— Stan (@StanM3) February 16, 2018
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Intelligence Community Says US Had Better Reauthorize Surveillance… Or Else
By Caitlin Johnstone
The editorial board of the Washington Post, whose sole owner is a CIA contractor, has published a predictably fact-challenged op-ed arguing that congress must reauthorize the Orwellian surveillance program known as Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, which is deliberately used to collect communications of US citizens.
WaPo, which to this day continues to violate universal journalistic protocol by refusing to disclose its $600 million conflict of interest when reporting on the US intelligence community, just so happens to once again find itself in full agreement with that same US intelligence community. In a new joint statement by the Director of National Intelligence Daniel Coats, CIA Director Mike Pompeo, FBI Director Christopher Wray, NSA Director Michael Rogers, and Attorney General Jeff Sessions, the US intelligence community warns that should congress fail to reauthorize Section 702, something very, very bad may happen to America.
Of the 440 questions asked Wednesday, about 20 garnered responses from the panelists, which included American Civil Liberties Union attorney Ashley Gorski, ACLU legislative counsel Neema Singh Guliani, and Snowden.
As early as tonight, Congress plans to sneak an expansion of mass surveillance into law. Only your call, right now, can stop them. The @ACLU and I are here to help, doing a live Q&A on @reddit in a half hour (https://t.co/qlo4REMoFl @ 2PM EST). Ask us anything! (SuddenlySnowden) pic.twitter.com/ujmKn7NspF
— Edward Snowden (@Snowden) December 20, 2017
“How does calling the congress members help if the lawmakers are bought by lobbyists and do what they want anyway?”“What can be done about people that don’t care about mass surveillance and use arguments like ‘I have nothing to hide’ or ‘I already know the NSA and companies like Google or Facebook can read or hear through my messages and I accept it’” and “What if I like being watched?”
To which Snowden responded to by posting:
We are fast approaching the technological and political realization of George Orwell’s dystopian promise for humanity. In the classic work 1984, Orwell describes a tightly controlled future where technocratic elites have stamped out individualism with total information awareness and total surveillance from the home, to the office, to the street.
There was of course no way of knowing whether you were being watched at any given moment. How often, or on what system, the Thought Police plugged in on any individual wire was guesswork. It was even conceivable that they watched everybody all the time. But at any rate they could plug in your wire whenever the wanted to. You had to live – did live, from habit that became instinct – in the assumption that every sound you made was overheard, and, except in darkness, every movement scrutinized. ~ George Orwell, 1984
As consumers sheepishly allow smart devices into their homes, real-time audio and video of personal space is being uploaded to the Web for use by corporations and government. The encroachment into the home with this two-way monitoring is unsettling, but for years new we have been witnessing the explosion of CCTV cameras on the streets of major cities around the world.
England creates its very own police thought crime unit to patrol the internet. https://t.co/1a5utCmOth
— Alois Irlmaier (@AloisIrlmaier) December 17, 2017
Just in time for Christmas, the Deep State wants to give America the gift that keeps on giving: never-ending mass surveillance.
I’m not referring to the kind of surveillance carried out by that all-knowing and all-seeing Jolly Old St. Nick and his informant the Elf on the Shelf (although, to be fair, they have helped to acclimate us to a world in which we’re always being watched and judged by higher authorities).
No, this particular bit of Yuletide gift-giving comes courtesy of the Deep State (a.k.a. the Surveillance State, Police State, Shadow Government and black-ops spy agencies).
Arizona citizens are now in a government database that uses facial recognition technology to track them simply for getting a driver’s license.
This allows federal and local law enforcement to use the “perpetual lineup” of suspects not accused of a crime to see if someone is wanted for a crime, Arizona Capitol Times reported.
The state says that the program is to prevent identity theft and fraud. Here’s how it works according to Arizona Capitol Times.
After someone at the Motor Vehicle Division takes your photo, your face is scanned by a system based on a proprietary algorithm that analyzes facial features.
The system compares your face against the 19 million photos in the state’s driver’s license database to look for similarities. If an image is similar enough, the system will flag it for further review.
A team of researchers at Stanford University have trained artificial intelligence algorithms to observe and study millions of images on Google Street View to determine how people vote by the make of their car. The algorithms were trained to recognize the make, model, and year of every car produced since 1990, in more than 50 million Google Street View images across 200 American cities.
The data on car types and location were then compared against the most comprehensive demographic database in use today, the American Community Survey, and against presidential election voting data to estimate demographic factors such as race, education, income and voter preferences, the Stanford News reported.
In one of the most important Fourth Amendment battles of the digital age, the Supreme Court is preparing to tackle a case involving law enforcement accessing cellphone records without a warrant.
On Wednesday the US Supreme Court is scheduled to address the case of Carpenter v. United States to determine whether or not law enforcement should be required to obtain a warrant before accessing the cellphone records of an individual. The case deals with a set of armed robberies that took place between December 2010 and March 2011. Several men worked together to rob RadioShack and T-Mobile stores in the Michigan and Ohio areas, stealing cell phones and holding store employees and customers hostage in the process.
Imagine you are in the middle of your typical day-to-day activities. Maybe you are driving, spending time with family, or working. If you are like most people, your phone is at your side on a daily basis. Little do you know that, at any time, police and law enforcement could be looking at information stored on your phone.
You haven’t done anything wrong. You haven’t been asked for permission. You aren’t suspected of any crime.
Police have the power to collect your location along with the numbers of your incoming and outgoing calls and intercept the content of call and text communication. They can do all of this without you ever knowing about it.
If someone secretly installed software on your computer that recorded every single keystroke that you made, would you be alarmed? Of course you would be, and that is essentially what is taking place on more than 400 of the most popular websites on the entire Internet. For a long time we have known that nothing that we do on the Internet is private, but this new revelation is deeply, deeply disturbing. In my novel entitled “The Beginning Of The End”, I attempted to portray the “Big Brother” surveillance grid which is constantly evolving all around us, but even I didn’t know that things were quite this bad. According to an article that was just published by Ars Technica, when you visit the websites that have installed this secret surveillance code, it is like someday is literally “looking over your shoulder”…
If you have the uncomfortable sense someone is looking over your shoulder as you surf the Web, you’re not being paranoid. A new study finds hundreds of sites—including microsoft.com, adobe.com, and godaddy.com—employ scripts that record visitors’ keystrokes, mouse movements, and scrolling behavior in real time, even before the input is submitted or is later deleted.
Go back and read that again.
Slowly but surely, Americans have been conditioned to give up any expectations of privacy in the name of public safety and/or for simple technological conveniences. However, there remains, even today, a tiny sliver of the population that would prefer to not have their every movement tracked no matter how antiquated that makes them look. Be that as it may, per a recent discovery from Quartz, those old-school folks better hope they haven’t been using an Android device for the past 11 months.
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For years, civil libertarians have warned that Great Britain has been in a free fall from the criminalization of speech to the expansion of the surveillance state. Now the government is pursuing a law that would make the repeated viewing of extremist Internet sites a crime punishable to up to 15 years in prison. It appears that the government is not satiated by their ever-expanding criminalization of speech. They now want to criminalize even viewing sites on the Internet. As always, officials are basically telling the public to “trust us, we’re the government.” UK home secretary Amber Rudd is pushing the criminalization of reading as part of her anti-radicalization campaign . . . which turns out to be an anti-civil liberties campaign.
We have previously discussed the alarming rollback on free speech rights in the West, particularly in France (here and here and here and here and here and here) and England ( here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here). Even the Home Secretary has been accused of hate speech for criticizing immigrant workers.
Let’s face it, deep down in our heart of hearts we knew the honeymoon wouldn’t last forever. Our willingness to place eternal faith in an earth-straddling company that oversees the largest collection of information ever assembled was doomed to end in a bitter divorce from the start. After all, each corporation, just like humans, has their own political proclivities, and Google is certainly no exception. But we aren’t talking about your average car company here.