The right of the people to be secure in their persons,
houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and
seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon
probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly
describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be
Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
Under EU law, personal data can be collected only
under strict conditions and for a legitimate purpose...
In the US, there is no all-encompassing law regulating the collection
and processing of personal data. Instead, data protection is regulated
by many state and federal laws.
...the wave of new technologies could usher in a lifestyle
inimical to most Americans.
"It is beginning to call into question morality and ethics,
challenge our value system, dredging up Orwellian possibilities... . We
are being confronted by technical innovations based on
nanotechnologies, very advanced computational capabilities, the
amassing of data. We are being, I would say, challenged and threatened
in some cases, in the context of American civil rights and American
civil liberties. . . . So much information is available now in the
digital realm, and we don’t even know what exists out there on each of
us. We aren’t in control of it, we aren't in command of it. It is
highly mobile, it is manipulatable, it is configurable across the
digital realm in ways that most people just don’t comprehend.”
technologies, says Hughes, if not carefully managed and monitored,
could imperil the very rights he has spent a lifetime defending. He
worries that Americans do not fully appreciate the stakes. He supports
a program of communication intercepts only if based on probable cause
and direct links with terrorists, but he is vehemently opposed to broad
domestic surveillance and monitoring of America’s telephone and
Internet traffic." from Nation of Secrets: Ted Gup.
"...the government has the capability to activate cell
phones and laptops remotely as eavesdropping devices.
Powering off the phone or laptop does not defeat the capability: only
removing the battery does." Glenn Greenwald: No Place to Hide
Universal surveillance is the norm in the U.S. and extends to
much of the rest of the world. It is chilling for journalism, invasive
for citizens, devestating for U.S. multinationals, ripe for misuse,and
will balkanize the internet.
The good news is that encryption works. The Tor project attempts to provide
privacy, and there is a hardware solution in development called the Freedom Box which
incorporates the best privacy enhancing software available. Free software is open source, auditable,
and, as a result, more secure.
The more people encrypt,
the better off we will be.
Tails is a live operating
system, that you can start on almost any
computer from a DVD, USB stick, or SD card. It aims at
privacy and anonymity, and helps you to: use the Internet anonymously
and circumvent censorship;
all connections to the Internet are forced to go through the Tor
leave no trace on the computer you are using unless you ask it
use state-of-the-art cryptographic tools to encrypt your files, emails
and instant messaging.
Learn more about Tails.
CRS Report to Congress: Fusion
Centers: Issues and Options for Congress. The
Congressional Research Service (CRS) issued a report to Congress on the
deployment of over 40 Fusion Centers throughout the nation. Fusion
Centers are the most recent effort by the federal government to
establish an operational domestic surveillance program. The CRS report
states that officials justifying the development of fusion centers use
a number of presumptions, and that the goals of the centers seem to be
unfocused with wide-ranging explanations on what they are intended to
accomplish. The report outlined threats to civil liberties and privacy
posed by the deployment of Fusion Centers, which have no laws governing
them. (July 10, 2007)
WASHINGTON/NEW YORK, June 1 (Reuters) - The Federal Bureau of
Investigation wants U.S. Internet providers to retain Web address
records for up to two years to aid investigations into terrorism and
pornography, a source familiar with the matter said on Thursday. The
request came during a May 26 meeting between U.S. Attorney General
Alberto Gonzales and FBI Director Robert Mueller with top executives at
companies like Google Inc. , Microsoft Corp. and Time Warner
If you are not paying close attention, you may not realize
that banks are now agents used to watch your financial
Real ID Act
ID Act of 2005 would turn our state driver’s licenses into a
genuine national identity card and impose numerous new burdens on
taxpayers, citizens, immigrants, and state governments – while doing
nothing to protect against terrorism. As a result, it is stirring
intense opposition from many groups across the political spectrum. Real Nightmare.org provides
information about opposing Real ID. no2id.net
RF-ID Giants Merge 09 Aug 2007 Applied
Digital Solutions, a leading provider of identification and
security technology, and Digital
Angel Corporation, which develops RF-ID for people and animals,
today announced that they have entered into a merger
agreement. Under the agreement, Applied Digital and Digital Angel will
create the world’s leading provider of identification, location and
wellness [?] monitoring systems for people and animals.
US doles out millions for street cameras --Local
efforts raise privacy alarms 12 Aug 2007 The Department of Homeland
Security is funneling millions of dollars to local governments
nationwide for purchasing high-tech video camera networks, accelerating
the rise of a "surveillance society" in which the sense of freedom that
stems from being anonymous in public will be lost, privacy rights
advocates warn. DHS will not say how much of its taxpayer-funded grants
have gone to cameras.
LAX computer failure keeps thousands of fliers
detained 13 Aug 2007 Weary international passengers were stuck
at Los Angeles International Airport for hours, unable to set foot in
the United States after a computer failure prevented customs from
screening arrivals. Over 20,000 international passengers, Americans and
foreigners, sat in four airport terminals and in 60 planes starting
about 2 p.m. Saturday, when the computer system broke down, said Los
Angeles World Airports spokesman Paul Haney.
KNBC Report: LAX Computer Glitch Recurs Early
Monday 13 Aug 2007 The Customs and Border Protection computer
glitch that stranded more than 20,000 inbound international travelers
at Los Angeles International Airport over the weekend recurred
overnight, affecting about 1,700 inbound international passengers
between 11:50 p.m. Sunday and 1:15 a.m. Monday, KNBC reported. The
computer system helps officials identify people who have been placed on
a no-fly list and who are denied entry into the United States as
Court Says Travelers Can't Avoid Airport Searches
By David Kravets 10 Aug 2007 U.S. airline passengers near the security
checkpoint can be searched any time and no longer can refuse consent by
leaving the airport, the nation's largest federal appeals court ruled
Friday... Citing threats of terrorism, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of
Appeals ruled passengers give up all rights to be free of
warrantless searches once a "passenger places hand luggage on a
conveyor belt for inspection" or "passes though a magnetometer."
Americans Want to be Surveilled
An ABC poll
has revealed that two
thirds of Americans are willing to accept heightened government
intrusion on privacy and support the increased use of surveillance
cameras to solve crime.