334 posts tagged with surveillance.
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The dawn of the Taft Test

The Website Obesity Crisis Maciej Cegłowski calls for downsizing web pages. And "I shouldn't need sled dogs and pemmican to navigate your visual design." (previously)
posted by doctornemo on Jan 1, 2016 - 71 comments

Participation in our own surveillance was the price of entry into heaven

Under Watchful Eyes: The medieval origins of mass surveillance. [Via] [more inside]
posted by homunculus on Dec 28, 2015 - 11 comments

Spoofing Border Drones

The bad guys on the border have lots of money and what they are putting money into is into spoofing and jamming GPS systems. DHS was unable to say just how often smugglers tried to jam or spoof border-watching UAVs. CBP had little to show for the big price tag. UAVs helped in just 2 percent of apprehensions on the southwest border.
posted by sammyo on Dec 22, 2015 - 8 comments

vers le bas avec Tor!

The French government mulls laws to block Tor and public WiFi. Is this what happens when police ask Santa for presents ("liste au Père Noël", according to Le Monde)?. (via)
posted by doctornemo on Dec 7, 2015 - 30 comments

The ISIS Twitter Census

Defining and describing the population of ISIS supporters on Twitter Although much ink has been spilled on the topic of ISIS activity on Twitter, very basic questions remain unanswered, including such fundamental issues as how many Twitter users support ISIS, who they are, and how many of those supporters take part in its highly organized online activities. ... We set out to answer some of these important questions using innovative techniques to create a large, representative sample of accounts that can be clearly defined as ISIS supporters, and to attempt to define the boundaries of ISIS’s online social network. [SLPDF] [via]
posted by Elizabeth the Thirteenth on Nov 24, 2015 - 4 comments

Tweeting from a protest subjects you to enrollment in a police database

Your Social Media Posts Are Fueling the Future of Police Surveillance - Any posts on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or any other location-tagged social media uploaded in [an] area will appear on a display at police headquarters. An uploaded Vine from one block away could show someone running away, and give the cops a starting point for their investigation. How long until that hypothetical situation is a reality? “We’re 100 percent there,” says Lee Guthman, head of business development at Geofeedia, a location-based social media monitoring site.
posted by nevercalm on Nov 22, 2015 - 46 comments

Desire Modification in the Attention Economy

The Future of (Post)Capitalism - "Paul Mason shows how, from the ashes of the recent financial crisis, we have the chance to create a more socially just and sustainable global economy." (previously; via) [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Nov 4, 2015 - 22 comments

Frankly, you sound a little paranoid

If someone had told me even a few years ago that such a thing wasn’t pure coincidence, I would have had my doubts about that someone. Now, however, I reserve my doubts for the people who still trust. There are so many ghosts in our machines—their locations so hidden, their methods so ingenious, their motives so inscrutable—that not to feel haunted is not to be awake. That’s why paranoia, even in its extreme forms, no longer seems to me so much a disorder as a mode of cognition with an impressive track record of prescience. --Walter Kirn on modern paranoia in The Atlantic [more inside]
posted by chavenet on Oct 14, 2015 - 33 comments

Of course I'd like to sit around and chat... but someone's listening in

Fresh from The Intercept (that fearless vanguard of journalism helmed by Glenn Greenwald and Laura Poitras): disturbing documents exposing the unfathomable reach of the United Kingdom's GCHQ in its quest for total awareness of global internet traffic. A hundred billion user actions logged per day. A "Black Hole" database of 1.1 trillion logs. Frightening programs like KARMA POLICE, MEMORY HOLE, and MUTANT BROTH that correlate the kilo-crore corpus -- IP addresses, cookies, forum posts, search histories, emails, and passwords all compiled and cross-referenced into a real-time "diary" that gives penetrating insight into the relationships, beliefs, and desires of every web user on the planet. Internal documents suggest only widespread encryption can threaten the regime -- a movement the UK is determined to subdue (previously). [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi on Sep 26, 2015 - 105 comments

The only thing I don't want to do is to raise the white flag.

What can we do about the privacy threat posed by online ad networks? And how much trust should we place in Silicon Valley to design the future of our society? What Happens Next Will Amaze You: Slides from a recent talk by (Mefi's own) Maciej Cegłowski.
It's no accident how much the ad racket resembles high-frequency trading. A small number of sophisticated players are making a killing at the expense of everybody else. [...] I don't believe there's a technology bubble, but there is absolutely an advertising bubble. When it bursts, companies are going to be more desperate and will unload all the personal data they have on us to absolutely any willing buyer. And then we'll see if all these dire warnings about the dangers of surveillance were right.
[more inside] posted by teraflop on Sep 22, 2015 - 103 comments

NSA Mass Phone Surveillance Possibly Constitutional After All

On December 13, 2013, the US district court for the District of Columbia ruled that the NSA's bulk collection of American citizens' telephone records was "likely" to violate the Fourth Amendment (previously on MeFi). Today, DC's federal court of appeals overturned that ruling. The rationale is that the plaintiffs did not prove "that they were affected by the metadata-gathering program," so they did not have standing to challenge it in court. [more inside]
posted by Rangi on Aug 28, 2015 - 25 comments

Watch the skies

North Dakota becomes the first state to legalize weaponized drones. "Less than lethal” weapons like rubber bullets, pepper spray, tear gas, sound cannons, and Tasers are now permitted on drones, thanks to the actions of a lobbyist representing law enforcement.

Drones previously.
posted by Johnny Wallflower on Aug 28, 2015 - 75 comments

GCHQ and Me

My Life Unmasking British Eavesdroppers. [more inside]
posted by ellieBOA on Aug 20, 2015 - 14 comments

The Philosopher of Surveillance

When intelligence officials justify surveillance, they tend to use the stilted language of national security, and we typically hear only from senior officials who stick to their platitudes. It is rare for mid-level experts — the ones conducting the actual surveillance — to frankly explain what they do and why. And in this case, the candid confessions come from the NSA’s own surveillance philosopher. The columns answer a sociological curiosity: How does working at an intelligence agency turn a privacy hawk into a prophet of eavesdropping?
What Happens When a Failed Writer Becomes a Loyal Spy? Peter Maass for The Intercept
posted by p3on on Aug 11, 2015 - 26 comments

ida-cracked-files-sostituire agli originali.rar

Italian surveillence software vendor Hacking Team were hacked, with 400GB of data dumped. According to leaked invoices, Hacking Team sold offensive software to countries including South Korea, Sudan, Kazakhstan, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Lebanon, and Mongolia, Ethiopia, Egypt, and Luxemburg. There are initial indications that Hacking Team had pretty poor operation security, for example, using the password Ht2015!. [more inside]
posted by These Premises Are Alarmed on Jul 6, 2015 - 44 comments

All your passwords belong to us

Yesterday a Fisa court judge issued final authorisation to a programme banned after Congress banned bulk collection of telephone data in the USA Freedom Act.
Today The Intercept is publishing 48 top-secret and other classified documents about XKEYSCORE dated up to 2013, which shed new light on the breadth, depth and functionality of this critical spy system.
posted by adamvasco on Jul 1, 2015 - 9 comments

Bulk collection is all fun and games until the OPM gets hacked

When hackers take millions of records from the Office of Personnel Management, clearly the solution to the problem is more online surveillance. (Reuters)
posted by Lycaste on Jun 6, 2015 - 15 comments

It's not paranoia if they are flying mysterious planes over your house

Scores of low-flying planes circling American cities are part of a civilian air force operated by the FBI and obscured behind fictitious companies, The Associated Press has learned
posted by hydropsyche on Jun 2, 2015 - 102 comments

Internet journalism and invasive surveillance

Quinn Norton is selling you out
posted by The Devil Tesla on May 29, 2015 - 37 comments

Police Bodycams Hit Toronto

By the end of May, 100 Toronto police officers across the city will be wearing the increasingly popular policing tool [more inside]
posted by mrbigmuscles on May 17, 2015 - 26 comments

Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

"I don't think they're all necessarily horrible people..." In an impressive display of solid intelligence tradecraft, the IC Watch project has released the Transparency Toolkit, whereby social media sites were mined for keywords, project names, employers, and locations known or suspected to be associated with the U.S. Intelligence Community. [more inside]
posted by Emperor SnooKloze on May 11, 2015 - 74 comments

Librarians as privacy warriors

THE FBI HAS NOT BEEN HERE
Watch very closely for the removal of this sign.
posted by Athanassiel on May 11, 2015 - 35 comments

China announces it is scoring its citizens using big data

China rates its own citizens - including online behaviour: "The Chinese government is currently implementing a nationwide electronic system, called the Social Credit System, attributing to each of its 1,3 billion citizens a score for his or her behavior. The system will be based on various criteria, ranging from financial credibility and criminal record to social media behavior. From 2020 onwards each adult citizen should, besides his identity card, have such a credit code." [more inside]
posted by kliuless on May 5, 2015 - 77 comments

"He who has access to information controls the game."

1966 BBC documentary predicts challenges of electronic privacy. BBC's 1966 documentary "California 2000", besides being a fascinating flashback in itself, features an amazingly prescient interview with internet pioneer Paul Baran, in which he warns of the risks of government centralized use -- and misuse -- of state-run digital surveillance, 24 years before the EFF was founded.
[more inside]
posted by markkraft on Apr 10, 2015 - 24 comments

"I would want the dickpic program changed."

John Oliver explores the topic of government surveillance in the context of the June 1st deadline to reauthorize the Patriot Act and the ongoing Edward Snowden case.
posted by Kattullus on Apr 6, 2015 - 108 comments

"Hobsbawm was a marked man, and he knew it"

The two sides in the Cold War, finding each other irresistible, ended up in a contrapuntal relationship where, as George Urban put it, ‘they marched in negative step, but in step all the same.’ They had their spies, we had ours. They had their files, we had ours. True, we didn’t have gulags. But what kind of democracy is it that congratulates itself on not having gulags? Never mind the dragnet surveillance, the burglaries, the smearing of reputations, the bugging of public telephone boxes, cafés, hotels, banks, trade unions, private homes, all this legitimised by the thesis that everyone is a potential subversive until proven otherwise – the problem is that the defenders of the realm took on the symptoms of the disease they were meant to cure.
– In the essay Stuck on the Flypaper historian and journalist Frances Stonor Saunders goes through the recently released MI5 file on Marxist historian Eric Hobsbawm [previously] to explain how the British secret service surveilled and interfered with the lives of British citizens during World War II and the early part of the Cold War.
posted by Kattullus on Mar 27, 2015 - 11 comments

Quies Custodiet Ipsos Custards?

Via a freedom of information act request, Ars Technica acquired 4.6 million license plate scans from the Oakland Police Department. The scans cover 1.1 million unique license plates, and only 0.2% of them were associated with any criminal activity. [more inside]
posted by jenkinsEar on Mar 24, 2015 - 51 comments

The Algorithmic Self: On Being Made by the Numbers

"The first step toward protecting the self in an age of algorithmic manipulation is to recognize such manipulation as a problem." Frank Pasquale, writing for The Hedgehog Review, grapples with "The Algorithmic Self." [more inside]
posted by MonkeyToes on Mar 16, 2015 - 5 comments

This plan isn’t for the next two weeks or three months.

EFF’s Game Plan for Ending Global Mass Surveillance
For years, we’ve been working on a strategy to end mass surveillance of digital communications of innocent people worldwide. Today we’re laying out the plan, so you can understand how all the pieces fit together—that is, how U.S. advocacy and policy efforts connect to the international fight and vice versa. Decide for yourself where you can get involved to make the biggest difference.
posted by andoatnp on Jan 27, 2015 - 23 comments

Deep Lab

Deep Lab is "a congress of cyberfeminist researchers, organized by STUDIO Fellow Addie Wagenknecht to examine how the themes of privacy, security, surveillance, anonymity, and large-scale data aggregation are problematized in the arts, culture and society."

The Documentary
The Lectures
The Book
posted by I-baLL on Jan 20, 2015 - 7 comments

The Code We Can’t Control

David Auerbach for Slate discusses the dangers of the algorithm-driven data collection and organization of Big Data in a review for law professor Frank Pasquale's book on the subject, The Black-Box Society. [more inside]
posted by NoxAeternum on Jan 15, 2015 - 31 comments

Every breath you take

The Creepy Surveillance of Elf on a Shelf. How does the ubiquitous holiday tattletale work its behavioral magic? By teaching kids to expect that there's always someone watching.
posted by gottabefunky on Dec 25, 2014 - 93 comments

Face the face

"Facebook actually makes masks out of everyone’s faces." Artist Sterling Crispin creates DATA-MASKS as a way to physically present the abstract data structures that Facebook and biometric surveillance systems use to pull a face from a crowd.
posted by a lungful of dragon on Dec 2, 2014 - 10 comments

Shepherded, lovingly but firmly, away from harmful things like airlocks.

Tropical Islands is the mother of all water parks, built inside one of the world's largest buildings, with a separate play area for the kinder while the teens and adults discreetly down their pina coladas or Erdinger weissbiers in the thatch-roofed bars overlooking the beach. It's safe, and clean, and organized and curated and manicured to within an inch of its life. It's got that Malaysian high concept futurist vibe going, combined with German thoroughness and attention to detail, for an experience that's pretty much what you'd expect if Disneyworld opened a park in Singapore, only with fewer dire declarations of death to drug smugglers. It is in short thoroughly enjoyable if you're in Berlin and for some reason decide you want a relaxing tropical beach-side day out in an environment that's barely less artificial than an L5 space colony.
posted by vibratory manner of working on Nov 23, 2014 - 19 comments

interview with filmmaker Laura Poitras

A nicely lengthy interview with documentary filmmaker Laura Poitras. Poitras was one of the key figures involved in the revealing of Edward Snowden as the NSA whistleblower; she has a film (Citizenfour) opening this week. Poitras discusses her role as a documentary filmmaker, as well as her unique perspectives on the War on Terror, NSA surveillance, her status as a high-profile dissenter, and being on the receiving end of government harrassment.
posted by paleyellowwithorange on Nov 11, 2014 - 19 comments

Industry and government say "Collect Everything".

"Sometimes, society gets it wrong... When that happens, strong privacy protections—including collection controls that let people pick who gets their data, and when—allow the persecuted and unpopular to survive."

What happens when we let industry and government collect all the data they want.

posted by anemone of the state on Nov 9, 2014 - 21 comments

The Evil Part (may not be evil in all jurisdictions)

The 7th Underhanded C Competition. "The underhanded goal is this: write surveil() in such a way that the act of surveillance is subtly leaked to the user or to the outside world. PiuPiu can not reveal the act of surveillance, but your function is technically able to edit the Piu or user structure during scanning. Find a way to alter that data (this alone is a bit of a challenge, since you are not supposed to alter the data, just scan it) in such a way that an informed outsider can tell if someone is being archived. The leakage should be subtle enough that it is not easily noticed. As always, the code should appear simple, innocent, readable and obvious." [more inside]
posted by Sebmojo on Nov 3, 2014 - 30 comments

Grooming Students for A Lifetime of Surveillance

The same technologists who protest against the NSA’s metadata collection programs are the ones profiting the most from the widespread surveillance of students.
posted by the man of twists and turns on Oct 24, 2014 - 27 comments

The Secret State and the Historians

The UK's National Archives has today released the formerly secret files detailing MI5's monitoring of the British Marxist historians Eric Hobsbawm and Christopher Hill [PDF downloads available]. The Guardian reports. An official historian explains. [more inside]
posted by bebrogued on Oct 24, 2014 - 40 comments

The NSA and me

The NSA and Me is an essay by James Bamford, author of The Puzzle Palace, an early book on the agency. It details how he came to write the book, and the NSA's efforts to keep him from publishing it in the late 70s/early 80s.
posted by Harald74 on Oct 13, 2014 - 13 comments

Adobe Digital Editions 4 spying on users

Adobe's Digital Editions 4 Epub app is spying on users by collecting data on all of the epub books on a users system and transmitting that data in plain text. Adobe's index of epub data includes title, publisher, and other metadata about the book. Digital Editions 4 also collects and transmits if the ebook has been opened, which pages were read, and in what order. [more inside]
posted by zenon on Oct 7, 2014 - 81 comments

Retired NSA Technical Director Explains Snowden Docs

"I had an opportunity to attend a presentation by retired NSA technical director, William Binney, which provided context for some of the published documents released by former NSA contractor, Edward Snowden. Because of the public value of Binney's expertise on the subject, I decided to publish his presentation and comments on my website." Via Bruce Schneier. (Previously: We Are Watching; Not My Department.)
posted by MonkeyToes on Oct 4, 2014 - 21 comments

Who is really listening?

An international mobile subscriber identity (IMSI) is a unique number, usually fifteen digits, associated with Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) and Universal Mobile Telecommunications System (UMTS) network mobile phone users. An IMSI catcher is a device, used by the NSA drone program, the police, criminals, Chinese spammers and spies all around Washington DC and the world to spoof the identity of a GSM cell tower and intercept cellular voice and data communication. They come in all sizes and flavors, from tiny or body-worn professional surveillance devices, to easy to order off the shelf solutions, to Chinese DIY (links in Chinese) and have spawned efforts to retaliate with an IMSI-catcher-catcher. IMSI-catcher technology has become increasingly widespread, with far-reaching constitutional and technical implications.
posted by T.D. Strange on Sep 22, 2014 - 13 comments

(watch very closely for removal of this title)

Radical Librarianship: how ninja librarians are ensuring patrons' electronic privacy [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Sep 15, 2014 - 38 comments

Coveillance

Wired 'Senior Maverick' Kevin Kelly suggests: Why You Should Embrace Surveillance, Not Fight It.
posted by paleyellowwithorange on Aug 26, 2014 - 45 comments

From "Not The Onion"

NSA Tried To Delete Court Transcript In Lawsuit Over Deleting Evidence On three separate occasions in the Jewel V. NSA case, the NSA sought to delete evidence. Then it sought to redact the transcript.
posted by Sleeper on Aug 9, 2014 - 43 comments

Snowden granted 3-year stay in Russia.

After several days in legal limbo, the world's most notorious whistleblower, Edward Snowden, has been granted a three-year stay in Russia. This is amid breaking news of Russia's issuing of a menu of its own sanctions against U.S./E.U. countries, et al. The former NSA employee has been stranded in Russia for more than a year. Recently, new leaks by other, as yet unknown whistle-blower(s) other than Snowden have surfaced, according to U.S. authorities. The leaks detail certain "rules" for targeting of people for surveillance (including merely searching for privacy software), as well as details on the kind of activity or relationships which may put innocent people on terrorist watch lists.
posted by fantodstic on Aug 7, 2014 - 54 comments

Fashion Solutions for Hiding from SkyNet

In Anti-Surveillance Camouflage for Your Face, technology reporter Robinson Meyer details an experiment in which he tried actually going about his day to day life in downtown Washington DC while wearing CV Dazzle, (previously on MeFi) makeup and hairstyles to confuse facial recognition software. The technique is inspired by the old naval technique of dazzle camouflage, which sought not to conceal a ship, but to confuse viewers as to its size and heading. Similarly, CV Dazzle aims to confuse software by making your face look less like a face and more like a confusing collection of shapes. This proves to have unanticipated effects on how Robinson is perceived by humans as well, leading to insights about how our appearance signals our privilege and place in the social hierarchy, and how that can overlap or conflict with the digital wakes we leave.
posted by Naberius on Jul 24, 2014 - 78 comments

The *first* revelation this week, at least

This week's Glenn Greenwald revelation is that Britain's GCHQ JTRIG intelligence organization offers its agents and planners tools with abilities to increase the search ranking of chosen web sites, “change outcome of online polls”, “masquerade Facebook Wall Posts for individuals or entire countries”, and accomplish “amplification of a given message, normally video, on popular multimedia websites (Youtube).” [more inside]
posted by XMLicious on Jul 16, 2014 - 54 comments

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

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