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  • ancavge 5:50 pm on February 25, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , laptop, , , , , , , , , , , , , webcam,   

    Alex Jones on school webcam spying scandal in Philadelphia 

    A student in the US city of Philadelphia is suing his local school district for spying on him using his school-issued laptop. Radio Host Alex Jones told RT said that software is available for all kinds of abuse. (To get more – Join our new Youtube channels at http://www.youtube.com/RTAmerica and http://www.youtube.com/thealyonashow)

    Russia Today Youtube Channel:

    http://www.youtube.com/RussiaToday

     
  • ancavge 9:23 pm on February 21, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , laptop, , , Robbins vs. Lower Merion School District, , , , , webcams   

    School Accused of Secretly Spying on Students Through Laptop Webcams 

    File under: “Extremely Creepy” — BoingBoing reports that a recent case filing in Robbins vs. Lower Merion School District, a Pennsylvania school, is a class action suit on behalf of students with school-issued laptops whose webcams have been used to watch the students and their families at home.

    It was discovered that the laptops issued by the high school contained software allowing administrators to covertly activate the on-board webcam. The plaintiff, Blake J. Robbins, was disciplined by the school for “improper behavior in his home.” The evidence of said impropriety was brought forth by the school vice principal, who displayed a photo of Robbins taken by the laptop’s webcam.

    TechDirt indicatesrecent episode of PBS Frontline that contains video footage of an official at another school using a remote desktop application to spy on students in a similar way. He says almost proudly, “They don’t even realize we’re watching.” In other words, school-sponsored surveillance might not even be uncommon.

    You can read the full text of the case filing in the PA case: Robbins vs. Lower Merion School District (PDF). What do you think about schools spying on their students? As in other realms where this issue is becoming more prevalent, is the benefit of giving kids access to laptops worth the price of their privacy?

    [img credit: BoingBoing and bionicteaching]

    Link to story:

    http://mashable.com/2010/02/18/school-spies-on-kids-through-webcams/

     
  • ancavge 5:20 pm on June 1, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , forum, , , , grid, , , , , , laptop, lives, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , watch, , , , ,   

    Cybersecurity Is Framework For Total Government Regulation & Control Of Our Lives 

    Paul Joseph Watson & Kurt Nimmo
    Prison Planet.com
    Monday, June 1, 2009

    Cybersecurity Is Framework For Total Government Regulation & Control Of Our Lives 010609top

    The Obama administration’s new Cybersecurity system will only make the Internet more vulnerable to attack, while creating the framework for a massively upgraded government surveillance grid that will control and regulate every aspect of our daily lives through the implementation of “smart” technology.

    Obama’s announcement of the new cybersecurity grid dovetails with a recently introduced Senate bill, the Cybersecurity Act of 2009, that would hand the president the power to shut down the entire Internet in the event of a “cybersecurity” crisis.

    “The bill’s draft states that “the president may order a cybersecurity emergency and order the limitation or shutdown of Internet traffic” and would give the government ongoing access to “all relevant data concerning (critical infrastructure) networks without regard to any provision of law, regulation, rule, or policy restricting such access,” reports Raw Story.

    The legislation would allow the government to tap into any digital aspect of every citizen’s information without a warrant. Banking, business and medical records would be wide open to inspection, as well as personal instant message and e mail communications.

    This is President Bush’s warrantless wiretapping program on steroids, yet the reaction from the liberal left has been muted to say the least.

    Furthermore, the reasoning behind the proposal is a farce, since cybersecurity will make the Internet even more vulnerable to attack.

    According to Jennifer Granick, director of civil liberties at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the program would “basically establish a path for the bad guys to skip down.”

    One of the bill’s authors, Democratic Sen. Jay Rockefeller of West Virginia, admitted that the bill was about more than just military or intelligence concerns. “It is a lot more than that. It suddenly gets into the realm of traffic lights and rail networks and water and electricity,” said Rockefeller.

    Essentially, this is the framework within which every aspect of our lives will be managed and regulated by a gargantuan government bureaucracy designed to control and shape every aspect of our behavior through our dependence on technology.

    This is what Nancy Pelosi was referring to when she visited China last week and let slip the fact that “Every aspect of our lives must be subject to inventory” in order to fight global warming.

    Under the cybersecurity grid, our electricity consumption, our water consumption and every other basic utility that we rely upon will be subject to state regulation.

    This is already being introduced through “smart” technology, manifesting in such things as fridges that are controlled by power companies and not the individual. If you are deemed to have bypassed government-approved levels of consumption, your fridge will be automatically turned off remotely.

    “A domestic refrigerator that can be turned on and off by the electricity supplier without the homeowner being aware is to go on trial,” reported the Daily Mail in January. “Npower will distribute 300 ‘smart fridges’ free to homeowners throughout Britain within the next five weeks as part of the energy companies’ efforts to tackle climate change.”

    “At times of high demand, the National Grid will activate the switches in the fridges to achieve a balance in the power supply. The development means that, for the first time, consumers will lose control over the use of electricity in their own homes,” stated the report.

    All British homes are also set to have “smart” electricity and gas meters installed by law by 2020. The meters would “record energy use” according to a Reuters report.

    Likewise, water companies are preparing to force homeowners to install water meters so that water consumption can be accurately recorded and restricted in times of drought.

    This is just the beginning of the imposition of a suffocating prison planet whereby our every action will not only be recorded by big brother but also subject to government approval and control.

    The Cybersecurity grid will also be an upgrade of the pervasive snoop network that has already been operating under NSA auspices for decades.

    During a speech last week on “cybersecurity,” Obama told a whopper. He said the government’s effort to protect us from cyber bad guys “will not include monitoring private sector networks or Internet traffic. We will preserve and protect the personal privacy and civil liberties that we cherish as Americans.”

    Is it possible Obama has never heard of Mark Klein, the retired AT&T communications technician who said years ago that the company shunted all Internet traffic — including traffic from peering links connecting to other Internet backbone providers — to semantic traffic analyzers, installed in a secret room inside the AT&T central office on Folsom Street in San Francisco? There are similar rooms in Seattle, San Jose, Los Angeles and San Diego, all sucking up internet data.

    Klein explained that the multinational corporation is doing this at the behest of the NSA. It is “vacuum-cleaner surveillance” approach that grabs everything. “Despite what we are hearing, and considering the public track record of [the Bush] administration, I simply do not believe their claims that the NSA’s spying program is really limited to foreign communications or is otherwise consistent with the NSA’s charter or with FISA [the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act],” said Klein in 2006.

    After the NSA showed up in 2002 at AT&T’s Folsom Street facility, Klein began connecting the dots. “You might recall there was a big blowup in the news about the Total Information Awareness [TIA] program, led by Adm. [John] Poindexter, which caused the big upsetness in Congress, because what Poindexter was proposing to do was draw in databases from everywhere — and this was in The New York Times — draw in Internet data, bank records, travel records, everything into one big conglomeration which could be searchable by the government so they could find out everything about what anybody’s doing at any time of day,” Klein told PBS. “And all this would be done without any warrants. This is how it was presented by Poindexter himself in The New York Times, and that caused a great upset, brouhaha, in Congress.”

    On January 16, 2003, Senator Russ Feingold introduced legislation to suspend the activity of the Total Information Awareness program pending a Congressional review of privacy issues involved. In February 2003, Congress passed legislation suspending activities of the IAO (Information Awareness Office) pending a Congressional report of the office’s activities.

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    Congress acted after William Safire published an article in the New York Times claiming “[TIA] has been given a $200 million budget to create computer dossiers on 300 million Americans” (see You Are a Suspect, November 14, 2002).

    Of course, the program didn’t go away. Legislators included a classified annex to the Defense Appropriations Act that preserved funding for TIA’s component technologies, if they were transferred to other government agencies. TIA projects continued to be funded under classified annexes to Defense and Intelligence appropriation bills.

    “Total Information Awareness — the all-seeing terrorist spotting algorithm-meets-the-mother-of-all-databases that was ostensibly de-funded by Congress in 2003, never actually died, and was largely rebuilt in secret by the NSA, according to the Wall Street Journal’s Siobhan Gorman,” Ryan Singel wrote for Wired on March 10, 2008. “There’s been no real debate in Congress or in the press about whether the government should be allowed to track every Americans phone calls, emails and web browsing.”

    Jon Stokes, writing for Ars Technica, notes that TIA technology is nothing new. “TIA-like efforts are still going on” Stokes wrote in 2005, and “the government has been trying to use new technology, like database tech and voice recognition, for domestic surveillance for a long time. And when I say a long time, I mean well before the current administration came into office.” It really got a boost under Clinton in 1995 when the Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act (CALEA) was passed. “CALEA mandated that the telcos aid wiretapping by installing remote wiretap ports onto their digital switches so that the switch traffic would be available for snooping by law enforcement.” In other words, Mark Klein had but scratched the surface.

    Truman created the NSA in 1952, supposedly to serve as “America’s ears” abroad, but the agency has long served as a secret Stasi-like organization dedicated to snooping on Americans. The NSA, writes Siobhan Gorman for the Wall Street Journal, “and other intelligence agencies were found to be using their spy tools to monitor Americans for political purposes.”

    The NSA’s predecessor, the Armed Forces Security Agency, launched Project SHAMROCK in 1945. It obtained copies of all telegraphic information exiting or entering the United States with the full cooperation of RCA, ITT and Western Union. A sister project known as Project MINARET involved the creation of “watch lists,” by each of the intelligence agencies and the FBI, of those accused of “subversive” domestic activities. The watch lists included such notables as Martin Luther King, Malcolm X, Jane Fonda, Joan Baez and Dr. Benjamin Spock, according to Patrick S. Poole, writing for Nexus Magazine in 1999. The FBI, the NSA, and other intelligence agencies were actively involved in creating the watch lists.

    NSA has attempted to keep up on technology as the secretive agency continues to snoop on “subversives” and others the government considers miscreants. In February, trade publications reported the agency is offering “billions” to any firm able to offer reliable eavesdropping on Skype IM and voice traffic. Skype is particularity troublesome because it utilizes P2P networks, that is to say peer-top-peer (no central server owned and operated by a telecom required). The government and the corporate media may tell you they want to crack down on P2P — for instance, the vastly popular BitTorrent — because of copyright infringement, but a more practical reason is because the government has yet to figure out how to crack the file sharing protocol. Skype and BitTorrent account for a large amount of traffic on the internet.

    If you think Obama will roll back the government’s massive and unconstitutional snoop program, think again. On April 3, the Obama Department of Justice filed a motion to dismiss one of the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s landmark lawsuits against illegal spying by the NSA. The DOJ demanded that the entire lawsuit be dismissed based on both the Bush administration’s claim that a “state secrets” privilege bars any lawsuits against the executive branch for illegal spying, as well as a novel “sovereign immunity” claim that the Patriot Act bars lawsuits of any kind for illegal government surveillance (see the EFF press release, Obama Administration Embraces Bush Position on Warrantless Wiretapping and Secrecy).

    In March, Obama’s coordinator for cybersecurity programs, Rod Beckstrom, a former Silicon Valley entrepreneur, quit because he opposed the role of the NSA in the so-called cybersecurity initiative. Beckstrom said “the threats to our democratic processes are significant if all top level government network security and monitoring are handled by” the NSA.

    “Obama’s moves drew praise from key lawmakers on Capitol Hill, who vowed to work with the president to implement new security measures as needed,” CQPolitics reported shortly after his “cybersecurity” speech. “Obama said his cybersecurity adviser — who will be a member of both the National Security Staff and the National Economic Council staff — will head a new office within the White House.”

    “We applaud President Obama for highlighting the extraordinarily serious issue of cybersecurity,” Sens. Johns D. Rockefeller IV, D-W.V., and Olympia J. Snowe , R-Maine, said in a joint statement. “No other president in American history has elevated this issue to that level and we think him for his leadership.”

    No other president so far has had the power to shut down the internet. The Rockefeller-Snowe bill, S 778, would grant Obama dictatorial power declare a so-called “cyber emergency” and pull the plug, or at least cripple networks deemed a threat. The U.S. government is not seriously worried about Chinese hackers or mischievous kids in Latvia (as Rockefeller cited as a danger) but rather fear free and unfettered speech and activism on the part of its own citizens.

    Obama’s promise is merely an effort to string you along with a big fat lie. He has absolutely no respect for you or the Bill of Rights.

    URL to article: http://www.infowars.com/cybersecurity-is-framework-for-total-government-regulation-control-of-our-lives/

     
  • ancavge 4:06 pm on June 1, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , firefox, , , , , , hacking, , infomation, , , , internet explorer, , , laptop, , messager, , , , , , , , , , OS, , PDA, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,   

    US cybersecurity plan poses new war threats, attacks on democratic rights 

    Tom Eley
    WSWS
    May 31, 2009

    President Barack Obama announced on Friday the creation of a new “cyber czar” position. The Cybersecurity Coordinator, who is yet to be named, would oversee billions of dollars in funding for developing and coordinating defense of the computer networks that operate the global financial system and domestic transportation and commerce, according to the administration. The position, which Obama said would report directly to him, results from a 60-day “cyberspace policy review” Obama ordered.

    Obama’s announcement was overshadowed by the US military’s imminent creation of a new military “Cyber Command,” detailed in a New York Times article published Friday. Obama has not even been presented with the military’s plan, nor did he mention it directly in his press conference. However, administration sources have said he will sign a classified order or set of directives later this month authorizing the creation of the Cyber Command.

    Media accounts indicate that the formation of the parallel domestic and military cyber security agencies was the source of a bitter “turf battle” between and within competing national security and federal domestic agencies.

    As a compromise, Obama’s domestic Cybersecurity Coordinator would report to both the National Economic Council (NEC), a White House economic advisory group, and the National Security Council, the top-level presidential advisory group that coordinates foreign and military policy, thus ensuring “a balance between homeland security and economic concerns,” the Washington Post reports. Obama’s top economic advisor, Lawrence H. Summers, fought for a dominant role for the NEC so that “efforts to protect private networks do not unduly threaten economic growth.”

    In his Friday press conference, Obama sought to present the Cybersecurity Coordinator position in the most innocuous terms, referring to the “spyware and malware and spoofing and phishing and botnets.” and “cyber thieves” that anyone with access to the Internet confronts. Obama emphasized that the measure would not include “monitoring private sector networks or Internet traffic. We will preserve and protect the personal privacy and civil liberties that we cherish as Americans,” he said. “Indeed, I remain firmly committed to net neutrality so we can keep the Internet as it should be—open and free.”

    But the creation of high-level police agency tasked with overseeing the Internet raises troubling questions. As the New York Times notes, it “appears to be part of a significant expansion of the role of the national security apparatus” in the White House.

    Meanwhile, legislation working its way through Congress, the so-called Cybersecurity Act of 2009, would grant the US government unprecedented control over the Internet. The bill gives the president unrestricted power to halt Internet traffic, ordering the shutdown of both government and privately owned and operated networks deemed related to “critical infrastructure information systems,” merely by declaring a “cybersecurity emergency.”

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    In his remarks, Obama pointed to the threat of cyber terrorism, noting that US “defense and military networks are under constant attack. Al Qaeda and other terrorist groups have spoken of their desire to unleash a cyber attack on our country.” He invoked the recent terror attacks on Mumbai, India, where “terrorists…relied not only on guns and grenades but also on GPS and phones using voice-over-the-Internet.” Obama also alluded to the possibility of cyberwarfare with a major foe, mentioning Russia by name. “Last year we had a glimpse of the future face of war,” Obama said. “As Russian tanks rolled into Georgia, cyber attacks crippled Georgian government websites.”

    However, these sorts of threats would most likely not fall under the purview of the Cybersecurity Coordinator, at least based on Obama’s explanation of the position. The implication is that these “threats” would be handled by the military-intelligence Cyber Command.

    Reports indicate that there is an acrimonious struggle within the national security apparatus over who should oversee the new command. Currently, the National Security Agency (NSA) controls most of the functions that would be associated with cyberwarfare. Created by Democratic President Harry S. Truman in 1952 at the height of the Cold War, the NSA is a spy agency tasked with breaking the codes and signals of foreign entities and encrypting sensitive US government communications. It is overseen by a military figure—either a lieutenant general or vice admiral—and the NSA reports to the Department of Defense.

    In March, Rod Beckstrom, the Department of Homeland Security’s cyber-security head (Director, National Cybersecurity Center) resigned in protest over the NSA appearing to win out in the struggle over who should “defend” domestic computer networks. In his resignation letter, which was leaked to the press, Beckstrom implied that the Office of Management and Budget had conspired with the NSA to starve his own agency of funding, and raised the threat posed by the NSA overseeing domestic computer-spying operations. “The threat to our democratic processes are significant if all top government network security and monitoring are handled by any one organization (either directly or indirectly),” Beckstrom wrote. “During my term as director we have been unwilling to subjugate the NSCS underneath the NSA.”

    A Wall Street Journal report at the end of April indicated that the head of the Cyber Command would be current NSA chief, General Keith Alexander. Other accounts indicate that the Cyber Command would more likely report at first to the military’s Strategic Command, which oversees the nation’s nuclear arsenal, according to sources cited in the New York Times. And still other sources have said NSA personnel could be moved into a new military command structure under the control of the Pentagon.

    In any case, the formation of the Cyber Command raises the threat of the military or the NSA launching operations within the US. Both are currently constitutionally-prohibited from carrying on either military or spy actions within American borders. One anonymous “senior intelligence official,” cited in the Times, called this “the domestic spying problem writ large.”

    “These attacks start in other countries, but they know no borders,” he said. “So how do you fight them if you can’t act both inside and outside the United States?” The answer, implied by the very formation of the Cyber Command, is that the military and spy agencies should disregard the traditional separation of foreign war and espionage, on the one hand, and domestic policing and investigation, on the other.

    According to the Defense Department, in 2008 360 million attempts were made to breach its computer networks. It also reported that the Pentagon spent $100 million in the past six months to repair damage done by hackers, most of whom work from Russia and China, it is claimed. In early April the Wall Street Journal reported that hackers had penetrated the national electricity grid and even the Pentagon’s $300 billion Joint Strike Fighters program.

    Yet despite the rhetoric about national defense, comments from administration sources and military figures make clear that motivating the creations of the military cyber defense is its offensive capabilities. “We are not comfortable discussing the question of offensive cyberoperations, but we consider cyberspace a war-fighting domain,” said Bryan Whitman, an Obama Pentagon spokesman. “We need to be able to operate within that domain just like on any battlefield, which includes protecting our freedom of movement and preserving our capability to perform in that environment.”

    URL to article: http://www.infowars.com/us-cybersecurity-plan-poses-new-war-threats-attacks-on-democratic-rights/

     
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