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Surveillance in the US reaches new levels


CVByrne
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http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-22793851

 

 

First they gathered all the Associated Press phone records, now everyones records. I assume eventually there will just be blanket surveillance of all peoples activities. Which will then filter down to private companies who will then.... 

The terrorists won, they made the US erode civil liberties in the name of "protecting" them. From a threat that has killed next to no Americans since 9/11

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Hardly a surprise, but good that it's being reported on. There was also that incident after the Boston bombings where the FBI knew details of phone calls that they should not know.

Tim Clemente (former FBI counter-terrorism in an interview with a CNN reporter): "There is a way. We certainly have ways in national security investigations to find out exactly what was said in that conversation. It’s not necessarily something that the FBI is going to want to present in court, but it may help lead the investigation … we certainly can find that out."

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To be fair, there is a difference between live surveillance and recording information for catching people once they've done something.

 

I'm not completely comfortable with either, but at least we haven't got to live surveillance YET.

 

Things like real-time face recognition technology are bringing that closer every day though.

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The CIA yesterday requested warrant-less handover of personal information by google under their wonderfully all-encompassing 'Patriot' act which has always been rife for governmental abuse. The problem with google 'doing no evil' is that they operate in a country that can and does justify any demand under the guise of 'counter-terrorism'.

Oh and Bilderberg is meeting soon too. So that's something else to look forward to.

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Then what about "recording information for catching people once they've done something" without the knowledge of the public and denying such programs at every opportunity, and appearing to treat the constitution like the word of god while DHUTWU behind closed doors.

Isn't there already live surveillance going on? My memory is a bit shoddy and I can't find the link, but I recently read about an uncovered program that was going on in a few of the major cities and was run by former top level people in the different agencies. It wasn't a government operation, but it was run by a private company, although seemingly selling their service to government agencies.

Edited by tarjei
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You know cctv means closed circuit. You can only access it from the place/business it is used at. You can't access it all from some central government hub.

When they follow people on cctv in movies, that is utter crap.

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To be fair, there is a difference between live surveillance and recording information for catching people once they've done something.

 

I'm not completely comfortable with either, but at least we haven't got to live surveillance YET.

 

Things like real-time face recognition technology are bringing that closer every day though.

 

 

I'm not sure what to think of it. I'm not entirely comfortable with effectively letting government tap my phones (in a roundabout way, granted), but the problem with the "threat that has killed next to no Americans since 9/11" argument is that we don't know whether that fact had anything to do with the curtailing of certain civil liberties. I'm on the fence on this one.

 

Anyway, the title, not exactly accurate imo - this has been going on for some time after all.

Edited by legov
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Here we go again with mis-information

 

OK lets get things completely straight here, most if not all Gvmt's and their "agencies" will have and often do look at various things like phone records. I see the need for retention of records on these types of data from large Telco's etc on a regular basis - it affects the storage, backup and resilience needed. Regulatory requirements are nearly always quoted as the reason for the infrastructure needed etc. This then gets on to the whole "Big Brother" discussion. That is just a ludicrous phrase in all honesty. For a very long time now, companies, organisations, Gvmt bodies etc will have a view on you and your lifestyle built from your digital footprint. You often see Daily Mail bollox about Gvmts having a need to access all emails etc, which is frankly ridiculous because the infrastructure to do that does not exist. If you look at the amount of data that would be needed then even if it was possible, your local storage salesman (and the very nice people who are responsible for backups / recovery / DR and the like) would be richer than EuroMillions winner

 

Analytic s is one of the big areas in IT within enterprise sized users especially. If you look at exactly what is being collected here then it would certainly fall under what some call "Big Brother". Interestingly you never hear people moan when they get benefits from this like ease of use solutions, targetted specifically for what the "customer" needs. 

 

The biggest challenge is certainly what is done with the data that is collected and that is where more control is needed.

 

Lastly re CCTV, another contentious point is how the number and quality and quantity of data is measured. The UK certainly measures differently to a lot of europe and certainly differently to the US. So the "claim" that UK has the most CCTV camera's is one that can be easily questioned (Note: yes there are a lot though)

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 You often see Daily Mail bollox about Gvmts having a need to access all emails etc, which is frankly ridiculous because the infrastructure to do that does not exist. If you look at the amount of data that would be needed then even if it was possible, your local storage salesman (and the very nice people who are responsible for backups / recovery / DR and the like) would be richer than EuroMillions winner

 

 

I agree with the rest of your post, but I don't understand this.

 

Firstly, I don't think anyone would suggest that government organisations are necessarily storing their own copies of every single email, that would be rather unnecessary considering that they're held by service providers anyway. There's little extra storage required for government interception.

 

I don't think it's that unlikely that at least the US government has their ways of observing pretty much any data they like that goes through data centres owned by US companies or on US soil.

 

Just look at Room 641A. That was several years ago, I suspect things have come along significantly since then.

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OK lets get things completely straight here, most if not all Gvmt's and their "agencies" will have and often do look at various things like phone records.

I'm not sure that many people would object to allowing authorities access to records (and even content) having acquired a warrant in order to investigate something specific.

The problem is the blanket approach (even if it is just to call records and not content).

I think you highlight a couple of other things that are often overlooked (the data held by private companies and organizations - on top of that which is held or wanted by government - and then what is done with that data*).

*Edit: And the secrecy surrounding what is done with that data.

Edited by snowychap
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The biggest problem, I think is going to be the way the Americans always go overboard on everything they do.

I don`t think they have the word "conservetive" in their dictionary.

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The biggest problem, I think is going to be the way the Americans always go overboard on everything they do.

I don`t think they have the word "conservetive" in their dictionary.

 

 

It's not in the English version, either. ;)

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OK lets get things completely straight here, most if not all Gvmt's and their "agencies" will have and often do look at various things like phone records.

I'm not sure that many people would object to allowing authorities access to records (and even content) having acquired a warrant in order to investigate something specific.

The problem is the blanket approach (even if it is just to call records and not content).

I think you highlight a couple of other things that are often overlooked (the data held by private companies and organizations - on top of that which is held or wanted by government - and then what is done with that data*).

*Edit: And the secrecy surrounding what is done with that data.

 

Your points are very valid Snowy, how data is used and often then sold on is a grey area for many on legality and ethics. But the reality is simple that so much of your, mine and everyone's daily life leaves a digital footprint, that is then captured and used. The majority by a long way is for benefit, but the exposure is always there for mis-use, but that is something that you are never going to stop, IMO

 

The blanket approach that you mention is an interesting one. I agree with your sentiment the problem is though that the info they are talking about re phone calls for example is there and readily available and is used for a lot of other requirements down to understanding network considerations, bandwidth availability, hot spot management, crisis aversion etc etc. It's a difficult one to manage and control in terms of who see's the data and when

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The biggest problem, I think is going to be the way the Americans always go overboard on everything they do.

I don`t think they have the word "conservetive" in their dictionary.

 

 

It's not in the English version, either. ;)

 

I am not sure but I think it might be in the Mongolian vresion,if not there then surely in the Translavian version. :wub:

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 You often see Daily Mail bollox about Gvmts having a need to access all emails etc, which is frankly ridiculous because the infrastructure to do that does not exist. If you look at the amount of data that would be needed then even if it was possible, your local storage salesman (and the very nice people who are responsible for backups / recovery / DR and the like) would be richer than EuroMillions winner

 

 

I agree with the rest of your post, but I don't understand this.

 

Firstly, I don't think anyone would suggest that government organisations are necessarily storing their own copies of every single email, that would be rather unnecessary considering that they're held by service providers anyway. There's little extra storage required for government interception.

 

I don't think it's that unlikely that at least the US government has their ways of observing pretty much any data they like that goes through data centres owned by US companies or on US soil.

 

Just look at Room 641A. That was several years ago, I suspect things have come along significantly since then.

 

You say that no one would suggest that, but that is not true. Very often the media will play on this ignorance either for their own reasons or most likely because they don't understand the notion that there is not some big central computer where you can access anything and everything. You say there is little storage needed for Gvmt interception? I beg to differ. My line of business means that I deal with backup / recovery / storage etc and mail is a key part of many organisations. I know from what I see and what I understand from the companies I deal with that email growth is certainly a major part of their business priorities, storage requirements and the need for retention (and associated copies) is a steep growth pattern. The fact that many of the emails written never even touch any sort of public networks also sort of defeats the idea of Gvmt "Big brother"

 

What people forget is that current estimations is that 2.5 quintillion bytes of data is created per day.

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