“The people here say the government has been spying on the Mohawk Indian reservation for decades. But until recently, these concerns were mostly just suspicions.WikiLeaks has released documents revealing corporate and government surveillance of the Mohawk people’s relationships with foreign countries, as well as evidence that movements that could block corporate plans for oil and gas were tracked and that Native American communities were monitored for the U.S. Department Homeland Security.”
We know that much of our national security surveillance work has been outsourced to private companies. But that’s Eisenhower’s military industrial complex doing what it’s been doing for 50 years. Perhaps the domestic police agencies have come up with a more modern “public/private partnership” where the private corporation does the dirty work of stalking peaceful protesters and then “confidentially informs” the police agencies who, as part of a “Joint Task Force” will keep the federal agencies in the loop. After all, it would be an infringement of the corporation’s individual freedom to suggest they don’t have a right to spy on anyone they choose, especially citizens protesting the police? They’re just trying to keep a “positive, safe face” on the USA’s single greatest achievement, the shopping mall. What could be more patriotic than that?
Documents obtained by The Intercept indicate that security staff at the Mall of America in Bloomington, Minnesota used a fake Facebook account to monitor local Black Lives Matter organizers, befriend them, and obtain their personal information and photographs without their knowledge.
Evidence of the fake Facebook account was found in a cache of files provided by the Mall of America to Bloomington officials after a large Black Lives Matter event at the mall on December 20 protesting police brutality. The files included briefs on individual organizers, with screenshots that suggest that much of the information was captured using a Facebook account for a person named “Nikki Larson.”
Metadata from some of the documents lists the software that created them as belonging to “Sam Root” at the “Mall of America.” A Facebook account for a Sam Root lists his profession as “Intelligence Analyst at Mall of America.”
The fake Larson account featured a profile photo that a Google reverse image search shows is identical to a photo associated with a woman who is Facebook friends with Root.
The account, previously found at this url, was deleted soon after The Intercept contacted the Mall of America for this story.
On December 11, as news of the planned Black Lives Matter protest began to spread, the “Nikki Larson” account was updated with a banner image of an (apocryphal) Martin Luther King Jr. quote: “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” At some point, the Larson account “liked” the Black Lives Matter Minneapolis Facebook group.
After the December 20 protest, the city charged 11 protesters with six different criminal misdemeanors. The city and mall are seeking over $65,000 in restitution for police and mall expenses.
Information collected from Facebook was used by the Mall of America security team to build dossiers on each activist. A document on Nekima Levy-Pounds, one of the activists charged by the city, includes screen grabs of her Facebook account. Levy-Pounds, professor of law at the University of St. Thomas, told The Intercept that the Larson account befriended her in December.
Another dossier profiling activist Lena Gardner contains pictures, a timeline listing where to spot her in videos from the protest taken by protestors and by Mall of America security, as well as information scraped from her social media accounts. Similar documents were created for at least eight other activists.
The Larson account appears to have been created in 2009, and had 817 friends, many of whose pages showed they were involved in Minnesota political activism. The account also “liked” Facebook groups associated with Ferguson activists, the American Indian Movement Interpretive Center, Occupy Minneapolis, SumOfUs, the SEIU Minnesota State Council, and Communities United Against Police Brutality, among others.
Fashion tech project by Behnaz Farahi is wearable top which changes form based on gaze of others:
What if our outfit could recognize and respond to the gaze of the other?
This is an interactive 3D printed wearable which can detect other
people’s gaze and respond accordingly with life-like behavior.
2. Do not be seduced by privacy settings and passwords, which are temporary illusions that distract from the reality of the previous point.
3. Understand that context and data are often one in the same. When you enter information on the internet, assume that you include the who (you), the what (the data), the when (the time of data input), the where (the site on which the data is being placed), the how (the device on which you input the data), and the why (the purpose of the site).
4. Believe that all of your credit card transactions are being kept in a colossal, searchable ledger that one day will be made available for all to study.
5. Believe that data does not disappear when you delete it.
The courts have been crystal clear on this matter. You have a right, under the First Amendment of the Constitution, to take photographs or video of anything in public. … the police certainly don’t have the right to look at your camera or seize your phone without a warrant.
Jay Stanley, senior policy analyst at the American Civil Liberties Union. Watch his interview on Democracy Now! today.
“I asked Ed Snowden what he thought about Washington’s ability to destroy countries and its inability to win a war (despite mass surveillance). I think the question was phrased quite rudely – something like, “When was the last time the United States won a war?” We spoke about whether the economic sanctions and subsequent invasion of Iraq could be accurately called genocide. We talked about how the CIA knew – and was preparing for the fact – that the world was heading to a place of not just inter-country war but of intra-country war, in which mass surveillance would be necessary to control populations. And about how armies were being turned into police forces to administer countries they have invaded and occupied, while the police – even in places such as India and Pakistan and Ferguson, Missouri, in the United States – were being trained to behave like armies to quell internal insurrections.
We talked about war and greed, about terrorism, and what an accurate definition of it would be. We spoke about countries, flags and the meaning of patriotism. We talked about public opinion and the concept of public morality and how fickle it could be, and how easily manipulated.
[…] I asked Ed whether the NSA was just feigning annoyance at his revelations, but might actually be secretly pleased at being known as the All Seeing, All Knowing Agency – because that would help to keep people fearful, off-balance, always looking over their shoulders and easy to manage. Dan spoke about how even in the US, a police state was only another 9/11 away: “We are not in a police state now, not yet. I’m talking about what may come. I realise I shouldn’t put it that way… White, middle-class, educated people like myself are not living in a police state… Black, poor people are living in a police state. The repression starts with the semi-white, the Middle Easterners, including anybody who is allied with them, and goes on from there… One more 9/11, and then I believe we will have hundreds of thousands of detentions. Middle Easterners and Muslims will be put in detention camps or deported. After 9/11, we had thousands of people arrested without charges… But I’m talking about the future. I’m talking the level of the Japanese in the second world war… I’m talking of hundreds of thousands in camps or deported. I think the surveillance is very relevant to that. They will know who to put away – the data is already collected.” (When he said this, I did wonder, though I did not ask – how different would things have been if Snowden had not been white?)”
Installation by Dries Depoorter presents all publically available Seattle police surveillance feeds together, including police radio and live CCTV camera views:
Seattle Crime Cams turns us into ultimate long-distance disaster
tourists.In this city, which is filled to the brim with traffic cameras,
the police make the calls they receive available online. Using the
location of the latest call, the closest live online traffic camera are
constantly zooming in on the very latest violations.