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July 27, 2013 7:22 pm December 17, 2012 12:50 pm
5 Unbelievably Creepy Surveillance Tactics

They could be ripped from the plot of a sci-fi movie.

Since the erosion of Americans’ civil liberties depends on high levels of public apathy, some of the most dangerous privacy breaches take place incrementally and under the radar; if it invites comparisons to Blade Runner or Orwell, then someone in the PR department didn’t do their job. Meanwhile, some of the biggest threats to privacy, like insecure online data or iPhone GPS tracking, are physically unobtrusive and therefore easily ignored. And it’ll be at least a year or two until the sky is overrun by spy drones. 

So when a method of surveillance literally resembles a prop or plot point in a sci-fi movie, it helps to reveal just how widespread and sophisticated commercial and government monitoring has become.  Here are five recent developments that seem almost unreal in their dystopian creepiness. 

1. Buses and street cars that can hear what you say .

Read more…

May 3, 2012 8:43 pm April 25, 2012 9:00 pm

f="http://leftish.tumblr.com/post/21832079193/this-is-huge-president-obama-just-threatened-to-veto">This is HUGE: President Obama just threatened to veto CISPA if it makes its way through Congress.

Friends,

This is HUGE: President Obama just threatened to veto CISPA if it makes its way through Congress.

Please click here to urge Obama to stand strong, and to let your lawmakers know that you support Obama’s veto threat.

CISPA is up for a vote this week. It would obliterate any semblance of online privacy in the United States, giving the government — including the military — broad new powers to spy on Internet users.

The White House’s letter expresses precisely the concerns that we’ve been highlighting over recent weeks — and is a result of the public pressure against CISPA:

  • The White House says that any cybersecurity legislation must preserve “Americans’ privacy, data confidentiality, and civil liberties and [recognize] the civilian nature of cyberspace.”
  • It says that, “The bill also lacks sufficient limitations on the sharing of personally identifiable information between private entities and does not contain adequate oversight or accountability measures necessary to ensure that the data is used only for appropriate purposes.”

And the letter goes on to assert that:

The American people expect their Government to enhance security without undermining their privacy and civil liberties.

Without clear legal protections and independent oversight, information sharing legislation will undermine the public’s trust in the Government as well as in the Internet by undermining fundamental privacy, confidentiality, civil liberties, and consumer protections.

This is an amazing development.  Let’s make the most of it:

Just click here to urge Obama to stand strong and to tell your lawmakers to oppose CISPA.

Thanks.

-Demand Progress

PS- We only have a few days left to kill CISPA.  Please tell your friends to get involved by forwarding this email or using these links:

You can read the full letter from the White House here.
If you’re already on Facebookclick here to share with your friends.
If you’re already on Twitter, click here to tweet about the campaign: Tweet

April 13, 2012 5:12 pm
URGENT: Tell Facebook: "WE'RE FURIOUS: Withdraw Your Support For CISPA!" (the latest version of PIPA/SOPA)

What is Facebook thinking?  They’ve signed on in support of CISPA — the new bill that would obliterate online privacy, give the military crazy new abilities to spy on the Internet, and potentially let ISPs block sites and cut off users accused of piracy.

First, please help push this viral on Facebook by using this link — you’ll be sharing the campaign, along with the photo of Mark Zuckerberg at right:

If you’re already on Facebookclick here to share with your friends.

Then please sign on at right to add your name to our open letter.

The Center for Democracy and Technology says, CISPA has a very broad, almost unlimited definitionof the information that can be shared with government agencies and it supersedes all other privacy laws.”

According to the Electronic Frontier Foundation:

An ISP could even interpret this bill as allowing them to block accounts believed to be infringing,block access to websites like The Pirate Bay believed to carry infringing content, or take other measures provided they claimed it was motivated by cybersecurity concerns.

Internet users were able to push GoDaddy to withdraw its support of SOPA.  Now it’s time to make sure Facebook knows we’re furious.

PETITION TO MARK ZUCKERBERG: What is Facebook thinking?  You’re encouraging Congress to obliterate online privacy — Even as your users express increasing concern about the privacy of their accounts on your site.  Please withdraw your support for CISPA right away.

Please add your name to sign our open letter to Facebook.

Here’s CDT’s resource page on CISPA.  Here’s the EFF on IP implications.


April 7, 2012 7:27 pm

Worse than SOPA? CISPA to censor Web in name of cybersecurity.

[NOTE* from Leftish: THERE HAS BEEN HARDLY ANY COVERAGE OF THIS NEXT ASSAULT ON OUR ONLINE PRIVACY…this is IMPORTANT!]


An onrush of condemnation and criticism kept the SOPA and PIPA acts from passing earlier this year, but US lawmakers have already authored another authoritarian bill that could give them free reign to creep the Web in the name of cybersecurity. A piece of legislation dubbed the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (or CISPA for short), has been created under the guise of being a necessary implement in America’s war against cyberattacks.

Kendall Burman of the Center for Democracy and Technology tells RT that Congress is currently considering a number of cybersecurity bills that could eventually be voted into law, but for the group that largely advocates an open Internet, she warns that provisions within CISPA are reason to worry over what the realities could be if it ends up on the desk of President Barack Obama.

March 31, 2012 7:21 pm
Senators Ask Feds To Probe Employer Requests for Facebook Passwords from Job Applicants

SEATTLE - Two U.S. senators are asking Attorney General Eric Holder to investigate whether employers asking for Facebook passwords during job interviews are violating federal law, their offices announced Sunday.

Troubled by reports of the practice, Democratic Sens. Chuck Schumer of New York and Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut said they are calling on the Department of Justice and the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to launch investigations. The senators are sending letters to the heads of the agencies.

The Associated Press reported last week that some private and public agencies around the country are asking job seekers for their social media credentials. The practice has alarmed privacy advocates, but the legality of it remains murky.

On Friday, Facebook warned employers not to ask job applicants for their passwords to the site so they can poke around on their profiles. The company threatened legal action against applications that violate its long-standing policy against sharing passwords.

A Facebook executive cautioned that if an employer discovers that a job applicant is a member of a protected group, the employer may be vulnerable to claims of discrimination if it doesn’t hire that person.


Read more: http://www.myfoxla.com/dpp/news/local/senators-ask-feds-to-probe-requests-for-passwords-2012-03-26#ixzz1qeEv1qtP

March 1, 2012 10:23 am February 23, 2012 6:50 pm
CIA Wages Spycraft War on WikiLeaks

Clandestine cellphones, meetings in darkened doorways… the stuff of spy movies, or reporters interacting with WikiLeaks contacts?

The New York Times has an interesting read about the lengths reporters have to go to safely work with sources at the popular online whistle-blowing outfit, and the high-tech war being waged by the U.S. and global intelligence community against WikiLeaks:

“In a second case, against Jeffrey A. Sterling, a former C.I.A. officer accused of providing classified information to another Times reporter, James Risen, for a 2006 book, the government has been more aggressive, insisting that Mr. Risen must testify. He has refused to say anything about confidential matters, and Judge Leonie M. Brinkema of the Federal District Court in Alexandria, Va., has sided with him. She said there were other ways to prove the case against Mr. Sterling, including “numerous telephone records, e-mail messages, computer files and testimony that strongly indicates that Sterling was Risen’s source.”

Typical communication methods– email, cellphones, etc. as well as even using credit cards to buy plane tickets would tip off the NSA or CIA to help them narrow down the identity of possible informants. Author Adam Liptak quotes a former Justice Department official, “You have to meet a reporter face to face, hand him an envelope and walk away quickly.”

January 17, 2012 11:20 am

f="http://leftish.tumblr.com/post/16016449418/heres-something-you-might-not-know">Here’s something you might not know…

via Rebecca MacKinnon on today’s Democracy Now with Amy Goodman:

Although the Government (supposedly) needs a Search Warrant to enter your house, or read your mail, not so with the Internet.

Did you know that if you have EMAIL THAT IS MORE THAN 180 DAYS OLD it is ENTIRELY LEGAL for the Government to “inspect” it, if you have it stored on Google or Yahoo or Hotmail or some other mail delivery system?

YIKES!  I have close to 5000 messages in my Gmail, I’m sure some of them are over six months old…

I know what I’M doing today!

November 23, 2010 5:42 pm
The convoluted and vicious plot to discredit ‘Sicko’, and Michael Moore

Nov. 22:  Wendell Potter apologizes on camera to Michael Moore for spying on him, and doing what his bosses told him to do - find out everything he could about Moore’s private life, go to screenings of his films and take notes in the back row, and much more.  Potter turned whistelblower, and in this clip talks about the insurance industry’s effort to recruit him in a smear campaign against the filmmaker before Moore’s movie, “Sicko” was released.