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NSA gathers more data from non-targeted people than we thought.

In Snowden’s view, the PRISM and Upstream programs have “crossed the line of proportionality.” [SLWAPO] [more inside]
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering on Jul 6, 2014 - 58 comments

How difficult is it for the NSA to spy on your Internet use?

On a bright April morning in Menlo Park, California, I became an Internet spy. This was easier than it sounds because I had a willing target. I had partnered with National Public Radio (NPR) tech correspondent Steve Henn for an experiment in Internet surveillance. For one week, while Henn researched a story, he allowed himself to be watched—acting as a stand-in, in effect, for everyone who uses Internet-connected devices. How much of our lives do we really reveal simply by going online? Ars tests Internet surveillance—by spying on an NPR reporter.
posted by Johnny Wallflower on Jun 16, 2014 - 15 comments

“The link between surveillance and fear"

A Suicide Bomber’s Guide to Online Privacy is the title of a keynote talk that Peter Watts (previously) gave to the International Association Of Privacy Professionals' Canada Symposium.
My immediate reaction was that this had to be some kind of cruel hoax. But they hooked me anyway, with what basically came down to a double-dare: “You’ve got a chance to talk to the regulators who enforce privacy law and the executives as big companies who make decisions about what to do with your data – what do you want to say to them?” Well. Since you ask.
[more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on May 20, 2014 - 32 comments

Snowden To Address Audience in First Live Q&A, Days After EU Testimony

The good news is that there are solutions. The weakness of mass surveillance is that it can very easily be made much more expensive through changes in technical standards: pervasive end-to-end encryption can quickly make indiscriminate surveillance impossible on a cost-effective basis. The result is that governments are likely to fall back to traditional, targeted surveillance founded upon an individualized suspicion. Governments cannot risk the discovery of their exploits by simply throwing attacks at every “endpoint,” or computer processor on the end of a network connection, in the world. Mass surveillance, passive surveillance, relies upon unencrypted or weakly encrypted communications at the global network level.

Edward Snowden submits written testimony to an EU committee investigating mass surveillance, and answers questions. The testimony takes place 3 days ahead of his highly anticipated SXSW appearance, to take place later today. Snowden is expected to speak about privacy, security, mass surveillance programs, free speech and whistle-blowing in a rare remote video appearance before a live audience.
Kansas Congressman Mike Pompeo finds this “deeply troubling” in a letter he's sent to the organizers of the conference.

Meanwhile, people who wish to #asksnowden questions can use the hashtag on Twitter. The talk is to take place at 12pm PT, today.
posted by fantodstic on Mar 10, 2014 - 89 comments

Outsourcing the surveillance state

A vast hidden surveillance network runs across America, powered by the repo industry
posted by shothotbot on Mar 5, 2014 - 46 comments

You can’t see Buzz Lightyear while backpacking

You don’t want your privacy: Disney and the meat space data race
The bands are even uniquely colored and monogrammed with your family members’ names so that they won’t get switched up. Why? Because they don’t want their database to get confused and think that you, a 45-year-old man, rode the teacups instead of your little son Timmy. This is one of the first examples I’ve seen of physical design (e.g., monogramming and coloring) for the sake of digital data purity.
If ever there was a testimony to the importance big data has achieved in business it’s this: We will now shape our physical world to create better streams of digital information.

posted by frimble on Jan 27, 2014 - 74 comments

Games are an opportunity!

CIA, FBI and Pentagon spies have infiltrated online games including World of Warcraft, Second Life and Xbox Live games.
posted by xowie on Dec 9, 2013 - 67 comments

Surveillance City State.

"Reality has caught us" Ubisoft game Watch Dogs, scheduled for release next year, models pervasive surveillance as a game. Polygon's Charlie Hall investigates Chicago's vast camera network and finds the fiction might be not so far away from reality. [more inside]
posted by Sebmojo on Oct 16, 2013 - 18 comments

Leveraging Imperfections of Sensors for Fingerprinting Smartphones

SensorPrint is a proposal to exploit subtle imperfections in accelerometers as a unique fingerprint for smartphones [pdf]. It's easy to demonstrate the idea: Generate a unique ID for your own device. SensorPrint joins other hardware-based tracking concepts in the pursuit of non-configurable, location-aware, un-deletable "cookies" on your mobile device. [via]
posted by Chinese Jet Pilot on Oct 10, 2013 - 5 comments

Laura Poitras

How Laura Poitras Helped Snowden Spill His Secrets. "It all started with her own fight against surveillance." [more inside]
posted by homunculus on Aug 13, 2013 - 94 comments

Privacy Instincts

Too much information: Our instincts for privacy evolved in tribal societies where walls didn't exist. No wonder we are hopeless oversharers. [Via]
posted by homunculus on Aug 8, 2013 - 14 comments

"Promises to get data retention, privacy policies in place later."

On July 30th, the Oakland City Council unanimously voted to accept $2 million in federal funds to create a 24/7 "Domain Awareness Center" that would "link surveillance cameras, license-plate readers, gunshot detectors, Twitter feeds, alarm notifications and other data into a unified 'situational awareness' tool for law enforcement." [more inside]
posted by brundlefly on Aug 1, 2013 - 53 comments

Why not?

After a six-month hiatus, Surveillance Camera Man (previously) is back with a new video, and a site of his own. (via waxy) [more inside]
posted by progosk on Jul 11, 2013 - 55 comments

Mail Covers for everybody.

Concerned about privacy and government surveillance? Not even snail-mail is safe: With Mail Isolation Control and Tracking, the US Postal Service is now photographing the exterior of every piece of paper mail in the United States, and storing the data indefinitely.
posted by anemone of the state on Jul 3, 2013 - 100 comments

I do not expect to see home again.

I will be satisfied if the federation of secret law, unequal pardon and irresistible executive powers that rule the world that I love are revealed even for an instant."
posted by bitmage on Jun 9, 2013 - 1038 comments

A bad day for privacy.

Washington Post: NSA and FBI are mining data from nine major tech companies in formerly secret program. Microsoft, Yahoo, Google, Facebook, PalTalk, AOL, Skype, YouTube, Apple are being monitored, with Dropbox "coming soon". The program, called PRISM, is reportedly the most prolific contributor to the President's Daily Brief.
posted by brentajones on Jun 6, 2013 - 415 comments

The FBI, the NSA and your phone records in 2013.

Glenn Greenwald has produced a secret court order requiring Verizon to hand over to the NSA "telephony metadata" of all local and international calls either originating or terminating in the United States on an "ongoing, daily basis," and further barring Verizon from disclosing to the public the fulfillment of this request or the existence of the court order itself. The ACLU refers to the practice as "beyond Orwellian." Direct link to the court order available here. [more inside]
posted by phaedon on Jun 6, 2013 - 488 comments

Dystopian Future (and present)

Panopticon is a documentary which details how our concept of privacy is altered by the modern surveillance state.
posted by antonymous on Apr 30, 2013 - 12 comments

Transcript of secret meeting between Julian Assange and Eric Schmidt

On the 23 of June, 2011 a secret five hour meeting took place between WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange, who was under house arrest in rural UK at the time and Google CEO Eric Schmidt. We provide here a verbatim transcript of the majority of the meeting; a close reading, particularly of the latter half, is revealing.
[more inside]
posted by palbo on Apr 25, 2013 - 40 comments

"what kind of surveillance society we should be fighting for"

Practical Ethics: Enlightened Surveillance?
Surrendering on surveillance might be the least bad option – of all likely civil liberty encroachments, this seemed the less damaging and hardest to resist. But that’s an overly defensive way of phrasing it – if ubiquitous surveillance and lack of privacy are the trends of the future, we shouldn’t just begrudgingly accept them, but demand that society gets the most possible out of them.
[more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Apr 18, 2013 - 23 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

IRS Claims Authority to Read Your E-Mail Without A Warrant

The ACLU reports that the IRS claims in an internal document that it has the authority to access citizens' online communications without a warrant. The IRS claimed in a 2009 document that "the Fourth Amendment does not protect communications held in electronic storage, such as email messages stored on a server, because internet users do not have a reasonable expectation of privacy in such communications." It still retains that position even after the 2010 case of US v Warshak which determined that citizens have a reasonable expectation of privacy in such communications. [more inside]
posted by Sleeper on Apr 11, 2013 - 50 comments

The Internet is a surveillance state

Welcome to a world where Google knows exactly what sort of porn you all like, and more about your interests than your spouse does.
posted by T.D. Strange on Mar 16, 2013 - 70 comments

Cypherpunk Rising

Cypherpunk rising: WikiLeaks, encryption, and the coming surveillance dystopia by R. U. Sirius. [Via]
posted by homunculus on Mar 9, 2013 - 40 comments

Nothing to hide?

Why Privacy Matters, Even If You Have Nothing To Hide, by Daniel J. Solove
The nothing-to-hide argument pervades discussions about privacy. The data-security expert Bruce Schneier calls it the "most common retort against privacy advocates." ... To evaluate the nothing-to-hide argument, we should begin by looking at how its adherents understand privacy. Nearly every law or policy involving privacy depends upon a particular understanding of what privacy is. The way problems are conceived has a tremendous impact on the legal and policy solutions used to solve them.
[more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Dec 9, 2012 - 67 comments

Just taking a video.

Surveillance Camera Man (SL Vimeo) is a man who acts like a surveillance camera. However, he is not ceiling-mounted like most surveillance cameras. He takes video of people in public and private places. Most people have a problem with him, creating conflict. One person actually likes him.
posted by ignignokt on Oct 29, 2012 - 68 comments

Electronic surveillance skyrockets in the US

The Justice Department, after a legal battle with the ACLU to avoid having to admit it, recently released documents showing that the federal government’s use of warrantless “pen register” and “tap and trace” surveillance has multiplied over the past decade. But the Justice Department is small potatoes. Every day, the NSA intercepts and stores 1.7 billion emails, phone calls, texts, and other electronic communications. [more inside]
posted by Sleeper on Oct 3, 2012 - 82 comments

In the Public Interest....

Earlier this year, six scientists and doctors filed a lawsuit against the US Food and Drug Administration alleging that the FDA had secretly monitored their personal e-mail accounts after they (legally) warned Congress that the "agency was approving medical devices that they believed posed unacceptable risks to patients." The agency said it had done so to "investigate allegations that the employees had leaked confidential information to the public." At the time, the FDA indicated their computer monitoring was limited to five scientists. But now, the New York Times is reporting that "what began as a narrow investigation" "quickly grew in mid-2010 into a much broader campaign to counter outside critics of the agency’s medical review process.". [more inside]
posted by zarq on Jul 15, 2012 - 29 comments

Challenging the Surveillance State

"If the government is able to learn what we speak about, and know who we're talking to, and know what it is that we're planning, it makes any kind of activism extremely difficult, because secrecy and privacy are prerequisites to effective activism. "
Glenn Greenwald on challenging the surveillance state: (1 - 2 - 3 - 4).
posted by dunkadunc on Jul 1, 2012 - 48 comments

UK Police to practice their own form of "phone hacking"

Met Police to extract suspects' mobile phone data [BBC] The Metropolitan Police, covering Greater London, are set to expand their search powers by making it standard practice to swipe contact details, call logs, and texts off of the mobile phones of anyone in custody - and retain that data - regardless of whether the suspect ends up charged with a crime or not. Clearly not everyone is over the moon about this, seeing it as the latest sign of the steady erosion of communications privacy in the UK and a potential breach of human rights law.
posted by LondonYank on May 17, 2012 - 43 comments

Worker bees can leave. Even drones can fly away. The Queen is their slave.

It is well known that the US military and their allies use unmanned aerial drones overseas in wars and other operations. But there are also hundreds in operation here in the U.S., according to records the Federal Aviation Administration has recently released. Local police departments already have used them in SWAT situations, and the Department of Homeland Security has given the green light for them to deploy a drone helicopter that can supposedly taze suspects from above as well as carrying 12-gauge shotguns and grenade launchersas well as providing surveillance. Congress has paved the way for as many as 30,000 drones in the skies over the US by 2020, which has privacy advocates alarmed. The Electronic Frontier Foundation has created a map with all of the organizations that have permits to use drones within the confines of the US. [more inside]
posted by crunchland on Apr 24, 2012 - 93 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

Malls track shoppers' cell phones on Black Friday

Shopper Stalking: Starting on Black Friday and running through New Year's Day, two U.S. malls -- Promenade Temecula in southern California and Short Pump Town Center in Richmond, Va. -- will track guests' movements by monitoring the signals from their cell phones. "It's just not invasive of privacy," said Stephanie Shriver-Engdahl, vice president of digital strategy for Forest City. "There are no risks to privacy, so I don't see why anyone would opt out." (Consumers can opt out by turning off their phones.)
posted by Blake on Nov 23, 2011 - 153 comments

Espionage

There is a growing realization that U.S. cyberwar efforts resemble all its other 'war' rhetoric in being a boondogle aimed primarily at limiting its own citizens civil rights. China's breathlessly vaunted capsbilities are "fairly rudimentary" in particular (pdf, campus, previously).
posted by jeffburdges on Nov 1, 2011 - 108 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

... 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

"F.B.I. Agents Get Leeway to Push Privacy Bounds"

The Federal Bureau of Investigation is giving significant new powers to its roughly 14,000 agents, allowing them more leeway to search databases, go through household trash or use surveillance teams to scrutinize the lives of people who have attracted their attention.
posted by Trurl on Jun 13, 2011 - 46 comments

GPS Tracking

Battle Brews Over FBI’s Warrantless GPS Tracking. How to Check Your Car for a GPS Tracker. FBI Vehicle-Tracking Device: The Teardown. Video: The Dissection of an FBI Bumper-Beeper. Previously.
posted by homunculus on May 9, 2011 - 81 comments

Fink Different

... Apple will know who you are, where you are, and what you are doing and saying and even how fast your heart is beating. ... This patent is downright creepy and invasive— certainly far more than would be needed to respond to the possible loss of a phone.
posted by Joe Beese on Aug 25, 2010 - 161 comments

The Viewer As Voyeur

Exposed: Voyeurism, Surveillance and the Camera is an exhibition at the Tate Modern in London which examines voyeurism through the medium of photography. In addition to works from professionals such as Brassaï, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Lee Miller, Shizuka Yokomizo, Guy Bourdin, Nan Goldin and Robert Mapplethorpe, it includes amateur and CCTV "stolen" images taken both with and without the knowledge of their subjects -- all intended to "explore the uneasy relationship between making and viewing images that deliberately cross lines of privacy and propriety." [more inside]
posted by zarq on Jun 15, 2010 - 7 comments

Can a person disappear in surveillance Britain?

It's been estimated that the average UK adult is now registered on more than 700 databases and is caught many times each day by nearly five million CCTV cameras. So how hard would it be for an average citizen to disappear completely? That’s the subject of a new documentary film: Erasing David, (Trailer: YouTube, Vimeo) which premieres this evening in the UK on More4. It's also now available worldwide online at the iTunes store and through several Video On Demand services, as well as through Good Screenings. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Apr 29, 2010 - 17 comments

Cybarmageddon!

Cyberwar Hype Intended to Destroy the Open Internet. "The biggest threat to the open internet is not Chinese government hackers or greedy anti-net-neutrality ISPs, it’s Michael McConnell, the former director of national intelligence..." [Via]
posted by homunculus on Mar 2, 2010 - 29 comments

Pinwale

NSA E-Mail Surveillance Renews Concerns in Congress. "Since April, when it was disclosed that the intercepts of some private communications of Americans went beyond legal limits in late 2008 and early 2009, several Congressional committees have been investigating. Those inquiries have led to concerns in Congress about the agency’s ability to collect and read domestic e-mail messages of Americans on a widespread basis, officials said. Supporting that conclusion is the account of a former N.S.A. analyst who, in a series of interviews, described being trained in 2005 for a program in which the agency routinely examined large volumes of Americans’ e-mail messages without court warrants. Two intelligence officials confirmed that the program was still in operation." [Via]
posted by homunculus on Jun 17, 2009 - 44 comments

Cats Defending Henhouses

Worried about social-network data mining? Facebook hires Ted Ullyot, former right-hand man to former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, as its general counsel. Tapping Ullyot, who worked on the infamous torture memo and other illustrious projects, is a sign that the burgeoning Scrabble platform "is a little more grown-up," says Facebook public-policy VP Elliot Schrage.
posted by digaman on Sep 30, 2008 - 40 comments

Cyber Command Über Alles

Attention Geeks and Hackers: Uncle Sam's Cyber Force Wants You! [more inside]
posted by homunculus on Jun 5, 2008 - 29 comments

Mental Privacy

The Government Is Trying to Wrap Its Mind Around Yours. Why the Next Civil Rights Battle Will Be Over the Mind.
posted by homunculus on Apr 13, 2008 - 54 comments

Watch Lists

ACLU Watch List Counter: U.S. Terror List Now Exceeds 900,000 Names. That's an awful lot of terrorists. More Privacy and Surveillance Filter: Bruce Schneier on The Myth of the 'Transparent Society', Glenn Greenwald on The Banality of the Surveillance State, and Stephen Colbert on AT & Treason. [more inside]
posted by homunculus on Mar 8, 2008 - 46 comments

EFF vs. AT&T

Up Against Big Brother: "For 18 years the Electronic Frontier Foundation has fought for the rights of ordinary Americans in cyberspace. Now it’s stepped into the limelight with a legal challenge to warrantless surveillance." [Via Boing Boing.]
posted by homunculus on Feb 2, 2008 - 25 comments

I'm watching you reading this post *right now*.

The 2007 International Privacy ranking. [more inside]
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane on Jan 1, 2008 - 33 comments

The Age of Disaster Capitalism

The Age of Disaster Capitalism [more inside]
posted by y2karl on Sep 12, 2007 - 124 comments

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