Loss of Privacy

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

Browsing Posts in USA Privacy

With camera technology increasing while prices decrease, the use of surveillance cameras seems ubiquitous in larger cities like Boston and New York City. With the large amount of people in Boston for the marathon taking photos, law enforcement were able to use private and public photos to find the bombers and piece together what happened. While this is a great thing, there are still many questions that need to be asked about the dangers of all the time surveillance.

privacy advocates remain concerned about pervasive, and potentially invasive, surveillance technology.

Government use of surveillance technology has expanded considerably in the past decade, amid advances in computing as well as government spending on homeland security. Such technology includes a high density of cameras in some urban centers, traffic cameras along highways, and well as the use of advanced technology such as facial recognition in airports.

Some privacy advocates said the ability of investigators to track the suspects within a matter of days demonstrates that more invasive surveillance isn’t needed. “It’s one thing to have private closed-circuit cameras and look at feeds after the fact,” said Alan Butler, a lawyer with the Electronic Privacy Information Center. “It’s very different if you’re talking about systems of cameras identifying and tracking people over time, all the time. Especially if you couple that with facial recognition and license-plate readers and databases.”

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John Anton discovered a hidden camera in a piece of wood in his Dalworthington Gardens, Texas home. The camera, roughly the size of a matchbox, was used to stakeout hig-end homes. After the police performed their own stakeout, they arrested 21-year old Cain Santoyo. Dalworthington Gardens police detective Ben Singleton said it was a part of a sophisticated burglary scheme that had been running for a long time.

Shortly after midnight, they caught 21-year-old Cain Santoyo. Search warrants on his car and Grand Prairie home revealed evidence including lock-picking tools, police scanners, a disguise, a combination flashlight/stun gun, and a total of nine cameras loaded with surveillance video.

Officers also seized computer data and a motion detector rigged to a small radio transmitter. Singleton said that could be used to alert a burglar inside a house, giving them time to get away.

Inside Santoyo’s house, police said they found jewelry hidden in an attic crawlspace.

But they think that almost everything that was stolen has already been sold on the Internet. They say they won’t know the extent of the damage until they get responses on subpoenas issued to several online sites.

Police expect multiple burglary charges to be filed. For now, Santoyo is held on a charge of unlawful interception, use, or disclosure of wire, oral or electronic communications.

Singleton said it’s illegal to record audio and video of two parties who are not aware they are being recorded.

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There have been several stories this past week that have stated that the IRS has upgraded its technology so that tax collectors can track what you do online, including reading emails, Facebook and Twitter, without a warrant.

Shepard Smith, Johnathan Hunt, and Judge Andrew Napolitano try to clear up what is happening.

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The controversial CISPA bill has passed out of committee in the House of Representatives, but it still needs to be discussed and voted on in the House as well as the Senate, but the White House says it will not support the bill in its current form.

“As US cybersecurity bill CISPA heads to the House Floor for a vote, the White House National Security Council has issued a statement suggesting that the President won’t support it in its current form. “We continue to believe that information sharing improvements are essential to effective legislation,” said NSC spokesperson Caitlin Hayden told the Los Angeles Times in a statement. “but they must include privacy and civil liberties protections, reinforce the roles of civilian and intelligence agencies, and include targeted liability protections.”

CISPA, the controversial bill that greatly threatens the privacy of anyone online, is making its way to Congress after passing in a closed-door vote by the House Intelligence Committee by a huge margin. There were no changes to the language to protect personal privacy. How is this happening after the internet so loudly cried foul, and why is it being ignored in the press? Cenk Uygur and Ana Kasparian break it down.

Politicians continue to beat the 9/11 drum, while the real purpose of bills such as CISPA is to eliminate any kind of privacy on the internet. Right now, President Obama is objecting the bill because it doesn’t do enough to protect civil liberties, but how long will he hold out?

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From KABC-TV in Los Angeles:

One way to accomplish protecting email on your own end is to use something like PGP by default.

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