Bulk personal datasets for everybody!

Mathew Sayer In the News

Privacy International, a London-based group, have obtained a substantial heap of previously confidential files as part of a legal case that challenges the scope of GCHQ’s operations and its troves of personal data. “The staggering extent to which the intelligence agencies hoover up our data. This can be anything from your private medical records, your correspondence with your doctor or lawyer, even what petitions you have signed, your financial data, and commercial activities.” – Millie Graham Wood, legal officer at Privacy International (The Intercept) An authorization of bulk personal dataset …

Open Source Intelligence; Instagram Edition

Mathew Sayer At LiquidVPN

Rich Kids of Instagram are proving that wealth and material possessions aren’t accurate markers of intelligence. An article in the Guardian describes how social media is being used by cybersecurity firms, fraud investigators and lawyers to find evidence to freeze and seize assets. While the money-making parents might not be uploading yacht selfies and hot dog legs, their kids sure are. Daniel Hall, who has the excellent title of director of global judgement enforcement at Burford Capital, told the Guardian how the firm seized a private jet because one of …

International Spotlight on Brazil

Mathew Sayer From our Perspective

After A comes B. Of the 17 countries to choose from I’ve opted for Brazil. It could have been Belgium, and it could have been Belarus, but Brazil has a lot going on. The country is embroiled in a corruption scandal involving the sitting president- Dilma Rousseff- and her predecessor Luíz Inácio Lula da Silva. The country is on both ends of the surveillance stick- it surveils, and it is surveilled. The Snowden documents revealed that they were a prime target for the NSA. However, Brazil is also on the …

UK Government rushing IP Bill through Parliament

Mathew Sayer In the News

The IP Bill that we covered recently has a date for its second reading- the 15th of March. A draft copy of the bill was published in November 2015 to allow for pre-legislative scrutiny by committees and independent analysts. You can read the draft here. The #IPBill – over 800 pages. Does the Government really think it is wise to rush this through Parliament? pic..com/m6AoJ4NOGL — David Davis MP (@DavidDavisMP) 1 March 2016 Not wanting to be caught without legal cover the government is urgently pushing the bill through the House …

How Big Data and Machine Learning Profile us En Masse

Mathew Sayer In the News

The immense complexity of foreign policy is shaped by each occupant of the Oval Office. The twin peaks of big data and drones entwine to form the Obama Doctrine. Encouraged by his top advisors, the CIA’s Michael Hayden and Director of National Intelligence John Brennan, Obama set in place a strategy of drone strikes and special forces operations- documented in Jeremy Scahill’s Dirty Wars. One of the documents from the Snowden haul pertains to a program called SKYNET. Much like SKYNET of Terminator fame, the NSA’s version is artificial intelligence. …

Return of the Snooper’s Charter

Mathew Sayer In the News

The draft Investigatory Powers Bill (DRIP) is the latest bid to legitimize surveillance in the UK post-Snowden. A previous version of the bill failed in 2013 when the Liberal Democrats, a minority coalition partner at the time, vetoed it. That act of valor could not save the Lib Dems, and they lost 93% of their MPs in the 2015 General Election. In that election, the Conservatives won a shaky majority, formed a government, harvested the organs of the Draft Communications Data Bill, stuck that in the Queen’s Speech and now …

3 Reasons Why You Should Know Edward Snowden

Michael From our Perspective

With the advent of the Internet it is now easier than ever to become famous. YouTube stars are born nearly overnight. Some people are famous simply by association, others stay in the limelight for all of the wrong reasons like sex scandals and drugs. Essentially everyone is a good hashtag or Instagram account away from stardom. It is some wonder, then, why a man who changed the tone of the past decade, and ushered in discussion that we will be having for the next decade- if not much longer- is …

Find Out if You’re a Victim of Data Sharing

Michael In the News

In the UK the GCHQ is overseen only by the secret proceedings of the Investigatory Powers Tribunal- the equivalent to the US’s FISA court. In recent times the Investigatory Powers Tribunal (IPT) has admitted that the GCHQ spies on every , , YouTube and Google user in the UK and even human rights group, Privacy International. This last fact in itself is very dangerous. Governments have the power to conduct clandestine surveillance on non-governmental organizations (NGO) and further target their surveillance at those that they perceive as their ‘enemies.’ This spells …

NSA Surveillance Extended by Secret Court

Michael Policy

In what has become the usual for surveillance organizations, the FISA court this week decided that it will continue to do what it wants. Despite the passing of the USA FREEDOM Act that places telephone metadata back in the hands of telecommunication companies, the top secret surveillance court ruled that the NSA can continue business as usual for the next six months. The Decision Over the Surveillance Extension The question of whether or not to extend the NSA’s massive telecommunications surveillance habits centered around two things. The first is whether …

The USA Freedom Act Fallout

Michael Policy

It has been about a week and half since the USA FREEDOM Act was passed. Now American’s are beginning to understand that the bill lacks guts. Same Same, But Different Sure, it limits telephone metadata. It takes the mass collection of this particular data out of the hands of the NSA and back into the hands of the phone companies themselves. The NSA can still access the material if they have a specific terrorist target with probable cause. Although it doesn’t change a whole lot, people, including myself, applaud the …