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Tag Archive: Government Spying


Mysterious Spy Cameras Collecting Data At Post Offices In Colorado

 

 

 

 

” Within an hour of a KDVR reporter discovering a hidden camera, which was positioned to capture and record the license plates and facial features of customers leaving a Denver post office, the device was ripped from the ground and disappeared.

  Investigative reporter Chris Halsne confirmed the hidden camera and recorder is owned and operated by the United States Postal Inspection Service, the law enforcement branch of the U.S. Postal Service.

  The recording device appeared to be tripped by any vehicle leaving the property on Johnson Road, but the lens was not positioned to capture images of the front door, employee entrance, or loading dock areas of the post office.

  A customer first noticed the data collection device, hidden inside a utilities box, around Thanksgiving 2014. It stayed in place, taking photos through the busy Christmas holidays and into mid-January.”

 

 

    While the Postal Service tried to maintain that the surveillance was just a “routine security measure” privacy groups see it a bit differently , and rightly so …

 

 

” Lee Tien, an attorney for the San Francisco-based Electronic Frontier Foundation, says more and more federal agencies are getting away with conducting surveillance and collecting personal data of citizens without a warrant signed by a judge.

“ Part of being a responsible, constitutional government is explaining why it is doing surveillance on its citizens,” Lee told Halsne. “The government should not be collecting this kind of sensitive information. And it is sensitive! It`s about your relationships, your associations with other people, which can be friendship or political or religious. The idea that we give up that privacy simply because we use the U.S. mail is, I think, a silly idea.” “

 

 

     As if the Postal Service wasn’t endangered enough , now they are actively driving their ever-dwindling customer base further into the arms of private delivery services by spying on them … Read it all and head to your nearest UPs/Fedex office to send your mail .

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Prof: ‘Elf On The Shelf’ Conditions Kids To Accept Surveillance State

 

 

 

 

Could there be something more sinister behind the little elf sitting on the shelf who returns to the North Pole each night?

  Yes, says Laura Pinto, a digital technology professor at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology.

  She recently published a paper titled “Who’s the Boss” on the doll, saying the idea of it reporting back to Santa each night on the child’s behavior “sets up children for dangerous, uncritical acceptance of power structures,” according to insideHalton.com.

  From her paper:

  When children enter the play world of The Elf on the Shelf, they accept a series of practices and rules associated with the larger story. This, of course, is not unique to The Elf on the Shelf. Many children’s games, including board games and video games, require children to participate while following a prescribed set of rules. The difference, however, is that in other games, the child role-plays a character, or the child imagines herself within a play-world of the game, but the role play does not enter the child’s real world as part of the game. As well, in most games, the time of play is delineated (while the game goes on), and the play to which the rules apply typically does not overlap with the child’s real world.

“  You’re teaching (kids) a bigger lesson, which is that it’s OK for other people to spy on you and you’re not entitled to privacy,” she tells the Toronto Star. “

 

Read the rest

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tech Chiefs In Plea Over Privacy Damage

 

 

 

 

 

” The US tech industry has failed to appreciate the mounting global concern over its record on online privacy and security and must act fast to prevent deeper damage to its image, Silicon Valley’s top executives and investors have conceded.

  The self-criticism, much of it aimed at consumer internet companies such as Google and Facebook, comes as some of the tech sector’s best-known names have been battered by a backlash over revelations of widespread US internet surveillance and concerns about their growing business and cultural dominance.

  Peter Thiel, a prominent start-up investor and Facebook director, said: “Silicon Valley is quite oblivious to the degree to which this crescendo of concern is building up in Europe. It’s an extremely important thing and Silicon Valley is underestimating it badly.

  Jim Breyer, an early investor and former board member of Facebook, said: “The US government and [tech] companies will have to step up significantly if they want to regain the world’s trust.”

 

Financial Times

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bloggers, Surveillance And Obama’s Orwellian State

 

 

 

 

 

 After resigning as the press secretary for President Obama on June 20, Carney gave insight into the Obama administration’s handling of classified documents, and responded to criticism that this administration has been the most Orwellian in recent history.

“ I know — because I covered them — that this was said of Clinton and Bush, and it will probably be said of the next White House,” said Carney in a recent New York Times Magazine interview. “I think a little perspective is useful…It is a serious, serious matter to leak classified information. Some of the debate around this kind of forgets how serious that is.”

 

 

Even in retiring Carney can’t help but pull out the old “Bush did it” card …

 

 

” But, it could also be the changing nature of the relationship between the media and the White House. At a recent event at the New America Foundation, journalists and historians challenged Carney, arguing that this White House has been more secret than previous occupants.

“Increasingly, the Obama White House has become so brittle, and so controlling of the message, that people are afraid to respond to me,” said Kimberly Dozier, a former Associated Press reporter. She was one of the journalists whose phone records were obtained by the Department of Justice last spring during its investigation into a leak of classified information about a failed Al-Qaeda plot. The scope of that investigation, some critics said, was unprecedented overreach.

  According to ProPublica, the Obama administration has filed eight cases under the Espionage Act, which criminalizes disclosing information harmful to national security. Before the Obama administration, only three known cases had ever been charged under the act.”

 

    In the end Time reverts to it’s roots and blames bloggers in justifying the administration crack-down on journalistic freedom , comparing bloggers to “pamphleteers” and calling for them to uphold “the same standards as 20th century journalists” … LOL , not exactly setting a very high bar now are they ?  … Read the rest at Time

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

German Television Does First Edward Snowden Interview

 

German TV Interviews Edward Snowden

 

 

 

 

” German Television Channel NDR does an exclusive interview with Edward Snowden.
Uploaded on LiveLeak because German Television thinks the rest of the world isn’t interested in Edward Snowden.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Protect Firefox Browser From The U.S. Government, Says Mozilla Exec

 

 

” Among the issues that President Obama did not address in his lukewarm call for “reform” of NSA spying practices are allegations that U.S. government officials have used their clout to compromise encryption technology and strongarm companies into inserting backdoors into their technology. That’s not a small issue, because it gives the NSA and other agencies access to vast quantities of information at least as sensitive as what they gather from sucking up phone meta data. Last week, even before the president’s speech, Brendan Eich, the Chief Technology Officer of Mozilla, the organization behind the Firefox Web browser, called on the public to help resist such threats.

Wrote Eich in a blog post:

As a result of laws in the US and elsewhere, prudent users must interact with Internet services knowing that despite how much any cloud-service company wants to protect privacy, at the end of the day most big companies must comply with the law. The government can legally access user data in ways that might violate the privacy expectations of law-abiding users. Worse, the government may force service operators to enable surveillance (something that seems to have happened in the Lavabit case).”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DEAR USERS OF THE INTERNET

 

The Day We Fight Back

 

 

 

” In January 2012 we defeated the SOPA and PIPA censorship legislation with the largest Internet protest in history. A year ago this month one of that movement’s leaders, Aaron Swartz, tragically passed away.

  Today we face a different threat, one that undermines the Internet, and the notion that any of us live in a genuinely free society: mass surveillance.”

 

 

 

 

” If Aaron were alive, he’d be on the front lines, fighting against a world in which governments observe, collect, and analyze our every digital action.

  Now, on the eve of the anniversary of Aaron’s passing, and in celebration of the win against SOPA and PIPA that he helped make possible, we are announcing a day of protest against mass surveillance, to take place this February 11th.”

 

 

 

Do your part to protect privacy and internet freedom . Click the link to see how .

 

 

 

 

 

Obama’s NSA Watchdog: Tracking Cars Is Reasonable

 

 

 

” If one member of President Obama’s NSA review group charged with recommending surveillance policy gets his way, tracking cars could become a routine procedure in law enforcement.

  University of Chicago law professor Geoffrey Stone took issue with a Supreme Court ruling in the case of the Jones GPS Tracking case. Stone took his case to the Stanford University Law Review in an article entitled, “A Reasonableness Approach to Searches After the Jones GPS Tracking Case.”

 

     Here is a helpful hint on how to locate a tracking device on your own car :  

                                                                               How to Find a GPS System Under a Car | eHow

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Woman Leaves Room Speechless: “I’m Just A Mom!” – One Of The Most Powerful Speeches Ever Made

 

Published on Nov 26, 2013

” On Tuesday Nov 5th, 2013 after making her wait 8 hours, the Clark County Commission in Las Vegas decided to hear Daphne Lee speak against the NDAA. What followed was one of the most powerful public comments in history.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Senators Ask If NSA Collected Gun Data

 

 

 

” A bipartisan group of 26 senators, led by Sen. Ron Wyden (D., Ore.) asked Director of National Intelligence James Clapper to detail the scope and limits of the National Security Agency’s surveillance activities in a letter released Friday.

The senators noted that the federal government’s authority under Section 215 of the PATRIOT Act is broad and rife with potential for abuse. Among the senators’ concerns was whether the NSA’s bulk data harvesting program could be used to construct a gun registry or violate other privacy laws.

“It can be used to collect information on credit card purchases, pharmacy records, library records, firearm sales records, financial information, and a range of other sensitive subjects,” the senators wrote. “And the bulk collection authority could potentially be used to supersede bans on maintaining gun owner databases, or laws protecting the privacy of medical records, financial records, and records of book and movie purchases.” “

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Criminal N.S.A.

 

 

 

” THE twin revelations that telecom carriers have been secretly giving the National Security Agency information about Americans’ phone calls, and that the N.S.A. has been capturing e-mail and other private communications from Internet companies as part of a secret program called Prism, have not enraged most Americans. Lulled, perhaps, by the Obama administration’s claims that these “modest encroachments on privacy”were approved by Congress and by federal judges, public opinion quickly migrated from shock to “meh.”

It didn’t help that Congressional watchdogs — with a few exceptions, like Senator Rand Paul, Republican of Kentucky — have accepted the White House’s claims of legality. The leaders of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Dianne Feinstein, Democrat of California, and Saxby Chambliss, Republican of Georgia, have called the surveillance legal. So have liberal-leaning commentators like Hendrik Hertzberg and David Ignatius.

This view is wrong — and not only, or even mainly, because of the privacy issues raised by the American Civil Liberties Union and other critics. The two programs violate both the letter and the spirit of federal law. No statute explicitly authorizes mass surveillance. Through a series of legal contortions, the Obama administration has argued that Congress, since 9/11, intended to implicitly authorize mass surveillance. But this strategy mostly consists of wordplay, fear-mongering and a highly selective reading of the law. Americans deserve better from the White House — and from President Obama, who has seemingly forgotten the constitutional law he once taught.

The administration has defended each of the two secret programs. Let’s examine them in turn.”

Read The Whole Thing

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

OBAMA HIT BY SNOWDEN SETBACKS WITH CHINA, RUSSIA

 

 

 

”  For President Barack Obama, National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden’s globe-trotting evasion of U.S. authorities has dealt a startling setback to efforts to strengthen ties with China and raised the prospect of worsening tensions with Russia.

Indeed, Russia’s foreign minister on Tuesday called U.S. demands for Snowden’s extradition “ungrounded and unacceptable.”

While the U.S. does not have an extradition treaty with Russia, the White House publicly prodded the Kremlin to send Snowden back to the U.S., while officials privately negotiated with their Russian counterparts.

“We are expecting the Russians to examine the options available to them to expel Mr. Snowden for his return to the United States,” Carney said.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on Tuesday bluntly rejected the U.S. request, saying Snowden hasn’t crossed the Russian border. He angrily lashed out at the U.S. for warnings of negative consequences if Moscow fails to comply.

“We consider the attempts to accuse Russia of violation of U.S. laws and even some sort of conspiracy, which on top of all that are accompanied by threats, as absolutely ungrounded and unacceptable,” Lavrov said.”

 

 

     Imagine a world where Russia and China are defending the people’s right to know against the US government … Another first for the Obama administration .

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hong Kong Lets Snowden Leave To Moscow, With Cuba Among Possible Destinations

 

 

” HONG KONG (Reuters) – A former contractor for the U.S. National Security Agency, charged by the United States with espionage, was allowed to leave Hong Kong on Sunday, his final destination as yet unknown, because a U.S. request to have him arrested did not comply with the law, the Hong Kong government said.

Edward Snowden left for Moscow on Sunday and his final destination may be Cuba, Ecuador, Iceland or Venezuela, according to various reports. The move is bound to infuriate Washington, wherever he ends up.

“It’s a shocker,” said Simon Young, a law professor with Hong Kong University. “I thought he was going to stay and fight it out. The U.S. government will be irate.” “

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

U.S. Seeks Snowden’s Extradition, Urges Hong Kong To Act Quickly

 

” The United States charged Snowden with theft of government property, unauthorized communication of national defense information and willful communication of classified communications intelligence to an unauthorized person, according to the June 14 criminal complaint made public on Friday.

The latter two offenses fall under the U.S. Espionage Act and carry penalties of up to 10 years in prison.

Scores of Americans have been sent back home from Hong Kong to face trial under the extradition treaty. But the process can take years, lawyers say, and Snowden’s case could be particularly complex.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

British Spy Agency Reported To Tap Fibre-Optic Cables

 

 

 

 

” New details of cable tapping has been reported by British daily, The Guardian. The report reveals that Britain’s spy agency the GCHQ has tapped fibre-optic cables that carry international phone and internet traffic. It is also sharing large amounts of personal information with the United States National Security Agency. The project has the codename “Tempora”. “

 

 

 

 

 

 

Snowden: ‘Lies’ From Gang Of 8 ‘Compelled Me To Act’

 

free_speech

Video of Snowden Supporters in Hong Kong

 

 

” Edward Snowden says “lies” from the Gang of 8 are part of the reason he felt “compelled … to act.” He made the statement in response to a question about his motivations in releasing classified information on the Guardian‘s website.

“I imagine everyone’s experience is different, but for me, there was no single moment. It was seeing a continuing litany of lies from senior officials to Congress – and therefore the American people – and the realization that that Congress, specifically the Gang of Eight, wholly supported the lies that compelled me to act.”

 

 

 

 

 

Apple: iMessage And FaceTime Are Safe From The NSA’s Prying Eyes

 

 

” Here’s how to have a secret conversation the government can’t access: Just use iMessage, Apple’s text-messaging service that, the company now says, is encrypted and can’t be read by anyone except the sender and the recipients.

Apple has added its voice to a growing chorus of Silicon Valley companies calling on Washington for more transparency regarding its data-collection practices. In a statement released Monday, Apple disclosed new details about the requests for user information it fields from the government.

For the six months ending May 31, the company reported getting between 4,000 and 5,000 law-enforcement data requests, which altogether cover between 9,000 and 10,000 specific user accounts (“or devices,” Apple says). Some fraction of that number is made up of FISA warrants and national security letters, but it’s not clear how many or what the distribution looks like.

The firm also disclosed just what kind of data it does not make available to law enforcement—mainly, the end-to-end encrypted content Apple is unable to track, such as text and multimedia messages sent over Apple’s iMessage service, as well as video chats using FaceTime.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

GCHQ Intercepted Foreign Politicians’ Communications At G20 Summits

 

 

 

” Foreign politicians and officials who took part in two G20 summit meetings in London in 2009 had their computers monitored and their phone calls intercepted on the instructions of their British government hosts, according to documents seen by the Guardian. Some delegates were tricked into using internet cafes which had been set up by British intelligence agencies to read their email traffic.

The revelation comes as Britain prepares to host another summit on Monday – for the G8 nations, all of whom attended the 2009 meetings which were the object of the systematic spying. It is likely to lead to some tension among visiting delegates who will want the prime minister to explain whether they were targets in 2009 and whether the exercise is to be repeated this week.

There have often been rumours of this kind of espionage at international conferences, but it is highly unusual for hard evidence to confirm it and spell out the detail. The evidence is contained in documents – classified as top secret – which were uncovered by the NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden and seen by the Guardian. They reveal that during G20 meetings in April and September 2009 GCHQ used what one document calls “ground-breaking intelligence capabilities” to intercept the communications of visiting delegations.

This included:

• Setting up internet cafes where they used an email interception programme and key-logging software to spy on delegates’ use of computers;

• Penetrating the security on delegates’ BlackBerrys to monitor their email messages and phone calls;

• Supplying 45 analysts with a live round-the-clock summary of who was phoning who at the summit;” 

 

 

More at the Guardian

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Big Politically Correct Brother

 

 

” A few weeks after 9/11, when government was hastily retooling its 1970s hijacking procedures for the new century, I wrote a column for the National Post of Canada and various other publications that, if you’re so interested, is preserved in my anthology The Face of the Tiger. It began by noting the observation of President Bush’s transportation secretary, Norman Mineta, that if “a 70-year-old white woman from Vero Beach, Florida” and “a Muslim young man” were in line to board a flight, he hoped there would be no difference in the scrutiny to which each would be subjected. The TSA was then barely a twinkle in Norm’s eye, and in that long-ago primitive era it would have seemed absurd to people that one day in America it would be entirely routine for wheelchair-bound nonagenarians to remove leg braces before boarding a plane or for kindergartners to stand patiently as three middle-aged latex-gloved officials poke around their genitals. Back then, the idea that everybody is a suspect still seemed slightly crazy. As I wrote in my column, “I’d love to see Norm get his own cop show:

“Captain Mineta, the witness says the serial rapist’s about 5′10″ with a thin mustache and a scar down his right cheek.”

“Okay, Sergeant, I want you to pull everyone in.”

“Pardon me?”

Everyone. Men, women, children. We’ll start in the Bronx and work our way through to Staten Island. What matters here is that we not appear to be looking for people who appear to look like the appearance of the people we’re looking for. There are eight million stories in the Naked City, and I want to hear all of them.”

A decade on, it would be asking too much for the new Norm to be confined to the airport terminal. There are 300 million stories in the Naked Republic, and the NSA hears all of them, 24/7. Even in the wake of a four-figure death toll, with the burial pit still smoking, the formal, visible state could not be honest about the very particular threat it faced, and so in the shadows the unseen state grew remorselessly, the blades of the harvester whirring endlessly but, don’t worry, only for “metadata.”

As I wrote in National Review in November 2001, “The bigger you make the government, the more you entrust to it, the more powers you give it to nose around the citizenry’s bank accounts, and phone calls, and e-mails, and favorite Internet porn sites, the more you’ll enfeeble it with the siren song of the soft target. The Mounties will no longer get their man, they’ll get you instead. Frankly, it’s a lot easier.” As the IRS scandal reminds us, you have to have a touchingly naïve view of government to believe that the 99.9999 percent of “metadata” entirely irrelevant to terrorism will not be put to some use, sooner or later.” 

 

 

As Usual Steyn Is Required Reading

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Google Project Loon: Using Balloons To Beam Internet From Stratosphere To Isolated Communities [VIDEO]

 

 

” Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) wants everyone in the world to be on the Internet, but two out of three people in the world still don’t have access. To address this problem, Google unveiled on Friday its latest “moonshot” solution to the problem: balloon-powered Internet access.

In a blog post, Google said that some of the biggest obstacles to universal Internet access are the geographical ones posed by jungles, archipelagos and mountains. These obstacles increase the cost of Internet connectivity, making it too expensive for most  inhabitants of these places to afford. Google’s planned solution to this problem is to avoid these obstacles altogether by using a ring of balloons in the stratosphere that will drift on stratospheric winds to beam Internet access to the hard-to-reach places below.”

 

 

 

    So what will it be ? The internet that as recently as just a few short weeks ago was looked upon as THE force for liberation of the people and the greatest tool for freedom since Gutenberg’s printing press has a taint about it now thanks to the US government , PRISM and the NSA .

   The stench of PRISM would not have been possible without the cooperation of the ISP giants such as Google and Facebook and now we are faced with not only a complete lack of trust in our government , but  private information businesses as well .

  That makes Google’s Loon Project a double-edged sword … Is it to be a Sword of Damocles ?

NSA Will Declassify Some Information On Surveillance Program

 

 

” National Security Agency’s collection of phone and email data so they can show Americans it has helped stop terrorism.

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers, R-Michigan, said Thursday he will put forward information as soon as next week, “that I think will allow the American public to better understand,” the NSA surveillance, which was leaked last week by a government contractor.

Rogers made the pledge after the head of the National Security Agency told lawmakers at a closed-door hearing that the government is not eavesdropping on America’s phone calls or reading their emails.”

 

The snooping did a great job in Boston and Ft Hood .

 

” Alexander said the NSA activities follow a strict “compliance regime” and are overseen by Congress, the Obama administration and the courts.”

 

    That’s confidence inspiring … the foxes minding the hen house . It’s a shame that all three branches of government have become so discredited through partisanship and corruption that the people can only view them all as adversaries as opposed to watchdogs .

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

27 Edward Snowden Quotes About U.S. Government Spying That Should Send A Chill Up Your Spine

 

 

” Would you be willing to give up what Edward Snowden has given up?

He has given up his high paying job, his home, his girlfriend, his family, his future and his freedom just to expose the monolithic spy machinery that the U.S. government has been secretly building to the world.

He says that he does not want to live in a world where there isn’t any privacy.  He says that he does not want to live in a world where everything that he says and does is recorded.  Thanks to Snowden, we now know that the U.S. government has been spying on us to a degree that most people would have never even dared to imagine. “

 

Here are a few samples … 

 

” #4 ”…I can’t in good conscience allow the US government to destroy privacy, internet freedom and basic liberties for people around the world with this massive surveillance machine they’re secretly building.”

#5 ”The NSA has built an infrastructure that allows it to intercept almost everything.”

#6 ”With this capability, the vast majority of human communications are automatically ingested without targeting. If I wanted to see your e-mails or your wife’s phone, all I have to do is use intercepts. I can get your e-mails, passwords, phone records, credit cards.”

#7 ”Any analyst at any time can target anyone. Any selector, anywhere… I, sitting at my desk, certainly had the authorities to wiretap anyone, from you or your accountant, to a federal judge, to even the President…”

 

 

You can read them all here

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edward Snowden: The Whistleblower Behind The NSA Surveillance Revelations

” The 29-year-old source behind the biggest intelligence leak in the NSA’s history explains his motives, his uncertain future and why he never intended on hiding in the shadows.

The individual responsible for one of the most significant leaks in US political history is Edward Snowden, a 29-year-old former technical assistant for the CIA and current employee of the defence contractor Booz Allen Hamilton. Snowden has been working at the National Security Agency for the last four years as an employee of various outside contractors, including Booz Allen and Dell.

The Guardian, after several days of interviews, is revealing his identity at his request. From the moment he decided to disclose numerous top-secret documents to the public, he was determined not to opt for the protection of anonymity. “I have no intention of hiding who I am because I know I have done nothing wrong,” he said.”

 

 

Read the accompanying article as well as watching the video .