Loss of Privacy

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

Browsing Posts tagged terrorism

The San Jose and Davis police departments are returning their military equipment obtained from the government.

Citing fears after seeing images of Ferguson, the city of Davis, California is set to return its armored vehicle.

The police wanted to keep the vehicle. The city said no.

The Davis Police Department now has 60 days to get rid of a $689,000 Mine Resistant Ambush Protected armored vehicle, which police acquired through a U.S. Defense Department program, and must consider other rescue vehicle options.

The Davis Police Department took possession of the free vehicle two weeks ago through the Defense Department’s 1033 program — administered by the California Office of Emergency Services — which is aimed at repurposing federal and military equipment for local law enforcement.

Through the program, the police department has obtained a number of free surplus military hardware, including body armor, binoculars, riot helmets and training rifles.

San Jose police will be returning its mine-resistant armored truck.

San Jose police spokeswoman Sgt. Heather Randol told KCBS the decision was made based on concerns for potential damage to the department’s image and community relationships.

“We want to keep their trust. We don’t want them to feel we are going off on another path with our police department,” she said. “We want them to feel comfortable about the tools that we use.”

Used by U.S. forces in Iraq and Afghanistan, the mine-resistant, ambush-protected troop transport, or MRAP, became a focus for debate after a military surplus vehicle and equipment were used at protests in Ferguson, Missouri earlier this month when local law enforcement responded to civil unrest over the police killing unarmed teenager Michael Brown.

According the San Jose Mercury News, Redwood City, South San Francisco, and Antioch, have decided to keep their armored transports.

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Tor-Anonymity-Tor-path

In a shocking story on the German site Tagesschau (Google translate), Lena Kampf, Jacob Appelbaum and John Goetz report on the rules used by the NSA to decide who is a “target” for surveillance.

You can read more at Boing Boing.

From Panorama:

The investigation discloses the following:

Two servers in Germany – in Berlin and Nuremberg – are under surveillance by the NSA.
Merely searching the web for the privacy-enhancing software tools outlined in the XKeyscore rules causes the NSA to mark and track the IP address of the person doing the search. Not only are German privacy software users tracked, but the source code shows that privacy software users worldwide are tracked by the NSA.
Among the NSA’s targets is the Tor network funded primarily by the US government to aid democracy advocates in authoritarian states.
The XKeyscore rules reveal that the NSA tracks all connections to a server that hosts part of an anonymous email service at the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) in Cambridge, Massachusetts. It also records details about visits to a popular internet journal for Linux operating system users called “the Linux Journal – the Original Magazine of the Linux Community”, and calls it an “extremist forum”.

The authors of the Tagesschau story have seen the “deep packet inspection” rules used to determine who is considered to be a legitimate target for deep surveillance, and the results are bizarre.

According to the story, the NSA targets anyone who searches for online articles about Tails — like this one that we published in April, or this article for teens that I wrote in May — or Tor (The Onion Router, which we’ve been posted about since 2004). Anyone who is determined to be using Tor is also targeted for long-term surveillance and retention.

Bruce Schneier thinks there may be a second leaker.

I do not believe that this came from the Snowden documents. I also don’t believe the TAO catalog came from the Snowden documents. I think there’s a second leaker out there.

EDITED TO ADD (7/3): More news stories. Thread on Reddit. I don’t expect this to get much coverage in the US mainstream media.

Hacker News and Slashdot threads. ArsTechnica and Wired articles.

There is also the live blog [in German] of William Binney in front of the German Parliament.

There is also another post on reddit. After reading all of these links the last few days, I’m probably on the NSA’s list now too.

The facts also bear out that all this surveillance to protect us is useless. You are eight times more likely to be killed by a police officer and 6 times more likely to die from hot weather than a terrorist attack.

Feel free to download Tor.

Read/download the XKeyscore rules.

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Liberal senator Bill Heffernan has taken a mocked-up “pipe bomb” into Parliament House to show new security arrangements are “a joke”.

Under the new system, some passholders and their belongings are not scanned when entering the building.

Previously, everybody coming into Parliament House had to be checked through security.

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The White House will not appeal a federal court’s order to release the memo outlining the administration’s legal arguments for the use of lethal drone strikes against American citizens. The announcement was made Tuesday on the eve of a key Senate vote. David Barron, President Barack Obama’s nominee for a seat on the US Court of Appeals, cleared a procedural Senate vote Wednesday.

Voting 52 to 43, Barron will now proceed to a formal confirmation vote. Republican Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky voiced his opposition, saying anyone who argues the president has the power to kill an American citizen without trial “is not worthy of being placed one step away from the Supreme Court.” Lindsay France discusses these and other breaking developments on Capitol Hill with RT’s Sam Sacks.

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