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Tag Archives for " monitoring "

Constitutional court bans bulk Internet surveillance in South Africa

In a landmark judgment handed down on Thursday, the constitutional court banned the South African state from bulk surveillance of online communication, preventing security agencies from hoovering up Internet data.

This sort of surveillance, which is routinely done by agencies such as the National Security Agency in the US and GCHQ in the UK – both of which have routinely tapped into submarine Internet cables – is now illegal in South Africa thanks to the country’s highest court.

Source: Constitutional court bans bulk Internet surveillance in South Africa – TechCentral

UK Mass Hacking Ruled Illegal

After five years of legal wrangling, the UK High Court has ruled that the security and intelligence services cannot search the computers and phones of millions of people under a single ‘general warrant’.

Quashing a decision by the Investigatory Powers Tribunal (IPT), the court ruled that section 5 of the Intelligence Services Act (ISA) 1994 does not permit the issuing of general warrants to property interference with property and certain forms of computer hacking.

Source: UK Mass Hacking Ruled Illegal

Nintendo Conducted Invasive Surveillance Operation Against Homebrew Hacker

Leaked Nintendo documents have revealed a frightening surveillance operation carried out against a hacker who was researching exploits for the 3DS handheld.

In addition to monitoring his private life, including aspects of his education, when he left the house and where he went, the company followed its target from his place of work in order to pressure him into stopping his activities.

Source: Nintendo Conducted Invasive Surveillance Operation Against Homebrew Hacker * TorrentFreak

A New Satellite Can Peer Inside Buildings, Day or Night

A satellite company called Capella Space just launched its platform for SAR imaging satellites that can peer through clouds and even some buildings.

Capella launched a platform allowing governmental or private customers to request images of anything in the world — a capability that will only get more powerful with the deployment of six additional satellites next year. Is that creepy from a privacy point of view? Sure. But company says that it also plugs numerous holes in the ways scientists and government agencies are currently able to monitor the planet.

Source: A New Satellite Can Peer Inside Buildings, Day or Night

COVID Cops in Europe Will Search Your Car for Evidence of Ski Gear

Switzerland has opened its Alps for the holiday ski season, but COVID-weary European governments will force anyone caught with ski gear into compulsory quarantine.

French Prime Minister Jean Castex said Wednesday that anyone found with ski paraphernalia would be forced to quarantine. The move to check travelers has been met with harsh criticism across the alpine regions.

Source: COVID Cops in Europe Will Search Your Car for Evidence of Ski Gear

Amazon Sued For Wiretapping Drivers’ Closed Facebook Groups

Amazon Flex Driver Drickey Jackson alleged that Amazon “wiretapp(ed) the electronic communications of Amazon Flex Drivers’ closed Facebook groups,” according to a class action complaint filed in the Souther District of California.

According to the complaint, Amazon sought to “secretly observe and monitor Flex Drivers’ electronic communications and confidential postings in their closed Facebook groups, through the use of monitoring tools, automated software, and dedicated employees with backgrounds in signals intelligence and communications intelligence,” who purportedly deployed said tools “as part of their … duties on behalf of Amazon.” In particular, the plaintiff cited the existence of a document listing 43 closed Flex Driver Facebook groups that Amazon purportedly monitors.

Source: Amazon Sued For Wiretapping Drivers’ Closed Facebook Groups – Tech

Huawei worked on several surveillance systems promoted to identify ethnicity

Facing an international outcry over its testing of a “Uighur alarm” system, Huawei said it is committed to human rights “at the highest level.”

But the tech giant has worked with dozens of security contractors to develop surveillance products, some of which were touted as being able to identify a person’s ethnicity or to help suppress potential protests, according to company marketing documents that shed light on a little-publicized corner of one of China’s most valuable tech empires.

Source: ‘Uighur alarm’ wasn’t only Huawei product touted to identify ethnicity – The Washington Post

Varanasi Is Using Crime Control as an Excuse for Facial Recognition Surveillance

Varanasi in India is installing 3,000 CCTV cameras with automated facial recognition tech at the city’s crossings.

Authorities say the sole purpose of these cameras is to advance security measures and track suspected criminals. The project will connect all the police stations in the city to this CCTV network, with 500 kilometres of optical fibre being laid at 700 points in the city. This advanced technology is meant to help identify people by matching their digital images, photos and video feed with the existing database.

Source: Varanasi Is Using Crime Control as an Excuse for Facial Recognition Surveillance

How an ICE Contractor Tracks Phones Around the World

Venntel, a government contractor that sells location data of smartphones to U.S. law enforcement agencies including ICE, CBP, and the FBI, gathers information through a highly complex supply chain of advertising firms, data resellers, and ultimately innocuous-looking apps installed on peoples’ phones around the world.

Although it’s not clear if Venntel ultimately provides all data generated from this specific supply chain to agencies such as ICE, the documents provide much deeper and previously unreported insight into how data moves from apps, middlemen companies, and through to data brokers. In this case, Venntel.

Source: How an ICE Contractor Tracks Phones Around the World

Feds logged website visitors in 2019, citing Patriot Act authority

The federal government gathered up visitor logs for some websites in 2019, the Office of Director of National Intelligence disclosed in letters made public this week. And the feds cited authority derived from a provision of the Patriot Act to do it.

The exchange begins with a May 20 letter from Wyden to the ODNI asking then-director Richard Grenell to explain if and how the federal government uses section 215 of the Patriot Act to obtain IP addresses and other Web browsing information.

As it turns out, one of those 61 orders did indeed result in the FBI gaining access to “information that could be characterized as information regarding ‘Web browsing.'” Specifically, federal investigators collected log entries for “a single, identified US Web page” showing IP addresses that accessed it from “a specified foreign country.”

Source: Feds logged website visitors in 2019, citing Patriot Act authority | Ars Technica

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