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Category: Big Brother/Orwellian - Browse by Category - News - Analysis - Highlights - Multimedia - Latest Comments Friday March 27th, 2015

Wednesday March 25th, 2015
New Bill Would Have Teachers Diagnose Psychological Issues in Children and Report them to Police posted 03/25/2015, 3:40 PM (The Free Thought Project)
[Category: Big Brother/Orwellian]
Dallas, Texas -- Texas State Representative Jason Villalba (R-Dallas) is once again in the spotlight after submitting yet another Orwellian proposal, H.B. 985.

Villalba first raised the ire of civil libertarians by proposing a bill, H.B. 2006, which would have eliminated the religious exemption for vaccination, essentially creating a forced government vaccination program without exception.

More recently, Villalba was thrust into the national spotlight when he proposed H.B. 2918, which would usurp citizens of the ability to hold law enforcement accountable for their actions. The bill would negate the people's ability to create an accurate and impartial record of police interactions by restricting citizens from filming within 25 feet of an officer.

Now with H.B. 985, Villalba intends to give school officials the authority to force psychological screenings of students that teachers and staff diagnose as having mental health issues.

Once the process is set in motion by school officials, parents would be forced to take their child to a mental health professional within 30 days, under threat of suspension of the child from school.
" "¦the requirement that the parent or guardian, before the expiration of the 30-day period, to avoid suspension of the student under this section, take the student to the nearest local mental health authority or a physician specializing in psychiatry to receive a mental health screening and a certificate of medical examination for mental illness, as described by Section 533.03522(c), Health and Safety Code, that contains the examining physician's opinion that the student is not a danger to self or others."
While under suspension the child would still receive an education, but t
... (more)


Five Cyberlocker Operators Jailed For Spreading "Depraved Culture" posted 03/25/2015, 3:34 PM (TorrentFreak)
[Category: Big Brother/Orwellian]
Five key operators of the cyberlocker site Ryushare.com have this week been jailed for spreading "depraved content". After making available masses of pornographic videos the popular file-hosting site is said to have illegally generated close to $7m in profits. Site founder Nguyen Duc Nhat was sentenced to 3.5 years behind bars.... (more)


Tuesday March 24th, 2015



How The Copyright Industry Wants To Undermine Anonymity & Free Speech: 'True Origin' Bills posted 03/24/2015, 3:57 PM (Techdirt)
[Category: Big Brother/Orwellian]
As we've noted many times in the past, the entertainment industry likes to take a multi-pronged approach to its quixotic efforts to "stop piracy" (which could be much better dealt with by simply giving the public more of what they want). Working on federal copyright law to continually expand it is one main strategy, but there are a lot of others as well, including pressuring private companies to voluntarily censor content, getting international trade agreements to force laws to change and... get... (more)


Even If Congress Lets Section 215 Expire, The NSA May Be Able To Keep On Collecting Phone Metadata posted 03/24/2015, 3:57 PM (Techdirt)
[Category: Big Brother/Orwellian]
The NSA's bulk phone metadata program is unstoppable. Despite being called out by legislators and the administration's civil liberties oversight board as unconstitutional and illegal -- and despite being targeted by several of the administration's surveillance reforms -- it continues un... (more)


Monday March 23rd, 2015

Report: Feds Urge Banks to Call Cops on Customers Who Withdraw $5,000 or More posted 03/23/2015, 6:20 PM (Infowars)
[Category: Big Brother/Orwellian]
The Justice Department is ordering bank employees to consider calling the cops on customers who withdraw $5,000 dollars or more, a chilling example of how the war on cash is intensifying.

Banks are already required to file ‘suspicious activity reports’ on their customers, with threats of fines and even jail time for directors if financial institutions don’t meet quotas.

But as investor and financial blogger Simon Black points out, last week, “A senior official f
... (more)




UK Police Can't Confirm Or Deny Investigation Of Journalists It Publicly Confirmed In 2013 posted 03/23/2015, 6:19 PM (Techdirt)
[Category: Big Brother/Orwellian]
If you're a UK-based journalist who's reported on the Snowden leaks, it's safe to say you're under investigation. Not only are you being investigated, but that investigation itself is so secret, it can't be discussed. The Intercept's Ryan Gallagher sent a Freedom of Information request to London's Metropolitan Police (the Met) for more information about the investigation -- something twice publicly confirmed by Met representatives.

But when asked specifically for informati
... (more)


Snowden Docs Reveal Canada a Major Player in Global Spy Operations posted 03/23/2015, 1:12 PM (Common Dreams)
[Category: Big Brother/Orwellian]
Canada's spy agency, the Communication Security Establishment (CSE), is a major player in global hacking operations and boasts a vast array of cyberwarfare tools, revealed in news reports on Monday, that rivals that of the United States' National Security Agency.

Documents initially leaked to the Intercept by Edward Snowden and now reported on in collaboration with the CBC show that the NSA and its northern counterpart "cooperate closely" in "computer network access and ex
... (more)


Friday March 20th, 2015

Senate Intelligence Committee Advances Terrible Surveillance Bill in Secret Session posted 03/20/2015, 2:00 PM (EFF.org)
[Category: Big Brother/Orwellian]
The Senate Intelligence Committee advanced a terrible cybersecurity bill called the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act of 2015 (CISA) to the Senate floor last week. The new chair (and huge fan of transparency) Senator Richard Burr may have set a record as he kept the bill secr... (more)


US Threatened to 'Cut Off' Germany Over Snowden posted 03/20/2015, 2:00 PM (Glenn Greenwald)
[Category: Big Brother/Orwellian]
German Vice Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel (above) said this week in Homburg that the U.S. government threatened to cease sharing intelligence with Germany if Berlin offered asylum to NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden or otherwise arranged for him to travel to that country. “They told us they would stop notifying us of plots and other intelligence matters,” Gabriel said.


Leaked Document Reveals Upcoming Biometric Experiments at US Customs posted 03/20/2015, 1:59 PM (Motherboard)
[Category: Big Brother/Orwellian]
The facial recognition pilot program launched last week by US Customs and Border Protection, which civil liberties advocates say could lead to new potentially privacy-invading programs, is just the first of three biometric experiments that the feds are getting ready to launch.

The three experiments involve new controversial technologies like iris and face scanner
... (more)


Thursday March 19th, 2015



French Government Starts Blocking Websites With Views The Gov't Doesn't Like posted 03/19/2015, 12:14 PM (Techdirt)
[Category: Big Brother/Orwellian]
We had been noting, in the wake of the Charlie Hebdo attacks in France, how the country that then held a giant "free speech" rally appeared to be, instead, focusing on cracking down on free speech at every opportunity. And target number one: the internet. Earlier this week, the Interior Minister of France -- with no court review or adversarial process -- ordere... (more)


What's Scarier: Terrorism, or Governments Blocking Websites in its Name? posted 03/19/2015, 12:14 PM (Glenn Greenwald)
[Category: Big Brother/Orwellian]
The French Interior Ministry on Monday ordered that five websites be blocked on the grounds that they promote or advocate terrorism. “I do not want to see sites that could lead people to take up arms on the Internet,” proclaimed Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve.... (more)


Wednesday March 18th, 2015

The Wolf Is Guarding the Hen House: The Government's War on Cyberterrorism posted 03/18/2015, 10:44 AM (John W. Whitehead)
[Category: Big Brother/Orwellian]
The game is rigged, the network is bugged, the government talks double-speak, the courts are complicit and there’s nothing you can do about it.”—David Kravets, reporting for Wired

Nothing you write, say, text, tweet or share via phone or computer is private anymore. As constitutional law professor Garrett Epps points out, “Big Brother is watching…. Big Brother may be watching you right now, and you may never
... (more)


Obscure California Committee Moves to Expand How Police Access and Use DMV Photos posted 03/18/2015, 10:42 AM (EFF.org)
[Category: Big Brother/Orwellian]
Attention California: the privacy and security of your driver licenses are under threat from a new scheme to massively expand how photo IDs are shared and analyzed by law enforcement agencies.... (more)


Police Arrest World's Most Prolific UFC and WWE Pirate posted 03/18/2015, 10:41 AM (TorrentFreak)
[Category: Big Brother/Orwellian]
The UK's Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit says it has arrested the world's most prolific uploader of World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) and Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) content. The 55-year-old, who TorrentFreak believes it has identified, was arrested at his home in Leicestershire this morning.... (more)


Tuesday March 17th, 2015

Judicial Committee Gives FBI The First OK It Needs To Hack Any Computer, Anywhere On The Planet posted 03/17/2015, 5:18 PM (Techdirt)
[Category: Big Brother/Orwellian]
The FBI and DOJ are one step closer to having one of their "keeping up with the digital Joneses" requests granted. While the default phone encryption offered by Apple (and at some point in the future by Google) still remains free of law enforcement/intelligence "Golden Backdoors," the agencies are one step closer t... (more)


Aussie 'Pirate' Site Blocking Law Could Be Passed This Week posted 03/17/2015, 5:18 PM (TorrentFreak)
[Category: Big Brother/Orwellian]
The Copyright Amendment (Online Infringement) Bill was today cleared for introduction into the Australian parliament. In a whirlwind of activity it's expected to be passed this week and will herald the ISP-level blocking of "overseas pirate sites". The body representing the country's ISPs has expressed disappointment at the complete lack of consultation.... (more)


Monday March 16th, 2015

The Sting: How the FBI Created a Terrorist posted 03/16/2015, 12:29 PM (The Intercept)
[Category: Big Brother/Orwellian]
IN THE VIDEO, Sami Osmakac is tall and gaunt, with jutting cheekbones and a scraggly beard. He sits cross-legged on the maroon carpet of the hotel room, wearing white cotton socks and pants that rise up his legs to reveal his thin, pale ankles. An AK-47 leans against the closet door behind him. What appears to be a suicide vest is strapped to his body. In his right hand is a pistol.

“Recording,” says an unseen man behind the camera.

“This video is to all the Muslim
... (more)


New Zealand Used NSA System to Target Officials, Anti-Corruption Campaigner posted 03/16/2015, 12:28 PM (The Intercept)
[Category: Big Brother/Orwellian]
New Zealand’s eavesdropping agency used an Internet mass surveillance system to target government officials and an anti-corruption campaigner on a neighboring Pacific island, according to a top-secret document.... (more)


A Police Gadget Tracks Phones? Shhh! It’s Secret posted 03/16/2015, 12:28 PM (The New York Times)
[Category: Big Brother/Orwellian]
A powerful new surveillance tool being adopted by police departments across the country comes with an unusual requirement: To buy it, law enforcement officials must sign a nondisclosure agreement preventing them from saying almost anything about the technology.

Any disclosure about the technology, which tracks cellphones and is often called StingRay, could allow criminals and terrorists to circumvent it, the F.B.I. has said in an affidavit. But the tool is adopted in such secrecy
... (more)


Saturday March 14th, 2015

US Senate Committee Advances Cyber-Surveillance Bill, Lone Dissenter Calls Measure "A Surveillance Bill By Another Name" posted 03/14/2015, 6:41 PM (The Guardian)
[Category: Big Brother/Orwellian]
The Senate intelligence committee advanced a priority bill for the National Security Agency on Thursday afternoon, approving long-stalled cybersecurity legislation that civil libertarians consider the latest pathway for surveillance abuse.

The vote on the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act, 14 to 1, occurred in a secret session inside the Hart Senate office building. Democrat Ron Wyden was the dissenter, calling the measure “a surveillance bill by another name”.

... (more)


#StopC51: Protests Grow Against Expansive Canadian Surveillance Bill posted 03/14/2015, 6:40 PM (Common Dreams)
[Category: Big Brother/Orwellian]
Canadian activists are taking part in a weekend of action against the controversial C-51 surveillance bill currently making its way through Parliament.

Supporters of the bill say it would protect the nation against terrorist attacks, but critics charge that it would give the government ever more expansive and invasive spying powers.

If passed, C-51 would give up to 17 government agencies access to Canadian citizens' private info
... (more)


Friday March 13th, 2015

Report Says UK Citizens Must Give Up Right To Privacy Because 'Terrorism', Reveals Huge Secret Government Databases posted 03/13/2015, 8:51 AM (Techdirt)
[Category: Big Brother/Orwellian]
As Techdirt has noted previously, the UK body nominally responsible for overseeing the intelligence services, the Intelligence and Security Committee of Parliament (ISC), does little more than rubber-stamp what has taken place. The new ISC report "Privacy and Security: A modern and transparent legal framework" (pdf) is more of t... (more)


Thursday March 12th, 2015

EFF Files Brief In Support Of 'Cannibal Cop' To Keep The CFAA From Becoming Even MORE Abusive posted 03/12/2015, 8:06 AM (Techdirt)
[Category: Big Brother/Orwellian]
The US legal system took a step towards criminalizing thought when a New York court convicted a former NYPD officer of conspiring to kidnap, rape, kill and eat 100 women. The evidence against Gilberto Valle included chat logs and internet searches.

The details uncovered were nightmarish. But at the end of it all, it only amounted to Valle giving his very vi
... (more)


California Proposes Bill To Ban All Unlicensed Bitcoin Businesses, Without Even Defining What That Means posted 03/12/2015, 8:06 AM (Techdirt)
[Category: Big Brother/Orwellian]
California, the state that prides itself as the birthplace of modern technology and whose policies such as the unenforceability of non-competes contributed substantially to the innovation ecosystem, recently proposed a law that requires innovators to get permission from the state, or be banned.

Last week CA's State Assembly announced AB 1326, a bill that would ban any unlicensed bitcoin or cryptocurrency bus
... (more)


The Blurred Lines Copyright Verdict is Bad News for Music posted 03/12/2015, 8:06 AM (EFF.org)
[Category: Big Brother/Orwellian]
Yesterday, a jury found that the 2013 song "Blurred Lines" was an infringement of Marvin Gaye's "Got to Give It Up" composition from 1977. Following the 7-million-dollar verdict, professional musicians are waking up to a fact that ordinary Internet users have long known: our overbearing copyright laws are a threat to creativity.

Numerous musicians are exp
... (more)


Wednesday March 11th, 2015

Wikimedia vs. NSA: Major Lawsuit Challenges Government Surveillance of US Citizens posted 03/11/2015, 6:35 AM (Common Dreams)
[Category: Big Brother/Orwellian]
Wikipedia, the online encyclopedia and one of the most highly-trafficked websites in the world, announced Tuesday that it--alongside a host of civil liberty advocates, news outlets, and privacy rights organizations--has filed a lawsuit against the National Security Agency for violating the constitutional rights of its users by performing bulk surveillance and searching, without specific cause or warrant, the international Inter... (more)


NZ Prime Minister: 'I'll Resign If GCSB Did Mass Surveillance'; GCSB: 'We Did Mass Surveillance'; NZPM: 'Uh...' posted 03/11/2015, 6:35 AM (Techdirt)
[Category: Big Brother/Orwellian]
Back in the summer of 2013 as the various "Five Eyes" countries were still reeling from the initial Snowden disclosures, New Zealand's Prime Minister John Key promised to resign if it was ever proven that the GCSB (New Zealand's equivalent to the NSA) had engaged in mass surveillance of New Zealanders -- but with some caveats. He later said that he meant if it was proven that there was illegal surveillanc... (more)


Two Teens Have Sex. Neither Could Legally Consent, But Only the Boy Gets a Felony Charge posted 03/11/2015, 6:34 AM (Reason)
[Category: Big Brother/Orwellian]
If two people are equally unable to give consent, but have sex anyway, should either be charged with a crime? It's a question that many college administrators wrestle with when drugs and alcohol are factors in sexual assault disputes. The verdict often seems to be that male students are uniquely responsible for ascertaining that their sexual partners are in a state of mind to consent, even when the female is the initiator and both are intoxicated.... (more)


Tuesday March 10th, 2015

iSpy: How the CIA Targeted Apple posted 03/10/2015, 8:06 AM (Common Dreams)
[Category: Big Brother/Orwellian]
New reporting by The Intercept published Tuesday reveals a decades-long effort by the Central Intelligence Agency, alongside partners both inside and outside of government, to crack the digital security systems of the Apple's signature iPhone and iPad products.

Citing top-secret documents leaked to journalists by Edward Snowden, the latest reporting by Jeremy Scahill and Josh Be
... (more)


Saturday March 7th, 2015

CPS Charges Parents With 'Neglect' For Allowing Kids to Walk Home From Playground posted 03/07/2015, 5:18 AM (Infowars)
[Category: Big Brother/Orwellian]


Child Protective Services have charged two parents in Maryland with “unsubstantiated child neglect” after they allowed their 10-year-old and 6-year old to walk home one mile from their local playground.

Police were called after someone spotted the two children making their way home on December 20 in Silver Spring, a suburb outside Washington, D.C.

“Police had also
... (more)


Thursday March 5th, 2015

Florida City Wages Soviet-Style Crackdown On Churches posted 03/05/2015, 9:10 PM (Fox News)
[Category: Big Brother/Orwellian]
A government crackdown on churches has Christians in Lake Worth, Fla., wondering if they live in the United States or the former Soviet Union.... (more)


Wednesday March 4th, 2015

Florida Legislators Introduce Bill That Would Strip Certain Site Owners Of Their Anonymity posted 03/04/2015, 8:36 PM (Techdirt)
[Category: Big Brother/Orwellian]
A few Florida legislators are looking to do some serious damage to both free speech and the internet.
This week, the Florida state legislature is considering a bill that would make it illegal to run any website or service anonymously, if the site fits a vague category of “disseminat[ing]” “... (more)


U.S. Govt Files For Default Judgment on Dotcom's Cash and Cars posted 03/04/2015, 8:34 PM (TorrentFreak)
[Category: Big Brother/Orwellian]
After a U.S. court ruled that Kim Dotcom is not entitled to contest the forfeiture of his assets because he is a "fugitive" facing extradition, the government has just tightened the noose. In a filing before the same court yesterday, the U.S. requested a default judgment to seize the assets of Dotcom, his co-defendants, and their Megaupload empire.... (more)


Tuesday March 3rd, 2015

8th Grader Suspended for Informing Classmates of Standardized Test 'Opt-Out' posted 03/03/2015, 9:58 PM (Fox News)
[Category: Big Brother/Orwellian]
A New Mexico eighth-grader said on "Fox and Friends" she was suspended from school for letting her classmates know that they could opt out of the state's new online standardized test.

12-year-old Adelina Silva printed out the forms from her own school's website and was rewarded with a trip to the principal's office.
... (more)


Monday March 2nd, 2015

'Officer Awareness' Memo: Police Accountability Recording App Could Lead To Dangerous 'Flash Mobs' posted 03/02/2015, 7:11 PM (Techdirt)
[Category: Big Brother/Orwellian]
Your law enforcement panic of the day: an app that automatically uploads recorded footage and forwards it to the ACLU.

New Jersey's ACLU branch put together "Police Tape" back in 2012, an app which allowed anyone to record cops with a press of a button. The app then hid itself while the recording continued. If the recording was interrupted, the app would automatically s
... (more)


Are Your Devices Hardwired For Betrayal? posted 03/02/2015, 7:10 PM (EFF.org)
[Category: Big Brother/Orwellian]
It's an interesting time to be a computer security researcher. Last week, Kaspersky Lab released a report about a new family of malware from an entity they called "The Equation Group". The report demonstrated for the first time that firmware-based attacks, previously only demonstrated in lab settings, have been used in the wild by malware authors. This should serve... (more)


How the NSA's Firmware Hacking Works and Why It's So Unsettling posted 03/02/2015, 7:10 PM (WIRED)
[Category: Big Brother/Orwellian]
One of the most shocking parts of the recently discovered spying network Equation Group is its mysterious module designed to reprogram or reflash a computer hard drive’s firmware with malicious code. The Kaspersky researchers who uncovered this said its ability to subvert hard drive firmware—the guts of any computer—“surpasses anything else” they had ever seen.

The hacking tool, believed to be a product
... (more)


US Court Rules That Kim Dotcom Is A 'Fugitive' And Thus DOJ Can Take His Money posted 03/02/2015, 7:10 PM (Techdirt)
[Category: Big Brother/Orwellian]
In the long, convoluted and complex legal battles facing Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom, there was some bizarre stuff that happened late last year. As you may recall, early on, the US government seized basically all of his stuff and money. Dotcom has made efforts to get some of it returned, as it's tough to fight the most powerful government in the world when it's holding onto all of your money. Keep in mind from our previous discussions on asset seizure and forfeiture, the government can basical... (more)


Missouri Boy Put Into Foster Care After Parents Sought Second Opinion On Medical Diagnosis posted 03/02/2015, 7:10 PM (Police State USA)
[Category: Big Brother/Orwellian]
KANSAS CITY, MO — A sickly eight-year-old boy was taken from his family and foisted into foster care after his parents sought a second medical opinion and recourse for alleged medical malpractice against their son.

This is what happened to Jaxon Adams, now 8, who had suffered chronic illness since his youth. Over the years he was diagnosed with high-functioning autism, ADHD, severe food allergies, and eventually, epilepsy. He began having seizures. In June of 2013, his appetite su
... (more)


Friday February 27th, 2015

Under U.S. Pressure, PayPal Nukes Mega For Encrypting Files posted 02/27/2015, 3:52 PM (TorrentFreak)
[Category: Big Brother/Orwellian]
After coming under intense pressure PayPal has closed the account of cloud-storage service Mega. According to the company, SOPA proponent Senator Patrick Leahy personally pressured Visa and Mastercard who in turn called on PayPal to terminate the account. Bizarrely, Mega's encryption is being cited as a key problem.... (more)


Friday February 20th, 2015

GCHQ and NSA Collaborate to Steal the Keys to Your Cellphone posted 02/20/2015, 1:55 PM (EFF.org)
[Category: Big Brother/Orwellian]
Anyone interested in privacy and security should think twice about their cell phone dependence right now. That's because today, The Intercept revealed that British spy agency GCHQ led successful efforts to hack into the internal networks of Gemalto, "the largest manufacturer of SIM cards in the world, stealing encryption keys used to protect the privacy of cellphone communications" made on the world's largest telecommun... (more)


Innocent College Student Subject to Restraining Order for Resembling Alleged Rapist posted 02/20/2015, 1:55 PM (Infowars)
[Category: Big Brother/Orwellian]
An innocent male student was reportedly banned from entering large areas of his liberal-arts school in Oregon after a female classmate accused him of slightly resembling a rapist she encountered months prior in another state.

According to Professor Janey Halley, who detailed the incident in an article for the Harvard Law Review, the unnamed male student was forced to abide by the restraining order despite being found innocent during an extensive school investigation.
<
... (more)


Spies Can Track You Just by Watching Your Phone's Power Use posted 02/20/2015, 1:52 PM (Wired)
[Category: Big Brother/Orwellian]
Smartphone users might balk at letting a random app like Candy Crush or Shazam track their every move via GPS. But researchers have found that Android phones reveal information about your location to every app on your device through a different, unlikely data leak: the phone’s power consumption.... (more)


Thursday February 19th, 2015

Google Joins Civil Liberties Groups To Oppose Expansion of FBI Spy Powers posted 02/19/2015, 1:13 PM (Common Dreams)
[Category: Big Brother/Orwellian]
Internet giant Google and the American Civil Liberties Union are among the various groups who have objected to a rule change by the U.S. Department of Justice that would give the FBI and other agencies sweeping new powers to perform search and seize private data from online users across the nation and the globe.

According to a brief submitted by Richard Salgado, Google's director for law enforcement, against a pending DOJ proposal, the changes to law enforcement's ability to searc
... (more)


Hacker Claims Feds Hit Him With 44 Felonies When He Refused to Be an FBI Spy posted 02/19/2015, 1:12 PM (Wired)
[Category: Big Brother/Orwellian]
A year ago, the Department of Justice threatened to put Fidel Salinas in prison for the rest of his life for hacking crimes. But before the federal government brought those charges against him, Salinas now says, it tried a different tactic: recruiting him.... (more)


Wednesday February 18th, 2015

State License Plate Reader Bans Pick Up Steam posted 02/18/2015, 10:56 AM (TheNewspaper)
[Category: Big Brother/Orwellian]
For years, police agencies around the country have deployed automated license plate reader cameras (ALPR, also known as ANPR) without seeking public input or approval. Often the federal government picks up the tab for the cameras in the form of homeland security grants that support an effort to centralize a repository of the driving histories of motorists. The scope of the effort has inspired a legislative backlash.

State lawmakers in Florida, India
... (more)


Tuesday February 17th, 2015

Russia Reaches The Censorship Endgame: Banning VPNs, Tor And Web Proxies posted 02/17/2015, 10:25 AM (Techdirt)
[Category: Big Brother/Orwellian]
We have been tracking for some time the increasingly repressive measures that the Russian authorities have brought in to censor and control the Internet. Of course, Techdirt readers know that an easy way to circumvent both censorship and control is to use tools like VPNs and Tor. Unfortunately, the Russian authorities also know this, and are now calling for acti... (more)


Monday February 16th, 2015

Cyber-Security Firm: NSA-Linked Spyware Found in Hard Drives Worldwide posted 02/16/2015, 9:12 PM (Common Dreams)
[Category: Big Brother/Orwellian]
A top technology security firm announced on Monday that they have uncovered evidence that sophisticated spying software, likely linked to the National Security Agency, was implanted in the hard drives of personal computers across the globe.

Researchers with the Moscow-based Kaspersky Lab introduced their findings while presenting at the Kaspersky Security Analyst Summit in Cancun, Mex
... (more)


Friday February 13th, 2015

Law & Order SVU Portrays GamerGaters As ISIS-Style Terrorists posted 02/13/2015, 10:02 AM (InformationLiberation)
[Category: Big Brother/Orwellian]


NBC's Law & Order SVU took on the "GamerGate" controversy by portraying GamerGaters as ISIS-style terrorists who hate and rape women. If you think most government propaganda is overboard, watch and marvel at what the private sector can create.


Go to Prison for Sharing Files? That's What Hollywood Wants in the Secret TPP Deal posted 02/13/2015, 10:01 AM (EFF.org)
[Category: Big Brother/Orwellian]
The Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement (TPP) poses massive threats to users in a dizzying number of ways. It will force other TPP signatories to accept the United States' excessive copyright terms of a minimum of life of the author plus 70 years, while locking the US to the same lengths so it will be harder to shorten th... (more)


'Privacy Critical to Human Freedom': Snowden, Poitras, and Greenwald Talk NSA posted 02/13/2015, 10:01 AM (Common Dreams)
[Category: Big Brother/Orwellian]
During a unique conversation hosted by the New School and the New York Times on Thursday, the three people most responsible for bringing the story of mass global surveillance programs orchestrated by the U.S. National Security Agency were brought together for the first time since they first met in a Hong Kong hotel in 2013.... (more)


Thursday February 12th, 2015

Court Rules Details of DHS Cellphone Service Kill Switch Can Remain Secret posted 02/12/2015, 9:17 AM (Infowars)
[Category: Big Brother/Orwellian]
The U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington DC has ruled that the Department of Homeland Security’s procedure for shutting down cell phone service during a declared emergency can remain secret.

The lawsuit was brought by the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) after the DHS failed to release its criteria for network shutdowns following an incident in 2011 when government officials in S
... (more)


Government Wonders: What's in Your Old Emails? posted 02/12/2015, 9:13 AM (McClatchy DC)
[Category: Big Brother/Orwellian]
WASHINGTON — If you’ve been remiss in cleaning out your email in-box, here’s some incentive: The federal government can read any emails that are more than six months old without a warrant.

Little known to most Americans, ambiguous language in a communications law passed in 1986 extends Fourth Amendment protections against unreasonable search and seizure only to electronic communications sent or received fewer than 180 days ago.

The language, known as the “180-day r
... (more)


Can't Make This Up: Katy Perry's Lawyers Use Left Shark Photo Taken By Guy They're Threatening In Trademark Application posted 02/12/2015, 9:13 AM (Techdirt)
[Category: Big Brother/Orwellian]
The story of Katy Perry and the 3D printed Left Shark keeps getting more and more bizarre.... (more)


Tuesday February 10th, 2015

Is Your Child a Terrorist? U.S. Government Questionnaire Rates Families at Risk for Extremism posted 02/10/2015, 7:06 AM (The Intercept)
[Category: Big Brother/Orwellian]
Are you, your family or your community at risk of turning to violent extremism? That’s the premise behind a rating system devised by the National Counterterrorism Center, according to a document marked For Official Use Only and obtained by The Intercept.

The document–and the rating system–is part of a wider strategy for Countering Violent Extremism, which calls for local community and religious leaders to work together with law enforcement and other government agencies. The White
... (more)


FBI Monitored and Critiqued African American Writers for Decades posted 02/10/2015, 7:06 AM (The Guardian)
[Category: Big Brother/Orwellian]
Newly declassified documents from the FBI reveal how the US federal agency under J Edgar Hoover monitored the activities of dozens of prominent African American writers for decades, devoting thousands of pages to detailing their activities and critiquing their work.... (more)


Monday February 9th, 2015

Doctor That Said "Don't Vaccinate" Targeted for Investigation posted 02/09/2015, 5:36 AM (The Daily Sheeple)
[Category: Big Brother/Orwellian]
"In a very obvious and full-throttle move, the Arizona Medical Board is now investigating the doctor for what he said. At the same time, there are calls from “experts” to have such doctors’ licenses revoked because somehow, they are creating harm."... (more)


Friday February 6th, 2015

Two out of Three Investigative Journalists in US Believe They're Being Spied On posted 02/06/2015, 7:16 AM (Common Dreams)
[Category: Big Brother/Orwellian]
In the wake of the NSA mass surveillance scandal, an overwhelming majority of investigative journalists believe that the U.S. government is spying on them, and large numbers say that this belief impacts the way they go about their reporting, a Pew Research Center poll released Thursday reveals.

The findings are based on a December online survey, conducted in association with Columbia
... (more)


DEA Using License-Plate Readers to Take Photos of US Drivers, Documents Reveal posted 02/06/2015, 7:16 AM (The Guardian)
[Category: Big Brother/Orwellian]
The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) is using license-plate reader technology to photograph motorists and passengers in the US as part of an official exercise to build a database on people’s lives.

According to DEA documents published on Thursday by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), the agency is capturing images of occupants in the front and rear seats of vehicles in a programme that monitors Americans’ travel patterns on a wider scale than previously thought.
... (more)

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