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Keyword: bigbrother

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  • Prepare for drones that ‘perch’ on power lines to recharge, never have to land

    04/09/2014 10:11:42 PM PDT · by 2ndDivisionVet · 37 replies
    The Washington Times ^ | April 9, 2014 | Douglas Ernst
    (VIDEO-AT-LINK)Imagine a world where drones never have to touch the ground after takeoff. That’s what MIT PhD. candidate Joseph Moore did, and now he’s on the cusp of creating a drone that can “perch” on power lines just like birds to recharge its batteries. Mr. Moore gave Business Insider a demonstration of the technology he’s perfecting by using a glider as proof of concept. In short, if a drone is equipped with the a magnetometer it should be possible to make the aircraft capable of identifying magnetic fields given off by power lines, home in on the signal they emit,...
  • ‘Fat Texts’ and ‘Fart Regulation’ Coming to You from the Nanny State

    04/09/2014 7:40:26 PM PDT · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 41 replies
    Godfather Politics ^ | April 8, 2014 | Common Constitutionalist
    Although it’s been going on for years, it seems lately there is an all-out assault by the nanny government to crack down on our liberties. Nowadays, when the people say no, our rulers just do the old end around, or sleight-of-hand. They cause us to concentrate on one thing while they regulate behind our backs. Lately it seems that even this tactic has changed and the Nanny State has begun to attack us from all sides. Take this global warming nonsense. With every passing year, the people are coming to realize what a hoax it has been. Every poll conducted...
  • Now Big Brother wants to put unit lines on pub glasses to show you EXACTLY how much…(UK)

    04/06/2014 11:05:55 AM PDT · by Olog-hai · 34 replies
    Daily Mail (UK) ^ | 18:48 EST, 5 April 2014 | Sarah Bridge and Stephen Adams
    For many of us, enjoying a glass of wine or pint of beer is the perfect way to unwind after a hard day’s work. But it seems having a drink in a pub or restaurant could be about to get a lot less relaxing. Campaigners are calling for lines to be printed on glasses to show drinkers how many units of alcohol they are really consuming—and potentially to shock them into cutting down. The plans, put forward by the Drinkaware charity, would see unit measure lines added to glasses, based on average-strength drinks—a 4 percent beer, 13 percent wine and...
  • Top 10 States Americans Are Fleeing

    04/03/2014 7:44:49 AM PDT · by xzins · 77 replies
    Real Clear Politics ^ | 1 Apr 14 | RCP
    Top 10 States Americans Are Fleeing #1: New York New York has led the nation in domestic out-migration since the late 1990s. The New York Post reported in 2011 that "62 percent of New Yorkers planning to leave cited economic factors — including cost of living (30 percent), taxes (19 percent) and the job environment (10 percent) — as the main reasons." 2012-2013 state-to-state net domestic migration: -104,470 2. Illinois 3. California New Jersey 5. Pennsylvania 6. Michigan 7. Ohio Connecticut Kansas New Mexico
  • Belgium bans a wide range of sexist speech

    03/22/2014 7:50:34 AM PDT · by Publius804 · 24 replies
    Washington Post ^ | March 21, 2014 | Eugene Volokh
    Rik Torfs, rector of the University of Leuven, and Jogchum Vrielink, coordinator of the Centre for Discrimination Law at the University of Leuven, pass along a guest post — quoted below — about a new Belgian law that provides (Vrielink’s translation): Penalization of Sexism For the purposes of this Act, the concept of sexism will be understood to mean any gesture or act that, in the circumstances of Article 444 of the Penal Code,* is evidently intended to express contempt for a person because of his gender, or that regards them as inferior, or reduces them to their sexual dimension,...
  • NSA's Malware Methods Outed in Latest Leak

    03/13/2014 5:21:22 PM PDT · by Aqua Buddhist · 21 replies
    NBC ^ | March 12, 2014 | Devin Coldewey
    The latest report from the top-secret documents that former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden made off with describes the agency's efforts to infect and monitor PCs much in the way ordinary hackers do. The methods aren't particularly original, but the scale of the operations is huge. Ryan Gallagher and Glenn Greenwald reported on the revelations in great detail, but the takeaway is fairly straightforward. The NSA is employing hacking tools that will sound familiar to anyone in the security field: browser exploits, man-in-the-middle attacks and plain old spam....
  • Ohio firm hoping to sell police on eyes-in-the-sky technology

    03/01/2014 5:48:49 PM PST · by 2ndDivisionVet · 5 replies
    The Yakima Herald ^ | March 1, 2014 | Craig Timberg, The Washington Post
    DAYTON, Ohio — Shooter and victim were just a pair of pixels, dark specks on a gray streetscape. Hair color, bullet wounds, even the weapon were not visible in the series of pictures taken from an airplane flying two miles above. But what the images revealed — to a degree impossible just a few years ago — was location, mapped over time. Second by second, they showed a gang assembling, blocking off access points, sending the shooter to meet his target and taking flight after the body hit the pavement. When the report reached police, it included a picture of...
  • Obama launches ‘My Brother’s Keeper’ to help young minority men (barf alert)

    02/27/2014 6:04:28 AM PST · by RWB Patriot · 42 replies
    Yahoo News ^ | 2/27/2014 | Liz Goodwin
    President Obama will announce a $200 million commitment from nine foundations Thursday afternoon to bolster the lives of young men and boys of color. The funding is part of a larger initiative from the White House to bring private businesses, non-profits and local governments together to intervene in key moments in the lives of young black and Hispanic men to ensure they stay in school and eventually train for and get good jobs. As Yahoo News first reported, the cause will be a major focus of Obama’s—and the first lady’s—even after he leaves office. "I think it’s something that's deeply...
  • Update: National License Plate Recognition Database: What It Is and Why It’s a Bad Idea

    02/20/2014 9:17:21 AM PST · by Ray76 · 11 replies
    Electronic Frontier Foundation ^ | Feb 19, 2014 | Jennifer Lynch
    According to the Washington Post, just days after the story broke, DHS shelved its plans to create or tap into a national database of license plate recognition data. According to an Immigration & Customs Enforcement spokeswoman, the solicitation "was posted without the awareness of ICE leadership" and "will be reviewed to ensure the path forward appropriately meets [the agency's] operational needs.” However, DHS may still be accessing national license plate data—collected by the private company Vigilant Solutions—on an ad hoc basis.
  • Department of Homeland Security cancels national license-plate tracking plan

    02/19/2014 8:09:31 PM PST · by MeshugeMikey · 55 replies
    Washington Post ^ | February 19, 2014 | Ellen Nakashima and Josh Hicks,
    Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson on Wednesday ordered the cancellation of a plan by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency to develop a national license-plate tracking system after privacy advocates raised concern about the initiative. The order came just days after ICE solicited proposals from companies to compile a database of license-plate information from commercial and law enforcement tag readers. Officials said the database was intended to help apprehend fugitive illegal immigrants, but the plan raised concerns that the movements of ordinary citizens under no criminal suspicion could be scrutinized.
  • Pandora Knows How You’ll Vote, and It’s Not Keeping Your Secret

    02/19/2014 9:24:08 AM PST · by MeshugeMikey · 33 replies
    national journal ^ | February 19, 2014 | Alex Brown
    Pandora Knows How You’ll Vote, and It’s Not Keeping Your Secret The online music service is telling campaigns what music you listen to, which they say gives away your party affiliation. The music streaming service announced last week it is launching targeted advertising—allowing candidates to reach voters based on age, location and music preference. According to Pandora, that information can tell with 75-80 percent accuracy how a person will vote.
  • What the future holds: US futurist Peter Diamandis on the shape of things to come ("Abundance")

    02/16/2014 11:26:26 PM PST · by 2ndDivisionVet · 38 replies
    Gulf News ^ | February 12, 2014 | Faisal Masudi and Noor Nazzal, Staff Reporters
    Dubai: At a conference in Dubai this week, an American futurist painted an intriguing, at times unsettling, picture of the coming world. As Dr Peter Diamandis went over his presentation slides at The Government Summit on Tuesday, there were plenty of raised eyebrows. In the future, the slides suggested, privacy will be a thing of the past, robots will take over our jobs, 3D printers will pop out everything from human organs to houses, and man will mine asteroids in deep space for unfathomable mineral wealth. The 58-year-old said hyper-tech breakthroughs are already hurtling us towards that future, today. “The...
  • National License Plate Recognition Database

    02/13/2014 9:46:59 AM PST · by Ray76 · 11 replies
    General Services Administration ^ | Feb 12, 2014 | Department of Homeland Security
    The database should track vehicle license plate numbers that pass through cameras or are voluntarily entered into the system from a variety of sources (access control systems, asset recovery specialists, etc.) The NLPR data service should provide... a fully compiled PDF case file report (with maps, vehicle images, and ALL pertinent detection & “Hot-List” record information) with each proactive email alert notification.
  • Assembly bill would require every child in public school to get a psychological test to make sure...

    02/07/2014 11:19:35 AM PST · by Behind Liberal Lines · 71 replies
    WHEC TV ^ | 02/06/2014 5:58 PM | WHEC TV
    Would you let your child be tested like this? There is now a bill in the New York State Assembly that would require every child in public school to have a psychological examination before they could go to school
  • Contractor (and Close Russian Ally) Belarus Built Malware RIGHT INTO Obamacare Code

    02/04/2014 3:28:29 AM PST · by Reaganite Republican · 26 replies
    Reaganite Republican ^ | 04 February 2014 | Reaganite Republican
    Remember when John McAfee warned us in November that anybody who signed up to the Obamacare site might have their bank account cleaned-out by hackers? The eccentric genius and former fugitive called the government website 'a hacker's wet dream', adding that there were 'NO safeguards' that would stop someone from starting a fake Obamacare website 'for a couple hundred dollars' that could 'empty your bank account' in hours.  McAfee added unambiguously that 'It's going to happen, and it's going to happen soon... nothing in the Obamacare system safeguards against this.'  And I thought he was just trying to sell...
  • The Startling New Way Big Brother Is Tracking Your Health

    01/29/2014 7:27:35 AM PST · by KeyLargo · 22 replies
    Western Jouranalism ^ | Jan 28, 2014 | Christopher Agee
    The Startling New Way Big Brother Is Tracking Your Health January 28, 2014 by B. Christopher Agee As ObamaCare continues to eat away at the private American healthcare system that the rest of the world once envied, the federal government now has a hand in virtually all aspects of the medical industry. The intrusion is well-documented and is not limited to any particular federal agency. Among the most recent developments is the Environmental Protection Agency’s promise to scour social media posts for clues about potential outbreaks of disease. Apparently taking a page out of the NSA’s playbook, the EPA announced...
  • HSBC Bank Blocking Large Withdrawals Without ‘Evidence’ Of Spending Need (UK)

    01/27/2014 7:44:07 AM PST · by RetiredArmy · 49 replies
    Prophecy News Watch email ^ | January 26, 2014 | Unknown
    HSBC Bank Blocking Large Withdrawals Without ‘Evidence’ Of Spending Need It seems that the bank, HSBC, has been a little overzealous in the implementation of some new, well meaning regulations, and now has egg on its face. Recently, some HSBC customers were prevented from withdrawing large amounts of cash because they could not provide evidence of why they wanted it. Apparently, customers were prevented from withdrawing amounts ranging from Ł5,000 to Ł10,000. HSBC admitted it has not informed customers of the change in policy, which was implemented in November, but the bank says it has now changed its guidance to...
  • Verizon Wireless Details 322,000 Government Requests (322,000 govt requests)

    01/23/2014 12:43:41 PM PST · by Red in Blue PA · 14 replies
    Verizon Wireless (VZ), in its first such disclosure, says U.S. officials requested data about subscribers some 322,000 times in 2013, along with another 1,000 to 1,999 requests in the form of "National Security Letters." "Our report reflects the fact that telecom providers receive more government demands than companies in perhaps any other industry," Verizon General Counsel and Executive Vice President Randal Milch wrote in a Wednesday blog post. The company says the 321,696 total requests it received from government and law enforcement officials were up from 2012, but it didn't say how many requests it received in 2012.
  • Amazon Wants to Ship Your Package Before You Buy It

    01/18/2014 1:47:01 AM PST · by Slings and Arrows · 103 replies
    WSJ ^ | Jan 17, 2014 | Greg Bensinger knows you so well it wants to ship your next package before you order it. The Seattle retailer in December gained a patent for what it calls “anticipatory shipping,” a method to start delivering packages even before customers click “buy.”
  • Portion control -- how the government plans to dictate what's on your dinner table in 2014

    01/04/2014 7:49:28 PM PST · by Tolerance Sucks Rocks · 36 replies
    FOX News ^ | January 3, 2014 | Baylen Linnekin
    Would you rather sip on unpasteurized milk or a cold glass of soda? Do you prefer Saturday lunch at a fast food joint or a farmers market? Regardless of your choices, your food freedom -- your right to grow, raise, produce, buy, sell, share, cook, eat, and drink the foods you want -- is under attack. Here are ten food freedom issues to keep an eye on in 2014. 1: FDA May Ban or Restrict a Growing Number of Food Ingredients. The FDA has proposed banning oils containing trans fats, an ingredient found in foods like coffee creamers and muffins....
  • US Chamber of Commerce Vow to Take on Tea Party a Stupid, Divisive Move

    01/02/2014 8:12:19 AM PST · by SeekAndFind · 34 replies
    Townhall ^ | 01/02/2014 | Matt Towery
    Could there be a group that looks more insular, elitist and out of touch than the U.S. Chamber of Commerce? One strategist for the chamber says they want "no more fools" nominated for office by the Republicans. By "fools" he meant Tea Party candidates and their ilk, and the chamber is readying to spend $50 million to defeat them in 2014. This, from an organization that has launched a thousand sinking ships. Recall that this is the same crowd that helped Mitt Romney and John McCain win GOP nominations for president. (They also supported Fred Thompson, who turned out to...
  • Inside TAO: Documents Reveal Top NSA Hacking Unit

    12/29/2013 7:04:37 PM PST · by lbryce · 9 replies
    Spiegel ^ | December 29, 2013 | Staff
    The NSA's TAO hacking unit is considered to be the intelligence agency's top secret weapon. It maintains its own covert network, infiltrates computers around the world and even intercepts shipping deliveries to plant back doors in electronics ordered by those it is targeting. In January 2010, numerous homeowners in San Antonio, Texas, stood baffled in front of their closed garage doors. They wanted to drive to work or head off to do their grocery shopping, but their garage door openers had gone dead, leaving them stranded. No matter how many times they pressed the buttons, the doors didn't budge. The...
  • New York federal judge rules NSA phone surveillance is legal

    12/27/2013 9:25:40 AM PST · by John W · 110 replies ^ | December 27, 2013 | Hasani Gittens
    A federal judge in New York has ruled that the National Security Agency's massive collection of American citizens' telephone records is both legal and useful. U.S. District Judge William Pauley wrote in his opinion issued Friday that the program "represents the government's counter-punch" to eliminate al-Qaeda's terror network. Pauley raised the specter of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and how the phone data-collection system could have helped investigators connect the dots before the attacks occurred. Pauley's decision appears to conflict with a ruling earlier this month by U.S. District Court Judge Richard Leon, who granted a preliminary injunction against the...
  • Video surveillance of Downtown Houston to Expand (180 more cameras, cost $18,000,000 so far)

    12/26/2013 12:58:12 PM PST · by a fool in paradise · 36 replies
    Associated Press via KTRH 740AM ^ | Thursday, December 26th 2013 | no byline
    Police surveillance of downtown Houston will expand with the addition of 180 new cameras. The installation of the cameras means police will have nearly 1,000 surveillance feeds available to them. Most cameras are pointed on public areas around downtown, stadiums and the theater district. Police Chief Charles McClelland says Houston has more critical infrastructure than New York City and must rely on video to provide necessary police coverage...
  • Time to Stock Up on Incandescent Bulbs Before They Go Out Permanently

    12/26/2013 4:33:05 AM PST · by IbJensen · 65 replies
    Heritage Foundation ^ | December 26, 2013 | Nicholas Loris
    If your New Year’s resolution is to change your light bulbs, don’t worry—the federal government’s here to help. Beginning January 1, 2014, the federal government will ban the use of 60-watt and 40-watt incandescent light bulbs. The light bulb has become a symbol in the fight for consumer freedom and against unnecessary governmental interference into the lives of the American people. 2007, Congress passed and President George W. Bush signed into law an energy bill that placed stringent efficiency requirements on ordinary incandescent bulbs in an attempt to have them completely eliminated by 2014. The law phased out 100-watt and...
  • Gay men say Texas bar kicked them out for dancing

    12/25/2013 10:45:39 PM PST · by NetAddicted · 103 replies
    The Chronicle ^ | 12/25/2013 | Doesn't say
    VICTORIA, Texas (AP) — The American Civil Liberties Union of Texas is supporting a gay couple after the men said they were kicked out of a South Texas nightclub for dancing together to country music. The incident occurred Saturday night at a Victoria nightclub when Justin Meyer, 21, said he and his partner danced together to the country song "Cowboys and Angels," the Victoria Advocate reported ( ). The men said a manager approached them and told them Cactus Canyon had a policy barring two men from dancing together to country music. Meyer's partner, James Douglas, 30, said the manager...
  • Bye bye, bile? Websites try to nix nasty comments

    12/26/2013 8:38:09 AM PST · by DJ MacWoW · 140 replies
    Associated Press ^ | Dec 26, 2013 10:34 AM (ET) | BARBARA ORTUTAY
    NEW YORK (AP) - Mix blatant bigotry with poor spelling. Add a dash of ALL CAPS. Top it off with a violent threat. And there you have it: A recipe for the worst of online comments, scourge of the Internet. Blame anonymity, blame politicians, blame human nature. But a growing number of websites are reining in the Wild West of online commentary. Companies including Google and the Huffington Post are trying everything from deploying moderators to forcing people to use their real names in order to restore civil discourse. Some sites, such as Popular Science, are banning comments altogether.
  • NSA Paid a Huge Security Firm $10 Million to Keep Encryption Weak

    12/20/2013 4:16:47 PM PST · by James C. Bennett · 99 replies
    Gizmodo ^ | 20 dec 2013 | Gizmodo
    Reuters reports that the NSA paid massive computer security firm RSA $10 million to promote a flawed encryption system so that the surveillance organization could wiggle its way around security. In other words, the NSA bribed the firm to leave the back door to computers all over the world open. Thanks to documents leaked by Edward Snowden, we already knew the NSA played a central role in promoting a flawed formula for generating random numbers, which if used in encryption, essentially gives the spies easy access to computing systems. A piece of RSA software, bSafe, became the most significant vector...
  • Tech Leaders and Obama Find Shared Problem: Fading Public Trust

    12/18/2013 11:30:13 AM PST · by lbryce · 8 replies
    New York Times ^ | December 8, 2013 | Staff
    President Obama met with top technology industry executives on Tuesday to discuss two seemingly distinct controversies: a faulty health care website and the digital surveillance practices of the National Security Agency, Jackie Calmes and Nick Wingfield report. The meeting started with an announcement by Mr. Obama that he was reaching into the ranks of Microsoft, the software giant, to select Kurt DelBene as the next person to run But the focus quickly turned from the health care site to the concerns of Apple, Microsoft, Google and other technology companies about the spying efforts, the latest illustration of the strained...
  • MD Healthcare Website Asks Weird, Personal Questions: ‘Where were you when you had your first kiss?’

    12/14/2013 4:42:36 PM PST · by DogByte6RER · 71 replies
    Yahoo! News ^ | December 13, 2013 | Eric Pfeiffer
    Maryland's health care exchange site asking weird, personal questions: ‘Where were you when you had your first kiss?’ Visitors to the Maryland health care exchange site may find themselves being asking some unusual questions, like where they were on Setpember 11, 2001, and what was the name of their first stuffed animal. Local affiliate WBAL was first to report that some residents were complaining of the unusual questions, which appear as part of the sign-up process for coverage under the Affordable Care Act. Yahoo News was able to confirm those reports during a walk-through of the site’s enrollment process. After...
  • NSA review to leave spying programs largely unchanged, reports say

    12/13/2013 2:51:40 PM PST · by kobald · 11 replies
    The Guardian ^ | December 13, 2013 | Spencer Ackerman
    A participant in a White House-sponsored review of surveillance activities described as “shameful” an apparent decision to leave most of the National Security Agency’s controversial bulk spying intact. Sascha Meinrath, director of the Open Technology Institute, said Friday that the review panel he advised is at risk of missing an opportunity to restore confidence in US surveillance practices. “The review group was searching for ways to make the most modest pivot necessary to continue business as usual,” Meinrath said... According to the leaks, the review group will recommend that bulk collection of every American’s phone call data continue, possibly by...
  • Tech giants' demand for NSA reform 'a major game-changer', advocates say

    12/13/2013 8:04:39 AM PST · by kobald · 20 replies
    The Guardian ^ | December 9, 2013 | Paul Lewis
    Senior figures behind efforts to curtail the powers of American spy agencies have seized on the decision by the world’s largest tech companies to call for radical surveillance reform, saying the unexpected intervention is a potential “game-changer”. In an open letter published jointly on Monday, eight tech giants, including Apple, Google and Facebook, said disclosures by the National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden revealed that basic rights and freedoms were being undermined. The companies – which also include Microsoft, Yahoo, AOL, LinkedIn and Twitter, and have a combined value of $1.4tn – called for widespread changes that, if enacted, would...
  • Amash-backed bill aimed to end NSA spying programs garners even bipartisan support

    12/13/2013 6:26:49 AM PST · by kobald · 24 replies
    MLive (Michigan) ^ | December 3, 2013 | Andrew Krietz
    An even split of Democratic and Republican legislators back a bill supported by Rep. Justin Amash, aiming to end the country's domestic surveillance programs. The legislation, titled The USA Freedom Act, would, if signed into law, curb the National Security Agency's ability to conduct communications sweeps and close a "back door" to information by requiring a court order when performing searches of Americans in data already collected without warrants. The Hill reported during the weekend that the bill has at least 102 cosponsors, including 51 Democrats and 51 Republicans... According to The Hill, members of Congress are placing increased pressure...
  • A conspiracy so vast: it's not just the NSA, now the FBI, local police also spying on US citizens

    12/13/2013 3:34:33 AM PST · by kobald · 51 replies
    Fox News ^ | December 12, 2013 | Judge Andrew P. Napolitano
    Readers of this page are well aware of the revelations during the past six months of spying by the National Security Agency (NSA). Edward Snowden, a former employee of an NSA vendor, risked his life and liberty to inform us of a governmental conspiracy to violate our right to privacy, a right guaranteed by the Fourth Amendment. The conspiracy he revealed is vast. It involves former President George W. Bush, President Obama and their aides, a dozen or so members of Congress, federal judges, executives and technicians at American computer servers and telecoms, and the thousands of NSA employees and...
  • The Militarization of Law Enforcement - “We’re Not in Mayberry Anymore”

    12/11/2013 12:40:46 PM PST · by Kaslin · 160 replies ^ | December 11, 2013 | Bob Barr
    The University of the Incarnate Word is a highly-rated Catholic college in San Antonio, Texas. It is hardly a hot bed of campus violence. When senior Robert Cameron Redus was pulled-over last Friday by campus police for “erratically speeding,” it is unlikely he had any clue of how tragically the stop would end. The campus police department contends Redus, an honors student set to graduate in May, grabbed the officer’s steel baton during a struggle. Not in dispute, however, is that Redus was shot five times by the officer, at close range, leaving him dead and the University scrambling to...
  • Xbox Live among game services targeted by US and UK spy agencies (NSA scandal grows)

    12/11/2013 10:00:16 AM PST · by Dave346 · 35 replies
    The Guardian ^ | Monday 9 December 2013 18.26 EST | James Ball
    The NSA document, written in 2008 and titled Exploiting Terrorist Use of Games & Virtual Environments, stressed the risk of leaving games communities under-monitored, describing them as a "target-rich communications network" where intelligence targets could "hide in plain sight". Games, the analyst wrote, "are an opportunity!". According to the briefing notes, so many different US intelligence agents were conducting operations inside games that a "deconfliction" group was required to ensure they weren't spying on, or interfering with, each other. If properly exploited, games could produce vast amounts of intelligence, according to the NSA document. They could be used as a...

    12/07/2013 12:48:49 PM PST · by Jim Robinson · 166 replies
    Blaze ^ | Dec 7, 2013 | By Oliver Darcy
    EX-OFFICIAL SAYS FBI CAN SECRETLY ACTIVATE AN INDIVIDUAL’S WEBCAM WITHOUT THE INDICATOR LIGHT TURNING ON The FBI can secretly activate a computer’s webcam to spy on an individual without turning on the indicator light, a former official revealed to the Washington Post in an article published Friday. According to the Washington Post’s account of what Marcus Thomas — former assistant director of the FBI’s Operational Technology Division in Quantico — said, “The FBI has been able to covertly activate a computer’s camera — without triggering the light that lets users know it is recording — for several years, and has...
  • How Obama's Response To NSA Spying Has Evolved

    12/05/2013 8:45:32 AM PST · by kobald · 3 replies
    NPR ^ | November 13, 2013 | Ari Shapiro
    A team of surveillance experts on Wednesday delivered preliminary recommendations to the White House on whether and how to amend U.S. spying policies. President Obama appointed the Review Group on Intelligence and Communications Technology, as it is officially known, as part of his response to global outrage over secret American surveillance programs. The panel's task is to advise the administration on how best to balance security needs against privacy concerns. The group briefed National Security Adviser Susan Rice, counterterrorism adviser Lisa Monaco and other staff from the National Security Council at the White House, according to NSC spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden....
  • Marco Rubio on Edward Snowden: A 'Traitor' Who Sparked 'Conspiracy Theories'

    11/27/2013 10:24:35 AM PST · by kobald · 142 replies
    The Atlantic ^ | November 22, 2013 | Conor Friedersdorf
    This week in Washington, Senator Marco Rubio accused a fellow American of treason. Edward Snowden drew the Republican's ire by informing hundreds of millions of innocent people that the NSA is spying on them... Anyone familiar with the Snowden story will understand why Rubio's comments are misleading. Americans are concerned about their civil liberties because of the accurate information the former Booz Allen Hamilton contractor leaked. He isn't responsible for any conspiracy theories, except in the sense that a conspiracy is "an agreement to perform together an illegal, wrongful, or subversive act," and he exposed NSA and GCHQ cooperation on...
  • Cisco’s disastrous quarter shows NSA spying could freeze US companies out of a trillion$ opportunity

    11/26/2013 9:57:52 AM PST · by kobald · 9 replies
    Quartz ^ | November 14, 2013 | Christopher Mims
    Cisco announced two important things in today’s earnings report: The first is that the company is aggressively moving into the Internet of Things—the effort to connect just about every object on earth to the internet—by rolling out new technologies. The second is that Cisco has seen a huge drop-off in demand for its hardware in emerging markets, which the company blames on fears about the NSA using American hardware to spy on the rest of the world. Cisco chief executive John Chambers said on the company’s earnings call that he believes other American technology companies will be similarly affected. Cisco...
  • Tim Berners-Lee: UK and US must do more to protect internet users' privacy

    11/24/2013 10:56:17 AM PST · by kobald · 4 replies
    The Guardian ^ | November 22, 2013 | Charles Arthur and agencies
    The UK and US must do more to protect internet users' privacy, the inventor of the world wide web, Sir Tim Berners-Lee, has warned as a survey of online freedoms is released. Berners-Lee warned that "a growing tide of surveillance and censorship" posed a threat to the future of democracy, even as more and more people were using the internet to expose wrongdoing. His remarks came before the second annual release of a global league table that classifies countries according to a set of freedoms. Since last year, the US has dropped from second place to fourth, while the UK...
  • NHTSA May Mandate That New Cars Broadcast Location, Direction and Speed (Long article)

    11/19/2013 2:13:47 PM PST · by jazusamo · 55 replies
    CNSNews ^ | November 19, 2012 | Terence P. Jeffrey
    ( - Before the end of this year, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration will decide whether or not to begin the rulemaking process to mandate that newly manufactured cars include what is being called “vehicle-to-vehicle” (V2V) communications technology that constantly broadcasts via radio wave the car’s location, direction, speed and, possibly, even the number of passengers it is carrying. “NHTSA expects to make a decision on V2V technology by the end of the year,” a spokesman for the agency told That point was reaffirmed by NHTSA Administrator David Strickland in testimony in the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee...
  • 'NSA exceeded the scope of authorised acquisition continuously,' says Judge

    11/19/2013 8:04:30 AM PST · by kobald · 22 replies
    Computing ^ | 19 Nov 2013 | Danny Palmer
    A Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) has criticised the US government for ignoring guidelines surrounding the National Security Agency's (NSA) Prism programme for domestic surveillance of web users. FISC set out suggested regulations for the Prism programme, which spied on citizens' emails and web use for around 10 years before being shut down in 2011... "NSA exceeded the scope of authorised acquisition continuously during the more than [redacted] years of acquisition under these orders," wrote Judge Bates in a 117 page document. He added that guidelines stated that the government should only gather data on those for whom there was...
  • UrtheCast: Cameras for Live Video Views of Planet Earth To Launch Nov. 25

    11/18/2013 2:08:10 PM PST · by BenLurkin · 8 replies ^ | November 18, 2013 | Nancy Atkinson on
    If all goes well, the UrtheCast dual camera system will blast off in a Progress supply ship on Nov. 25, 2013. This will be the world’s first ever high definition, live-streaming video platform of planet Earth from the International Space Station. “Imagine you have a nearly live Google Earth, but it isn’t four year old data – you have data that is being refreshed all the time, with videos coming down over interesting areas where interesting events are going on, showing you what is changing, what is going on,” said George Tyc, the Chief Technology Officer at UrtheCast, in an...
  • Google says US govt demands for data tripled in past three years

    11/14/2013 11:22:51 AM PST · by Red in Blue PA · 3 replies
    Government requests for data soared from 3,580 in 2009 to 10,918, Google said on Thursday -- and those are only the data demands the web giant is allowed to publish. A 2013 Transparency Report described on the Internet giant's Public Policy blog is the latest in an ongoing effort to provide a window into worldwide governmental efforts to tap into the digital profiles Google builds and the digital communications it relays. The report revealed a tremendous increase worldwide in government efforts to mine Google’s data.
  • TSA's Pre-Check program convenient, or invasive?

    11/12/2013 8:17:06 AM PST · by sdnet · 16 replies
    Small Government Times ^ | 2013-11-12 | Steve Adcock
    The Transportation Security Agency has quietly rolled out the Pre-Check program that allows frequent travelers to voluntarily submit to a background check, interview and fingerprints in exchange for a much faster experience through TSA checkpoints in airports. Is this program convenient for frequent travelers or something much more invasive? Since 2011, the TSA has tested the program at 40 different airports. It allows pre-screened travelers to proceed through TSA checkpoints without removing their shoes and belt. Light jackets can be worn and computers / liquids can remain in carry-on luggage. The program requires an $85 enrollment fee, but there is...
  • Report: Obamacare provision will allow 'forced' home inspections by gov't agents

    11/11/2013 2:26:36 PM PST · by sfimom · 78 replies
    The ^ | August 15, 2013 | Joe Newby
    Citing the Heath and Human Services website, a report posted Wednesday at the Freedom Outpost says that under Obamacare, government agents can engage in "home health visits" for those in certain “high-risk” categories. Those categories include: • Families where mom is not yet 21; • Families where someone is a tobacco user; • Families where children have low student achievement, developmental delays, or disabilities, and • Families with individuals who are serving or formerly served in the armed forces, including such families that have members of the armed forces who have had multiple deployments outside the United States.
  • Google Is Testing A Program That Tracks You Everywhere You Go

    11/08/2013 7:43:55 AM PST · by upchuck · 56 replies
    Business Insider ^ | Nov 7, 2013 | Richard Feloni
    Google is beta-testing a program that tracks users’ purchasing habits by registering brick-and-mortar store visits via smartphones, according to a report from Digiday. Google can access user data via Android apps or their Apple iOS apps, like Google search, Gmail, Chrome, or Google Maps.If a customer is using these apps while he shops or has them still running in the background, Google’s new program pinpoints the origin of the user data and determines if the customer is in a place of business.Google gets permission to do this kind of tracking when Android users opt in to the “location services” option...
  • Where is the RNC's VoteBuilder Software?

    11/07/2013 9:45:48 AM PST · by Huskerfan44 · 22 replies
    Americanthinker ^ | November 7, 2013 | Peter Wilson
    A friend went to help another friend who is running for the local School Committee. I'm being coy because my friend did a little undercover work and showed me screenshots of the software the candidate was using, something called VoteBuilder, "a partnership between the DNC and the Massachusetts Democratic State Committee." It was as sophisticated as anything I have seen while volunteering for Romney and McCain. The software provides the voter name, age, phone number, the voter's polling location, a script for the caller to read with questions like, "Do you need a ride to the polls?" Nothing revolutionary here,...
  • Fired: Mom Behind Trayvon Martin Halloween Costume (Let go for something your adult child did)

    11/03/2013 1:21:54 PM PST · by 2ndDivisionVet · 58 replies
    The Root ^ | November 3, 2013 | Lynette Holloway
    Dressed in Trayvon Martin and George Zimmerman Halloween costumes. A Massachusetts woman was reportedly fired after racially insensitive images surfaced online of her sons dressed as Trayvon Martin and George Zimmerman for Halloween. Caitlin Cimeno reportedly posted photos of her sons, William Filene and Greg Cimeno, with the caption: "Happy Halloween from Zimmerman & trayvon (insert smiley face emoji here)," according to a piece by Myeisha Essex at BlackAmericaWeb. Following the outrageous post, members of the social media world not only tracked her down, but eventually also her employer, who told a caller that she no longer worked there, reports...