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How Surveillance and Propaganda Work in ‘the Free World’

How Surveillance and Propaganda Work in ‘the Free World’ 

A Bloomberg report of October 22 was concise and uncompromising in declaring Russia to be a surveillance state. Harking back to the good old days of the Cold War, as is increasingly the practice in much of the Western media, Bloomberg recounted that “The fourth of 10 basic rules Western spies followed when trying to infiltrate Russia’s capital during the Cold War — don’t look back because you’re never alone — is more apt than ever. Only these days it’s not just foreigners who are being tracked, but all 12.6 million Muscovites, too. Officials in Moscow have spent the last few years methodically assembling one of the most comprehensive video-surveillance operations in the world. The public-private network of as many as 200,000 cameras records 1.5 billion hours of footage a year that can be accessed by 16,000 government employees, intelligence officers and law-enforcement personnel.”

Terrifying, one might think. Straight out of Orwell’s 1984, that dystopian prediction of what the world could become, as noted in one description of how the face of the state’s symbolic leader, Big Brother, “gazes at you silently out of posters and billboards. His imposing presence establishes the sense of an all-seeing eye. The idea that he is always watching from the shadows imposes a kind of social order. You know not to speak out against The Party — because big brother is watching… The face always appears with the phrase Big Brother is watching you. As if you could forget.” Such is the terrifying Bloomberg picture of Moscow where there are supposedly 200,000 video cameras. You can’t blow your nose without it being seen. And wait for the next phase, in which Big Brother will hear you laugh.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Sidewalk Labs’ Smart Cities Will Create A For-Profit Social Credit System That Controls Judges And Police

Sidewalk Labs’ Smart Cities Will Create A For-Profit Social Credit System That Controls Judges And Police

Smart city surveillance, is much worse than anyone could have imagined.

Two years ago, I revealed how a CIA “signature school” was installing thousands of CCTV cameras and microphones in smart cities, but Sidewalk Labs wants to take public surveillance to a whole new level.

The Globe And Mailrevealed that Sidewalk Labs “Yellow Book,” a guidebook designed to help Google employees build a smart city from the ground up, would give their employees control of public services.

Yellow Book describes how Google plans to turn at least four major cities in North America into Sidewalk Labs smart cities.   

“The book proposed a community that could house 100,000 people on a site of up to 1,000 acres, and contains case studies for three potential sites in the United States: Detroit, Denver, and Alameda, Calif. It also includes a map with dots detailing many other potential sites for Sidewalk’s first project, including a dot placed on the shores of Lake Athabasca in northern Saskatchewan.”

The fourth area, Toronto’s waterfront, has received lots of criticism from privacy experts. With some going so far as to call it “surveillance capitalism.” 

“The smart city project on the Toronto waterfront is the most highly evolved version to date of … surveillance capitalism” US venture capitalist Roger McNamee wrote to the city council, suggesting Google will use “algorithms to nudge human behavior” in ways to “favor its business.” (To join the campaign against Sidewalk Toronto click here.)  

The Yellow Book allegedly reveals how Google wants to control city services like Disney World does in Florida.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Edward Snowden on the Joe Rogan Podcast–Says US Government Could Have Prevented 9/11

EDWARD SNOWDEN ON THE JOE ROGAN PODCAST – SAYS US GOVERNMENT COULD HAVE PREVENTED 9/11

Edward Snowden on the Joe Rogan Podcast – Says US Government Could Have Prevented 9/11

Since 2013 the real government whistleblower, Edward Snowden, has been in political asylum in Russia, where he continues to write books and tell his story of how as an employee of the NSA he discovered that the government was breaking the law in constructing a massive surveillance state. Today, the surveillance is such a ubiquitous par of our lives, that people have come to see it as a normal part of everyday life, and hardly any politician bothers to work against it. It’s here to stay, sadly.

Recently, Snowden published a book entitled Permanent Record, which was immediately attacked by the US government, prompting them to sue Snowden for all of the profits related to the book. The government does not want you to hear his message. Ironically, though, Permanent Record became an instant bestseller, and Snowden’s popularity has only increased in recent years.

In a newly released podcast by Joe Rogan, Snowden calls in from Russia, talking about his understanding of how corruption from within has led the permanent establishment of the massive and highly profitable surveillance state which has filled the coffers of defense contractors and corrupt politicians. Snowden discusses the fact that all three branches of the U.S government are corrupt and that for admirable government employees who witness government agencies breaking the law have no available channels to blow the whistle and get the truth out to the American people.

Interestingly, in the podcast Snowden also talks about his experience on 9/11 when he was working for a small business out of a house on Fort Meade near the DC metro area. He describes how the base, which is home to a vast portion of the U.S. Military’s intelligence apparatus, was immediately dispatched and the base cleared as soon as the events of the day began to unfold.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

“It’s Not A Game When It’s Real-Life” – China’s Social Credit System

“It’s Not A Game When It’s Real-Life” – China’s Social Credit System

In an attempt to imbue trust, China has announced a plan to implement a national ranking system for its citizens and companies. Currently in pilot mode, the new system will be rolled out in 2020, and go through numerous iterations before becoming official.

While the system may be a useful tool for China to manage its growing 1.4 billion population, Visual Capitalist’s Katie Jones notes that it has triggered global concerns around the ethics of big data, and whether the system is a breach of fundamental human rights.

Today’s infographic looks at how China’s proposed social credit system could work, and what the implications might be.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

FBI Use Of Foreign-Surveillance Tool Violated Privacy Rights: FISA Court

FBI Use Of Foreign-Surveillance Tool Violated Privacy Rights: FISA Court

The FBI’s use of electronic surveillance tools violated the constitutional privacy rights of Americans whose communications were swept up in a controversial foreign intelligence program, according to a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. 

The court concluded that the FBI had been improperly searching through a database of raw intelligence for information on Americans, according to the Wall Street Journal

The ruling, made last year, was disclosed on Tuesday. 

The intelligence community disclosed Tuesday that the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court last year found that the FBI’s pursuit of data about Americans ensnared in a warrantless internet-surveillance program intended to target foreign suspects may have violated the law authorizing the program, as well as the Constitution’s Fourth Amendment protections against unreasonable searches.

The court concluded that the FBI had been improperly searching a database of raw intelligence for information on Americans—raising concerns about oversight of the program, which as a spy program operates in near total secrecy. –WSJ

According to the FISA court, tens of thousands of improper searches were conducted by the Bureau in 2017 and 2018. They were deemed improper in part due to the involvement of data relating to tens of thousands of emails or phone numbers. Moreover, the FBI was potentially using the intelligence information to vet personnel and cooperating sources. Per federal law, the database can only be searched by the FBI while seeking evidence of a crime or for foreign intelligence information.  

In other cases, the court ruling reveals improper use of the database by individuals. In one case, an FBI contractor ran a query of an intelligence database—searching information on himself, other FBI personnel and his relatives, the court revealed.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

“This Is A Major Risk”: France Rolls Out New Facial Recognition Technology

“This Is A Major Risk”: France Rolls Out New Facial Recognition Technology 

Is this how French President Emmanuel Macron is choosing to celebrate 70 years of Communist rule?

In a plan that sounds eerily similar to China’s ‘social credit score’ system, Macron and the French Interior Ministry are pushing ahead plans to launch a national facial-recognition program, arguing that it “will make the state more efficient.”

According to Bloomberg, the ID program, known as “Alicem”, is set to be rolled out in November, after the launch was moved forward from an end-of-year timeline.

Despite objections from the rest of the European community, Macron appears dead-set on adopting the new system, ensuring that all French citizens will be incorporated into the project, whether they support it or not.

Even within the French government, there’s opposition to the new plan. France’s data regulator argued that the program breaches the European rule of consent, and a French privacy group is challenging the plan in France’s highest administrative court.

There’s also the question of security: It took a hacker just over an hour to break into a “secure” government messaging app earlier this year. Should a hacker break into this database, the repercussions would be much more serious.

But the government simply won’t be swayed…which isn’t all that surprising. Macron has shown strong Statist tendencies since shortly after he was sworn in.

“The government wants to funnel people to use Alicem and facial recognition,” said Martin Drago, a lawyer member of the privacy group La Quadrature du Net that filed the lawsuit against the state. “We’re heading into mass usage of facial recognition. (There’s) little interest in the importance of consent and choice.” The case, filed in July, won’t suspend Alicem.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

The Tech Giants Are a Conduit for Fascism

The Tech Giants Are a Conduit for Fascism

A second former Amazon employee would spark more controversy. Deap Ubhi, a former AWS employee who worked for Lynch, was tasked with gathering marketing information to make the case for a single cloud inside the DOD. Around the same time that he started working on JEDI, Ubhi began talking with AWS about rejoining the company. As his work on JEDI deepened, so did his job negotiations. Six days after he received a formal offer from Amazon, Ubhi recused himself from JEDI, fabricating a story that Amazon had expressed an interest in buying a startup company he owned. A contracting officer who investigated found enough evidence that Ubhi’s conduct violated conflict of interest rules to refer the matter to the inspector general, but concluded that his conduct did not corrupt the process. (Ubhi, who now works in AWS’ commercial division, declined comment through a company spokesperson.)

Ubhi worsened the impression by making ill-advised public statements while still employed by the DOD. In a tweet, he described himself as “once an Amazonian, always an Amazonian.”

– From the must read ProPublica expose: How Amazon and Silicon Valley Seduced the Pentagon

That U.S. tech giants are willing participants in facilitating mass government surveillance has been widely known for a while, particularly since whistleblower Edward Snowden risked his life and liberty to tell us about it six years ago. We also know what happens to executives who don’t play ball.

Perhaps the most high profile example relates to Joseph Nacchio, CEO of telecom company Quest in the aftermath of 9/11. Courageously, he was the only executive who pushed back against government attempts to violate the civil liberties of his customers. A few years later, he was thrown in jail for insider trading and stayed locked up for four years. He claimed his incarceration was retaliation for not bending the knee to government, which seems likely.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

London Is Only The 6th Most-Surveilled City In The World

London Is Only The 6th Most-Surveilled City In The World

According to a study by research website Comparitecheight out of the ten most surveilled cities in the world are in China, and as Statista’s Katharina Buchholz notes, the country that has been making headlines for its generous use of surveillance technology is featured heavily throughout the whole ranking that features 120 cities globally.

Central Chinese city Chongqing tops the list with 168 public CCTV cameras per 1,000 inhabitants.

Infographic: The Most Surveilled Cities in the World | Statista

You will find more infographics at Statista

The highest-ranked non-Chinese city is London, also notorious for its strict surveillance of public spaces, but at 68 cameras per 1,000 Londoners, the city is featuring far less CCTV cameras than its Chinese counterparts.

Atlanta is the highest-ranked U.S. city and comes in tenth with 15.6 cameras per 1,000 people.

CCTV technology is controversial in many places around the world, with proponents touting its benefits for fighting crime and opponents cautious about surveillance’s potential to be used as a tool of public control and to violate privacy rights. The makers of the survey said that they found no connection between lower crime rates or a heightened feeling of security and surveillance in the cities surveyed.

2002 Landmarks on the Road to “1984” Orwellian Hell

2002 Landmarks on the Road to “1984” Orwellian Hell

Next month will be the 18th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. Politicians
and bureaucrats wasted no time after that carnage to unleash the
Surveillance State on average Americans, treating every person like a
terrorist suspect. Since the government failed to protect the public,
Americans somehow forfeited their constitutional right to privacy.

Despite heroic efforts by former NSA staffer Edward Snowden and a host of activists and freedom fighters, the government continues ravaging American privacy.

Two of the largest leaps the largest leaps towards “1984” began in 2002. Though neither the Justice Department’s Operation TIPS nor the Pentagon’s Total Information Awareness program was brought to completion, parcels and precedents from each program have profoundly influenced subsequent federal policies.

In July 2002, the Justice Department unveiled plans for Operation TIPS — the Terrorism Information and Prevention System. According to the Justice Department website, TIPS would be “a nationwide program giving millions of American truckers, letter carriers, train conductors, ship captains, utility employees, and others a formal way to report suspicious terrorist activity.” TIPSters would be people who, “in the daily course of their work, are in a unique position to serve as extra eyes and ears for law enforcement.” The feds aimed to recruit people in jobs that “make them uniquely well positioned to understand the ordinary course of business in the area they serve, and to identify things that are out of the ordinary.” Homeland Security director Tom Ridge said that observers in certain occupations “might pick up a break in the certain rhythm or pattern of a community.” The feds planned to enlist as many as 10 million people to watch other people’s “rhythms.”

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Mass Surveillance: NJ Cops Turn Individuals’ Phones Into Spying Devices

MASS SURVEILLANCE: NJ COPS TURN INDIVIDUALS’ PHONES INTO SPYING DEVICES

It’s for their own good, of course! A New Jersey police department has unveiled technology that will allow 911 operators to stream video from callers smartphones.

For the time being, callers have to turn on the live video stream, meaning they are consenting and giving the police permission to see what’s happening as they call. This is the first step to automatic surveillance upon calling people who are assumed to be there to help. According to RT, the technology allows the 911 operators to use the phone’s camera and microphone. This is the first step down a very slippery slope.

Police Drop “Crime Prediction” Software, But Not Because It’s Orwellian

911eye, developed by Capita Secure Solutions and Services in conjunction with West Midlands Fire Service in the UK, represents a step toward a terrifying surveillance infrastructure that can turn any internet-capable device into a remote-activated surveillance tool. West Midlands Police were the first to embrace “pre-crime” technology in the UK, developing the National Data Analytics Solution to sniff out potential offenders and divert them with ostensibly therapeutic “interventions.”

If the fact that it was developed by the people behind the real-life version of ‘Minority Report’ isn’t enough reason to give 911eye a wide berth, take a look at Carbyne911, one of its competitors. Funded by deceased pedophile Jeffrey Epstein through former Israeli PM Ehud Barak, Carbyne911 markets itself as the solution to mass shootings. The program – founded by current and former Israeli intelligence personnel, which isn’t at all worrisome given that this country spies on the US so extensively it scares Congress – lets emergency dispatchers commandeer the camera and microphone of any internet-capable device within a certain range of the person who made the call. –RT

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

BigBrotherWatch: Facial Recognition ‘Epidemic’ in the UK

BigBrotherWatch: Facial Recognition ‘Epidemic’ in the UK

BigBrotherWatch: Facial Recognition ‘Epidemic’ in the UK

At TruePublica we have written endlessly about the continued slow strangulation of civil liberties and human rights in Britain. We have warned about the rise of a techno-Stasi-state where technology is harnessed and used against civilians without any debate or indeed any real legal framework.  We have alerted the public on the illegal mass data collections by the government and subsequent loss of much it by MI5 who should not have had it all in the first place. We warned against ‘digital strip searches‘ – an activity of the police of the victims in rape cases, and the fact that Britain is becoming a database state. At TruePublica we have tried to press home the story that surveillance by the state on such a scale, described as the most intrusive in the Western world – is not just illegal, it’s immoral and dangerous. (see our surveillance database HERE).

Here is more evidence of just how dangerous and out of hand this creeping surveillance architecture is becoming. An investigation by Big Brother Watch has uncovered a facial recognition ‘epidemic’ across privately owned sites in the UK. The civil liberties campaign group has found major property developers, shopping centres, museums, conference centres and casinos using the technology in the UK.

Millions of shoppers scanned

Their investigation uncovered the use of live facial recognition in Sheffield’s Meadowhall, one of the biggest shopping centres in the North of England, in secret police trials that took place last year. The trial could have scanned the faces of over 2 million visitors.

The shopping centre is owned by British Land, which owns large areas within London including parts of Paddington, Broadgate, Canada Water and Ealing Broadway. Each site’s privacy policy says facial recognition may be in use, although British Land insists only Meadowhall has used the surveillance so far.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Alarm as Trump Requests Permanent Reauthorization of NSA Mass Spying Program Exposed by Snowden

Alarm as Trump Requests Permanent Reauthorization of NSA Mass Spying Program Exposed by Snowden

“The White House is calling for reauthorization of a program that security agencies have used to spy on innocent people, violate their privacy, and chill free speech.”

Former US National Security Agency (NSA) contractor and whistleblower Edward Snowden speaks via video link as he takes part in a round table meeting on March 15, 2019. (Photo: Frederick Florin/AFP/Getty Images)

Civil liberties groups and privacy advocates raised alarm Thursday after the Trump administration called on Congress to reauthorize an NSA mass surveillance program that was exposed by whistleblower Edward Snowden.

The New York Times, which obtained the Trump administration’s request to Congress, reported that “the administration urged lawmakers to make permanent the legal authority for the National Security Agency to gain access to logs of Americans’ domestic communications, the USA Freedom Act.”

“It’s long past time that this surveillance program was shuttered once and for all.” 
—Patrick Toomey, ACLU

“The law, enacted after the intelligence contractor Edward J. Snowden revealed the existence of the program in 2013, is set to expire in December, but the Trump administration wants it made permanent,” according to the Times.

The administration claimed in its letter to Congress—which was signed by outgoing National Intelligence chief Dan Coats—that the NSA has suspended the spying program, but Free Press Action government relations director Sandra Fulton said in a statement that this “should give little comfort to those whose privacy rights are routinely violated by authorities.”

“The White House is calling for reauthorization of a program that security agencies have used to spy on innocent people, violate their privacy, and chill free speech,” said Fulton. “The NSA program permits the mapping of relationships among members of marginalized communities and distant associates of targeted individuals, even when most individuals in those communities were never suspected of wrongdoing.”

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article….

U.S. Customs Continues To “Modernize” Its System To Include Biometrics For All Passengers

U.S. Customs Continues To “Modernize” Its System To Include Biometrics For All Passengers

One aspect often lost in the immigration debate is the rollout of government solutions that are set to restrict the freedom of the perfectly innocent.  A key component of this is the increased collection of passenger biometrics.

As I’ve discussed before, U.S. Customs and Border Protection has a mandate that’s been 15 years in the making to integrate government databases for ID verification. Private companies have been enlisted to ensure that there is a “quick and easy roll out across U.S. airports,” according to Jim Peters, chief technology officer for SITA, one of the information technology companies working with airlines.

This is predictably moving from isolated and elective collection into mandatory compliance for all inbound and outbound international travelers. This, too, has always been part of the program as shown in this 2017 document from DHS:

As Nextgov reports, this increased data collection will begin before passenger arrival, and is now coupled with transferring everything to centralized cloud storage:

In addition to expanding its biometric capabilities, the agency is also working to migrate all of its traveler processing tech to the cloud, create more self-service tools for the public and let officers use mobile devices to verify people entering the country, officials said in a solicitation published Thursday.

[…]

“The paradigm will evolve from biographic data focused to biometric data centric,” officials said in the solicitation. “A biometric-based approach allows threats to be pushed-out further beyond our borders before travelers arrive to the U.S.”

“Integration of facial recognition technologies is intended throughout all passenger applications,” they added.

[…]

Officials aim to have all of the agency’s traveler processing and vetting applications housed in the cloud by 2024, the solicitation said, and they also want to allow “officers to admit or refer travelers using mobile technology.”

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Police Used Streetlamps To Spy On The Public More Than 140 Times

Police Used Streetlamps To Spy On The Public More Than 140 Times

credit: San Diego Union Tribune

Gone are the days when cities used streetlamps to simply illuminate sidewalks and streets. Today’s streetlamps are being used to form an inter-connected web of surveillance devices.

A recent San Diego Union-Tribunearticle revealed how San Diego police officers have used streetlamp video surveillance in at least 140 cases and sometimes as frequently as 20 times a month.

Let that sink in for a moment; spying streetlamps are real and police have already requested video footage from more than 140 streetlamps.

Lt. Jeffery Jordon called spying streetlamps “game changing” and that is exactly how they should be viewed. Streetlamps that are designed to spy on the public, really is a game changer.

San Diego’s streetlamps are equipped with ShotSpotter microphones that police claim are not being used to listen to public conversations.

Should we believe them?

Could police use ShotSpotter to listen to public conversations? Nearly a decade ago, the East Bay Timesrevealed how the Oakland Police used ShotSpotter to record public conversations.

It was only three years ago when the NJ Transit secretly used DriveCam’s LTYX cameras equipped with microphones to listen to public conversations.

So just what is law enforcement using these streetlamps for?

No one knows for sure; but a spokesperson for San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer said that a citywide policy to regulate the use of the microphones and cameras in streetlamps is “under development.”

The San Diego Union-Tribune claims that 100 police officers have direct access to streetlamp surveillance and said that nearly every one of the department’s 1,800 police officers can request access.

Just how concerned is the City Council that law enforcement is using streetlamps as surveillance devices?

Apparently not very much, as City Councilwoman Monica Montgomery admitted, by saying that she’s “open to exploring” oversight of the program.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

FBI, ICE Using Facial Recognition To Bulk-Scan DMV Photos In “Unprecedented Surveillance Infrastructure”

FBI, ICE Using Facial Recognition To Bulk-Scan DMV Photos In “Unprecedented Surveillance Infrastructure”

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) along with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has been using state driver’s license databases to run photos of millions of Americans through facial-recognition systems without their knowledge or consent, according to the Washington Post

Thousands of facial-recognition requests, internal documents and emails over the past five years, obtained through public-records requests by Georgetown Law researchers and provided to The Washington Post, reveal that federal investigators have turned state departments of motor vehicles databases into the bedrock of an unprecedented surveillance infrastructure.

Police have long had access to fingerprints, DNA and other “biometric data” taken from criminal suspects. But the DMV records contain the photos of a vast majority of a state’s residentsmost of whom have never been charged with a crime. –Washington Post

Disturbingly, neither Congress nor state legislatures have authorized this type of systemand none of us agreed to it when we obtained licenses

China No Match for Japan in Southeast Asia Infrastructure Race

“They’ve just given access to that to the FBI,” said Rep. Jim Jordan, ranking GOP member of the House Oversight Committee. “No individual signed off on that when they renewed their driver’s license, got their driver’s licenses. They didn’t sign any waiver saying, ‘Oh, it’s okay to turn my information, my photo, over to the FBI.’ No elected officials voted for that to happen.” 

“Law enforcement’s access of state databases,” and in particular those of the DMV, is “often done in the shadows with no consent,” added House Oversight Committee Chairman Elijah E. Cummings (D-MD). 

And as has been reported for some time, law enforcement has been relying on facial recognition technology as a routine investigative tool for years – and it’s going to get worse

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

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