Why Lowly Banner Will Go Down as Hero of Post-Search World | Special: 2013 Opinion Issue - Advertising Age

journalofajournalist:

Here’s something that’s a worthy read for everyone (like me) who’s fascinated by web tracking and the way marketing companies follow our every physical movement and online activities. A smart, no-nonsense op-ed about how banner ads paved the way for incredibly granular tracking of users.

arielnietzsche:

Appeals Court Caves to TSA Over Nude Body Scanners via Wired.com

A federal appeals court on Tuesday said it was giving the Transportation Security Administration until the end of March to comport with an already 14-month-old order to “promptly” hold public hearings and take public comment concerning the so-called nude body scanners installed in U.S. airport security checkpoints.

The public comments and the agency’s answers to them are reviewable by a court, which opens up a new avenue for a legal challenge to the agency’s decision to deploy the scanners. Critics maintain the scanners, which use radiation to peer through clothes, are threats to Americans’ privacy and health, which the TSA denies.

On July 15, 2011, the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit set aside a constitutional challenge brought by the Electronic Privacy Information Center trying to stop the government from using intrusive body scanners across U.S. airports. But the decision also ordered the TSA “to act promptly” and hold public hearings and publicly adopt rules and regulations about the scanners’ use, which it has not done, in violation of federal law.

Then on Aug. 1 of this year, the court ordered (.pdf) the TSA to explain why it had not complied with its order. In response, the agency said it was expected to publish, by the end of February, a notice in the Federal Register opening up the Advanced Imaging Technology scanners to public comments and public hearings. That would be 19 months after the court order.

On Tuesday, the court gave the TSA until the end of March, meaning the agency has 20 months to “promptly” comply with the court’s order. EPIC was urging the appeals court to reverse the court’s blessing of the so-called nude body scanners because of the TSA’s lack of compliance with the court’s original order.

The Transportation Security Administration has denied allegations from the Electronic Privacy Information Center that it was stonewalling the court’s order. (.pdf) The TSA said the agency was having staffing issues and was awaiting approval from the Department of Homeland Security and the Office of Management and Budget before it releases public documents associated with its 2009 decision to make the body scanners the “primary” security apparatus at the nation’s airports.

The three-judge appellate court, which is one stop from the Supreme Court, ruled last year that the TSA breached federal law when it formally adopted the Advanced Imaging Technology scanners as the primary method of screening. The judges — while allowing the scanners to be used — said the TSA violated the Administrative Procedures Act for failing to have a 90-day public comment period, and ordered the agency to undertake one.

Under the Administrative Procedures Act, agency decisions like the TSA’s move toward body scanners must go through what is often termed a “notice and comment” period if their new rules would substantially affect the rights of the public — in this case, air passengers. But the court’s decision last year did not penalize the TSA for its shortcomings. The TSA argued to the court that a public comment period would thwart the government’s ability to respond to “ever-evolving threats.”

Concerns about the machines include the graphicness of the human images, the potential health risks and the scanners’ effectiveness.

Consider labeling the Iran-Venezuela alliance the “biggest threat to hemispheric stability since the Cold War.” You’re probably thinking he put that qualifier in there so U.S. actions during the Cold War wouldn’t count. After all the U.S. overthrew Guatemala’s democratic government in 1954, installing a military regime that terrorized the country for decades. It backed Central American death squads that killed hundreds of thousands of people and (starting with the overthrow of Brazil’s government in the 1960s and proceeding with Kissinger’s Operation Condor in the 1970s) put military dictators in power in most of South America. But those things wouldn’t count anyway. When the United States overthrows government after government, with domino chains of military coups putting pro-U.S. dictatorships in power throughout most of the hemisphere, that’s protecting stability, not threatening it. It’s all for the sake of defeating that “radical populism,” which is by definition a threat to stability. And in Securityspeak, saying a Venezuela-Iran military alliance is a “threat” doesn’t mean they might attack the U.S. and invade its territory. It means they might be able to fight back when the U.S. attacks them — that the U.S. might not be able to defeat them and put a stop to the threat of “radical populism.” In other words, they might get away with taking land away from oligarchs and patrons and distributing it to the people who actually work it, and their economies might start serving the interests of the people who live there instead of Norteamericano corporations. And that would be bad. Similarly, “national security” refers not, as you might expect in English, to the security of the American people. It refers to the security of the American state and the coalition of class interests that controls it. Economic populism is indeed a threat to “national security” in this sense. American economic elites are the heart of one of the opposing sides in the age-old conflict between those who own the world and those whose blood and sweat enrich those who own the world. When a functionary of the American state like Daremblum refers to a “threat to national security,” he means a threat to the ability of the hemisphere’s owning classes to extract wealth from the blood and sweat of the rest of us.
On Translating Securityspeak Into English by Kevin Carson (via arielnietzsche)
planetsconverse:

anarcho-queer:

Drones To Watch Over UK Streets
Unmanned police drones, comparable to those used in war zones such as Afghanistan, could soon be secretly watching over the streets of UK cities, according to a National Police Air Service director.
­The unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) are being considered to monitor crowded events in Britain, such as concerts and festivals, as soon as the aerial units become cost-effective.
“I see unmanned systems as part of the future. There is an aircraft over London all the time — every day, giving images back. Why does it need to be a very expensive helicopter? If somebody gave me an unmanned system that I could use as I use a helicopter at half the cost, within the regulations, I would buy it tomorrow.”  Superintendent Richard Watson said in a presentation to the defense industry, reports The Times.
Some police precincts have tried using the remote-controlled system to curb crime. Now the idea is to implement the drone policy nationwide.
Watson said that one manufacturer had proposed an 81-million-pound (around US$127 million) system in a deal that far exceeds the annual National Police Air Service budget of a little over 60 million pounds ($95 million), reports The Telegraph.
The UK already has a drone manufacturing industry and infrastructure. In August 2005, a contract was awarded to Thales UK, worth around 700 million pounds ($1.1 billion), to create the Watchkeeper Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Program, to support the UK’s war effort in Afghanistan, reports Defense Industry Daily. The program was also designed to create around 2000 high-quality manufacturing jobs in the country.

Fucking disgusting.
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planetsconverse:

anarcho-queer:

Drones To Watch Over UK Streets

Unmanned police drones, comparable to those used in war zones such as Afghanistan, could soon be secretly watching over the streets of UK cities, according to a National Police Air Service director.

­The unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) are being considered to monitor crowded events in Britain, such as concerts and festivals, as soon as the aerial units become cost-effective.

I see unmanned systems as part of the future. There is an aircraft over London all the time — every day, giving images back. Why does it need to be a very expensive helicopter? If somebody gave me an unmanned system that I could use as I use a helicopter at half the cost, within the regulations, I would buy it tomorrow.”  Superintendent Richard Watson said in a presentation to the defense industry, reports The Times.

Some police precincts have tried using the remote-controlled system to curb crime. Now the idea is to implement the drone policy nationwide.

Watson said that one manufacturer had proposed an 81-million-pound (around US$127 million) system in a deal that far exceeds the annual National Police Air Service budget of a little over 60 million pounds ($95 million), reports The Telegraph.

The UK already has a drone manufacturing industry and infrastructure. In August 2005, a contract was awarded to Thales UK, worth around 700 million pounds ($1.1 billion), to create the Watchkeeper Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Program, to support the UK’s war effort in Afghanistan, reports Defense Industry Daily. The program was also designed to create around 2000 high-quality manufacturing jobs in the country.

Fucking disgusting.

TrapWire Tied To Anti-Occupy Internet-Spy Program

anarcho-queer:

How do you make matters worse for an elusive intelligence company that has been forced to scramble for explanations about their ownership of an intricate, widespread surveillance program? Just ask Cubic, whose troubles only begin with TrapWire.

Days after the international intelligence gathering surveillance system called TrapWire was unraveled by RT, an ongoing investigation into any and all entities with ties to the technology has unturned an ever-increasing toll of creepy truths. In only the latest installment of the quickly snowballing TrapWire saga, a company that shares several of the same board members as the secret spy system has been linked to a program called Tartan, which aims to track down alleged anarchists by specifically singling out Occupy Wall Street protesters and the publically funded media — all with the aid of federal agents.

Tartan, a product of the Ntrepid Corporation, exposes and quantifies key influencers and hidden connections in social networks using mathematical algorithms for objective, un-biased output,its website claims. “Our analysts, mathematicians and computer scientists are continually exploring new quantification, mining and visualization techniques in order to better analyze social networks.” In order to prove as such, their official website links to the executive summary of a case study dated this year that examines social network connections among so-called anarchists, supposedly locating hidden ties within an underground movement that was anchored on political activists and even the Public Broadcasting Station [.pdf].

“Tartan was used to reveal a hidden network of relationships among anarchist leaders of seemingly unrelated movements,” the website claims. “The study exposed the affiliations within this network that facilitate the viral spread of violent and illegal tactics to the broader protest movement in the United States.”

Tartan is advertised on their site as a must-have application for the national security sector, politicians and federal law enforcement, and makes a case by claiming that an amorphous network of anarchist and protest groups,made up of Occupy Oakland, PBS, Citizen Radio, Crimethinc and others, relies on “influential leaders,” “modern technology” and “illegal tactics” to spread a message of anarchy across America.

“The organizers of Occupy Wall Street and Occupy DC have built Occupy networks through online communication with anarchists actively participating in the movements’ founding,” the executive summary reads. On the chart that accompanies their claim, the group lists several political activism groups and broadcast networks within a ring of alleged anarchy, which also includes an unnamed FBI informant.

Although emails uncovered in a hack last year waged at Strategic Forecasting, or Stratfor, suggested that Occupy groups had been under private surveillance, the latest discovery of publically available information implies that the extent to which the monitoring of political activists on American soil occurred may have extended what was previously imagined.

The Government is Tracking You

futurejournalismproject:

Ars Technica and the Center for Democracy & Technology have partnered on a series that explores Internet and mobile laws and policies, and how they effect society.

Here’s disconcerting news about how government and law enforcement are tracking everyday people.

Figures released earlier this month should [make] clear that government surveillance is so widespread that the chances of the average, innocent person being swept up in an electronic dragnet are much higher than previously appreciated. The revelation should lead to long overdue legal reforms.

The new figures, resulting from a Congressional inquiry, indicate that cell phone companiesresponded last year to at least 1.3 million government requests for customer data—ranging from subscriber identifying information to call detail records (who is calling whom), geolocation tracking, text messages, and full-blown wiretaps.

Almost certainly, the 1.3 million figure understates the scope of government surveillance. One carrier provided no data. And the inquiry only concerned cell phone companies. Not included were ISPs and e-mail service providers such as Google, which we know have also seen a growing tide of government requests for user data. The data released this month was also limited to law enforcement investigations—it does not encompass the government demands made in the name of national security, which are probably as numerous, if not more. And what was counted as a single request could have covered multiple customers. For example, an increasingly favorite technique of government agents is to request information identifying all persons whose cell phones were near a particular cell tower during a specific time period—this sweeps in data on hundreds of people, most or all of them entirely innocent.

How did we get to a point where communications service providers are processing millions of government demands for customer data every year? The answer is two-fold. The digital technologies we all rely on generate and store huge amounts of data about our communications, our whereabouts and our relationships. And since it’s digital, that information is easier than ever to copy, disclose, and analyze. Meanwhile, the privacy laws that are supposed to prevent government overreach have failed to keep pace. The combination of powerful technology and weak standards has produced a perfect storm of privacy erosion.

Ars Technica, Millions of Americans now fall within government’s digital dragnet.

F.D.A. Surveillance of Scientists Spread to Outside Critics - NYTimes.com

What began as a narrow investigation into the possible leaking of confidential agency information by five scientists quickly grew in mid-2010 into a much broader campaign to counter outside critics of the agency’s medical review process, according to the cache of more than 80,000 pages of computer documents generated by the surveillance effort.

[…]

The extraordinary surveillance effort grew out of a bitter dispute lasting years between the scientists and their bosses at the F.D.A. over the scientists’ claims that faulty review procedures at the agency had led to the approval of medical imaging devices for mammograms and colonoscopies that exposed patients to dangerous levels of radiation.

A confidential government review in May by the Office of Special Counsel, which deals with the grievances of government workers, found that the scientists’ medical claims were valid enough to warrant a full investigation into what it termed “a substantial and specific danger to public safety.”

The documents captured in the surveillance effort — including confidential letters to at least a half-dozen Congressional offices and oversight committees, drafts of legal filings and grievances, and personal e-mails — were posted on a public Web site, apparently by mistake, by a private document-handling contractor that works for the F.D.A. The New York Times reviewed the records and their day-by-day, sometimes hour-by-hour accounting of the scientists’ communications.

With the documents from the surveillance cataloged in 66 huge directories, many Congressional staff members regarded as sympathetic to the scientists each got their own files containing all their e-mails to or from the whistle-blowers. Drafts and final copies of letters the scientists sent to Mr. Obama about their safety concerns were also included.

Last year, the scientists found that a few dozen of their e-mails had been intercepted by the agency. They filed a lawsuit over the issue in September, after four of the scientists had been let go, and The Washington Post first disclosed the monitoring in January. But the wide scope of the F.D.A. surveillance operation, its broad range of targets across Washington, and the huge volume of computer information that it generated were not previously known, even to some of the targets.

The NSA's warrantless wiretapping is a crime, not a state secret

arielnietzsche:

This week, cellphone carriers publicly reported that US law enforcement made an astounding 1.3m demands for customer text messages, caller locations, and other information last year. The disclosure has sparked a flood of press coverage and consumer outrage, given much of the information was obtained without a warrant.

But this is only one way that communications and communications records are being monitored by the government. Since 2006, Americans have known that the National Security Agency (NSA), in league with telecommunications carriers like AT&T, has been engaging in mass warrantless surveillance of millions of ordinary Americans. And since shortly thereafter, the Electronic Frontier Foundation has been suing to stop it.

Despite the fact that the mass wiretapping was first exposed by the New York Times in 2005, and subsequently reported on by dozens of news organizations, the government continues to maintain that the “state secrets” privilege should prevent the courts from even the basic determination of whether the NSA’s actions are legal or constitutional. This position isn’t correct legally, since, in 1978, Congress created the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance law specifically requiring the courts to determine the legality of electronic surveillance. But it also isn’t the right answer for a country founded on the supremacy of law and the constitutional protections against untargeted searches and seizures.

Now, three longtime NSA employees – William E Binney, Thomas A Drake, and J Kirk Wiebe – have come forward and offered additional inside evidence to support the lawsuit, all of which confirms what an increasing mountain of evidence shows: that the US government is engaging in mass dragnet surveillance of innocent, untargeted American people, as well as foreigners whose messages are routed through the US. As Binney states, “the NSA is storing all personal electronic communications.”

Our lawsuits – first, against the telecommunications carriers, and now, against the government directly – also included other undisputed evidence from a former AT&T technician named Mark Klein. He provided blueprints and photographs showing an NSA-installed “secret room” in an AT&T facility less than a mile from EFF’s San Francisco office, which experts say siphons massive amounts of internet usage data, phone calls and records flowing through the facility directly to the NSA.

The surveillance has not stopped, either. In 2009, after President George W Bush left office, the New York Times reported that the NSA was still collecting purely domestic communications of Americans’ in a “significant and systemic” way. In 2010, the Washington Post reported:

“Every day, collection systems at the National Security Agency intercept and store 1.7bn emails, phone calls and other types of communications.”

And a Wired investigation published in March revealed the NSA is currently constructing a huge data center in Utah, meant to store and analyze “vast swaths of the world’s communications” from foreign and domestic networks.

The government’s response? A preposterous claim that no court can consider the legality of this surveillance unless the government formally admits it. In fact, the government maintains that even if all the allegations are true, the case should be thrown out under the state secret privilege.

The courts should not participate in this charade, nor should the American people or Congress. We are currently asking the court to rule that the 1978 FISA law supersedes the government’s claim of state secrets and requires the court to rule on the legality of the surveillance.

And in Congress, two US senators, Ron Wyden and Mark Udall, have been asking the NSA for a year simply for a ballpark figure of how many Americans have had their communications surveilled by the spy agency. The NSA finally responded two weeks ago, claiming it did not have the capacity to find such number. Apparently unaware of the irony, the NSA argued that releasing an estimate of how many people’s emails they read would violate Americans’ privacy.

Sadly, the UK government seems to be following suit, proposing its own mass surveillance plan, asking Parliament to pass a law allowing the government to monitor every email, text and phone call in the country. But at least in the UK, the plan is now public – after an earlier secret one was inadvertently revealed.

Whether the threat comes from the warrantless surveillance of our cell phone location data by the local police, or the wholesale collection of our emails and phone calls by the NSA, all citizens deserve reasonable privacy in our communications. And we assert the right to hold the government accountable for violating that privacy.

if you live in the US, starting TODAY, July 12th…

thearcanetheory:rul:

Any copyrighted material, such as movies and music downloaded from the internet will be tracked by our ISP. They’re becoming ‘copyright police.’ If you’re caught downloading, you will be sent a notice, repeat offenders will be sent another notice, if you still continue, your ISP has a choice of terminating your internet service if deemed necessary.

So basically.

A lot of people are gonna get fucked.

Well, shit.

(Source: foxnews.com)

Surveillance Society: New High-Tech Cameras Are Watching You

beatyourselfup:

In the era of computer-controlled surveillance, your every move could be captured by cameras, whether you’re shopping in the grocery store or driving on the freeway. Proponents say it will keep us safe, but at what cost?

[…]

Pathmark archives every transaction of every customer, and the grocery chain is hardly alone. Amazon knows what you read; Netflix, your taste in movies. Search engines such as Google and Yahoo retain your queries for months, and can identify searches by IP address—sometimes by individual computer. Many corporations log your every transaction with a stated goal of reducing fraud and improving marketing efforts. Until fairly recently it was impractical to retain all this data. But now the low cost of digital storage—you can get a terabyte hard drive for less than $350—makes nearly limitless archiving possible.

So what’s the problem? “The concern is that information collected for one purpose is used for something entirely different down the road,” says Ari Schwartz, deputy director of the Center for Democracy and Technology, a Washington, D.C., think tank.

This may sound like a privacy wonk’s paranoia. But examples abound. Take E-ZPass. Drivers signed up for the system to speed up toll collection. But 11 states now supply E-ZPass records—when and where a toll was paid, and by whom—in response to court orders in criminal cases. Seven of those states provide information in civil cases such as divorce, proving, for instance, that a husband who claimed he was at a meeting in Pennsylvania was actually heading to his lover’s house in New Jersey. (New York divorce lawyer Jacalyn Barnett has called E-ZPass the “easy way to show you took the offramp to adultery.”)

On a case-by-case basis, the collection of surveillance footage and customer data is usually justifiable and benign. But the totality of information being amassed combined with the relatively fluid flow of that data can be troubling. Corporations often share what they know about customers with government agencies and vice versa. AT&T, for example, is being sued by the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a San Francisco-based civil liberties group, for allowing the National Security Agency almost unlimited access to monitor customers’ e-mails, phone calls and Internet browsing activity.

“We are heading toward a total surveillance society in which your every move, your every transaction, is duly registered and recorded by some computer,” says Jay Stanley, a privacy expert with the American Civil Liberties Union.

[…]

The debate over surveillance pits the tangible benefits of saving lives and dollars against the abstract ones of preserving privacy and freedom. To many people, the promise of increased security is worth the exchange. History shows that new technologies, once developed, are seldom abandoned, and the computer vision systems being adopted today are transforming America from a society that spies upon a small number of suspicious individuals to one that monitors everybody. The question arises: Do people exercise their perfectly legal freedoms as freely when they know they’re being watched? As the ACLU’s Stanley argues, “You need space in your life to live beyond the gaze of society.”

Surveillance has become pervasive. It is also more enduring. As companies develop powerful archiving and search tools, your life will be accessible for years to come in rich multimedia records. The information about you may be collected for reasonable purposes—but as its life span increases, so too does the chance that it may fall into unscrupulous hands.

Several months after I stayed at the Talbott Hotel, Derene, my editor, called Troy Strand to ask if he still had the security camera images of me at the hotel. He did. My niece Emma’s Statue of Liberty shots are probably stored on a computer, as are the records of all my Pathmark purchases. Ramos could query my shopping trip of, say, Jan. 13, 2005, and replay video keyed precisely to any part of the register tape—from the fifth item scanned, pork chops, to the tenth, broccoli. That’s innocuous and even humorous on the surface, but the more I thought about the store’s power, the more it disturbed me.

“I would never do that,” Ramos assured me. “But I could.”

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