That is right, Sacramento California! Right here in the good old USA! Jack booted storm troopers swoop right in under color of authority giving the father a complimentary beat-down while stripping the innocent infant from mother’s arms. It seems that Sutter hospital didn’t like being blown off by American citizens, so it called Child Protective Service, accusing the Nikolayev’s of child abuse and neglect. The incident has turned into a nightmare for the family as seemingly every part of the state bureaucracy wants to have a say in the matter while none of them are willing to admit wrongdoing and return the stolen child. Continue Reading
By Elizabeth Leafloor | Red Ice Creations
Although people are becoming more aware of the disturbing aspects of facial recognition software in general, and Facebook’s dogged attacks on personal privacy in particular, the masses are still either quite apathetic or ignorant of the dangers.
We have shown in past how these technologies can and do gather vast databases of information over which you have little to no control. This wealth of information can be sold, distributed, and shared with anyone THEY choose.
Is it paranoia if they really are watching you?
While some suggest that Facebook itself might be losing members (Is the age of brag over? Why Facebook might be losing teens), that doesn’t diminish the point that if you use Facebook or other social networking services, you should be vigilant and ensure your privacy (such as it is online) is secured. Continue Reading
If you’re a Facebook holdout, or have chosen to abandon the social media hangout for any number of reasons, be prepared to be labeled a misfit — or worse.
The net has been abuzz this week about a story attributed to a German newsmagazine in which a psychologist concluded that accused killers Norwegian Anders Breivik and Colorado theatre gunman James Holmes’s slim social media presences were suspicious.
“Not having a Facebook account could be the first sign that you are a mass murderer,” is how tech news site slashdot summed up Der Taggspiegel’s story.
With a global population of seven billion and about 955 million registered Facebook user — technological and economic barriers notwithstanding — that’s a scary proposition.
However, an immediate concern may be the weight placed on the social network by employers.
While the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services have backed off earlier demands for the Facebook passwords of workers to check their profiles for troubling behaviour, it’s still seen as a tool to vet potential employees.
“Anecdotally, I’ve heard both job seekers and employers wonder aloud about what it means if a job candidate doesn’t have a Facebook account. Does it mean they deactivated it because it was full of red flags? Are they hiding something?” asked a Forbes.com writer.
And the dating game tells a similar story.
Slate advice columnist Emily Yoffe told one woman: “I’m fine with people not having a Facebook page if they don’t want one. However…. If you’re of a certain age and you meet someone who you are about to go to bed with, and that person doesn’t have a Facebook page, you may be getting a false name. It could be some kind of red flag.”
Read the full article at: thespec.com
Editor of End the Lie
When the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC) isn’t compiling dossiers on innocent Americans with no ties to terrorism and storing them for five years, they’re apparently telling law enforcement that urban explorers are actually aiding terrorists.
Urban explorers are hobbyists who – you guessed it – explore urban areas to find little-seen or ignored areas of the man-made landscape, some abandoned and some not, often documenting their travels and discoveries and posting images or other information online.
While it might seem somewhat absurd that the NCTC would put out a report (embedded below or available here) telling law enforcement that, “Any suspicious UE activity should be reported to the nearest State and Major Area Fusion Center and to the local FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force,” it really shouldn’t be surprising.
Similar reports from various entities have also said that potential terrorism indicators include most bodily movements, having certain bumper stickers on one’s car, photographing iconic buildings, forgetting items at a hotel, believing in government conspiracies and so much more that it has almost become a joke at this point.
Now the government thinks urban explorers are actually aiding terrorists by posting photos, videos and diagrams online.
This is noteworthy because urban exploration has become a surprisingly popular activity. So popular, in fact, that a 2007 San Francisco Chronicle article noted, “Urban exploration is a worldwide phenomenon with its own fanzines, conventions, culture, ethics, periodicals, books, movies, MTV specials and clubs from Russia to Australia, Canada to Chile. And it’s growing.” Continue Reading
The new generation of HDTV’s and cable receivers sold to the public contain features that are not very publicized by tech companies: Cameras, mics and sensors that have the ability of recording everything that is happening in the living room. Not unlike the telescreens in George Orwell’s novel 1984, TV’s will soon be able to watch and even thoroughly analyze everyone present in the devices’ vicinity.
The cable company Verizon has recently filed a patent for a system that contain audio and video sensors coupled with facial and profile recognition software. That would allow the company to obtain information such as the number people in the room, their sex, their race, what they are doing and even what they are consuming while watching TV. The goal of such a system is to broadcast “targeted advertising” but crossing the line to outright spying on people is only footstep away. Here’s an article on Verizon’s patent.
Picture this: You’re having an argument with your partner while watching television, and suddenly an advertisement comes on for marriage counseling. Or maybe you’re doing some weightlifting while a movie plays in the background, and ads for health food pop up on the screen.
In the past, it would have been mere coincidence. But in the future, things look set to change, thanks to Verizon’s “gesture recognition technology.”
The company has filed a patent, published last week, for a system designed to be used in the home to target advertisements at people. Using a combination of image and audio sensors, it would detect actions in your living room while you were watching TV. These sensors, deploying facial and profile recognition, would pick up “physical attributes” like skin color, facial features, and even hair length, and also detect “voice attributes” to help determine the tone of your voice, your accent, and the language you speak. Inanimate objects aren’t off-limits—the technology could also spot beer cans and wall art. Continue Reading
New secret multi-billion dollar NSA facility in the Utah desert to add to their massive Ft. Meade, MD facility. Feeling safe now? Big brother LOVES you.
by Zen Gardner
The latest announcement of recording capabilities being installed in American buses via their already invasive CCTV cameras has me hopping mad. It’s just sick. Yet the most astounding thing is the vast majority will swallow it as a needed feature to help fight terrorism.
After all, they have nothing to hide. They’re not doing diddly squat to stand up to anything, and have no intention to. “Obey..Obey” is what they hear.
Every possible 1984ish scenario immediately jumps into your mind as the slow mo intro of all this techno mumbo jumbo is laid on a naive and unsuspecting, weakened public.
Let Me Count the Ways
Let’s look at some of the current methods being employed to track and document our behavior, Continue Reading
When retired four-star general and former CIA Director David Petraeus resigned from his post this month after admitting to an extramarital affair, one of the more startling revelations was that the dalliance was discovered when the FBI sifted through his private Gmail account.
The spy chief had been out-spied.
More alarming is that the average American could easily be subjected to the same snooping that Petraeus endured. According to current law, police can access email through a provider, like Yahoo or Gmail, without a warrant if the message is more than 180 days old.
The rule is a relic of the Electronic Communications Privacy Act of 1986, written before legislators could dream of the explosion of technology and ubiquity of email, text messaging, online chatting and other communications that leave behind an electronic trail.
The Senate Judiciary Committee met on Nov. 29 to consider an update to the Act which would require police to get a warrant to read email or other electronic communiques.
The proposed change comes as technological advances continue to give law enforcement more efficient and invasive ways to track people, while privacy laws struggle to keep up. Citizens might be surprised to learn that their email accounts, their phones and even their houses are subject to warrant-free electronic surveillance. Continue Reading
Former National Security Agency (NSA) analyst William Binney said in a Tuesday interview with RT that the American domestic law enforcement and intelligence agency, the FBI, has massive access to such data due to a powerful device called Naris, Russia Today reported.
According to the report, Binney was “one of the best mathematicians and code breakers in NSA history” that resigned in 2001 “because he no longer wanted to be associated with alleged violations of the [US] constitution.”
The former NSA officer says the FBI has access to “basically the emails of virtually everybody in the country,” including all members of the US Congress. “No one is excluded,” he insists.
“So, yes, this can happen to anyone. If they become a target for whatever reason… the government can go in, or the FBI, or other agencies of the government, they can go into their database, pull all that data collected on them over the years, and we analyze it all. So, we have to actively analyze everything they’ve done for the last 10 years at least.” Continue Reading
The US department of Homeland Security has commissioned a one-year contract to investigate the efficacy of using social networks to identify instances of bioterrorism, pandemics and other health and security risks.
It is paying Accenture Federal Services $3 million (£1.8 million) to scan the networks’ for key words in real time to see if growing threats or health trends can be distinguished. So if an individual flags up a nasty cough in a Facebook update, for instance, the software will be looking to see if key medical terminology is repeated in connected groups or from other individuals posting from the same location.
“This is big data analytics,” said John Matchette, managing director for Accenture’s public safety department, who admits the technique is yet to be proven. “In theory, social media analytics would have shown timely indicators for multiple past biological and health-related events.” Mobile data mapping has been used in the past to track and predict population movements following natural disasters and algorithms can use data to track disease hotspotsafter the event. However, this latest experiment could provide real time information to help stem disease spread, develop early warning systems and help emergency services coordinate react in a timely fashion
According to a company statement from Accenture, the software will constantly scan blogs, as well as the usual outlets, but not all networks and channels have been decided upon. It’s no surprise that national security departments monitor social networks to look out for threats (Paul Chambers’ arrest after a tongue-in-cheek faux bomb tweet threat being a perfect example of when that monitoring goes very wrong), however Homeland Security is already being sued by civil liberties group Electronic Privacy Information Centre and is under pressure to answer questions about setting up fake social networking accounts to search for key words such as “virus” and “trojan”. The department has been accused of violating the public’s free speech and constitutional protections against unreasonable searches. No one would disagree there needs to be better systems in place to monitor and protect against the spread of infectious disease, however how data is monitored to do this has come under fire.
Government Shares Drones with Law Enforcement Agencies Across the Country
San Francisco – The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) filed suit against the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Tuesday, demanding answers about how and why it loans out its Predator drones to other law enforcement agencies across the country.
Customs and Border Protection (CBP) – a division of DHS – uses the unmanned drones inside the U.S. to patrol the borders with surveillance equipment like video cameras, infrared cameras, heat sensors, and radar. But recent news articles as well as a report from DHS itself show CBP is expanding its surveillance work, flying Predator drone missions on behalf of a diverse group of local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies – including a county sheriff’s department in North Dakota, the Texas Rangers, the Bureau of Land Management, and the Department of Defense.
EFF filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request asking for more information about these drone flights, but DHS has yet to respond to the request.
EFF’s lawsuit asks for an immediate response, including records and logs of CBP drone flights conducted in conjunction with other agencies.
“We’ve seen bits and pieces of information on CBP’s Predator drones, but Americans deserve the full story,” said EFF Staff Attorney Jennifer Lynch. “Drones are a powerful surveillance tool that can be used to gather extensive data about you and your activities. The public needs to know more about how and why these Predator drones are being used to watch U.S. citizens.” Continue Reading
The manufactured threat of terrorism has once again been used to push what would otherwise be unthinkable. In this case, the United Nations is exploiting the irrational fear of terrorism to justify international internet surveillance.
In a new 148-page UN report released at a conference in Vienna entitled “The Use of the Internet for Terrorist Purposes” the UN claimed that the lack of an “internationally agreed framework for retention of data” is problematic along with open wireless internet networks in public places.
The UN claims that terrorists are utilizing social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube to spread what they call “propaganda.” This perspective is somewhat similar to that presented by groups like the Homeland Security Policy Institute in claiming that a major threat is the “spread of the [terrorist] entity’s narrative.”
This notion is quite dangerous because the nature of this “propaganda” or “narrative” is never clearly outlined. Instead, the door is left open to call anything and everything that is different from the manufactured government account of various events “propaganda” or something which spreads the enemy’s “narrative.”
“Potential terrorists use advanced communications technology often involving the Internet to reach a worldwide audience with relative anonymity and at a low cost,” said Yury Fedotov, the executive director of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).
The report draws some apparently unwarranted conclusions, such as that “one of the major problems confronting all law enforcement agencies is the lack of an internationally agreed framework for retention of data held by ISPs.” Continue Reading
I recently had to renew my car tags for 2013. Instead of new little stickers to be applied to my old plates, I got brand spankin’ new plates and new little stickers for2013. The plates themselves are different too. These are flat…no raised lettering or numbers and, come to find out, they contain a bar code which is also pinned to my new registration. From what I have been able to glean from various sources, there is no need what-so-ever for there to be any numbers or letters at all on the plate; the bar code is embedded and anyone at all with access to a plate reader can scan my plates, log my location, track me where I go and right back home again. All of this information can be kept for indefinite periods of time. And they don’t need any other reason for doing it other than …they can!
According to the the official State of Minnesota press release (Aug 28, 2008) states that the redesigned plates include black lettering which is suppose to be easier to read, and includes a bar-code that according to them “can be scanned for inventory control and record keeping”.
Q: What inventory is it that the State is referring to?
Q: What records are they keeping? And why?
“With TSA now interferring with our legal right to travel freely, un-accosted by criminals, thugs, and other government employees, this per mile tax is the next step in the UN Agenda 21 Sequestered Populations plan. Many people will be forced into highly populated sequestered areas as a result of the additional costs and the refusal to comply with surveillance. What is at work here is the systematic creation of plans meant to make it so difficult, so invasive for you to travel…you won’t! You’ll stay right in your little center like you are supposed to.” Continue Reading
There was a time when we the people could expect privacy in our homes, in our conversations, in our everyday lives. As you’ll see in this video, your right to privacy has ended. Vast amounts of what you would assume to be your private information is being recorded and stored in computer banks.
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