Privacy, encryption vs. Surveillance state

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Anyway... I posted the above because it struck me: Culture shock. <-- We are undergoing totally radical changes in absolutely everything we have known.

Generals in drag with long hair and lipstick. Satanist school readings to kids. Breakdown of social mores. Inflation at the razor edge. Open knowledge of presidential treason. COVID. FBI/DOJ/CIA/MSM treason. Blatant, proven vote fraud.

A full list would take too much attention span. The above partial list has all hit us in a fashion equivalent to a volcano -- ALL AT ONCE in an unrelenting series of concussions... and being numbed by it, we are accepting it.

Look yourself in the mirror and ask the person you see: "What will you actually do if the only transactions you can make are to be made with electric dots?"

Remember: Taxes, insurance (for sure), any banking at all anywhere (fed)...
Anyway... I posted the above because it struck me: Culture shock. <-- We are undergoing totally radical changes in absolutely everything we have known.

Generals in drag with long hair and lipstick. Satanist school readings to kids. Breakdown of social mores. Inflation at the razor edge. Open knowledge of presidential treason. COVID. FBI/DOJ/CIA/MSM treason. Blatant, proven vote fraud.
You mean kind of like a, "great reset"?
You mean kind of like a, "great reset"?
Frankly, it looks like a "great catastrophe" is more likely.

Remember: All of this is in the arena of WWIII, horrible disease forever in the human race, collapse of the USD, and a long litany of super-negative "first evers" too discouraging to list.
About 4 years ago, there a murder in the city of Tampa's Ybor city area right under one of their surveillance cameras and they actually said in the local news that they were unable to identify who did the crime other that is was a possible human.

Really makes a person feel safe doesn't it.

They was also doing facial recognition at the airports. I asked the cop who was doing it if he or they found anything. I was told to move along.

I never an answer to my question if a terrorist was supposed to register with the country. One of the local wits questioned (when Tampa was hosting a super bowl) as to why only ticket holders were monitored for warrants and crimes and not the players.
On another note is there technology out there that is similar to white noise boxes that nullify eavesdropping apparatus that will block random cameras emplaced by the authorities. Just wondering asking for a friend.
Who volunteers for this shit?

The people idiots who keep electing representatives that do nothing but work on ways to erode their Rights.

Seeing as how they keep doing it, they must like it.

On another note is there technology out there that is similar to white noise boxes that nullify eavesdropping apparatus that will block random cameras emplaced by the authorities. Just wondering asking for a friend.
Yes. See post #64. So far, it's prolly the best option.

There is something similar for cars, but built into a license plate frame in order to thwart automated license plate readers.
EFF does good work on this issue:

Supposedly one of the negotiations of the Republicans is they want protections for Crypto as part of the deal to raise the debt ceiling. Do not know if that is true.
Dang!! You hit it!

If they switch to crypto... there literally is NO LIMIT!

Ukraine needs fifty billion? One keystroke.
On another note is there technology out there that is similar to white noise boxes that nullify eavesdropping apparatus that will block random cameras emplaced by the authorities. Just wondering asking for a friend.
Here's something new on that front.

Clothes that make you invisible to cameras.

Well, sort of.

Interesting concept though.

How long it'll work? Who knows.

SAN FRANCISCO—An Oakland activist has dealt a blow to the near-total immunity the United States government and federal officials enjoy from lawsuits seeking accountability for their unlawful conduct. Activist and entrepreneur René Quiñonez will get his day in court, after a federal district judge partially rejected the government’s effort to dismiss his challenge to the Postal Service’s baseless seizure and search of hundreds of packages during the summer 2020 protests against police violence. René and the Institute for Justice (IJ) first filed this lawsuit in June 2022.

“We don’t surrender our right to privacy by using the postal service. All government officials must respect the Fourth Amendment, and the courts must hold them and their employers accountable when they overreach,” said IJ Attorney Jaba Tsitsuashvili. “Protection against the seizure and search of Mr. Quiñonez’s quintessentially political messages is exactly why we have these constitutional safeguards.”


Maryland Supreme Court: Police Can’t Search Digital Data When Users Revoke Consent​

Under the Fourth Amendment, police can search your home, your computer, and other private spaces without a warrant or even probable cause if you freely and voluntarily consent to the search. But even when someone consents to a search, they should be able to change their mind. Say, for example, if a lawyer gives them better advice. But as a recent case from the Maryland Supreme Court demonstrates, searches of digital data stored on electronic devices raise unique questions about consent. If you consent to a search of your computer and police make a copy of the data on the computer, can they still examine that copy if you withdraw that consent? In State v. McDonnell, the Maryland Supreme Court sensibly answered no.

In June 2019, police officers visited Mr. McDonnell’s home and requested to search his home, computer, and phone as part of their investigation into the distribution of child pornography . Mr. McDonnell originally declined the search, but later signed a consent form allowing the agents to search his home and seize his phone and computer. The form included a clause stating that “I understand that I may withdraw my consent at any time.” After Mr. McDonnell’s electronics had been seized and their contents copied, but before the contents had been examined, Mr. McDonnell’s lawyer sent an email withdrawing consent to “the seizure of [Mr. McDonnell’s] laptop, or examination of its contents.” But agents searched the contents of the computer anyway. McDonnell moved to suppress the evidence that came from the search of his computer after he had revoked his consent.



The U.K. Government Is Very Close To Eroding Encryption Worldwide​

The U.K. Parliament is pushing ahead with a sprawling internet regulation bill that will, among other things, undermine the privacy of people around the world. The Online Safety Bill, now at the final stage before passage in the House of Lords, gives the British government the ability to force backdoors into messaging services, which will destroy end-to-end encryption. No amendments have been accepted that would mitigate the bill’s most dangerous elements.

If it passes, the Online Safety Bill will be a huge step backwards for global privacy, and democracy itself. Requiring government-approved software in peoples’ messaging services is an awful precedent. If the Online Safety Bill becomes British law, the damage it causes won’t stop at the borders of the U.K.



Will Browsers Be Required By Law To Stop You From Visiting Infringing Sites?​

Mozilla’s Open Policy & Advocacy blog has news about a worrying proposal from the French government:

In a well-intentioned yet dangerous move to fight online fraud, France is on the verge of forcing browsers to create a dystopian technical capability. Article 6 (para II and III) of the SREN Bill would force browser providers to create the means to mandatorily block websites present on a government provided list.

"France is on the verge of forcing browsers to create a dystopian technical capability."

How is it that France gets to force that on everyone else?

F' France.
Almost two years ago, I ran across this news story (but failed to post it here) about Palantir Technologies building a supercomputer for the IRS to analyze/track financial transactions:
Sounds like they are building out surveillance tech for contact tracing / medical profiling or similar.

I almost put this in the AI thread, but knowing how embedded Palantir is with government database/surveillance systems, it raises some issues with data mining capabilities...

“Watch what we’re doing,” he told MarketWatch Thursday during the company’s Software for Government event in Washington, D.C. “We believe we delivered precursor technologies to the U.S. government for managing algorithms that are applicable to large language models,” which are the sort of artificial intelligence known popularly to be behind technologies like ChatGPT.
On the government side, he’s most excited about helping the U.S. government build an AI-generated weapons system. The application of AI in weaponry and other government contexts “requires a lot of effort” since large language models can’t interact with classified systems in an unfettered manner.

I can only imagine Palantir building an AI bridge between military drone systems and the NCTC's disposition matrix
Earlier this week, EFF joined the ACLU and 59 partner organizations to send a letter to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer urging the Senate to reject the STOP CSAM Act. This bill threatens encrypted communications and free speech online ...

So yeah, about that report posted above (#30) about China's Draconian surveillance system...

Australia is just full of big brotherly love.

Australian job seekers could soon be able to store and share verified job skills and qualifications with employers through a newly announced National Digital Skills Passport. This passport would function as a digital ID for job qualifications. ...

Regarding post #72 and the previous post, the EU is working on a parallel project:

As 2023 continues, the European Commission appears busy developing and running pilots for its EU Digital Identity Wallet (EUDI), which it intends to make available to all EU citizens in the near future. But while the European Commission (EC) boasts the prospective EUDI’s convenience, security, and wide range of prospective use cases in daily life, what’s less discussed is the tool’s potential for a bevy of ethical and surveillance-related issues.

Colorado's (state) Supreme Court lays a turd on the 4th Amendment:
Today, the Colorado Supreme Court became the first state supreme court in the country to address the constitutionality of a keyword warrant—a digital dragnet tool that allows law enforcement to identify everyone who searched the internet for a specific term or phrase. In a weak and ultimately confusing opinion, the court upheld the warrant, finding the police relied on it in good faith. EFF filed two amicus briefs and was heavily involved in the case.

The case is People v. Seymour, which involved a tragic home arson that killed several people. Police didn’t have a suspect, so they used a keyword warrant to ask Google for identifying information on anyone and everyone who searched for variations on the home’s street address in the two weeks prior to the arson.

Like geofence warrants, keyword warrants cast a dragnet that require a provider to search its entire reserve of user data—in this case, queries by one billion Google users. Police generally have no identified suspects; instead, the sole basis for the warrant is the officer’s hunch that the suspect might have searched for something in some way related to the crime.


Today, the Michigan Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in Long Lake Township v. Maxon. The court has the chance to decide whether a municipal government can circumvent constitutional protections by farming out the task to a private company.

Oddly, the case is not so straightforward as deciding whether or not warrantless drone surveillance is constitutional; in fact, the appeals court ruled explicitly that it was not. But it also said that excluding any evidence gathered would be inappropriate, so the state Supreme Court can functionally determine whether local governments can do this and get away with it.

Multiple civil liberty advocacy organizations have submitted amicus briefs on behalf of the Maxons. ...


As with qualified immunity, and civil asset forfeiture, sometimes the law makes no damn sense.
The Five Eyes are publicizing a narrative via 60 Minutes. I thought these peeps preferred to stay in the background.

From the UK:
The United Kingdom is at the leading edge of many of the digital authoritarian trends sweeping ostensibly democratic nations. In one of the many dark ironies of our age, it is the government of George Orwell’s native Britain that is seeking to massively escalate its deployment of live facial recognition (LFR) technologies, despite the concerns raised about its potential impact. In late September, 180 rights groups and tech experts called on governments around the world to halt their use of facial recognition surveillance.

On the other side of the English channel, the EU Parliament has voted for a blanket ban on the use of LFR in public spaces, as too have some US cities. By contrast, the UK government is escalating its deployment of the controversial surveillance technology.
As we reported in early August, live facial recognition (LFR) surveillance, where people’s faces are biometrically scanned by cameras in real-time and checked against a database, is being used by an increasing number of UK retailers amid a sharp upsurge in shoplifting — with the blessing, of course, of the UK government. Police forces are also being urged to step up their use of LFR. The technology has also been deployed at the Coronation of King Charles III, sports events including Formula 1, and concerts, despite ongoing concerns about its accuracy as well as the huge ethical and privacy issues it raises.

More (long):

On June 2, 2020, BuzzFeed News reporters Jason Leopold and Anthony Cormier broke the story that the Justice Department (DOJ) had authorized the DEA to go outside of its normal legal boundaries of drug enforcement. The DEA was authorized "to enforce any federal crime committed as a result of protests over the death of George Floyd." The mission included "covert surveillance," according to the DEA memo obtained by BuzzFeed.

That authority was supposed to expire after two weeks, but after pursuing litigation using the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), an investigation by the Cato Institute has thus far failed to confirm that the DEA's covert surveillance operations were, in fact, terminated by mid-June 2020. Moreover, DOJ documents obtained by Cato in the litigation show that the DEA has engaged in such non-drug enforcement operations nearly 30 times since February 2005.
Cato's FOIA litigation against the Justice Department over this matter is ongoing, with the hopes of learning more about the DEA's role in domestic surveillance during the 2020 protests. But the revelation that other DOJ components have received such non-primary mission delegations of authority should be a concern to any citizen engaged in First Amendment–protected public protest activities.

These latest revelations about the frequency with which DEA agents have been employed on non-drug related investigations, and the fact that other DOJ components have also received such out-of-mission taskings, point to a clear, urgent need for a far more sweeping congressional investigation of the practice and the extent to which American's rights may have been violated by its repeated use.

Regarding post #103 on the Euro Digital Identity Wallet:
Council of the European Union said:
Press release - 8 November 2023 18:15

European digital identity: Council and Parliament reach a provisional agreement on eID​

With a view to ensuring a trusted and secure digital identity for all Europeans, the Council presidency and European Parliament representatives reached today a provisional agreement on a new framework for a European digital identity (eID).

Nadia Calviño - acting Spanish first vice-president and minister for economy and digitalisation said:
With the approval of the European digital identity regulation, we are taking a fundamental step so that citizens can have a unique and secure European digital identity. This is a key advance for the European Union to be a global reference in the digital field, protecting our democratic rights and values.

The European digital identity wallet

The revised regulation constitutes a clear paradigm shift for digital identity in Europe aiming to ensure universal access for people and businesses to secure and trustworthy electronic identification and authentication.

Under the new law, member states will offer citizens and businesses digital wallets that will be able to link their national digital identities with proof of other personal attributes (e.g., driving licence, diplomas, bank account). Citizens will be able to prove their identity and share electronic documents from their digital wallets with a click of a button on their mobile phone.

The new European digital identity wallets will enable all Europeans to access online services with their national digital identification, which will be recognised throughout Europe, without having to use private identification methods or unnecessarily sharing personal data. User control ensures that only information that needs to be shared will be shared.

Concluding the initial provisional agreement

Since the initial provisional agreement on some of the main elements of the legislative proposal at the end of June this year, a thorough series of technical meetings followed in order to complete a text that allowed the finalisation of the file in full. Some relevant aspects agreed by the co-legislators today are:
  • the e-signatures: the wallet will be free to use for natural persons by default, but member states may provide for measures to ensure that the free-of-charge use is limited to non-professional purposes
  • the wallet’s business model: the issuance, use and revocation will be free of charge for all natural persons
  • the validation of electronic attestation of attributes: member states shall provide free-of-charge validation mechanisms only to verify the authenticity and validity of the wallet and of the relying parties’ identity
  • the code for the wallets: the application software components will be open source, but member states are granted necessary leeway so that, for justified reasons, specific components other than those installed on user devices may not be disclosed
  • consistency between the wallet as an eID means and the underpinning scheme under which it is issued has been ensured

Finally, the revised law clarifies the scope of the qualified web authentication certificates (QWACs), which ensures that users can verify who is behind a website, while preserving the current well-established industry security rules and standards.

Next steps

Technical work will continue to complete the legal text in accordance with the provisional agreement. When finalised, the text will be submitted to the member states’ representatives (Coreper) for endorsement. Subject to a legal/linguistic review, the revised regulation will then need to be formally adopted by the Parliament and the Council before it can be published in the EU’s Official Journal and enter into force.

The head of Poland’s central bank Adam Glapiński, says consumers do not want their bank to know about all their transactions and full digital centralization of transactions removes that right to anonymity.

This latest EU move is also tied to the proposed treaty changes, which include the phasing out of all national currencies in favor of the euro. Not only would Poland be denied the right to conduct its own monetary policy, but the EU would also control the wallets of Polish citizens.

I searched, but could not find any corroboration of the ZH/Remix claim about Adam Glapiński statements, but it seems to track with what I did find:
"The debate on Poland's entry into the eurozone may begin in eight to ten years at the earliest when Poland reaches the level of development in Western countries," Adam Glapinski, president of Poland's central bank told a Friday press conference.

Under its accession treaty with the EU, Poland is formally committed to adopting the euro, but no date has ever been set for when the common European currency should replace the Polish złoty, Poland’s TVP World reports.

Glapinski, who was re-elected in May 2022 for a second six-year term of office, has long opposed the euro. He has said on several occasions he will not allow the country to join the eurozone while in his current job, reports. The president of Poland's central bank had even warned that ‘Adopting the euro in Poland would be deeply harmful and result in a "radical drop" in the rate of GDP growth’.


US govt pays AT&T to let cops search Americans' phone records – 'usually' without a warrant​

A senator has alleged that American law enforcement agencies snoop on US citizens and residents, seemingly without regard for the privacy provisions of the Fourth Amendment, under a secret program called the Hemisphere Project that allows police to conduct searches of trillions of phone records.

According to Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR), these searches "usually" happen without warrants. And after more than a decade of keeping people — lawmakers included — in the dark about Hemisphere, Wyden wants the Justice Department to reveal information about what he called a "long-running dragnet surveillance program."

"I have serious concerns about the legality of this surveillance program, and the materials provided by the DoJ contain troubling information that would justifiably outrage many Americans and other members of Congress," Wyden wrote in a letter [PDF] to US Attorney General Merrick Garland.


That sounds exactly like what Edward Snowden revealed except Snowden talked about AT&T selling the data to the NSA, not Barney Fife.
... Senators Jeff Merkley (D-OR) and John Kennedy (R-LA) introduced the Traveler Privacy Protection Act, which would prohibit the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) from using facial recognition. The TSA has been testing the use of facial recognition at various airports over the past few years and despite warnings of the dangers of implementing facial recognition technology, TSA plans to push the technology out to hundreds of airports. EPIC Senior Counsel, Jeramie Scott, has explained why TSA’s plans to implement facial recognition in airports across the country is so dangerous.

Looks like the bill is limited to airports. Would be nicer if it applied broadly to every place the TSA operates.
WASHINGTON, Dec 6 (Reuters) - Unidentified governments are surveilling smartphone users via their apps' push notifications, a U.S. senator warned on Wednesday.

In a letter to the Department of Justice, Senator Ron Wyden said foreign officials were demanding the data from Alphabet's (GOOGL.O) Google and Apple (AAPL.O). Although details were sparse, the letter lays out yet another path by which governments can track smartphones.


A few years ago, Human Rights Watch had a detailed report on China's Draconian surveillance system. It sounds like China is now taking it to 12 (it was already at 11):
Blockchain technology will be used to verify the real-name identities of China's 1.4 billion people, according to an announcement from the Blockchain-based Service Network (BSN), China's national-level blockchain initiative – a move likely to spark concern among data-privacy advocates.

China's Ministry of Public Security spearheaded the initiative, called RealDID, with help from BSN.

The RealDID service launch will enable users to register and log in to websites anonymously using DID addresses and private keys, ensuring that business data and transactions remain disconnected from personal information.

China's top six social media platforms, including WeChat, Sina Weibo, Douyin, Kuaishou, Bilibili, and Xiaohongshu, mandate content creators with over 500,000 or 1 million followers to publicly display their real names or those of their financial backers, state media reported in October.


Pharmacies sharing medical data without police warrant: Congressional investigation​

A congressional investigation has discovered that law enforcement agencies have been accessing patient prescription records through pharmacies without warrants, with most people unaware that their private data is being handed over to authorities.

Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), chair of the Senate Finance Committee, along with Democratic Reps. Pramila Jayapal (Wash.) and Sara Jacobs (Calif.) alerted the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) of what they’ve uncovered.



L.L. Bean tips the scales in state privacy fight​

In Maine, a new data-privacy law stirred up a surprising opponent — and shows the power of local-national business alliances.

12/18/2023 05:00 AM EST

Rep. Maggie O’Neil, a Maine legislator, wanted to give the state’s residents a strong set of new online privacy rights. She introduced a data-privacy bill in May — rebuffing a Meta lobbyist, who wanted her to get behind a more industry-friendly law.

Then L.L. Bean arrived.

In October, a lawyer for the venerable outdoor retailer appeared in the state Capitol to testify against her bill, saying its new privacy requirements would add unnecessary burdens for businesses. The company also sent a letter urging lawmakers to follow existing privacy regulations in other states, rather than carving out a new set of protections for Maine.

As one of Maine’s largest employers and best-known brands, the century-old L.L. Bean has significant clout in the state Capitol. It didn’t endorse a specific law, but its testimony aligned directly with a rival privacy bill supported by the tech industry — one that would give companies much more latitude to use, buy and sell data on consumers.


I guess I won't be buying any L.L. Bean products then.
Surveilling the surveillance state...
If you haven't checked out the Atlas of Surveillance recently, or ever before, you absolutely should. It includes a searchable database and an interactive map, and anyone can download the data for their own projects. As this collaboration with the University of Nevada Reno's Reynolds School of Journalism (RSJ) finishes its fifth year, we are proud to announce that we've hit a major milestone: more than 12,000 data points that document the use of police surveillance nationwide, all collected using open-source investigative techniques, data journalism, and public records requests.
This year we also dug into one particular technology. As part of our Atlas efforts, we began to see Fusus—a company working to bring real-time surveillance to local police departments via camera registries and real-time crime centers—appear more frequently as a tool used by law enforcement. In collaboration with the Thomson Reuters Foundation, we decided to do a deeper dive into the adoption of Fusus, and the Atlas has served as a resource for other reporters working to investigate this company in their own towns and across the country.


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