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90% of People the NSA Spies on Are Not Real Targets, Report Says

David Smothers July 7, 2014

The National Security Agency’s wide-reaching Internet surveillance dragnet sweeps up more ordinary Internet users’ communications than previously thought, according to a new report. Nine out of 10 people on which the NSA spied were not actually the intended targets of its surveillance, and nearly half of the surveillance files either belonged to U.S. citizens or… Continue Reading »

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Butterfleye Keeps an Eye on Your House For Safety and For Fun

David Smothers May 23, 2014

Gone are the days of nanny cams embedded in teddy bears or CCTV arrays mounted outside your front door. The new home camera Butterfleye represents a new surveillance device that’s somewhere in-between—a small, unintrusive device designed for monitoring your home’s security, but with smart activity-sensing features which could also feasibly capture your baby’s first steps…. Continue Reading »

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Eric Schmidt Says Government Surveillance Is Just Part of Our Society

David Smothers September 14, 2013

Since the whole PRISM thing blew up, and dozens of other Snowden revelations followed it, there’s been a lot of talk about government spying—foreign stuff and domestic survellience—and what these revelations mean. According to Google’s executive chairman Eric Schmidt, not much; this is just part of our society now. In an event hosted by the… Continue Reading »

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The NSA Is Collecting Emails and Texts for Just Mentioning “Targets”

David Smothers August 8, 2013

There’s a story in the New York Times today that details how the NSA hasn’t just been tracking communications to and from (potential) foreigners of interest—it’s actually tracking all emails and text messages that potentially mention these targets. That dragnet just got a lot wider. This is the actualization of the tired and at one… Continue Reading »

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Let’s Talk About FAIRVIEW, the NSA’s Plan to “Own the Internet”

David Smothers July 12, 2013

At this point in time, everyone is properly upset about the National Security Agency’s PRISM program and the seemingly endless surveillance it enabled. But guess what? It’s not the only one. Sprinkled in the NSA files leaked by Edward Snowden are some details about FAIRVIEW, a sort of international version of PRISM. Along with a… Continue Reading »

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The Massive Facial Recognition Database That’s Hiding in Plain Sight

David Smothers June 17, 2013

It’s only natural to be a little skeeved out by the idea that the government is slurping up your private data behind the scenes, but there’s a very public piece of your data being collected as well: the look on your face. There’s already a national database of over 120 million faces, and the Washington… Continue Reading »

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Data Privacy Day farce

David Smothers January 28, 2013

  Four years ago, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a resolution declaring Jan. 28 “Data Privacy Day.” The resolution encouraged “state and local governments to observe the day with appropriate activities that promote awareness of data privacy.” “Many individuals,” declared the resolution, “are unaware of data protection and privacy laws generally and of specific steps that… Continue Reading »

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