”

 

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NSA Spy Program One Step Closer To Extinction

 

 

 

 

 

 

” The House of Representatives is moving ahead to curtail how the National Security Agency collects and retains telephone data on Americans, the National Journal reported.

  The House Judiciary Committee voted 32-0 Wednesday to amend the USA Freedom Act, the National Journal said. The House Intelligence Committee will vote on its version of the legislation on Thursday. The intelligence committee version doesn’t include a blanket prohibition on bulk collection.

  House members will need to reconcile conflicts between the two versions. The final bill is expected to be in line with President Barack Obama’s announced NSA reforms. A vote by the full House could take place by the end of May, The Wall Street Journal reported.

  Amending the USA Freedom Act is aimed at minimizing how much private information the government retains and to proscribe how such data can be obtained, the Journal reported.”

 

 

 

    While we applaud any efforts at reining in government spying , we remain exceedingly skeptical that much will be accomplished in reestablishing our citizenry’s privacy as long as we have the Patriot Act and the FISA courts which really amount to a “Star Chamber” . Read more at Newsmax

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Drones And Robotic Warfare You Just Can’t Imagine

 

 

 

 

” Drones can essentially conduct perch and stare missions nearly endlessly. The technology is developing even more rapidly than the military can grasp, says the director of MIT’s Humans and Automation Laboratory.

  In just the past two years, it seems as if drones are everywhere in the news. This technology has been around for more than 60 years, but has only recently captured both national and international attention. This is primarily because of the increasing use in the military, but also because of concerns that such technology will be turned on a country’s own citizens.

  The average person thinks of a drone as a flying spy camera, loitering overhead waiting to spot a target and then possibly launching a weapon when that target is labeled as a threat. To be sure, this is indeed one mission of drones, typically of organizations like the CIA.

  However, this is by far the least common mission. The vast majority of military drone missions today are data and image collection. Their ability to provide “situational awareness” to decision makers on the ground is unparalleled in military operations since drones can essentially conduct perch and stare missions nearly endlessly.

  This is why their use and demand from the trenches has been so high – they provide an ability to watch as events unfold, providing some clarity to the fog of war, which is the Achilles Heel for military leaders.

  However, in the very near future, these intelligence surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) missions will be dwarfed by other uses of drones in operations inconceivable to most military personnel today.

  They will be used to enhance communications, patrol the skies, intercept incoming ballistic and short range missiles, dog fight with other aircraft in the sky, and deliver supplies. Indeed, currently the US Marine Corps has two robotic helicopters that have moved millions of pounds of goods and have been critical in current drawdown efforts.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3 NSA Veterans Speak Out On Whistle-Blower: We Told You So

 

nsa group shot

 

In a roundtable discussion, a trio of former National Security Agency whistle-blowers tell USA TODAY that Edward Snowden succeeded where they failed.

When a National Security Agency contractor revealed top-secret details this month on the government’s collection of Americans’ phone and Internet records, one select group of intelligence veterans breathed a sigh of relief.

Thomas Drake, William Binney and J. Kirk Wiebe belong to a select fraternity: the NSA officials who paved the way.

For years, the three whistle-blowers had told anyone who would listen that the NSA collects huge swaths of communications data from U.S. citizens. They had spent decades in the top ranks of the agency, designing and managing the very data-collection systems they say have been turned against Americans. When they became convinced that fundamental constitutional rights were being violated, they complained first to their superiors, then to federal investigators, congressional oversight committees and, finally, to the news media.” 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Is The US An Authoritarian National Surveillance State?

 

To quote the Blogfather : ” Yes . Next Question” 

 

 

 

 

”  An article by Jack Balkin a Yale law professor discusses what he calls the new national surveillance state that is being created in many countries including the US.

 
Balkin describes the national surveillance state as follows: “In the National Surveillance State, the government uses surveillance, data collection, collation and analysis to identify problems, to head off potential threats, to govern populations, and to deliver valuable social services. The National Surveillance State is a special case of the Information State – a state that tries to identify and solve problems of governance through the collection, collation, analysis and production of information.”
Balkin suggests that the War on Terror is a familiar justification for the national surveillance state but there are other causes most notably the fast and accelerating developments in information technology that make more surveillance possible.
The question for Barkin is not whether we should have a surveillance state since the surveillance state is certainly here but what type of surveillance state we will have. He notes that there are a number of dangers posed by the surveillance state. With all the data collected there may be a move towards a parallel track of preventative law enforcement that may be contrary to guarantees of a bill of rights.”

3 Reasons The ‘Nothing To Hide’ Crowd Should Be Worried About Government Surveillance

 

” Responding to a popular reaction to news of the National Security Agency’s massive data collection program, blogger Daniel Sieradski started a Twitter feed called “Nothing to Hide.” He has retweeted hundreds of people who have declared in one form or another that they are not concerned that the federal government may spy on them. They say they have done nothing wrong, so they have nothing to hide. If it helps the government fight terrorists, go ahead, take their civil liberties away.

In his blog, a frustrated Sieradski listed many of the abuses of power our federal government is known for; he is not happy with the “nothing to hide” crowd.

There are many, many reasons to be concerned about the rise of the surveillance state, even if you have nothing to hide. Or rather, even if you think you have nothing to hide. For those confronted by such simplistic arguments, here are a three counterarguments that perhaps might get these people thinking about what they’re actually giving up.

1. Every American Is Probably a Criminal, Really

That Americans think they have nothing to hide in the first place is a sign of how little attention they’re paying to the behavior of our Department of Justice. Many Americans have run afoul of federal laws without even knowing it. Tim Carney noted at the Washington Examiner:

Copy a song to your laptop from a friend’s Beyonce CD? You just violated the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. Did you buy some clothes in Delaware because they were tax free? You’re probably evading taxes. Did you give your 20-year-old nephew a glass of wine at dinner? Illegal in many states.”