The Spy Business Is Booming and We Should Be Worried: Spyware and hacking know-how are more available than ever, making our data more vulnerable and the world more dangerous.
Bill Priestap, The New York Times, July 20, 2019
What is going on? Russian spies are assassinating people in other countries, directing internet companies to troll our social media and trying to undermine our political process almost in plain sight.
At the same time, agents acting at the behest of the Chinese Communist Party are stealing our proprietary information and technology. North Korean spies have become New Age bank robbers, while Iranian spies have attempted to assassinate dissidents in Denmark and a Saudi diplomat in the United States. And the United Arab Emirates has hired former government hackers to spy on dissidents and civil rights activists.
The spy business is clearly booming.
But it is not just government spy agencies. We are also witnessing the democratization of spy tools and techniques that used to be the sole purview of a highly select group of intelligence services. . . .
Activists, China, Citizens, Corporations, Counterintelligence, Cybersecurity, Democracy, Espionage, Germany, Hacking, Iran, Intelligence Agencies, International, Internet, John F. Kennedy, Kenya, Law, Military, New York Times, North Korea, Pakistan, Russia, Spyware, Surveillance, Surveillance Technology, Terrorism, United Arab Emirates, Universities, Uzbekistan, Zimbabwe
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
America is fueling our age of impunity. Just look at Yemen: The US has the power to set a global standard on international human rights. Unfortunately, it is retreating from our global rules-based system
The Guardian Fri 5 Apr 2019 08.47 EDT
The promise by Donald Trump to veto the bipartisan Congressional War Powers Resolution on Yemen is significant in and of itself. The decision is rightly drawing significant fire. The war in Yemen is a humanitarian disaster and a strategic failure, with precisely the forces the Administration says it opposes - Iran, jihadists, separatists - gaining ground on the back of the bankrupt Saudi-led war strategy.
However, there is a wider, ugly picture, beyond Yemen. It can be summarized as an Age of Impunity: where war crimes go unpunished and the laws of war become optional. This is not solely the responsibility of the United States, but the US has the power and position to set a global standard, and when it fails to do so the effects are felt worldwide, by innocent civilians feeling the brunt of lawless military tactics and humanitarian aid workers risking life and limb as they go about their work. . . .
Chemical Weapons, Civilians, Congress, Congressional War Powers Resolution on Yemen, Donald Trump, Global, Human Rights, Law, War Crimes, Yemen
Court Denies EFF Effort to Obtain Classified Significant Surveillance Court Opinions
Electronic Frontier Foundation, Aaron Mackey,March 28, 2019
A federal court’s ruling earlier this week has blunted a key provision of the surveillance reform law that required the government to be more transparent about legal decisions made by the United States secret surveillance court.
After Edward Snowden revealed the government’s ongoing mass collection of Americans’ telephone phone records in 2013, Congress responded by passing the USA Freedom Act in 2015. In addition to limiting the NSA’s surveillance authority, Congress also clearly intended to end the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court’s (FISC) ability to keep the decisions it made behind closed doors secret.
Since its inception in the 1970s, the government has asked the FISC to decide what constitutional or other legal protections, if any, Americans and others enjoy while seeking approval of the government’s secret mass surveillance programs. Though we were not happy with many aspects of the final USA Freedom language, EFF was pleased that the final language did require that the government review and declassify “each decision, order, or opinion” that contained significant interpretations of the Constitution or other laws and to make them “publicly available to the greatest extent practicable.” We believe this language, along with statements from Members of Congress during the debate, clearly require the FISC to release decisions both from before 2015 as well as after. . . .
California, District Court, Edward Snowden, Electronic Frontier Foundation, Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, Freedom of Information Act Requests, Government Transparency, Law, Lawsuits, National Security, National Security Agency, Phone Records, Privacy, Secret Law, Surveillance, USA Freedom Act
Issued on: March 26, 2019
By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, it is hereby ordered as follows:
Section 1. Purpose. An electromagnetic pulse (EMP) has the potential to disrupt, degrade, and damage technology and critical infrastructure systems. Human-made or naturally occurring EMPs can affect large geographic areas, disrupting elements critical to the Nation’s security and economic prosperity, and could adversely affect global commerce and stability. The Federal Government must foster sustainable, efficient, and cost-effective approaches to improving the Nation’s resilience to the effects of EMPs. . . .
Department of Commerce, Department of Defense, Department of Energy, Department of Homeland Security, Directed Energy Weapons, Donald Trump, Electromagnetic Pulse, Electromagnetic Weapons, Executive Orders, Law
The Hill 03/26/19 04:25 PM EDT
President Trump on Tuesday signed an executive order directing federal agencies to identify the threats posed by potential electromagnetic pulses (EMP), which are believed to be potentially dangerous to critical infrastructure like the electric grid, and find ways to guard against them.
Senior administration officials told reporters during a call Tuesday that the order will direct federal agencies to coordinate in assessing the threats that EMPs pose, and find ways to prevent their impact. An EMP is a burst of electromagnetic energy that can be caused by a nuclear weapon or solar storms. . . .
Department of Commerce, Department of Defense, Department of Energy, Department of Homeland Security, Directed Energy Weapons, Donald Trump, Electromagnetic Pulse, Electromagnetic Weapons, Executive Order, Law
Four St. Louis Police Officers Indicted for Civil Rights Violations and Obstruction of Justice
Department of Justice - Office of Public Affairs Thursday, November 29, 2018
A federal grand jury in St. Louis indicted four St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department (SLMPD) Police Officers for their conduct in connection with the arrest and assault of a fellow SLMPD police officer who was working undercover in downtown St. Louis during last year’s protests following the acquittal of a former SLMPD officer of a first-degree murder charge brought by the State of Missouri relating to the shooting death of a civilian.
The indictment charges Officers Dustin Boone, 35, Bailey Colletta, 25, Randy Hays, 31, and Christopher Myers, 27, with various felony charges, including deprivation of constitutional rights, conspiracy to obstruct justice, destruction of evidence, and obstruction of justice.
18 U.S. Code § 242 Deprivation of rights under color of law,
18 U.S. Code § 371 Conspiracy to commit offense or to defraud United States,
18 U.S. Code §1512 Tampering with a witness, victim, or an informant,
18 U.S. Code § 1519 Destruction, alteration, or falsification of records in Federal investigations, Department of Justice, Federal, Law, Law Enforcement, Missouri, Police, St. Louis
H. R. 34 21st Century Cures Acts
Highlights from this law:
SEC. 3024. INFORMED CONSENT WAIVER OR ALTERATION FOR CLINICAL INVESTIGATIONS.
(a) DEVICES.—Section 520(g)(3) of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (21 U.S.C. 360j(g)(3)) is amended--
(1) in subparagraph (D), by striking ‘‘except where subject to such conditions as the Secretary may prescribe, the investigator’’ and inserting the following: ‘‘except where, subject to such conditions as the Secretary may prescribe--
‘‘(i) the proposed clinical testing poses no more than minimal risk to the human subject and includes appropriate safeguards to protect the rights, safety, and welfare of the human subject; or
‘‘(ii) the investigator’’; and
(2) in the matter following subparagraph (D), by striking ‘subparagraph (D)’’ and inserting ‘‘subparagraph (D)(ii)’’.
(b) DRUGS.—Section 505(i)(4) of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (21 U.S.C. 355(i)(4)) is amended by striking ‘‘except where it is not feasible or it is contrary to the best interests of such human beings’’ and inserting ‘‘except where it is not feasible, it is contrary to the best interests of such human beings, or the proposed clinical testing poses no more than minimal risk to such human beings and includes appropriate safeguards as prescribed to protect the rights, safety, and welfare of such human beings’’.
Devices, Drugs, Experimentation, Implants, Informed Consent, Law, Privacy, Research
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