12 situations when it might matter to you that the Feds are tracking everything you text or email and making note of everywhere you go.

(Cross-post from my other blog, Nonprofit Update.)

Recent news reports indicate federal intelligence agencies are gathering up a lot more information than we knew. That data is available to undisclosed lists of unknown people and will be retained for a very long time.

So what?

Here’s just a few circumstances in which you might not want access to your data by a long list of unidentified persons from various federal, state, or local agencies who were granted access to various unidentified parts of the various databases: (more…)

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More good stuff on surveillance – 7-23-13

(Cross-post from my other blog, Outrun Change.)

There are a lot of articles discussing the surveillance world we now live in. I would like to comment on many of them in a full post. Alas, time does not permit.

I will start putting up a list of good stuff that I’d like talk about but only have time to recommend with a quick comment. Hopefully this will be a frequent list of links.

Here’s my first list:

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The folly of “I have nothing to hide” in a surveillance society

(Cross-post from my other blog, Outrun Change.)

That’s the idea some people are advancing to suggest the extensive data gathering conducted by the federal government is okay.

I plan to discuss this in detail. In the meantime, I want to start putting some pieces of information on the table.

Moxie Marlinspike has a superb article in Wired: Why “I Have Nothing to Hid” Is the Wrong Way to Think About Surveillance.

You may think you haven’t broken any laws.

But are you familiar with all 27,000 pages of the United States Code?

The article quotes James Duane, a professor at Regent Law School:

Estimates of the current size of the body of federal criminal law vary. It has been reported that the Congressional Research Service cannot even count the current number of federal crimes. These laws are scattered in over 50 titles of the United States Code, encompassing roughly 27,000 pages. Worse yet, the statutory code sections often incorporate, by reference, the provisions and sanctions of administrative regulations promulgated by various regulatory agencies under congressional authorization. Estimates of how many such regulations exist are even less well settled, but the ABA thinks there are ”nearly 10,000.”

Are you familiar with all 10,000 regulations that implement the 27,000 pages of the U.S.C.?

Check out this example: (more…)

The drip, drip, drip of news about how we are being watched. Our knowledge of the scale of surveillance is expanding by the day.

(Cross-post from my other blog, Outrun Change.)

Seems like every morning there is a big story with details of the vast array of surveillance conducted by the federal government. Here is a broad overview of news in the last 2 weeks.

First report was metadata of every phone call at Verizon is passed to the feds. More important than the number of every person you talk to is your location on a moment by moment basis.

Then we learn data from the other carriers, AT&T and Sprint, is scooped up.

Then the news is the feds are scooping up credit card transactions, e-mails, and Internet activity. Although capturing all e-mails as been in the news here and there for close to a decade.

We learn nine Internet companies are passing on their info including

Microsoft, Yahoo, Google, Facebook, PalTalk, AOL, Skype, YouTube, Apple

The Post Office scans the front and back of every piece of mail.

Today the report is thousands of firms are swapping data with a variety of federal agencies.  One specific example is Microsoft giving info on day 0 software bugs to federal agencies before patches are released.

Many companies voluntarily turn over information, or product specs, or system design, or data and receive information in return.

In addition, one specific companies receive a letter promising no criminal enforcement and many companies get letters providing protection from civil suits.

The steady drip of information on the surveillance society hasn’t slowed. Just as a wild guess, there’s probably more news to come.

Surveillance society – A very bad week for privacy.

(Cross-post from my other blog, Outrun Change.)

Joke of the week – if my computer or website crashes, can I get a backup copy from NSA?

Lots of publicity this week on extensive federal monitoring of citizens and non citizens. No time to write a full post, so just a quick note to put some dots on the page. Hopefully will have time to connect them later

Four massive stories this week:

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