Articles about surveillance

State spy agencies 'outsource surveillance' to foreign partners – campaign group

There is a "dangerous lack of oversight" of global surveillance networks, Privacy International has said, warning that intelligence-sharing deals could become a way for states to "outsource surveillance". In a report, Secret Global Surveillance Networks: Intelligence Sharing Between Governments and the Need for Safeguards, …
Rebecca Hill, 24 Apr 2018
schoolchildren celebrate - throw papers in the air

UK.gov expected to quit controversial harvesting of schoolchildren's nationality data

Campaigners have welcomed reports that the UK government is planning to cease monitoring pupils' nationality in its mass school data slurp. The school census, a statutory survey that takes place three times a year, collects a range of information about students, including country of origin and nationality. Civil rights and …
Rebecca Hill, 10 Apr 2018

You. FCC. Get out there and do something about these mystery bogus cell towers, huff bigwigs

Senior Congressmen have demanded "immediate action" over mysterious fake cell phone towers in Washington DC that they worry could be being operated by foreign governments. House Reps Frank Pallone (D-NJ), Eliot Engel (D-NY) and Bennie Thompson (D-MS) this month sent a letter to Ajit Pai – the head of America's comms watchdog, …

Hold the phone: Mystery fake cell towers spotted slurping comms around Washington DC

The US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) says it has detected strange fake cellphone towers – known as IMSI catchers – in America's capital. These devices, which can masquerade as real phone masts to track people's movements and potentially eavesdrop on calls and texts, represent a real and growing security risk, the …
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US Congress quietly slips cloud-spying powers into page 2,201 of spending mega-bill

Updated For months now, US Congress has mulled new laws to strengthen Feds' powers to access American citizens' private messages and files stored on computers overseas. Now, rather than actually debate and refine such legislation, lawmakers have decided to tack it onto the massive 2018 Omnibus Spending Bill [PDF] and seek to pass it …
Iain Thomson, 23 Mar 2018
Minority report

US cops go all Minority Report: Google told to cough up info on anyone near a crime scene

Efforts to track down criminals in the US state of North Carolina have laid bare a dangerous gap in the law over the use of location data. Raleigh police went to court at least three times last year and got a warrant requiring Google to share the details of any users that were close to crime scenes during specific times and …
Kieren McCarthy, 19 Mar 2018
ANPR reading number plate of car on motorway

UK.gov told: Draw up code of practice for cops bulk-slurping car plates

UK government will be forced to debate a code of practice for cops' use of automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) systems after Labour MPs tabled an amendment to the Data Protection Bill. Widespread use of ANPR means cameras across the country submit between 25 million and 35 million read records to the national ANPR data …
Rebecca Hill, 16 Mar 2018
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ACL-Sue: Rights group takes on TSA over device searches

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is suing to force the TSA to produce documents detailing searches of electronic devices. The rights group said its FOIA complaint [PDF] seeks documents that detail how agents have searched electronic devices owned by passengers on domestic flights. While the government has long been …
Shaun Nichols, 14 Mar 2018
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US government privacy watchdog stumbles back to its feet with new hires

The federal agency designed to ensure US spy agencies protect people's privacy and civil liberties has been revived two years after it was effectively killed off by Congress. On Tuesday, the White House announced two members to the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board (PCLOB), adding to a nomination for PCLOB chair made …
Kieren McCarthy, 13 Mar 2018
still from movie 1984... Big Brother on the white screen

Fear the wrath of robots, for their judgement is final and irrevocable

A colleague recently excused himself from a meeting because he had to go and judge a robotics contest. It quickly struck me this was a very modern inversion, because we're constantly judged by robots. We're observed and recorded everywhere we go online thanks to cookies, certificates and loyalty codes. All of that goes into …
Mark Pesce, 12 Mar 2018
Image by Ensuper http://www.shutterstock.com/gallery-585532p1.html

Brit spy wrangler details sign-off process for snooping warrants

The Investigatory Powers Commissioner's Office, the body tasked with watching UK spooks, has revealed how it will decide whether to approve snooping warrants authorised by government. The advisory notice (PDF) published yesterday will act as a guide for IPCO's 15 judicial commissioners – working and retired judges appointed to …
Rebecca Hill, 9 Mar 2018

Revealed: UK.gov's 'third direction' to keep tabs on spies' potentially criminal activities

The government has finally made public a secretive direction that requires snoop oversight bodies to monitor spies’ potential participation in criminality. The oversight instruction was put on a statutory basis as a Prime Ministerial direction in 2014. However its existence was only revealed in 2016 as a result of legal …
Rebecca Hill, 1 Mar 2018
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UK.gov mass data slurping ruled illegal – AGAIN

The UK’s Court of Appeal has ruled that the government’s unfettered slurping of citizens’ data broke the law. In a judgment handed down this morning, judges backed a challenge brought by deputy Labour leader Tom Watson in a long-running battle against state surveillance rules. These laws allow for ISPs and telcos to retain …
Rebecca Hill, 30 Jan 2018
CCTV camera trained on a garden. Photo by Shutterstock

CCTV commish: Bring all surveillance systems under code of practice

The UK's surveillance camera commissioner has told the British government to adopt a "common sense position" and bring all bodies using surveillance camera systems under its code of practice. Tony Porter, whose term as commissioner was in 2017 extended for another three years, used his annual report, published yesterday, to …
Rebecca Hill, 8 Jan 2018
Mobile phones on Iran flag

Iranians resist internet censorship amid deadly street protests

Iranian authorities have blocked Instagram and other social media platforms in response to a wave of street protests across the country this week. The clampdown has resulted in Tor users climbing from around 6k at the beginning of December to over 10,000 at the last count as citizens seek to circumvent the controls, according …
John Leyden, 2 Jan 2018
Spy

Surveillance law slip-up in sight for staff stalking citizens on socials

Authorities need to have rules in place to ensure that lawful social media snooping doesn’t slip into covert ops, the UK’s chief surveillance commissioner has said. In his 2016-17 annual report (PDF), published today, the commissioner Lord Igor Judge set out the state of surveillance in the country. It showed that, during the …
Rebecca Hill, 21 Dec 2017

Looking through walls, now easier than ever

Seeing through walls, a capability available to law enforcement and military authorities for several years, could become a bit more predictable in the future thanks to a technique developed by researchers at Duke University. In a paper published on Thursday in the journal Optica, Duke professors Daniel Marks and David R. Smith …
woman on camera as she enters her home

Investigatory Powers Act: You're not being paranoid. UK.gov really is watching you

Comment From the day the UK government unveiled its Investigatory Powers Act two years ago, Liberty warned it that the authoritarian surveillance powers the proposed legislation contained were unlawful. This Snoopers’ Charter passed through Parliament anyway, giving police, spies and a whole host of public bodies the power to access …

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