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May 28, 2015
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Tag: Privacy


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



Data and Goliath

It was actually the corporate world that built a “massive Internet eavesdropping system,” a new book notes, and the NSA just tapped into it. “It’s less Big Brother, and more hundreds of tattletale little brothers.”

Posted on Apr 10, 2015 READ MORE



Dead Spying Legislation Returns With Help From Big Business (Video)

The Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act failed after Edward Snowden’s revelations of mass government spying. But today it’s back, largely unchanged, and President Obama is expected to reverse his opposition to it.

Posted on Apr 2, 2015 READ MORE



A Forceful Call to Rescue Democracy: Peter Richardson on Robert Scheer’s New Book

The Truthdig editor-in-chief’s new book, “They Know Everything About You: How Data-Collecting Corporations and Snooping Government Agencies Are Destroying Democracy,” continues the important work on the abuse of power he began five decades ago, writes Peter Richardson at The National Memo.

Posted on Mar 30, 2015 READ MORE


Robert Scheer Talks Privacy With Scholar Aleecia McDonald

The Peninsula Peace and Justice Center hosted Truthdig Editor-in-Chief Robert Scheer and scholar Aleecia McDonald in a public conversation about the themes at the center of Scheer’s new book, “They Know Everything About You: How Data-Collecting Corporations and Snooping Government Agencies Are Destroying Democracy.”

Posted on Mar 28, 2015 READ MORE



Why Wikimedia Just Might Win Its Lawsuit Over NSA Surveillance

The nonprofit organization behind Wikipedia, the online encyclopedia, claims that because of Edward Snowden’s revelations, the spy agency can no longer use the same old “state secrets” defense.

Posted on Mar 27, 2015 READ MORE


Farewell to Privacy

Posted on Mar 19, 2015 READ MORE


Robert Scheer Speaks With Seattle About Privacy and Surveillance

The Truthdig editor-in-chief spoke about his new book, “They Know Everything About You: How Data-Collecting Corporations and Snooping Government Agencies Are Destroying Democracy,” at a town hall event in Seattle.

Posted on Mar 19, 2015 READ MORE



The Coming Death, and Afterlife, of the NSA Spying Law

The Patriot Act provision that authorized mass surveillance on Americans is set to expire, but don’t be fooled: The snooping is likely to continue. In an interview with Truthdig, Sen. Ron Wyden calls ending dragnet surveillance a “big priority.”

Posted on Mar 15, 2015 READ MORE


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Posted on Mar 15, 2015 READ MORE



Robert Scheer: Liberation and Enslavement in the Same Tool

In an excerpt from his new book, Truthdig Editor-in-Chief Robert Scheer describes how leaders in business and government abuse the Internet to deprive people of the privacy that is essential to the creation of a strong, independent self.

Posted on Mar 7, 2015 READ MORE



Hacker, Hoaxer, Whistleblower, Spy

As the surveillance state has harnessed the very technologies that were supposed to liberate us, a new book explores the shadowy world of Anonymous, an online “community” that has targeted corporations and governments guilty of perceived offenses against digital liberty.

Posted on Mar 6, 2015 READ MORE


Robert Scheer on National Security: ‘We Don’t Have Adults Watching the Store’ (Video)

“To treat this apparatus of the national security state as if it’s on any level acting in a rational sense, other than trying to have an enemy so we can have a big defense industry … is utter nonsense,” the Truthdig editor-in-chief told an audience at a conference on nuclear weapons Sunday.

Posted on Mar 2, 2015 READ MORE


How to Arm Your Cellphone Against Hackers and Spies

One of the many uncomfortable realities that we all are increasingly obliged to accept, at least on a practical level, is that the many gadgets that power our personal and professional lives can’t ever be fully shielded from prying eyes.

Posted on Mar 1, 2015 READ MORE



Robert Scheer: On Civil Liberties, Obama’s ‘Probably the Worst President We’ve Had’

Barack Obama “makes George W. Bush and Richard Nixon look good by comparison,” Truthdig’s editor-in-chief told Salon in an interview about his new book, “They Know Everything About You: How Data-Collecting Corporations and Snooping Government Agencies Are Destroying Democracy.”

Posted on Feb 28, 2015 READ MORE



Samsung’s SmartTV Is Smart Enough to Spy on Its Owners

A startlingly vigilant new television by Samsung, the SmartTV, monitors what people say through a voice activation feature and, as it’s handily interfacing with the Internet, might just share that information with third parties.

Posted on Feb 10, 2015 READ MORE



U.S. Plan to Track Drivers Bigger Than Previously Thought

New documents released by the ACLU reveal that federal agencies proposed that license plate readers be used to monitor the travel patterns of Americans who attended certain public meetings.

Posted on Jan 29, 2015 READ MORE



A Report to the City Commissioners: A Poem About Freedom and Privacy in the Surveillance Age

At a time when the surveillance state seems stronger than ever, award-winning poet David Wagoner reminds us that sometimes even the most regimented pursuits may lead to a freedom that can only be found in unexpected places.

Posted on Jan 21, 2015 READ MORE



Obamacare Site Gives Personal Data to Outside Websites

Just as President Obama is calling for stronger cybersecurity protections, the government’s health insurance website is passing registrants’ personal information to outside websites.

Posted on Jan 20, 2015 READ MORE



Zombie Cookies Will Be Killed, Company Says

Tech company Turn said it would stop using tracking cookies that are impossible to delete. The decision came in response to a recent ProPublica article that revealed the controversial practice.

Posted on Jan 19, 2015 READ MORE



Shutterstock

Zombie Cookie: The Tracking Cookie Verizon Customers Can’t Kill

An online ad company called Turn is using tracking cookies that come back to life after Verizon users have deleted them. Turn’s services are used by everyone from Google to Facebook.

Posted on Jan 14, 2015 READ MORE



An Eye in the Sky Is Coming to America’s East Coast

In a few days, the U.S. Army will position in the skies over Maryland two billion-dollar blimps capable of monitoring activity in an area the size of Texas.

Posted on Dec 18, 2014 READ MORE


Edward Snowden Comments on the CIA’s Secret Torture Report

“If we can run a rendition, a kidnapping, a detention program, a torture program, keep it secret for years, and then when it is revealed, hold no one to account, what does this mean for the future direction of our society?” the NSA whistle-blower said after the U.S. Senate’s release of the CIA torture report.

Posted on Dec 11, 2014 READ MORE


Campaign Seeks to Dry Out the National Security Agency

“The American surveillance state has an Achilles Heel,” organizers of the OffNow campaign say. “We can thwart mass surveillance without relying on Congress or [the] Supreme Court” by passing legislation that stops “the flow of state supplied water and electricity to federal agencies conducting mass, warrantless surveillance.”

Posted on Nov 23, 2014 READ MORE


Laura Poitras Tells Jon Stewart How She Persuaded Edward Snowden to Be Filmed

The “Citizenfour” documentary filmmaker stopped by “The Daily Show” on Monday for a captivating interview in which she discussed how Edward Snowden first got in touch with her and what the repercussions of the whistle-blower’s courageous acts have been.

Posted on Nov 19, 2014 READ MORE



NSA Reform Blocked by Paranoid Republican Senators

“God forbid we wake up tomorrow and [Islamic State] is in the United States,” Sen. Marco Rubio said as the USA Freedom Act, considered a “gift to terrorists” by critics, was rejected by the U.S. Senate on Tuesday.

Posted on Nov 19, 2014 READ MORE



Shutterstock

AT&T Stops Tracking Customers but Verizon Remains Committed to Prying

Negative press coverage has forced the wireless carrier to reconsider selling customer data to advertisers.

Posted on Nov 14, 2014 READ MORE



How ‘Russia’s Don Juan-in-Chief’ Has Chinese Censors Working Overtime

Russian President Vladimir Putin started a wee scandal in China by flirting with none other than the country’s first lady; Islamic State may be on its way out; meanwhile, a protein in sugar beets could serve as an effective blood substitute. These discoveries and more after the jump.

Posted on Nov 11, 2014 READ MORE


Julian Assange: Google’s Basic Business Model ‘Same as the NSA’s’

In a conversation with “Imaginary Lines” host Chris Spannos, WikiLeaks founder and Editor-in-Chief Julian Assange discussed his new book, “When Google Met WikiLeaks,” which is based on a conversation Assange had with Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt.

Posted on Oct 24, 2014 READ MORE



Why Twitter’s Lawsuit Could Make or Break Transparency

President Obama has called his administration the “most transparent in history,” but instead of allowing companies to be completely transparent regarding their involvement in government surveillance, Washington has muzzled them.

Posted on Oct 21, 2014 READ MORE



Edward Snowden and the Golden Age of Spying

Having seen her remarkable new film on Edward Snowden, “Citizenfour,” in a packed house at the New York Film Festival, I sat down with Laura Poitras in a tiny conference room at the Loews Regency Hotel in New York City to discuss just how our world has changed and her part in it.

Posted on Oct 20, 2014 READ MORE



Executive of ‘The Safest Place on the Internet’ Answers Privacy Exposé

The chief executive of the “anonymous” social media app that The Guardian determined was tracking its users did not dispute the accuracy of the paper’s report and said in his first public statement on the matter, “We realize that we’re not infallible.”

Posted on Oct 19, 2014 READ MORE



Whisper, ‘The Safest Place on the Internet,’ Tracks Its Users

The company behind the social media app that promises users anonymity and encourages them to disclose intimate details about their private and professional lives is tracking the locations of its users—including those who specifically ask not to be followed—and sharing information with the Department of Defense.

Posted on Oct 17, 2014 READ MORE



Just How Closely Do the NSA and U.S. Companies Work Together?

Documents describe “contractual relationships” between NSA and U.S. companies, as well as undercover operatives at some U.S. companies.

Posted on Oct 16, 2014 READ MORE



U.N. Report Says NSA’s Mass Digital Surveillance ‘Violates Core Privacy Rights’

The Intercept’s Glenn Greenwald writes that a report recently released by the United Nations’ top official for counterterrorism and human rights rejects the “key argument often made by American defenders of the NSA.”

Posted on Oct 15, 2014 READ MORE


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