Politics and Other Societal Inanity

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Posts tagged Big Brother

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End of Privacy

"A direct assault on Internet users" is what the ACLU is calling it.  A U.S. House committee has already approved HR 1981, a broad new Internet snooping bill.

And get this — it’s also authored by SOPA sponsor Lamar Smith. 

They want to force Internet service providers to keep track of and retain their customers’ information — including your name, address, phone number, credit card numbers, bank account numbers, and temporarily-assigned IP addresses.

Let’s do to the snooping bill what we did to SOPA: More than 60,000 people have written emails to their lawmakers urging them to oppose Lamar Smith’s HR 1981.  

The legislation would force Internet service providers to track and retain all sorts of information about you for at least 18 months.

The ACLU called HR 1981 “a direct assault on Internet users”.  Will you click here to urge your lawmakers to oppose it?

[fb]If you’re already on Facebookclick here to share with your friends.[fb]If you’re already on Twitter, click here to tweet about the campaign: Tweet
 
Source: demandprogress.org

Filed under politics Internet Internet freedom privacy loss of privacy HR 1981 SOPA Lamar Smith Internet Service Providers ISPs surveillance police state police state USA American fascism Big Brother 1984 Orwell libertarianism Ron Paul 2012

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GOOGLE CHANGES ITS PRIVACY POLICY: ANOTHER REMINDER TO USE OFFSHORE EMAIL

by SIMON BLACK 

February 2, 2012

If you’re like almost every single Internet user on the planet, you probably use Google for something. Maybe Gmail, maybe Google search, maybe Google Docs, maybe Google Voice… or maybe all of the above.

Google recently began circulating a new privacy policy that will take place effective March 1, 2012.  With so many services ranging from a new social network to an online office platform, Google has consolidated all of its privacy policies into one. And it’s a good reminder of what’s at stake.

Anytime you perform a Google search, for example, it’s logged. Your computer’s IP address and cookie (unique identifiers that can essentially pinpoint you and your location) are also included, so your computer’s entire search history is archived.

When you receive an email through Gmail, or a voicemail on the Google Voice service, it’s archived on their servers. Even if you delete the messages, there’s still a copy on Google’s servers. The marginal cost of digital storage is so ridiculously cheap that they have little reason to delete this data.

Then, of course, there are all the government requests for user data. In the first half of 2011, the US government requested information on over 11,000 Google accounts. Google complied with a full 93% of those requests.  Your account might have been one of them, and you would never know.

It’s not just Google either. Between Google, Microsoft, Yahoo, and AOL, the four companies power the email accounts of over 1 billion people. And all of them are in bed with the US government.

In a way, they have to be. They’re all US companies– headquartered in the US and subject to US law. When the government comes looking for information, or some judge decrees that a user’s emails be confiscated as evidence, they have to comply.

Read more »

Filed under politics surveillance privacy Internet security liberty freedom police state Google privacy policy Google privacy policy US government Gmail offshore email Microsoft Yahoo AOL Big Brother 1984 Orwell

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YET ANOTHER REMINDER THAT DEMOCRACY IS AN ILLUSION
by SIMON BLACK  January 23, 2012

With over 150 million registered users, the file sharing site MegaUpload.com is one of the most popular on the Internet. At least, it was.
The site has now been seized by the US government and its homepage converted to an FBI anti-piracy warning. Its founder, a high tech entrepreneur named Kim Dotcom (yes, he had it legally changed), was arrested in New Zealand after his homes were raided and assets seized.
These actions were all at the behest of the US government. And it’s just the latest example of Big Brother overextending its authority across the entire world.
[…]

 The government is using its bureaucracy to completely circumvent due process and make an example of somebody that they consider a nuisance.
So why should they care? What interest could the US government possibly have in a silly file sharing site? None. But the entertainment industry does.
You see, we don’t live in a representative democracy. Democracy is an illusion to make people believe that they’re free. Instead, it’s blocs of large corporations who are really in control. If the entertainment business wants Kim Dotcom to go away, the government will invent or break any law necessary to make it happen. They’re all in bed together.

Read more »

YET ANOTHER REMINDER THAT DEMOCRACY IS AN ILLUSION

by SIMON BLACK  January 23, 2012

With over 150 million registered users, the file sharing site MegaUpload.com is one of the most popular on the Internet. At least, it was.

The site has now been seized by the US government and its homepage converted to an FBI anti-piracy warning. Its founder, a high tech entrepreneur named Kim Dotcom (yes, he had it legally changed), was arrested in New Zealand after his homes were raided and assets seized.

These actions were all at the behest of the US government. And it’s just the latest example of Big Brother overextending its authority across the entire world.

[…]

 The government is using its bureaucracy to completely circumvent due process and make an example of somebody that they consider a nuisance.

So why should they care? What interest could the US government possibly have in a silly file sharing site? None. But the entertainment industry does.

You see, we don’t live in a representative democracy. Democracy is an illusion to make people believe that they’re free. Instead, it’s blocs of large corporations who are really in control. If the entertainment business wants Kim Dotcom to go away, the government will invent or break any law necessary to make it happen. They’re all in bed together.

Read more »

Filed under politics economics news editorial MegaUpload MegaUpload.com democracy US government FBI anti-piracy Big Brother bureaucracy entertainment industry Hollywood corporations corporatism

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Report: Homeland Security watches Twitter, social media

think-progress:

We’re wondering if they’re on Tumblr?

These include social networking sites Facebook and My Space - though there is a parenthetical notice that My Space only affords a “limited search” capability - and more than a dozen sites that monitor, aggregate and enable searches of Twitter messages and exchanges.

News and gossip sites on the monitoring list include popular destinations such as the Drudge Report, Huffington Post and “NY Times Lede Blog”, as well as more focused techie fare such as the Wired blogs “Threat Level” and “Danger Room.” Numerous blogs related to terrorism and security are also on the list. 

 

(Source: reuters.com)

Filed under politics Homeland Security DHS surveillance police state Big Brother Orwell Orwellian 1984 social networking sites

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Obama Administration Reported To Be Planning To Create "Internet ID" For Americans

   

uniteordie:

talkstraight:

President Obama is putting plans in motion to give the Commerce Department authority to create an Internet ID for all Americans, a White House official told CNET.com.

White House Cybersecurity Coordinator Howard Schmidt told the website it is “the absolute perfect spot in the U.S. government” to centralize efforts toward creating an “identity ecosystem” for the Internet.

The National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace is currently being drafted by the Obama administration and will be released by the president in a few months.

“We are not talking about a national ID card. We are not talking about a government-controlled system. What we are talking about is enhancing online security and privacy, and reducing and perhaps even eliminating the need to memorize a dozen passwords, through creation and use of more trusted digital identities,” Commerce Secretary Gary Locke said at an event Friday at the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research, according to CNET.com.

Locke added that the Commerce Department will be setting up a national program office to work on this project.

________________________________________________

Ummm…no thank you.

Yet another thing ONLY RON PAUL TALKS ABOUT. 

wake the fuck up

(via machinegunsandacameralens)

Filed under American fascism Internet Internet ID Obama insecurity loss of privacy police state politics privacy security centralized database cybersecurity national database Orwell Orwellian Big Brother surveillance surveillance state Ron Paul 2012

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"Going Dark" vs. a "Golden Age of Surveillance"

It’s a policy debate that’s been going on since the crypto wars of the early 1990s. The FBI, NSA, and other agencies continue to claim they’re losing their ability to engage in surveillance: that it’s “going dark.” Whether the cause of the problem is encrypted e-mail, digital telephony, or Skype, the bad guys use it to communicate, so we need to pass laws like CALEA to force these services to be made insecure, so that the government can eavesdrop.

The counter-argument is the “Golden Age of Surveillance” — that the massive increase of online data and Internet communications systems gives the government a far greater ability to eavesdrop on our lives. They can get your e-mail from Google, regardless of whether you use encryption. They can install an eavesdropping program on your computer, regardless of whether you use Skype. They can monitor your Facebook conversations, and learn thing that just weren’t online a decade ago. Today we all carry devices that track our locations 24/7: our cell phones.

(Source: azspot)

Filed under politics surveillance privacy CALEA security FBI NSA DHS police state Big Brother 1984 Orwell

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5 Things You Should Know About the FBI's Massive New Biometric Database

This could be straight out of Steven Spielberg’s 2002 film Minority Report. See also 

here » 

for Homeland Security’s Minority Report Ambitions in wired.com August 13, 2007

Minorityreport

It’ll be “Bigger — Better — Faster,” the FBI brags on their Web site. Unsurprisingly, civil libertarians have concerns about the privacy ramifications of a bigger, better, faster way to track Americans using their body parts.

thenakedparty:

 
 
 The FBI claims that their fingerprint database (IAFIS) is the largest biometric database in the world,” containing records for over a hundred million people. But that’s nothing compared to the agency’s plans for Next Generation Identification (NGI), a massive, billion-dollar upgrade that will hold iris scans, photos searchable with face recognition technology, palm prints, and measures of gait and voice recordings alongside records of fingerprints, scars, and tattoos.

Filed under politics FBI privacy surveillance Big Brother police state biometric database tracking technology Project Hostile Intent PHI

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Big Brother is Following the Money Trail

bankerpigs:

WHY 308,127,404 AMERICANS ARE GOING TO GET HOSED

by SIMON BLACK  January 11, 2012

Last week, the US government’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), an agency of the US Treasury Department, published its 2011 annual report. There are a few numbers that are pretty startling.

We’ve discussed before that FinCEN is the executive agency tasked with ensuring that every US banker is an unpaid government spy through Suspicious Activity Reports.

A Suspicious Activity Report, or SAR, includes details of any transaction that may be deemed ‘suspicious’. Naturally, there’s no clear guidance on what is/is not considered suspicious. Banks, brokerages, money service businesses, precious metals dealers… even casinos are required by law to fill them out.

If you withdraw an unusual amount of cash from your bank account, that could be deemed suspicious. If you set up a new payee in your billpay service, that could be deemed suspicious. Anything and everything is fair game.

Banks and other businesses who do not fill out SARs face hefty penalties, including imprisonment. If they disclose to a customer that s/he is the subject of a SAR, they have hefty penalties, including imprisonment.

When push comes to shove and they have to choose between a nasty penalty, or submitting a SAR about your unusual cash withdrawal, which option do you think they’ll pick?

Unsurprisingly, nearly 1.5 million ‘suspicious activity reports’ were filed across the US banking system in 2011, well over twice the number reported in 2004. On top of this, there were an additional -14.8 million- ‘currency transaction reports’ filed in 2011, a 6% jump over last year.

It’s an unfortunate trend which highlights not only the end of financial privacy, but also the massive amount of data being collected by the government to keep tabs on its citizens.

Read more »

Filed under politics economy news money trail surveillance privacy Big Brother serfdom police state

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