Browsing: Big Brother

‘It appears that air travel is going to be the new frontier for high-tech privacy invasion taking place in the name of security, efficiency and convenience … and now “customer service.”

There was a time not long ago where rumblings about facial recognition and other forms of biometric identification for use in travel was dismissed as a science fiction that could not be achieved and that most people would not tolerate it if biometric ID ever became a reality. As I covered last week, this is science fiction no longer as airports around the United States and the world are beginning to implement biometrics at varying degrees of scale with little to no resistance from the traveling public.’

Read more: Airline Begins Testing Augmented Reality Smart Glasses To Read Travelers’ Emotions

‘The Vermont Department of Motor Vehicles has been running a facial recognition program to conduct illegal identity searches and sharing its findings with federal agencies and law enforcement, according to documents obtained by the American Civil Liberties Union.

The documents show that since 2012, the department has run 126 FRS searchers on requests from the FBI, ICE, the US State Department and state and local police departments from around the country. It also “secretly shared the photos and associated information of potentially thousands of Vermonters with those agencies.”

“The DMV’s use of facial-recognition software is illegal,” ACLU’s Vermont staff attorney, Jay Diaz said in an interview. “They’re violating the public trust by not telling people up front that in order to get a driver’s license, you’ve got to give up your privacy.”’

Read more: Face off: ACLU demands Vermont DMV suspend facial recognition program

‘Government ministers have vowed to force tech companies to hand over encrypted data, including messages from services like WhatsApp, once Parliament resumes.

MPs have been looking at ways to force the hand of tech giants since Khalid Masood’s attack on Westminster in March.

The terrorist sent a message using WhatsApp in his final moments before killing five people including valiant PC Keith Palmer, who defended Westminster with his life.

But security officials were unable to access the barbaric killer’s final words due to the encryption used by the tech company.’

Read more: Government ‘will force tech firms to hand over messages’ in wake of Manchester bombing

French President Emmanuel Macron has requested that parliament extend the state of emergency until November 1. The president also called for the introduction of legislation to boost security in the face of the terrorist threat.

“The President of the Republic has decided that the [French] Parliament should extend the state of emergency until 1 November,” an Elysee statement said on Wednesday, after Macron’s meeting with the Defense and National Security Council.

Macron also demanded that the government prepare a “legislative text” which proposes strengthening security amid “the terrorist threat outside a state of emergency,” the statement added.’

Read more: France to extend state of emergency, vows new security laws after Manchester bombing

‘Google already monitors your online shopping – but now it wants to work with payment firms to monitor what you buy offline as well.

The search giant says it has access to roughly 70 percent of U.S. credit and debit card transactions through partnerships with other companies that track that data.

Now it hopes to use this to tell advertisers when their online ads have led to an offline purchase.

Google believes the data will show a cause-and-effect relationship between online ads and offline sales.

‘Machine learning is key to measuring the consumer journeys that now span multiple devices and channels across both the digital and physical worlds,’ it said.’

Read more: Do YOU want Google knowing everything you buy OFFLINE as well? Firm unveils controversial scheme to analyze credit and debit card records 

‘Forget Netflix and chill, a new app lets you Netflix and stalk.

Samsung Smart TV has added an app that lets viewers track the real-time location of their friends, loved ones or the status of a food delivery – all while they binge watch their favorite shows.

Called Glympse, users create groups with their family, friends, connected cars, home devices, and more, and all shared location data will on appear on the right side of the television screen.

Glympse, which was founded by former Microsoft employees, is said to be the first app of its kind and is the latest technology to make its way into the living room – it has already been made available for the Samsung smart refrigerator.’

Read more: Netflix and stalk: Samsung adds location tracking app to its TVs

‘Since Wednesday, Twitter has been sending out emails and notifications to its over 300 million monthly users to inform them of changes to their privacy policy.

The new policy, which goes into effect on June 18, includes changes to data collection, data sharing, and digital advertising. The policy is being run on an ‘opt-out’ basis, meaning that if users do not actively change their settings, these policies will automatically be applied to their accounts.

While Twitter hailed the new policy in their mass email sent out Sunday as one that “dovetails with our heartbeat as a company — a commitment to protecting and defending your privacy,” groups like the Electronic Frontier Foundation are not so enthusiastic.’

Read more: If You Care About Privacy, You Should Change Your Twitter Settings Right Now


‘As voice-activated digital assistants like Apple’s Siri and Amazon Alexa become more and more common, manufacturers usually let consumers choose when they should be listening.

But that’s not always the case for newer Android phones, which continue to passively listen for your voice even after a user disables the feature in the device’s settings.

In a video posted to Twitter, software engineer Zach Leatherman showed that even when his Android phone’s voice activation feature is disabled, the device will continue to listen for “OK Google” voice commands, which prompts an Android device to listen for further voice commands as long as its notifications panel is open. Leatherman said he discovered the quirk while scrolling through notifications on his Google Pixel while listening to a keynote speech from Google’s I/O conference.

“When the keynote speaker started to demo a new feature with the Google Assistant, he said ‘OK Google’ and it triggered [my] Android’s voice training prompt, indicating that it had been listening for the ‘Ok Google’ keywords even though I had disabled that feature,” Leatherman told Vocativ.’

Read more: Some Android Phones Keep Listening After ‘OK Google’ Is Disabled


‘One of the most intrepid independent lay EMF/RF and AMI Smart Meter investigators Warren Woodward of Sedona, Arizona, has taken upon himself to put AMI Smart Meters to the heart test.

First, some backup information.

Warren has been working “pro se” providing testimonies at hearings before the ACC (Arizona Corporation Commission). Below is a video of Warren in action at one of the APS (Arizona Public Service Electric Company) Rate Case hearings (April 27, 2017) involving AMI Smart Meters—something more people should participate in, in my opinion.

You will notice how those who ought to know relevant information apparently do not, i.e., Scott Bordenkircher, who holds the very important sounding title of Director of Transmission and Distribution Technology Innovation and Integration at APS.’

Read more: AMI Smart Meters Interfere With Human Heart Rhythms, EKG Proves

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‘Theresa May is planning to introduce huge regulations on the way the internet works, allowing the government to decide what is said online.

Particular focus has been drawn to the end of the manifesto, which makes clear that the Tories want to introduce huge changes to the way the internet works.

“Some people say that it is not for government to regulate when it comes to technology and the internet,” it states. “We disagree.”

Senior Tories confirmed to BuzzFeed News that the phrasing indicates that the government intends to introduce huge restrictions on what people can post, share and publish online.

The plans will allow Britain to become “the global leader in the regulation of the use of personal data and the internet”, the manifesto claims.

It comes just soon after the Investigatory Powers Act came into law. That legislation allowed the government to force internet companies to keep records on their customers’ browsing histories, as well as giving ministers the power to break apps like WhatsApp so that messages can be read.’

Read more: Theresa May to create new internet that would be controlled and regulated by government