Tag Archives: surveillance

China’s 626 million cameras will spy on its citizens, and use software to apprehend them in just minutes

The nation which will soon boast the largest GDP in the world – China – is using digital technology to secretly detain and imprison tens of thousands of its citizens for so-called political crimes that range from expressing “extremist” thoughts to merely traveling or studying abroad.

This police state is part of a sweeping effort by Chinese authorities to use detentions and data-driven CCTV surveillance especially in the region of Xinjiang and over its ten million Uighurs, a Turkic-speaking Muslim minority that China says has been influenced by Islamic extremism.

Meanwhile, China’s state-run Xinhua news service has just announced that China’s State Council Information Office has declared China is making “remarkable progress” on improving human rights:

China has opened a new era of human rights protection and is now contributing to the diversity of human civilization and providing Chinese wisdom and solutions to promote social progress.

The truth is that China currently has installed 176 million surveillance cameras , and it shooting for 626 million by 2020. Since China has 1.4 billion citizens, there will be almost one camera for every two persons.

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Spies, lies and your lost privacy

Sharyl Attkisson – former CBS investigative reporter, and five-time Emmy winner – has been surveilled, her computer hacked, her career threatened, all because of her exposes of government and political corruption.

Last week she reported on a meeting with “a small group of reliable, formerly high-placed intelligence officials who have dropped a few interesting tidbits on me of late.”

This was her understanding of methods used by the government, based on the discussions:

  • SharylAtkisson_Top2It’s not true that wiretaps and/or electronic surveillance of U.S. citizens can “only” be done with a FISA (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act) court order.
  • Besides the FISA court, “wiretapping” or electronic surveillance can also be done under Title III authority. The government used this authority, for example, in the Justice Department’s secret Fast and Furious “gunwalking” case.
  • Additionally, U.S. Presidents have the power to issue secret presidential directives that can authorize otherwise illegal acts (theoretically in the country’s best interests). These directives may come with pre-planned cover stories to be used in the event the operation is exposed, and they come with indemnity for those involved, giving them permission to lie about the operation or their involvement without fear of prosecution.
  • The public will rarely know about such presidential directives since most who see them must sign agreements that promise nondisclosure and consent to polygraphs.

Attkisson said that “computer surveillance is a grey area in the intelligence community where many insiders argue the traditional privacy restrictions and surveillance rules don’t necessarily apply.” Continue reading →

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