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. . . .
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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. . . .
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As Black Activists Protested Police Killings, Homeland Security Worried They Might Join ISIS
Alice Speri, The Intercept_, April 8 2019, 8:23 a.m.
AS NATIONWIDE PROTESTS against police killings of black men began rolling across the country in 2014, federal and local law enforcement who were closely monitoring protesters’ online activities repeatedly expressed a bizarre concern: that the mostly black activists demanding an end to police violence in the U.S. might join with Islamic fundamentalist groups promoting violence abroad.
That concern was unequivocally baseless, and no evidence ever emerged to substantiate it. Still, documents obtained by the government transparency group Property of the People, which were shared exclusively with The Intercept, reveal that officials with the Department of Homeland Security and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence exaggerated the significance of isolated social media activity, mostly by foreign accounts, advocating for a connection between the domestic movement against police brutality and foreign terrorism. . . .
Activists, Al Qaeda, Baltimore, “Black Identity Extremists”, Black Lives Matter, Center for Constitutional Rights, Civil Rights, Conspiracy Theories, Dakota Access Pipeline Protest Movement, Department of Homeland Security, Domestic Terrorism, Ferguson, Fox News, Fusion Centers, Greater Cincinnati Fusion Center, Intelligence Agencies, Intercept, ISIL, ISIS, Islamophobia, Islamic Extremism, Islamic State, Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, Law Enforcement, Maryland, Minneapolis, Minnesota, Missouri, Muslims, NAACP Convention, National Security, Office of the Director of National Intelligence, Palestinians, Private Security Companies, Police, Police Brutality, Property of the People, Riots, Standing Rock Protest Movement, St. Louis, Stereotyping, Terrorism
Jurist MARCH 1, 2019 04:21:01 PM
A three-judge panel of the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit unanimously ruled Thursday that a federal district court improperly limited the scope of a lawsuit alleging that the FBI had illegally targeted mosques and Islamic individuals for surveillance on a basis of religion.
The suit, brought by the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California on behalf of an Imam and two Muslim parishioners, charged that the FBI had illegally and unconstitutionally conducted espionage of their mosque based solely on their religion, violating due process and First Amendment protections. The FBI countered that their activities were protected by state secret privileges and that to defend against the allegations in court would threaten national security by exposing the FBI’s anti-terrorism activities to public scrutiny. The district judge agreed with the FBI’s defense and dismissed the majority of the claims in 2012. . . .
American Civil Liberties Union, Civil Rights, Federal Bureau of Investigation, First Amendment, Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, Law Enforcement, Muslims, National Security, State Secret Privileges, Surveillance, Terrorism
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