All posts filed under: Surveillance

Google offers to take food pictures for me

by Denis Churilov, September 20, 2017 You know you’re boring when even the NSA doesn’t bother collecting data on you. I feel sorry for the large IT-corporations, though.  Unlike government agencies, I give them my personal information voluntarily just by using their services, so they HAVE TO store and analyse it all (regardless of whether they want to) to find patterns for target advertisements (not that there is much variety in the data about my life… just saying). Whenever I go to a local restaurant, Google Search app notices it through GPS-tracking and offers me to take pictures and write a review.  So thoughtful of it.  It always knows what I’m up to and what I’m about to have (pfff, as if I’m impressed by it; the staff in all local fast-food stores know me by my name and what I’m going to order at any given day of the week too).  I’m wondering when will my phone start sending me notifications saying something like “What?  Nado’s?  This place again?  Really?  Denis, have you ever …

The Rise of the Police State and the Absence of Mass Opposition

by James Petras and Robin Eastman Abaya, 2012 Introduction: One of the most significant political developments in recent US history has been the virtually unchallenged rise of the police state.  Despite the vast expansion of the police powers of the Executive Branch of government, the extraordinary growth of an entire panoply of repressive agencies, with hundreds of thousands of personnel, and enormous public and secret budgets and the vast scope of police state surveillance, including the acknowledged monitoring of over 40 million US citizens and residents, no mass pro-democracy movement has emerged to confront the powers and prerogatives or even protest the investigations of the police state. In the early fifties, when the McCarthyite purges were accompanied by restrictions on free speech, compulsory loyalty oaths and congressional ‘witch hunt’ investigations of public officials, cultural figures , intellectuals, academics and trade unionists, such police state measures provoked widespread public debate and protests and even institutional resistance.  By the end of the 1950’s mass demonstrations were held at the sites of the public hearings of the House …

German Intelligence Service to Become Branch of CIA

by Eric Zuesse According to a news report in the June 7th German Economic News (Deutsche Wirtschafts Nachrichten, or DWN) headlined “Merkel entmachtet BND: USA kontrollieren Spionage in Deutschland” or “Merkel Ousts BND: US to Control German Espionage,” a new law will soon be passed in the German parliament and be approved by Chancellor Angela Merkel, which will make Germany’s version of the CIA, the Bundesnachrichtendienstes (BND), nothing more than a branch of the CIA. The BND is to be subordinated to the CIA to such an extreme degree that even U.S. corporate espionage against German companies will become part of that  nominally German operation. The independent capacities of the BND will become emasculated, no longer operational, under the new law. “In practice, this means that the US intelligence services [NSA] will be allowed to continue to listen in on every company and every individual in Germany.” That includes the Chancellor herself, whose phone-conversations were previously embarrassingly revealed to have been listened-in upon by the NSA.  Now it’ll be legal. This appears to be part of the West’s buildup toward a global war.  …

CBS and its (new?) Matrix trick

Many of our readers will be familiar by now with the common practice of our mainstream media – the Guardian has become notorious for it — of censoring political comments which challenge the US/NATO approved narrative on international affairs. As Off-Guardian has learned from Shawn Irwin, a social media contact who’s shared his screenshots with us, the CBS has come up with a new twist on this.

NSA: ‘Sheer luck’ needed to find useful info in sea of surveillance data

RT reports: The NSA didn’t know it was already sitting on a “goldmine” of data on one of its targets until one of its analysts discovered it by “sheer luck,” according to an internal newsletter entry leaked by Edward Snowden. The article, dated March 23, 2011, was written by a signals development analyst in SIDtoday, an NSA in-house newsletter. He explains how he discovered the contact and personal information for over 10,000 people, as well as some 900 account login details, after “a ton of hard work,” according to reports from The Intercept and teleSUR. “By sheer luck (and a ton of hard work), I discovered an important new access to an existing target and am working with TAO to leverage a new mission capability,” the analyst wrote to colleagues. TAO refers to Tailored Access Operations, an NSA hacking team which had collected the 900 usernames and passcodes. The “existing target” was Petróleos de Venezuela, a Venezuelan state oil company also referred to as PDVSA. Matthew Green, a Johns Hopkins Information Security Institute professor, told …