Police body cameras increasingly incorporate facial recognition

The last few years have seen the rapid rise of body-worn cameras used by police departments around the United States, fueled by tens of millions of dollars in Justice Department funding. While originally justified on the basis of increasing police accountability and transparency, however, body cameras' usefulness is in question as they begin to incorporate … Continue reading Police body cameras increasingly incorporate facial recognition

Five Eyes look to ‘engage’ with tech companies

Officials from the so-called "Five Eyes" group of English-speaking countries, which closely cooperate on surveillance and intelligence matters, are pushing to work even more closely not only with each other, but with major private sector players in the tech industry. Following a conference late last month in Ottawa, official representatives of the countries involved -- … Continue reading Five Eyes look to ‘engage’ with tech companies

Plausible deniability surrounding surveillance abuse wears thin

In the wake of Wikileaks' bombshell "Year Zero" disclosures on Tuesday, former Central Intelligence Agency and National Security Agency Director Michael Hayden, a frequent defacto spokesman for the intelligence establishment, appeared on the Late Show with Stephen Colbert, of all places, to awkwardly attempt to explain the stunning revelations. Hayden cracked a joke or two … Continue reading Plausible deniability surrounding surveillance abuse wears thin

Wikileaks ‘Year Zero’ release reveals CIA hacking capabilities

Following the Edward Snowden leaks four years ago that revealed extensive and detailed information on the National Security Agency's mass surveillance programs, media reports surfaced indicating that Russia’s Federal Guard Service was reverting to using typewriters and paper documents in an attempt to avoid the pervasive monitoring of the digital age. But if Russia's response … Continue reading Wikileaks ‘Year Zero’ release reveals CIA hacking capabilities

Local police cell phone snooping highlights lack of surveillance oversight

In December, a congressional oversight committee released a report on the use of cell-site simulators, and claimed federal authorities only use the mobile phone surveillance devices to determine suspects' locations, rather than to intercept content. A new investigation, however, shows that local law enforcement, at least, has often been using the sophisticated surveillance technology under … Continue reading Local police cell phone snooping highlights lack of surveillance oversight

Thousands of unreported deadly airstrikes the latest in sloppy Pentagon record keeping

When it comes to reporting numbers of civilians and "combatants" it kills, the Pentagon attempts to paint itself in a positive light. Last summer, after the Obama administration released a report estimating that between 64 and 116 civilians had been killed in drone strikes on the president's watch, it was widely criticized for under-counting by … Continue reading Thousands of unreported deadly airstrikes the latest in sloppy Pentagon record keeping

Pentagon online psyop against ISIS revealed as mess of incompetence, corruption

In the past year it's been reported that the U.S. Department of Defense may not be able to meet its "audit readiness" deadline of September 30 this year for its first ever audit. A big part of the problem is that the Army has reportedly been making improper financial statements amounting to trillions of dollars … Continue reading Pentagon online psyop against ISIS revealed as mess of incompetence, corruption

Critics question FBI use of National Security Letters

Every year the Federal Bureau of Investigation issues tens of thousands of "National Security Letters." These demands for information from communications service providers are a key component in the U.S. government's domestic surveillance apparatus, yet the details of how they are used were long kept largely secret from the public. This has begun to change … Continue reading Critics question FBI use of National Security Letters

Carnage, violence, law and order, biometric profiling and predictive policing under Trump

Last summer, as he rallied supporters at the Republican National Convention, Donald Trump declared himself the "law and order candidate," echoing the (somewhat ironic) claims of Richard Nixon before him. Yet given the rapid development of technology available to law enforcement in the decades since Nixon occupied the Oval Office, President Trump's use of the … Continue reading Carnage, violence, law and order, biometric profiling and predictive policing under Trump

$58 billion in cancelled DoD projects just a drop in a bucket of unknown depth

The Pentagon is not known for good bookkeeping. As some readers may recall, the Defense Department's Inspector General reported in June that the DoD cannot account for trillions in spending. So the release of a definite number last week - $58 billion - might come as a relief - except that it's not an amount … Continue reading $58 billion in cancelled DoD projects just a drop in a bucket of unknown depth