Tag Archives: Big Brother

Smile! You are being watched by your cable TV

cable box

Cheryl K. Chumley reports for The Washington Times, June 17, 2013, the cable TV companies have acquired a new technology that enables them to peer directly into television watchers’ homes and monitor viewing habits and reactions to product advertisements.

The technology would come via infrared cameras and microphones embedded in digital video recorders (DVRs) or cable boxes, which will enable the cable companies to watch and analyze viewers’ reaction (what they do and say) to televised ads. The cable companies then use the data collected to target specific advertisements to the particular household.

Rep. Mike Capuano (D-MA) and Rep. Walter Jones (R-NC) have introduced a bill, the We Are Watching You Act, to prohibit the technology on boxes and collection of information without consumer permission. The bill would also require companies that do use the data to show “we are watching you” messages on the screen and to explain just what kinds of information is being captured and for what reasons.

The two Congressmen explain in a press release that “A patent application filed with the US Patent and Trademark Office by Verizon notes the technology could detect a range of viewer activities. According to the patent application, the set-top device will be able to distinguish ‘ambient action … of eating, exercising, laughing, reading, sleeping, talking, humming, cleaning’ and more.”

Congressman Capuano stated: “This may sound preposterous but it is neither a joke nor an exaggeration. These DVRs would essentially observe consumers as they watch television as a way to super-target ads. It is an incredible invasion of privacy. Given what we have recently learned about the access that the government has to the phone numbers we call, the emails we send and the websites we visit, it is important for consumers to decide for themselves whether they want this technology. Think about what you do in the privacy of your own home and then think about how you would feel sharing that information with your cable company, their advertisers and your government.”

For his part, Congressman Jones stated: “Allowing this type of technology to be installed in the homes of individuals without their consent would be an egregious invasion of privacy. When the government has an unfortunate history of secretly collecting private citizens’ information from technology providers, we must ensure that safeguards are in place to protect Americans’ rights.”

Current law is silent on these devices. The We Are Watching You Act will require both an opt-in for consumers and an on-screen warning whenever the device is recording information about consumers.

~Eowyn

Please follow and like us:
error0
 

Obama regime is spying on every phonecall, email, bank transfer, travel record of every American

Obama Sauron
You know that saying that even the paranoid sometimes are right?
14 months ago, on March 19, 2012, I wrote a post “2013: The end of privacy in America,” about the construction of a heavily fortified $2 billion Data Center in Utah, by the National Security Agency, in which the federal government will store (and analyze) your every email, cell phone call, Google search, parking receipt, credit card purchases, and more. The construction was expected to be completed by September of this year, but it looks like the Data Center is already up and running.

APTOPIX NSA Phone RecordsNSA Data Center in Bluffdale, Utah

For several years, two Democrats on the Senate Intelligence Committee, Senator Ron Wyden of Oregon and Senator Mark Udall of Colorado, have been cryptically warning that the Obama regime was interpreting its surveillance powers under the Patriot Act in a way that would be alarming to the public if we knew about it.
Last year in a letter to Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr., Wyden and Udall wrote: “We believe most Americans would be stunned to learn the details of how these secret court opinions have interpreted Section 215 of the Patriot Act. As we see it, there is now a significant gap between what most Americans think the law allows and what the government secretly claims the law allows. This is a problem, because it is impossible to have an informed public debate about what the law should say when the public doesn’t know what its government thinks the law says.”

The American people are now finding out to what the two senators were cryptically referring.

This discovery was disclosed yesterday by the UK paper, The Guardian, contained in a highly classified court order, signed in April by Judge Roger Vinson of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. Vinson’s order directs a Verizon Communications subsidiary, VBNS, to turn over “on an ongoing daily basis” to the National Security Agency (NSA) all call logs “between the United States and abroad” or “wholly within the United States, including local telephone calls.”
The FBI had asked for the court order under a section of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, the 1978 law that regulates domestic surveillance for national security purposes, allowing the government to secretly obtain “tangible things” like a business’s customer records. The provision was expanded by Section 215 of the Patriot Act, which makes it easier to get an order from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to obtain business records so long as they were merely deemed “relevant” to a national-security investigation.
The order was marked “TOP SECRET//SI//NOFORN,” referring to communications-related intelligence information that may not be released to noncitizens. That would make it among the most closely held secrets in the federal government. The collection of call logs is set to expire in July unless the court extends it.
Judge Vinson’s order does not apply to the content of the communications, which means it’s a blanket order, instead of one that specifically targets only communications containing Dept. of Homeland Security (DHS) “trigger words“. (For a list of those words, see our LTG’s post of May 27, 2012, “DHS Trigger Words?“.)
It is not clear whether similar orders have gone to other parts of Verizon, like its residential or cellphone services, or to other telecommunications carriers. The order prohibits its recipient from discussing its existence, and representatives of both Verizon and AT&T declined to comment Wednesday evening.
Obama administration officials at the F.B.I. and the White House also declined to comment on it Wednesday evening, but did not deny the report, and a person familiar with the order confirmed its authenticity. “We will respond as soon as we can,” said NSA spokeswoman Marci Green Miller in an e-mail.
Kate Martin of the Center for National Security Studies, a civil liberties advocacy group, said that “absent some explanation I haven’t thought of, this looks like the largest assault on privacy since the N.S.A. wiretapped Americans in clear violation of the law [under the Bush administration]. On what possible basis has the government refused to tell us that it believes that the law authorizes this kind of request?”
Even more alarming, Andy Greenberg reports for Forbes, June 5, 2013, that although the NSA has long justified its spying powers by arguing that its charter allows surveillance on those outside of the United States, while avoiding intrusions into the private communications of American citizens, the Obama regime’s spying order to Verizon specifically targets Americans, instead of foreigners.
It gets worse.
Elspeth Reeve reports for the Atlantic Wire that the NSA’s surveillance of our communications is most likely much, much bigger than that. Technology has made it possible for the American government to spy on citizens to an extent East Germany could only dream of. Basically everything we say that can be traced digitally is being collected by the NSA.
Previous reporting from many outlets suggests that’s true. In 2006, USA Today‘s Leslie Cauley reported the NSA was secretly collecting call records with data from AT&T, Verizon, and BellSouth. A source told Cauley, “It’s the largest database ever assembled in the world” and that the NSA wanted “to create a database of every call ever made” within U.S. territory. Likewise, in 2011, The New Yorker‘s Jane Mayer spoke to former NSA crypto-mathematician Bill Binney, who “believes that the agency now stores copies of all e-mails transmitted in America, in case the government wants to retrieve the details later.” He thinks the NSA wants all emails to be searchable, the same way we search with Google. “The agency reportedly has the capacity to intercept and download, every six hours, electronic communications equivalent to the contents of the Library of Congress,” Mayer said.
And the NSA isn’t just collecting the things we say. It’s also tracking what we buy and where we go. In 2008, The Wall Street Journal‘s Siobhan Gorman reported that the NSA’s domestic data collection “have evolved to reach more broadly into data about people’s communications, travel and finances in the U.S. than the domestic surveillance programs brought to light since the 2001 terrorist attacks.” That means emails records, bank transfers, phone records, travel records.
See also:

~Eowyn

Please follow and like us:
error0
 

Ever hear the term "Sovereign Citizen"?

We have yet another move to shift the definition of terrorist to match the description of Obama’s political opponents. ~TD

130212fbisurveillance-340x161

WND EXCLUSIVE

BIG BROTHER TO MONITOR ‘SOVEREIGN CITIZENS’

New task force to target ‘anti-government extremists’

With almost no media coverage, the White House last week announced its new Interagency Working Group to Counter Online Radicalization to Violence that will target not only Islamic terrorists but so-called violent “sovereign citizens.”

Projection: Psychological projection is the phenomenon whereby one projects one’s own thoughts, motivations, desires, feelings, and so on onto someone else. (Leftists assume conservatives desire insurrection because that is their own desire. You see that every time one of their commentators goes off the reservation and rants about how they would like to kill republicans. ~TD)

The FBI defines “sovereign citizens” as “anti-government extremists who believe that even though they physically reside in this country, they are separate or ‘sovereign’ from the United States.”

(I guess that crowd of polite elderly TEA Party people must have put the wind up these guys. ~TD)

The law enforcement agency noted such citizens believe they don’t have to answer to any government authority, including courts, taxing entities, motor vehicle departments or police.
The FBI warned that sovereign citizens commit murder and physical assault; threaten judges, law enforcement professionals and government personnel; impersonate police officers and diplomats; and engineer various white-collar scams, including mortgage fraud and so-called “redemption” schemes.

(Wait a minute. It sounds like Jesse Jackson and Louis Farrakhan are “sovereign citizens”. ~TD)

The new online working group will be chaired by the national security staff at the White House with input from specialists in countering what the Obama administration calls violent extremism.
Read more at https://www.wnd.com/2013/02/big-brother-to-monitor-sovereign-citizens/#iI6R6zu2QZ2IKU8e.99

Please follow and like us:
error0
 

Feds Seek Enhanced Social Media Data Mining Capability


Via infosecurity-us.com:
Out-Hoover Hoover: FBI wants massive data-mining capability for social media
27 January 2012
The FBI is asking industry for help in developing a far-reaching data-mining application that can gather and analyze intelligence from social media sites.
The FBI wants “to determine the capability of industry to provide an open source and social media alert, mapping, and analysis application”, the agency said in a request for information (RFI).

“The application must have the ability to rapidly assemble critical open source information and intelligence that will allow SIOC [Strategic Information and Operations Center] to quickly vet, identify, and geo-locate breaking events, incidents and emerging threats”, the RFI explained.

The application must be able to provide an “automated search and scrape capability of both social networking sites and open source news sites for breaking events, crisis, and threats.”


The FBI also wants the capability to analyze the social media data to provide early warning; detect credible threats or monitor adversarial situations; locate bad actors or groups and analyze their movements, vulnerabilities, limitations, and possible adverse actions; predict likely developments or future actions taken by bad actors; and develop databases on the information gathered from social media sites.

Nowhere in this detailed RFI, however, does the FBI ask industry to comment on the privacy implications of such massive data collection and storage of social media sites. Nor does the FBI say how it would define the “bad actors” who would be subjected this type of scrutiny.
-End 
I am dismissing the terrorist angle right off the bat, as given perhaps a handful of kook exceptions, most truly determined terrorists are not going to announce their intentions on a public forum.
That brings us to a far larger question which is, what exactly is the government looking to do here?
Having read a great deal of history over the course of my life, I am fully aware that all governments have their totalitarian leanings, and ours is no different.
Historically, governments do not much like dissent, and as they become larger and more powerful, their intolerance of dissent grows right along with them. At first, it is threats and intimidation. Later on, it becomes incarceration, and all too often after that come the gallows, firing squads, or the gas chambers.
Way back in the Usenet days, I formed a theory that government was most likely monitoring what was being posted, and probably recording things that might catch its interest. In the years since and given what I have seen, that theory has been reinforced several times over.
Of course, there is no case to be made that government monitoring public forums is illegal, but the idea that it may ultimately be not a little sinister is not all that much of a stretch.
After all, we are now existing in a surveillance society, and when you factor in the Obama administration’s track record of open hostility when it comes to its detractors, the term ‘bad actor’ could mean just about anything.
You see, it is not the terms themselves, but who gets to define them that ultimately matters.
-Dave

Please follow and like us:
error0
 

5 expected innovations that'll change our lives

IBM has a project on emerging technologies called “The next IBM 5 in 5.”
The predictions are based on IBM’s research, as well as market and societal trends. Here are the 5 technologies IBM predicts will become true within 5 years, which will radically change our lives. (My editorial comments are colored pink. ~Eowyn)

1. People power will come to life

Anything that moves or produces heat has the potential to create energy that can be captured. Walking. Jogging. Bicycling. The heat from your computer. Even the water flowing through your pipes. Advances in renewable energy technology will allow us to collect this kinetic energy, which now goes to waste, and use it to help power our homes, offices and cities.
Maybe we’ll finally find something of use from Obama’s incessant golfing and occasional bicycling.

2. You will never need a password again


Your biological makeup is the key to your individual identity, and soon, it will become the key to safeguarding it.
You will no longer need to create, track or remember multiple passwords for various log-ins. Imagine you will be able to walk up to an ATM machine to securely withdraw money by simply speaking your name or looking into a tiny sensor that can recognize the unique patterns in the retina of your eye. Or by doing the same, you can check your account balance on your mobile phone or tablet.
Each person has a unique biological identity and behind all that is data. Biometric data – facial definitions, retinal scans and voice files – will be composited through software to build your DNA unique online password.
Referred to as multi-factor biometrics, smarter systems will be able to use this information in real-time to make sure whenever someone is attempting to access your information, it matches your unique biometric profile and the attempt is authorized. To be trusted, such systems should enable you to opt in or out of whatever information you choose to provide.

3. Mind reading is no longer science fiction

 

(Read more about how mind-reading works, here.)

IBM scientists are among those researching how to link your brain to your devices, such as a computer or a smartphone. If you just need to think about calling someone, it happens. Or you can control the cursor on a computer screen just by thinking about where you want to move it.
Scientists in the field of bioinformatics have designed headsets with advanced sensors to read electrical brain activity that can recognize facial expressions, excitement and concentration levels, and thoughts of a person without them physically taking any actions.
Within 5 years, we will begin to see early applications of this technology in the gaming and entertainment industry. Furthermore, doctors could use the technology to test brain patterns, possibly even assist in rehabilitation from strokes and to help in understanding brain disorders, such as autism.
What will Big Brother government do with this new technology? If minds can be read, it won’t be long before minds can be programmed, aka brain-washed, and controlled. 

4. The digital divide will cease to exist


In our global society, growth and wealth of economies are increasingly decided by the level of access to information. And in five years, the gap between information haves and have-nots will narrow considerably due to advances in mobile technology.
There are 7 billion people inhabiting the world today. In five years there will be 5.6 billion mobile devices sold – which means 80% of the current global population would each have a mobile device. As it becomes cheaper to own a mobile phone, people without a lot of spending power will be able to do much more than they can today.
Growing communities will be able to use mobile technology to provide access to essential information and better serve people with new solutions and business models such as mobile commerce and remote healthcare. For example, in India, using speech technology and mobile devices, IBM enabled rural villagers who were illiterate to pass along information through recorded messages on their phones. With access to information that was not there before, villagers could check weather reports for help them decide when to fertilize crops, know when doctors were coming into town, and find the best prices for their crops or merchandise.
I think IBM is being too optimistic, at least with regards to ending the digital divide in the United States. Citing a Pew poll, USA Today reports that although blacks and Latinos are more likely than the general population to access the Web by cellular phones, and they use their phones more often to do more things, they are using their increased Web access more for entertainment than information empowerment.

5. Junk mail will become priority mail

In five years, unsolicited advertisements may feel so personalized and relevant it may seem spam is dead. At the same time, spam filters will be so precise you’ll never be bothered by unwanted sales pitches again.
IBM is developing technology that uses real-time analytics to make sense and integrate data from across all the facets of your life such as your social networks and online preferences to present and recommend information that is only useful to you.  From news, to sports, to politics, you’ll trust the technology will know what you want, so you can decide what to do with it.
~Eowyn

Please follow and like us:
error0
 

Creepy New Technology Reveals Every Face in a Crowd


We can no longer be faceless in a crowd. A new technology, Gigapixel Panorama Photography, now exposes every face in a crowd, no matter how large the crowd or how small the face.
If you go to this site, you’ll see a photo of a huge crowd, numbering in the hundreds if not thousands, at the 2011 Stanley Cup Final in Vancouver. The pic was taken at 5:46 pm on June 15, 2011.
The human beings in the pic are so small that they look like ants. But if you do the following, they’ll no longer be ants:

  • Put your cursor on any face or figure in the pic.
  • Double click.
  • You’ll see an enlarged picture of the person in high resolution. If it’s not big enough, just double-click again.

Imagine what the government can do with this technology. Big Brother is watching you!!!
H/t Spirit Daily.
~Eowyn

Please follow and like us:
error0
 

Iowa City Government Demands Keys to Citizens’ Private Properties – UPDATE!

In 1788, Thomas Jefferson sounded a warning to generations of Americans to come when he wrote these words in a letter to E. Carrington:

“The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground.”

On May 23, 2011, democracy committed suicide in Cedar Falls, Iowa. A democratically elected government willingly voted to limit the privacy, liberty, and security of citizens.

That evening, by a majority 6 to 1 vote, the elected governing body of Cedar Falls — its City Council — passed Ordinance 2740.

Ordinance 2740 is an amendment to Chapter 11, Fire Prevention and Protection, of the Code of Ordinances relative to adoption of the 2009 Edition of the International Fire Code.

Translated from bureaucratese into ordinary English language, Ordinance 2740 allows the city government to have the keys to privately-owned properties, including commercial businesses, apartments, and some rental houses — all in the name of fire prevention and protection. The twisted reasoning is that if the government has those keys, it could gain quick entrance to properties should there be a fire. [Read the city council’s meeting minutes here.]

[youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zFCLiij0CBA&feature=player_embedded]

The amended code reads as follows:

Subsection 506.3 A fire department key box shall be installed in each commercial or industrial building in the city which is equipped with a fire detection, fire alarm, or fire suppression system that is monitored by an alarm company with direct connection to the dispatch center of the city, and in each building equipped with an unsupervised local alarm system, and where immediate access to the interior of the building by fire department personnel is necessary for life-saving or firefighting purposes. A fire department key box shall also be installed in each residential property consisting of six (6) or more residential dwelling units. Each fire department key box shall be of a type and shall be installed in a location that is approved by the fire chief or his or her designee, and shall be installed in accordance with manufacturer’s recommendations. Each application for a fire department key box shall be submitted to the fire chief or his or her designee. The cost of purchase and installation of each fire department key box shall be paid by the building owner.

Each fire department key box shall contain the following keys:

a. Keys to each locked point of egress, whether on the exterior or interior of the building.

b. Keys to each locked mechanical room in the building.

c. Keys to each locked electrical room in the building.

d. Keys to other areas as determined by the fire chief or his or her designee.

A “fire department key box” means a secure box installed on the exterior of a building, containing keys to various locks on the premises of the building, to which only the fire chief or his or her designee has access.

If the building owner changes or causes to be changed any locks such that the keys located in the fire department key box will not unlock any of the locks described in this section, it shall be the responsibility of the building owner to furnish to the fire chief or his or her designee replacement keys to be placed in the fire department key box, at the owner’s expense.

Ordinance 2740 was championed by Council members Susan DeBuhr and Kamyar Enshayan. 6 out of 7 Council members voted in favor of the ordinance, all in the name of government protecting citizens. Only Councilman Nick Taiber voted against the ordinance. Here are the members of Cedar Falls’ City Council:

Tom Hagarty, 1st Ward

Susan DeBuhr. 2nd Ward

John Runchey, 3rd Ward

Kamyar Enshayan

4th Ward

Frank Darrah

5th Ward

Nick Taiber

At Large

David Wieland

At Large

WHAT YOU CAN DO

Although the ordinance was undertaken by an elected city council, that doesn’t mean it’s right. Imagine if an elected body voted in favor of murder or theft. This 6-1 vote by the Cedar Falls City Council is an act of democracy committing suicide. As Americans, we should all be appalled. Here’s what you can do:

We may not live there, but we can vow to never visit this community. Call the Cedar Falls City Hall and give them a piece of your mind. They may not listen to their citizens at this point, but if they recieved thousands of phone calls in one day from people stating they will boycott Cedar Falls and/or the entire state of Iowa, maybe they will listen. Here’s the contact info:

  • City Council members (see above)
  • City Hall: phone (319) 273-8600; voice mail box 6981.
  • Mayor Jon Crews: phone (319) 268-511; e-mail mayorsoffice@cedarfalls.com

H/t loyal Fellows, May and Sunnydupree.

~Steve & Eowyn

Please follow and like us:
error0
 

Welcome to Tennessee! America's New Police State

Forget about Creeping Sharia. We’ve got more immediate things to worry about here in the good ol’ U. S. of A.
It’s Creeping Big Brotherism.
First comes news that Michigan’s state police are wielding a high-tech mobile forensics device that can be used to extract information from cell phones belonging to motorists stopped for minor traffic violations.
Then, it’s the Indiana Supreme Court overruling the 4th Amendment of the US Constitution.
Now it’s Tennessee, the “America at its best!” state.
Along I-40 in the state of Tennessee, in the name of combating drug trafficking, police can “impound” your cash with just their “suspicion” that your money is ill-gotten.
Travelers beware!
[youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rJd4Q4u5cqU&feature=player_embedded#at=72]
~Eowyn

Please follow and like us:
error0