SURVEILLANCE

N.S.A. Contractor Arrested in Possible New Theft of Secrets

The F.B.I. secretly arrested a National Security Agency contractor in recent weeks and is investigating whether he stole and disclosed highly classified computer code developed to hack into the networks of foreign governments, according to several senior law enforcement and intelligence officials.

The theft raises the embarrassing prospect that for the second time in three years, an insider has managed to steal highly damaging secret information from the N.S.A. In 2013, Edward J. Snowden, who was also a contractor for the agency, took a vast trove of documents that were later passed to journalists, exposing N.S.A. surveillance programs in the United States and abroad.
READ MORE: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/10/06/us/nsa-leak-booz-allen-hamilton.html?_r=1

Yahoo secretly built a tool to scan all email in realtime for US spies

In 2015, Yahoo CEO Marissa Meyer ordered the company's engineers to build a tool that scanned Yahoo Mail messages in realtime for "characters" of interest to a US security agency, either the FBI or the NSA.

As far as we know, the move was unprecedented in US tech history, and it triggered the departure of then-CSO Alex Stamos (previously), now CSO for Facebook.
READ MORE: http://boingboing.net/2016/10/04/yahoo-secretly-built-a-tool-to.html

Yahoo! couldn't! detect! hackers! in! its! network! but! can! spot! NSFW! smut! in! your! office?

Having laid bare over half a billion usernames and passwords through meager funding and witless indifference, Yahoo! is putting its faith in artificial intelligence to protect people from bare skin.

Yahoo! engineers Jay Mahadeokar and Gerry Pesavento in a blog post on Friday said the company has released an open-source model for detecting images deemed "not safe for work" (NSFW).

"To the best of our knowledge, there is no open source model or algorithm for identifying NSFW images," the pair wrote. "In the spirit of collaboration and with the hope of advancing this endeavor, we are releasing our deep learning model that will allow developers to experiment with a classifier for NSFW detection, and provide feedback to us on ways to improve the classifier."
READ MORE: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2016/09/30/yahoo_nsfw_detector/

Community Control Over Police Surveillance

A coalition of seventeen organizations has launched an effort to combat the growing Surveillance State by supporting accountability measures in eleven cities across the United States.

On Wednesday, the American Civil Liberties Union and a coalition of sixteen other civil liberties and technology firms announced the beginning of a national effort to combat the growth of secretive surveillance technology. The coalition’s aim is to “stop the unchecked, secret, and too often discriminatory use of surveillance technologies by local police and to move their approval process out of the darkness and into the light.”
READ MORE: http://www.activistpost.com/2016/09/national-effort-launches-to-fight-su...

Long-Secret Stingray Manuals Detail How Police Can Spy on Phones

Harris Corp.’s Stingray surveillance device has been one of the most closely guarded secrets in law enforcement for more than 15 years. The company and its police clients across the United States have fought to keep information about the mobile phone-monitoring boxes from the public against which they are used. The Intercept has obtained several Harris instruction manuals spanning roughly 200 pages and meticulously detailing how to create a cellular surveillance dragnet.
READ MORE: https://theintercept.com/2016/09/12/long-secret-stingray-manuals-detail-...

MIT's New Toy Can Read Closed Books Using Terahertz Radiation

The technology could help librarians read rare books without handling them, or help snoop on sealed documents.

A group of researchers from MIT and Georgia Tech have built a device that can see through paper and distinguish ink from blank paper to determine what is written on the sheets. The prototype successfully identified letters printed on the top nine sheets of a stack of paper, and eventually the researchers hope to develop a system that can read closed books that have actual covers.
READ MORE: http://www.popularmechanics.com/technology/a22797/mits-new-device-read-c...

The Privacy Wars Are About to Get A Whole Lot Worse

It used to be that server logs were just boring utility files whose most dramatic moments came when someone forgot to write a script to wipe out the old ones and so they were left to accumulate until they filled the computer’s hard-drive and crashed the server.

Then, a series of weird accidents turned server logs into the signature motif of the 21st century, a kind of eternal, ubiquitous exhaust from our daily lives, the CO2 of the Internet: invisible, seemingly innocuous, but harmful enough, in aggregate, to destroy our world.
READ MORE: http://www.locusmag.com/Perspectives/2016/09/cory-doctorowthe-privacy-wa...

Peter Dunne is working for the Antichrist and Satan: Super Gold card to be blended with biometric ID RealMe

United Future wants to give the SuperGold Card a super makeover. It wants to allow it to be used nationally as ID, a public transport card, and a health information card. It would do this by blending it with the Government's RealMe identification service, and be dubbed "Super Me". United Future leader Peter Dunne said it would simplify things.

"Much more comprehensive access to services than having to have different cards for different purposes."
READ MORE: http://www.newstalkzb.co.nz/news/politics/peter-dunne-the-supergold-card...

Inside Menwith Hill The NSA’s British Base at the Heart of U.S. Targeted Killing

Once known only by the code name Field Station 8613, the secret base — now called Menwith Hill Station — is located about nine miles west of the small town of Harrogate in North Yorkshire. Originally used to monitor Soviet communications through the Cold War, its focus has since dramatically shifted, and today it is a vital part of the NSA’s sprawling global surveillance network.

For years, journalists and researchers have speculated about what really goes on inside Menwith Hill, while human rights groups and some politicians have campaigned for more transparency about its activities. Yet the British government has steadfastly refused to comment, citing a longstanding policy not to discuss matters related to national security.
READ MORE: https://theintercept.com/2016/09/06/nsa-menwith-hill-targeted-killing-su...

How Spy Tech Firms Let Governments See Everything on a Smartphone

Want to invisibly spy on 10 iPhone owners without their knowledge? Gather their every keystroke, sound, message and location? That will cost you $650,000, plus a $500,000 setup fee with an Israeli outfit called the NSO Group. You can spy on more people if you would like — just check out the company’s price list.

The NSO Group is one of a number of companies that sell surveillance tools that can capture all the activity on a smartphone, like a user’s location and personal contacts. These tools can even turn the phone into a secret recording device.
READ MORE: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/09/03/technology/nso-group-how-spy-tech-firm...

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