Tag Archive: privacy


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Stockton Mayor Anthony Silva’s Statement On Detainment At San Francisco Airport

Anthony Silva

STOCKTON (CBS13) — The following is Stockton Mayor Anthony Silva’s statement on his detainment at San Francisco International Airport on Monday and the seizure of his electronic devices after a trip to China.

 

My name is Anthony R. Silva, and I am the Mayor of Stockton, California.

On Saturday September 28 (sic), 2015 I attended a Mayor’s Conference to China to promote “good will” between the China and the United States. The trip was hosted and sponsored by China Silicon Valley and the primary goal was to promote our Cities and investment opportunities. I had a wonderful experience on this trip. Upon my return on Monday September 28, 2015, I was briefly detained by the Department of Homeland Security. They searched my belongings. A few minutes later, (2) DHS agents confiscated all my electronic devices including my personal cell phone. Unfortunately, they were not willing or able to produce a search warrant or any court documents suggesting they had a legal right to take my property. In addition they were persistent about requiring my passwords for all devices. Although they were reluctant at first to present their badge and credentials; they eventually showed me their identification and gave me a business card. They indicated that this action to confiscate personal property at the airport was in fact routine and not unusual. They promised to return my items within a few days. They also mentioned that I had no right for a lawyer to be present and being a United States Citizen did not entitle me to rights that I probably thought.

 

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ArsTechnica UK

Californian mayor forced to give up electronics and passwords to agents at SFO

As US government battles over privacy, mayor compares the situation to North Korea.

Stockton, California Mayor Anthony R. Silva attended a recent mayor’s conference in China, but his return trip took a bit longer than usual. At the San Francisco International Airport (SFO) this week, agents with the Department of Homeland Security detained Silva and confiscated his personal cell phone among other electronics. According to comments from the mayor, that may not even be the most alarming part.

“Unfortunately, they were not willing or able to produce a search warrant or any court documents suggesting they had a legal right to take my property,” Silva told SFGate. “In addition, they were persistent about requiring my passwords for all devices.”

The mayor’s attorney, Mark Reichel, told SFGate that Silva was not allowed to leave the airport without forfeiting his passwords. Reichel was not present for Silva’s interaction with the DHS agents, either. The mayor was told he had “no right for a lawyer to be present” and that being a US citizen did not “entitle me to rights that I probably thought,” according to the paper.

 

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A parody of the National Security Administration’s logo, created by EFF designer Hugh D’Andrade to help publicize EFF’s case against NSA illegal spying, 1st Unitarian v. NSA: https://www.eff.org/node/75009
Wikimedia.org
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Tenth Amendment Center

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– Jon Queally, staff writer

Not content to wait for action at the federal level, those opposed to the ongoing mass surveillance of the NSA and other agencies are speaking out and pushing laws at the state level to ensure privacy rights are protected. (Image: thedaywefightback.org)Concerned about the government’s increasing surveillance powers but unimpressed with the congressional response in Washington so far, state lawmakers from both major political parties are now taking it upon themselves to protect the online and communication privacy of their constituents.

Meanwhile, individuals and privacy groups are planning their own grassroots response to mass surveillance, hoping to repeat past victories by harnessing the power of digital communications to ensure they are adequately protected from government overreach.

As the Associated Press reports Wednesday, efforts are now underway “in at least 14 states are a direct message to the federal government: If you don’t take action to strengthen privacy, we will.”

According to AP:

Republican and Democratic lawmakers have joined in proposing the measures, reflecting the unusual mix of political partnerships that have arisen since the NSA revelations that began in May. Establishment leadership has generally favored the programs, while conservative limited government advocates and liberal privacy supporters have opposed them.

Supporters say the measures are needed because technology has grown to the point that police can digitally track someone’s every move.

Devices such as license plate readers and cellphone trackers “can tell whether you stayed in a motel that specializes in hourly rates, or you stopped at tavern that has nude dancers,” said David Fidanque, director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Oregon.

“It’s one thing to know you haven’t violated the law, but it’s another thing to know you haven’t had every one of your moves tracked,” he said.

Next week, on February 11, privacy advocates and online freedom groups are mobilizing against NSA and other government surveillance in a day of action they’ve dubbed ‘The Day We Fight Back.’

According to Katitza Rodriguez at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, one of the groups organizing the action, those participating will be demanding “an end to mass surveillance in every country, by every state, regardless of boundaries or politics.”

Galvanized by what they see as 13 Principles of internet and communication freedoms, activists will use the day to call attention to those goals, lobby on their behalf with their representatives, and declare an end to the encroaching, unaccountable, and unregulated surveillance apparatus.

“The Principles spellout just why mass surveillance is a violation of human rights,” explained Rodriguez, and they “give sympathetic lawmakers and judges a list of fixes they could apply to the lawless Internet spooks. On the day we fight back, we want the world to sign onto those principles. We want politicians to pledge to uphold them. We want the world to see we care.”

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CommonDreams.org

New poll reveals growing discontent with NSA surveillance

– Andrea Germanos, staff writer

Photo: EFF Photos/cc/flickr A new ABC News/Washington Post poll released Thursday poll reveals that while a growing number of Americans feels that the National Security Agency violates privacy, the party the least critical of the agency’s surveillance activities are Democrats.

The poll found that, overall, an increasing number of Americans believes that the NSA’s activities intrude on their privacy. Sixty-eight percent said that the agency’s activities violate the privacy of some Americans. Forty-eight percent said that those intrusions were unjustifiable; that’s up from 40 percent in a July poll.

Forty-six percent said that agency “goes too far” in its surveillance activities.

But the poll revealed significant partisan differences.

Only 37 percent of Democrats responded that the surveillance agency “goes too far”; that’s compared to 47 percent of Republicans and 51 percent of independents.

Also, asked if the NSA intrusions on “some Americans’ privacy rights” were justifiable or unjustifiable, Democrats were 18 points less likely than Republicans and independents to say they were unjustifiable.

The poll also asked respondents about Edward Snowden.

It found that 60 percent of Americans said that the whistleblower’s disclosures have harmed U.S. security—a surge from 49 percent in their July poll.

Support for Snowden was strongest from youth; just 35 percent of respondents under 30 say he should be charged with a crime, compared with 57 percent of older respondents.

And while over half (56 percent) of those under 30 said Snowden did the “right thing” in revealing the extent of NSA spying, only 32 percent of those over 30 agreed.

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Relogged  from :   Blavatar   Sheeple: People unable to think for themselves

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Would you be willing to give up what Edward Snowden has given up?  He has given up his high paying job, his home, his girlfriend, his family, his future and his freedom just to expose the monolithic spy machinery that the U.S. government has been secretly building to the world.  He says that he does not want to live in a world where there isn’t any privacy.  He says that he does not want to live in a world where everything that he says and does is recorded.  Thanks to Snowden, we now know that the U.S. government has been spying on us to a degree that most people would have never even dared to imagine.  Up until now, the general public has known very little about the U.S. government spy grid that knows almost everything about us.  But making this information public is going to cost Edward Snowden everything.  Essentially, his previous life is now totally over.  And if the U.S. government gets their hands on him, he will be very fortunate if he only has to spend the next several decades rotting in some horrible prison somewhere.  There is a reason why government whistleblowers are so rare.  And most Americans are so apathetic that they wouldn’t even give up watching their favorite television show for a single evening to do something good for society.  Most Americans never even try to make a difference because they do not believe that it will benefit them personally.  Meanwhile, our society continues to fall apart all around us.  Hopefully the great sacrifice that Edward Snowden has made will not be in vain.  Hopefully people will carefully consider what he has tried to share with the world.  The following are 27 quotes from Edward Snowden about U.S. government spying that should send a chill up your spine…

#1 ”The majority of people in developed countries spend at least some time interacting with the Internet, and Governments are abusing that necessity in secret to extend their powers beyond what is necessary and appropriate.”

#2 ”…I believe that at this point in history, the greatest danger to our freedom and way of life comes from the reasonable fear of omniscient State powers kept in check by nothing more than policy documents.”

#3 ”The government has granted itself power it is not entitled to. There is no public oversight. The result is people like myself have the latitude to go further than they are allowed to.”

#4 ”…I can’t in good conscience allow the US government to destroy privacy, internet freedom and basic liberties for people around the world with this massive surveillance machine they’re secretly building.”

#5 ”The NSA has built an infrastructure that allows it to intercept almost everything.”

#6 ”With this capability, the vast majority of human communications are automatically ingested without targeting. If I wanted to see your e-mails or your wife’s phone, all I have to do is use intercepts. I can get your e-mails, passwords, phone records, credit cards.”

#7 ”Any analyst at any time can target anyone. Any selector, anywhere… I, sitting at my desk, certainly had the authorities to wiretap anyone, from you or your accountant, to a federal judge, to even the President…”

#8 ”To do that, the NSA specifically targets the communications of everyone. It ingests them by default. It collects them in its system and it filters them and it analyzes them and it measures them and it stores them for periods of time simply because that’s the easiest, most efficient and most valuable way to achieve these ends. So while they may be intending to target someone associated with a foreign government, or someone that they suspect of terrorism, they are collecting YOUR communications to do so.”

#9 ”I believe that when [senator Ron] Wyden and [senator Mark] Udall asked about the scale of this, they [the NSA] said it did not have the tools to provide an answer. We do have the tools and I have maps showing where people have been scrutinized most. We collect more digital communications from America than we do from the Russians.”

#10 ”…they are intent on making every conversation and every form of behavior in the world known to them.”

#11 ”Even if you’re not doing anything wrong, you’re being watched and recorded. …it’s getting to the point where you don’t have to have done anything wrong, you simply have to eventually fall under suspicion from somebody, even by a wrong call, and then they can use this system to go back in time and scrutinize every decision you’ve ever made, every friend you’ve ever discussed something with, and attack you on that basis, to sort of derive suspicion from an innocent life.”

#12 ”Allowing the U.S. government to intimidate its people with threats of retaliation for revealing wrongdoing is contrary to the public interest.”

#13 ”Everyone everywhere now understands how bad things have gotten — and they’re talking about it. They have the power to decide for themselves whether they are willing to sacrifice their privacy to the surveillance state.”

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Crossroads News : Changes In The World Around Us And Our Place In It  –  Invasion  of Privacy-  Security-  Surveillance

Next generation of airport scanners will scan every single molecule in your body

airport

by: J. D. Heyes

(NaturalNews) New airport scanners used by the Transportation Security Administration are already too revealing, and potentially very dangerous to your health. But they’re going to seem tame by comparison once the next generation of scanners arrives – and they are on their way.The U.S. government is developing what are called Picosecond Programmable Laser scanners, through the Department of Homeland Security – machines that will be capable of scanning every single molecule in your body.

What’s worse, especially in terms of privacy, travelers likely won’t even know they’re being watched, since the machine can be operated from distances in excess of 150 feet, according to reports.

Technology, once again, can be a double-edged sword.

Scan anyone, anywhere, anytime

The scanner, which Homeland Security officials believe could be ready to use within a few years, will be employed in airports, but it is going to be small and light enough to be very portable, meaning it could also be installed in any building or deployed along any street. It is reportedly 10 million times faster and a million times more sensitive that scanners currently used by the TSA and U.S. Border Patrol and customs agents at border crossings and ports of entry.

According to a report by Gizmodo.com, the government subcontracted with the CIA’s venture capital/technology acquisition branch, In-Q-Tel, to work on development of the device with Genia Photonics, a company that has acquired 30 patents relating to the molecular-level scanners.

According to the Genia, the scanner is able to “penetrate clothing and many other organic materials and officers spectroscopic information, especially for materials that impact safety such as explosives and pharmacological substances.”

The technology isn’t new, per se, it’s just millions of times faster than ever. Back in 2008, a team at George Washington University built a similar laser spectrometer but just used a different process. That machine was able to sense drug metabolites in urine in under a second, trace the amount of gunpowder residue on a dollar bill and even certain chemical changers that were taking place in a plant leaf.

Russia has developed similar technology; scientists there announced in April that their “laser sensor can pick up a single molecule in a million from up to 50 meters away.”

In-Q-Tel notes that “an important benefit of Genia Photonics’ implementation as compared to existing solutions is that the entire synchronized laser system is comprised in a single, robust and alignment-free unit that may be easily transported for use in many environments… This compact and robust laser has the ability to rapidly sweep wavelengths in any pattern and sequence.”

Honestly, privacy will be a thing of the past

This device can literally – and likely will – be used everywhere by the Leviathan and its many domestic “law enforcement” agencies, so they can invade your privacy at will.

As is usually the case in recent years regarding the development and use of sophisticated surveillance technology, there has been little governmental or legal debate on the mind-blowing implications to personal privacy; what are the limits to such technology? What privacy rights can Americans continue to expect – and receive – while in public? What’s to stop law enforcement from utilizing this kind of technology improperly?

As Gizmodo points out, what sort of molecular tags will authorities be searching for and who gets to decide?

“If you unknowingly stepped on the butt of someone’s joint and are carrying a sugar-sized grain of cannabis like [an] unfortunate traveler currently in jail in Dubai, will you be arrested?” the website asked. “And, since it’s extremely portable, will this technology extend beyond the airport or border crossings and into police cars, with officers looking for people on the street with increased levels of adrenaline in their system to detain in order to prevent potential violent outbursts? And will your car be scanned at stoplights for any trace amounts of suspicious substances? Would all this information be recorded anywhere?”

All good questions. All without answers.

Sources:

http://gizmodo.com

http://www.newstrackindia.com

http://www.infowars.com

http://washington.cbslocal.com

Uploaded by on Mar 1, 2012

Google is under scrutiny once again. Google’s latest privacy changes went into effect on Thursday and the search engine giant claims the modifications will make a more personalized internet surfing experience. Now all Google’s services such as Gmail and YouTube will now streamline into one profile. Critics believe these changes will allow the company to gather vast amounts of personal information on any given user. Conn Hallinan, columnist for Foreign Policy in Focus, joins us to give his taken on what Google is doing with this information.

Uploaded by on Mar 1, 2012

BBC news further explores concerns growing over Google’s new privacy policy as it effects users – even to the extent of Android phone users now being assimilated into the Googlesphere “collective”. A bit of vox pop and expert comment, bottom line: Google’s monopoly position appears to be somewhat out of control.

Read more at http://www.google.com/intl/en/policies/

Is it time for an ethical search engine to be launched? Wiki foundation

Uploaded by on Feb 12, 2012

BBC Click Online reports on new EU rules and laws backed with real sanctions, address the questions around social networks and the ownership of data at last.

Attorney General reviewing NYPD spying complaints

By EILEEN SULLIVAN and PETE YOST, AP

WASHINGTON — Months after receiving complaints about the New York Police Department’s surveillance of entire American Muslim neighborhoods, the Justice Department is just beginning a review to decide whether to investigate civil rights violations.

Attorney General Eric Holder told Congress the status of the review Tuesday.

The announcement bothered some Democrats, who said they were under the impression the Justice Department had been reviewing the matter since last late last year.

Documents obtained by The Associated Press show that the NYPD has built databases pinpointing where Muslims live, where they buy groceries, what Internet cafes they use and where they watch sports. Dozens of mosques and student groups have been infiltrated, and police have built detailed profiles of Moroccans, Egyptians, Albanians and other local ethnic groups. The NYPD surveillance extended outside New York City to neighboring New Jersey and Long Island and colleges across the Northeast.

Holder told Congress that police seeking to monitor activities by citizens “should only do so when there is a basis to believe that something inappropriate is occurring or potentially could occur.”

Holder responded under questioning by Rep. Mike Honda, D-Calif., who as an infant was sent with his parents to a Japanese internment camp during World War II and has compared that policy to the NYPD’s treatment of Muslims. The attorney general was on Capitol Hill to discuss the Justice Department’s federal budget.

Holder did not suggest that a Justice Department investigation of the NYPD was imminent. Over the last six months, the AP has revealed the inner workings of secret programs of the NYPD, built with help from the CIA, to monitor Muslims.

“I don’t know even if the program as it has been described in the news media was an appropriate way to proceed, was consistent with the way in which the federal government would have done these things,” said Holder, who was born in the Bronx and described New York Police Commissioner Ray Kelly as a personal friend. “I simply just don’t know the answers to those questions at the beginning stages of this matter.”

That surprised Rep. Rush Holt, D-N.J., one of the first lawmakers to ask the Justice Department to scrutinize the NYPD’s operations.

“They very definitely gave me the sense that they were farther along in their investigation than just reviewing some mail,” Holt said.

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The Kill Switch Comes to the PC

The Kill Switch Comes to the PC

A feature common in phones will let Microsoft remotely disable malware

Illustration by Angus Greig

By

Janne Kytömäki, a Finnish software developer, was cruising Google’s (GOOG) Android Market for smartphone apps last year when he noticed something strange. Dozens of best-selling applications suddenly listed the same wrong publisher. It was as if Stephen King’s name had vanished from the covers of his books, replaced by an unknown author. Kytömäki realized the culprit was a piece of malware that was spreading quickly, and he posted his findings online.

Google responded swiftly. It flipped a little-known kill switch, reaching into more than 250,000 infected Android smartphones and forcibly removing the malicious code. “It was sort of unreal, watching something like that unfold,” says Kytömäki, who makes dice simulator apps. Kill switches are a standard part of most smartphones, tablets, and e-readers. Google, Apple (AAPL), and Amazon (AMZN) all have the ability to reach into devices to delete illicit content or edit code without users’ permission. It’s a powerful way to stop threats that spread quickly, but it’s also a privacy and security land mine.

With the rollout of the Windows 8 operating system expected later this year, millions of desktop and laptop PCs will get kill switches for the first time. Microsoft (MSFT) hasn’t spoken publicly about its reasons for including this capability in Windows 8 beyond a cryptic warning that it might be compelled to use it for legal or security reasons. The feature was publicized in a widely cited Computerworld article in December when Microsoft posted the terms of use for its new application store, a feature in Windows 8 that will allow users to download software from a Microsoft-controlled portal. Windows smartphones, like those of its competitors, have included kill switches for several years, though software deletion “is a last resort, and it’s uncommon,” says Todd Biggs, director of product management for Windows Phone Marketplace.

Microsoft declined to answer questions about the kill switch in Windows 8 other than to say it will only be able to remove or change applications downloaded through the new app store…………

 

Read Full Article here:  http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/the-kill-switch-comes-to-the-pc-02162012.html