More good stuff on surveillance – 12-16-13

Here is my seventh list of good stuff on our surveillance society that I’d like talk about but only have time to recommend with a quick comment. Check out the new Christmas carol –

ACLU – The NSA is coming to town



and fictional illustration of the cascade effect in spying and also spying on the game world –  

12-9 – The Guardian – Xbox Live among game services targeted by US and UK spy agencies and New York Times – Spies’ Dragnet Reaches a Playing Field of Elves and Trolls – The NSA and their British counterpart, GCHQ have been actively spying in the World of Warcraft, Second Life, and Xbox worlds. They have agents working in those games to gather intel and search for terrorist activity. They are watching for intel passing, money laundering, and covert communication.  The Snowden documents were released by the Guardian, ProPublica, and the New York Times.  The FBI, CIA, and Defense Humint Service all have agents active in the games looking for intel.  There were so many intel people playing that the NSA had to assign deconflicting staff to keep agents from spying on and trying to recruit each other.

12-10 – Washington Post – NSA uses Google cookies to pinpoint targets for hacking Far more serious than spies playing WoW on company taxpayer time is using Google cookies to find and track people. Merely keep track of a cookie, especially installing a ‘web beacon’ is an effective way to watch everything a target does.

12-5 – Empoprise-BI – Passive facial recognition – is the solution scarier than the problem – John Bredehoft uses a fictional story to illustrate the concern about storing every piece of data ever accumulated along with facial recognition could compound. In particular, combine that with sincere promises to never ever break the walls between data bases unless one of those low-hurdle exceptions are met and there are scary possibilities. A portion of his tale after our surveillors get a hit on a missing child found by applying facial recognition software to private files:

Hey, Gwen! We got a hit!
We do?
Yes! Laura Korpi, age 8, from Simi Valley, California, with a man. Her mother has custody, but she disappeared after visiting her father.
Is the man in the image her father?
The man is…just a minute…not her father. But since this is important, I’ll use the NSA exception to find out exactly who the man is. Just a sec…The search will take three minutes.
So while we’re waiting for the search results, who captured the image of Laura and the man? Use the NSA exception to find out.
OK, Gwen, the person with the wearable device who captured the picture is…um, it’s Reginald Harris the Fourth.
And where was the image captured?
Um, the coordinates are…outside of a Mercedes Benz dealership. I just got the ID of the guy who was with the girl, by the way.
Forget that. Why is Reginald Harris near a Mercedes Benz dealership?
Gwen, you’re getting off track!
Mary, don’t you remember what our boss said to us this morning? We need to use the IRS exception when warranted, and when someone’s outside a Mercedes Benz dealership, it’s certainly warranted.
Gwen, I’m trying to solve a child abduction case!
And Mary, I’m trying to solve a tax fraud case! Isn’t it obvious what the priority is here?

12-14 – Washington Post – By cracking cellphone code, NSA has capacity for decoding private conversations The encryption code in about 80% of the cellphones used around the world can easily be read by the NSA. The newest codes are typically used in 3G or 4G phones on networks structured to handle the more complex codes. If the NSA can easily decrypt 80% of all cellphone calls, so could a few other national level agencies.

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