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Category Archives for "Surveillance"

FBI proposal outlines plans for large-scale collection of social media data

The Federal Bureau of Investigation is planning to step up its efforts to monitor social media platforms more aggressively in order to detect potential threats.

The law enforcement agency is said to be seeking technological solutions from third-party contractors that would make it possible to harvest publicly-available information en masse from Facebook, Twitter, and other social media platforms.

Source: FBI proposal outlines plans for large-scale collection of social media data

Amazon’s Ring Is a Perfect Storm of Privacy Threats

Recent reports show that Ring has partnered with police departments across the country to hawk this new surveillance system—going so far as to draft press statements and social media posts for police to promote Ring cameras.

This creates a vicious cycle in which police promote the adoption of Ring, Ring terrifies people into thinking their homes are in danger, and then Amazon sells more cameras.

Source: Amazon’s Ring Is a Perfect Storm of Privacy Threats | Electronic Frontier Foundation

Contractors at Microsoft eavesdrop on some Skype calls

Amazon and Google have been in the headlines recently over how the tech giants’ workers eavesdrop on the audio footage picked up by smart assistants. Now Microsoft has explaining to do following reports that its employees listen in on real Skype conversations that have gone through translation software processing.

People contracted to work with Microsoft take dialogues in for review as a means of translation quality control. No mention of this surveillance appears in Skype’s terms and conditions.

Source: Contractors at Microsoft eavesdrop on some Skype calls

As San Diego increases use of streetlamp cameras raising surveillance concerns

Privacy groups call on elected officials to put surveillance protections in place, warn about the potential for hacking and internal abuses.

San Diego has installed thousands of microphones and cameras in so-called smart streetlamps in recent years as part of a program to assess traffic and parking patterns throughout the city.

The technology over the last year caught the attention of law enforcement last year. But privacy groups have voiced concerns about a lack of oversight as law enforcement has embraced the new technology.

Source: As San Diego increases use of streetlamp cameras, ACLU raises surveillance concerns – Los Angeles Times

Cathay Pacific reveals its use of onboard cameras

Hong Kong airline Cathay Pacific reveals its use of cameras on its aircraft, reopening an uncomfortable debate over surveillance aboard airplanes.

While CCTV surveillance is accepted by many as a reassuring security measure, others feel tracking passengers in the confines of an airplane cabin is a step too far.

Full article: Cathay Pacific reveals its use of onboard cameras | CNN Travel

Pentagon testing mass surveillance balloons across the US

The Pentagon has 25 mass surveillance balloons that can monitor and track individual vehicles as they travel across states.

The point of the balloons is “to provide a persistent surveillance system to locate and deter narcotic trafficking and homeland security threats”. But that also means everyday people will be subjected to sweeping government surveillance — without their knowledge or consent.

Source: Pentagon testing mass surveillance balloons across the US | US news | The Guardian

Privacy rights under threat with Irish government’s national ID card

A UN representative has called out the Irish government’s introduction of an ID card which contains biometric information.

UN special rapporteur on extreme poverty Prof Philip Alston criticised the roll-out of the Public Services Card (PSC), saying the government introduced the card “without any transparency of public debate”.

Source: UN official says privacy rights under threat with Irish government’s national ID card | The Canary

Publishers v. Privacy: Registration Is Coming

The introduction of ad blocking, browser-level advertising and browser-blocking of tracking and cookies should have heralded the beginning of more anonymous browsing.

Instead, these innovations may lead to more user registration and tracking, albeit in a potentially more consent-based manner. Publishers will soon be waging a greater battle with privacy to build a sustainable ad-supported business, writes, Ka Mo Lau, COO of Thunder Experience Cloud.

Full article: Publishers v. Privacy – Registration Is Coming | MarTech Advisor

Appeal against government mass surveillance loses in High Court

The human rights group Liberty has failed in its legal bid to put an end to the Investigatory Powers Act.

The law permits mass monitoring of connected devices to enable intelligence agencies to extend surveillance and government knowledge. But the legislation, branded the “Snoopers’ Charter” by its detractors has come under heavy criticism.

Source: Appeal against government mass surveillance loses in High Court

Fujifilm’s first surveillance camera can read a license plate from 1km away

Fujifilm is getting into surveillance cameras with the SX800, a long-range surveillance camera with a 40x optical zoom that’s designed to offer security at international borders and large commercial facilities.

Fujifilm says the SX800 will have a total equivalent focal length of 1000mm, which is enough to focus on a car’s license plate from 1km or roughly 0.6 miles away.

For everyone it’s a good reminder that just because you can’t see a security camera, that doesn’t mean one can’t see you, even if it’s multiple kilometers away.

Source: Fujifilm’s first surveillance camera can read a license plate from 1km away – The Verge

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