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Project Secret Identity is at DragonCon this weekend!

From the website:

From George Orwell’s Big Brother to J.K. Rowling’s Ministry of Magic, science fiction, fantasy, and other genre fiction have long explored and criticized the intrusion of government on our private lives.

Today, many of those fictions have become reality, whether it’s NSA mass surveillance, local police use of spy technology, or big data brokers scraping personal information from social media networks. Some governments are even trying to ban online anonymity.

Project Secret Identity underlines the belief that we must protect and advocate for ourselves in order to shape the future.

We’re excited to be involved in this project. Check out the site and submit a photo.

Hmm….are we really sure we want cops to be wearing cameras all the time? I mean are we really sure that we want walking/talking public surveillance cameras?

They’re not just going to dump the video at the end of the day, they’re going to process and analyze it. Someone is going to get the bright idea that they can ‘make the community a better place’ by noticing “patterns” in surveillance data and pushing for the appropriate legislative reform. It’s hard to say for certain what could come of this, but we have already seen how cop-cameras can be abused. It’s not just the police brutality that is getting recorded, or the pull-overs, it’ll be house calls like domestic disputes between a husband and wife. Or a heated argument between neighbors.

Just thinking about the shit I observe on my bus rides/walks every day, I already notice patterns of behavior. Certain instances of disrespect, people arguing in public, etc — there is animosity within our communities and now that discord will be recorded by the State not just at every corner (CCTV) but at every turn (walking CCTV aka cops).

All I am saying is that forcing officers to wear cameras won’t necessarily fix our social problems. It might curtail instances of police brutality, but it won’t even touch the root of discontent between legitimate peace keeping and social strain.

Oh wait, you don’t have a choice…

In a breathtakingly creepy invasion of privacy, Facebook is forcing all smartphone users to download a new messaging app. The Android version of the app — and to a lesser extent the iPhone version as well — allows Facebook to access your phone camera and record audio, call and send messages without your permission, identify details about you and all your contacts, and send that info on to third parties.

If you want to carry on sending and receiving messages through Facebook on your mobile phone you now have no choice but to install Facebook Messenger — and give the company access to a wealth of personal data stored on your phone.

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg has also admitted that his long-term plan could be to ‘monetize’ the app, so we need to act now before the app becomes impossible to stop.

Tell Facebook to stop invading its users’ privacy and allow people to keep using the old messenger feature.

The company claims that it is simply improving the user experience, and that it doesn’t have control over the permissions required for the app, specifically on Android phones. But there’s a simple solution to the problem: don’t make users download the new messenger.

Most people installing the app have absolutely no idea what they just agreed to. We need to spread the word about Facebook’s shocking privacy invasion — and if we can make this petition huge, Facebook will have to listen and get rid of this invasive new app.

Sign the petition and share it on Facebook.

I just uninstalled it from my phone.

Let me be very clear about something: Surgery is absolutely not a requirement for or condition of trans*ness. For some people gender-confirmation surgery is a personal necessity, a life-or-death need. For others it’s not. For some the medical risks aren’t worth it. For some it’s a financial impossibility. And, believe it or not, some trans* people simply don’t want any kind of surgery. Each person is different.

When people ask whether she’s going to do “the full transition,” I most often reply now by saying that she already has. The important thing to remember is that there isn’t some kind of finish line. There’s not a day in the future when my partner will finally and completely be a woman. She is a woman now. Today. She is not a halfling. She is not transitioning: She has transitioned. Focusing further on the specifics of her genitals is just kind of creepy. Genitals do not make a person. While surgeries can help some people feel more comfortable in their skin, those people were already wholly the gender by which they identified before surgical intervention. Some women have penises. Some men have vaginas. That’s that.

—  Trans* Surgeries Don’t Make the Man (or Woman) | Justin Ropella for the Huffington Post Gay Voices 

First, this is VERY important to read and understand. I’m doing my best to look out for all the Facebook Users who aren’t as tech savvy as their kids or friends. I’m trying to help explain what’s happening because if I don’t…nobody else will!

If you’re anything like your neighbor…you probably use Facebook on your phone WAY more than you use it on a computer. You’ve been sending messages from the Facebook app and it probably always asks you if you want to install the Facebook Messenger App.

It’s always been OPTIONAL but coming soon to your Facebook experience….it won’t be an option…it will be mandatory if you care to send messages from your phone.

No big deal one might think…but the part that the average Facebook User doesn’t realize is the permissions you must give to Facebook in order to use the Facebook Messenger App. Here is a short list of the most disturbing permissions it requires and a quick explanation of what it means to you and your privacy.

  • Change the state of network connectivity – This means that Facebook can change or alter your connection to the Internet or cell service. You’re basically giving Facebook the ability to turn features on your phone on and off for it’s own reasons without telling you.
  • Call phone numbers and send SMS messages – This means that if Facebook wants to…it can send text messages to your contacts on your behalf. Do you see the trouble in this? Who is Facebook to be able to access and send messages on your phone? You’re basically giving a stranger your phone and telling them to do what they want when they want!
  • Record audio, and take pictures and videos, at any time – Read that line again….RECORD audio…TAKE pictures….AT ANY TIME!! That means that the folks at Facebook can see through your lens on your phone whenever they want..they can listen to what you’re saying via your microphone if they choose to!!
  • Read your phone’s call log, including info about incoming and outgoing calls – Who have you been calling? How long did you talk to them? Now Facebook will know all of this because you’ve downloaded the new Facebook messenger app.
  • Read your contact data, including who you call and email and how often – Another clear violation of your privacy. Now Facebook will be able to read e-mails you’ve sent  and take information from them to use for their own gain. Whether it’s for “personalized advertisements” or if it’s for “research purposes” ….whatever the reason..they’re accessing your private encounters.
  • Read personal profile information stored on your device – This means that if you have addresses, personal info, pictures or anything else that’s near and dear to your personal life…they can read it.
  • Get a list of accounts known by the phone, or other apps you use – Facebook will now have a tally of all the apps you use, how often you use them and what information you keep or exchange on those apps.

 Hopefully, you take this as serious as I do…after reading more about it and studying the permissions I have now deleted the app from my phone and don’t intend to use it ever again. I still have my Facebook app but I just won’t use the messaging feature unless I’m at a computer. Even then, I might not use messaging anymore.

With these kinds of privacy invasions I think Facebook is pushing the limits to what people will let them get away with. I remember when the Internet first began it’s march toward socializing dominance when AOL would send us CD’s for free trials every week. On AOL, we made screen names that somewhat hid our identities and protected us against the unseen dangers online. Now, it seems that we’ve forgotten about that desire to protect our identity and we just lay down and let them invade our privacy.

There may be no turning back at this point because many people won’t read this or investigate the permissions of Facebook’s new mandatory app but at least I can say I tried to help us put up a fight. Pass this along to your friends and at least try to let them know what they’re getting into.

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ICREACH: How the NSA built its own secret Google
August 27, 2014

The National Security Agency is secretly providing data to nearly two dozen U.S. government agencies with a “Google-like” search engine built to share more than 850 billion records about phone calls, emails, cellphone locations, and internet chats, according to classified documents obtained by The Intercept.

The documents provide the first definitive evidence that the NSA has for years made massive amounts of surveillance data directly accessible to domestic law enforcement agencies. Planning documents for ICREACH, as the search engine is called, cite the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Drug Enforcement Administration as key participants.

ICREACH contains information on the private communications of foreigners and, it appears, millions of records on American citizens who have not been accused of any wrongdoing. Details about its existence are contained in the archive of materials provided to The Intercept by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden.

Earlier revelations sourced to the Snowden documents have exposed a multitude of NSA programs for collecting large volumes of communications. The NSA has acknowledged that it shares some of its collected data with domestic agencies like the FBI, but details about the method and scope of its sharing have remained shrouded in secrecy.

ICREACH has been accessible to more than 1,000 analysts at 23 U.S. government agencies that perform intelligence work, according to a 2010 memo. A planning document from 2007 lists the DEA, FBI, Central Intelligence Agency, and the Defense Intelligence Agency as core members. Information shared through ICREACH can be used to track people’s movements, map out their networks of associates, help predict future actions, and potentially reveal religious affiliations or political beliefs.

The creation of ICREACH represented a landmark moment in the history of classified U.S. government surveillance, according to the NSA documents.

“The ICREACH team delivered the first-ever wholesale sharing of communications metadata within the U.S. Intelligence Community,” noted a top-secret memo dated December 2007. “This team began over two years ago with a basic concept compelled by the IC’s increasing need for communications metadata and NSA’s ability to collect, process and store vast amounts of communications metadata related to worldwide intelligence targets.”

The search tool was designed to be the largest system for internally sharing secret surveillance records in the United States, capable of handling two to five billion new records every day, including more than 30 different kinds of metadata on emails, phone calls, faxes, internet chats, and text messages, as well as location information collected from cellphones. Metadata reveals information about a communication—such as the “to” and “from” parts of an email, and the time and date it was sent, or the phone numbers someone called and when they called—but not the content of the message or audio of the call.

ICREACH does not appear to have a direct relationship to the large NSA database, previously reported by The Guardian, that stores information on millions of ordinary Americans’ phone calls under Section 215 of the Patriot Act. Unlike the 215 database, which is accessible to a small number of NSA employees and can be searched only in terrorism-related investigations, ICREACH grants access to a vast pool of data that can be mined by analysts from across the intelligence community for “foreign intelligence”—a vague term that is far broader than counterterrorism.

Data available through ICREACH appears to be primarily derived from surveillance of foreigners’ communications, and planning documents show that it draws on a variety of different sources of data maintained by the NSA. Though one 2010 internal paper clearly calls it “the ICREACH database,” a U.S. official familiar with the system disputed that, telling The Intercept that while “it enables the sharing of certain foreign intelligence metadata,” ICREACH is “not a repository [and] does not store events or records.” Instead, it appears to provide analysts with the ability to perform a one-stop search of information from a wide variety of separate databases.

In a statement to The Intercept, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence confirmed that the system shares data that is swept up by programs authorized under Executive Order 12333, a controversial Reagan-era presidential directive that underpins several NSA bulk surveillance operations that monitor communications overseas. The 12333 surveillance takes place with no court oversight and has received minimal Congressional scrutiny because it is targeted at foreign, not domestic, communication networks. But the broad scale of 12333 surveillance means that some Americans’ communications get caught in the dragnet as they transit international cables or satellites—and documents contained in the Snowden archive indicate that ICREACH taps into some of that data.

Legal experts told The Intercept they were shocked to learn about the scale of the ICREACH system and are concerned that law enforcement authorities might use it for domestic investigations that are not related to terrorism.

“To me, this is extremely troublesome,” said Elizabeth Goitein, co-director of the Liberty and National Security Program at the New York University School of Law’s Brennan Center for Justice. “The myth that metadata is just a bunch of numbers and is not as revealing as actual communications content was exploded long ago—this is a trove of incredibly sensitive information.”

Brian Owsley, a federal magistrate judge between 2005 and 2013, said he was alarmed that traditional law enforcement agencies such as the FBI and the DEA were among those with access to the NSA’s surveillance troves.

“This is not something that I think the government should be doing,” said Owsley, an assistant professor of law at Indiana Tech Law School. “Perhaps if information is useful in a specific case, they can get judicial authority to provide it to another agency. But there shouldn’t be this buddy-buddy system back-and-forth.”

Jeffrey Anchukaitis, an ODNI spokesman, declined to comment on a series of questions from The Intercept about the size and scope of ICREACH, but said that sharing information had become “a pillar of the post-9/11 intelligence community” as part of an effort to prevent valuable intelligence from being “stove-piped in any single office or agency.”

Using ICREACH to query the surveillance data, “analysts can develop vital intelligence leads without requiring access to raw intelligence collected by other IC [Intelligence Community] agencies,” Anchukaitis said. “In the case of NSA, access to raw signals intelligence is strictly limited to those with the training and authority to handle it appropriately. The highest priority of the intelligence community is to work within the constraints of law to collect, analyze and understand information related to potential threats to our national security.”

Full article

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Privacy advocates scored another win after 75 percent of Missouri voters chose in Tuesday’s primary election to amend their state constitution to protect electronic privacy rights.

Duane Lester of the Missouri Torch blasted the Post-Dispatch’s stance as a “stunning display of willful ignorance.”

“Why is this amendment even on the ballot?” he wrote. “Because the federal government is spying on us.”

Missouri State Sen. Rob Schaaf, R-St. Joseph, sponsor of the bill that put the amendment on the ballot, tweeted Tuesday evening, “Amendment 9 is getting overwhelming support that reflects the emotion felt about (p)rivacy erosion.”

http://watchdog.org/163770/missouri-constitution-privacy/?no_redirect=true

MBTI Reactions To...

Being Touched Without Permission (Requested)

INTJ

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"How dare you touch moi."

INFP

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"As long as it isn’t too invasive of personal space, or if I know the person well, then I don’t mind."

INFJ

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"I’m slightly shocked, but I don’t mind as long as it’s not invasive. I understand if others don’t want to be touched without permission, though. It sort of depends on the scenario."

(Credits to GIF Makers)

P.S. Remember, you can submit topics on “MBTI Reactions To…” here.

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