Loss of Privacy

Keeping you informed on recent losses to privacy and civil rights worldwide.

Browsing Posts in USA Privacy

Michigan based Illuminating Concepts has begun testing their Intellistreets system on the streets of Las Vegas.

The system is entirely adaptable. The lights are currently being tested in Las Vegas but they could soon be positioned on public streets throughout the city.

They look like ordinary street poles but they’re actually capable of a wide variety of features from playing music, to broadcasting messages via voice and digital display. It’s all controlled by an Ipad or a similar-type of device.

“Actually, there’s a server that’s housed by the company that’s providing this product and we’re communicating with just a wireless, wi-fi connection,” Roheloder said.

“This technology, you know is taking us to a place where, you know, you’ll essentially be monitored from the moment you leave your home till the moment you get home,” said civil rights activist Daphne Lee.

And this system would never be hacked or abused in any way whatsoever.

Illuminating concepts, the company who designed Intellistreets, say the processors store and analyze data, soundtracks, announcements, commercials and even video files.

According to its own marketing video, the lights they manufacture are adaptable and capable of adding cameras for surveillance and security and even recording devices.

“Right now our intention is not to have any cameras or recording devices…it’s just to provide output out there, not to get any feed or video feed coming back,” said Las Vegas public works director, Jorge Servantes.

It’s not their intention now, but as soon as a government grant allows it to start, you can be sure recording will begin.

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The Glendale Unified School District in California has hired Geo Listening to monitor its middle and high school students’ social media posts both during the school day and after. Under the banner of school and student safety, the district intends to monitor its students’ actions.

Chris Frydrych, the CEO of Geo Listening said, “We have provided information to school districts, which has led to numerous successful interventions on behalf of students that intended self-harm, suicide, bullying, truancy, substance abuse, and vandalism. We monitor only public posts to social networks. We do not monitor privatized pages, SMS, MMS, email, phone calls, voicemails.”

School districts are supposed to be about education. Over reaching on that goal and spying on students is teaching them to accept spying in all aspects of their lives as they grow up. The schools’ jurisdiction should end at the property line of the school. It should not be prying into the private lives of its students after school hours. It is a violation of privacy and First Amendment laws under 18 USC Sections 241,242 and 42 USC Sections 1983, 1985, 1986 of the United States.

This system will only succeed in forcing students to suppress any written speech they may have had and teach them that anything they say will, eventually, be used against them.

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WFLA-TV News Channel 8

If there is no hit in the database, why is it necessary to keep the data at all?

The cameras only snap photos of license plates, not your faces. But the ACLU has some serious privacy concerns. They’re worried these cameras could be misused to track people’s movements.

In a recent report, the ACLU said these cameras store vast amounts of data on innocent people.

The group is concerned about the length of time the data is stored. The ACLU also commented that the cameras pose a risk to people’s privacy since it could be used to track people’s movements.

The report stated:  “Anyone with access to these systems could track his boss, his ex-wife, his romantic or workplace rivals, friends, enemies, neighbors, family, and so forth. An agent could target the owners of vehicles parked at political meetings, gay bars, gun stores, or abortion clinics.”

“There are regulations, policies and laws in place that prohibit that kind of abuse. And if abuse is discovered, it’s punished,” said Cumming.

It doesn’t matter what regulations and policies are put into the law to prevent abuse. If the technology is there, someone is going to abuse it. When LPR was first introduced, it was designed as a policing tool to stop those who were wanted. Now, investigative companies pay law enforcement for the data to find vehicles. Lobbyists have also used the information to get bills defeated, or passed. Other data brokers are willing mine all this data and sell it for as little as $10.

What Longboat Key is doing is storing information on innocent people who have no recourse and no way to protect their privacy. Their information is then sold on to the next customer who is willing to pay the police department for their data.

Given the fact that this information will be kept for ten years, anyone buying this information (or in the case of the police, directly stealing it) will be able to know your work hours, where you live, what kind of car you drive, when you’re likely to be home alone, or gone on vacation.

Americans need to stop and think about the fact that such a simple technology, multiplied several times in numerous jurisdictions changes your right to privacy. It is collecting data on every aspect of your life and storing it, to be sold to the highest bidder. Is this the kind of world anyone would want to live in? This question needs to be asked, and answered, because it is now possible and we are heading in that direction faster than we can understand the technologies behind it. This needs to be discussed before we arrive in a country that we no longer recognize and every aspect of privacy is taken away.

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From MSNBC:

John Shiffman, Reuters enterprise correspondent, talks with Rachel Maddow about revelations that a federal DEA agency is sharing data collected for anti-terror purposes with local law enforcement for use in drug and other non-terror investigations.

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

“What if the American people haven’t much cared about or maybe have even approved of something the government was doing because we thought it was for fighting terrorism, but instead it’s not?” she remarked. “Something everyone is a little squeamish about but basically OK with because it is supposedly only for use against bad guys in foreign countries? Turns out instead, it is being used by local American cops for regular old crime, for stuff done by Americans that has nothing to do with wacky religious ideology or anything else.”

More.

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From KSL:

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