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  • Scavpor 8:08 pm on December 2, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: 8 millions, cell, cell phone, Criminal Investigations and Intelligence Gathering, , ECPA, , , GPS data, Intelligence Support Systems for Lawful Interception, , , , , smart phone, Sprint, , , , , wiretap   

    Surveillance Shocker: Sprint Received 8 MILLION Law Enforcement Requests for GPS Location Data in the Past Year 

    News Update by Kevin Bankston

    This October, Chris Soghoian — computer security researcher, oft-times journalist, and current technical consultant for the FTC’s privacy protection office — attended a closed-door conference called “ISS World”. ISS World — the “ISS” is for “Intelligence Support Systems for Lawful Interception, Criminal Investigations and Intelligence Gathering” — is where law enforcement and intelligence agencies consult with telco representatives and surveillance equipment manufacturers about the state of electronic surveillance technology and practice. Armed with a tape recorder, Soghoian went to the conference looking for information about the scope of the government’s surveillance practices in the US. What Soghoian uncovered, as he reported on his blog this morning, is more shocking and frightening than anyone could have ever expected

    At the ISS conference, Soghoian taped astonishing comments by Paul Taylor, Sprint/Nextel’s Manager of Electronic Surveillance. In complaining about the volume of requests that Sprint receives from law enforcement, Taylor noted a shocking number of requests that Sprint had received in the past year for precise GPS (Global Positioning System) location data revealing the location and movements of Sprint’s customers. That number?


    Sprint received over 8 million requests for its customers’ information in the past 13 months. That doesn’t count requests for basic identification and billing information, or wiretapping requests, or requests to monitor who is calling who, or even requests for less-precise location data based on which cell phone towers a cell phone was in contact with. That’s just GPS. And, that’s not including legal requests from civil litigants, or from foreign intelligence investigators. That’s just law enforcement. And, that’s not counting the few other major cell phone carriers like AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile. That’s just Sprint.

    Here’s what Taylor had to say; the audio clip is here and we are also mirroring a zip file from Soghoian containing other related mp3 recordings and documents.

    [M]y major concern is the volume of requests. We have a lot of things that are automated but that’s just scratching the surface. One of the things, like with our GPS tool. We turned it on the web interface for law enforcement about one year ago last month, and we just passed 8 million requests. So there is no way on earth my team could have handled 8 million requests from law enforcement, just for GPS alone. So the tool has just really caught on fire with law enforcement. They also love that it is extremely inexpensive to operate and easy, so, just the sheer volume of requests they anticipate us automating other features, and I just don’t know how we’ll handle the millions and millions of requests that are going to come in.

    Eight million would have been a shocking number even if it had included every single legal request to every single carrier for every single type of customer information; that Sprint alone received eight million requests just from law enforcement only for GPS data is absolutely mind-boggling. We have long warned that cell phone tracking poses a threat to locational privacy, and EFF has been fighting in the courts for years to ensure that the government only tracks a cell phone’s location when it has a search warrant based on probable case. EFF has also complained before that a dangerous level of secrecy surrounds law enforcement’s communications surveillance practices like a dense fog, and that without stronger laws requiring detailed reporting about how the government is using its surveillance powers, the lack of accountability when it comes to the government’s access to information through third-party phone and Internet service providers will necessarily breed abuse. But we never expected such huge numbers to be lurking in that fog.

    Now that the fact is out that law enforcement is rooting through such vast amounts of location data, it raises profoundly important questions that law enforcement and the telcos must answer:

    • How many innocent Americans have had their cell phone data handed over to law enforcement?
    • How can the government justify obtaining so much information on so many people, and how can the telcos justify handing it over?
    • How did the number get so large? Is the government doing massive dragnet sweeps to identify every single cell phone that was in a particular area at a particular time? Is the government getting location information for entire “communities of interest” by asking not only for their target’s location, but also for the location of every person who talked to the target, and every person who talked to them?
    • Does the number only include requests to track phones in real-time, or does it include requests for historical GPS data, and if so, why did the telcos have that incredibly sensitive data sitting around in the first place? Exactly when and how are they logging their users’ GPS data, and how long are they keeping that data?
    • What legal process was used to obtain this information? Search warrants? Other court orders? Mere subpoenas issued by prosecutors without any court involvement? How many times was this information handed over without any legal process at all, based on government claims of an urgent emergency situation?
    • Looking beyond Sprint and GPS, how many Americans have had their private communications data handed over to law enforcement by their phone and Internet service providers?
    • What exactly has the government done with all of that information? Is it all sitting in an FBI database somewhere?
    • Do you really think that this Orwellian level of surveillance is consistent with a free society and American values? Really?

    These questions urgently need to be asked — by journalists, and civil liberties groups like EFF, and by every cell phone user and citizen concerned about privacy. Most importantly, though, they must be asked by Congress, which has failed in its duty to provide oversight and accountability when it comes to law enforcement surveillance. Congress should hold hearings as soon as possible to demand answers from the government and the telcos under oath, and clear the fog so that the American people will finally have an accurate picture of just how far the government has reached into the private particulars of their digital lives.

    Even without hearings, though, the need for Congress to update the law is clear. At the very least, Congress absolutely must stem the government’s abuse of its power by:

    • Requiring detailed reporting about law enforcement’s access to communications data using the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA), just as it already requires for law enforcement wiretapping under the Wiretap Act, and make sure that the government actually fulfills its obligations rather than ignore the law for years on end.
    • Requiring that the government “minimize” the communications data it collects under ECPA rather than keep it all forever, just like it is supposed to do with wiretaps.
    • Prohibiting the government from using in a criminal trial any electronic communications content or data that it obtains in violation of ECPA, just as the government is prohibited by the Wiretap Act from using illegally acquired telephone intercepts.
    • Clarifying that ECPA can only be used to get specific data about particular individuals and cannot be used for broad sweeps, whether to identify everyone in a particular geographic area or to identify every person that visits a particular web site.

    It’s time for Congress to pull the curtain back on the vast, shadowy world of law enforcement surveillance and shine a light on these abuses. In the meantime, we give our thanks to those like Chris Soghoian who are doing important work to uncover the truth about government spying in America.

    UPDATE: Sprint has responded to Soghoian’s report:

    The comments made by a Sprint corporate security officer during a recent conference have been taken out of context by this blogger. Specifically, the “8 million” figure, which the blogger highlights in his email and blog post, has been grossly misrepresented. The figure does not represent the number of customers whose location information was provided to law enforcement, as this blogger suggests.

    Instead, the figure represents the number of individual “pings” for specific location information, made to the Sprint network as part of a series of law enforcement investigations and public safety assistance requests during the past year. It’s critical to note that a single case or investigation may generate thousands of individual pings to the network as the law enforcement or public safety agency attempts to track or locate an individual.

    Instances where law enforcement agencies seek customer location information include exigent or emergency circumstances such as Amber Alert events, criminal investigations, or cases where a Sprint customer consents to sharing location information.

    Sprint takes our customers’ privacy extremely seriously and all law enforcement and public safety requests for customer location information are processed in accordance with applicable state and federal laws.

    This response provides some important answers, while raising even more questions. First off, Sprint has confirmed that it received 8 million requests, while denying a charge that no one has made: that 8 million individual customers’ data was handed over. Sprint’s denial also begs the question: how many individual customers have been affected?

    As for Sprint’s claim that in some instances a single case or investigation may generate thousands of location “pings”, that is certainly possible, but that doesn’t make the 8 million number any less of a concern, or moot any of the important questions raised by Soghoian in his report or by EFF in its post regarding the lack of effective oversight and transparency in this area.

    Even assuming that Sprint’s statement about “pings” is true, 8 million — or, in other words, 8,000 thousands — is still an astronomical number and more than enough to raise serious concerns that Congress should investigate and address. Moreover, the statement raises additional questions: exactly what legal process is being used to authorize the multiple-ping surveillance over time that Sprint is cooperating in? Is Sprint demanding search warrants in those cases? How secure is this automated interface that law enforcement is using to “ping” for GPS data? How does Sprint insure that only law enforcement has access to that data, and only when they have appropriate legal process? How many times has Sprint disclosed information in “exigent or emergency circumstances” without any legal process at all? And most worrisome and intriguing: what customers does Sprint think have “consent[ed] to the sharing [of] location data” with the government? Does Sprint think it is free to hand over the information of anyone who has turned on their GPS functionality and shared information with Sprint for location-based services? Or even the data of anyone who has agreed to their terms of service? What exactly are they talking about?

    These questions are only the beginning, and Sprint’s statement doesn’t come close to answering all of them. Of course, we appreciate that Sprint has begun a public dialogue about this issue. But this should be only the beginning of that discussion, not the end. Ultimately, the need for Congress to investigate the true scope of law enforcement’s communications surveillance practices remains. Congress can and should dig deeper to get the hard facts for the American people, rather than forcing us to rely solely on Sprint’s public relations office for information on these critical privacy issues.

    Related Issues: Cell TrackingLocational Privacy


  • Scavpor 3:31 pm on August 12, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: 84, cell phone, , elderly woman, , , , ,   

    Nation Outraged Over Cop Taking Down 84 Year Old Alzheimer’s Patient 

    Denise Yost
    August 12, 2009
    • A d v e r t i s e m e n t
    • efoods

    An elderly woman with a weapon was taken to the ground by a Whitehall officer—and the incident was caught on tape.

    Now, video of the incident has created new problems for the local police department as citizens from around the country question the force used.

    The cell phone video ended up on YouTube—and the local police department said it has changed the way they work, NBC 4‘s Mike Bowersock reported.

    Virginia Dotson was wandering the Walmart parking lot at 3657 E. Main St. the evening of Aug. 1 with a steak knife. She was telling strangers she would cut them and already had cut herself.

    Whitehall officers were called to the scene, but some witnesses said officers used too much force in subduing the woman.

    URL to article: http://www.infowars.com/nation-outraged-over-cop-taking-down-84-year-old-alzheimers-patient/

  • Scavpor 2:42 pm on July 21, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , cell phone, , , , Gemma Atkinson, , , ,   

    Woman Detained For Filming Police 

    Woman ‘detained’ for filming police search launches high court challenge

    Gemma Atkinson claims she was handcuffed after recording search of boyfriend on her mobile phone * Paul Lewis * guardian.co.uk, Tuesday 21 July 2009 14.26 BST * Article history

    The footage filmed by Gemma Atkinson

    A woman is to challenge the Metropolitan police in the high court, claiming she was handcuffed, detained and threatened with arrest for filming officers on her mobile phone.

    Lawyers for Gemma Atkinson, a 27-year-old who was detained after filming police officers conduct a routine stop and search on her boyfriend, believe her case is the latest example of how police are misusing counterterrorism powers to restrict photography.

    Atkinson’s mobile phone recorded part of the incident at Aldgate East underground station on 25 March, one month after Section 58(a) a controversial amendment to the Terrorism Act came into force, making it illegal to photograph a police officer if the images are considered “likely to be useful” to a terrorist.

    Atkinson handed the footage, in which an officer can be heard telling her it is illegal to film police and demanding to see her phone, to the Guardian and said she was seeking to challenge the force in a judicial review. The incident was captured on CCTV.

    The opening part of the mobile phone clip shows two uniformed police officers searching her boyfriend, Fred Grace, 28, by a wall in the station. Atkinson said she felt that police had unfairly targeted Grace, who did not have drugs in his possession, and decided to film the officers in order to hold them to account.

    Seconds later, an undercover officer wearing jeans and a black jacket enters the shot, and asks Atkinson: “Do you realise it is an offence under the Terrorism Act to film police officers?” He then adds: “Can you show me what you you just filmed?”

    Atkinson stopped filming and placed her phone in her pocket. According to her account of the incident, which was submitted to the Independent Police Complaints Commission that night, the officer tried several times to forcefully grab the phone from her pocket.

    Failing to get the phone, he called over two female undercover officers from nearby. Atkinson said he told the women: “This young lady had been filming me and the other officers and it’s against the law. Her phone is in her right jacket pocket and I’m trying to get it.”

    An argument ensued, Atkinson said, and five police officers four of them undercover backed her into an alcove, insisting they had the right to view her phone.

    She said she was detained there for about 25 minutes, during which her wrist was handcuffed and a female officer told her: “We’ll put you under arrest, take to you to the station and look at your phone there.”

    A second female officer approached her and said, incorrectly: “Look, your boyfriend’s just been arrested for drugs, so I suggest you do as we say.”

    Atkinson claims the male undercover officer who initially approached her repeatedly threatened her with arrest, stating: “We believe you filmed us and that’s against the law so we need to check your phone.” When Atkinson protested, the officer replied: “I don’t want to see myself all over the internet.”

    After officers made calls to the police station, possibly for legal advice on the situation, the handcuffs were removed and Atkinson was released.

    She said the officers walked away all but one of them refused to identify themselves to her.

    “I felt totally helpless,” she said. “I was being restrained and I felt that no one was listening to me. During this whole thing I was saying, ‘This is a breach of my civil liberties you can’t do this to me, I’ve done nothing wrong’.”

    Atkinson’s solicitors, Bhatt Murphy, believe that faulty guidance to officers about how counterterrorism laws apply to photography in public places may have contributed to her treatment.

    Last week, after notification from Bhatt Murphy that they would seek a judicial review of Atkinson’s case at the high court, the Met released the guidance it gives officers.

    The force instructs officers that when searching people under the Terrorism Act, they “have the power to view digital images contained in mobile telephones”. It adds that the new offence relating to photographing officers does not apply in normal policing activities.

    However, the Met’s guidance, which has been criticised by human rights lawyers and the National Union of Journalists, has not been endorsed by the Home Office, which is drafting its own legal advice for police.

    The Met’s guidance is different to that issued by the National Policing Improvement Agency, which specifically advises that “officers do not have a legal power to delete images or destroy film”, and suggests that, while digital images might be viewed during a search, officers “should not normally attempt to examine them”.

    A Met spokesman confirmed they had received Atkinson’s complaint.



  • Scavpor 6:34 pm on July 2, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: AllAfrica, cell phone, cellular networks, Lesley Stones, , , SIM cards, South Africa, South Africans   

    South Africans Must Register Cell Phone SIM Cards 

    Lesley Stones
    July 2, 2009

    ANYONE who bought a cellphone SIM card yesterday and was not asked to present their credentials was involved in a criminal act.

    A new law aiming to crack down on criminal activities makes it an offence to sell a SIM card without recording the buyer’s name, address, cellphone number, ID or passport number and checking their ID book or passport and a bill to confirm their address.

    The reason for the rigmarole is to make it harder for criminals to buy SIM cards — the theory being that if a call is linked to a crime, the police can see who bought the SIM card and make an arrest.

    Not surprisingly there have been years of rebellion by the cellular networks and airtime resellers, pointing out that it inconveniences millions of people on the remote chance that it may help to capture a criminal minority. They complained that it would be hugely expensive, that some people had no formal address, and that it was pointless anyway. Anyone planning to use a cellphone to plot a heist was no doubt capable of producing fraudulent identification.

    • A d v e r t i s e m e n t
    • efoods

    But the operators lost, and the registration of SIM cards under the Regulation of Interception of Communications and Provision of Communication-Related Information Act (Rica) is now in force.

    Already there is a resigned acceptance, and the fight may go the way of the plastic bag furore.

    The operators have already toned down their resistance.

    This week MTN claimed to be positively eager to toe the line. “MTN is looking forward to the implementation of Rica, particularly that it would deal with the issue of stolen cellphones, which consumers have been raising,” said executive Zolisa Masiza.

    “You can help to make SA a safer place, as this law aims to help law enforcement agencies to identify the users of cellphone numbers and track criminals using cellphones for illegal activities,” the operator said.

    The law gives service providers 18 months to register all their subscribers, and anyone whose details are not recorded should be disconnected after that.

    Independent service provider Altech Autopage Cellular also suddenly “fully supports” the act. All Autopage outlets will require proof of a new customer’s identity, said Joe Makhafola, Altech’s government liaison executive.

    Given that Autopage mainly serves contract customers, it already has their personal details. If anything is missing, it will acquire those details within 18 months.

    “Whilst the act does place some burden on the organisation and on customers, we believe this is a positive initiative from government that seeks to ensure the well-being of citizens, and I believe that this understanding will be embraced by consumers,” Makhafola said.

    Parts of Rica that required operators to introduce technologies to allow intercepted were introduced years ago. That was already helping law enforcement to a great extent, said Shenanda Janse van Rensburg, Cell C’s corporate communications executive.

    URL to article: http://www.infowars.com/south-africans-must-register-cell-phone-sim-cards/

  • Scavpor 8:47 am on June 5, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , cell phone, , , drive stun, electro-shock, , hall, , , , , , , , , penn hills high school, , , , , , sample, Sara Sheldon Sperazza, , shock, , , , ,   

    New Uses For Electro-Shock Torture 

    William Grigg
    LRC Blog
    June 4, 2009

    A police officer assigned to prowl the halls of Pennsylvania’s Penn Hills High School came across a student using his cell phone, a violation of school rules except in an emergency.

    The officer was ignored when he told the student to turn off the phone. So he ordered the student to the principal’s office. According to Police Chief Howard Burton, “The student resisted, pushed the officer. The officer, defending himself, took out his stun gun and did a drive stun.”

    A “drive stun” consists of placing the Taser directly to the subject’s body, temporarily immobilizing him. The student fell to the floor, where, after he continued “resisting” — one has to admire his tenacity — he was handcuffed.

    All of this was less disruptive than the student’s cell phone use, one supposes.

    After the student complained of dizziness and a headache, he was taken to a hospital, where at least he was spared a few hours in the government-run conformity gulag.

    • A d v e r t i s e m e n t
    • efoods

    In addition to their use as Pavlovian instruments of pain compliance in government schools, Tasers now may be employed to extract DNA samples from uncooperative citizens, according to a Niagara County Judge.

    Last September 29, police applied the Taser to local resident Ryan S. Smith, who was handcuffed and in custody at the police station, in order to compel him to cooperate in their effort to obtain a sample. A previous sample had been sent to the wrong lab and spoiled.

    Apparently, somebody had informed Smith — a suspect in a shooting and robbery at a local service station — of the potential for self-incrimination, because he resisted the second attempt. An officer overcame Smith’s resistance by treating him to a “drive stun” charge.

    Judge Sara Sheldon Sperazza, who is presiding over the trial, had ordered the DNA sample ex parte. After Smith’s refusal to cooperate, he was arrested on a contempt of court charge.

    Now, in response to a defense challenge, Judge Sperazza has upheld her own exceptionally dubious order, ruling that police can employ electro-shock torture to extort DNA samples as long as this is not done “maliciously, or to an excessive extent, or with resulting injury.”

    “They have now given the Niagara Falls police discretion to Taser anybody anytime they think it’s reasonable,” protested defense lawyer Patrick M. Balkin. “Her decision says you can enforce a court order by force. If you extrapolate that, we no longer have to have child support hearings; you can just Taser the parent.”

    Balkin is certainly correct about the logic of Sperazza’s self-serving decree. But it’s useful to extrapolate just a little bit further: If police are now authorized to use pain compliance to obtain self-incriminating evidence, why not restore other supposedly benign “interrogation” methods — such as waterboarding, for instance?

    URL to article: http://www.infowars.com/new-uses-for-electro-shock-torture/

  • Scavpor 2:11 am on June 3, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , cell phone, , , , , , , , , , , , , , Information Week, , , , J. Nicholas Hoover, names, , , , officials, , , , , , , , , ,   

    Homeland Security Names New Cybersecurity Officials 

    J. Nicholas Hoover
    June 2, 2009

    The Department of Homeland Security filled out its cybersecurity team Monday, two months after Rod Beckstrom resigned as director of the department’s National Cybersecurity Center. He had clashed with the National Security Agency and complained about lack of funding.

    • A d v e r t i s e m e n t
    • efoods

    Taking Beckstrom’s place as director of the National Cybersecurity Center (NCSC) will be Philip Reitinger, who is currently Homeland Security deputy undersecretary for the National Protection and Programs Directorate (NPPD). Reitinger, who also worked in cybersecurity forMicrosoft (NSDQ: MSFT) and fought cybercrime for the Department of Justice, will help to coordinate cybersecurity efforts across the government.

    Reitinger will continue to hold his position at the NPPD, where he heads up Homeland Security-specific cybersecurity efforts. “Holding both positions simultaneously will allow Reitinger to provide broader strategic direction to the department’s cybersecurity efforts while ensuring preparedness and response capabilities across all federal computer systems,” the Department of Homeland Security said in a statement. It’s unclear how his role would shift as the White House brings in its new cybersecurity czar.

    Read entire article

    URL to article: http://www.infowars.com/homeland-security-names-new-cybersecurity-officials/

  • Scavpor 5:20 pm on June 1, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , , cell phone, , , , , , , , , , , , , forum, , , , grid, , , , , , , 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.

    • A d v e r t i s e m e n t
    • efoods

    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/

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

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

    Tom Eley
    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.”

    • A d v e r t i s e m e n t
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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/

  • Scavpor 12:57 pm on May 30, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Amrica, , , , attacking, , cell phone, cell phone camera, , , , , , EMP, , , , , , , , , , , , , Okfuskee County, , , , , , , , , , , , , ,   

    Incident Reports Add Evidence to Video Showing OK Cops Attacking Paramedic 

    May 30, 2009

    A witness to the “struggle” between two Oklahoma Highway Patrol officers and a paramedic in Okfuskee County told News Channel 8 in Tulsa that the cop who throttled the EMP worker needs “anger management.” She is worried “that if one of them ever tries to stop me, I may do something that might make them mad.”

    featured stories   Incident Reports Add Evidence to Video Showing OK Cops Attacking Paramedic
    PDF Click icon to read PDF

    It does not take much to make cops in America “mad” these days, as numerous videos posted on the web reveal. Not displaying the required degree of deference to police can result in violence and even death.

    It is against the law in Oklahoma to interfere with with paramedics in the performance of their duties. But instead of charing the cops — Daniel Martin and Bryan Iker — with breaking the law, the assaulted paramedic may be brought up on charges, according to Assistant District Attorney Maxey Reilly.

    “The OHP has turned over details of the incident to the prosecutor in Okfuskee County to determine if charges will be filed in the case,” reports Tulsa World.

    Meanwhile, the cops remain on duty, free to assault other citizens.

    Creek Nation paramedics at Paden, located east of Prague, in Okfuskee County, have released their accounts of the incident (see PDF linked at right) while the OHP has yet to deliver its version of the encounter, not surprising because a cell phone video of the incident clearly shows the cops are at fault.

    Tulsa World reports that the video “is now the No. 2 most-watched video on YouTube.”

    In order to go about stomping and throttling — and murdering — citizens (cops often like to call them civilians) without damning video popping up on YouTube, the cops will have to find a way to put an end to video recording.

    The feds use “a closely held law enforcement tool: equipment that can jam cellphones and other wireless devices to foil remote-controlled bombs,” the Washington Post reported in February. “It is an increasingly common technology, with federal agencies expanding its use as state and local agencies are pushing for permission to do the same. Police and others say it could stop terrorists from coordinating during an attack, prevent suspects from erasing evidence on wireless devices, simplify arrests and keep inmates from using contraband phones.”

    In the not to distant future, cops may be able to flip a switch and shut down cell phones before they assault citizens.

    URL to article: http://www.infowars.com/incident-reports-add-evidence-to-video-showing-ok-cops-attacking-paramedic/

  • Scavpor 1:40 am on May 5, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , cell phone, Claire Ellicott, , , Stephane, strip-searched, , , UK Daily Mail   

    Man strip-searched and held for 24 hours over friend’s ‘joke text’ about sabotaging a train 

    Claire Ellicott
    UK Daily Mail
    Monday, May 4, 2009

    An innocent man was strip-searched and held in a cell for 24 hours after receiving a joke text message from a friend about sabotaging a train.

    The 29-year-old was arrested after his mobile phone provider passed on details of the message to police – who accused him of not reporting a crime.

    The case, which happened in France, provoked widespread outrage about the ’sinister’ march of the Big Brother state there.


    Man strip searched and held for 24 hours over friends joke text about sabotaging a train 335x205 graph128c aj

    The man, referred to only by his first name of Stephane, received a message saying ‘Do you know how to de-rail a train?’ last month in Abbeville, in the Somme region.

    The woodworker thought nothing of the text but hours later he was arrested.

    Detectives said his mobile provider had passed on details of the message. They claimed Stephane should have called the police as soon as he received the text.

    Stephane said: ‘I was strip-searched and forced to hand over the name of my colleague who had sent the message.

    ‘Then the court gave an order that I could be held for up to 24 hours. It was a real shock. In two seconds I felt I had become a vulgar criminal.

    ‘I was held in a prison cell which smelled of urine. I felt I was being treated like a dog.’

    Full article here

    URL to article: http://www.prisonplanet.com/man-strip-searched-and-held-for-24-hours-over-friends-joke-text-about-sabotaging-a-train.html

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