Loss of Privacy

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

Browsing Posts in USA Privacy

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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Luke Gildea placed a hidden camera in the boys locker room. When students found out, they were disgusted.

Gildea was arrested after authorities discovered a pinhole camera hidden in a boys locker room.  Prosecutors say he used the camera to capture images of fellow students undressing.

The camera was not capable of transmitting the images it captured, so officials say nothing was ever posted online.  Still, students say there concern throughout the school.

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In Dallas, Texas, the police department is set to begin using license plate scanners in several locations throughout the city. The scanners will scan all license plates, regardless of suspicion.

Motorists driving on a Dallas street could have their license plates read by the new technology that pinpoints where there vehicle was at a certain time. Police would retain that information at least temporarily.

At the Council’s Public Safety Committee, police reported where the stationary cameras will be installed. The 14 cameras will be in ten targeted high-crime areas of Dallas initially.

The other 14 will be mounted on police cars.

Police are excited about these automated license plate readers and hope to get them working by mid-March.

There are, however, two glaring privacy concerns.

Initially, police indicated they might hold onto the data for six months. But Brown says the plan now is a 90-day retention policy, and that the software will track who in the police department examines that data to prevent snooping.

The police have indicated that they wish to keep data on all motorists for six months, but had to settle on a 90-day retention policy, for now. If there aren’t a lot of complaints over legal, law-abiding citizens’ privacy being invaded, the police department will likely revisit the retention period and request a longer retention policy.

“We know which officer has made which query to the system, and we can go back and audit to determine if they made those queries for the right reasons,” Chief Brown said.

This is the police coyly admitting that such information has been abused before and they are trying to assure the public that this will not happen in their city. It will. It’s human nature. It doesn’t make it right, but at least there are measures put into place to be able to monitor police officers and anyone else who would attempt to abuse this system.

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Abby Martin takes a look at a terrifying new ad by General Dynamics on the future of MAVs, mini drones capable of eavesdropping and discrete assassinations.


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While the government insists that they have no plans to carry out drone strikes within the borders of the United States, their actions speak otherwise.

…despite that pledge, there is every intention to expand the use of so-called mini-drones inside the U.S. Used mostly by local police and first responders, the Federal Aviation Administration has already granted 327 licenses, and it projects as many as 10,000 licensed systems by 2017.

“They would use them for specific missions such as finding  a lost person or a missing child that’s lost in the woods, or for monitoring traffic, or potentially for crowd control. In the meantime, the firefighting community would be interested in using these to fly them over a fire and identify hotspots.”

Notice how the “potential” for crowd control is tossed in the middle of finding lost children and helping in forest fires. They already plan on using them against the people, they just hope that no one will notice because everyone wants to find little lost Sally, don’t they?

There are many privacy issues with using mini-drones on unsuspecting Americans and the courts haven’t been in favor of ordinary citizens.

For example, the Supreme Court ruled that the police can look into your backyard even if you have a high fence, with no warrant. You have no 4th amendment protection there,” he said.

Although many people are signaling the privacy implications, the Department of Homeland Security has only just begun setting up a committee to study what impact there will be to the civil liberties and rights of American citizens.

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