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You Are Being Tracked: How License Plate Readers Are Being Used to Record Americans' Movements. A little noticed surveillance technology, designed to track the movements of every passing driver, is fast proliferating on America’s streets. Automatic license plate readers, mounted on police cars or on objects like road signs and bridges, use small, high-speed cameras to photograph thousands of plates per minute. The information captured by the readers – including the license plate number, and the date, time, and location of every scan – is being collected and sometimes pooled into regional sharing systems. As a result, enormous databases of innocent motorists’ location information are growing rapidly. This information is often retained for years or even indefinitely, with few or no restrictions to protect privacy rights.

Read the report: You Are Being Tracked » Learn what’s happening to your location information from this interactive slideshow: The government must not store data about innocent people for any lengthy period. We Have Sacrificed Our Liberty to the Surveillance State | Samantha Wood. What are we so afraid of? It's easy to sound crazy when you start to talk about the United States' sweeping surveillance program.

It could be a conspiracy theorist's fantasy. But in 2013 former NSA analyst Edward Snowden brought this system and its abuses to the attention of journalists, and now we all know it's real. "I discovered that there were programs of mass surveillance that were happening beyond any possible statutory authority. ... These were things that never should have happened," Snowden tells Harvard Law professor Lawrence Lessig in an interview from Oct. 20. And while we are engaged in this sweeping surveillance program, the press is suffering an unusual degree of suppression.

So maybe now what seems crazy is so few people are talking about it. Why? Snowden says to Lessig: ... We must re-assert our right to privacy. It's not OK for our government to monitor us, collect our personal email and texts, to track us. The balance has shifted and the few in control have much to lose. Cop Cams May Just Empower the Surveillance State. The recent police killing of Michael Brown, John Crawford III, and others, including Michelle Cusseaux in my own city of Phoenix, have invigorated a nationwide discussion on both the left and right about police violence.

Much of the debate has come to center around police body cameras as one possible way to rein in out of control cops. Even libertarians have begun to consider and advocate for cop cams. Writers at Reason have taken up the claim put forward by aspiring cop-corder manufacturer Steve Ward that “[e]veryone behaves better when they’re on video.” Indeed, that claim may precisely be part of the problem with body cams, as indicated by the conclusions of a recent Justice Department study of police-worn cameras.

According to the study (emphasis mine): The use of body-worn video by frontline officers has real potential to reduce complaints of incivility and use of force by officers. There are several issues raised by cop-cams, not least of all the privacy implications. Mass surveillance. Mass surveillance is the intricate surveillance of an entire or a substantial fraction of a population.[1] The surveillance is often carried out by governments or governmental organisations, but may also be carried out by corporations, either on behalf of governments or at their own initiative. Depending on each nation's laws and judicial systems, the legality of and the permission required to engage in mass surveillance varies.

Mass surveillance has often been cited as necessary to fight terrorism, to prevent social unrest, to protect national security, to fight child pornography and protect children. Conversely, mass surveillance has equally as often been criticized for violating privacy rights, limiting civil and political rights and freedoms, and being illegal under some legal or constitutional systems. There is a fear that increasing mass surveillance will ultimately lead to a totalitarian state where political dissent is undermined by COINTELPRO-like programs. By country[edit] How the Surveillance State Changes Our Everyday Lives. George Orwell's 1984 opens with Winston Smith carving out a pocket of privacy by crouching in a corner of his apartment where the telescreen-and thus Big Brother-can't see and writing a diary entry.

These days, that Stalin-inspired nightmare seems quaint. We carry our personal telescreens around with us, and take it for granted that if someone wants to watch us, they can.There is nowhere to hide, even in the Hong Kong hotel room where Laura Poitras filmed Edward Snowden talking to Glenn Greenwald about the revelations about the NSA the whistleblower unleashed on the world.

At one point in Citizenfour, Poitras's film about the surveillance state and Snowden, an impatient Snowden yanks the hotel phone's plug from the wall. All VoIP phones can be bugged, he explains, tossing away the cord. The NSA could know what he ordered from room service. Much of Citizenfour was shot over the eight days that Poitras and Greenwald spent with Snowden. Citizenfour is about surveillance. Feds want to track your DNA like a license plate (Yep we’re there) This isn’t surprising. I think many of us just assumed that to some degree this sort of research has been going on. The surveillance state contractor infrastructure expands, and our privacy shrinks, again. This is the yin and yang of Big Data. All the data points now floating out in the cybersphere about us, our health, our political dispositions, what food we eat, what beer we drink, are just waiting to be connected into patterns. This has great potential to make life better for human beings.

But Big Data also has great danger as many of us recognize. Of course it’s not like American companies are the only ones developing this stuff either. Click here for the article. Foreign Policy/International Affairs Policy Study – Policy Ideas for Advancing Liberty. How To Apply International Human Rights Law to NSA Spying. This past Monday, the Human Rights Committee commenced its one hundredth and tenth session in Geneva from March 10-28. During this session, the Committee will review the reports of several countries on how they are implementing the provisions of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), an international human rights treaty and one of the bedrocks of human rights protections. Countries that have ratified the ICCPR are required to protect and preserve basic human rights through various means including administrative, judicial, and legislative measures.

Additionally, these countries are required to submit a report to the Human Rights Committee, a body of independent experts who monitor the implementation of States’ human rights obligations, every four years. The United States ratified the ICCPR in 1992 and is thus tied to these obligations, and required to regard the treaty the same as it would any domestic law. Among the main issues are: I. II. III. The secret court ruling behind NSA overreach. A new tranche of leaks from whistle-blower Edward Snowden’s document trove give important context to our understanding of NSA dragnet surveillance. Classified documents from mid-2002 reveal how the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court passed a landmark ruling to weaken restrictions on sharing private information about U.S. citizens. In the wake of 9/11, the surveillance court’s “Raw Take” order laid the ground for spy agencies to more easily access and share Americans’ communications data. ”The Raw Take order significantly changed that system, documents show, allowing counterterrorism analysts at the NSA, the FBI and the CIA to share unfiltered personal information,” wrote Laura Poitras and Charlie Savage in the New York Times.

Via The Times: The Raw Take order appears to have been the first substantial demonstration of the court’s willingness after Sept. 11 to reinterpret the law to expand government powers. RSA Denies Hobbling Encryption Software For NSA. RSA has strongly denied a report that it was paid to embed in encryption software flawed technology that would have enabled the U.S.

National Security Agency to break into computer products. Reuters reported Dec. 20 that the NSA paid the influential security vendor $10 million to provide its customers with the agency-developed encryption formula that would create a backdoor in products. RSA, a unit of EMC, reportedly used the technology in BSAFE, which is software embedded in commercial applications to secure data. On Dec. 22, RSA posted a statement that said, "We categorically deny this allegation. " To protect customers, encrypt sensitive information stored in computer systems and use secure protocols such as transport layer security (TLS) when moving data over the Internet. While acknowledging it worked with the NSA, RSA said it never kept the relationship secret and often publicized it. "Security vendor RSA denies that NSA paid it to provide a backdoor in its encryption software.”

Don’t Think the Feds Will Rein In the NSA? Maybe the States Can Help. If you are worried about your privacy and remain unconvinced that President Obama will offer any serious reforms to the National Security Agency, take heart: Legislators in statehouses around the country are seeking to take the battle over government surveillance into their own hands. The OffNow coalition, a group of organizations with a libertarian bend, are taking a page out of the American Legislative Exchange Council's notebook and offering up model legislation to state lawmakers in an attempt to disrupt the NSA. "As we began to look at it, we started to realize that the federal government, as with most things, is not going to limit itself," said Michael Maharrey, spokesman for the Tenth Amendment Center, an OffNow member.

Citing the writings of Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, Maharrey contends that the idea of states waging war on the NSA "is on very strong legal footing. " Arizona has also introduced the full slate of proposed reforms, according to Maharrey. On-line or off, cyber-spies can get you, Israeli expert says. For those who thought they could protect themselves from cyber-spying by disconnecting from the Internet — forget it. According to The New York Times, technology exists that allows spy agencies, like the NSA (National Security Agency), to reach a computer or entire network that has no connection to the Internet. Get the Start-Up Israel's daily newsletter and never miss our top stories Free Sign up! The report, which questions many of the basic assumptions people have about cyber-security – after all, if you’re not on-line, you shouldn’t be vulnerable to outsiders sucking data out of your computer – comes as a shock to a generation trained to think of cyber-defense as proper deployment of firewalls and anti-virus software.

But the technology to do this isn’t new, according to Israeli security expert Shai Rod. “The way the NSA connects to a computer that is not online is novel, but there are all sorts of ways to do this,” Rod told The Times of Israel. Shai Rod (Photo credit: Courtesy) NSA plants classified radio devices in sensitive areas - Ann Arbor Gadgets. House Passes 2014 NDAA; NSA Surveillance Will Lead to Indefinite Detention. The annual renewal of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) is underway on Capitol Hill. On June 14, by a vote of 315-108, the House of Representatives passed the Fiscal Year 2014 version of the NDAA (HR 1960). Several amendments to the defense spending legislation were proposed, many of which were approved either by voice vote or en bloc.

The first method of voting requires no report on how individual members voted, while the second method aggregates amendments, allowing them to be voted on in groups. A few of the amendments represent significant improvements to the NDAA of 2012 and 2013. The acts passed for those years infamously permitted the president to deploy U.S. military troops to apprehend and indefinitely detain any American he alone believed to be aiding enemies of the state. First, there is the amendment offered by Representative Trey Radel (R-Fla.). Radel’s amendment was passed by voice vote.

The House approved the Goodlatte amendment by a vote of 214-211. Joe A. Congress Moves to Create New Surveillance Agency Under NDAA 2014. Kurt Nimmo Prison June 21, 2013 Earlier this year, the House Subcommittee on Intelligence, Emerging Threats and Capabilities, one of several Armed Services Committees, discussed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2014. “The main subject of the hearing was Sec. 1061, otherwise known as Enhancement of Capacity of the United States Government to Analyze Captured Records,” writes Stephen Benavides.

“This enhancement provision of NDAA 2014 would effectively create a new intelligence agency, one with the authority to analyze information gained under the Patriot Act, FISA, and known spying programs such as PRISM.” Government continues to insist NSA cannot listen to your phone calls or read your email. Sec. 1061 authorizes the establishment of a Conflict Records Research Center by the Secretary of Defense.

Benavides writes: That coordination would require participation of all 16 member agencies and departments of the U.S. Print this page. Former U.S. U.N. Activists groups can be considered terrorists. To better understand the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) and who is considered a threat, we must first ask ourselves “What is a terrorist?” By definition, a terrorist is a person or group of people that cause fear and panic in others by their words or actions. The US government would have us believe that “covered persons” refers to “terrorists” such as al-Qaida or the Taliban.

However, that is not clearly written in the NDAA. The NDAA only mentions “covered persons.” The government, therefore, could effectively use the NDAA with its indefinite detention and lack of due process against anyone it considers a terrorist. This includes peaceful groups such as the Free State Project and the Occupy movement. While these groups are nonviolent, peaceful, they do pose a “threat,” not to citizens but to the structure of the US government. To be a terrorist, one does not necessarily have to be violent.

Today, we have groups that are demanding the rights be returned to American citizens. Legislation would restrict citizens’ rights - | News, Sports, Jobs, Community Information - The Express. Like the idea of being arrested without warrant and jailed indefinitely without trial? If no, then ask state Sen. Joe Scarnati to co-sponsor S.B. 999 requiring non-cooperation with the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that empowers the federal government to arrest and detain Pennsylvanians without charge or trial on U.S. soil. Sections 1021 and 1022 of the NDAA were added by Congress to broaden the war on terror to a neighborhood near you. Legal experts from both the right and left have determined this limitless power unconstitutionally infringes upon our centuries-old habeas corpus protections against being detained without hearing or trial.

Similar to Pennsylvania's Personal Liberty Laws of 1847, which prohibited state employees from enforcing the federal Fugitive Slave Act, SB 999 prohibits Pennsylvania officials and Pennsylvania jails to be used to trade your Bill of Rights for the Law of War. Some may find Guantanamo a lovely place during our cold, snowy winters. Obama’s Enhanced Oversight to NSA’s Surveillance Program Brings Many Critics. NSA Prism Patriot Act: US Govt. Massive Phone, Internet Surveillance Exposed. NSA Lies Again: XKeyscore Tool Collects "Everything" an Internet User Does, Substantiates Snowden's Claims (+video)

Edward Snodennews. What can states do to rein in NSA phone surveillance? US Federal Judge Rules NSA Data Collection Legal. NSA Leaks Prompt Rethinking of U.S. Control Over the Internet's Infrastructure | Threat Level.