Monday 25th of May 2020

global and local surveillance: ... metadata is still constipated.


This week on CounterSpin: Wherever they come down on it, many Americans think of surveillance technology—like facial recognition—as spurring a more or less Platonic argument about the relationship between the individual and the state and/or corporations. That’s a rich enough subject for debate.

But in 2016 America, the conversation can suffer from not being grounded in an understanding of how surveillance technology is actually being used right now. Whether we are being watched by private companies or by law enforcement and the state, our guest says, not everyone is watched equally.

Alvaro Bedoya is the founding executive director of the Center on Privacy and Technology at Georgetown Law. He was chief counsel to the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Privacy, Technology and the Law. He’ll join us to talk about those issues and the “color of surveillance.”


From Wikipedia:


Ongoing news reports in the international media have revealed operational details about the United States National Security Agency (NSA) and its international partners' global surveillance[1] of foreign nationals and US citizens. The reports mostly emanate from a cache of top secret documents leaked by ex-NSA contractor Edward Snowden, who obtained them while working for Booz Allen Hamilton, one of the largest contractors for defense and intelligence in the United States.[2] In addition to a trove of US federal documents, Snowden's cache reportedly contains thousands of Australian, British and Canadian intelligence files that he had accessed via the exclusive "Five Eyes" network. In June 2013, the first of Snowden's documents were published simultaneously by The Washington Post and The Guardian, attracting considerable public attention.[3] The disclosure continued throughout 2013, and a small portion of the estimated full cache of documents was later published by other media outlets worldwide, most notably The New York Times, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, the Australian Broadcasting CorporationDer Spiegel (Germany), O Globo (Brazil), Le Monde (France), L'espresso(Italy), NRC Handelsblad (the Netherlands), Dagbladet (Norway), El País (Spain), andSveriges Television (Sweden).[4]

These media reports have shed light on the implications of several secret treaties signed by members of the UKUSA community in their efforts to implement global surveillance. For example, Der Spiegel revealed how the German Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND) transfers "massive amounts of intercepted data to the NSA",[5] while Swedish Television revealed the National Defence Radio Establishment (FRA) provided the NSA with data from itscable collection, under a secret treaty signed in 1954 for bilateral cooperation on surveillance.[6] Other security and intelligence agencies involved in the practice of global surveillance include those in Australia (ASD), Britain (GCHQ), Canada (CSEC), Denmark (PET), France (DGSE), Germany (BND), Italy (AISE), the Netherlands (AIVD), Norway (NIS), Spain (CNI), Switzerland (NDB), Singapore (SID) as well as Israel (ISNU), which receives raw, unfiltered data of US citizens that is shared by the NSA.[7][8][9][10][11][12][13][14]

On June 14, 2013, United States prosecutors charged Edward Snowden with espionageand theft of government property.[15] In late July 2013, he was granted a one-year temporary asylum by the Russian government,[16] contributing to a deterioration ofRussia–United States relations.[17][18] On August 6, 2013, US President Barack Obamamade a public appearance on national television where he reassured Americans that "We don't have a domestic spying program" and "There is no spying on Americans".[19]Towards the end of October 2013, the British Prime Minister David Cameron warned The Guardian not to publish any more leaks, or it will receive a DA-Notice.[20] Currently, a criminal investigation of the disclosure is being undertaken by Britain's Metropolitan Police Service.[21] In December 2013, The Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger said: "We have published I think 26 documents so far out of the 58,000 we've seen."[22]

The extent to which the media reports have responsibly informed the public is disputed. In January 2014, Obama said that "the sensational way in which these disclosures have come out has often shed more heat than light"[23] and critics such as Sean Wilentz have noted that many of the Snowden documents released do not concern domestic surveillance.[24] In its first assessment of these disclosures, The Pentagon concluded that Snowden committed the biggest "theft" of U.S. secrets in the history of the United States.[25] Sir David Omand, a former director of GCHQ, described Snowden's disclosure as the "most catastrophic loss to British intelligence ever".[26]


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Picture at top by Gus: sculpture by the sea, Bondi, Sydney, 2015.



Today, 23 February 2016 at 00:00 GMT [updated 12:20 GMT], WikiLeaks publishes highly classified documents showing that the US National Security Agency bugged a private climate change strategy meeting; between UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon and German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin; singled out the Chief of Staff of UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) for long term interception targetting his Swiss phone; singled out the Director of the Rules Division of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), Johann Human, and targetted his Swiss phone for long term interceptionstole sensitive Italian diplomatic cables detailing how Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu implored Italy's Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi to help patch up his relationship with US President Barack Obama, who was refusing to talk to Netanyahu; intercepted top EU and Japanese trade ministers discussing their secret strategy and red lines to stop the US "extort[ing]" them at the WTO Doha arounds (the talks subsequently collapsed); explicitly targetted five other top EU economic officials for long term interception, including their French, Austrian and Belgium phone numbers; explicitly targetted the phones of Italy's ambassador to NATO and other top Italian officials for long term interception; and intercepted details of a critical private meeting between then French president Nicolas Sarkozy, Merkel and Berluscon, where the latter was told the Italian banking system was ready to "pop like a cork".

Some of the intercepts are classified TOP-SECRET COMINT-GAMMA and are the most highly classified documents ever published by a media organization.

WikiLeaks editor Julian Assange said "Today we proved the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon's private meetings over how to save the planet from climate change were bugged by a country intent on protecting its largest oil companies. Back in 2010 we revealed that the then US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had ordered her diplomats to steal the UN leadership's biometric data and other information. The US government has signed agreements with the UN that it will not engage in such conduct. It will be interesting to see the UN's reaction, because if the United Nations Secretary General, whose communications and person have legal inviolability, can be repeatedly attacked without consequence then everyone is at risk."

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the new normal data you...

Many countries have already implemented surveillance systems using artificial intelligence to fight the Covid-19 pandemic.

Edward Snowden warns of their potentially lasting nature once the crisis is over. Edward Snowden, a former computer scientist at the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and the National Security Agency (NSA) exiled in Russia since 2013, has once again raised the alarm over the ubiquitous mass surveillance facilitated by new technologies linked to the intelligence during a videoconference interview for the Copenhagen Documentary Film Festival on March 23.

This time, the American whistleblower warned that an increase in mass surveillance by state structures, in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic, could remain after the end of the health crisis, and so have lasting effects on civil liberties.

"The urgency tends to last"

"When we see emergency measures adopted, especially today, they tend to stay," said Edward Snowden in the same interview. And to continue: “The emergency tends to last. Then the [state] authorities become familiar with this new power [and] begin to appreciate it. ” They know what you’re watching on the Internet, where your phone is moving, and now they’re up to speed on your heartbeat people in a crisis.

To clarify his thinking, Edward Snowden used fitness trackers that can measure pulse and heart rate, such as the Apple Watch, as an example. He said fear of the spread of the Covid-19 could persuade governments to connect to fitness trackers and smartphones to get data about your health in return. "Five years later, the coronavirus has disappeared, this data is still available for [the security services and intelligence agencies that] begin to look for new things," then conjectured Edward Snowden.

And to extend his reasoning: "They know what you are watching on the Internet, where your phone is moving, and now they are aware of your heart rate. What will happen when they start mixing [this data] and applying artificial intelligence to it?” More security for more freedom ... Really? As part of the Covid-19 pandemic, more and more states have made "proposals to monitor the epidemic by tracking data from mobile phones. This could prove to be a powerful method for monitoring the spread of the virus and the movements of people who carry it, but it will also be a tempting tool to track down terrorists, or any other potential enemy of States".

Israel has granted its spy services the power to hack the phones of citizens without a warrant And for good reason, many countries are already capable of reconstructing the movements of infected people "via video surveillance images, of their transactions and of the borders of their smartphone”, according to Le Parisien.


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Methinks that This will stay to control the sheep. The terrorists, the wolves, are too smart to be spotted by this automated surveillance. They wil be caught the good old fashion way...

making sure you stay on song...

Facebook and Twitter censored Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro and former New York mayor Rudolf Giuliani, who notably praised the virtues of chloroquine. A publication by Professor Raoult has been described as "partially false". Will information on social networks be counted among the victims of the coronavirus? The question is more topical than ever in light of the recent declarations of the President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen, and the actions already undertaken by the giants of the sector.


For Ursula von der Leyen, the role of the European Union and social networks is indeed simple: "re-establish the truth" as regards the information circulating about the pandemic, in order to avoid the spread of false information likely to " to really hurt "everyone. With this in mind, the President of the European Commission explains that the bloc is working hand in hand with the internet giants so that they "facilitate access to official sources [...] and demote or delete the content harmful as well as misleading ads.


" A task that Facebook, Google (and its subsidiary YouTube), Microsoft (and its subsidiary LinkedIn), Reddit and Twitter have taken up, "in close collaboration": "We help millions of people to stay connected while struggling jointly against fraud and disinformation on the virus, by highlighting the authoritative content on our platforms and by sharing essential updates in coordination with government health agencies around the world, ”they said. March 17, in a - rare - joint declaration.


Facebook and its subsidiary Instagram, also specified in a press release how they were fighting in a concrete way against "disinformation": "We are removing content on Facebook and Instagram that violates our conditions of use, which do not allow disinformation that could cause physical harm to people. " Bolsonaro and Giuliani censored after praising hydroxychloroquine Under cover of this laudable objective, the giants of the sector, criticized for months for their content management policies, were quick to drift. Leading political leaders are no longer immune to the control of information exercised by social networks.


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(Vague translation by Jules Letambour).


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