Archiv: (mass-)identification / screening / profiling


09.07.2020 - 19:13 [ Raul Diego / Mint Press ]

Fourth Reich? Mass-Tracking COVI-PASS Immunity Passports Slated to Roll Out in 15 Countries

COVI-PASS will determine whether you can go to a restaurant, if you need a medical test, or are due for a talking-to by authorities in a post-COVID world. Consent is voluntary, but enforcement will be compulsory.

05.07.2020 - 10:29 [ CBS News / Youtube ]

Obama advises Kanye West on 2020 White House run

(Oct 10, 2015)

The president spoke at a Democratic National Committee fundraiser in San Francisco, where the hip hop artist will later perform. Mr. Obama has a few political nuggets to pass on for West’s 2020 bid for the presidency.

02.07.2020 - 16:41 [ DailyMail..co.uk ]

Is there a secret Covid tracker on your phone? Android and iPhone users say new feature has suddenly appeared on their handsets – without anyone installing it

Proponents are hailing the arrival of the system as a step towards stamping out the virus and ending lockdown.

The function is automatically disabled in countries without contact-tracing apps, such as Britain and the US.

02.07.2020 - 16:23 [ BBC ]

Coronavirus: Could ‚immunity passports‘ create an antibody elite?

Getting to that „new normal“ as quickly as possible is the target for governments around the globe, Many find antibody-testing the entire population a tantalising idea where infection rates are high.

In Germany, the country’s disease control and prevention agency, the Robert Koch Institute, is conducting large-scale random antibody testing.

27.06.2020 - 09:42 [ theIntercept.com ]

Controversial Data-Mining Firm Palantir Vanishes From Biden Adviser’s Biography After She Joins Campaign

In the run-up to the 2020 election, former Vice President Joe Biden’s campaign is putting together a foreign policy team for a potential future administration. Among those described as being part of the team is Avril Haines, former deputy director of the CIA during the Obama administration. According to an NBC News report from last week, Haines has been tapped to work advising on policy, as well as lead the national security and foreign policy team.

In addition to her past national security work and impressive presence in the D.C. think tank world, Haines has in the past described herself as a former consultant for the controversial data-mining firm Palantir.

25.06.2020 - 22:11 [ Max Blumenthal / MondoWeiss.net ]

From Occupation to ‘Occupy’: The Israelification of American domestic security

(December 2, 2011)

Back in New York, the NYPD set up a secret “Demographics Unit” designed to spy on and monitor Muslim communities around the city. The unit was developed with input and intensive involvement by the CIA, which still refuses to name the former Middle East station chief it has posted in the senior ranks of the NYPD’s intelligence division. Since 2002, the NYPD has dispatched undercover agents known as “rakers” and “mosque crawlers” into Pakistani-American bookstores and restaurants to gauge community anger over US drone strikes inside Pakistan, and into Palestinian hookah bars and mosques to search out signs of terror recruitment and clandestine funding. “If a raker noticed a customer looking at radical literature, he might chat up the store owner and see what he could learn,” the Associated Press reported. “The bookstore, or even the customer, might get further scrutiny.”

The Israeli imprimatur on the NYPD’s Demographics Unit is unmistakable. As a former police official told the Associated Press, the Demographics Unit has attempted to “map the city’s human terrain” through a program “modeled in part on how Israeli authorities operate in the West Bank.”

25.06.2020 - 13:30 [ theIntercept.com ]

FBI Expands Ability to Collect Cellphone Location Data, Monitor Social Media, Recent Contracts Show

On May 26, as demonstrations around the country erupted over the police killing of George Floyd, the FBI signed an expedited agreement to extend its relationship with Dataminr, a company that monitors social media.

A few days later, the agency modified an agreement it signed in February with Venntel, Inc., a Virginia technology firm that maps and sells the movements of millions of Americans. The company purchases bulk location data and sells it largely to government agencies.

25.06.2020 - 10:00 [ Independent.co.uk ]

Boris Johnson confronted over claim no country has working coronavirus app – after 12m downloads in Germany

Speaking afterwards, a Labour spokesman said: “If you want other examples, Singapore has launched an app, South Korea has also got an app. So there are a number of countries that are far, far ahead of us.”

25.06.2020 - 08:45 [ Haaretz ]

Knesset Gives Initial Approval for Comprehensive Digital Tracking by Security Service in Coronavirus Fight

Ministers Gabi Ashkenazi, Avi Nissenkorn, Amir Peretz and Izhar Shay opposed resuming the tracking, which was stopped on the order of the High Court of Justice, before the process of finding a civilian alternative is exhausted. Ashkenazi said he didn’t think the current level of new cases justified the resumption of this surveillance. Shin Bet head Nadav Argaman warned that codifying the surveillance in law could expose his organization’s technology and work methods. Netanyahu said in response that “the enemy is already familiar” with the system in question.

23.06.2020 - 23:27 [ DPolG Hamburg / Twitter ]

#DPolGHH „In den #USA haben Mathematiker zum Boykott der Polizei aufgerufen. In einem gemeinsamen Aufruf fordern mehrere Wissenschaftlerinnen & Wissenschaftler dazu auf, die Zusammenarbeit mit der #US-#Polizei einzustellen.“ #PredictiveProfiling

20.06.2020 - 17:47 [ ReclaimTheNet.org ]

Germany’s hate speech law gets stricter, raises privacy concerns

Despite already having some of the strictest laws in the world surrounding “hate speech,” Germany is looking to tighten the leash further where it comes to social media. The new provision, when passed, will require online platforms to directly report to the federal police when any criminal activity is reported by users on these platforms.

19.06.2020 - 10:09 [ DailyMail.co.uk ]

Facebook monitors the offline behaviour of users to determine if they should be categorised as a ‚Hate Agent‘ and banned

(14.06.2020)

The company also confirmed that their robust decision-making process involves checking their users‘ activity on other social media sites.

18.06.2020 - 18:00 [ BBC ]

UK virus-tracing app switches to Google-Apple model

The UK follows Germany, Italy and Denmark among others in switching from a so-called „centralised“ approach to a „decentralised“ one.

The government is expected to confirm the news shortly.

13.06.2020 - 11:41 [ The Hill ]

The militarized policing they don’t want you to see

At this moment where police have exposed the degree of power that they possess and use to exert force on the American public, it has never been clearer that these surveillance technologies will also suppress dissent. They are just as powerful, and as dangerous as the military helicopters staring down protest crowds today. As lawmakers begin to demilitarize community officers, we must also restrict the excessive power that surveillance technologies give to police.

11.06.2020 - 12:41 [ theHill.com ]

Amazon puts one-year moratorium on police use of its facial recognition technology

Amazon on Wednesday announced that it is placing a one-year moratorium on police use of its facial recognition technology, Rekognition.

„We’ve advocated that governments should put in place stronger regulations to govern the ethical use of facial recognition technology, and in recent days, Congress appears ready to take on this challenge,“ the company wrote in a blog post.

10.06.2020 - 13:23 [ Cracked.com ]

5 Realities About The World’s Scariest Police Department

(19.06.2017)

5. The NYPD Now Has Offices All Over The World

Through the International Liaison Program, NYPD detectives are now stationed in 13 cities around the globe, from Paris to Amman to Sydney. If you’re surprised that New York City would have flatfoots permanently operating on the majority of Earth’s continents, you aren’t alone. When bombs went off in Bali in 2005, Indonesian police were understandably „astonished and irritated that the NYPD showed up.“

10.06.2020 - 12:39 [ Salon.com ]

Nine terrifying facts about America’s biggest police force

(28.09.2012)

When asked for details at a press conference, Mayor Bloomberg basically told reporters to fuck off, saying, „The NYPD has lots of capabilities that you don’t know about and you won’t know about.“

The New York Times has reported that the department’s Harbor unit has 6 submarine drones; four cost $75,000 and the two others cost $120,000, according to the Times. They are developing a portable radar that can see under clothes in order to search for weapons. Militaristic „Hercules teams,“ are deployed to random parts of the city armed with automatic weapons and body armor. Their explicitly stated role is to terrify people.

10.06.2020 - 11:49 [ NYPD - nyc.gov ]

NYPD: Intelligence and Counterterrorism

The Deputy Commissioner oversees both the Intelligence Bureau, which is responsible for intelligence collection and analysis; and the NYPD’s Counterterrorism Bureau operations, including the partnership with the FBI/NYPD Joint Terrorism Task Force, the first and largest of its kind in the nation.

New York City is home to more than 8 million people and hosts over 58 million visitors from all over the world annually. The Intelligence and Counterterrorism Bureaus provide some of the most highly trained and best equipped officers to patrol the city, collect and analyze data, and collaborate with partner agencies.

10.06.2020 - 11:41 [ NYPD - nyc.gov ]

NYPD: Counterterrorism

The CT Bureau reviews possible terrorist targets and develops innovative, forward-thinking policies and procedures to guard against attacks, training first responders and specialized units and developing intelligence capabilities for detecting and preventing terrorist attacks. The bureau coordinates with federal, state, and other law enforcement agencies in intelligence gathering and sharing, and plays an integral role in the FBI’s Joint Terrorist Task Force.

Critical Response Command (CRC) is one of the Department’s first lines of defense against a terrorist-related attack. A permanent cadre of hand-selected police officers devoted to counterterrorism, CRC members are trained to respond swiftly, with sufficient expertise and force, to the most highly organized and heavily armed attacks. All CRC team members are trained in special weapons and long-range guns, explosive trace detection, radiological and nuclear awareness, biological and chemical weapons awareness, and are equipped with the skills to detect an impending attack and utilize the best possible response to an emerging situation. The team conducts daily counterterrorism deployments to critical infrastructure sites throughout New York City, saturating strategic locations with a uniform presence to disrupt and deter terrorist planning and hostile surveillance operations.

(…)

Domain Awareness System (DAS) is a powerful counterterrorism and policing tool jointly developed and built by the NYPD and Microsoft. As a central platform, DAS is used to aggregate data from internal and external closed-circuit television cameras, license plate readers, and environmental sensors, as well as 911 calls and other NYPD databases. DAS uses an interactive dashboard interface to display real-time alerts whenever a 911 call is received or a sensor is triggered.

09.06.2020 - 08:47 [ Haaretz ]

Israeli Leftists, Apologizing for Your Beliefs Won’t Spare You. Get Off the Defensive

Even if you say “Jewish left” instead of “Israeli left” because it sounds more patriotic, they’ll always have another loyalty test on the way. Because groveling, stammering and apologizing for what you believe in won’t spare you.

The right is ready to go on television, on radio, online, wherever necessary, to defend an apartheid plan, to defend billions being spent at a time of deep recession and to defend a corrupt prime minister. They’re ready to defend the most galling things, and you’re not ready to defend the truth? Try it sometime. Believe me, it’s easier.

09.06.2020 - 06:02 [ Haaretz ]

The Israeli Government Seeks Continuous Coronavirus Emergency

But the fact that the bill authorizes the government to promulgate emergency regulations that critically undermine basic rights (freedom of movement, freedom to demonstrate, the right to privacy, freedom of occupation and more), and to extend them repeatedly, make these rights a dead letter, the “emergency” situation routine and the temporary permanent.

29.05.2020 - 23:34 [ Jason Paladino / Twitter ]

NOW: @CBP Predator Drone #CPB104 circling over Minneapolis at 20K feet. Took off from Grand Forks Air Force Base. #Minneapolisprotests #surveillance #planespotting

29.5.2020Jason

29.05.2020 - 23:29 [ Common Dreams ]

US Border Patrol Denounced as ‚Rogue Agency‘ for Using Predator Drone to Spy on Minneapolis Protests

Civil liberties advocates sounded the alarm Friday after reporting indicated Customs and Border Protection has been flying an unmanned Predator drone over Minneapolis as the city continues to roil with protest over the police killing of George Floyd earlier this week

29.05.2020 - 22:11 [ Motherboard ]

Customs and Border Protection Is Flying a Predator Drone Over Minneapolis

The drone flown over Minneapolis is an unarmed version of the aircraft.

The drone was first spotted on a flight tracking tool by members of the ADB-S Exchange, a community of flight watchers who use open-source flight data to monitor America’s skies. Presumably, the drone is surveilling protests there, though CBP did not respond to a request for comment about what the drone is doing there.

28.05.2020 - 22:33 [ Evan Greer / Twitter ]

Here’s what’s happening: late last night @SpeakerPelosi attempted to ram through a reauthorization of #FISA and #PatriotAct surveillance authorities. But she had to cancel the vote at the last minute when it became clear she didn’t have even close to enough votes to pass it.

She’s trying to blame that on Trump tweeting about it, but the reality is that the vote was going to fail anyway because the entire Congressional Progressive Caucus (nearly 100 member of the House) came out against the bill after Pelosi let @RepAdamSchiff
gut a privacy amendment

Now @SpeakerPelosi
is trying to do an end-run around her own party and is going to attempt to sneak the reauthorization through by using an obscure congressional mechanism to reconcile a previous version of the bill the House passed with the version the Senate passed.

28.05.2020 - 22:29 [ Donald J. Trump, 45th President of the United States of America / Twitter ]

Thank you to our GREAT Republican Congressmen & Congresswomen on your incredibly important blockage last night of a FISA Bill that would just perpetuate the abuse that produced the Greatest Political Crime In the History of the U.S., the Russian Witch-Hunt. Fantastic Job!

28.05.2020 - 22:26 [ ]

The House just ditched a bill that would renew and expand the FBI’s surveillance powers after Trump threatened to veto it

The House of Representatives abandoned a plan to pass a reauthorization of the Patriot Act Thursday after President Donald Trump tweeted that he would veto the bill if it passes.

28.05.2020 - 22:18 [ CommonDreams.org ]

‚Just Let the Patriot Act Die You Cowards‘: House Lawmakers Urged to Vote Down Flawed Domestic Spy Bill

(27.05.2020)

As Common Dreams reported earlier, House Intelligence Committee Chair Rep. Adam Schiff was a target of specific ire for his role in sabotaging the amendment which sought to strengthen the bill’s privacy protections and judicial oversight. As Gizmodo’s Dell Cameron remarked after the day’s developments, „Although it’s really been something of a mass delusion for a while, the idea that Democrats are somehow better than Republicans on the Fourth Amendment is, as of this week, nothing short of a joke.“

The fact that the GOP-controlled Senate has managed to pass more progressive privacy reforms than the Democratic majority in the House, which has introduced precisely none, should not go unnoticed,“ Cameron added.

27.05.2020 - 21:07 [ CNN ]

Trump tweet throws House vote on government surveillance powers into doubt

The request to shelve the vote was the latest hurdle for legislation reauthorizing authorities from the 2001 Patriot Act that’s been squeezed both by FISA opponents who have pushed for more civil liberties protections and by the President and his allies furious over the role of the FISA court in the Russia investigation and the misconduct with warrants obtained on former Trump adviser Carter Page.

„I hope all Republican House Members vote NO on FISA until such time as our Country is able to determine how and why the greatest political, criminal, and subversive scandal in USA history took place!“ Trump tweeted on Tuesday evening.

27.05.2020 - 20:41 [ theGreggJarrett.com ]

Former CBS Reporter One Of The First ‘To Identify Myself As A Target of Illegal Spying Under Obama Admin’

“I believe many, many others were spied on but do not know” said Attkisson. “It was only thanks to help from intelligence contacts that I even learned that government agents were spying me. Otherwise, I never suspected it or would have known.”

27.05.2020 - 20:27 [ Warren Davidson, U.S. Congressman serving Ohio's 8th District. Constitutionalist and former Army Ranger / Twitter ]

Intel & war hawks fight to keep mass surveillance of American citizens in place, and keep America in more wars in more places. Now they want to stop reforms from becoming law so they can preserve the broken status quo. We need @realDonaldTrump to support these reforms & more.

27.05.2020 - 20:01 [ CBS News ]

House to vote on reauthorizing expired surveillance powers

The House is expected to vote on a bill reauthorizing expired national security surveillance authorities on Wednesday afternoon in a vote by proxy, a controversial rule change which allows members to vote on behalf of their absent colleagues. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy has called on Speaker Nancy Pelosi to pull the bill reauthorizing authorities under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, arguing that voting by proxy is unconstitutional.

26.05.2020 - 15:23 [ the Hill ]

This week: Surveillance fight sets early test for House’s proxy voting

The bill initially passed the House in a 278-136 vote in March. But the Senate amended the measure to add more legal protections for certain individuals targeted by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. The changes forces it to be bounced back to the House, which will need to pass it a second time.

Under a deal struck with leadership, the House is expected to consider an amendment, brought by Reps. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.) and Warren Davidson (R-Ohio), that would block law enforcement from being able to access web browsing data without a warrant.

21.05.2020 - 10:59 [ Electronic Frontier Foundation ]

COVID-19 Patients’ Right to Privacy Against Quarantine Surveillance

Governments around the world are using surveillance technologies to monitor whether COVID-19 patients are complying with instructions to quarantine at home. These include GPS ankle shackles, phone apps that track location, and phone apps that require patients to periodically take quarantine selfies and send them to government monitors.

21.05.2020 - 10:50 [ Electronic Frontier Foundation ]

International Proposals for Warrantless Location Surveillance To Fight COVID-19

Time and again, governments have used crises to expand their power, and often their intrusion into citizens’ lives. The COVID-19 pandemic has seen this pattern play out on a huge scale. From deploying drones or ankle monitors to enforce quarantine orders to proposals to use face recognition or thermal imaging cameras for monitoring public spaces, governments around the world have been adopting intrusive measures in their quest to contain the pandemic.

21.05.2020 - 08:03 [ Haaretz ]

Spying on Citizens Permanently

Under cover of the public fear of the spread of the pandemic and the fear that there will be additional waves, the government wants to enlarge its tool box and expand its freedom of action.

We must not cooperate with that. It represents an upsetting of the balance between the power of the regime and citizens’ rights.

19.05.2020 - 20:31 [ American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) ]

Coalition Letter to House Leadership Concerning Wyden-Daines Amendment to USA Freedom Reauthorization Act

Indeed, this would help address serious concerns among the public that civil liberties are at a heightened riskduring this time of crisis. This is an acute concern for the many groups that the FBI has wrongfully targeted in thepast, including activists, communities of color, and the press.With ample support for this measure secured in the Senate, the decision to seize this moment in defense ofAmericans’ civil liberties is exclusively in your hands.

19.05.2020 - 20:17 [ National Coalition Against Censorship (NCAC) ]

NCAC Urges Speaker Pelosi to Support Critical Change to Patriot Act

NCAC has joined a coalition of more than 50 civil liberties, civil rights and government transparency organizations in urging Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and other members of Congress to include civil liberties reforms in the USA Freedom Reauthorization Act of 2020, a bill that would extend surveillance provisions of the Patriot Act which expired in March.

The coalition’s letter to Speaker Pelosi calls for support of the Wyden-Daines amendment to the bill, which prohibits the government from surveilling the internet search and browsing history of people in the United States without a warrant. The Patriot Act was never intended to allow the FBI to warrantlessly spy on our search and browsing history – and that is squarely the question before Speaker Pelosi.

This reform is designed to stave off the kind of scandals that led to a dramatic loss of trust in United States intelligence agencies over the past two decades.

19.05.2020 - 19:16 [ Medium.com ]

Open Letter, May 18, 2020, London: Dear Matt Hancock, we are civil society organisations, privacy advocates and academic researchers writing to express concerns about the NHS’s plans to build a COVID-19 datastore.

We share the common goal of preserving public confidence in systems that can help make us all safer. Therefore, before the NHS continues its plans, we urge you to provide the public with more information and take appropriate measures to reduce risk of data sharing and keep the aggregated data under democratic control.

In March, the NHS announced a new plan to build a datastore that aggregates COVID-19 health data. Microsoft, Google, Palantir, Faculty and Amazon will assist in the development of the datastore and the processing of the data.

19.05.2020 - 19:10 [ Computerweekly.com ]

Privacy advocates demand clarity over Covid-19 datastore

(yesterday)

In an open letter directly addressed to the health secretary, civil society organisations, privacy advocates and academic researchers urged Hancock to give the public more information about the datastore and take appropriate measures to reduce data-sharing risks and keep it under democratic control.

19.05.2020 - 18:45 [ OpenDemocracy.net ]

DemocracyWatch: COVID-19 ushers in a new era of surveillance apps

Last week, Palantir got the US government contract to run a new system for tracking the spread of COVID-19.

It’s not just the US that is boosting surveillance in the pandemic. In tiny Liechtenstein, the government has launched biometric tracker bracelets that automatically collect key medical information. The statelet plans for all citizens to wear them by autumn, while Germany, Turkey and France are also among the 23 countries that have looked at high-tech surveillance measures in response to the crisis.

19.05.2020 - 18:39 [ theVerge.com ]

Peter Thiel’s controversial Palantir is helping build a coronavirus tracking tool for the Trump admin

(21.04.2020)

It is unclear what exactly this data is, where it comes from, or how it’s being used. It’s also unclear if Palantir is the sole technology provider of the tool, or if other partners are involved.

Reports earlier this month first surfaced Palantir’s involvement with the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the UK’s National Health Service regarding coronavirus tracking software and other assistance in combating the global pandemic.

19.05.2020 - 18:15 [ Forbes ]

Facebook: Here’s Proof Israeli WhatsApp Hackers Ran Cyberweapons In America

(24.04.2020)

The tech giant’s counsel filed a response to NSO’s move for dismissal that included two IP addresses and a handful of websites it claims were used by NSO Group to attack WhatsApp users in spring 2019. One was hosted by Amazon Web Services in the U.S., the others by Californian company QuadraNet and a German provider.

19.05.2020 - 18:12 [ theGuardian.com ]

WhatsApp: Israeli firm ‚deeply involved‘ in hacking our users

(29.04.2020)

According to WhatsApp’s filing, NSO gained “unauthorised access” to its servers by reverse-engineering the messaging app and then evading the company’s security features that prevent manipulation of the company’s call features. One WhatsApp engineer who investigated the hacks said in a sworn statement submitted to the court that in 720 instances, the IP address of a remote server was included in the malicious code used in the attacks. The remote server, the engineer said, was based in Los Angeles and owned by a company whose data centre was used by NSO.

18.05.2020 - 19:31 [ PrivateInternetAccess.com ]

Tell your House Representative to vote against letting the FBI access internet history without a warrant

The Patriot Act is up for renewal with the USA FREEDOM Reauthorization Act and this bill as-is allows the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Department of Justice (DOJ) to access your internet history without a warrant. Under this new law, all the DOJ has to do is claim that an American citizen is tangentially related to an ongoing investigation and they’d be able to access your internet history that is stored with your internet service provider (ISP) – this gross privacy violating power must be stopped. The bill is currently in the House of Representatives and could be voted on as soon as next week.

18.05.2020 - 19:26 [ Vox.com ]

The Senate voted to let the government keep surveilling your online life without a warrant

(14.05.2020)

Many senators wanted to forbid the government from secretly collecting information about your internet habits, but an amendment failed by just one vote.

17.05.2020 - 17:15 [ USA Today ]

’50 states and 50 different approaches:‘ States scramble to hire COVID-19 contact tracers

Massachusetts has added more than 1,000 workers and sent some into communities with large numbers of cases. California last week began training the first recruits of a planned 20,000-person contact tracing team. And New York plans to add as many as 17,000 contact tracers through a partnership with former Mayor Mike Bloomberg, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and Resolve to Save Lives, headed by former CDC Director Tom Frieden.

17.05.2020 - 17:00 [ S.C. / Twitter ]

UK – We now have an army of snitches – Michael Gove reveals 17,000 coronavirus contact tracers recruited …

17.05.2020 - 16:42 [ PoliticsHome.com ]

Michael Gove heaps praise on under-fire Matt Hancock and reveals 17,000 coronavirus contact tracers now recruited

A senior government source told the Mail on Sunday last week that Mr Hancock was on “borrowed time” and had “fallen out with the most powerful figures in the Government”, including Mr Johnson.

But Mr Gove, who revealed that “just over 17,000 of the contact tracers” had now been recruited – told Sky News’ Niall Paterson: “Here I have to praise the work of the Health Secretary Matt Hancock.”

17.05.2020 - 06:31 [ Cnet.com ]

COVID-19 could set a new norm for surveillance and privacy

The outbreak has also brought new privacy issues, as companies beef up surveillance with tech like thermal cameras and facial recognition in preparation for when people return to their everyday lives.

Surveillance technology has slowly integrated into our daily lives, with facial recognition getting added as a „convenience“ feature for casinos and ordering food. The coronavirus has sped up that process, in the name of public health.

15.05.2020 - 16:00 [ The Hill / Twitter ]

Sen. @RandPaul : „The PATRIOT Act in the end is not patriotic.“

15.05.2020 - 15:53 [ Vox.com ]

The Senate voted to let the government keep surveilling your online life without a warrant

The measure needed 60 votes to pass. It got 59.

The outcome is especially frustrating since four senators didn’t vote on the amendment at all, and at least one would have voted yes. Lamar Alexander couldn’t vote because he’s quarantined. Two others — Ben Sasse and Bernie Sanders — didn’t respond to request for comment on where they were during the vote. An aide told Politico that Patty Murray would have voted yes had she been there, but the senator was not in Washington, DC, when the vote occurred.

14.05.2020 - 22:56 [ Wall Street Journal ]

More Than a Dozen Obama Officials Requested ‘Unmasking’ That Identified Michael Flynn in Intelligence Reports

The list includes then-Vice President Joe Biden and former CIA Director John Brennan; the requests came after Russian interference in U.S. election.

14.05.2020 - 22:48 [ Fox News ]

Unmasking’ requests number in thousands across administrations, as pols demand details

The numbers reflect how frequently national security and intelligence officials use this tool in their work. Unmasking occurs after U.S. citizens‘ conversations are incidentally picked up in conversations with foreign officials who are being monitored by the intelligence community. The U.S. citizens‘ identities are supposed to be protected if their participation is incidental and no wrongdoing is suspected. However, officials can determine the U.S. citizens‘ names through a process that is supposed to safeguard their rights. In the typical process, when officials are requesting the unmasking of an American, they do not necessarily know the identity of the person in advance.

14.05.2020 - 17:24 [ Daily Mail ]

China brands Britain’s handling of coronavirus as a ‚mess‘ as it blasts Boris Johnson for urging people to get back to work

Beijing’s state-controlled Global Times claimed that Britain would need a ‚miracle‘ to get out of the health crisis as it condemned London’s response to COVID-19 as ‚flippant‘ and ‚ill-prepared‘.

The Communist newspaper slammed Boris Johnson for telling people to go back to work before setting up a track-and-tracing system. It accused the Prime Minister of prioritising the economy over virus control.

13.05.2020 - 09:22 [ FoxWilmington.com ]

Rand Paul, citing Flynn case, proposes FISA amendment to curb surveillance of Americans

Sen. Rand Paul on Tuesday introduced an amendment to the House-passed Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act to protect Americans’ privacy, citing the case against former national security adviser Michael Flynn as an example of “abuse” and saying it “should never be allowed to happen again.”

Paul, R-Ky., who is an outspoken advocate for privacy reforms, proposed an amendment to the USA FREEDOM Reauthorization Act of 2020 – which passed the House on a bipartisan basis earlier this year – to protect Americans’ privacy, ensure due process and “reassert the Fourth Amendment.”

11.05.2020 - 22:01 [ Dakota Gruener / Harvard.edu ]

Immunity Certificates: If We Must Have Them, We Must Do It Right

(20.04.2020)

Credential Use:

1. When the individual attempts to gain access to, for instance, a place of work, the business will verify1.the validity of the credential, then make a determination to grant or deny access. This verification does not require contacting the issuer of the credential.

2. As part of the process of determining whether to grant or deny access, the verifier can compare the cryptographically verified photo against the individual through manual means or through automated facial recognition.

10.05.2020 - 19:33 [ Daily Mail ]

Minister admits Government could start a new contract tracing app as only 52% of Brits say they would download it when it needs 60% of the population to be effective

He said officials were ‚paying attention‘ to how other countries were using technology to keep on top of the crisis.

Other nations have adopted an app model which stores data in a more favourable way, which has fuelled a backlash over privacy concerns.

The ‚centralised‘ model used by the NHS is believed to have caused reluctance to download the app – which ministers have previously denied is a problem.

10.05.2020 - 16:53 [ the Hill ]

Senate revives surveillance brawl

The Senate is set to revive a fight over a shadowy surveillance court, bringing to a head a months-long stalemate that resulted in the lapse of three intelligence programs.

The looming debate, which will pit some of President Trump’s biggest allies against one another, comes on the heels of growing questions about the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) court after the Justice Department inspector general found widespread errors as part of an interim report on warrant applications.

10.05.2020 - 16:23 [ the Hill ]

States build contact tracing armies to crush coronavirus

State governments are building armies of contact tracers in a new phase of the battle against the coronavirus pandemic, returning to a fundamental practice in public health that can at once wrestle the virus under control and put hundreds of thousands of newly jobless people back to work.

California is already conducting contact tracing in 22 counties, and it eventually plans to field a force of 10,000 state employees, who will be given basic training by University of California health experts.

10.05.2020 - 04:59 [ the Hill ]

McConnell urges Senate to reject changes to House-passed surveillance bill

(07.05.2020)

Under a deal struck by Senate leadership, senators will vote on three amendments: One from Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) preventing FISA warrants from being used against Americans, one from Sens. Mike Lee (R-Utah) and Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) on appointing outside advisers, and one from Sens. Steve Daines (R-Mont) and Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) to prevent law enforcement from obtaining internet browsing and search history without a warrant.

10.05.2020 - 04:51 [ Reason.com ]

FISA Surveillance and Possible Reforms Are Back on the Senate’s Agenda

(07.05.2020)

Next week the Senate is poised to resurrect some federal surveillance powers that expired in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. A handful of senators are hoping to force through reforms to better protect Americans‘ privacy.

06.05.2020 - 18:03 [ InvestmentWatchblog.com ]

France Calls for ‘Health Passports” As Germany Rolls Out ‘Immunity Cards’

(02.05.2020)

The mayor of Nice has urged French PM Edouard Philippe to introduce new travel controls during the Covid-19 pandemic through “health passports” in the parts of France which border other countries.

06.05.2020 - 15:51 [ i24News.tv ]

Likud, Blue and White agree to revise unity deal after Supreme Court condemnation

The parties also decided that emergency orders instated to fight the coronavirus pandemic would not extend beyond six months.

The bill known as the „Norwegian law,“ which allows any Member of Knesset (Israel Parliament) appointed to a ministerial post to temporarily resign from the legislative chamber, will reportedly be dropped.

05.05.2020 - 14:03 [ Haaretz ]

Israel’s Gatekeepers Have Become Enablers of a Dangerous Coronavirus Policy

The moment Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced his plan to use “technological methods from the war on terror” to track coronavirus patients, it was clear that it would be impossible to take this candy away from the government’s eager hands. The term “dangerous precedent” was coined for just such situations, in which a tool created for extreme situations slowly makes its way into daily life.

30.04.2020 - 17:27 [ ScientificAmerican.com ]

Will Americans Be Willing to Install COVID-19 Tracking Apps?

Citing an infringement of constitutional rights and freedoms, leaders in the United States have so far been hesitant to adopt such technological approaches, but that may be about to change.

30.04.2020 - 17:20 [ Haaretz ]

Israelis Visiting Malls, Markets Will Have to Download Mandatory Coronavirus Tracking App

(29.04.2020)

Shopping malls and markets across Israel, shut due to the coronavirus outbreak, will only be allowed to reopen after the development of a tracking system that would monitor all visitors, Health Ministry Director General Moshe Bar Siman Tov said at a Monday meeting.

All customers will be required to install a tracking app on their phone to enter shopping malls and markets, once these reopen.

30.04.2020 - 17:17 [ Indianexpress.com ]

1.5 million Israelis using voluntary coronavirus monitoring app

(01.04.2020)

Around 1.5 million Israelis have downloaded a mobile app in the past week that alerts users who have crossed paths with a coronavirus patient, according to the Health Ministry, helping to improve tracking of the pandemic.T he app “HaMagen” – Hebrew for The Shield – is sparking interest from abroad with approaches from Germany, Italy, Britain, Australia and Chile so far, ministry deputy director general Morris Dorfman said Wednesday.

30.04.2020 - 17:13 [ Time ]

Italy Says App Tracing Contacts of People Infected With COVID-19 Will Be Anonymous

Premier Giuseppe Conte’s Cabinet, at a meeting that ended early Thursday, approved a law, in the form of the decree, that guarantees that those who decide not to use the app won’t suffer limits on their movement or other rights.

30.04.2020 - 15:56 [ the Hill ]

Americans begin to move amid growing frustrations with social distancing

Americans who have endured a month or more of state-ordered lockdowns related to the spread of the coronavirus in recent days have been venturing out of their homes more as they grow frustrated after spending so much time away from their normal lives.

Cellphone data collected by the University of Maryland’s Maryland Transportation Institute shows the percentage of people staying at home in most states peaked around April 14, the Tuesday after Easter.

29.04.2020 - 13:25 [ Haaretz ]

Facebook Alleges Israeli Spyware Firm NSO Ran Attack Servers on U.S. Soil

(26.04.2020)

NSO also claimed that it and Q Cyber are entitled to immunity because they operate in the service of foreign countries. Facebook claims that the Israeli companies are not entitled to such immunity under U.S. law.

27.04.2020 - 11:23 [ Haaretz ]

Israeli Government Is Invading Our Privacy Under the Guise of Battling Coronavirus

Two weeks ago, the council had already discussed the possibility of a popular revolt and how the government could prevent an uprising against the authorities. Among other things, it considered how the state “could forestall dangers that could lead to widespread social unrest” that might spark protests against the government and state institutions.

It turns out that soldiers and officers from one of Military Intelligence’s classified intelligence gathering units gathered data and analyzed it for the task force that the National Security Council appointed for this purpose.

23.04.2020 - 15:54 [ Daily Mail ]

Tory MPs‘ fury at lockdown limbo: Backbenchers urge ministers to set out detailed plan for easing restrictions as Chief Medical Officer Whitty warns some social distancing will be in place for a YEAR

– Government under pressure to set out a detailed plan to get out of lockdown
– Tory MPs fear without certainty many businesses will not be able to stay alive
– Senior backbenchers believe it is ’silly‘ not to trust the public with all the facts
– Scottish government will today publish its roadmap for easing restrictions
– Came as officials work to set up 15,000 strong coronavirus contact tracing army

22.04.2020 - 18:05 [ Daily Beast ]

Team Trump Turns to Peter Thiel’s Palantir to Track Virus

Palantir, the data-mining firm created by investor Peter Thiel, is best known for its work with global intelligence, military, and law enforcement agencies. Now, the company has a contract with the Department of Health and Human Services to help the federal government create a new data platform called HHS Protect Now.

The Daily Beast has confirmed that Palantir will provide a major aspect of the analytics platform.

17.04.2020 - 11:30 [ Haaretz ]

Israel Is Heading for a Shin Bet Police State

The pattern is familiar and dangerous: Start with ostensibly minimal means for a limited time, then expand the means and duration until they become permanent. Now it’s the fight against the coronavirus, tomorrow it will be the fight against crime – and finally the fight against the government’s opponents. History is paved with examples of emergency measures becoming routine.

16.04.2020 - 14:18 [ Haaretz ]

With No Checks on Power, Israel Also Wants Shin Bet to Map Coronavirus Hot Spots

Haaretz has learned that this deep, dark secret amounts to the addition of another layer of analysis to the information that’s already being collected about us, with the aim of mapping areas where restrictions could, or could not, be lifted. That accompanies the army’s proposal to divide the country into color-coded zones based on the incidence of COVID-19 in each.

14.04.2020 - 21:18 [ Ron Paul / ]

A Healthcare PATRIOT Act?

Federally mandated healthcare IDs and databases will weaken healthcare. Patients must provide details regarding their personal lives and habits so their physicians can make diagnoses. How comfortable would people be sharing this information if they knew it would be stored in a federal “health tracking” database?

04.04.2020 - 18:27 [ Electronic Frontier Foundation ]

How EFF Evaluates Government Demands for New Surveillance Powers

Even in the midst of a crisis, the public must carefully evaluate such government demands, because surveillance invades privacy, deters free speech, and unfairly burdens vulnerable groups. It also metastasizes behind closed doors. And new surveillance powers tend to stick around. For example, nearly two decades after the 9/11 attacks, the NSA is still conducting dragnet Internet surveillance.

Thus, when governments demand new surveillance powers—especially now, in the midst of a crisis like the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak—EFF has three questions:

– First, has the government shown its surveillance would be effective at solving the problem?
– Second, if the government shows efficacy, we ask: Would the surveillance do too much harm to our freedoms?
– Third, if the government shows efficacy, and the harm to our freedoms is not excessive, we ask: Are there sufficient guardrails around the surveillance?

01.04.2020 - 13:46 [ Stephen Lendman / GlobalResearch.ca ]

COVID-19 and Economic Duress: A Pretext to Enhance Police State Powers? Suspension of Constitutional Rights During COVID-19?

Crises are times when ruling authorities convince people to sacrifice personal freedoms for greater security — not realizing that both will be lost.

Ruling authorities take advantage of times like now by instituting draconian policies they’re unable to introduce during normal times without risking mass rebellion.

01.04.2020 - 09:40 [ Haaretz ]

Too Big a Brother

Under the cover of the spreading coronavirus, the government is deepening its invasion of the lives of this country’s citizens. Defense Minister Naftali Bennett continues to use his temporary authority in order to promote plans that run roughshod over the right to privacy, while demolishing the distinction, so vital in a democracy, between the army and civil society.

31.03.2020 - 01:07 [ NationalReview.com ]

Rhode Island’s Governor Sends the National Guard Out in a Door-to-Door Search for New Yorkers

For those wondering if this violates the 1878 Posse Comitatus Act, the National Guard can be used to assist state and local law enforcement, if invited by the state’s governor.

25.03.2020 - 04:09 [ i24news.tv ]

Netanyahu’s Likud accuses Blue and White of ’stealing the Parliament‘

Other special committees to be established will focus on education, violence in Israeli Arab communities and labor and welfare; the four special panels will need to be approved by the plenum Tuesday.

These included Finance and Foreign Affairs and Defense panels, with the latter set to establish a special committee that will supervise the contentious Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency)-led coronavirus patients surveillance program.

24.03.2020 - 09:52 [ Axios.com ]

Location data likely to play limited role in fighting coronavirus

As COVID-19 worsens, though, expect to see a greater willingness to trade privacy for effective health surveillance, just as 9/11 led to a tightening of security around airports and other public spaces.

„A situation like the pandemic creates a fundamental shift in how people react to technology. This is the direction we are going to be moving in.“

— Labhesh Patel, chief technology officer at Jumio, an ID verification company

The bottom line: We’ve already given up so much in the fight against COVID-19. Some elements of personal privacy may be the next to go — and don’t expect the surveillance to end when the pandemic does.

24.03.2020 - 09:44 [ Forbes ]

Coronavirus, Surveillance And The Redefinition Of The Social Contract

We should listen to somebody who grew up in a society where there were no civil rights, Angela Merkel, talk about how the current situation justifies restricting our movements. And matters will not stop there: people might have been shocked when they saw China use apps and geolocation to control the movements of its population during the spread of the infection, but we now see Hong Kong, South Korea and Taiwan following suit: their success is being used to justify population control measures that would be completely unacceptable under normal circumstances.

23.03.2020 - 07:52 [ CNN ]

In the battle against coronavirus, personal privacy is at risk

When Declan Chan arrived in Hong Kong from Zurich on March 17 after six weeks overseas, city officials made him put on a plain-looking white wristband and download an app called StayHomeSafe before he exited the airport.
He was told to register on the app once he got home, which would start a 14-day countdown, and walk to all four corners of his apartment so it could capture the location and confines of his home.

19.03.2020 - 21:57 [ Haaretz ]

Raise the Black Flag at Home. Stand Up to the Tyrant Netanyahu

For years and years, we wondered when the occupation would come home.

It happened this week.

As the settlers once said in a different context: Yesha Zeh Kan – Judea, Samaria and Gaza are here.

One set of laws for the tyrant’s allies. Another set of laws for everyone else. Innocent civilians hounded. Their persecutor – never held accountable.

Raise the black flag. Stand up to the tyrant.

This is the fitting flag for this new Israel.

19.03.2020 - 21:53 [ Haaretz ]

Netanyahu Is Using Coronavirus to Hold Onto Power

Panic over the coronavirus, justified as it may be, mustn’t blind the public from seeing how the temporary prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, and members of his party are exploiting the crisis to hold onto power. Through their management of the coronavirus crisis, Netanyahu and his government are neutralizing the justice system and quarantining the legislature.

19.03.2020 - 21:50 [ Haaretz ]

‚Total Suspension of Individual Freedom‘: Inside Israel’s Secret Coronavirus Debate

These special means include gathering data about a person’s location via their cellphone and additional technological information using secret tools, and cross-referencing all of the data.

The process identifies all of the contacts coronavirus patients have had and the places they were, whether they are aware of it or not.

19.03.2020 - 15:06 [ Noa Landau נעה לנדאו / Twitter ]

Israeli police tries to stop thousands of cars raising black flags on their way to Jerusalem, to protest anti-democratic measures in midst of #Covid_19 outbreak, such as closure of Knesset. When asked ‘why’, this policeman said ‘because!’

19.03.2020 - 15:04 [ Haaretz ]

Police Arrest Protesters Against ‚Assault on Democracy‘ at Knesset

Protesters said they were angry at anti-democratic measures being taken to fight the coronavirus outbreak, such as this week’s decision to use cyber measures to track the location of people diagnosed with the virus as well as suspected coronavirus patients, in addition to strict restrictions to achieve social distancing, such as barring thousands of people from leaving their homes.

Further, Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein dispersed parliament on Wednesday, deepening the paralyzation of Israel’s legislative body, which critics have seen as an attack on the checks and balances within Israel’s democratic institutions.

19.03.2020 - 07:31 [ Haaretz ]

LISTEN: Will Israel’s Cyber Spies Let Bibi Use Coronavirus to Kill Democracy?

Israel, paralyzed by the global COVID-19 crisis and by permanent political crisis, has passed a series of worrying measures to stem the spread of the virus. LISTEN FREE.

18.03.2020 - 19:48 [ Haaretz ]

Netanyahu’s Coronavirus Coup: Israelis’ Basic Rights Are Now on Life Support

We are about to let the government gain absolute control over our lives – and thus know who we are, where we have been, when and with whom and who we speak to and when – without any form of consent or restriction.

18.03.2020 - 19:12 [ i24news.tv ]

Coronavirus surveillance: What can the Israeli gov’t know about its citizens?

Israel’s interim government, led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, approved an emergency regulation on Monday, March 16, that allows the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) to track citizens’ cell phones in an unprecedented move to fight the coronavirus pandemic.

12.03.2020 - 13:41 [ New York Times ]

Trial of Programmer Accused in C.I.A. Leak Ends in Hung Jury

Prosecutors were careful to avoid details about specific operations. During cross-examination, Ms. Shroff asked one C.I.A. witness: “Do you recall a time when the C.I.A. covertly tried to read Angela Merkel’s emails?” referring to the German chancellor.

The government objected, and the judge stopped the witness from answering.

12.03.2020 - 13:01 [ DailyDot.com ]

What Chelsea Manning teaches us about the U.S. military’s mental health crisis

(17.01.2017)

In Iraq, a sign hung above the desks of the targeting analysts in the intelligence shop where Manning worked: “If you think for one second you can come in here and bug us with sissy shit you might want to rethink your pathetic life.”

23.02.2020 - 16:57 [ solidus / Twitter ]

Germany prepares for reprisal attacks after Muslim massacre in Hanau. Security being stepped up, authorities monitoring far-left and Islamic groups

22.02.2020 - 19:12 [ theIntercept.com ]

Leaked Reports Show EU Police Are Planning a Pan-European Network of Facial Recognition Databases

According to leaked internal European Union documents, the EU could soon be creating a network of national police facial recognition databases. A report drawn up by the national police forces of 10 EU member states, led by Austria, calls for the introduction of EU legislation to introduce and interconnect such databases in every member state. The report, which The Intercept obtained from a European official who is concerned about the network’s development, was circulated among EU and national officials in November 2019. If previous data-sharing arrangements are a guide, the new facial recognition network will likely be connected to similar databases in the U.S., creating what privacy researchers are calling a massive transatlantic consolidation of biometric data.

19.02.2020 - 17:26 [ theIntercept.com ]

Mike Bloomberg Ran Stasi-Style Police and Surveillance Operations Against Muslim Americans

New York University professor Nikhil Pal Singh, author of “Race and America’s Long War,” dissects Bloomberg’s record, his “racial terror” tactics in New York City, and what his candidacy says about the state of electoral politics in the U.S. Attorney Diala Shamas of the Center for Constitutional Rights, who fought Bloomberg over his Muslim surveillance program, describes the New York Police Department’s “Demographics Unit” that targeted Muslim Americans and their businesses, houses of worship, and restaurants. Shamas compares the surveillance program to some of the activities of the East German Stasi secret police and says Bloomberg’s use of the program should be seen as an ominous sign of what he might do as president.

16.02.2020 - 15:12 [ theIntercept.com ]

Mike Bloomberg in 2014: “We Should Hope” the NSA Is “Reading Every Email”

“Look, if you don’t want it to be in the public domain, don’t take that picture, don’t write it down. In this day and age, you’ve got to be pretty naive to believe that the NSA isn’t listening to everything and reading every email,” Bloomberg said. “And incidentally, given how dangerous the world is, we should hope they are, because this is really serious, what’s going on in the world.”