Tag Archive: Government Surveillance


Last Week Tonight With John Oliver: Government Surveillance

 

 

 

Published on Apr 5, 2015

” There are very few government checks on what America’s sweeping surveillance programs are capable of doing. John Oliver sits down with Edward Snowden to discuss the NSA, the balance between privacy and security, and dick-pics.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

U.S. Spies On Millions Of Cars

 

 

 

 

” The Justice Department has been building a national database to track in real time the movement of vehicles around the U.S., a secret domestic intelligence-gathering program that scans and stores hundreds of millions of records about motorists, according to current and former officials and government documents.

  The primary goal of the license-plate tracking program, run by the Drug Enforcement Administration, is to seize cars, cash and other assets to combat drug trafficking, according to one government document. But the database’s use has expanded to hunt for vehicles associated with numerous other potential crimes, from kidnappings to killings to rape suspects, say people familiar with the matter.

  Officials have publicly said that they track vehicles near the border with Mexico to help fight drug cartels. What hasn’t been previously disclosed is that the DEA has spent years working to expand the database “throughout the United States,’’ according to one email reviewed by The Wall Street Journal.

Many state and local law-enforcement agencies are accessing the database for a variety of investigations, according to people familiar with the program, putting a wealth of information in the hands of local officials who can track vehicles in real time on major roadways.

  The database raises new questions about privacy and the scope of government surveillance. The existence of the program and its expansion were described in interviews with current and former government officials, and in documents obtained by the American Civil Liberties Union through a Freedom of Information Act request and reviewed by The Wall Street Journal. It is unclear if any court oversees or approves the intelligence-gathering.”

 

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Facebook Poses A Threat To Every American

 

 

 

 

 

” Participation on Facebook could prove very dangerous to your future well-being. There is a reason that Facebook is aligned with both the CIA and the NSA. I have several credible sources tell me that all data posted on Facebook goes into series of cataloged files which culminates with each person being assigned a “Threat Matrix Score”. The mere existence of a Threat Matrix Score should send chills up and the collective spines of every American.

  When, not if, martial law comes to America, this Threat Matrix Score, of which Facebook data is used to help compile an “enemies of the state” list, your future longevity could be seriously imperiled. It is too late for people like Steve Quayle, Doug and Joe Hagmann, John B. Wells and myself to avoid being placed on this list. However, it is not too late for the average American to limit their exposure by NOT posting and participating on Facebook. Facebook participation should come with a black box warning:

“ WARNING: The views expressed on Facebook can and will be used against you. Participation in Facebook could prove detrimental to the length of your life. All political dissident views are immediately reported to the CIA and the NSA. Risk of repeated exposure on Facebook could result in you and your family being hauled out of their homes at 3AM, separated from your family and sent to a re-education camp”. “

 

 

 

Read the rest

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Phone Firewall Identifies Rogue Cell Towers Trying To Intercept Your Calls

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

” Rogue cell phone towers can track your phone and intercept your calls, and it’s only a matter of time before they’re as ubiquitous as GPS trackers. But at least now there’s a way to spot them.

  A firewall developed by the German firm GSMK for its secure CryptoPhone lets people know when a rogue cell tower is connecting to their phone. It’s the first system available that can do this, though it’s currently only available for enterprise customers using Android phones.

  GSMK’s CryptoPhone 500, a high-end phone that costs more than $3,000 and combines a Samsung Galaxy S3 handset with the CryptoPhone operating system, offers strong end-to-end encryption along with a specially hardened Android operating system that offers more security than other Android phones and the patented baseband firewall that can alert customers when a rogue tower has connected to their phone or turned off the mobile network’s standard encryption.

  The problem with rogue cell towers is widespread. The FCC is assembling a task force to address the illicit use of so-called IMSI catchers—the devices that pose as rogue cell towers. But the task force will only examine the use of the devices by hackers and criminals—and possibly foreign intelligence agencies—not their warrantless use by law enforcement agencies bent on deceiving judges about their deployment of the powerful surveillance technology.

  IMSI catchers, stingrays or GSM interceptors as they’re also called, force a phone to connect to them by emitting a stronger signal than the legitimate towers around them. Once connected, pings from the phone can help the rogue tower identify a phone in the vicinity and track the phone’s location and movement while passing the phone signals on to a legitimate tower so the user still receives service. Some of the IMSI software and devices also intercept and decrypt calls and can be used to push malware to vulnerable phones, and they can also be used to locate air cards used with computers. The systems are designed to be portable so they can be operated from a van or on foot to track a phone as it moves. But some can be stationary and operate from, say, a military base or an embassy. The reach of a rogue tower can be up to a mile away, forcing thousands of phones in a region to connect to it without anyone knowing.”

 

 

Read more on how to protect yourself from “rogue cell towers” and Stingray spy technology

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Global Privacy Leaders React To Obama’s NSA Reform Proposals

 

 

” President Barack Obama delivered a speech this morning on proposed reforms to the NSA’s mass surveillance program. To help illustrate what human rights and other organizations around the world are saying internationally, we have highlighted some excerpts that raise awareness of the need to protect the privacy rights of everyone everywhere, regardless of national boundaries:

Carly Nyst, Legal Director of Privacy International:

“The reforms proposed by President Obama fundamentally ignore those who are spied on simply because they don’t have an American passport. We need genuine, effective changes that account for the way the world now communicates. Secret international intelligence-sharing arrangements must come to an end and human rights must be properly guaranteed to humans, not just American citizens.” “

 

 

Below is the complete video of Obama’s speech on NSA “reforms” .

 

 

Read on

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Americans Slowly Losing Their Privacy?

 

 

Judge Napolitano On Cavuto

 

 

 

” FNC senior judicial analyst Judge Andrew Napolitano on the impact of the NSA snooping scandal on Americans’ privacy and freedom.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SNOWDEN: NSA’S INDISCRIMINATE SPYING ‘COLLAPSING’

 

 

 

” National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden wrote in a lengthy “open letter to the people of Brazil” that he’s been inspired by the global debate ignited by his release of thousands of National Security Agency documents, and that the NSA’s culture of indiscriminate global espionage “is collapsing.”

  In the letter, obtained on Tuesday by The Associated Press, Snowden commended the Brazilian government for its strong stand against U.S. spying.

  He said he’d be willing to help the South American nation investigate NSA spying on its soil, but could not fully participate in doing so without being granted political asylum, because the U.S. “government will continue to interfere with my ability to speak.” “

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kimmel’s Joke About Crazy Tin-Foil Hat People Has A Surprising Punchline

 

 

 

   Jimmy Kimmell makes a surprising admission on the Tin Foil Hat Brigade’s contention that the Government is tracking their every move … Gee , those crazy , conspiracy theorists that have been subject to nothing but scorn and ridicule by the intelligentsia for all these years were right all along … and he gets in a well-deserved shot at Obamacare to boot .

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Meet CO-TRAVELER: The NSA’s Cell Phone Location Tracking Program

 

 

” An article yesterday in the Washington Post disclosed the NSA’s massive cell phone location program. The program, codenamed CO-TRAVELER, is designed to track who meets with whom and covers everyone who carries a cell phone, all around the world.

  With neither public debate nor court authorization, CO-TRAVELER collects billions of records daily of cell phone user location information. It maps the relationships of cell phone users across global mobile network cables, gathering data about who you are physically with and how often your movements intersect with other cell phone users. The program even tracks when your phone is turned on or off.”

 

 

 

 

” The trillions of collected records, which add up to twice the amount of data in the Library of Congress’ print collection, are saved and stored in the NSA’s mammoth database called FASCIA.  While allegedly aimed at foreigners and mobile phones overseas, the NSA admits that it has “incidentally” collected location information on U.S. persons.

  CO-TRAVELER ignores fundamental values in the Constitution the NSA has sworn to uphold, including the right against unreasonable search and seizure as well as freedom of association. Thinking globally, the program disregards international human rights law, which is currently in the process of being reaffirmed in a draft resolution by the UN General Assembly.”

 

 

 

 

 

   For the German speakers among us here is the only video we could find on the NSA’s Co-Traveler program . Big Brother has truly arrived . 

 

 

 

2 + 2 = 5

 

 

 

 

 

Welcome to the twenty first century . Orwell wasn’t wrong , just off by a few years .

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lavabit To Release Code As Open Source, As It Creates Dark Mail Alliance To Create Even More Secure Email

 

 

” This whole morning, while all these stories of the NSA hacking directly into Google and Yahoo’s network have been popping up, I’ve been at the Inbox Love conference, all about the future of email. The “keynote” that just concluded, was Ladar Levison from Lavabit (with an assist from Mike Janke from Silent Circle), talking about the just announced Dark Mail Alliance, between Lavabit and Silent Circle — the other “security” focused communications company who shut down its email offering after Lavabit was forced to shut down. Levison joked that they went with “Dark Mail” because “Black Mail” might have negative connotations. Perhaps just as interesting, Levison is going to be releasing the Lavabit source code (and doing a Kickstarter project to support this), with the hope that many others can set up their own secure email using Lavabit’s code, combined with the new Dark Mail Alliance secure technology which will be available next year. 

As noted, the Alliance is working on trying to create truly secure and surveillance-proof email. Of course, nothing is ever 100% surveillance proof — and both members of the alliance have previously claimed that it was almost impossible to do surveillance-proof email. However, they’re claiming they’ve had a “breakthrough” that will help.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Google Launches Tools For Evading Government Control

 

 

Digital Attack Map

 

 

 

” With the Internet playing an ever-greater role in disseminating information and connecting political opponents of authoritarian regimes, governments with a taste for deterring the same are stepping up surveillance, efforts to control access to inconvenient facts and opinions, and attacks on the Web presents of the opposition. As we all know, even officials in the land of the free have a taste for online snoopiness. So what an appropriate moment for Internet giant Google to step forward with new tools intended to help online users escape surveillance and control, and to deliver their messages even when under cyberattack by the authorities.

On its official blog, Google announced the launch of Project Shield, to help protect websites from distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks, the Digital Attack Map, which tracks DDoS attcks in realtime, so they can be exposed as they happen, and uProxy, a browser extension for Chrome and Firefox that works like an easily shared personalized virtual private network (VPN) to allow people living under controlling regimes to surf the Web via connections to users elsewhere, evading censorship and surveillance.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Transparency Troubles: Secrecy concerns mount for Obama in 2nd term

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” Secret courts. Secret emails. Phone surveillance. Drones. The list of cloak-and-dagger tactics employed by the Obama administration — and those that preceded it — keeps growing, as NSA leaker Ed Snowden feeds classified materials to the media and other reports show the extent of the U.S. government’s more opaque dealings.

  If this were any other administration, perhaps the fallout would be minimal. But President Obama ran on a message of open government. When he was sworn into office in 2009, he declared his presidency would be “the most open and transparent in history.”

  Now in his second term, those claims have been challenged by a host of revelations — from controversies over secret mails to the steady drip of information about NSA surveillance. FoxNews.com takes a look at six controversies that have clouded the transparency message. ”

Read it all

   Yesterday we brought to your attention part one of an article from the von Mises Institute ” The Ethics Of Whistleblowing “ . Today we are pleased to bring you part two …

 

The Ethics of State Secrecy

 

 

 

 

” The foregoing principles discussed in Part I of our analysis vitiate any allegation of criminal conduct by Snowden resting on his alleged contractual duties to the NSA. His disclosures of NSA documents were certainly “unauthorized disclosures” as has been charged, but there is no reason that any government authorization should be required. Indeed, it is quite absurd to suggest that government permission should be required to disclose evidence of government criminality. But what of the remaining property-based claim that Snowden’s actions involve the “theft” of government property?

This question can be dealt with in a similar manner, by consideration of the ordinary rules pertaining to the use of property in criminal dealings. When a private firm commits a crime using its own property as an instrument of wrongdoing it loses the right to claim ownership as a safeguard against investigation. If an investigator confiscates digging equipment and barrels of toxic waste from a private firm accused of dumping these on the property of others it is no bar to this action if the firm presents a receipt showing that the equipment belongs to them. (Indeed, this would be taken as further evidence linking them to the alleged crime.) The same applies to documentary evidence of a crime — it may legitimately be taken by an investigator as a means of proving criminal wrongdoing, notwithstanding the normal ownership claim that would apply to the item.[1] “

 

Read It All … part one , part two .

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edward Snowden Released This Statement Via WIKILEAKS:

 

 

” One week ago I left Hong Kong after it became clear that my freedom and safety were under threat for revealing the truth. My continued liberty has been owed to the efforts of friends new and old, family, and others who I have never met and probably never will. I trusted them with my life and they returned that trust with a faith in me for which I will always be thankful.

On Thursday, President Obama declared before the world that he would not permit any diplomatic “wheeling and dealing” over my case. Yet now it is being reported that after promising not to do so, the President ordered his Vice President to pressure the leaders of nations from which I have requested protection to deny my asylum petitions.

This kind of deception from a world leader is not justice, and neither is the extralegal penalty of exile. These are the old, bad tools of political aggression. Their purpose is to frighten, not me, but those who would come after me.”

 

Read the whole thing

 

 

 

 

 

 

Obama To Meet Privacy Oversight Board To Try To Reassure Public On Spying

 

 

” President Barack Obama will meet on Friday with members of a privacy oversight watchdog board to try to reassure Americans rattled by revelations of the U.S. government’s vast monitoring of phone and Internet data.

Obama is scrambling to show he has credibility on the issue after coming under fire for the scope of surveillance conducted by the National Security Agency, which was revealed in a series of disclosures by former government contractor Edward Snowden.

The president will hold talks with members of the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board, a five-person independent agency that has been largely dormant since 2008 and held its first full-fledged meeting on Wednesday after the Senate confirmed David Medine as its chairman last month.”

 

    This strikes us too little too late coming from a president who has exhausted all credibility as regards his alleged respect for our precious constitutional rights . More smoke and mirrors from an administration with a demonstrably horrid record on transparency and open government .

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DHS Insider: It’s About To Get Very Ugly

 

 

” “If anyone thinks that what’s going on right now with all of this surveillance of American citizens is to fight some sort of foreign enemy, they’re delusional. If people think that this ‘scandal’ can’t get any worse, it will, hour by hour, day by day. This has the ability to bring down our national leadership, the administration and other senior elected officials working in collusion with this administration, both Republican and Democrats. People within the NSA, the Department of Justice, and others, they know who they are, need to come forth with the documentation of ‘policy and practice’ in their possession, disclose what they know, fight what’s going on, and just do their job. I have never seen anything like this, ever.

First, they intend to use the Justice Department to silence journalists like in the Rosen case, but they won’t stop there. They will use a host of national security policies, laws, letters, whatever to take out the bigger threats,” he stated.

Next, they will use some sort of excuse, an external threat, and I believe it will be a combination of the economic collapse and a Mid-East war that will begin in Syria to throttle the information that is accessible on the Internet. And you know what? People will believe it!”

Based on what I’ve seen, most of which I should not have seen, the DHS is co-ordinating efforts with other federal agencies to begin to threaten American citizens with incarceration for non-compliance. You know the old talk of color coded lists? Well, this is what they will be using. People exposing the truth about Benghazi, killing the U.S. Dollar, even those questioning Obama?s legal status and eligibility to be President are the current targets. And they’ve had five long years to get to this point. The ugly truth is that these policies and practices did not start under Obama, but long before. This is about the killing of our Constitutional Republic. The murder of our country and the stripping of our rights. While many have been preoccupied with one issue, few have seen the bigger issue. This is the ‘end game,’ for all the marbles,” he stated.” 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Best selling thriller writer Brad Thor talks with The Blaze about his new book ” Black List ” and the creeping “surveillance society ” that we now find ourselves in .

” “If I had been around with George Orwell back when he wrote ‘1984’ and I knew what I know now, he would have told me I was crazy,” Thor said, chuckling to himself before getting serious again. “Orwell couldn’t have predicted this.”

Flashback to 1975, he explained, when Sen. Frank Church appeared on NBC’s “Meet the Press” and issued a dire warning about America’s invasive surveillance capabilities:

“[America’s intelligence gathering] capability at any time could be turned around on the American people and no American would have any privacy left. Such the capability to monitor everything: telephone conversations, telegrams, it doesn’t matter. There would be no place to hide.” “