Looks like police in Chicago have a tricked out surveillance truck equipped with cell site simulators, a.k.a. Stingrays, that force nearby phones to send data to cops instead of to phone company cell towers. Did those cops get a warrant for that?

Your tax dollars at work: Spying on people just because they demand that the government’s agents stop killing black people.

UPDATE: Anonymous has released a video featuring what appear to be Chicago police radio transmissions revealing police wiretapping of organizers’ phones at the protests last night the day after Thanksgiving, perhaps using a stingray. The transmissions pointing to real-time wiretapping involve the local DHS-funded spy ‘fusion’ center.

Watch here

The National Security Agency revealed to an angry congressional panel on Wednesday that its analysis of phone records and online behavior goes exponentially beyond what it had previously disclosed.

John C Inglis, the deputy director of the surveillance agency, told a member of the House judiciary committee that NSA analysts can perform “a second or third hop query” through its collections of telephone data and internet records in order to find connections to terrorist organizations.

“Hops” refers to a technical term indicating connections between people. A three-hop query means that the NSA can look at data not only from a suspected terrorist, but from everyone that suspect communicated with, and then from everyone those people communicated with, and then from everyone all of those people communicated with.

Well this just gets better by the day…

Police already abuse the immense power they have, but if everyone’s every action were being monitored, and everyone technically violates some obscure law at some time, then punishment becomes purely selective. Those in power will essentially have what they need to punish anyone they’d like, whenever they choose, as if there were no rules at all.

Even ignoring this obvious potential for new abuse, it’s also substantially closer to that dystopian reality of a world where law enforcement is 100% effective, eliminating the possibility to experience alternative ideas that might better suit us.

William Binney is one of the highest-level whistleblowers to ever emerge from the NSA. He was a leading code-breaker against the Soviet Union during the Cold War but resigned soon after September 11, disgusted by Washington’s move towards mass surveillance.

On 5 July he spoke at a conference in London organised by the Centre for Investigative Journalism and revealed the extent of the surveillance programs unleashed by the Bush and Obama administrations.

“At least 80% of fibre-optic cables globally go via the US”, Binney said. “This is no accident and allows the US to view all communication coming in. At least 80% of all audio calls, not just metadata, are recorded and stored in the US. The NSA lies about what it stores.”

The NSA will soon be able to collect 966 exabytes a year, the total of internet traffic annually. Former Google head Eric Schmidt once argued that the entire amount of knowledge from the beginning of humankind until 2003 amount to only five exabytes.

Binney, who featured in a 2012 short film by Oscar-nominated US film-maker Laura Poitras, described a future where surveillance is ubiquitous and government intrusion unlimited.

“The ultimate goal of the NSA is total population control”, Binney said, “but I’m a little optimistic with some recent Supreme Court decisions, such as law enforcement mostly now needing a warrant before searching a smartphone.”

A Senate proposal touted as protecting Americans’ e-mail privacy has been quietly rewritten, giving government agencies more surveillance power than they possess under current law.

CNET has learned that Patrick Leahy, the influential Democratic chairman of the Senate Judiciary committee, has dramatically reshaped his legislation in response to law enforcement concerns. A vote on his bill, which now authorizes warrantless access to Americans’ e-mail, is scheduled for next week.

Revised bill highlights

✭ Grants warrantless access to Americans’ electronic correspondence to over 22 federal agencies. Only a subpoena is required, not a search warrant signed by a judge based on probable cause.

✭ Permits state and local law enforcement to warrantlessly access Americans’ correspondence stored on systems not offered “to the public,” including university networks.

✭ Authorizes any law enforcement agency to access accounts without a warrant — or subsequent court review — if they claim “emergency” situations exist.

✭ Says providers “shall notify” law enforcement in advance of any plans to tell their customers that they’ve been the target of a warrant, order, or subpoena.

✭ Delays notification of customers whose accounts have been accessed from 3 days to “10 business days.” This notification can be postponed by up to 360 days.

Leahy’s rewritten bill would allow more than 22 agencies — including the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Federal Communications Commission — to access Americans’ e-mail, Google Docs files, Facebook wall posts, and Twitter direct messages without a search warrant. It also would give the FBI and Homeland Security more authority, in some circumstances, to gain full access to Internet accounts without notifying either the owner or a judge.

America: Land of the Watched

Stories from 2013:

Virginia Cops Encouraging Citizens to Take Photos of Other Citizens Taking Photos and send it to them via their app

NSA and GCHQ collect gamers’ chats, recruit informants and deploy real-life agents into World of Warcraft and Second Life

FBI secretly activating laptop cameras and audio without users’ knowledge for surveillance

NSA planted malware spanning five continents and over 50,000 computer networks to steal information

The new U.S. spy rocket logo

Corporate espionage for over 350 of the largest corporations provided by the FBI, CIA, and DHS for pay

Seattle installs “mesh” network capable of tracking anyone within city limits with a wi-fi capable device

TSA has expanded its reach to train stations, subway stops, and other transportation-related hubs

NSA eavesdropped on the Vatican

NSA spied on 60.5 million phone calls in Spain

NSA monitored calls of at least 35 world leaders

During a single day last year, the NSA’s Special Source Operations branch collected 444,743 e-mail address books from Yahoo, 105,068 from Hotmail, 82,857 from Facebook, 33,697 from Gmail and 22,881 from unspecified other providers

Tracking and surveillance technology initially intended for “national security” increasingly being used for local law enforcement and petty crime

Virginia state police used license plate readers at political rallies and built huge database

Obamacare personal data can be used for law enforcement and audit activities

NSA uses metadata ‘to create sophisticated graphs’ of US citizens’ social connections

Filming the police is increasingly being treated as a crime and met with violence from law enforcement

Ag-gag laws continue to be passed to silence whistleblowers on corporate abuses of animal rights

 The government was involved in spreading false rumours about OWS, in some cases instigating violence among protester while undercover, and passing along collected surveillance to the financial industry

The New Hampshire Free State Project, a peaceful libertarian movement, was implicated by local law enforcement as a potential domestic terrorist threat

Police were trained to treat Keystone XL protesters as terrorists

Government documents reveal over 72 different qualities of Americans that implicate someone as a “potential terrorist”

No cell phone providers challenged government orders to turn over bulk cell phone records 

The government ruled that you have no right to privacy when it comes to your medical prescription use records

Congress attempted to redefine “journalism” and censor reporting 

Local cops watch your tweets in real time looking for specific words

The CFPB monitors 4 out of 5 credit card transactions, collecting data on 42 billion transactions made with 933 million credit cards used by American consumers in 2012

AT&T is paid to help DEA find drug users and turns over 26 years worth of records

NSA spying on UN headquarters

Facial scanning is beginning to be implemented in surveillance

Multiple companies forced to shut down over privacy concerns and a refusal to oblige with NSA requests

Glenn Greenwald’s partner detained and questioned for 9 hours by airport security

Apple patents let police turn off phones, cameras, wifi

Facebook shadow profiles exist for those who don’t use the service, store personal information

Federal government directed agents to cover up surveillance program used to investigate Americans

NSA “terrorism” spying capabilities used to target offenders in War on Drugs

The NSA is collecting the contents of every domestic communication in America

Government employees refuse to stop lying about the extent and existence of domestic spying

Radley Balko showcases the militarization of domestic police and SWAT raids in Warrior Cops

Cops can track cellphones without warrants, courts rule

100% of cars will have black boxes by 2014

Illegal domestic spying began before 9/11

Public schools replacing traditional IDs with iris scanners

'Boundless Informant’ collects 3 billion pieces of intelligence in just 30-day period and 10 billion pieces worldwide

The government can and has shutdown cellphone networks in times of “crisis”



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Twitter: @_stopprism where we’re trending #nothingtohide, #NSA, #stopPRISM, and #restorethefourth

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Facebook: Stop Prism, using one of the enemy’s most widespread networks against it

Thank you for caring.

Thank you for not succumbing.

Thank you for resisting with us.


Facebook Spying Tip for Law Enforcement

Not Only the Secret Services like NSA SCS; CIA OSC; FBI - are searching Facebook Profiles of the citizens. Also The Law Enforcement (incl. police) is using That Websites to Track and Monitor “suspicious” People.

Here is what they do.

Today the ACLU filed Freedom of Information Act requests seeking records related to the federal government’s domestic use of Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) – better known as drones – as well as plans for the future rollout of drones in the United States. Drone technology is largely a product of our war efforts abroad, but the federal government is repurposing these machines for surveillance purposes at home.

We sent the FOIA requests to five federal agencies:

Federal Aviation Administration: Following the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012, the FAA has been tasked with developing a plan for incorporating drones into the national airspace by 2015, and authorizing private and public entities to utilize drones. We’d like to see the FAA’s records on drone flights as well as any policies they’ve been developing.
Department of Justice: DOJ oversees several agencies that we know are using drones in the U.S., including the FBI and DEA. We’d like to know how each agency is using their own drones, drones that they’re borrowing, and drones that they’re lending.
Department of Homeland Security: DHS also oversees several drone-totin’ departments, including U.S. Customs and Border Protection. We’d like to know how DHS is using, and sharing, its drones.
General Services Administration: According to a recent GAO report, “Federal agencies that own or lease UAS report their UAS inventory, cost and utilization data to GSA.” We’ve asked them to share this information.
U.S. Air Force: In a recent document implementing new policy, the Air Force listed several permissible domestic drone uses, including responding to natural disasters, counterintelligence, vulnerability assessments, training, and testing. We’d like to find out how they’ve been using drones for these purposes, or any others.

The ACLU wants to know how the government is using, acquiring, paying for, and sharing drones. We’ve asked the following questions to the government:

♦ How are drones being funded and purchased?
♦ What are the technical capabilities of drones that are being flown in the U.S.?
♦ What type of surveillance data is being captured, and how long is it being stored?
♦ Who can access drones and the data they capture?
♦ What other policies or procedures currently govern the domestic use of drones?

Though the full extent of government ownership of drones remains unclear, one example of government drone use involves U.S. Customs and Border Protection, which is using drones to patrol both our northern and southern borders. The U.S. Border Patrol owns nine drones and is awaiting the delivery of its tenth. Additionally, the Department of Justice is rumored to have four drones of its own that it loans out to police departments.

The ACLU released a report on domestic drones in December 2011, urging that rules be put in place to safeguard Americans’ privacy. The report recommends limits on when drones can be deployed and for what purposes, and calls for restrictions on retention of and access to data collected by drones employed for any purpose. Today’s FOIA requests seek to determine how extensively the government has heeded this advice. [++]

Many don’t understand why they should be concerned about surveillance if they have nothing to hide. It’s even less clear in the world of ‘oblique’ surveillance, given that apologists will always frame our use of information-gathering services like a mobile phone plan or Gmail as a choice. If everyone’s every action were being monitored, and everyone technically violates some obscure law at some time, then punishment becomes purely selective.

Wired’s fantastic take on the NSA’s surveillance.


Newly leaked source code has revealed just what the NSA considers justification for storing your web browsing data indefinitely — and it probably didn’t come from Edward Snowden.

Lena Kampf, Jacob Appelbaum and John Goetz (who are all associated with the Tor Project) wrote on the German site Tagessschau that they have seen the “deep packet inspection” rules used in the NSA’s XKeyScore program to determine which targets are worthy of deep surveillance. The rules are much broader than the NSA would like you to believe; for example, the NSA targets anyone who searches for information online about Tails or Tor. Anyone using Tor is also flagged for long-term surveillance. People deemed worthy of such intensive surveillance never have their data removed from NSA servers.

Perhaps the scariest is the technology carried by a Reaper drone the Air Force is flying near Lincoln, Nevada and in areas of California and Utah. This drone uses ‘Gorgon Stare’ technology, which Wikipedia defines as 'a spherical array of nine cameras attached to an aerial drone … capable of capturing motion imagery of an entire city.’ This imagery 'can then be analyzed by humans or an artificial intelligence, such as the Mind’s Eye project’ being developed by DARPA. If true, this technology takes surveillance to a whole new level.

President Obama will announce a series of moves on Friday to to improve privacy protections within National Security Agency surveillance programs, and better explain to the public how they operate. Obama willl

“He adds there were other avenues available for someone "whose conscience felt stirred.” Obama complains that Snowden’s leaks have come out in dribs and drabs and have unfairly set the impression that the U.S. government is spying on its citizens"




The more we accept perpetual government and corporate surveillance as the norm, the more we change our actions and behavior to fit that expectation — subtly but inexorably corrupting the liberal ideal that each person should be free to live life as they choose without fear of anyone else interfering with it.

Put differently, George Orwell isn’t who you should be reading to understand the dangers inherent to the NSA’s dragnet. You’d be better off turning to famous French social theorist Michel Foucault.

The basic concern with the PRISM program is that it is undoubtedly collecting information on significant numbers of Americans, in secret, who may not have any real connection to the case the Agency is pursuing. PRISM sifts through tech giants’ databases to cull information about suspected national security threats. However, since it uses a 51 percent confidence threshold for determining whether a target is foreign, and likely extends to individuals that are “two degrees of separation” from the original target, the chances are extraordinarily high that this program is spying on a significant number of Americans.

A citizenry that’s constantly on guard for secret, unaccountable surveillance is one that’s constantly being remade along the lines the state would prefer. Foucault illustrated this point by reference to a hypothetical prison called the Panopticon. Designed by utilitarian philosopher Jeremy Bentham, the Panopticon is a prison where all cells can be seen from a central tower shielded such that the guards can see out but the prisoners can’t see in. The prisoners in the Panopticon could thus never know whether they were being surveilled, meaning that they have to, if they want to avoid running the risk of severe punishment, assume that they were being watched at all times. Thus, the Panopticon functioned as an effective tool of social control even when it wasn’t being staffed by a single guard.

In his famous Discipline and Punish, Foucault argues that we live in a world where the state exercises power in the same fashion as the Panopticon’s guards. Foucault called it “disciplinary power;” the basic idea is that the omnipresent fear of being watched by the state or judged according to prevailing social norms caused people to adjust the way they acted and even thought without ever actually punished. People had become “self-regulating” agents, people who “voluntarily” changed who they were to fit social and political expectations without any need for actual coercion.

 The more people come to see mass online surveillance as a norm, rather than something used only on specific subjects of investigation, the more they’ll tailor their online habits to it. Since people understandably don’t want the government looking at their private information, that’ll mean the internet will over time slowly become less of a place for vibrant self-expression. That should trouble anyone who believes that the best society is one in which people are most free to be themselves in whatever way they find most meaningful. In essence, that should trouble anyone committed to the basic liberal project.

Foucault’s point wasn’t that disciplinary power was intrinsically bad; the idea that, for example, pedophiles might be deterred from accessing child pornography for fear of state surveillance of child porn sites shouldn’t bother anyone. Rather, Foucault warned, disciplinary power was dangerous — used in certain fashions, it could be subtly corrosive of exactly the sorts of freedoms of expression and self-identity that liberal democracies purportedly protected absolutely. The NSA program, especially as its breadth becomes clear, is exactly the sort of overreach his work should warn us against.

This is from ThinkProgress!  Interesting.