FBI Director: Government Surveillance ‘Enhances Liberty’

As technology companies enhance their user security software, FBI director James Comey said the government should expand its surveillance law. Encryption tools that allow users to lock their phones permanently threaten FBI operations, director says. (Photo: ario_/flickr/cc) In a speech on Thursday, FBI director James Comey invoked “national security and public safety” to push for more permissive government surveillance policies, claiming new encryption technologies are poised to leave law enforcement agencies “in the dark” as they try to hunt down terrorists and child molesters. Civil liberties watchdogs criticized Comey’s claims, saying that the encryption tools would have no bearing on police and FBI operations, and that privacy is a federally guaranteed right. Laura W. Murphy, director of the Washington Legislative Office of the American Civil Liberties Union, said Comey “is wrong in asserting that law enforcement cannot do its job while respecting Americans’ privacy rights. In fact, federal law […] Read More

2012: Tracking School Children With RFID Tags? It’s All About the Benjamins

BY DAVID KRAVETS 09.07.12 6:30 AM Just as the U.S. Department of Agriculture mandates Radio Frequency Identification Device chips to monitor livestock, a Texas school district just begun implanting the devices on student identification cards to monitor pupils’ movements on campus, and to track them as they come and go from school. Tagging school children with RFID chips is uncommon, but not new. A federally funded preschool in Richmond, California, began embedding RFID chips in students’ clothing in 2010. And an elementary school outside of Sacramento, California, scrubbed a plan in 2005 amid a parental uproar. And a Houston, Texas, school district began using the chips to monitor students on 13 campuses in 2004. It was only a matter of time. Radio frequency identification devices are a daily part of the electronic age, and are fast becoming a part of passports, libraries and payment cards, and are widely expected to replace bar-code labels […] Read More