surveillance

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The NSA (Probably) Has a Base in This Creepy NYC Building

The Intercept reports that the AT&T Building is a key surveillance site

(Newser) - For decades, the NSA has operated a sophisticated intelligence-gathering operation out of the ominous AT&T Building in Manhattan, the Intercept reports. The windowless building, located at 33 Thomas St. in lower Manhattan, has long attracted attention from New Yorkers curious about its purpose. When the New York Times reported... More »

Half of US Adults Are Part of Growing Police Database

According to a new report on the use of facial recognition technology

(Newser) - About half of US adults—more than 117 million people—are part of a "virtual, perpetual lineup" thanks to the increasing and unregulated use of facial recognition technology by the country's law enforcement agencies, according to a report released Tuesday by Georgetown Law's Center on Privacy and... More »

Yahoo Created Custom Surveillance Software for the NSA: Reuters

Chief Information Security Officer Alex Stamos left the company in protest: sources

(Newser) - Yahoo CEO Marissa Meyer secretly ordered email engineers to write surveillance software for the NSA, Reuters revealed today, citing information from three former Yahoo employees and another person aware of the events. The software was designed to analyze all incoming e-mail messages for a certain phrase or string of characters,... More »

Baltimore Cops Admit They've Been Filming Citizens From Sky

But it wasn't a 'secret' program, they say

(Newser) - Baltimore police are keeping an eye on city residents from the sky. On Tuesday, Bloomberg Businessweek revealed the secret aerial surveillance system police had been using since January, and on Wednesday, police confirmed they have indeed been carrying out aerial surveillance to investigate crimes, the Guardian reports. But a police... More »

FBI Iris Scans Slammed as 'Runaway Surveillance'

434K scans have been collected since 2013

(Newser) - The FBI has collected 434,000 eye scans from people arrested in the US since 2013, according to a Verge investigation based on records obtained through the California Public Records Act. The scans can be used for identification much like a fingerprint, and critics are worried about abuse. The FBI... More »

Judge: No, Your Cellphone Can't Be Used to Track You

First time a federal judge has thrown out evidence culled thanks to 'stingray' device

(Newser) - A surveillance device that "tricks" cellphones into revealing their location has been a civil rights concern since it debuted. Now, for the first time, a federal judge agrees that using such a tool to ID a suspect's home without a warrant is an "unreasonable" violation of the... More »

Philly PD Admits Its SUV Was Masked as Google Maps Vehicle

SUV decked out with technology to spy on drivers (and fake Google decal)

(Newser) - The Philly PD has a "mystery" on its hands, and it involves one of its own vehicles. On Wednesday, a University of Pennsylvania professor spotted an SUV near the Philadelphia Convention Center, souped up with two high-tech license-plate readers and a placard linking it to the Pennsylvania State Police—... More »

CIA Chief Blasts 'Hand-Wringing' Over Surveillance

Debate renews over whether government spying is a necessary evil

(Newser) - Civil liberty advocates are worried that a spate of ISIS attacks will bring a renewed push for more-intense government surveillance, and comments by CIA chief John Brennan won't make them feel any better. Following the downing of Flight 9268 , last week's suicide bombings in Beirut , and Friday's... More »

$21M US Drone Crashes in Iraq, Guy Gets a Selfie

Spy drone conducting surveillance went down due to 'technical complications'

(Newser) - Pictures started circulating online this week of what looked like a US Army drone sitting in the middle of the Iraqi desert, and yesterday the Pentagon confirmed that's indeed what it is, the Verge reports. A US Central Command spokesman told BuzzFeed that an MQ-1 surveillance drone crashed on... More »

Snowden: World Has Kicked Surveillance to the Curb

'This is the power of an informed public,' ex-NSA contractor writes in 'NYT'

(Newser) - Two years ago, Edward Snowden holed up in a Hong Kong hotel room to await reaction to his NSA revelations. Today, from somewhere in Moscow, he celebrates that anniversary by penning a New York Times op-ed that opines on privacy and surveillance in the wake of the expiration of key... More »

Senate Curbs NSA Surveillance Powers

Bill goes to Obama after amendments to water it down fail

(Newser) - Congress has sent legislation to the president remaking a disputed post-9/11 surveillance program two days after letting it temporarily expire. The vote in the Senate today was 67-32. The House already has passed the bill, and President Obama plans to sign it. The legislation will phase out, over six months,... More »

Surveillance Bill Heads for Showdown Today

Supporters of USA Freedom Act say no amendments are needed

(Newser) - The Senate is set today to tackle the USA Freedom Act —which would end the NSA's bulk collection of phone records—but the bill's House backers are warning senators to leave the bill alone. "The House is not likely to accept the changes," several members... More »

Hidden Behind Fake Companies, an FBI 'Air Force'

AP finds low-flying planes are active over dozens of cities

(Newser) - The FBI is operating a small air force with scores of low-flying planes across the country carrying video and, at times, cellphone surveillance technology—all hidden behind fictitious companies that are fronts for the government, the AP has learned. The planes' surveillance equipment is generally used without a judge's... More »

Rand Paul: I'm Going to Let Patriot Act Expire

His move tomorrow means bulk collection of data will likely halt temporarily

(Newser) - It's all but guaranteed now: The NSA's authorization to collect telephone data on Americans is going to end tomorrow—at least for a few days. That became clear when Rand Paul told Politico that he will block an extension the Patriot Act as well as progress on a... More »

Activists Record Private Chats, Post Them Online

They're trying to make a point about the NSA

(Newser) - Spending time in New York City these days? You might peek under the table or bench you're using to see if there's a tape recorder marked "PROPERTY OF NSA"—which was placed there by anti-NSA activists trying to make a point, the Guardian reports. The activists... More »

Surveillance Programs in Jeopardy After Senate Drama

After reform measure fails, Rand Paul blocks Patriot Act extensions

(Newser) - Things got dramatic in the wee hours last night in the Senate, the result being that the Patriot Act—and, specifically, the government's ability to collect bulk surveillance—is now "on life support," reports Politico . Once again, Rand Paul is at the center of things, with Paul... More »

'Go Away': US Spy Plane Warned by China

8 warnings issued from Chinese navy to US plane flying over South China Sea

(Newser) - "This is the Chinese navy. … This is the Chinese navy. … Please go away … to avoid misunderstanding." That was one of the warnings a CNN team heard aboard a P-8 Poseidon surveillance aircraft yesterday as part of a US mission over man-made islands created by the... More »

Online Sleuth: Surveillance Planes Spied on Baltimore

ACLU wants answers, FBI and Baltimore PD haven't given any yet

(Newser) - The Internet—a powerful tool that allows you to catch up with friends on social media, indulge in online gaming, and figure out that surveillance planes are hovering over your city. That last activity is how one Baltimore aviation aficionado (and ex-ACLU employee) spent last Saturday night, picking up on... More »

Snowden Who? France to Ramp Up Surveillance

After Hebdo attacks, Paris ready to embrace bulk collection of phone, email data

(Newser) - See if this sounds familiar: A nation reeling from a major terror attack puts into place sweeping new surveillance rules in the name of public safety that critics think violate civil liberties. A measure with the nickname the "French Patriot Act" cleared the lower house of Parliament in France... More »

Both Parties Support Bill to Rein In Patriot Act

Legislation would end bulk data collection exposed by Edward Snowden

(Newser) - The US government may consider Edward Snowden a traitor, but its lawmakers seem bent on reining in the surveillance abuses he exposed. Legislation that would end the bulk collection of data has the support of both parties in Congress, reports the New York Times . The House is poised to pass... More »

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