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hannah

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Posts: 797
Reply with quote  #1 
FBI Documents Shine Light on Clandestine Cellphone Tracking Tool

By Ryan Gallagher

http://www.slate.com/blogs/future_tense/2013/01/10/stingray_imsi_catcher_fbi_documents_shine_light_on_controversial_cellphone.html

Posted Thursday, Jan. 10, 2013, at 2:14 PM ET
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What's more dangerous: a real stingray or the FBI's Stingray tool?

Photo by TORSTEN BLACKWOOD/AFP/Getty Images

The FBI calls it a “sensitive investigative technique” that it wants to keep secret. But newly released documents that shed light on the bureau’s use of a controversial cellphone tracking technology called the “Stingray” have prompted fresh questions over the legality of the spy tool.

Functioning as a so-called “cell-site simulator,” the Stingray is a sophisticated portable surveillance device. The equipment is designed to send out a powerful signal that covertly dupes phones within a specific area into hopping onto a fake network. The feds say they use them to target specific groups or individuals and help track the movements of suspects in real time, not to intercept communications. But by design Stingrays, sometimes called “IMSI catchers,” collaterally gather data from innocent bystanders’ phones and can interrupt phone users’ service—which critics say violates a federal communications law.

The FBI has maintained that its legal footing here is firm. Now, though, internal documents obtained by the Electronic Privacy Information Center, a civil liberties group, reveal the bureau appears well aware its use of the snooping gear is in dubious territory. Two heavily redacted sets of files released last month show internal Justice Department guidance that relates to the use of the cell tracking equipment, with repeated references to a crucial section of the Communications Act which outlines how “interference” with communication signals is prohibited.

It’s a small but significant detail. Why? Because it demonstrates that “there are clearly concerns, even within the agency, that the use of Stingray technology might be inconsistent with current regulations,” says EPIC attorney Alan Butler. “I don't know how the DOJ justifies the use of Stingrays given the limitations of the Communications Act prohibition.”

The FBI declined a request to comment on specific questions related to the legality of Stingrays, as it says the matter remains in litigation. Spokesman Christopher Allen told me by email that “in general the FBI cautions against drawing conclusions from redacted FOIA documents.”

A potential legal conflict, however, is not all the documents draw attention to. They disclose that the feds have procedures in place for loaning electronic surveillance devices (like the Stingray) to state police. This suggests the technology may have been used in cases across the United States, in line with a stellar investigation by LA Weekly last year, which reported that state cops in California, Florida, Texas, and Arizona had obtained Stingrays. More still, the trove offers a rare hint at the circumstances in which Stingrays are deployed. “Violent Gang Safe Street Task Forces Legal Issues" is the title of one newly released set of FBI presentation slides related to tracking tactics.

It’s likely that in the months ahead, a few more interesting nuggets of information will emerge. The FBI has told EPIC that it holds a mammoth 25,000 pages of documents that relate to Stingray tools, about 6,000 of which are classified. The Feds have been drip-releasing the documents month by month, and so far there have been four batches containing between 27 and 184 pages each. Though most of the contents—even paragraphs showing how the FBI is interpreting the law—have been heavy-handedly redacted, several eyebrow-raising details have made it through the cut. As I reported back in October, a previous release revealed the Feds have an internal manual called “GSM cellphone tracking for dummies.”

The release of the documents was first prompted last year after EPIC launched a lawsuit under the Freedom of Information Act. The suit was triggered after it emerged during a court case in 2011 that the feds had used a cell-site simulator in order to track down a suspect, with one agent admitting in an affidavit that the tool collaterally swept up data on “innocent, non-target devices” (U.S. v. Rigmaiden). The government has previously argued that tools like the Stingray are permissible without a search warrant—outside the search and seizure protections offered by the Fourth Amendment—because they use them to gather location data, not the content of communications. The Justice Department says cellphone users have no reasonable expectation of privacy over their location data—a claim that has incensed privacy and civil liberties groups.

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"The world isn't run by weapons anymore, or energy, or money. It's run by little ones and zeroes......"



"There's a war out there, old friend. A world war. And it's not about who's got the most bullets. It's about who controls the information.... it's all about the information!"
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hannah

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Reply with quote  #2 
DOJ wants wireless providers to store user info

At Senate hearing where Federal Trade Commission calls on companies to store less data about their users, Justice Department wants them to be required to store more.
Declan McCullagh
by Declan McCullagh
May 10, 2011 9:39 AM PDT

The U.S. Department of Justice today called for new laws requiring mobile providers to collect and store information about their customers, a proposal that pits it against privacy advocates and even other federal agencies.

Jason Weinstein, the deputy assistant attorney general for the criminal division, picked an odd place to describe the department's proposal: a U.S. Senate hearing that arose out of revelations about iPhones recording information about owners' locations, and, in some cases, transmitting those data to Apple without consent.

Nevertheless, Weinstein said, "when this information is not stored, it may be impossible for law enforcement to collect essential evidence." In January, CNET was the first to report that the Justice Department had started a new legislative push for what is generally known as mandatory data retention.

Jason Weinstein, deputy assistant attorney general for the criminal division

Jason Weinstein, deputy assistant attorney general for the criminal division
(Credit: U.S. Senate)

"Many wireless providers do not retain records that would enable law enforcement to identify a suspect's smartphone based on the IP addresses collected by Web sites that the suspect visited," he added.

In an exchange with Sen. Al Franken, the Minnesota Democrat who chairs the subcommittee that convened today's hearing, Weinstein did not elaborate on the proposal, including whether it would require wireless providers to record location information as well.

The Justice Department's suggestion conflicts with what the Federal Trade Commission--which also sent a representative to today's hearing--has recommended. A company should adopt a policy of "not collecting or retaining more data than they need to provide a requested service or transaction," said Jessica Rich, deputy director of the FTC's bureau of consumer protection.

Also testifying are Bud Tribble, Apple's vice president for software technology and Google's U.S. director of public policy, Alan Davidson. Microsoft is not making an appearance, even though it collects location information from Windows Mobile 7 devices with a unique ID.

"I believe that consumers have a fundamental right to know what data is being collected about them," Franken said. That can be, he said, "really sensitive information that I don't think we're doing enough to protect."

While no specific location privacy bill has appeared as a result of last month's privacy flap, there have been calls for a Federal Trade Commission investigation, and unrelated "do not track" legislation was introduced yesterday. And Sen. Ron Wyden, an Oregon Democrat, has drafted legislation that would curb warrantless access to location histories by police (see CNET Q&A with Wyden).

Bud Tribble, Apple's vice president for software technology

Bud Tribble, Apple's vice president for software technology
(Credit: U.S. Senate)

What began as a hearing devoted to location privacy soon spiraled into entirely unrelated issues about computer security, the recent Sony security breach, mandatory notification for similar breaches, restrictions on mobile applications, and Google Street View.

Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) called on Apple and Google to remove applications that alert users to the presence of police and other law enforcement checkpoints that have been set up to combat drunk driving, a controversy that became public in March. The apps are presumptively legal under the First Amendment, but Schumer said they should nevertheless be removed on public safety grounds.

"How you can justify (selling) apps that put the public at serious risk?" he asked. "Why hasn't Google removed this type of application?"

Davidson replied that while this is an "important issue," Google has "a fairly open policy in what we allow."

"In some cases the police department publishes when and where there's going to be a checkpoint," Tribble said, suggesting that if the information is public, an app that reproduces it should not necessarily be a problem.

Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) suggested that a January 2010 Google patent indicates that the company was planning to intercept the payloads of Wi-Fi communications as part of its Street View service to track locations--an allegation that, if done intentionally, could be a federal crime.

"Are you aware that this process may have been used?" Blumenthal said.

It turned out that Blumenthal appeared to have been confused: the patent application dealt with detecting "data rates," not intercepting the contents of Wi-Fi signals. (Ashkan Soltani, a technologist also testifying today, added that intercepting payloads wouldn't even help to identify locations.)

Disclosure: McCullagh is married to a Google employee not involved in these topics.

__________________
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USE the net more securely:
https://pressfreedomfoundation.org/blog/2014/04/help-support-little-known-privacy-tool-has-been-critical-journalists-reporting-nsa
https://www.torproject.org/download/download

http://www.theintelligencenews.com/


"The world isn't run by weapons anymore, or energy, or money. It's run by little ones and zeroes......"



"There's a war out there, old friend. A world war. And it's not about who's got the most bullets. It's about who controls the information.... it's all about the information!"
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hannah

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Reply with quote  #3 
Intelligence Agencies Move Towards Single Super-Cloud
http://gov.aol.com/2012/12/17/intelligence-agencies-move-towards-single-super-cloud/
By Henry Kenyon

Published: December 17, 2012
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2 Comments
Intelligence Agencies Move Towards Single Super-Cloud
The intelligence community is developing a single cloud computing network to allow all its analysts to access and rapidly sift through massive volumes of data. When fully complete, this effort will create a pan-agency cloud, with organizations sharing many of the same computing resources and information. More importantly, the hope is the system will break down existing boundaries between agencies and change their insular cultures.

As in the rest of the federal government, lower costs and higher efficiency are the primary reasons for the intelligence world's shift to cloud computing, said Charles Allen, formerly Under Secretary of Homeland Security for intelligence and analysis, currently a principal with the Chertoff Group, in an interview with AOL Defense, an affiliate of AOL Government.

Now in its eighth month, the goal of the effort is to connect the CIA's existing cloud to a new cloud run by the National Security Agency. This NSA-run network consists of five other intelligence agencies and the FBI. Both of these clouds can interoperate, but the CIA has its own unique needs because it must work with human intelligence, which necessitates keeping its cloud slightly separate, he said.

The NSA's cloud will incorporate the smaller organization-wide clouds of its partner agencies. One agency, the National Reconnaissance Office, which operates and manages the country's spy satellites, has its own initiative to move its data to a cloud architecture. Jill Singer, the NRO's chief information officer, recently noted that her agency's cloud efforts plug directly into the larger intelligence community program. This allows vital satellite imagery to be shared with analysts across multiple intelligence agencies, she said.

One of the challenges of moving to a cloud-based architecture is that it creates a new business model for an organization, said Allen. This is important because in cloud computing, data does not stay in a single place, but migrates around different servers as an organization's computing needs change. This saves money because it allows agencies to get more work out of fewer computers, but it also means they need to work out rules to share those computing resources with other organizations. Agencies need to determine what resources they need to share and then agree to rules and standards to work together. But he noted that getting to this end state will take a lot of engineering and rule-making.

There is a major inter-agency effort underway to lay the foundations for efficient resource sharing, which is an unprecedented level of cooperation for the intelligence community, Allen said. By comparison, he noted that it took the Defense Department's various agencies 10 to 15 years to centralize its computer network resources. Parts of the intelligence community's cloud effort have reached an initial operating capability, mostly the CIA and NSA portions, but he said the entire system won't be fully operational for at least another five years.

Besides hammering out resource sharing policies, intelligence agencies will have to change their cultures to work more openly with each other. It will take strong and focused leadership from the Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and other top leadership to make sure agency cultures accept the new way of doing things, Allen said.

If the intelligence community's cloud architecture is set up properly, it will make the nation much more responsive and flexible to new threats and changing situations. As it is, much of the military and civilian government already operates at a near-real time level in terms of collecting and reacting to information. "We're operating both strategically and tactically at wire speed," Allen said.

But there are additional issues that must be considered when moving to the cloud. Specifically, the data connectivity requirements will be huge, Allen said. The intelligence community already has a prodigious appetite for data of all kinds, from live streaming video from unmanned aerial vehicles to signal and data intercepts. All of this data must be collected, processed and analyzed quickly to make operational decisions, he said.

To process these massive volumes of data in near-real time, the intelligence community is turning to big-data, high-powered software analysis tools capable of searching for patterns and sniffing out specific types of information out of a sea of data. The community is also reaching out to industry to help develop new analysis tools and capabilities, because intelligence agencies can't develop these tools on their own, he said.

The exact details of how and where agencies will share both resources and data are being worked out through the DNI's CIO Office. Each agency will have its own configuration management board to help coordinate resource sharing, Allen said. The boards are helping to define the standards that will be needed to get the clouds up and running. "If you don't, you don't have a program," he said.



__________________
Test your connection for leaks:
http://ip-check.info/?lang=en

Use TAILS
https://tails.boum.org/

How to boot from USB and other great stuff:
http://www.rmprepusb.com/

Open pdf and word files online instead of on your puter'
http://view.samurajdata.se/

USE the net more securely:
https://pressfreedomfoundation.org/blog/2014/04/help-support-little-known-privacy-tool-has-been-critical-journalists-reporting-nsa
https://www.torproject.org/download/download

http://www.theintelligencenews.com/


"The world isn't run by weapons anymore, or energy, or money. It's run by little ones and zeroes......"



"There's a war out there, old friend. A world war. And it's not about who's got the most bullets. It's about who controls the information.... it's all about the information!"
0
hannah

Registered:
Posts: 797
Reply with quote  #4 
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Utah_Data_Center

http://translate.google.com/translate?sl=auto&tl=en&js=n&prev=_t&hl=en&ie=UTF-8&eotf=1&u=http%3A%2F%2Ffm4.orf.at%2Fstories%2F1714132%2F

http://www.forbes.com/sites/kashmirhill/2013/03/04/nsa-utah-data-center-visit/


3/04/2013 @ 12:21PM |38,583 views
Surprise Visitors Are Unwelcome At The NSA's Unfinished Utah Spy Center (Especially When They Take Photos)

Officers said the sign was jokingly programmed this way by a construction worker

Most people who visit Salt Lake City in the winter months are excited about taking advantage of the area’s storied slopes. While skiing was on my itinerary last week, I was more excited about an offbeat tourism opportunity in the area: I wanted to check out the construction site for “the country’s biggest spy center.”

An electrifying piece about domestic surveillance by national security writer James Bamford that appeared in Wired last year read like a travel brochure to me:

In the little town of Bluffdale, Big Love and Big Brother have become uneasy neighbors. Under construction by contractors with top-secret clearances, the blandly named Utah Data Center is being built for the National Security Agency. A project of immense secrecy, it is the final piece in a complex puzzle assembled over the past decade. Its purpose: to intercept, decipher, analyze, and store vast swaths of the world’s communications as they zap down from satellites and zip through the underground and undersea cables of international, foreign, and domestic networks. The heavily fortified $2 billion center should be up and running in September 2013. Flowing through its servers and routers and stored in near-bottomless databases will be all forms of communication, including the complete contents of private emails, cell phone calls, and Google searches, as well as all sorts of personal data trails—parking receipts, travel itineraries, bookstore purchases, and other digital “pocket litter.”

My outing to the facility last Thursday was an eventful one. I can confirm that the National Security Agency’s site is still under construction. It was surprisingly easy to drive up and circle its parking lot. But if you take photos while there, it is — much like Hotel California – very hard to leave.

When the University of Utah professor who invited me to Salt Lake City to talk to his students asked how I wanted to spend three hours of downtime Thursday afternoon, the super-secret spy center was at the top of my list. The professor, Randy Dryer, was dubious about the value of visiting the construction site, assuming there would be a huge fence that would prohibit us from getting close or seeing anything significant. That turned out not to be the case.

View from the highway. There's a similar bird's eye view available on Google Earth.

We drove about 30 minutes south of downtown Salt Lake City to an area described to me as “out in the desert.” As we got close, I could see from the highway four grey mortared buildings that will soon be holding massive amounts of the world’s data. They appeared half-finished. I snapped some photos with my iPad (which, yes, does make me feel like a ridiculous person).

Then we came to a paved turn-off on the right that led directly to the facility. Driving up the road, we came to a sign emblazoned with the seals of the National Security Agency and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence; it was topped with a digital banner that proudly declared in flashing lights, “Look This… Sign Works!!!!” Behind the sign was a building that looked like a gas pumping station, minus the pumps. We took a right into a parking lot, where I snapped photos of the majestic view of the mountains that NSA data workers will have, another building that looked almost like a visitor’s center (it is #1 — a $9.7 million Visitor Control Center — in this diagram from Wired), and closer views of the data center and the unimposing, barbed-wire-topped fence that surrounded it. That seemed to be the end of the tour. I expressed surprise to Randy Dryer that no one had come out to see why we were slowly driving through the lot.

Two minutes later as we circled back to the flashing sign to take a few more photos, including one of a green sign with an arrow that read, “Rejection Lane,” a uniformed but baby-faced officer with NSA and “K9 unit” badges came out and walked up to the car.

Where we stopped for an hour to 'engage in a chat'

“Were you taking photos?” he asked. I said that I was. He responded, “You’re going to need to delete those.”

I explained that I was a journalist and that I preferred not to. He insisted, saying we were on restricted federal property and that taking photos there was illegal. Luckily for me, Randy Dryer is not just a university professor but a practicing and long-experienced media lawyer. He explained to the officer who we were, why we were there and that we hadn’t realized we were on restricted property. The officer, who carried a gun and a portable radio, began writing everything we said down in a little green notebook. When the officer insisted again that the photos be deleted, Dryer asked if we could talk to his supervisor.

At this point another uniformed officer pulled up behind us. He came up to the car and went essentially through the same question-asking routine while the first officer, who took our driver’s licenses, walked away from the car to call his supervisor. Officer #2, who seemed slightly older than the first but who also carried a little green notebook to record what we had to say, told us he would like for me to delete the photos, and mentioned that it would be easier if we did and that we could be charged with a crime for trespassing and for taking the photos.

Honestly, I was starting to feel pretty nervous at this point but also painfully aware of the irony of the situation. They didn’t want me to capture information about a facility that will soon be harvesting and storing massive amounts of information about American citizens, potentially including many photos they’ve privately sent.

I also remembered that I’d recently turned the passcode off on my iPad so it wouldn’t lock up on me during a presentation to political science students about “privacy watchdogs;” I suddenly had a strong urge to turn it back on.

View from the parking lot

We sat there for about 30 minutes with the car window down and the cold Utah air making its way inside. As we waited for “the supervisor,” we began chatting with the NSA officers. They asked for more information about us, including whether we had guns in the car. (This wouldn’t be hugely surprising in the state of Utah, but we did not.) I confessed that the photos I had weren’t terribly revealing. “You can see the facility from the highway,” I argued. One of the officers grimaced at that and suggested that this has occurred to him and he “didn’t think they built it in the best spot.”

“We didn’t see any signs on our way in,” said Dryer. “They must be tiny.”

“Yeah, that road recently opened,” said Officer #1. “I was just thinking the other day as I was driving in that those signs are too small.”

I said that I expected the construction to be farther along at this point, given that the center is due to be completed in seven months. They said this is “just the half I can see.” Gesturing at the rather puny looking fence, I told them it didn’t seem very high-security.

“Oh it’s stronger than it looks,” replied Officer #2. “It would stop a tractor trailer.”

“Yeah, but too bad it’s not higher and not see-through,” added Officer #1.
Meanwhile, I saw a more casually dressed man make his way into the back entrance of the building that would hold the junk food, sodas, and cash register if this were indeed the gas station it appeared to be. Officer #1 went in to join him. We asked who the supervisor was. “Agent Federman,” we were told. (It sounded like “Federman;” I’m not sure about the spelling.)

The mountainous view for Data Center workers

We sat in the car some more, while they — I assume — ran background checks on us, Googled us, checked my Forbes credentials, poked around my Facebook page and called other supervisors, and perhaps a Public Information Officer to decide what to do about us. After maybe another 15 minutes, an aggressively chummy man with piercing blue eyes, wearing a sweater and slacks, came out to the car. He introduced himself as a special agent and asked us to explain why we were there, with an aside to Officer #1 that he wanted him to record everything. Dryer offered a lengthy explanation, including all of the classes I’d spoken to. Agent Federman responded with a direct question: “Did anyone send you to take those photos and do you plan to distribute them to enemies of the United States?”
NSA Chief Denies Wired's Domestic Spying Story (Fourteen Times) In Congressional Hearing Andy Greenberg Andy Greenberg Forbes Staff

I would have laughed at that had I not been so intimidated and nervous. I said no one sent me and that I didn’t intend to do that. He asked why I did take them. I said I was amused by the sign and wanted to document the trip, and that I’m a journalist and recording information is what I do. He asked whether I would distribute or publish them, and I said again that I was a journalist so that was a possibility. He asked if I had already sent them from my device elsewhere. While the thought had certainly crossed my mind, I had not emailed, Facebooked, or Instagrammed them (yet). He asked me to describe the photos I’d taken, which I did.

He asked me again if I would delete them saying this would make things easier. Feeling like Bartleby the Scrivener by that point, I told him that I would prefer not to. He told me I could have called the Public Information Office, requested a tour and gotten official photographs; he suggested I delete my photos and do that instead. (It struck me at that moment as his version of “come back with a warrant.”) Dryer asked if we could go on a tour now. “No,” he responded. He went back inside the building.

I later contacted James Bamford, the author of the Wired article, to ask whether he requested a tour of the facility. He did not as it was just a hole in the ground when he first wrote the article many months before it came out. “But, having written about NSA for years, I’ve had little success in getting ‘tours’ of NSA facilities,” he said by email.

Now Officer #1 began asking for more information, such as my home address, the name of my hotel in Salt Lake City, where we had been driving from and where we were driving to. (If I didn’t have a government intelligence file before, I certainly do now.) He also asked for our social security numbers. We declined to give them – though I suspect it wouldn’t be very hard for these types to get them if they wanted them.

We began chatting again. Officer #2 expressed some personal discomfort around having photos taken, saying that if a photo of him was taken and put on the Internet that someone might come after him just because of who he worked for. “I had enough of that in the Army,” he said.

Officer #1 said they had to protect against “just anyone coming up here.” After the Wired article came out, there were two “sovereign citizens” who drove up and wanted to know “exactly what was going on in there;” the guards turned them away. The sovereigns are considered a domestic terrorist movement by the FBI. Officer #1 mentioned that both Dryer and I had clean records.

Our encounter with the officers started around 3:30. At this point, it was nearing 4:30. I was wondering if there was going to be a showdown and whether they were going to seize my iPad. I started thinking about whether I might have anything sensitive on there that I needed to worry about.

Agent Federman came back out. This time he came around to my side of the car. “Can I see the photos?” he asked. I was hesitant but it seemed like a reasonable request; plus, I was starting to fear that a federal citation was going to be my souvenir from this trip. So I scrolled through the photos I’d just taken on my iPad for him. He apparently didn’t see anything too objectionable. He asked me to go through again and count them. There were 13. He asked if I would delete two of the photos, which showed a K9 unit SUV including its license plate. I didn’t want to out of principle, but after an hour of being detained in a cold car – or as they described it, “engaging in a chat,” – I was really wanting to leave. I agreed to do so. That’s when they let us depart.

Coincidentally, the gas station-looking building where we were questioned turned out to be an entrance where people working in the facility presumably will have to show their credentials to gain entrance. Our interrogation took place in the lane with the green sign that read “Rejection Lane.” We were the first of the rejects.

The only warnings to stay away from the facility at this point

On the road on the way out, we noticed the signs we had missed: a speed limit sign, a small yellow one to the right side of the road that said “authorized personnel only” and another at the turn off – on the opposite side of the road, in front of a big field – that said “no trespassing.” We stopped at each one, of course, so I could take pictures of them.

It was an intimidating hour. While I’ve interviewed federal agents for stories, I’ve never been interrogated by them before. We may have been treated as gently as we were because I’m a mainstream journalist with a prominent platform and because I was accompanied by a lawyer. I was grateful that I could hold up “professional journalist” as my own badge; it felt protective.

I suspect this would’ve been a much more difficult encounter for someone without journalism credentials. That’s despite the fact that people have legitimate questions about the lengths to which intelligence agencies are going in order to monitor our communications and electronic activity to look for threats. My trespass and capture of information about the center was easy for NSA officers to spot, but the extent of the electronic trespassing against American citizens that might occur inside that data center when it’s finally completed will be much harder for us to discern. And, as the Supreme Court recently ruled in turning back a challenge to U.S. government surveillance of communications with people abroad, if you can’t prove that an unconstitutional invasion of privacy is happening, you can’t stop it from happening.




http://nakedsecurity.sophos.com/2013/02/18/soldiers-handheld-biometric-scanners/

__________________
Test your connection for leaks:
http://ip-check.info/?lang=en

Use TAILS
https://tails.boum.org/

How to boot from USB and other great stuff:
http://www.rmprepusb.com/

Open pdf and word files online instead of on your puter'
http://view.samurajdata.se/

USE the net more securely:
https://pressfreedomfoundation.org/blog/2014/04/help-support-little-known-privacy-tool-has-been-critical-journalists-reporting-nsa
https://www.torproject.org/download/download

http://www.theintelligencenews.com/


"The world isn't run by weapons anymore, or energy, or money. It's run by little ones and zeroes......"



"There's a war out there, old friend. A world war. And it's not about who's got the most bullets. It's about who controls the information.... it's all about the information!"
0
hannah

Registered:
Posts: 797
Reply with quote  #5 
http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/little-known-surveillance-tool-raises-concerns-by-judges-privacy-activists/2013/03/27/8b60e906-9712-11e2-97cd-3d8c1afe4f0f_story_1.html






Little-known surveillance tool raises concerns by judges, privacy activists
By Ellen Nakashima,

Federal investigators in Northern California routinely used a sophisticated surveillance system to scoop up data from cellphones and other wireless devices in an effort to track criminal suspects — but failed to detail the practice to judges authorizing the probes.

The practice was disclosed Wednesday in documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act by the American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California — in a glimpse into a technology that federal agents rarely discuss publicly.

The investigations used a device known as a StingRay, which simulates a cellphone tower and enables agents to collect the serial numbers of individual cellphones and then locate them. Although law enforcement officials can employ StingRays and similar devices to locate suspects, privacy groups and some judges have raised concerns that the technology is so invasive — in some cases effectively penetrating the walls of homes — that its use should require a warrant.

The issues, judges and activists say, are twofold: whether federal agents are informing courts when seeking permission to monitor suspects, and whether they are providing enough evidence to justify the use of a tool that sweeps up data not only from a suspect’s wireless device but also from those of bystanders in the vicinity.

In Northern California, according to the newly disclosed documents, judges expressed concerns about the invasive nature of the technology.

“It has recently come to my attention that many agents are still using [StingRay] technology in the field although the [surveillance] application does not make that explicit,” Miranda Kane, then chief of the criminal division of the Northern California U.S. attorney’s office, said in a May 2011 e-mail obtained by the ACLU.

As a result of that, she wrote, “effective immediately, all . . . applications and proposed orders must be reviewed by your line supervisor before they are submitted to a magistrate judge.”

The Justice Department has generally maintained that a warrant based on probable cause is not needed to use a “cell-site simulator” because the government is not employing them to intercept conversations, former officials said. But some judges around the country have disagreed and have insisted investigators first obtain a warrant.

“It’s unsettled territory,” said one U.S. law enforcement official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak for the record.

In a statement, Christopher Allen, a spokesman for the FBI, said the bureau advises field offices to “work closely with the relevant U.S. Attorney’s Office to adhere to the legal requirements” of their respective districts.

One of the problems is there is “scant law” addressing the issue of cell-site simulators, said Brian L. Owsley, a federal magistrate judge in the Southern District of Texas, who in June wrote a rare public ruling on the issue. He denied an application to use a StingRay, in large part because he felt the investigating agent failed to explain the technology or how it would be used to gather the target’s cellphone number.

Moreover, the government did not explain what it would do with the numbers and other data “concerning seemingly innocent cell phone users” that were also picked up.

“Neither the special agent nor the assistant United States attorney appeared to understand the technology very well,” Owsley wrote. “At a minimum, they seemed to have some discomfort in trying to explain it.”

At a recent conference on cellphone tracking issues at Yale University, Owsley said he thought that “there are magistrate judges around the country that are getting these requests and not realizing what these requests are,” in some cases perhaps because the agents are not clear about their intent to use the technology.

“By withholding information about this technology from courts in applications for electronic surveillance orders, the federal government is essentially seeking to write its own search warrants,” said Linda Lye, a staff attorney for the ACLU of Northern California.

Judges “need the opportunity to require privacy safeguards, such as rules on how to handle the data of innocent people that may be captured by the devices as well,” she said.Lye will be arguing the issue on Thursday in a federal case in Arizona, in support of a defendant charged with tax fraud and identity theft. Daniel Rigmaiden, known as “the Hacker” to acquaintances and federal agents, was tracked in part with the use of a StingRay. He has alleged that investigators did not seek a court’s approval to use the technology.

“The main concern we have in Rigmaiden is the government was not being forthright with the magistrate when it was seeking to use this device,” said Lye, whose organization is one of several that have filed an amicus brief in the case.

The newly disclosed documents suggest that “Rigmaiden was not an isolated case,” she said.

The government said it obtained a warrant to track Rigmaiden, but the ACLU is arguing that the government did not present key information about the surveillance device to the magistrate, rendering the warrant invalid.

Chris Soghoian, the ACLU’s principal technologist, said cell-site simulators are being used by local, state and federal authorities.

“No matter how the StingRay is used — to identify, locate or intercept — they always send signals through the walls of homes,” which should trigger a warrant requirement, Soghoian said. “The signals always penetrate a space protected by the Fourth Amendment.”

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"The world isn't run by weapons anymore, or energy, or money. It's run by little ones and zeroes......"



"There's a war out there, old friend. A world war. And it's not about who's got the most bullets. It's about who controls the information.... it's all about the information!"
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hannah

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Reply with quote  #6 
Real-Time Gmail Spying FBI's 'Top Priority' for 2013
FBI Once Again Beating CALEA Update Drum
by Karl Bode Wednesday 27-Mar-2013 tags: business · wireless · privacy · content · wireless
While carriers already now give real-time access to all network data, the FBI says that real-time wiretapping of Gmail is their top priority in 2013. Speaking last week at the American Bar Association, FBI general counsel Andrew Weissmann argued once again that the agency wants to revamp the Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act to allow for real-time surveillance of e-mail, cloud storage services, and social networking websites. This is a drum the FBI has been beating for years, as they want easier access to services that use SSL encryption:

https://secure.dslreports.com/shownews/RealTime-Gmail-Spying-FBIs-Top-Priority-for-2013-123655

__________________
Test your connection for leaks:
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Use TAILS
https://tails.boum.org/

How to boot from USB and other great stuff:
http://www.rmprepusb.com/

Open pdf and word files online instead of on your puter'
http://view.samurajdata.se/

USE the net more securely:
https://pressfreedomfoundation.org/blog/2014/04/help-support-little-known-privacy-tool-has-been-critical-journalists-reporting-nsa
https://www.torproject.org/download/download

http://www.theintelligencenews.com/


"The world isn't run by weapons anymore, or energy, or money. It's run by little ones and zeroes......"



"There's a war out there, old friend. A world war. And it's not about who's got the most bullets. It's about who controls the information.... it's all about the information!"
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hannah

Registered:
Posts: 797
Reply with quote  #7 
EVERYONE PLEASE USE TOR AND HELP THE NETWORK GROW BY BECOMING A TOR RELAY OR BRIDGE - DEFEAT CENSORSHIP AND POLITICAL OPPRESSION

BESIDES MAKING YOUR COMMUNICATIONS MORE SECURE, YOU CAN HELP OTHERS



You will help the network speed up bandwidth.
You will help people living under oppressive political regimes have freedom of speech and communications.
You can help cause regime change in China, Iran and Syria.
A non-exit TOR Relay allows encrypted data to flow through the network smoothly and it starts automatically when you log in. It does not affect your normal use of TOR.

Download here:

https://www.torproject.org/download/download


Use the Vidalia bundle for your personal encrypted web surfing

Use the relay bundle or bridge bundle TO HELP EXPAND THE NETWORK

__________________
Test your connection for leaks:
http://ip-check.info/?lang=en

Use TAILS
https://tails.boum.org/

How to boot from USB and other great stuff:
http://www.rmprepusb.com/

Open pdf and word files online instead of on your puter'
http://view.samurajdata.se/

USE the net more securely:
https://pressfreedomfoundation.org/blog/2014/04/help-support-little-known-privacy-tool-has-been-critical-journalists-reporting-nsa
https://www.torproject.org/download/download

http://www.theintelligencenews.com/


"The world isn't run by weapons anymore, or energy, or money. It's run by little ones and zeroes......"



"There's a war out there, old friend. A world war. And it's not about who's got the most bullets. It's about who controls the information.... it's all about the information!"
0
hannah

Registered:
Posts: 797
Reply with quote  #8 
http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2013/03/new-e-mails-reveal-feds-not-forthright-about-fake-cell-tower-devices/

New e-mails reveal Feds not “forthright” about fake cell tower devices
E-mails could have implications for accused tax fraudster caught via "stingray."

by Cyrus Farivar - Mar 28 2013, 1:20am UTC

__________________
Test your connection for leaks:
http://ip-check.info/?lang=en

Use TAILS
https://tails.boum.org/

How to boot from USB and other great stuff:
http://www.rmprepusb.com/

Open pdf and word files online instead of on your puter'
http://view.samurajdata.se/

USE the net more securely:
https://pressfreedomfoundation.org/blog/2014/04/help-support-little-known-privacy-tool-has-been-critical-journalists-reporting-nsa
https://www.torproject.org/download/download

http://www.theintelligencenews.com/


"The world isn't run by weapons anymore, or energy, or money. It's run by little ones and zeroes......"



"There's a war out there, old friend. A world war. And it's not about who's got the most bullets. It's about who controls the information.... it's all about the information!"
0
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