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Plus ca change?

President Obama unveils new policy directives for the NSA. Full text of the speech. And for lols, here are some photos also from Slate.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering on Jan 17, 2014 - 142 comments

The NSA Raven

Once upon a database query, while I pondered weak security,
And many avenues of access via backdoor,
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a wiretapping,
As of some one gently sniffing, sniffing at our server's door.
“‘Tis some hacker,” I muttered, “tapping at our server door
Or just a virus, nothing more.” -- The NSA Raven
posted by Chocolate Pickle on Dec 11, 2013 - 9 comments

France in the NSA's crosshairs

Using documents leaked by US whistleblower Edward Snowden, Le Monde reports that the NSA has been intercepting French telephone communications on a massive scale. Under a programme called 'US-985D', the NSA is collecting not only metadata but recordings of telephone calls: From 10 December 2012 to 8 January 2013, 70.3 million French telephone calls were recorded.
These revelations came just as US Secretary of State John Kerry arrived in Paris on a pre-scheduled visit. Francois Hollande is not pleased.
posted by anemone of the state on Oct 21, 2013 - 166 comments

Clarence B Jones, wiretapping and Dr Martin Luther King.

Thanks to the FBI, he has a vast — and accurate — archive of the time. "If I have a fuzzy memory or hazy memory, I look at it, and there's a verbatim transcript of the conversations. Clarence Jones, Dr Martin Luther King's legal advisor, talks to NPR about working with Dr King, the metaphor he supplied to the "I have a dream" speech and the extent of the surveillance of King and his associates by the US security establishment. [more inside]
posted by running order squabble fest on Aug 27, 2013 - 8 comments

Privacy in an age of publicity

The Secret History of Privacy. "Something creepy happened when mystery became secular, secrecy became a technology, and privacy became a right..." [Via]
posted by homunculus on Jun 17, 2013 - 26 comments

ReCISPA

The TechNet trade association has been lobbying for CISPA, a bill the EFF describes as a “misguided cybersecurity bill that would create a gaping exception to existing privacy law while doing little to address palpable and pressing online security issues” (previously). Google's Eric Schmidt signed TechNet's letter supporting CISPA. [more inside]
posted by jeffburdges on Apr 17, 2013 - 67 comments

If you've got nothing to hide

"Now we have three former NSA officials confirming the basic facts. Neither the Constitution nor federal law allow the government to collect massive amounts of communications and data of innocent Americans and fish around in it in case it might find something interesting. This kind of power is too easily abused. We're extremely pleased that more whistleblowers have come forward to help end this massive spying program." - the EFF announces that three former employees of the NSA have come forward to testify in their lawsuit against the NSA over the domestic spying program.
posted by crayz on Jul 8, 2012 - 31 comments

Jimmy Carter

"The United States is abandoning its role as the global champion of human rights." - Jimmy Carter [more inside]
posted by jeffburdges on Jun 25, 2012 - 86 comments

CISPA

The Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA) is a controversial surveillance bill that proposes broad legal exemptions for the U.S. government and private companies to share "cyber threat intelligence" that go well beyond the FISA Amendments Act which legalized the NSA's warrantless wiretapping program. [more inside]
posted by jeffburdges on Apr 23, 2012 - 79 comments

Government surveillance changes in India

Research In Motion has established a surveillance facility in India following a authorities applying pressure. Google, Skype, Twitter and Facebook are also under pressure to provide greater surveillance assistance. [more inside]
posted by jeffburdges on Oct 30, 2011 - 26 comments

Google, Wyden, Kirk, and Chaffetz

American law enforcement demands for Google users’ personal information surged by 29 percent during the past six months according to Google's transparency report. [more inside]
posted by jeffburdges on Oct 29, 2011 - 41 comments

Your wikipedia is currently not available.

In a protest against the Wiretapping Act that is set to be discussed in parliament this week, the Italian edition of Wikipedia has been blocked, with all access being redirected to a single page statement (also available in five other languages); so far no timeframe for the protest action has been stated. Comment in support by Wikimedia on this unprecedented initiative; an editor leaves in disagreement; other users discuss.
posted by progosk on Oct 5, 2011 - 24 comments

... and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

The Senate Select Committee on Intelligence has supposedly started holding closed door meetings on extending the FISA Amendment Act to again extend the NSA's domestic warrantless wiretapping program. [more inside]
posted by jeffburdges on Jul 28, 2011 - 38 comments

And how much better to die in all the happy period of undisillusioned youth, to go out in a blaze of light, than to have your body worn out and old and illusions shattered.

A FOIA request for Ernest Hemingway's FBI file has revealed that J. Edgar Hoover had placed him under surveillance due to his activities in Cuba. His fear that the FBI was spying on him was previously viewed as a consequence of the mental deterioration that eventually lead to his suicide.
posted by jeffburdges on Jul 2, 2011 - 76 comments

Not an Er in it

Hugh Grant's Linda Tripp. The movie star puts his press pass in his hat band and makes the front page with an exposé of a paparazzi. [more inside]
posted by Diablevert on Apr 13, 2011 - 35 comments

Spy Files: Illegal Domestic Spying

ACLU launches "Spyfiles" to track domestic surveillance. "The American Civil Liberties Union launched a new website Tuesday to track incidents of domestic political surveillance by the government along with a report (PDF) claiming such incidents have increased steadily since the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. According to the report there have been 111 incidents of illegal domestic political surveillance since 9/11 in 33 states and the District of Columbia. The website, Spyfiles, will serve as the ACLU's online home for all news and reports of domestic spying."
posted by homunculus on Jun 29, 2010 - 12 comments

Don't shoot like the police.

"In at least three states (Illinois, Massachusetts, and Maryland), it is now illegal to record an on-duty police officer even if the encounter involves you and may be necessary to your defense, and even if the recording is on a public street where no expectation of privacy exists. The legal justification for arresting the “shooter” rests on existing wiretapping or eavesdropping laws, with statutes against obstructing law enforcement sometimes cited." Previously. One of the illegal recordings, embedded in an article. [more inside]
posted by SixteenTons on Jun 5, 2010 - 83 comments

Hello? Can you hear me now?

Karsten Nohl and a team of fellow researchers has cracked the 64-bit encryption used in 80% of the world's GSM phones. Nohl had previously cracked the encryption in the MIFARE smartcard system, demonstrating that the encryption on that device can be cracked in approximately no time whatsoever. These, of course, aren't the first gaping holes in cellphone security to come to light; indeed, lack of security seems to be part of the design spec. Perhaps all new cellphones should be just be distributed with a deck of cards.
posted by kaibutsu on Dec 28, 2009 - 51 comments

Who said what now?

Wired: Obama Sides With Bush in Spy Case. "The Obama administration fell in line with the Bush administration Thursday when it urged a federal judge to set aside a ruling in a closely watched spy case weighing whether a U.S. president may bypass Congress and establish a program of eavesdropping on Americans without warrants."
posted by blue_beetle on Jan 23, 2009 - 86 comments

NSA Spying: Cat now out of bag.

Russell Tice, former NSA security analyst, just came on the Keith Olbermann show revealing that the NSA's domestic surveillance programs were not only far greater in scope than formerly thought, but also were specifically targeted at journalists.
posted by dunkadunc on Jan 22, 2009 - 82 comments

NSA Has ‘Routinely’ Listened In On Americans’ Phone Calls, Passed Around ‘Salacious’ Bits

"Ever since President Bush confirmed the existence of a National Security Administration wiretapping program in late 2005, he has insisted it is aimed only at terrorists’ calls and protects Americans’ civil liberties ("This is a limited program designed to prevent attacks on the United States of America — and I repeat: limited.")....However, ABC News reports [text with embedded video] that the NSA frequently listened to and transcribed the private phone calls of Americans abroad....These conversations included those of American soldiers stationed in Iraq and American aid workers abroad, such as Doctors Without Borders."* [more inside]
posted by ericb on Oct 9, 2008 - 75 comments

Good dance moves for two right feet

Obama votes to grant telecom companies immunity for illegal wiretapping and "refines" his stance against Iraq to consider indefinite, undefined or vaguely defined occupation. One remarks about Obama's recent move to the right with a new campaign logo. Obama denies any change in policy.
posted by Blazecock Pileon on Jul 9, 2008 - 356 comments

Decision on FISA delayed

Federal Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) delayed. Senator Dodd says, "This bill does not say, 'Trust the American people; Trust the courts and judges and juries to come to just decisions.' Retroactive immunity sends a message that is crystal clear: 'Trust me.'" Obama talks about why he supports the bill. Senate may vote after the Fourth of July recess. (previously)
posted by joannemerriam on Jul 4, 2008 - 156 comments

Shred the banana peel

State Secrets: A government misstep in a wiretapping case. A New Yorker article on the Kafkaesque case of Al Haramain v. Bush. [Via Threat Level.] [more inside]
posted by homunculus on Apr 26, 2008 - 20 comments

Senate Votes for Retroactive immunity

Senate votes for retroactive telecom immunity 67 senators voted against the Dodd/Feingold amendment to strip telecom immunity from the Protect America Act. It still needs to be pass the house. [more inside]
posted by delmoi on Feb 12, 2008 - 186 comments

Who's Soft on Terrorism?

Who's soft on terrorism? Surely not the Democrats, who are about to enable the National Security Agency to extend its secret domestic wiretapping program after saying otherwise for months. Surely not the Republican White House, determined to rush out a new Osama bin Laden video even if it burns an intelligence connection spying on Al Qaeda that has been carefully cultivated for years.
posted by digaman on Oct 9, 2007 - 81 comments

"If you scratch a paranoid, you find a narcissist"

What's the Big Secret? Four surveillance experts try to figure out what the NSA's superclassified wiretapping program really is (hint: it may have something to do with the filters). They don't seem to realize that this kind of reckless public discussion means some Americans are going to die. [Via Threat Level.]
posted by homunculus on Aug 30, 2007 - 47 comments

Can you hear me now?

Illegal wiretaps to end.
posted by EarBucket on Jan 17, 2007 - 53 comments

Can you hear the Constitution now?

U.S. District Judge Anna Diggs Taylor has ruled that warrantless wiretapping by the Bush Administration's National Security Agency is unconstitutional, saying it violates rights to free speech and privacy. Judge Taylor, a veteran of the civil rights movement and the first black female federal district judge in the U.S. 6th Circuit, was appointed to the US District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan by President Carter. Legal experts expect the decision to be overturned by the 6th Circuit sitting en banc. Background on the case by Glenn Greenwald: "The theory of the lawsuit -- [is that warrantless wiretapping's] mere existence deters citizens from freely exercising their free speech rights".
posted by orthogonality on Aug 17, 2006 - 91 comments

All your data are belong to us.

Privacy Schmivacy On the eve of its hearing on charges that it assisted in the government’s illegal spying on millions of Americans, AT&T, the largest phone company in the United States, has changed its privacy policy to clearly establish its ownership of its customers’ personal account information. In its revised policy, AT&T makes it clear that “while your account information may be personal to you, these records constitute business records that are owned by AT&T. As such, AT&T may disclose such records to protect its legitimate business interests, safeguard others, or respond to legal process." Oh, really?
posted by squirrel on Jun 22, 2006 - 53 comments

Wired-tapped

Crashing the Wiretapper's Ball Wired News snuck a reporter into the ISS World Conference, a no-press-allowed conference for companies that sell wiretapping equipment to law enforcement, ISPs, telcos, and repressive governments. Hilarity ensues. via
posted by pithy comment on Jun 1, 2006 - 21 comments

You say to-may-to, I say to-mah-to...

Taste's great! Less filling! So did "several former judges who served on the panel also voiced skepticism at a Senate hearing about the president's constitutional authority to order wiretapping on Americans without a court order" or did "FISA judges say Bush within law"? Just in case you doubted that different newspapers present news stories (even those with official audio coverage available!) differently...
posted by twsf on Mar 29, 2006 - 15 comments

The Agency That Could Be Big Brother

The Agency That Could Be Big Brother [when this guy talks about NSA, he is authoritative] "DEEP in a remote, fog-layered hollow near Sugar Grove, W.Va., hidden by fortress-like mountains, sits the country's largest eavesdropping bug. Located in a "radio quiet" zone, the station's large parabolic dishes secretly and silently sweep in millions of private telephone calls and e-mail messages an hour"...
posted by Postroad on Dec 26, 2005 - 100 comments

Echelon: 60 Minutes discussion

Echelon This is what we know--or do not know--about NSA prgram called Echelon, from 60 Minute show (TV) in 2000. If we assume this what had been going on and there were some sort of restraints for internal spying, then what is going on now? This evening I had heard on radio that the White House claimed that only calls going in and out of the country might be monitored. But this early interview suggests that such calls were monitored previous to the "new" approach. Why were legal restraints put in place calling for judicial hearings? Because of spying abuse done under Nixon. Those restraints are now removed.
posted by Postroad on Dec 19, 2005 - 158 comments

Signaling Vulnerabilities in Wiretapping Systems

Signaling Vulnerabilities in Wiretapping Systems. The technology used for decades by law enforcement agents to wiretap telephones has a security flaw that allows the person being wiretapped to stop the recorder remotely [bugmenot]. It is also possible to falsify the numbers dialed [pdf].
posted by event on Nov 30, 2005 - 5 comments

FBI adds to wiretap wish list

Proposal to have companies rewire their networks to support easy wiretapping by police "A far-reaching proposal from the FBI, made public Friday, would require all broadband Internet providers, including cable modem and DSL companies, to rewire their networks to support easy wiretapping by police. The FBI's request to the Federal Communications Commission aims to give police ready access to any form of Internet-based communications. If approved as drafted, the proposal could dramatically expand the scope of the agency's wiretap powers, raise costs for cable broadband companies and complicate Internet product development." Read more about the FBI's proposal at Cnet.com. or MSNBC. But where is the actual proposal?
posted by fluffycreature on Mar 15, 2004 - 8 comments

FBI Wiretaps reach record numbers

Thanks to PATRIOT Act, FBI wiretaps reach record numbers. 'Thanks to the bundle of anti-terrorism measures known as the USA Patriot Act, the FBI is conducting a "record amount" of electronic surveillance, including the use of wiretaps and bugs, according to an FBI spokesman and a Justice Department budget document. Yet the bounty perpetuates an old problem: The bureau can't keep up with all the information pouring in.'
posted by busbyism on Feb 24, 2004 - 48 comments

Bug Bug Buggy

Bug Bug Buggy - Electronic bugging devices have been found at offices used by French and German delegations at European Union headquarters in Brussels. I think I can guess where fingers will get pointed....
posted by tomcosgrave on Mar 19, 2003 - 11 comments

Secret U.S. court OKs electronic spying

Secret U.S. court OKs electronic spying Big Brother much? John Ashcroft is well on his way to becoming the next J. Edgar Hoover, or worse. The government can already secretly spy on what books we're reading, thanks to the Patriot Act. Previous MeFi threads have covered the evils of Total Information Awareness and how it makes everyone a suspect. Now a "secret court" gives the government a green light to spy while the ACLU tried to figure out if there is any recourse.
posted by Dok Millennium on Nov 19, 2002 - 39 comments

Bye Bye, Privacy.

Bye Bye, Privacy. Despite opposition from civil liberties groups worldwide, the European parliament bowed to pressure from individual governments, led by Britain, and approved legislation to give police the power to access the communications records of every phone and internet user.
posted by tpoh.org on May 31, 2002 - 17 comments

The register

The register chimes in on new anti-terrorist bills that attack due process, the fourth amendment, and encryption. Sample letters and information on how to contact your reps are available at the Electronic Frontier Foundation. Act quickly, because congress sure will.
posted by skallas on Sep 24, 2001 - 42 comments

Don't make phone calls in Vegas. The Mob is listening.

Don't make phone calls in Vegas. The Mob is listening. Whores! Wiretapping! Kevin Mitnick! Men nicknamed 'Aspirins' with electric drills! And more, courtesy of The Register. How widespread is this kind of telco infiltration? Should we trust any phone calls, anywhere?
posted by darukaru on May 15, 2001 - 7 comments

The state of Florida has charged a teenage student with a felony violation of a wiretapping law for taping her chemistry class lecture.
posted by jfuller on Feb 28, 2001 - 32 comments

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