Articles about surveillance

Echo

Boffins blast beats to bury secret sonar in your 'smart' home

Researchers at the University of Washington have devised a way of conducting surreptitious sonar surveillance using home devices equipped with microphones and speakers. The technique, called CovertBand, looks beyond the obvious possibility of using a microphone-equipped device for eavesdropping. It explores how devices with …
Thomas Claburn, 22 Aug 2017
Police search

US cops point at cell towers and say: Give us every phone number that's touched that mast

US telecoms giant Verizon says police are increasingly asking it to cough up massive dumps of cellphone data rather than individual records. This according to the latest Verizon US transparency report for the first half of the 2017 calendar year. The dossier tracks government requests for phone records both of individual …
Shaun Nichols, 17 Aug 2017

Police camera inaction? Civil liberties group questions forces' £23m body-cam spend

Almost three-quarters of police forces have forked out more than £22m on body-worn cameras, but are failing to properly monitor how the videos are used in court, according to a report released today. Proponents of the technology argue it will improve transparency in frontline policing, stop police and the public from behaving …
Rebecca Hill, 15 Aug 2017

Can GCHQ order techies to work as govt snoops? Experts fear: 'Yes'

Analysis The UK Home Office's ambiguous response to whether or not the Investigatory Powers Act gives the British government the authority to pressure or force people to work for GCHQ is troubling. When Reg reader Simon Clubley pointed out the unclear wording of section 190 of the new law, it generated a lively debate among legal …
John Leyden, 10 Aug 2017

US spies hacked our phones over the air, claim pipeline protesters

For the past year or so, protesters in North Dakota, America, have been trying to prevent an oil pipeline from being built through Native Americans’ sacred land. As a result, they’ve gone through an astonishing level of electronic surveillance while there, it is claimed. For instance, fake cellphone towers were used to listen …
Iain Thomson, 26 Jul 2017
My Friend Cayla and i-Que robot

2017: The FBI alerts parents to dangers of Internet of Sh*t toys

The FBI issued a warning Monday advising parents to carefully check internet-connected toys for possible privacy and security concerns. In this startling alert, the Feds gave America's families the grim news: many toys sporting cloud-backed features such as speech recognition or online content hosting "could put the privacy …
Shaun Nichols, 17 Jul 2017
holland

Dutch Senate votes to grant intel agencies new surveillance powers

Plans by the Dutch government to increase surveillance powers are likely to face opposition from privacy activists. A revamp of the country's laws (in Dutch) was passed by the Senate on Wednesday, clearing the final legislative hurdle after years of debate and protest, Reuters reports. The new Intelligence and Security Act …
John Leyden, 13 Jul 2017
Secret documents picture

Civil rights warriors file US lawsuit: Let us see Five Eyes agreement

The campaign group Privacy International has filed a lawsuit to try to force authorities to release the latest details of the Five Eyes surveillance agreement. The Five Eyes nations – the UK, United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand – have an agreement to gather and share intelligence, but the details of this are, …
Rebecca Hill, 6 Jul 2017
wiretap

Wanna tap 3 MEELLION phone calls? All it takes is one measly warrant

The US government's annual wiretap report, published this week, has revealed the reach and scope of its agents' surveillance abilities. In 2016, the number of federal and state wiretaps fell 24 percent from the previous year, with 1,551 authorized by federal judges and 1,617 cleared by the states. That's an increase of 11 per …
Iain Thomson, 30 Jun 2017
Death

BAE accused of flogging mass-spying toolkits to assh*le autocrats

A year-long investigation has uncovered evidence that British armaments conglomerate BAE Systems has been selling internet surveillance equipment to Middle Eastern regimes with questionable human rights records. BAE has its fingers in many pies, including the online sphere, and in 2011 it bought Danish firm ETI and added it to …
Iain Thomson, 15 Jun 2017
MI5 headquarters as seen from the Thames. Pic by shutterstock - editorial use only

Ex-MI5 boss: People ask, why didn't you follow all these people ... on your radar?

Former MI5 boss Stella Rimington says complex communications "make it very difficult for our intelligence services" to keep pace against "hideous ideologies" whose sole aim is to kill, while cyber espionage is something "no one really knows effectively how to deal with". It was a bleak picture she painted of the threat …
Kat Hall, 7 Jun 2017

Break crypto to monitor jihadis in real time? Don't be ridiculous, say experts

Calls by a former special advisor to ex UK Prime Minister David Cameron to allow the circumvention of end-to-end encryption to monitor terrorist suspects have come under fire from security experts. Rohan Silva, government policy consultant turned co-founder at Shoreditch-based tech incubator/workspace startup Second Home, …
John Leyden, 6 Jun 2017

UK surveillance law raises concerns security researchers could be 'deputised' by the state

Provision in the UK's controversial surveillance laws create a potential means for the UK government to press-gang "any" UK computer expert into working with GCHQ. Computer scientists and researchers are concerned about the provision - even though the consensus is that it is unlikely to be applied in practice because it would …
John Leyden, 31 May 2017

Tech firms send Congress checklist of surveillance reforms

More than 30 big internet companies including Google, Facebook, Amazon and Microsoft have sent a letter to the chair of the House Judiciary Committee asking for specific reforms to the law used for carrying out mass surveillance. The letter [PDF] concerns Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, which has to …
Kieren McCarthy, 26 May 2017

Venezuela increases internet censorship and surveillance in crisis

Venezuela is increasingly censoring its internet and expanding online surveillance of citizens. The country is currently in a state of emergency after two months of anti-government protests that have caused the deaths of over 50 people and led to violent confrontations with the police. Citizens are furious with president …
Kieren McCarthy, 25 May 2017

NSA takes one-two punch to the face

The US National Security Agency has been hit by two legal losses that may put the last part of its controversial spying program on US citizens under threat. In one case, brought by customers of AT&T and run by the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), the NSA was ordered [PDF] to provide relevant evidence that would prove or …
Kieren McCarthy, 23 May 2017

Lib Dems pledge to end 'Orwellian' snooping powers in manifesto

The Liberal Democrats have pledged to end the "Orwellian nightmare" of mass-snooping powers in the Investigatory Powers Act ahead of their manifesto launch. They will propose to roll back state surveillance powers by ending the indiscriminate bulk collection of communications data and internet connection records. The party …
Kat Hall, 15 May 2017
Image composite Alex Yeung, NesaCera, NesaCera Shutterstock

Leaked: The UK's secret blueprint with telcos for mass spying on internet, phones – and backdoors

The UK government has secretly drawn up more details of its new bulk surveillance powers – awarding itself the ability to monitor Brits' live communications, and insert encryption backdoors by the backdoor. In its draft technical capability notices paper [PDF], all communications companies – including phone networks and ISPs …

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