Articles about surveillance

kids in classroom with raised hands

Germany slaps ban on kids' smartwatches for being 'secret spyware'

The German telecoms regulator has banned the sale of children's smartwatches that allow users to secretly listen in on nearby conversations. The move is the latest in a string of actions taken by the Federal Network Agency, or Bundesnetzagentur, against devices that allow people to snoop on each other. The agency said the …
Rebecca Hill, 20 Nov 2017
Stingray

Hey, cop! You need a warrant to stalk a phone with a Stingray – judge

Analysis A New York judge has this month told cops that they need to get a warrant before they can use a controversial Stingray phone-tracking gadget to hunt down suspects. Justice Martin Murphy of the Kings County Supreme Court said the New York Police Department (NYPD) could not use crucial evidence it gathered while trying to locate …
Kieren McCarthy, 17 Nov 2017
Arrested, image via Shutterstock

UK.gov: Use police body cams to grill suspects at scene of crime

The Home Office wants cops to use body-worn cameras to carry out suspect interviews away from the police station, according to revised rules on the tech. If accepted, the draft proposals – which are part of a broader update to the codes of practice in the Police and Criminal Evidence Act – will grant police the power to use …
Rebecca Hill, 26 Oct 2017

There's a battle on over two US spying laws: One allows snooping on citizens – one bans it

Analysis A battle has broken out in US Congress over a controversial spying program. Two competing pieces of draft legislation have been pushed into the lawmaking process: one that would officially endorse domestic spying, and a second that would explicitly ban it. The Senate Intelligence Committee is behind the first, which would …
Kieren McCarthy, 24 Oct 2017
Light bulb photo via Shutterstock

Brit spooks 'kept oversight bodies in the dark' over data sharing

Concerns have been raised that neither of the bodies tasked with overseeing the UK's spy agencies were aware that data they collected was shared with the private sector. According to documents released as part of an ongoing court case between the UK government and Privacy International, GCHQ and MI5 didn't tell watchdogs they …
Rebecca Hill, 18 Oct 2017

Australia approves national database of everyone's mugshots

Updated Australia is to build a national database of as many citizens' images as it can, with state premiers rubber-stamping prime minister Malcolm Turnbull's plan to add drivers' licenses to a national facial recognition database. The plan, called overreach by rights activists like Digital Rights Watch's chair Tim Singleton Norton, …

Australian PM Malcolm Turnbull hints at surveillance expansion

Australian prime minister Malcolm Turnbull has hinted that the expansion of the nation's facial recognition databases could include private sector access. Turnbull's statement came almost as an aside, under questioning by Sabra Lane on the Australian Broadcasting Corporation's AM public affairs program. Lane quizzed the PM on …

Researchers claim ISPs are 'complicit' in latest FinSpy snooping rounds

A surveillance campaign utilising a new variant of FinFisher, the infamous spyware also known as FinSpy, has been tracked by security researchers. Seven countries have been affected, and in two of them, major internet providers have most likely been involved in infecting surveillance targets, according to security researchers …
John Leyden, 21 Sep 2017

Grab your popcorn: The first annual Privacy Shield review is go

Transatlantic data-transfer agreement Privacy Shield is facing its first major political hurdle as the inaugural joint review kicks off this week. Agreed last summer, the deal between the European Union and the US aims to safeguard EU citizens' data when it is transferred across the pond. The two-day review, launched today by …
Rebecca Hill, 18 Sep 2017
Image composite Alex Yeung, NesaCera, NesaCera Shutterstock

EU court must rule on legality of UK's mass surveillance – tribunal

The UK's Investigatory Powers Tribunal, which oversees the country's spy agencies, has said the European Court of Justice should rule on the legality of the government's mass-surveillance legislation. The case was brought against MI5, MI6 and GCHQ by campaign group Privacy International as part of a continued bid to prevent …
Rebecca Hill, 8 Sep 2017

Wonder why Congress doesn't clamp down on its gung-ho spies? Well, wonder no more

Analysis When Edward Snowden revealed the extent of illegal operations carried out by American spy agencies, many wondered whether the US Congress was either unaware or had simply turned a blind eye toward them. Nevertheless, Congress did act, restricting some programs and declaring others illegal. Even the notoriously secretive FISA …

Smart cities? Tell it like it is, they're surveillance cities

Opinion A smart city is, inherently, a surveillance city, and citizens' privacy could potentially be the cost of the efficiency gains. Could it be worth the trade-off? A mass of sensors and systems monitor a city's infrastructure, operations and activities and aim to help it run more efficiently. For example, the city could use less …
Chris Mellor, 7 Sep 2017
Donald trump tweeting

Well, whad'ya know? 'No evidence' that Obama wiretapped Trump Tower

The US Department of Justice has "no evidence" that Obama's administration wiretapped Trump Tower, contrary to a much-publicised accusation by President Trump to the contrary. The DoJ's statement was in response to a Freedom of Information request by the watchdog group American Oversight. "Both FBI and NSD [the DoJ's National …
John Leyden, 4 Sep 2017
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 in body armour doing a raid

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

Create a news alert about surveillance, or find more stories about surveillance.

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2018