Archive for invasion of privacy

WI GOP may allow cameras next: Poll watchers already allowed 3 feet from voters

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

cameras in faceImage via

voter intimidation voter suppression

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker signed a bill this year that let poll observers intimidate get within thirty-six inches of the voters they are hovering over monitoring. Nothing like having the rabidly right wing poll police breathing down your neck while you try to make private choices in what used to be a country that believed in democracy. Now Wisconsin may allow cameras. Now they want their "observers" to be able to record your personal information, too.

Steve Benen at The Maddow Blog on the original law:

The law would allow observers to stand 3 to 8 feet from the table where voters announce their names and addresses and are issued voter numbers, or from the table where people register to vote.

Gee, who could possibly mind if a total stranger, a fanatic extremist partisan with fervently opposing views, overheard your name and address? Or scrutinized and challenged your vote? What could possibly go wrong?

breathing down neck, intimidateImage via

Here's a video of Rachel Maddow explaining the original law in full back in April:

Clearly, that's not enough Dem harassment for Wisconsin Republicans. Now the election bullies observers would be able to unnerve their fellow citizens not just with their presence, but also with cameras and video recorders. If Americans exercising their voting rights happen to rub the monitors the wrong way, then hey, chill them to the bone. Document them. Record them. Use your cameras as weapons. Make them as uncomfortable as possible. Terrify them. Try to suppress their votes by causing them to avoid the polls in order to avoid the poll watchers.

Via the Green Bay Press Gazette:

Wisconsin officials may lift the ban on camera usage by election observers.

The state elections board will meet Monday to vote on proposed changes to election observer rules, the Wisconsin State Journal reported. The Republican-controlled Legislature proposed the ban reversal.

Election observers have been prohibited from shooting photos and video at the polls for the past eight years.

If the ban is lifted, cameras can start being used during the August primary. So much for your privacy, Wisconsinites.

Via nutsandolts.com

This is going from "creepy" to downright scary.

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

"Online privacy is like Taliban science. A fictional concept."

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

Another snark-filled guest post by the one, the only Will Durst, who's having a little fun with online privacy in general, and Facebook in particular. Take it away, Will:

DIGITAL CHEESE

Plenty of people had good reason to be in a foul mood back in 2012. The Detroit Tigers. Members of the Romney family. And, after making the acquaintance of a windy lass named Sandy, most of New England. Now, we can add to that list the thousands of suckers who were manipulated by our good friend at Facebook. Although the word they coined- “unfriend,” might fit better here.

Recently it was revealed the social media behemoth filtered the messages of 700,000 users by flooding them with uplifting and/ or depressing posts, then monitoring who got happy and who got sad. “Oh no. Grandma’s bicycle got run over by a garbage truck. Awww. But hey! Watch what happens when this pit bull chews on a kiddie pool.”

They say we agreed to this kind of BS when we signed on, but- come on. Its doubtful even the employees who write them, read those user agreements. Typically, they’re longer than the migratory path of the monarch butterfly, more confusing than Cantonese crosswords and displayed in flea font.

Corporate lawyers didn’t evolve from mud- sucking, bottom- feeders for nothing. They know how to hide all sorts of stuff in that fine print. Wouldn’t be surprised to discover there’s a clause stating that in time of war, they own one of my kidneys. And another that gives them the right to call at any time of night demanding help in moving a body.

Google also admits to running 20,000 experiments on its search results every year and you can bet Twitter, Amazon, Pinterest and Crabgrass.com are doing the same. Probably even Yahoo has scientists using tools calibrated back in the 90s. The 1890s.

Some bloggers claim to be outraged, but anybody not expecting to be pushed, filed, stamped, indexed, briefed, debriefed and numbered is probably a big fan of the tooth fairy and still drinking juice out of a sippy cup, wearing footy pajamas. Online privacy is like Taliban science. A fictional concept.

Think of it as Newton’s Law 3.1. The price we must pay for having the world at our fingertips, is maintaining an equal and opposite availability to everyone else’s fingertips. Some of which are cold and clammy. Especially the Faceless ones with the chromium digits. But we’ve adapted. You don’t hear a lot of noise about folks going back to MySpace. Or Compuserve.

Facebook claims they’re simply trying to create the best environment possible for their petri dish of social contact. And we microbes can expect the research to not only continue, but get more sophisticated. Won’t be long before they are able to predict which of our family members will pass out before Thanksgiving Dinner. Which could come in handy with menu planning.

Our best bet is to nudge them in consumer friendly directions. Don’t they want to know how many people would delete their accounts after all cute cat videos were outlawed? How about a “Bummer” button for deaths, divorces, debacles, disasters and defeats?

The thing is, if Mark Zuckerberg and his ilk are going to use us as lab rats, the least they could do is throw us some minor rewards. When rats finish a maze, aren’t they supposed to get cheese? Hey Zuck, where’s our digital cheese? Make mine Cheddar. Swiss puts me in a bad mood. Ooops. Shouldn’t have said that.

Copyright ©2014, Will Durst. Will Durst is an award- winning, nationally acclaimed political comic. Go to willdurst.com to find about more about the new documentary film “3 Still Standing,” and a calendar guide to personal appearances including his new one- man show “BoomeRaging: From LSD to OMG,” at the Santa Cruz Fringe Festival July 10- 19. Scfringe.com.

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

Cyber Hacked. Cyber Terrorized. Cyber Raped.

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

computer safety

Just over a week ago, I wrote a piece about internet safety and how you have to work to stay protected.  It was called, Why Porn Sites Are Safer Than Small Business Web Sites.

Now comes some shocking and very, very scary news. Private citizens, those with webcams, remote or built into their computers, tablets or smartphone devices are being hacked. Without the victim knowing, their camera's have been activated, their actions recorded. And in many cases, picking up innocent people in a totally nude state.

Then, these people are contacted and extorted or their pictures will be released across the Internet on social media sites. Sometimes using your personal accounts, meaning all of your friends and contacts will be shown these images.

The extortion being extracted isn't only money. In order to keep these private video/pictures off the Internet, the perpetrators in some cases are having their innocent victims perform perverse sex acts on camera for the pleasure of the extortionist.

Sound like it's science fiction or that it can't happen to you. YOU'RE WRONG.

Cassidy Wolf

Here's the story of the current 2013 Miss Teen USA, Cassidy Wolf.

TODAY SHOW NEWS:

About four months ago, Wolf said she received an anonymous e-mail from a stranger saying he was in possession of photos of her that were taken in her bedroom via the webcam on her computer after it was hacked. The person tried to extort her in return for ensuring the photos were not made public.

“I wasn’t aware that somebody was watching me (on my webcam),’’ she said. “The light (on the camera) didn't even go on, so I had no idea.”

Now it's  not just beauty queens and models who have been hacked. It's regular people like you and me. And we don't know it.

HUFFPO reports this:

Jared James Abrahams of Temecula surrendered to agents at the FBI office in Orange County to face a charge of extortion that could send him to federal prison for up to two years, FBI spokeswoman Laura Eimiller said.

That sounds like a pretty light sentence, up to two years for what he did.

Abrahams, a college freshman majoring in computer science, allegedly would use the women's webcams to capture nude images, then send emails threatening to post them on their hacked social media accounts unless they either sent him nude photos, a nude video, or logged onto the Skype video chat service and follow his orders for five minutes.

According to the affidavit, the victims included several women from other countries.

One teenager in Ireland responded to the demands by writing: "Please remember I'm 17. Have a heart," according to the court record.

Abrahams allegedly responded: "I'll tell you this right now! I do NOT have a heart. However, I do stick to my deals. Also age doesn't mean a thing to me!!!"

The girl then allegedly stripped during a Skype session, according to the FBI affidavit. A woman in Canada also stripped, according to the document.

Cyber-crimes are here. They're now. And they could be happening to you and if you don't take precautions, you might not find out until it's too late.

If something like this happens to you, please call the authorities. Here's how to contact them.

The Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) is a partnership between the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the National White Collar Crime Center (NW3C).

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

Private Social Website For Police Eyes Only

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

police

Did you ever wonder what cops talk about when they're just hanging out together. Though they're really not supposed to discuss ongoing investigations with outsiders, within their own ranks, they all do. And lots of what they have to say would probably cause them much embarrassment. When they talk about the unwarranted stops they made, laugh about the harassment they dished out just because they didn't like someone they stopped, or the weapon they planted to cover their asses. It' really would be quite interesting to be that fly on the wall to  hear what these upholders of justice and peace really think.

police website

Well, there's going to be a new forum called BlueLine. And it's not a bus or subway route. According to TPM:

The final stages are near completion for the launch of a law enforcement social media network designed exclusively for the men and women in blue.

Created by former high-profile New York City police commissioner and Los Angeles Police Chief Bill Bratton, BlueLine is being touted as a site where officers can share their expertise, insight and information securely through video, instant messaging, videoconferencing and screen share capabilities.

You can just imagine what will be traded back and forth there. More secrets of how to get away with abuses. More vids of police brutality and humiliation, all done for their compatriots across the country. "Look what me and my partner did..."

“Our focus is to have a walled community where you’re verified and authenticated, so you have a safe form of communication with law enforcement, analysts and administrators,” said David Riker, Bratton Technologies’ president.

If this there ever was a site that by design was rife for promotion of abuse, this is it. After all, to enter you need to prove you're a cop. And you know that brotherhood and their reputation.

Over time some of the shared tidbits and confessions will undoubtedly be leaked. Till then, one can only wonder what Bratton had in mind. This guy bounced around from Boston to New York to Los Angeles. Though crime may have gone down, incidents of corruption and police abuse increased.

He's supposedly hard on "anti-social" behavior. So maybe this is a move to help other cops along -- or just make a few bucks. It is his company that's running this site.

Bratton said BlueLine was conceived earlier this year and created by his New York-based venture capitalist-backed startup, Bratton Technologies, after hearing for years that fellow officers didn’t have a safe network to share information with each other.

BlueLine is currently being beta-tested among 100 officers within the Los Angeles Police and L.A. County Sheriff’s departments and the University of Southern California’s campus police.

USC campus police are the ones who told a female student reporting a rape, "It wasn't rape because he (the accused) didn't orgasm." For the whole story, you can go to my TPC post: "She Wasn't Raped Because He Didn't Orgasm." Bratton and his group of investors found a great place to share stories and swap information. If corruption needed an HQ, it may have found it in the underbelly of BlueLine.

Conceptually, the idea of a website and forum to share their thoughts, experiences and provide self-help is good. It's just that once you shut the rest of the world out, you're appearance is like that of the NSA. Too many secrets being passed around. The police have enough temptation. Maybe they need to open up the site, so that we don't see a web of bad cops joining up with other bad cops to create havoc and revenge.

I hope I'm wrong. Only time will tell... or an informant who blows the lid off of what's really going on with the BlueLine social club. I'm just suspicious when upcoming group discussions may include: evidence suppression, weapon's planting, 101 bogus reasons to stop a vehicle, payoffs and bribes, police abuse, harassment, and drug theft from the evidence room.

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

21st century privacy: The NSA "keeps track of whether, how often and precisely when she called the abortion clinic."

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

what's the big deal

Today our own David Garber posted "AT&T Tapping Phones For DEA — Especially iPhones." It goes without saying, we're being watched, or as my Twitter buddy and frequent BLUNT video contributor @Francie57 tweeted:

An editorial in the Los Angeles Times reiterates arguments against the intrusive, warrantless monitoring of unsuspecting Americans. As I read the article, all I could think about was if well-meaning Obama supporters, those who trust him so much on this, will feel differently when a Republican again resides in the White House.

It's hard to fathom how so many on the left seem to be okay with snooping by a Democratic administration, or how a president is automatically trustworthy because of his/her party affiliation.

So that leads us right back to the inevitability of being stuck with a Republican president whom we don't trust. Then what? A public change of heart? An awakening? Regret? Will Americans who currently shrug off the current NSA activities because a Dem is in charge suddenly rethink living in the (Democratic) moment?

And to those who feel invulnerable, think about the unlucky ones who have been wrongly accused and/or convicted of crimes they didn't commit. That happens. A lot.

As for the unlikeliness of being targeted, as easy it is to dismiss the chances of that happening, it only takes being that one person that one time to fully grasp what a nightmare one's life can become.

Foresight is a good thing. (So is ample oversight, by the way.) Substitute the name "Bush" for "Obama" and see if that doesn't offer a disturbingly different perspective, perhaps a more objective one. What would another Bush administration do with the information the NSA collects?

As the ACLU's brief puts it: "Each time a resident of the United States makes a phone call, the [National Security Agency] records whom she called, when the call was placed and how long the conversation lasted. The NSA keeps track of when she called the doctor, and which doctor she called; which family members she called, and which she didn't; which pastor she called, and for how long she spoke to him. It keeps track of whether, how often and precisely when she called the abortion clinic, the support group for alcoholics, the psychiatrist, the ex-girlfriend, the criminal defense lawyer, the fortune teller, the suicide hot-line, the child services agency and the shelter for victims of domestic violence." [...]

In its lawsuit, the ACLU argues that the NSA's collection of metadata is much more objectionable than the warrantless monitoring of phone calls upheld by the court in 1979. That's true.... [Justice] Sotomayor added: "I for one doubt that people would accept without complaint the warrantless disclosure to the government of a list of every website they had visited in the last week or month or year."

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

VIDEO: NSA broke privacy rules thousands of times per year. "That ain't no kind of checks and balances that I'm familiar with."

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

eye keyhole smaller

chart NSA violations

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

To those who don't think more oversight is in order, WaPo:

The National Security Agency has broken privacy rules or overstepped its legal authority thousands of times each year since Congress granted the agency broad new powers in 2008, according to an internal audit and other top-secret documents.

Most of the infractions involve unauthorized surveillance of Americans or foreign intelligence targets in the United States, both of which are restricted by statute and executive order. They range from significant violations of law to typographical errors that resulted in unintended interception of U.S. e-mails and telephone calls.

Alex Wagner:

While the documents do not reveal how many Americans were affected, they do appear to directly contradict what President Obama said just last week.

Michael Tomasky, these checks don't actually seem to be in place.

Michael Tomasky:

This is a really problematic story for the administration.

I think this is going to swing public opinion which so far has more or less held in the support of the view that we do need a balance and I do care about being protected and that some of this activity is perfectly fine as long as it keeps me safe.

I think we'll see public opinion start to switch a little bit.

It will be interesting to see what we hear on Capitol Hill about this. Are the Republicans -- is the right wing party in the United States really going to hold hearings and investigate the liberal administration over questions of surveillance and intelligence abuse? I suppose it's possible.

Karen Finney:

If there is that kind of an audit going on and the president doesn't know about it, and you're going to send him out in front of cameras to say something that contradicts that audit, that is a major problem. Not only for -- in terms of safeguards and transparency and security, that's a huge communication problem for the president.

So even Republicans aren't going to be able to ignore -- maybe that's the way they'll go after it and question the difference between the statements that have been made and what these documents are telling them. But I think you're going to see some strange bedfellows on this one, because how can you ignore that?

Alex:

Now the Post reveals that the leader of the FISA court that is supposed to provide critical oversight of the government, that spying program, says its ability to do so is limited and that it must trust the government to report when it improperly spies on Americans.

That ain't no kind of checks and balances that I'm familiar with.

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

Do You Have AT&T? Then Read This

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare

AT&T devices

Do you have AT&T?  Most iPhone and iPad devices are linked to it.  If you're one of them, you should be aware that AT&T is selling your information.  But you can change that.  Just opt out.

As of June 28, 2013 AT&T updated its privacy policy. It plans to start selling anonymous location data about its customers to marketers.

Here's the kind of information AT&T will be selling: your location based on WiFi networks you connect to, Web browsing data, and apps you use.  So if you're uncomfortable with that, how do you opt out?

Just log into your AT&T account on this site and change your settings to say you don't want your data used for external marketing and analytics reports.

Consider yourself warned... Control your privacy. Stop unwanted spying -- at least for now.

FacebookTwitterRedditDiggStumbleUponTumblrLinkedInPinterestEmailShare