Oliver Stone lashes out at Pokemon Go

Director Oliver Stone used a presentation of his upcoming film about Edward Snowden as an opportunity to speak out against the augmented-reality mobile game Pokemon Go, which has been downloaded more than 30 million times in a fortnight. “It’s not really funny. What’s happening is a new level of invasion,” said the 69-year-old director at Comic Con in San Diego, referring to the app, which requires players to physically walk to different places to capture the precious Pokemon. According to Stone, while users are playing an innocent game, digital companies are collecting invaluable personal data. “The profits are enormous here for places like Google. They’ve invested a huge amount of money in data mining – what you are buying, what you like, your behavior,” said Stone, whose film, titled Snowden, comes out in September. “It’s what some people call surveillance capitalism,” said Stone, who is famous for his films […] Read More

CISA Systemic Domestic Spying

Technology in cyber space is designed to be the instrument of a totality surveillance society. Secretive methods, back doors, observation and collection of data have been in place for decades. CISA is the latest legislation authorization agreement that provides liability exemption for law enforcement and spooks to conduct their systematic assimilation with the codes and functions of technological development for the intended purpose of efficient monitoring of electronic communication. Coercion for compliance from any resisting tech giant will provide the government with the brute force to muscle their way past any remnants of Fourth Amendment Bill of Right protections. The fact that there is so much enthusiasm in Congress to further gut civil liberties comes as no surprise but is frightening that the push back is so weak. Senate overwhelmingly passes historic cybersecurity bill is reported by CNN accordingly, “It took several tries, but on Tuesday the U.S. Senate […] Read More

Warrant now required for federal ‘Stingray’ surveillance use – DoJ

US Department of Justice agents now have to acquire a search warrant before utilizing a cell-site simulator, the department said, though the new policy allows for exceptions. The devices, known as ‘Stingrays,’ trick phones into connecting to them. The Department of Justice (DOJ) announced on Thursday that while the department’s agents have followed “appropriate legal authorizations” for cell-site simulators in the past, effective immediately, federal agencies must now get a search warrant supported by probable cause before using a cell-site simulator. The Harris Corporation’s ‘Stingray’ is the most well-known brand of the controversial spying technology, used by the FBI, the Secret Service, the Drug Enforcement Agency, and many state and local police agencies. By impersonating cell towers, the suitcase-sized devices force phones in the area to broadcast information that can be used to identify and locate users. The devices are able to indiscriminately collect and intercept data from hundreds […] Read More

FBI Admits to Spying on Burning Man Festival

While the annual art festival known as ‘Burning Man’ may sound like an innocent gathering of free-spirited hippies and ravers, in reality, you might be surprised to find that it has a dark underbelly that threatens the security of the United States of America. That is, if the FBI is to be believed anyway, because apparently Burning Man poses a big enough threat to be spied on by the government. Recent documents attained by a FOIA request reveal that since at least 2010, the FBI has been keeping tabs on the festival, while maintaining documents on the revelers to ‘aid in the prevention of terrorist activities and intelligence collection’. Also, their involvement is apparently ‘even more critical in the light of the ongoing war on terrorism and the potential for additional acts of terrorism being committed in the United States.’   So far the FBI has found that the […] Read More

Federal court rules in favor of NSA bulk snooping, White House happy

Despite the opposition of the US public and lawmakers to NSA surveillance, the courts keep handing the Obama administration the license to snoop. A US appeals court just threw out a 2013 verdict against the NSA, to White House approval. The decision vindicates the government’s stance that NSA’s bulk surveillance programs are constitutional, the White House said Friday. Three judges at the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit said the plaintiffs, Larry Klayman and Charles Strange, had no standing to file the original claim, since they could not prove the NSA actually collected any of their records. While Klayman and Strange objected that the NSA refused to provide the evidence, the judges said that was working as intended. “Plaintiffs complain that the government should not be allowed to avoid liability simply by keeping the material classified. But the government’s silence regarding the scope of bulk […] Read More

Backdoors… for Everything: “Citizens Should Have No Secrets Gov’t Can’t Access”

This article was written by J.D. Heyes and originally published at NaturalNews.com. Editor’s Comment: The Thought Police are here, and they want preemptive full access to every electronic activity you ever make — whether or not you are ‘doing something wrong.’ The potential for abuse is enormous, and privacy advocates have argued that weakening encryption for authorities to have access will destroy consumer protections for things like bank accounts, creative and patent activities, not to mention that people had before technology… yes, privacy. The 4th Amendment has been reduced to a specter; and there is much rolling around in graves. FBI says that citizens should have no secrets that the government can’t access: the Orwellian cyber police state has arrived by J.D. Heyes The police and surveillance state predicted in the forward-looking 1940s classic “1984” by George Orwell, has slowly, but steadily, come to fruition. However, like a frog […] Read More

Leaked Documents Show FBI, DEA, & Army Can Control Your Computer

Leaked emails from an Italian-based hacking company reveal that government agencies engage in surveillance more invasive than previously thought, spending millions of dollars on spyware and malware software to accomplish their questionable goals. Tellingly, their use of the product places them squarely in the same category as other repressive regimes around the world. After hackers ironically hacked Hacking Tools, a Milan-based company that sells strictly to governments, hundreds of gigabytes of emails and financial records were leaked. The emails show that the FBI, DEA, and U.S. Army all purchased software that enables them to view suspects’ photos, emails, listen to and record their conversations, and activate the cameras on their computers, among other things. While this may seem like old news, the most controversial revelation was the government’s purchases of “Remote Control Systems.” The FBI, DEA, and U.S. Army, courtesy of Hacking Tools, possess the capability to take control of […] Read More

FBI chief pushes for encryption ‘back door’ despite tech experts’ opposition

Encryption is a threat to public safety, the FBI director argued before testifying at a Senate hearing. Crypto experts and the tech industry oppose demands by US officials for “back door” keys to encrypted software as both harmful and impractical. In a guest post on the Lawfare blog, FBI Director James Comey argued that “to protect the public, the government sometimes needs to be able to see an individual’s stuff,” though only “under appropriate circumstances and with appropriate oversight.” Encryption denies the government that ability, which “will affect public safety,” Comey wrote, citing the example of Islamic State “operators in Syria” using encrypted chats to recruit “dozens of troubled Americans to kill people.” “I really am not a maniac (or at least my family says so). But my job is to try to keep people safe,” he wrote, calling for a “robust debate” to resolve the conflict between privacy […] Read More

NSA says it will keep phone records even if surveillance program ends

The National Security Agency has said it will lock down and mothball its archive of US citizens’ phone records if its legal authority to go on collecting the metadata expires as it is due to this Sunday. The political and legal dispute will come to a head on Sunday when the Republican controlled Senate will seek a resolution before the law authorizing the controversial NSA spying program expires at 11:59pm. The debate has pitted the Obama administration’s national security team against those who say the surveillance program, which was revealed to the American public by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden in 2013, infringes civil liberties and the US Constitution. The hours leading up to midnight will see a jump in activity at US phone companies and at the NSA as engineers take down servers, monitoring software and hardware from the main optic cables of telephone data traffic, according to […] Read More

‘We Are Always Listening’: Pranksters plant recording devices across NYC

A group of anti-NSA pranksters have planted recording devices in public places across New York, saying that they are “gathering information to help win the war on terror.” The devices can be found everywhere in New York – in cafes, under benches, in shops, restaurants and bars. “Eavesdropping on the population has revealed many saying, ‘I’m not doing anything wrong so who cares if the NSA tracks what I say and do?’” the group, dubbed “We Are Always Listening,” wrote on its website. According to anti-NSA activists, the citizens “don’t seem to mind this monitoring.” “[So] we’re hiding recorders in public places in hopes of gathering information to help win the war on terror. We’ve started with NYC as a pilot program, but hope to roll the initiative out all across The Homeland.” The pranksters say they are “declassifying excerpts from the recordings and highlighting” where some devices are […] Read More

FBI Admits They Haven’t Stopped ANY Terrorism With Patriot Act Spying Power

The FBI just came out and admitted that they haven’t solved a single terrorism case using the spying powers granted by the Patriot Act. The Justice Department’s inspector general acknowledged this in a report that was released last Thursday. Inspector General Michael E. Horowitz explained that in the years spanning from 2004 to 2009, the FBI increased their spying under Section 215 of the Patriot Act by three times. This included forcing businesses to turn over records and documents, and spying on Americans with no clear ties to any official terrorist organizations or terrorism investigations. But in spite of all that added spying, they couldn’t point to one single case that was solved, or one single terrorist act that was thwarted through the use of these Patriot Act provisions. Anything that they solved or prevented was done using traditional techniques and tactics for solving crime, without relying on Patriot Act dirty tricks. “The agents we interviewed did not identify any […] Read More

Motels Sharing “Daily Guest List with Police” and Aiding Warrant Checks on Every Guest

The motel and hotel industry is not only spying you, it is partnering with police. This isn’t just routine cooperation when police request information for criminal investigations. Instead, it is apparently everyday data sharing on every guest. It is a troubling private-public overlap where motel and hotel clerks are systematically sharing “do not rent” lists and helping police to run checks on guests daily for outstanding warrants. Staying at Motel 6, and other chains pursuing similar policies, now includes a hidden guilty-until-proven innocent background check that puts ordinary travelers one step away from a call to police. From the Providence Journal: City police have arrested four people staying at the Motel 6 on Jefferson Boulevard as a result of the hotel chain’s agreement to provide police with a daily guest list, Mayor Scott Avedisian said Tuesday. The names of Motel 6 guests, which police then check for outstanding warrants, […] Read More