Private Surveillance Is a Lethal Weapon Anybody Can Buy: Is it too late to rein it in?
Sharon Weinberger, The New York Times, July 19, 2019
. . . One thing is clear: The private surveillance industry is growing. A firm that creates a catalog of these technologies, once named the “Little Black Book of Electronic Surveillance,” changed the name in 2016 to the “Big BlackBook.” It had doubled in size in its first three years. The 2017 edition includes 150 vendors.
The genesis of this global spy bazaar can be traced back to the frenetic weeks after the Sept. 11 attacks, when Congress rushed through the Patriot Act, a law that vastly expanded the American government’s wiretapping authorities. In the process, lawmakers inadvertently created a market for companies interested in providing services and technologies to collect and analyze the new trove of data. . . .
Activists, Amnesty International, Azerbaijan, Big Black Book of Electronic Surveillance, Cell Phones, Citizen Lab, Congress, Contractors, Cybersecurity, DarkMatter, Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, Digital Rights, Drones, Edward Snowden, Electronic Frontier Foundation, Ethiopia, European Union, Exports, Federal, FinSpy, FlexiSPY, Gamma Group, Guardian, Human Rights, Human Rights Watch, Intelligence Agencies, Internet, Journalists, Israel, Law, Law Enforcement, "Lawful Interception", Luta Security, National Security Agency, New York Times, NSO Group, Patriot Act, Prism, Privacy, Privacy International, Saudi Arabia, Security, State Department, Spyware, Surveillance, Surveillance Industry (Private), Surveillance (Private), Surveillance Technology, Syria, Telephones, TeleStrategies, Terrorism, Unit 8200, Uzbekistan, Vans,"Voice Print", Wassenaar Arrangement, Weapons, "Wiretappers Ball", Wiretapping, WiSpear
21 Neurotech Startups to Watch: Brain-Machine Interfaces, Implantables, and Neuroprosthetics
CB Insights, January 28, 2019
As the digital health sector matures from basic tracking apps into highly regulated medical devices, we are seeing bleeding edge technologies being developed that blur the lines between computers and biology. And a growing share of these startups are beginning to target the brain. . . ,
Brain-Machine Interface, CB Insights, DARPA, Implants, Neuromonitoring, Neuroscience, Neurotechnology
Sunshine Week: The Pathetic Story of One Request for Total Info Awareness
Wired, Ryan Singel, 03.13.07 01:23 PM
This week is Sunshine Week, an open government initiative sponsored by American Society of Newspaper Editors, that celebrates and advocates for more transparency in American government, especially as it relates to official requests for documents from government agencies. So this might be a good time to talk about my long-standing Freedom of Information Act request that the government has stymied, lost and bounced from component to component.
In the fall of 2002, a government plan to root around in every conceivable database – public or private – on Americans' daily lives to find possible terrorists began gathering attention from journalists. The research project, known as Total Information Awareness, was spearheaded by Adm. John Poindexter of Iran-Contra fame and was eventually largely killed off by Congress (portions of the effort went into the Pentagon's black budget and was allowed to be developed so long as only foreigners were targeted by the system).
But prior to that, the program was tested using some interesting data sets. For example, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, or Darpa, told Congress that it had tested some data-mining tools on information gleaned during the war in Afghanistan. Darpa also said that it had created an entire fake world of data – 10 million fake people buying fake things with fake credit cards, fake people emailing other fake people, etc. In a later interview, Poindexter called this "Vanilla World." Into this morass of data, Darpa would insert fake "red teams" – fake terrorists plotting with other fake terrorists for some nefarious fake terrorist attack.
Fascinating. So on July 8, 2003, I used the Freedom of Information Act to ask for documents about the testing and for documents about privacy protections in TIA. Though I've filed many FOIAs in my life, little did I know what I was getting into by asking Darpa to turn over information... . . .
Congress, DARPA, Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, Department of Homeland Security, Federal, Freedom of Information Act Requests, Government Transparency, Total Information Awareness System, Wired
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