10 Ways You Are Being Watched, Monitored And Spied On

While the intent might be up for debate, the fact that our governments and businesses appear to be watching our every move isn’t. As technology increases, seemingly more and more rapidly, more data about us is stored and shared — and most of the time, we are unaware it is being collected or how it might be used. 1. INCREASING CCTV SURVEILLANCE In 2011, there was one CCTV camera for every 32 UK citizens. By 2016, this number had increased to one for every 11, making the United Kingdom the most spied upon country in the world. Not that the UK is alone in its surveillance of citizens. Almost all countries have security cameras in place. In 2013, the BBC ran a story about the increasing numbers of CCTV cameras being installed and put into operation across the United States, where they were being hailed as crucial in apprehending […] Read More

Pardon Edward Snowden, now

His whistleblowing was among the most important in US history. I would publicly acknowledge his heroism, as Barack Obama should, without delay On 6 June 2013, the Guardian broke the news National Security Agency (NSA) had ordered Verizon to provide it with the phone records of its customers. As the story developed it became clear that the two other major telephone networks as well as credit card companies were doing the same thing; and that the NSA and FBI were being provided with access to server systems operated by Google, Apple, Facebook, Yahoo, Microsoft and Skype. On 11 June the Guardian reported the source as Edward Snowden, a 29-year-old who had been working at the NSA for four years. Snowden believed it was important for him to publicly acknowledge his role in order to provide a human face to the story. He knew he was putting his life at […] Read More

Yahoo! Just Exposed One Of The FBI’s Most Secretive Tricks To Unethically Obtaining Your Info

By Claire Bernish For the first time since the implementation of the USA Freedom Act, Yahoo! published three National Security Letters — perhaps the most secretive and contentious method the FBI has for obtaining information on individuals — after the lifting of repressive and equally-contentious gag orders. Mainstays of the USA PATRIOT Act, National Security Letters (NSLs) generally request customer data information from businesses such as banks, internet service providers, travel agencies, and phone and telecommunications companies — without a warrant required. Worse, NSLs include onerous, mandatory orders prohibiting their recipients from disclosing to anyone — including coworkers, friends, and family — that they even received the letter. “Yahoo has always maintained a strong commitment to protecting our users’ safety, security and privacy,” the company said in an announcement of the disclosure. “The release of these documents and information regarding NSLs today is consistent with our commitment to share […] Read More

Family Arrested, Child Taken by CPS, for Refusing Unlawful Search

21st Century Wire says… Watch the Police State do their utmost to ruin a family whose only crime was to stand up for their inherent consitutional rights at US citizens, in this case, it’s the Fourth Amendment… Free Thought Project Long Valley, CA — Last month, the Feinman family was driving through a constitutionally questionable interstate checkpoint. This checkpoint is not on the US/Mexican border; it is along Highway 395N between California and Nevada. When driving through these in-country checkpoints, you are not required to answer the agent’s questions (usually starting with “Are you a United States citizen?”). Nor are you required to consent to any searches. As the Feinman’s drove through, they refused to be unlawfully searched, citing their 4th Amendment right to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures. The agents, however, could have cared less about the Feinman’s rights, stating at one point […] Read More

District Attorney Says Encrypted Phones May Make You a Terrorist Because They “Cannot Be Accessed by Law Enforcement”

The attack on personal privacy continues. From every angle big government politicians and officials are doing everything they can to take away your ability to be secure in your person or possessions. Under terrorism laws like the Patriot Act the government has given itself the right to wire tap your home or enter your personal premises without so much as a warrant so long as police or federal law enforcement officials can show that your activities may be related to terrorism. And as we know, being associated with a terrorist nowadays requires absolutely no concrete facts according to President Obama’s latest initiative. Simply being suspected of being suspected of terrorism (whatever that means) can now qualify you for a terror watchlist or further investigation. As we reported last week, even the Third Amendment can now be violated so that law enforcement officials can forcibly occupy your home to gain a […] Read More

The Wolf Is Guarding the Hen House: The Government’s War on Cyberterrorism

“The game is rigged, the network is bugged, the government talks double-speak, the courts are complicit and there’s nothing you can do about it.”—David Kravets, reporting for Wired Nothing you write, say, text, tweet or share via phone or computer is private anymore. As constitutional law professor Garrett Epps points out, “Big Brother is watching….Big Brother may be watching you right now, and you may never know. Since 9/11, our national life has changed forever. Surveillance is the new normal.” This is the reality of the internet-dependent, plugged-in life of most Americans today. A process which started shortly after 9/11 with programs such as Total Information Awareness (the predecessor to the government’s present surveillance programs) has grown into a full-fledged campaign of warrantless surveillance, electronic tracking and data mining, thanks to federal agents who have been given carte blanche access to the vast majority of electronic communications in America. Their methods […] Read More

2014: Mass Surveillance Called Illegal

By Stephen Lendman Steve Lendman Blog In 2004, Congress established the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board (PCLOB). It did so to advise executive branch officials on these issues. It was virtually moribund. It accomplished nothing under Bush. Nor during Obama’s first term. In November 2013, it held its first meaningful hearing. On January 23, it condemned mass surveillance. It called it illegal. It refuted administration claims. More on what it said below. Pervasive spying is longstanding policy. It’s worse than ever now. NSA watches everyone everywhere all the time. Doing so is unconstitutional. Patriot Act provisions trample on Bill of Rights protections. They compromise due process, habeas rights, free expression, association, and protection from unreasonable searches and seizures. Section 215 oversteps and then some. It’s misused. It’s language is vague. It’s deceptive. It’s used to permit metadata-mining. It allows police state investigatory practices. Doing so pertains to real […] Read More

2013: CIA Uses Patriot Act To Spy On American’s Bank Transactions

By Susanne Posel Occupy Corporatism Sources are coming out of the woodwork to expose the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and their involvement in massive data collections on American citizens under the guise of protecting against terroristic activity. The CIA has been exposed for “secretly collecting bulk records of international money transfers . . . That includes transactions into and out of the United States.” The information collected includes “transactions by Americans with companies like Western Union. The program is authorized under the same law that lets the N.S.A. collect international phone records.” By blaming the events of 9/11, a pattern of how people send money overseas was established with the CIA in charge of tracking those foreign transactions. Information utilized includes social security numbers of targets. The US government obtains data from the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT). SWIFT is “a member-owned cooperative through which the financial world conducts its business operations with speed, certainty and confidence. […] Read More

2005: Privatizing the Truth; Bush's war on information

”We’re an empire now, and when we act,we create our own reality”. Bush aide; Ron Suskind, New York Times Magazine 10-17-04 By Mike Whitney fergiewhitney@msn.com — A great deal of print has been wasted on President Bush‘s inability to tell the truth. In fact, it really makes little difference whether Bush is a pathological liar or not. What is meaningful however is that deception is the primary tool for the maintenance of the state. Transparency and candor are now seen as direct threats to the preservation of the status quo.This suggests that Bush’s lying is not simply a matter of human frailty or corruption, but a clear statement of administration policy. This may seem like a minor point, but in fact the conduct of the Bush administration cannot be seriously evaluated without understanding that deceit is the cornerstone of their class-based world view. Evidence of this is everywhere, right […] Read More

2001: Inside The Patriot Act

Do you know anyone who actually read the Patriot Act? Thank goodness for blogger Nigel Deans, who rolled up his sleeves and delved into the actual document. Here in a special guest report, Deans presents the results of his exploration. by Nigel Deans The Patriot Act is one of those documents that seems to attract a lot more attention than readers. I too have been one of those people who rely on the civil rights lawyers to actually read the document, then I find their interpretations in the usual pick-up windows to which civil rights advocates subscribe. But it seems to me that a genuine concern about the threats to our freedom should really be fortified with a more direct understanding of the threat itself. So I decided to read the document. Well, at least parts of it, and sure enough, I began to understand something that I didn’t […] Read More

Thousands gather in Washington for anti-NSA 'Stop Watching Us' rally

Statement from whistleblower Edward Snowden read to crowd featuring groups from left and right of political spectrum Thousands gathered by the Capitol reflection pool in Washington on Saturday to march, chant, and listen to speakers and performers as part of Stop Watching Us, a gathering to protest “mass surveillance” under NSA programs first disclosed by the whistleblower Edward Snowden. Billed by organizers as “the largest rally yet to protest mass surveillance”, Stop Watching Us was sponsored by an unusually broad coalition of left- and right-wing groups, including everything from the American Civil Liberties Union, the Green Party, Color of Change and Daily Kos to the Libertarian Party, FreedomWorks and Young Americans for Liberty. The events began outside Union Station, a few blocks away from the Capitol. Props abounded, with a model drone hoisted by one member of the crowd and a large parachute carried by others. One member of […] Read More

2013: Fisa court: no telecoms company has ever challenged phone records orders

Judge says requests for mass customer data have not been challenged ‘despite the mechanism for doing so’ No telecommunications company has ever challenged the secretive Foreign Intelligence Surveillance court’s orders for bulk phone records under the Patriot Act, the court revealed on Tuesday. The secretive Fisa court’s disclosure came inside a declassification of its legal reasoning justifying the National Security Agency’s ongoing bulk collection of Americans’ phone records. Citing the “unprecedented disclosures” and the “ongoing public interest in this program”, Judge Claire V Eagan on 29 August not only approved the Obama administration’s request for the bulk collection of data from an unidentified telecommunications firm, but ordered it declassified. Eagan wrote that despite the “lower threshold” for government bulk surveillance under Section 215 of the Patriot Act compared to other laws, the telephone companies who have received Fisa court orders for mass customer data have not challenged the law. […] Read More

2006: Military Commissions Act: A Precursor To Tyranny?

By Chuck Baldwin   Food For Thought From The Chuck Wagon December 5, 2006 In an interview with nationally syndicated radio talk show host Alex Jones, Rep. Ron Paul of Texas recently discussed President Bush’s support for the Military Commissions Act. During the interview, Paul said that “the law officially allows for citizen concentration camp facilities.” Paul also warned that “the Military Commissions Act and the Defense Authorization Act . . . essentially wipes out Habeas Corpus.” Paul continued by noting, “Right now we don’t have concentration camps, but . . . the authority has been given so that concentration camps can come without Habeas Corpus.” He then said, “If they can lock you up, what good is freedom of speech or what good is a gun?” Couple the implementation of the Military Commissions Act with the already-passed USA Patriot Act and all the legalities necessary to completely eviscerate […] Read More