surveillance

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'Concerns' Prompt Air Force to Probe Use of Secretive Planes

Aircraft were deployed over DC, Minneapolis protests

(Newser) - The Air Force says its inspector general is investigating the use of Air National Guard reconnaissance aircraft during protests in Minneapolis and Washington, DC. Air Force spokesman Brig. Gen. Patrick Ryder says the investigation is being conducted after discussions about "shared concerns" with Defense Secretary Mark Esper. The investigation... More »

IBM: It's Time to Talk About Police Use of Facial Recognition Tech

Company says it will no longer offer the technology

(Newser) - IBM says it is turning away from facial recognition technology—and the company thinks it's time for the country to take a hard look at its use by law enforcement. The company said in a letter to Congress that it will no longer offer, or research, "general purpose"... More »

Step Outside in This City, Get Recorded Everywhere

Aerial surveillance in Baltimore meant to deter homicides, but irks ACLU, privacy advocates

(Newser) - Starting Friday, the roughly 600,000 people living in Baltimore will be constantly recorded whenever they step out under the open sky. For the next six months, up to three airplanes outfitted with wide-angle cameras will sweep over Baltimore in daytime flights designed to capture movements across about 90% of... More »

Baltimore Revives Surveillance Flights

Civil liberties groups oppose the pilot program, as they did last time

(Newser) - Starting with a trial run in May, Baltimore will become the first city in the country to use private surveillance planes to battle crime. The announcement reflected a change of heart by the city's police commissioner, the Sun reports, after a lobbying campaign. Michael Harrison had said the program... More »

Secretive Court Rebukes FBI Over Errors in Russia Probe

Order could lead to surveillance changes

(Newser) - The chief judge of a secretive surveillance court said Tuesday that the FBI provided "unsupported" information when it applied to eavesdrop on a former Trump campaign adviser and directed the bureau to report back by next month on what steps it was taking to fix the problems. The four-page... More »

Surveillance Balloons Are Floating Over 6 States

Devices being tested can track scores of vehicles at once

(Newser) - The Pentagon is conducting high-altitude surveillance in six Midwestern states, testing a system designed to track vehicles 24/7 regardless of weather conditions. As many as 25 balloons outfitted with radar and video systems are in flight at altitudes as high as 65,000 feet, the Guardian reports. Their 250-mile flight... More »

This City Could Be First in US to Ban Police Use of Facial Recognition

San Francisco supervisors will vote on bill Tuesday

(Newser) - San Francisco is on track to become the first US city to ban the use of facial recognition by police and other city agencies, reflecting a growing backlash against a technology that's creeping into airports, motor vehicle departments, stores, stadiums, and home security cameras, the AP reports. Government agencies... More »

With Surveillance Limits Ending, ACLU Sues Everyone

Feds aren't revealing anything about surveillance, suit says

(Newser) - A civil rights group has sued the US government, saying it needs more information about surveillance of Americans' phone and financial records to guide the public debate over what will happen when the law that regulates the scrutiny expires next year, the AP reports. The American Civil Liberties Union sued... More »

Belong to 'Quiet Skies'? Better Hope Not

It's a TSA domestic surveillance program in which marshals keep a close eye on passengers

(Newser) - It's called "Quiet Skies" and sounds for all the world like the name of some airline PR initiative. But as the Boston Globe reveals, "Quiet Skies" is actually the name of a TSA domestic surveillance program that has been operating on the down-low. It's not entirely... More »

'Rogue' Phone Spying Devices Detected in Washington

Homeland Security isn't sure who's operating them

(Newser) - For the first time, the US government has publicly acknowledged the existence in Washington of what appear to be rogue devices that foreign spies and criminals could be using to track individual cellphones and intercept calls and messages. The use of what are known as cell-site simulators by foreign powers... More »

Nunes Admits Fine Print Shows DOJ Didn't Conceal Info

But panel chair says 'footnote' wasn't enough when it came to surveillance of Carter Page

(Newser) - There was a lot going on in the House Intelligence Committee memo declassified Friday by President Trump, but a key allegation was that the FBI didn't divulge the partisan leanings of dossier author Christopher Steele during the application process for surveillance on former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page. The... More »

All Eyes on FBI Chief Wray in Wake of Memo's Release

White House aides were nervous he would quit, though his allies doubt he will

(Newser) - The controversial memo released Friday has put one key player "in a bind," as Politico puts it. That would be FBI Director Christopher Wray, who will have 35,000 FBI employees watching his reaction after the memo on alleged surveillance abuses was revealed to the public despite his... More »

House Renews Warrantless Surveillance Powers

Despite Trump tweeting against bill officially supported by White House

(Newser) - Despite some presidential Twitter drama, the House voted to extend the government's powers of warrantless surveillance another six years on Tuesday with a 256-164 vote, the Hill reports. Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act allows the NSA to collect from US companies texts and emails of foreign... More »

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 »

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