Loss of Privacy

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

Browsing Posts tagged surveillance

A simple glance at the main Olympic Park in East London confirms this will be the most security-conscious Games in history: More than 11 miles of razor-wire-topped electric fencing separates the site from its surroundings, every entrance is guarded by soldiers and the surrounding streets and shopping malls are patrolled by police carrying 9mm semi-automatic weapons – an unusual sight in Britain, where armed patrols are normally found only at airports.

On the busiest days, 12,500 police officers will be on duty while 12,200 soldiers will carry out the venue security searches assisted by at least 7,000 contracted civilian security workers. A further 5,500 troops will be involved in military operations outside the site.

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Every vehicle entering the site is scanned and searched, inside and out, by military teams in ‘sterile’ zones away from key buildings. The maximum-security athletes’ village is ringed by even more metal fences. It’s enough to prompt some to compare the Olympic Park to a prison.

But it’s the less obvious measures that have brought the greatest controversy to the Games. At least 1,850 closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras feed pictures back across London to the joint police and government control center (NOCC) at New Scotland Yard, the headquarters of the city’s Metropolitan Police, according to a data access request by civil liberties campaign group, Big Brother Watch. (Olympic organizers refused to say on Tuesday how many cameras are in use.)

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From NBC.

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From Viewpoint with Elliot Spitzer:

National Security Agency whistle-blowers Thomas Drake, former senior official, Kirk Wiebe, former senior analyst, and William Binney, former technical director, return to “Viewpoint” to talk about their allegations that the NSA has conducted illegal domestic surveillance. All three men are providing evidence in a lawsuit by the Electronic Frontier Foundation against the NSA.

Binney mentions an NSA facility currently under construction in Bluffdale, Utah: “That facility alone can probably hold somewhere close to a hundred years’ worth of the communications of the world.” Binney continues, “Once you accumulate that kind of data — they’re accumulating against everybody — [it's] resident in programs that can pull it together in timelines and things like that and let them see into your life.”

This is the Keynote speech given by William Binney at HOPE 9 (Hackers On Planet Earth) on NSA spying.


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From Technically Personal:

The algorithms that the NSA has created, according to whistle blower William Binney, are actually a part of the Big Data Research and Development Initiative, which has the official purpose to improve the tools and techniques needed to access, organize, and glean discoveries from huge volumes of digital data. William goes on by saying that the algorithms will go through the data base looking at everybody.

On this complicated, opaque subject, Sanchez is among the most informed observers in America. His best guess at what’s really going on: The NSA is collecting and saving vast amounts of private date, like phone calls, emails, and text messages; and rather than asking whether the Fourth Amendment permits them to put all of this information on a hard drive, they’re postponing questions about whether a search is constitutional or not until they want to query the database.

Essentially, the NSA is simply saving a copy of vast amounts of private data and they are going to keep the information in a database until they need it. They also claim that they aren’t breaking the law by copying this information and keeping it in a database without a warrant because they don’t need a warrant until they need to query the database.

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If you’re in Ethiopia and use any VOIP services, such as Skype or Google Talk, you can be arrested and sent to prison for 15 years. The Ethiopian government has defended the move as it claims VOIP services are a security concern.

Authorities have also installed a new filtering system that monitors the use of the Internet in the tightly-controlled Horn of Africa country in a move seen as targeting dissidents.

The telecoms law strictly prohibits VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) which includes audio and video related social media communication, and the transfer of information packages through the fast growing global cyber networks.

It also authorises the government to inspect any imports of voice communication equipment and accessories, while also banning inbound shipments without prior permission.

While the government cites security concerns, it has been very aggressive in blocking websites critical of government actions and policies.

Reporters Without Borders also reports that Ethio Telecom installed a system to block access to the Tor network, which allows users to surf the Web anonymously. The organization notes that the ISP must be using relatively sophisticated Deep Packet Inspection to filter out this traffic.

According to Internet filtering and censorship watchdog OpenNet Initiative, Ethiopia currently has the second lowest Internet penetration rate in sub-Saharan Africa and just around 700,000 of the country’s 84 million citizens had Internet access in 2010 (that’s the most recent data we could find). The average Internet speed in Ethiopia, says Akamai, is currently 622 kbps.

Ethiopia only has one ISP, Ethio Telecom, which is owned by the government and has been censoring the internet for some time. This just takes the censorship a step further in quelling any dissent or opposition.

Picture via FileSharing Talk.

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From RT:

Even without CISPA on the books, the federal government can still use antiquated legislation to leer into the personal communications of Americans. One judge, in fact, says that thousands are approved each year.

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