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
National Security and Medical Information
Electronic Frontier Foundation (no date)
When exploring medical privacy issues, it's very useful to have an overview of the laws that affect control and privacy of medical information. We encourage you to read our legal overview.
The government has many options for obtaining your medical records on the grounds of national security. And if your medical records are swept up in a national security investigation, you likely won't be asked to consent and potentially won't ever know your medical records were accessed.
The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) Privacy Rule that went into effect in 2003 included a national security exception that permits doctors, hospitals, and any other "covered entity" to disclose individual health information "to authorized federal officials for the conduct of lawful intelligence, counter-intelligence, and other national security activities authorized by the National Security Act." This exception overrides the normal requirement that your authorization is needed before your medical information can be disclosed for anything other than your treatment, bill payment, or your health care provider’s business operations.
This national security exception appears to allow covered entities to disclose health records, at their own discretion, to any federal agency that plays a role in intelligence, counter-intelligence, and national security activities. This includes but isn't limited to the CIA, the FBI, and the NSA.
For example, a hospital could disclose any or all of the patient medical records in its possession to the NSA on the hospital’s own initiative, and could even allow the NSA or other federal agencies to access the hospital’s health record system on a permanent, ongoing basis. This could be done without a court order, without any procedural or substantive protections or barriers, and even without any request from the agency. . . .
Bio-terrorism, Central Intelligence Agency, Electronic Frontier Foundation, Federal, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), Health Records, Intelligence Community, Medical, Medical Records, Military, National Security, National Security Act, National Security Agency, Notice of Privacy Practices (NPP), Patriot Act, President, Privacy, Section 215 of the Patriot Act, Secret Service, Surveillance
FBI’s Facial Recognition Programs Under Fire Over Privacy, Accuracy Concerns: The bureau has largely ignored the Government Accountability Office’s concerns about its use of facial recognition in criminal investigations.
Nextgov APRIL 18, 2019 04:08 PM ET
The FBI still has not assessed whether its facial recognition systems meet privacy and accuracy standards nearly three years after a congressional watchdog—the Government Accountability Office—raised multiple concerns about the bureau’s use of the tech.
Since 2015, the FBI and other law enforcement agencies have used the Next Generation Identification-Interstate Photo System, which uses facial recognition software to link potential suspects to crimes, pulling from a database of more than 30 million mugshots and other photos. . . .
Amazon, Civil Rights, Department of Justice, Facial Recognition Systems, Federal, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Government Accountability Office, Law Enforcement, Next Generation Identification-Interstate Photo System, Privacy, State, Surveillance
CHICAGO IS TRACKING KIDS WITH GPS MONITORS THAT CAN CALL AND RECORD THEM WITHOUT CONSENT: Cook County has a new contract for juvenile ankle monitors that critics say are an invasion of privacy.
The Appeal Apr 08, 2019
This story was co-published with Citylab.
On March 29, court officials in Chicago strapped an ankle monitor onto Shawn, a 15-year-old awaiting trial on charges of armed robbery. They explained that the device would need to be charged for two hours a day and that it would track his movements using GPS technology. He was told he would have to be given permission to leave his house, even to go to school. But he found out that through his monitor, officers wouldn’t just be able to track his location, as most electronic monitors do. They would also be able to speak—and listen—to him.
“I feel like they are listening to what he’s saying,” said Shawn’s mother. “They can hear everything. We could be here talking about anything.”
Shawn, whose name has been changed to protect his identity, is one of hundreds of children in Chicago whose ankle monitors are now equipped with microphones and speakers. The stated purpose of these devices is to communicate with the children, but they are raising concerns among civil liberties watchers that they are actually a mechanism for surveilling the conversations of these kids and those around them—and potentially for using the recordings in criminal cases. . . .
Ankle Bracelets, Cell Phones, Chicago, Civil Rights, Children, Cook County, Criminal Justice, Electronic Monitoring, GPS, Illinois, Law Enforcement, Privacy, Probation, Sheriff, Surveillance
NPR March 25, 20192:41 PM ET
The claim was extraordinary.
More than 20 U.S. diplomats in Cuba had "suffered significant injuries" in a series of attacks that seemed to target the brain. Or at least that's what State Department officials told reporters during a briefing in September 2017.
A couple of weeks later, President Trump went even further. "I do believe Cuba is responsible," he said during a Rose Garden news conference.
By that time, the U.S. had pulled most staff members from its embassy in Havana and had advised U.S. citizens to avoid traveling to Cuba. There had also been reports of similar symptoms among U.S. diplomats in China. . . .
China, Cold War, Cuba, Diplomats, Directed Energy Weapons, Electromagnetic Weapons, "Havana Syndrome", "Health Attacks", Hysteria, Microwave, Moscow, Russia, Sonic Weapons, State Department, Surveillance, Traumatic Brain Injury,
Activist Post MARCH 14, 2019
Can you imagine a city in the United States secretly creating a Chinese-style public surveillance network that can identify everyone? Can you imagine that same city secretly creating a Chinese-style public watchlisting network?
Well imagine no more because it has already happened. . . .
Department of Homeland Security, Law Enforcement, Police, San Diego, Surveillance, Watchlisting
ACLU MARCH 6, 2019
NEW YORK — The U.S. government is reportedly targeting journalists, activists, and lawyers reporting on, aiding, or representing migrants at the southern border by sending them to secondary screening, monitoring their social media accounts, or creating dossiers on them. . . .
Activists, American Civil Liberties Union, Customs and Border Protection, Immigration, Journalists, Lawyers, Mexican Border, Privacy, Secondary Security Screening Selection, Surveillance, Watchlisting
Metro Wednesday 6 Mar 2019 12:02 am
A shocking report has revealed how undercover police helped big businesses blacklist construction workers. The internal police report has been published today to coincide with 10th anniversary of the scandal, which ruined thousands of workers lives, went public.
The Creedon report details the lengths undercover policemen from the Met went to follow and spy on trade unionists and blacklisted campaigners, all paid for by the taxpayer. . . .
Blacklisting, Law Enforcement, Police, Surveillance, Unions, United Kingdom
Report: Government Kept Database On Journalists, ‘Instigators’A San Diego TV station accessed leaked documents, revealing the operation.
HUFFINGTON POST 03/06/2019 11:14 pm ET
SAN DIEGO (AP) — The U.S. government ran an operation to screen journalists, activists and others while investigating last year’s migrant caravan from Mexico, a San Diego TV station reported Wednesday, citing leaked documents.
Dossiers that included photos from their passports or social media accounts, date of birth and other details were kept in a database and some freelance journalists had alerts placed on their passports and were flagged for secondary screenings at customs points, the station KNSD-TV said. . . .
Activists, American Civil Liberties Union, Civil Rights, Customs and Border Protection, Department of Homeland Security, First Amendment, "Instigators", Journalists, Lawyers, Mexican Border, Operation Secure Line, Organizers, Secondary Security Screening Selection, Surveillance, Watchlisting
NEWS and publications
Links to articles in transition. If the title is in red, click title. If the title is only in blue, click the hyperlink with the periodical's name/publication date.
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