surveillance

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China Is Watching Us, or at Least Chinese Cameras Are

'Wall Street Journal' looks at security concerns over industry leader Hikvision

(Newser) - It may not be a household name in the US, but many Americans have surely come under the gaze of a product made by the Chinese company Hikvision. As the Wall Street Journal reports, Hikvision is the No. 2 seller of surveillance equipment in the US and is No. 1... More »

Russian Surveillance Plane Flies Over Trump Golf Course

It soared over DC as part of Open Skies treaty

(Newser) - Wednesday was an unusual day in Washington, DC: Not only was there a giant chicken balloon next to the White House, there was a Russian surveillance plane flying at low altitude through the restricted airspace around the Pentagon, the Capitol, and other DC sites, the Washington Post reports. The Russian... More »

Unlikely Item Helped Kidnap Victim Escape Trunk

Quick thinking, light of insulin pump gave Brittany Diggs the chance to escape

(Newser) - The Alabama nursing student whose brave kidnapping escape was caught on a gas station's surveillance video last week revealed that her insulin pump played a role in her getaway. In an exclusive interview with the Today show on Monday, Brittany Diggs, 25, said the faint light of her insulin... More »

You Can Tell Whether the CIA Has Hacked Your TV

Experts say WikiLeaks files 'sinister,' but not surprising

(Newser) - It's being called the CIA's "Snowden moment" —and it reveals secrets that paranoid time-travelers from the 1950s would find completely unsurprising, including suggestions that the agency has been spying on people through their TVs. The CIA is scrambling to deal with the fallout from WikiLeaks' release... More »

NYT: FBI Has Uncovered Trump Aides' Russia Ties

They contacted Russians during campaign, sources say

(Newser) - The Trump administration's Russia problem just got a lot worse, according to the New York Times ' sources: Four officials say intelligence agencies have uncovered phone records and other evidence that members of Trump's campaign team and other aides were in contact with senior Russian officials during the... More »

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 »

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