As Thanksgiving approaches, perhaps you dread having your turkey with a side of the latest conspiracy theory served up by that uncle (there’s always one) who is convinced the government is spying in from helicopters overhead. This year, though, that relative has some evidence on his side. He’s wrong about the helicopters, as far as we know, but a new report finds that law enforcement agencies actually are using aircraft to scoop up Americans’ mobile phone calls from the skies. [More]
It’s the entire point, really. New smart TVs from Samsung boast video cameras with facial-recognition software and microphones with speech-recognition software. They can tell who’s in the room, understand spoken commands, and be controlled with gestures. That’s great news for those of us who can never find the remote, but made our friends over at HD Guru wonder: is there anyone behind that camera watching us back?
A former Chili’s employee is set to answer charges that he stashed a cellphone camera aimed at the women’s toilets in the Arroyo Grande restaurant. The camera was discovered after a 41-year-old patron noticed something suspicious concealed in a bucket of cleaning supplies. [More]
Man, I can’t wait to see the “Law & Order” episode they’re going to make out of this. The family who filed a class action lawsuit against their son’s school district for allegedly spying on their son at home through the webcam of his school-issued Macbook has demanded to see the actual photos and other digital records pertaining to the case. The family claims that the school was watching the him on suspicion that he was using and selling drugs. They insist that the incriminating photos caught him … eating candy. [More]
Police say that the owner of the Poloros Restaurant in Mineola, NY had a hidden surveillance camera installed in the ceiling tiles of the women’s bathroom. The device, which was used by the owner to watch customers and female employees alike, was spotted by a customer, who notified police.
Update: Voted! Passed 293-129.
Today the House votes on a new compromise FISA Bill that will make the NSA’s formerly questionable activities—like spying on Americans—legal, and will grant conditional immunity upon the telephone companies that aided the NSA in spying on their customers. It’s “conditional” because there will still be a court review, but nobody seems to be taking the court review seriously: Senator Russ Feingold, D-WI, calls it a “capitulation” in the ongoing fight over holding the telcos responsible, and Rep. Roy Blunt, R-MO, says the review will be a “formality.” Looks like you’re about to get off free, Verizon and AT&T!
Talking About AT&T’s Internet Filtering on AT&T’s The Hugh Thompson Show [Boing Boing Gadgets]
Wired is assembling a list of where each senator stands on the issue of granting immunity to phone companies who participated in wiretapping—which could be decided as early as today. The list includes phone numbers so you can call if you don’t see a response for your senator. [
Yesterday, the leaders of the Senate Intelligence Committee “reached a tentative agreement… with the Bush administration that would give telephone carriers legal immunity for any role they played in the National Security Agency’s domestic eavesdropping program.” The senators who have been reviewing classified documents related to the phone companies’ participation in the program are now saying that they believe the companies “acted in good faith” and “that they should not be punished through civil litigation for their roles.”
AT&T has announced a plan to keep pirated content off their network by peeking at everyone’s data to see if it contains copyrighted material. The plan, which the telecom somehow claims will “not violate user privacy,” will only target repeat offenders.
Watch out, kids. Don’t try to be funny on the internet or you’ll be fired by Walmart.
Wired has an informative, deeply terrifying, interview with Mark Klein the whistleblower who outed AT&T for spying for the NSA.
WN: How many people worked in or on that room?
“In fact, Verizon basically argues that the entire lawsuit is a giant SLAPP (Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation) suit, and that the case is an attempt to deter the company from exercising its First Amendment right to turn over customer calling information to government security services.