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October 9, 2015
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Tag: Privacy

A ‘Yelp’-Style App for Rating People Is Coming, and It’s Absolutely Terrifying

Set to launch in November, the “Peeple” app will allow you to rate everyone in your life on a scale of one to five stars—and, of course, they’ll be able to do the same to you.

Posted on Sep 30, 2015 READ MORE

Can Apple, Google and Facebook Save Us From Big Brother?

The big tech companies have the resources to launch a campaign for privacy that could change the world. As one scholar and researcher has written, “They may be our best chance out of this surveillance mess.”

Posted on Sep 11, 2015 READ MORE

One Day Soon, That Drone Overhead May Be Pointing a Taser at You

In a troubling and unprecedented action, North Dakota has legalized police use of drones carrying “less than lethal” weapons. Warrants? None needed. Other states could follow unless laws are written to stop this chilling threat. 

Posted on Sep 1, 2015 READ MORE

U.K. Surveillance ‘Worse Than Orwell,’ Says U.N. Privacy Chief

Joseph Cannataci, recently appointed as the first U.N. digital privacy chief, has called British oversight a “bad joke” and says the world needs a “Geneva Convention” for the Internet to safeguard personal data.

Posted on Aug 25, 2015 READ MORE

VIDEO: ‘Democracy Now!’: Whistleblower Describes NSA ‘Installation’ at AT&T

Mark Klein, a former AT&T communications technician who became a whistleblower, has been aware for many years of the unconstitutionally cozy relationship his onetime employer has shared with the National Security Agency, but as he tells Amy Goodman on Tuesday’s “Democracy Now!” he didn’t know everything.

Posted on Aug 18, 2015 READ MORE

Inside AT&T’s ‘Deeply Collaborative’ Relationship With the NSA

Although the fact that telecom giants have been in cahoots with the National Security Agency at the expense of consumers’ privacy isn’t news, a fresh exposé by The New York Times about AT&T’s eager service to the intelligence organization is enough to make users unplug from the company once and for all.

Posted on Aug 16, 2015 READ MORE

Hillary Clinton Gives Justice Department Access to Email Server

The front-runner for the Democratic presidential nomination has given federal investigators access to a personal email server she used to send emails that contained information that U.S. officials say may have been designated “top secret” and “sensitive compartmented information”—one of the highest classification ratings.

Posted on Aug 12, 2015 READ MORE

Germany Rejects Facebook’s Real-Name Policy

Germany has taken on the global social media site by ruling that its real-name policy violates German citizens’ right to privacy.

Posted on Jul 30, 2015 READ MORE

ACLU Moves to Shut Down NSA’s Ongoing Bulk Phone Data Collection

Just after he signed the USA Freedom Act in early June, President Obama took steps to ensure that the government’s contentious practice of collecting Americans’ phone records in bulk, one of the main sticking points in the tussle over the bill, could continue through the end of 2015.

Posted on Jul 14, 2015 READ MORE

AUDIO: ‘Left, Right & Center’: Greece, Hacks and Trump on Top

Truthdig Editor-in-Chief Robert Scheer and the other “Left, Right & Center” panelists discuss Greece’s pursuit of another bailout from the EU, two major security breaches of U.S. government databases and whether Donald Trump could win America’s Latino vote.

Posted on Jul 11, 2015 READ MORE

It’s Not Just the NSA—the IRS Is Reading Your Emails Too

Once your emails reach the tender age of 180 days, government agencies can easily gain access to them without your even knowing it. The Email Privacy Act would change that.

Posted on Jul 10, 2015 READ MORE

Cybersecurity, Encryption and the Golden Age of Surveillance

The governments of both the United States and the United Kingdom want a master key to everyone’s digital life.

Posted on Jul 8, 2015 READ MORE

Privacy Is Freedom

In an excerpt from his new book, Truthdig Editor-in-Chief Robert Scheer points to Chief Justice John Roberts’ decision in SCOTUS’ 2014 cell phone wiretapping case, which affirmed that the ideas embodied in the Fourth Amendment represent the basic idea that sparked the American Revolution.

Posted on Jul 5, 2015 READ MORE

George Washington’s Farewell Address: A ‘Warning Against the Impostures of Pretended Patriotism’

On Independence Day, against official claims that mass domestic surveillance is needed to ensure U.S. security, Truthdig reprints the farewell address of the first president of the United States.

Posted on Jul 4, 2015 READ MORE

Government Wants to Improve Its Cybersecurity and Weaken Ours

The FBI wants tech companies to build “back doors” into encryption that protects user information but allows government to access the data. But even if that was OK with you, it wouldn’t work, says one expert.

Posted on Jun 23, 2015 READ MORE

Google Listening Software Installed on Computers Without Consent

For a company whose governing motto has been “Don’t be evil,” this move seems to confirm some of the worst fears of privacy and Internet rights activists.

Posted on Jun 23, 2015 READ MORE

Dear Candidate Clinton: Pardon Edward Snowden

The Democratic front-runner needs the backing of the left to win the White House, but she must be made to pay a price for that support: reversal of her criticism of the whistleblower.

Posted on Jun 16, 2015 READ MORE

Has America Changed Since Edward Snowden’s Disclosures?

On the second anniversary of Snowden’s historic act of civil disobedience, it is worth reviewing what has changed—and what has not.

Posted on Jun 14, 2015 READ MORE

Google to Californians: Help Us Protect Your Electronic Privacy

In an email message to subscribers, Google supported a proposed update of California telecommunications law, a change that would restrict authorities’ ability to look at people’s email and other electronic information without a warrant.

Posted on Jun 10, 2015 READ MORE

Robert Scheer: Cyberwarfare Is ‘Where the Real Money Is’ (Part 1 of 10)

Just how and when did the military-industrial complex become the military-intelligence complex? And what’s the link between Amazon and the Pentagon?

Posted on Jun 9, 2015 READ MORE

L.A. Times Editors Advocate Prosecution of Edward Snowden

A recent L.A. Times editorial called for the whistleblower’s prosecution. As Glenn Greenwald writes in denouncing the editorial, this is part of a wider journalistic war on transparency.

Posted on Jun 8, 2015 READ MORE

AUDIO: Chris Hedges and Robert Scheer: Rebellion and the Freedom Act

Update: Transcript added. Truthdig Editor-in-Chief Robert Scheer and columnist Chris Hedges argue over the significance of the USA Freedom Act—specifically, whether it represents a meaningful challenge to the national security and surveillance state.

Posted on Jun 7, 2015 READ MORE

Can the U.S. Government Still Spy on Me?

The expiration of certain parts of the Patriot Act and passage of the USA Freedom Act ended authority for several forms of surveillance of U.S. citizens. But the government still has ways of listening to your phone calls.

Posted on Jun 6, 2015 READ MORE

Argentina’s President Was First Head of State to Meet With Edward Snowden

Argentinian President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner met with the whistleblower in “secret talks” in 2013.

Posted on Jun 5, 2015 READ MORE

John Cusack: Barack Obama Is ‘as Bad or Worse’ Than George W. Bush

Actor John Cusack has said Barack Obama is “as bad or worse” than former President Bush when it comes to civil liberties, drone strikes, freedom of the press and the National Security Agency.

Posted on Jun 5, 2015 READ MORE

NSA Limits

Posted on Jun 5, 2015 READ MORE

Say It Plain: Stop Spying on Us

The recent debates over the USA Patriot and Freedom acts missed the point: Rather than discuss the details of how much to curb the government’s right to spy on us, Americans need to question the legitimacy of all government spying and push back as hard as possible against dubious claims to protect us.

Posted on Jun 4, 2015 READ MORE

Spy in the Sky

Posted on Jun 4, 2015 READ MORE

VIDEO: Robert Scheer to Chris Hedges: ‘I Will Not Blame’ the American Masses for Imperialism (7/7)

In the final installment of the seven-part interview on The Real News Network, after columnist Chris Hedges tells the Truthdig Editor-in-Chief Robert Scheer that he thinks the American public has been “far more complicit [in the culture of violence] than you give allowance for,” Scheer gives an impassioned response about his own experience with manipulation of the working class by elites.

Posted on Jun 4, 2015 READ MORE

Senate Passes USA Freedom Act, Restricting NSA Surveillance Powers

Passage of the act will end the bulk collection of Americans’ phone records.

Posted on Jun 2, 2015 READ MORE

Patriot Act Extension

Posted on Jun 2, 2015 READ MORE

VIDEO: Robert Scheer Identifies a ‘Serious Division’ Between His and Chris Hedges’ Views (Part 6/7)

In perhaps the liveliest portion of the seven-part interview on The Real News Network, Robert Scheer and Chris Hedges discuss the culture of violence in the United States as their opposing views on American history come to light.

Posted on Jun 2, 2015 READ MORE

Undercutting the Patriot Act Is a Major Win for Rand Paul and Edward Snowden

The senator was a legislative force against the invasive law, but most of the credit goes to the now-exiled whistleblower who revealed the government’s massive and secret abuse of our privacy rights.

Posted on Jun 1, 2015 READ MORE

VIDEO: Chris Hedges to Robert Scheer: Why Do You Respect America’s Founding Fathers? (Part 5/7)

In the fifth installment of Truthdig columnist Chris Hedges’ interview with Truthdig Editor-in-Chief Robert Scheer about Scheer’s new book, Hedges challenges him on his reverence for the wealthy, male elites who created the United States.

Posted on May 30, 2015 READ MORE

Emoti-Conned: Facebook’s Messenger App Tracks Users’ Very Specific Coordinates

Facebook users who already feel a tad ambivalent about the social media behemoth’s extensive privacy issues might want to sit down for this squirm-inducing update on that front.

Posted on May 28, 2015 READ MORE

Rand Paul Got One (Huge) Thing Right

The Kentucky senator’s filibuster against renewing the Patriot Act made the widely covered campaign speeches of the other presidential candidates—including Hillary Clinton—look shallow.

Posted on May 28, 2015 READ MORE

Here’s How to Help Deep-Six Section 215 of the Patriot Act

It’s not just Republican Sen. Rand Paul who doesn’t want Congress to allow the Patriot Act’s Section 215—which has enabled the U.S. government to spy on residents on an unprecedented scale in recent years—to be renewed before its scheduled expiration on June 1.

Posted on May 27, 2015 READ MORE

VIDEO: Scheer and Hedges: For the Corporatist State, Information Is Control (Part 4/7)

In this installment of their seven-part interview series posted on The Real News Network, Truthdig Editor-in-Chief Robert Scheer and columnist Chris Hedges drill into the motivations for the collusion between big tech companies and the U.S. government. The end result: Control of Americans’ data leads to control of citizens themselves.

Posted on May 26, 2015 READ MORE

VIDEO: Scheer and Hedges on Surveillance, Corporatism and the National Security State (Part 3/7)

Chris Hedges and Robert Scheer continue their conversation for The Real News Network about Scheer’s latest book, “They Know Everything About You: How Data-Collecting Corporations and Snooping Government Agencies Are Destroying Democracy.” In this segment, they discuss whether there is room for optimism vis-à-vis the surveillance of American citizens and the plunder of personal data by the fused corporate-political state.

Posted on May 21, 2015 READ MORE

VIDEO:  Robert Scheer and Chris Hedges on How the Private Sector Buys and Sells Your Privacy

As Truthdig Editor-in-Chief Robert Scheer points out to Chris Hedges in this interview for The Real News Network, the safeguards written into the U.S. Constitution to protect Americans against abuses of their civil liberties don’t exactly apply to violations by the private sector.

Posted on May 19, 2015 READ MORE

AUDIO: Robert Scheer: On Civil Liberties, the NSA Is a Latter-Day King George

In an appearance on “The Campaign With Ernie Powell,” a radio show concerned with learning how progressives can win political campaigns, Truthdig Editor-in-Chief Robert Scheer says the NSA is engaged in the same invasive behavior “that sparked the American Revolution.”

Posted on May 17, 2015 READ MORE

House Votes to Change Patriot Act by Stopping Bulk Phone Data Collection

The House of Representatives on Wednesday gave Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell a big reason to crank up his hustle if he wants to hang on to the part of the Patriot Act that allows for the bulk collection of Americans’ phone records.

Posted on May 13, 2015 READ MORE

David Cameron Unleashes Frightening Attack on ‘Tolerance’ Through Proposed Extremism Laws

The British prime minister has drawn criticism from civil liberties groups that claim the ban on “extremists” could be adapted to cover anyone, including protesters the government disagrees with.

Posted on May 13, 2015 READ MORE

Interview: Robert Scheer and Chris Hedges on the Military-Industrial-Intelligence Complex (Part 1)

In the first part of a wide-ranging, seven-part discussion about Truthdig Editor-in-Chief Robert Scheer’s new book, “They Know Everything About You,” Scheer says the U.S. government and private industry have merged to turn the Internet into a massive machine for simultaneously selling to and spying on Americans.

Posted on May 13, 2015 READ MORE

Why the ACLU’s Big Victory Against NSA Surveillance Falls Short

A federal court ruling that the National Security Agency’s vast telephone metadata collection program is illegal is a clear advance for civil liberties, but it doesn’t go far enough.

Posted on May 12, 2015 READ MORE

A Nation of Snitches

All totalitarian systems, including our own, rely on informants to keep the people afraid and under control. We will not be free of corporate tyranny until the network of snitches—in the government and on the streets—is banished.

Posted on May 10, 2015 READ MORE

Don McCullough (CC BY-NC 2.0)

For 10 Years, NSA Software Has Made Phone Calls Searchable by Keyword

According to a report in The Intercept, the Snowden documents describe extensive use of keyword searching as well as computer programs designed to analyze and extract the content of voice conversations and to flag conversations of interest.

Posted on May 5, 2015 READ MORE

FBI’s Proposals for Mandatory Tech Security ‘Back Doors’ Are Slammed by Bipartisan Committee

The U.S. Committee on Oversight and Government Reform considered Wednesday whether Congress should pass laws requiring companies to add “back doors” to their tech products. In other words, the FBI wants a way to get into consumer data that theoretically only law enforcement—and not hackers—can exploit.

Posted on Apr 29, 2015 READ MORE

Robert Scheer: ‘Disturbing the Government Is an Obligation of Citizenship’

In a discussion with C-SPAN about the spying and civil liberty matters at the heart of his new book, Truthdig Editor-in-Chief Robert Scheer says that “the word is not ‘privacy,’ it’s really ‘sovereignty.’ ”

Posted on Apr 20, 2015 READ MORE

Data and Goliath

Posted on Apr 10, 2015 READ MORE

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