• Tag Archives Big Brother
  • In NSA-intercepted data, those not targeted far outnumber the foreigners who are

    Ordinary Internet users, American and non-American alike, far outnumber legally targeted foreigners in the communications intercepted by the National Security Agency from U.S. digital networks, according to a four-month investigation by The Washington Post.

    Nine of 10 account holders found in a large cache of intercepted conversations, which former NSA contractor Edward Snowden provided in full to The Post, were not the intended surveillance targets but were caught in a net the agency had cast for somebody else.

    Many of them were Americans. Nearly half of the surveillance files, a strikingly high proportion, contained names, e-mail addresses or other details that the NSA marked as belonging to U.S. citizens or residents. NSA analysts masked, or “minimized,” more than 65,000 such references to protect Americans’ privacy, but The Post found nearly 900 additional e-mail addresses, unmasked in the files, that could be strongly linked to U.S. citizens or U.S.residents.

    The surveillance files highlight a policy dilemma that has been aired only abstractly in public. There are discoveries of considerable intelligence value in the intercepted messages — and collateral harm to privacy on a scale that the Obama administration has not been willing to address.

    via In NSA-intercepted data, those not targeted far outnumber the foreigners who are


  • ‘We’re going to have more visibility and less privacy’: Mayor Bloomberg admits soon NYPD surveillance cameras will be on nearly every corner and in the air

    Big Brother is watching. Now get used to it!

    Envisioning a future where privacy is a thing of the past, Mayor Bloomberg said Friday it will soon be impossible to escape the watchful eyes of surveillance cameras and even drones in the city.

    He acknowledged privacy concerns, but said “you can’t keep the tides from coming in.”

    “You wait, in five years, the technology is getting better, they’ll be cameras everyplace . . . whether you like it or not,” Bloomberg said.

    The security measures have drawn scorn from some civil libertarians — but Bloomberg scoffed at privacy concerns on his Friday morning program on WOR-AM.

    “The argument against using automation is just this craziness that ‘Oh, it’s Big Brother,’” Bloomberg said. “Get used to it!”

    The New York Civil Liberties Union has documented nearly 2,400 surveillance cameras fixed on public spaces in Manhattan alone. Many are operated by the police, others by poroperty owners.

    In Lower Manhattan, an initiative developed after 9/11 known as the “Ring of Steel” integrates the NYPD’s cameras with those of banks and other institutions.

    But in the future, the cameras won’t just be planted on buildings and utility poles. Some of them will be able to fly, the mayor pointed out.

    “It’s scary,” Bloomberg said. “But what’s the difference whether the drone is up in the air or on the building? I mean intellectually I have trouble making a distinction. And you know you’re gonna have face recognition software. People are working on that.