Loss of Privacy

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

Browsing Posts tagged spying

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Illustration by Jesse Tahirali

Illustration by Jesse Tahirali

There’s a good chance your new car is going to be spying on you.

Modern vehicles are powerful data-scraping machines, warns a group of B.C. privacy advocates, and Canada urgently needs to regulate what companies can do with the information cars send them.

The British Columbia Freedom of Information and Privacy Association (FIPA) published a 123-page report Wednesday, detailing what your vehicle might know about you and who can access that information.

The report details its concerns about how much information it is tracking, including knowing nearly every part of your life by tracking your exact location.

Electronic control units keep track of everything from how fast you drive to how long your car idles and how suddenly you brake, the report says. Your car’s GPS system, for example, also keeps track of your exact location, sending that information to the car’s manufacturer, or possibly a third-party call centre or an insurance agency.

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Momentum is building to #RejectFear and stop theHarper Conservative’s reckless, vague and unnecessary ‘Secret Police’ bill before they can rush it into law.

We’ve got a plan to stop this bill from passing without major changes and proper oversight – and it starts with making sure that people from all across Canada see a new video that shows just how high the stakes are.

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Tell no-one

A century of secret deals between the NSA and the telecom industry

For nearly one hundred years, the NSA and its predecessors have been engaging in secret, illegal deals with the American telecom industry, with both virtually immune from prosecution.
How did this begin? How does it work? How much have US presidents known? What happens when they get caught? Will it change after the Snowden revelations? A fascinating look at a hundred years of handshakes and backroom deals between the eavesdroppers and the telecom executives.

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In the latest “think of the children” idea to come out of the United Kingdom, a new bill proposes that nursery school staff and registered childminders must report toddlers they think are at risk of becoming terrorists.

The directive is contained in a 39-page consultation document issued by the Home Office in a bid to bolster its Prevent anti-terrorism plan.

Critics said the idea was “unworkable” and “heavy-handed”, and accused the Government of treating teachers and carers as “spies”.

The document accompanies the Counter-Terrorism and Security Bill, currently before parliament. It identifies nurseries and early years childcare providers, along with schools and universities, as having a duty “to prevent people being drawn into terrorism”.

The consultation paper adds: “Senior management and governors should make sure that staff have training that gives them the knowledge and confidence to identify children at risk of being drawn into terrorism and challenge extremist ideas which can be used to legitimise terrorism and are shared by terrorist groups.

David Davis, the Conservative MP and former shadow home secretary, said: “It is hard to see how this can be implemented. It is unworkable. I have to say I cannot understand what they [nursery staff] are expected to do.

“Are they supposed to report some toddler who comes in praising a preacher deemed to be extreme? I don’t think so.

“It is heavy-handed.”

Headteachers’ union NAHT, said it was “uneasy” with the new guidance. General secretary Russell Hobby, said: “It’s really important that nurseries are able to establish a strong relationship of trust with families, as they are often the first experience the families will have of the education system.

“Any suspicions that they are evaluating families for ideology could be quite counterproductive.

“Nursery settings should focus on the foundations of literacy and socialising with other children – those are the real ‘protections’.”

Schools and nurseries, he said, should not be required to act as a police service.

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