Archive for the ‘surveillance state’ Category

BTC – IBM is that nasty guy at the Info Bar who slips something into your beverage while you are distracted and then takes full advantage before you come to.  Guys like that believe, inherently, you want your non-consensual compromise as badly as they do.

“It [BIG DATA] will change our existing notions of privacy. A surveillance society is not only inevitable, it’s worse. It’s irresistible,” said Jeff Jonas, a distinguished engineer with IBM. Jonas spoke to a packed house of several hundred people Wednesday at the Structure Big Data 2011 conference here.

:::MORE HERE:::

How predictable!  IBM, Verichip wundersponsor, can’t help but love systemic numerical processing of people’s information for cash!  Ahem … excepting the deep privacy argument that information surveillance doesn’t really happen- or even start- with bonafide informed consent, simply distracted consent.  Between TIME’s coverage of the great data heist of 2011 and the Wall Street Journal’s “What They Know” columns; Washington has been successfully cornered on the massive problem of unaccountable data brokerages and the information surveillance of millions of people.

Let’s not forget what we are up against; an entire unchecked industry who -for lack of limits- has grown not only entitled, by years of unchecked precedent, but also super-rich.   A simple protest in NYC is not fixing this…

Here is second life for news that matters.

WHAT THEY KNOW @alleyinsider: Color isn’t about photo sharing. It’s about data mining. Founder Bill Nguyen explains. http://read.bi/f3WU6k

Browser Beware: Washington Weighs Online Consumer Privacy

Data Mining: How Companies Now Know Everything About You

Big Data to revolutionize Healthcare according to ONC 

Europe and U.S. converging on Internet privacy

Are 95% of People Investigated Under New FBI Guidelines Innocent, but Entered into Database?

BTC-  While there are many who express disgust with the public transit system, I feel it’s something I can live with until an electric car is ready.  In recent past I’ve discovered public transit is partial to public surveillance theatre and special pre-recorded reminders about watching for suspicious packages.

However, nothing topped the TransitWatch pamphlet I picked up today, complete with the “watchful eye” logo on it.  Blame my hypervigilance on the emergent ghosts of Kafka or today’s quest to afflict John Yoo… but all of it was so telling that I was in the right vein of conscientious objection when I saw the following text inside the transit lit.

Be on the alert for suspicious… behavior: 

[Please keep in mind it’s Summer in the Bay Area both hot and cold apply.]

If you spot any suspicious individuals engaged in  questionable activity, look for the following:

  • Visible signs of nervousness [What does one man’s nervousness look like to another?

  • Excessive sweating [How much sweat is too much sweat?

  • Sprayer bottles or aerosol canisters [I can’t mist myself down on a hot day?]

  • Inappropriate clothing that is excessively baggy or too heavy in warm weather  [What is “inappropriate” or too “baggy”? Tell that to the ghettotechnicians getting on BART in Oakland!]

Recommended course of action:

Do not confront suspicious individuals.

Contact a transit employee or the police immediately.

***

None of these descriptions have anything to do with an actual crime being committed, but if your neighbor doesn’t like your clothes or the fact that you broke a sweat trying to make the train on time – you might be soon be a terror watch subject.

This message was brought to you in part by a system that has been in place since 2003, based on a UK public surveillance policy of “reasonable indication” and these fine folks.

Here’s second life for news that matters:

Secret surveillance camera approved by Texas appellate court 

Voluntary activist arrested 

First biometric ATM goes live in Poland

Serious privacy concerns over vehicle monitoring systems

Lifelock is running infomercials or just really long ads on TV. The LifeLock CEO’s identity stolen 13 times in the past.

In case you forgot what DHS had to say about the Real ID Act…

UK police backing down over surveillance cams

ACLU: America is being riddled with politically motivated surveillance

WHOIS Evan Ratliff?



THIS WEEK ON WAKING UP ORWELL 
On the lamm with WIRED’s Evan Ratliff


AUDIO::: TAX RELIEF SPECIAL: The Story of evading a WIRED identity 


BTC – For Tax Day only, we are switching from our regular formatted programming to bring you a special talk with Evan Ratliff, a co-editor for WIRED Magazine who created an assignment to disappear with strategic aims to not be found. WIRED’s sponsored contest had escalating tiers of money for the digital bounty hunter who could track down and catch Ratliff in his remote locations. 


Evan was in and out of disguises for the duration of his extended assignment. He toured with a band, became a semi-granola hippie and even adopted a disguise as balding stereotype in a suit to evade getting “caught” for prize money. He shares a very unique story of how he did his best to evade being actively identified by those who tracked him down with arcane and creative digital clues. Relax, as much as you can, in this moderately paranoid yet entertaining tale of public evasion. 


ABOUT EVAN RATLIFF

Ratliff is a freelance journalist whose writing appears in Wired magazine, The New Yorker, the New York Times Sunday Magazine, Outside, Discover, Men’s Journal, New York, and many other publications. A contributing editor for Wired, he is the co-author of Safe: The Race to Protect Ourselves in a Newly Dangerous World (HarperCollins, 2005), about innovation and counterterrorism. A former fellow at both the International Reporting Project and the Japan Foreign Press Center, he has reported from Russia, Cameroon, Bangladesh, Brazil, and elsewhere on science and technology, the environment, terrorism, politics, and transnational crime.



IN OTHER NEWS: 


Senators Raise Privacy Concerns About Body Scanner Technology 
c/o EPIC

Three United States Senators have written a letter to Secretary Napolitano of the Department of Homeland Security, urging the Department to reconsider the whole body scanners currently planned for U.S. airports. Senators Collins (R-ME), Kyl (R-AZ), and Chambliss (R-GA) encouraged Secretary Napolitano to consider “auto-detection” devices instead of human screeners to address privacy concerns. The Senators noted that the current technology allows airport officials to “view detailed images of passengers’ bodies” and also that other systems could “save the government and airports money on physical space for screening.” 

Restrictive Immigration Policies Confound Security 
c/o Cato FLOGGER Jim Harper


Shuttering GITMO, not this week but “as quickly as we can” says AG Holder


Senator Leahy seems to be pushing for more Patriot Act oversights


TRACKING WINOS: Winemakers pitched on RFID to ward off “fraudulent wines”


Wikileaks Collateral Murder video – if you haevn’t seen it yet.


A speed camera causes an accident


PARAMILITARY BACON ALERT … according to microblogger Tracy Ward, the Kansas City Police Department is seeking to stock up parts of the city with ShotSpotter misery.

“KCPD and Councilwoman Cathy Jolly are seeking federal taxpayer money ($2 million) to turn Emanuel Cleaver’s porkulus project “KC Green Impact Zone” into something that more closely resembles the Baghdad “Green Zone” with a new surveillance system from ShotSpotter.”  Hearsay?  We’ll be looking for the details in the days to come.  


BTC – This is a montage of the comprehensive battle for your private information and the use of integrated technologies to sift and evaluate your data.  Pretty chilling stuff.

Voice recognition, world wiretapping & data nexusses

BTC – Our weekly online radio digest, Waking Up Orwell (WUO) has overcome many mishaps to reach the remote location it is at today. What no one really realized was how many hits we were actually getting on podOmatic.


WUO success rates online via podomatic have completely dwarfed most of our previous online listenerships put together. We looked at lots of radio channels, but it seems that we have found our yodeling point on the mountain of listeners we get on podOmatic.

“At it’s core pre-emptive policing severely undercuts the basic notion that police are public servants sworn to protect and serve, rather than intelligence agents whose job is to feed daily observations into data streams winding their way into a nationwide matrix of Fusion Centers and federal agencies. The SAR Inititave casts a wide net of surveillance: it encourages local police, the public, and corporations and businesses to engage in vaguely-defined “pre-operational surveillance” and report actvities such as the practive of religion and spirituality, political protest, and community organizing will weaken civil liberties and erode community trust.”

– Thomas Cincotta, Platform for Prejudice

A BTC EXCLUSIVE

BOSTON – An 82 page analysis of domestic intelligence policy released by Political Research Associates (PRA) Tuesday found local police are being used as domestic intelligence gatherers with little to no oversight in criminal intelligence distinctions. Amid the findings are rampant racial and political profiling and hystrionic calls for further surveillance protections where no criminal or terrorist acts occurred. Costs to implement digital surveillance based on these local police intelligence gatherings were deemed expensive and wasteful. The practices were overwhelmingly considered unconstitutional, against 4th Amendment protections.

The study, Platform for Prejudice, evaluated the police intelligence gathering practices in 12 cities for 2 years involving a decentralized network of 72 Fusion Centers. Tax funded Fusion Centers are present in local communities for the purposes of gathering criminal intelligence and terrorism prevention. Local police are deployed to gather federal intelligence to submit to an Information Sharing Environment (ISE) or a Fusion Center. It is then fed to a network to federal intelligence agencies, like the FBI. It may be furthered for international analysis at the National Counter Terrorism Center. Examples of suspected criminal activity worthy of creating a pre-criminal national intelligence profile included: photography, taking notes, sketching, public speaking on political issues and making diagrams in public settings. Once a profile is created local police may be dispatched to follow up on non-criminal activities for the purposes of surveillance. Non-criminal information submitted to an ISE is deemed “fact-based information” by local police hence alluding to potential criminality of any activity submitted.
Further into the report, traditional neighborhood crimes and traffic violations are filtered with a label of terrorism prevention in an “all crimes” watch policy. People become profiled for minor infractions, such as speeding tickets. Their information is then funnelled into a database treatment cycle for national terrorists.
PRE-EMPTIVE POLICING & OVERINFLATED, LOW QUALITY INFORMATION
The UK derived practice of pre-emptive policing creates a deluge of low quality information into our national terror watch networks. According to RAND Corp. local police are “simply collecting so much data of such low quality that they do not provide much [counter-terror] benefit”. Non-criminal information bogs down networks with a low threshhold for reporting information. It becomes difficult to evaluate bonafide national terror threats according the the National Counter Terrorism Center.
According to officials who designed the SAR Initiative, pre-emptive policing is based on behaviors regardless of race, ethnicity, or political associations. Behaviors otherwise overlooked by police enforcement become what is called a “reasonable indication” of suspicious activity. The definition of “reasonable suspicion” became independent of actual crime and criminal predicates in the adoption of this initiative’s use of “reasonable indication”.
Privacy safeguards and legal limitations were overlooked in code 28 CFR 23, in accord with The Justice Systems Improvement Act of 1979. This code necessitates an actual crime as a predicate for reasonable suspicion and the creation of an intelligence record. This code is being challenged to downgrade current predicates for criminal intelligence, to simply “reasonable indication” of possible crime. Using “reasonable indication” officers can gather any data, at any time for intelligence purposes without probable cause.
The window stays open for this practice as long as ISE’s Program Manager does not perpetuate any oversight of information submitted by State and Local agencies. Due to short cuts, negligence in sifting non-terror related reports and little feedback to local police departments submitting SARs, “reasonable indication” becomes standard operating procedure for public surveillance.
According to the ACLU, law enforcement are encouraged by federal agencies to actively disregard 28 CFR 23 and expand the quest for non-criminal information to include public and private sector data. The focus and objective for certain law enforcement agents may be to gather data considered unclassified. For example: biometric data eyes, fingerprints, face scans, and body identifiers are considered largely unclassified.
PUBLIC-PRIVATE ROLES IN SAR-ISE REPORTING
SAR’s use a myriad of sources other than law enforcement officers: corporations, private security firms, anonymous neighborhood watch groups. Infraguard, a private surveillance firm, was contracted by federal intelligence agencies after the federal TIPS program was eliminated due to public scorn. InfraGuard takes up where TIPS left off recruiting utility workers, civil servants and corporate cogs to solicit private information as private criminal intelligence investigators.
The report indicates that up to 23,000 private representatives work with InfraGuard providing information about potentially anyone. The potential for intelligence abuse is astronomical, as InfraGuard users claim they can dispatch FBI operatives in a vindictive manner on political and economic enemies.
iWatch, previously reported on Waking Up Orwell as “iSnitch”, is a model of a neighborhood watch program used to produce SARS in Los Angeles. [You can see how well that went.]
IF THIS DISTURBS YOU….
You may want to look into StopSpying.us for resources and information about how to get organized and involved in, literally, watching and reporting against those who unconstitutionally watch and report on you. One strategic way is to enlist FOIA or open records requests to your local criminal justice departments to find out what kind of information is being gathered on your neighborhoods and submitted to Fusion Centers. Through a casual online web search you can ususally find out if a Fusion Center is near you.
The information being arbitrarily collected can be held for up to 10 years.
Private foreign company monitoring photo radar of Arizonans.
http://blip.tv/file/3409172

The Nationwide Suspicious Activity Reporting (SAR) Initiative (NSI) is a collaborative effort among Federal and State, local, and tribal (SLT) government agencies with Counterterrorism (CT) responsibilities. Developed pursuant to Presidential direction, it establishes a nationwide capability to gather, document, process, analyze, and share information about suspicious
incidents to enable rapid identification and mitigation of potential terrorist threats.1 The resulting NSI business process (often referred to as the NSI cycle) was described by the Program Manager for the Information Sharing Environment (PM-ISE) in a Concept of Operations for the NSI published in December 2008 and in a revised functional standard in May 2009.”
– ISE.gov

BTC- Get your sick-bags ready. This new initiative has the capacity to comprehensively suggest the individual can be criminalized for non-criminal acts if a law enforcement agent is called in.