Criminals aren’t the only people who desire privacy. The United Nations recognizes privacy as a fundamental human right, and many countries protect their citizens’ privacy rights explicitly in their constitutions. As the ACLU says, “Privacy is a fundamental part of a dignified life.” It enables freedom of expression and individual autonomy without fear of reprisal.
The “nothing to hide” argument also goes against the principle of “innocent until proven guilty,” a principle which the justice systems of many countries in the world follow. Instead, constant government surveillance of its citizens assumes that all of them are criminals who have something to hide.
Add to all that the fact that we don’t even know for sure why they’re watching us, and what they’re doing with all our data, and we have even more reasons to be suspicious of the constant surveillance.
But there is something you can do to protect your information while browsing online, and it doesn’t require you to be an IT expert or technical genius. Using the TOR browser, you can remain anonymous online and protect your right to privacy. Here’s how to get started.
Washington County public school officials announced they will be using new software to monitor students’ social media posts.
The county will be one of only four school districts in the nation to enlist a new software program called Social Sentinel that tracks social media accounts for certain keywords.
To those that question the legality of such monitoring in the face of privacy rights, school officials said the software uses “geofencing” protocol to only track posts that are made while the student is on school property.
School officials said the goal is to protect student safety. Examples of such posts that will be tracked include those that feature keywords like “kill,” “bomb” and others.
Some student will kill it on that Science test while others bomb it. This system will be completely useless as soon as everyone figures out euphemisms for search words.
School officials said they will also be consulting with parents and members of student government for feedback on what additional keywords should be added to the watch-list.
Threats will be flushed out, officials added – if a keyword is caught, the post will be read to check for threats of violence, bullying or harassment, reference to using drugs or alcohol, references to weapons, and the like.
One of two things is going to happen. The school is going to quickly be overloaded and realize what a waste of money this systems is. The students will not communicate on any system that’s monitored by the school and will have a “school” social media account and their real account.
Neither of these situations should be happening. The first forces students to protest a system that is hindering their free speech. The second forces them to either self-censor or be deceitful.
Los Angeles police have asked the city attorney’s office and county prosecutors to explore whether they can legally prohibit civilians from flying drones with cameras over department-owned parking lots.
The inquiry was sparked after a South Bay man who routinely films police activity and posts the footage on his website flew his drone over the parking lot of the LAPD’s Hollywood station this week and filmed squad cars going in and out.
He then posted the video on YouTube.
The police aren’t too happy about it.
“What concerns us is that they are filming over private property and it’s gated – you’re looking at the layout of the police station, how we operate, personnel license plates,” said police Lt. Michael Ling. “It’s kind of like if it was your house, if they’re flying over your backyard you’d start asking questions about it.”
The police seem to think that because their police parking lot is gated, it’s trespassing if someone photographs or records the cars. The police, their vehicles, and the parking lot are paid for by the taxpayers. Theoretically, it’s all owned by the citizens, so citizens should be able to be photograph it. It’s not private property.