Privacy conference at Hannah Arfendt Center at Bard College

All the Ways Equifax Epically Bungled Its Breach Response (9/24/2017)

Digital Privacy at the U.S. Border: Protecting the Data On Your Devices and In the Cloud

Walking the privacy tightrope across the Atlantic (4/6/2017)

Trump signs internet privacy repeal (4/3/2017)

To Serve AT&T and Comcast, Congressional GOP Votes to Destroy Online Privacy (3/29/2017)

FBI's James Comey: 'There is no such thing as absolute privacy in America' (3/8/2017))

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized: Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

..."The mobile robot that you carry around with you, the one that knows where you are all the time and listens to all your conversations. The one that you hope isn't reporting in at headquarters but whose behavior you can only guess about ? the one that runs all that software you can't read, can't study, can't see, can't modify, and can't understand ? That one. That one is taking your confession all the time. When you hold it up to your face from now on it is going to know your heartbeat. That's an Android app right now. Micro changes to the color of your face reveal your heart rate. That's a little lie detector you're carrying around with you." Eben Moglen quoted in Journalism After Snowden.

Under EU law, personal data can be collected only under strict conditions and for a legitimate purpose... In the US, there is no all-encompassing law regulating the collection and processing of personal data. Instead, data protection is regulated by many state and federal laws. INFOSEC

In terms of statutory protections and privacy enforcement, the US is the worst ranking country in the democratic world. Privacy International

"No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honour and reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks." Article 12: The Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

"If we do nothing, we sort of sleepwalk into a total surveillance state where we have both a super-state that has unlimited capacity to apply force with an unlimited ability to know (about the people it is targeting) - and that's a very dangerous combination. That's the dark future. The fact that they know everything about us and we know nothing about them - because they are secret, they are privileged, and they are a separate class...the elite class, the political class, the resource class - we don't know where they live, we don't know what they do, we don't know who their friends are. They have the ability to know all that about us. This is the direction of the future, but I think there are changing possibilities in this...." Edward Snowden

"The NSA's capability at any time could be turned around on the American people, and no American would have any privacy left, such is the capability to monitor everything. [...] There would be no place to hide."--Frank Church

Technology has beeen a liberating force in our lives. It allows us to create and share the experiences that make us human, effortlelessly. But in secret, our very own government - one bound by the Constitution and its Bill of Rights - has reverse-engineered something beautiful into a tool of mass surveillance and oppression. The government right now can easily monitor whom you call, whom you associate with, what you read, what you buy, and where you go online, and offline, and they do it to all of us, all the time." Edward Snowden (6/4/2014)

The revelation that the government has access to a vast trove of personal online data demonstrates that we already live in a surveillance society. But the erosion of privacy rights extends far beyond big government. Intelligence agencies such as the NSA and CIA are using Silicon Valley corporate partners as their data spies. Seemingly progressive tech companies are joining forces with snooping government agencies to create a brave new world of wired tyranny. Robert Scheer: They Know Everything About You: How Data-Collecting Corporations and Snooping Government Agencies Are Destroying Democracy

...the wave of new technologies could usher in a lifestyle inimical to most Americans.

"It is beginning to call into question morality and ethics, challenge our value system, dredging up Orwellian possibilities... . We are being confronted by technical innovations based on nanotechnologies, very advanced computational capabilities, the amassing of data. We are being, I would say, challenged and threatened in some cases, in the context of American civil rights and American civil liberties. . . . So much information is available now in the digital realm, and we don't even know what exists out there on each of us. We aren't in control of it, we aren't in command of it. It is highly mobile, it is manipulatable, it is configurable across the digital realm in ways that most people just don't comprehend."

Such technologies, says Hughes, if not carefully managed and monitored, could imperil the very rights he has spent a lifetime defending. He worries that Americans do not fully appreciate the stakes. He supports a program of communication intercepts only if based on probable cause and direct links with terrorists, but he is vehemently opposed to broad domestic surveillance and monitoring of America's telephone and Internet traffic." from Nation of Secrets: Ted Gup.

"...the government has the capability to activate cell phones and laptops remotely as eavesdropping devices. Powering off the phone or laptop does not defeat the capability: only removing the battery does." Glenn Greenwald: No Place to Hide

“Our Government is the potent, the omnipresent teacher. For good or for ill, it teaches the whole people by its example. Crime is contagious. If the Government becomes a lawbreaker, it breeds contempt for law; it invites every man to become a law unto himself; it invites anarchy. To declare that in the administration of the criminal law the end justifies the means—to declare that the Government may commit crimes in order to secure the conviction of a private criminal—would bring terrible retribution. Against that pernicious doctrine this Court should resolutely set its face.” ―Louis D. Brandeis (on wiretapping)

Executive branch authorities can access congressional communications in almost undetectable ways without a warrant, just as they can retrieve emails and phone calls made by other citizens. Elected representatives risk disgrace or worse because many can be accused of fund-raising violations or sexual misconduct. Dossiers and blackmail did not go out of fashion with J. Edgar Hoover's death. Hoover's success merely showcased the effectiveness of the tool." Presidential Puppetry: Andrew Kreig

VPNs Won't Save You from Congress' Internet Privacy Giveaway (3/28/2017)

How Much Surveillance Can Democracy Withstand?

AT&T Is Spying on Americans for Profit (10/25/2016)

Google Has Quietly Dropped Ban on Personally Identifiable Web Tracking(10/23/2016)

"Don't Panic" Making Progress on the "Going Dark" Debate (2/1/2016)

Edward Snowden's New Revelations Are Truly Chilling (10/8/2015)

Edward Snowden calls for global push to expand digital privacy laws (9/24/2015)

Facebook Privacy Implications (9/17/2015)

How Your Local Police Department Could Be Spying on You (8/25/2015)

Windows 10: Microsoft under attack over privacy (8/1/2015)

Keys Under the Doormat ? (7/6/2015)

Sharing Data, But Not Happily (6/4/2015)

Snowden: iPhones Have Secret Spyware That Lets Govt's Monitor Unsuspecting Users (1/21/2015)

The FBI Used the Web’s Favorite Hacking Tool to Unmask Tor Users (12/16/2014)

Your Cellphone Is Tracking You (8/24/2014)

Senate Committee Backs Bill That Would Allow NSA Data Collection to Continue (11/1/2013)

Big Bro Wants You (10/8/2013)

We Live Under a Total Surveillance State in America -- Can We Prevent It from Evolving into a Full-Blown Police State? (9/25/2013)

You Won't Believe What's Going On With Government Spying On Americans (8/17/2013)

NSA can Search All U.S. Citizens Emails and Phone Calls Without A Warrent (8/13/2013)

You Are Being Tracked (ACLU report on license plate readers) a pdf. 7/2013

NSA's Prism surveillance program: how it works and what it can do (6/8/2013)

How Microsoft Handed the NSA Access to Encrypted Messages (7/11/2013)

11 Shocking Things Snowden Has Taught Us (so Far) (7/9/2013)

More Government Snooping: The Postal Service Is Spying On You too (7/3/2013)

Snowden: Leaks that exposed US spy program (7/1/2013)

Eight Corporate Privacy Invaders That Know Way More About You Than the NSA (7/2/2013)

How to Prevent the NSA From Reading Your Email (6/15/2013)

Prism is the worst attack on personal freedom since 1939: Mallick (6/16/2013)

FBI Persuing real-time Gmail Spying Powers as "Top Priority" for 2013 (3/26/2013)

CISPA, the privacy invading cyber-security Act, is back in Congress (2/13/2013)

US Law Threatens Privacy In the EU (2/9/2013)

US Lobbying to weaken european data Protection Reform (2/5/2013)

Data Protection Laws, an Ocean Apart (2/3/2013)

Everyone in the US is under virtual Surveillance - NSA Whistleblower (12/4/2012)

RIP Internet Privacy (6/6/2012)

The New Surveillance Society: How "Community" Policing Follows Your Every Move (9/8/2011)

Inside the Surveillance State: How Peaceful Activists Get Swept Up onto "Terrorist" Watch Lists (9/15/2011)

See this video of Jacob Appelbaum

The GOP has no intention of supporting consumer privacy. Compared to the Europeans we have no privacy rights at all.

Republicans just sold out the right to control our own data to powerful broadband providers.

Privacy is the underlying concern of the Bill of Rights. It's rapid erosion limits all of our freedoms including free speech, free press, free association, democracy, and even personal security. The computer has become part of all of our everyday transactions and unregulated, closed software gathers as much data as possible, stores it in almost unlimited databases where it profits either a small group of oligarchs, potentially dangerous bureaucrats, or both. History richly illustrates that such data WILL be abused.

Although the full extent is not widely recognized, secret government has implemented universal surveillance in the U.S. and extended it to much of the rest of the world. It is chilling for journalism, invasive for citizens, devastating for U.S. multinationals, ripe for misuse, and will balkanize the internet. Many heads of state are incensed about it, and they are taking steps to stop least for themselves. It can have a strong negative effect on US technology.

Unlike the EU, the US does not protect consumers rights to privacy. Instead, whoever collects data (by whatever means, whether rewards-cards, credit card records, set-top box activity, license plate readers, stingray, or for other techniques), owns the data and may use it or sell it. To appreciate the extent of these techniques, watch very carefully this Jacob Appelbaum video.

Free software is open source, auditable, and, as a result, more secure.

The good news is that encryption works. The Tor project attempts to provide privacy, and there is a hardware solution in development called the Freedom Box which incorporates the best privacy enhancing software available.

To begin to trust anything connected to the internet: open source, auditable software and hardware should be all that is in use. Find a trustworthy VPN.

Tails is a live operating system, that you can start on almost any computer from a DVD, USB stick, or SD card. It aims at preserving your privacy and anonymity, and helps you to: use the Internet anonymously and circumvent censorship; all connections to the Internet are forced to go through the Tor network; leave no trace on the computer you are using unless you ask it explicitly; use state-of-the-art cryptographic tools to encrypt your files, emails and instant messaging. Learn more about Tails.

The more people encrypt, the better off we will be. If only a few people do it, they will be the subject of intense scrutiny.

Secret government and large corporations will fight to make encryption illegal because they don't want any consumer privacy protection. We need to demand transparency in both.

(About the National Security State.)

Avoid Risk And Protect Online Identity (3/14/2012)

Creepy, Hidden App Installed on Smartphones (12/2/2011)

Cell Phones Are Tracking Devices That Governments, Police, And Stalkers Can Use To Easily Track Your Movements

Location Based Services: Time for a Privacy Check-In.

Goodbye to Privacy ? (5/23/2010)

Following the Money Trail: Telecoms and ISPs (12/13/2009)

According to Privacy International, US is one of the worst in the world in surveillance rankings.

A Note on Privacy Protection for Passport, Key Card, and Credit Card

Locational Privacy (NYT 9/1/2009)

5 Unexpected Places You Can Be Tracked With Facial Recognition Technology (8/30/2011)

Faceblook - the CIA conspiracy (3/2009)

~ Face Recognition for Photo Searches Sparks Privacy Fears

AT&T Whistleblower: Spy Bill creates infrastructure for a 'police state'

Information Fusion Centers and Privacy

What's Wrong With Fusion Centers ?

Difference Between US and Eurpoean Privacy Laws

CRS Report to Congress: Fusion Centers: Issues and Options for Congress. The Congressional Research Service (CRS) issued a report to Congress on the deployment of over 40 Fusion Centers throughout the nation. Fusion Centers are the most recent effort by the federal government to establish an operational domestic surveillance program. The CRS report states that officials justifying the development of fusion centers use a number of presumptions, and that the goals of the centers seem to be unfocused with wide-ranging explanations on what they are intended to accomplish. The report outlined threats to civil liberties and privacy posed by the deployment of Fusion Centers, which have no laws governing them. (July 10, 2007)


Real ID

Keith Olbermann on FISA, etc

US FBI wants Internet records kept 2 years-source

By Jeremy Pelofsky and Michele Gershberg

WASHINGTON/NEW YORK, June 1 (Reuters) - The Federal Bureau of Investigation wants U.S. Internet providers to retain Web address records for up to two years to aid investigations into terrorism and pornography, a source familiar with the matter said on Thursday. The request came during a May 26 meeting between U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and FBI Director Robert Mueller with top executives at companies like Google Inc., Microsoft Corp. and Time Warner Inc.'s AOL.

Privacy on the line: Whitfield Diffie

The Already Big Thing: Internet Spying New York Times (April 5, 2008)

Maximiliano Herrera's Human Rights Pages


Bank Record spying

If you are not paying close attention, you may not realize that banks are now agents used to watch your financial transactions.

Real ID Act

The Real ID Act of 2005 would turn our state driver’s licenses into a genuine national identity card and impose numerous new burdens on taxpayers, citizens, immigrants, and state governments – while doing nothing to protect against terrorism. As a result, it is stirring intense opposition from many groups across the political spectrum. Real provides information about opposing Real ID.


Support the Identity Project

to oppose ID card requirements in the US.

NH rejects Real ID

Real Id Act (video)

Videoof NH Protest

RF-ID Giants Merge 09 Aug 2007 Applied Digital Solutions, a leading provider of identification and security technology, and Digital Angel Corporation, which develops RF-ID for people and animals, today announced that they have entered into a merger agreement. Under the agreement, Applied Digital and Digital Angel will create the world’s leading provider of identification, location and wellness [?] monitoring systems for people and animals.


RFID is in your tires.

Tracking devices from the Manufacturer.

What radio station are you listening ?

Links to sites about RFID


Your TV may be Watching You (2/12/2015)

BBC reports on Big Brother.

US doles out millions for street cameras --Local efforts raise privacy alarms 12 Aug 2007 The Department of Homeland Security is funneling millions of dollars to local governments nationwide for purchasing high-tech video camera networks, accelerating the rise of a "surveillance society" in which the sense of freedom that stems from being anonymous in public will be lost, privacy rights advocates warn. DHS will not say how much of its taxpayer-funded grants have gone to cameras.

LAX computer failure keeps thousands of fliers detained 13 Aug 2007 Weary international passengers were stuck at Los Angeles International Airport for hours, unable to set foot in the United States after a computer failure prevented customs from screening arrivals. Over 20,000 international passengers, Americans and foreigners, sat in four airport terminals and in 60 planes starting about 2 p.m. Saturday, when the computer system broke down, said Los Angeles World Airports spokesman Paul Haney.

KNBC Report: LAX Computer Glitch Recurs Early Monday 13 Aug 2007 The Customs and Border Protection computer glitch that stranded more than 20,000 inbound international travelers at Los Angeles International Airport over the weekend recurred overnight, affecting about 1,700 inbound international passengers between 11:50 p.m. Sunday and 1:15 a.m. Monday, KNBC reported. The computer system helps officials identify people who have been placed on a no-fly list and who are denied entry into the United States as security risks.

Court Says Travelers Can't Avoid Airport Searches By David Kravets 10 Aug 2007 U.S. airline passengers near the security checkpoint can be searched any time and no longer can refuse consent by leaving the airport, the nation's largest federal appeals court ruled Friday... Citing threats of terrorism, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled passengers give up all rights to be free of warrantless searches once a "passenger places hand luggage on a conveyor belt for inspection" or "passes though a magnetometer."

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Americans Want to be Surveilled

An ABC poll has revealed that two thirds of Americans are willing to accept heightened government intrusion on privacy and support the increased use of surveillance cameras to solve crime.

Want to See Your NSA or FBI File ? Here's How...


Connected cars: What information about you & your driving is being tracked and collected?

Do Not Track (documentary)


National Security State

A critical analysis of Facebook's Revised Policies and Terms DRAFT 31 March 2015 v1.2




FISA Court












This Machine Kills Secrets by Andy Greenberg

Nation of Secrets: Ted Gup

The Art of Invisibility, Kevin Mitnick with Robert Vamosi

Privacy in the Modern Age, the Search for Solutions: Edited by Marc Rotenberg, Julia Horwitz, and Jeramie Scott

They Know Everything About You: Robert Scheer

Data and Goliath: The Hidden Battles to Collect Your Data and Control Your World: Bruce Schneier

The Glass Cage: Nicholas Carr

Spying on Democracy: Heidi Boghosian

Naked Future: Patrick Tucker

Dataclysm: Christian Rudder

Dragnet Nation, Julia Angwin

Database Nation: Simson Garfinkel

Privacy and Human Rights, an International Survey of Privacy Law and Practice

The Right to Privacy: Samuel D. Warren and Louis D. Brandeis (free on-line)