How much does your smart home know about you? That was the question that Charles Givre, a data scientist at Booz Allen Hamilton, set out to answer in a recent experiment. Givre has an account on Wink, a platform designed to control, from a single screen, his Internet-connected home devices, such as door locks, window shades and LED lights.
When you type up a racy email to a loved one, do you consider the details private? Most of us would probably say yes, even though such messages often end up filtered through intelligence agencies and service providers.
Verizon is giving a new mission to its controversial hidden identifier that tracks users of mobile devices. Verizon said in a little-noticed announcement that it will soon begin sharing the profiles with AOL's ad network, which in turn monitors users across a large swath of the Internet.
When people say “privacy is dead”, it’s usually for one of two reasons. Either they truly believe that privacy is irrelevant or unachievable in today’s hyper-connected world or, more often, that not enough is being done to protect privacy when huge amounts of personal information are being posted online
I’ve had so many calls about an article appearing earlier this week in the Wall Street Journal – charging that Bernie Sanders’s proposals would carry a “price tag” of $18 trillion over a 10-year period – that it’s necessary to respond.
Income inequality in America has been growing rapidly, and is expected to increase. While the widening wealth gap is a hot topic in the media and on the campaign trail, there’s quite a disconnect between the perceptions of economists and those of the general public.
For most Alaskans, there’s only one name for the mountain known as Denali. Reestablishing this original place name, as President Obama did this week by executive order, honors the first peoples of the region, who have been connected to this land for thousands of years.
The ongoing protests in Ferguson one year after the shooting of Michael Brown highlight the elevated risks that African Americans face when interacting with police in the US.
Capital punishment is such a costly, controversial, and divisive issue that, unless it succeeds in saving lives, it clearly should be abolished – as it already has been in the European Union and in 101 countries around the world. But does the death penalty save lives? Let’s consider the relevant factors and the evidence.
EU’s economic demands seek to derail small business and local communities, paving the way for multinational corporate giants. One demand is that Greece abolish any laws restricting the days or hours a business can operate despite the fact that several European countries including have enacted such policies to protect workers and small business, including Germany.
In recent years, an increasingly bipartisan consensus around prison reform has begun to take shape, uniting policymakers in Congress who are typically on opposite sides of law-and-order issues
The expiration of key provisions of the US Patriot Act – and the passage of the USA Freedom Act – has renewed interest in the trade-offs between civil liberties and security. To what extent are American citizens willing to concede their civil liberties to the government in order to feel safe and secure from terrorism?
Prison populations in Australia are increasing rapidly. This is usually said to be driven by increases in crime. Digging deeper though, in Australia and internationally, the link is far less clear. The extent of a country’s use of imprisonment seems in fact to be more a matter of policy choice than of necessity.
By now, no one is insulated from hearing about incidents of police shootings or violence against police officers. While fatal shootings are thankfully still rare events, this does not diminish the emotional impact of hearing about a violent death.
Like green-shaded teflon dons – mobster John Gotti’s nickname for managing to stay out of jail – the largest banks have been repeatedly prosecuted over the past decade and yet have so far avoided any harsher consequences. Instead they’ve received “deferred prosecutions” or non-prosecutions that trade criminal charges for promised reforms and criminal fines.
Last July 4, my family and I went to Long Island to celebrate the holiday with a friend and her family. After eating some barbecue, a group of us decided to take a walk along the ocean. The mood on the beach that day was festive. Giggling children chased each other along the boardwalk...
The apparent recurrence of intelligence failures in France and elsewhere has long been debated by security experts, and ultimately begs the question: what can be expected from intelligence services?
One of my most popular courses at Swarthmore College focused on the challenge of how to defend against terrorism, nonviolently. Events now unfolding in France make our course more relevant than ever. In fact, the international post-9/11 “war against terror” has been accompanied by increased actual threats of terror almost everywhere.
At this moment, there are likely many eyes on you. If you are reading this article in a public place, a surveillance camera might be capturing your actions and even watching you enter your login information and password. Suffice it to say, being watched is part of life today.
Facebook’s recent apology for its Year in Review feature, which had displayed to a grieving father images of his dead daughter, highlights again the tricky relationship between the social media behemoth and its users' data.
We’ve made progress this year — raising the minimum wage in dozens of states and cities, providing equal marriage rights in a majority of states, limiting carbon emissions. But there’s far more to do.
In a post-Snowden world, anonymity is what people want online. Smartphone apps offering anonymous messaging are popping up everywhere – Secret, Whisper, and now Yik Yak. The latest additions to privacy-protecting technology, they claim to provide anonymous, location-based confession, expression, and discussion platforms.
An artist tests whether New Yorkers will give away their mother’s maiden name or part of their Social Security number for a homemade cookie.
Municipal struggles over mass surveillance take on increased significance. As it becomes more and more clear that these agencies are wastefully overfunded, as a bipartisan 2012 report on fusion centers found, communities must decide whether to stand up for their civil liberties when elected officials are no longer able to advocate for them.
Recently, documents unveiled by ProPublica, the New York Times and the Guardian showed that the NSA and its British counterpart, GCHQ, are not only capable of accessing your metadata but also capturing information sent by applications on your smartphone.
Since the first disclosures based on documents provided by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, Obama has offered his own defenses of the programs. But not all of the president's claims have stood up to scrutiny. Here are some of the misleading assertions he has made.
The curious thing about a democratic system is that it contains the seeds of its own demise. Freedom is not something guaranteed by any parchment or promise. It is earned by each generation which must jealously protect it from threats, not only from outside, but from within a nation.
Soon after the very earliest reporting on Ed Snowden's leaked documents about PRISM, the folks from Datacoup put together the very amusing GETPRSM website, which looks very much like the announcement of a new social network, but (the joke is) it's really the NSA scooping up all our data and making the connections. It's pretty funny. Except, of course, when you find out that it's real.
Three-and-a-half months after National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden came public on the the U.S. government’s massive spying operations at home and abroad, we spend the hour with Alan Rusbridger, editor-in-chief of The Guardian, the British newspaper that first reported on Snowden’s leaked documents.
A new exposé based on the leaks of Edward Snowden has revealed the National Security Agency has developed methods to crack online encryption used to protect emails, banking and medical records. "Encryption is really the system that lets the Internet function as an important commercial instrument all around the world.
Germans like posting baby pictures, party snapshots and witty comments on Facebook just like anyone else. They just do not want to get caught doing it. Many of us use fake names for their profiles 2013 silly puns, movie characters or anagrams and "remixes" of their real names. (Yes, I have one. No I'm not telling you the name.)
The outrage over the NSA's massive, sprawling data collection is different in the white community than in the black community, but why? Chris Hayes discusses with MSNBC contributor James Peterson and David Sirota, a columnist for Salon.com
Dan Rather, anchor and managing editor for "Dan Rather Reports" on AXS-TV, talks with Rachel Maddow about how abuse of power and general bungling by the NSA undermines the credibility of the United States and calls into question how the "war on terror" is being conducted almost 12 years after 9/11.
It seems that every day brings a new revelation about the scope of the NSA’s heretofore secret warrantless mass surveillance programs. And as we learn more, the picture becomes increasingly alarming. The chief judge of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court said the court lacks the tools to independently verify how often the government’s surveillance breaks the court’s rules.
The President seemed unaware of the article that was published by The Guardian just 3 hours prior to the press conference as his handlers allowed the President to appear either untruthful or out of touch. In this article the Guardian disclosed that the NSA had at least a virtual "backdoor" if not an actual into their own systems that allowed them to skirt even the "rubber stamped" FISA Court spirit and restraints.
Lavabit, an encrypted email service believed to have been used by National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden, has abruptly shut down. The move came amidst a legal fight that appeared to involve U.S. government attempts to win access to customer information.
It will require “coordinated dissent” from individuals, advocacy groups, and, yes, technology companies. Smart people like Ron Wyden (D-Oregon) warn that our inaction opens the door for such surveillance to become an irreversible and regrettable part of our society, but the hard truth is that citizens need to muster incredible will to demand or enact sorely needed privacy protections.
What information does the NSA collect and how? We don't know all of the different types of information the NSA collects, but several secret collection programs have been revealed:
The real problem with the NSA spying program is not that objectionable when used to catch "real" terrorism suspects or prevent actual attacks, a knack these programs have not yet accomplished that warrant the spending and effort put forth so far. Now the real problem is the slippery slope the NSA program provides. And it is slippery as other agencies are following NSA's lead and their own agendas.
Guardian Exclusive: Spy agency has secret backdoor permission to search databases for individual Americans' communications. The National Security Agency has a secret backdoor into its vast databases under a legal authority enabling it to search for US citizens' email and phone calls without a warrant, according to a top-secret document passed to the Guardian.
When the House of Representatives recently considered an amendment that would have dismantled the NSA's bulk phone records collection program, the White House swiftly condemned the measure. But only five years ago, Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill. was part of a group of legislators that supported substantial changes to NSA surveillance programs. Here are some of the proposals the president co-sponsored as a senator.
The PRISM scandal confirmed our worst fears when it comes to state-level surveillance of the Internet, with the revelation that the NSA has created "backdoors" into major online services such as Google, Facebook, and Yahoo. These backdoors allegedly give intelligence agencies around the world access to user emails, Facebook posts, search queries, web history, and more, with little or no judicial oversight.
When Rochelle Bing bought her modest row home on a tattered block in North Philadelphia 10 years ago, she saw it as an investment in the future for her extended family — especially for her 18 grandchildren. Bing, 42, works full-time as a home health assistant for the elderly and disabled. In summer when school is out, her house is awash with grandkids whom Bing tends to while their parents work. And the home has been a haven in troubled times when her children needed help or a father went to jail. One of Bing's grandchildren lives there now.
CNET has learned the FBI has developed custom "port reader" software to intercept Internet metadata in real time. And, in some cases, it wants to force Internet providers to use the software.
A top secret National Security Agency program allows analysts to search with no prior authorization through vast databases containing emails, online chats and the browsing histories of millions of individuals, according to documents provided by whistleblower Edward Snowden.
Although the House defeated a measure that would have defunded the bulk phone metadata collection program, the narrow 205-217 vote showed that there is significant support in Congress to reform NSA surveillance programs. Here are six other legislative proposals on the table.
On July 23, 2013, Senator Wyden's gave remarks on NSA domestic surveillance and the PATRIOT Act at the Center for American Progress. In his speech Wyden warns that "if we don't seize this unique moment in history to reform our surveillance laws and practices, we will all live to regret it."
Pete Ashdown, XMission, joins Thom Hartmann. Believe it or not - there are some internet companies who actually care about your privacy.
Among the snooping revelations of recent weeks, there have been tantalizing bits of evidence that the NSA is tapping fiber-optic cables that carry nearly all international phone and Internet data.
The European Parliament is gearing up to launch an investigation into the recently revealed NSA surveillance programs—and lawmakers are drawing up an interesting list of witnesses who they want to invite to interview about the snooping.
Privacy is a sacred word to many Americans, as demonstrated by the recent uproar over the brazen invasion of it by the Patriot Act-enabled National Security Agency
As Congress holds its second major public hearing on the National Security Agency’s bulk spying, we speak with Glenn Greenwald, the Guardian journalist who first published whistleblower Edward Snowden’s revelations. The NSA admitted their analysis of phone records and online behavior far exceeded what it had previously disclosed.
While President Obama insists that nobody is listening to your telephone calls, cybersecurity expert Susan Landau says the metadata being collected by the government may be far more revealing than the content of the actual phone calls.
A debate: Chris Hedges, a senior fellow at The Nation Institute and former Pulitzer Prize-winning foreign correspondent for The New York Times, and Geoffrey Stone, a professor at the University of Chicago Law School. Is Edward Snowden a Hero?
Thom Hartmann talks with Andrea Peterson, tech reporter for the Think Progress Website about a massive online surveillance program you probably haven't heard of.
Chris Hayes talks about the recent history of government surveillance in America with famed civil rights activist Julian Bond, Maya Wiley of the Center for Social Inclusion, and former deputy White House press secretary Bill Burton.
The National Security Agency has obtained access to the central servers of nine major Internet companies — including Google, Microsoft, Apple, Yahoo! and Facebook.
Anyone who has been paying the least bit of attention was aware that the government was extending their reach into the ordinary citizen privacy drip by drip. However, yesterday's revelation by The Washington Post and The Guardian. What's unclear is what other data mining is being accomplished by whom and for what purpose.
Glenn Greenwald adds a new dimension to troubling questions about government secrecy, overreach, and what we sacrifice in the name of national security.
In the desirability of factory farming debate, regardless of which side you come down on, the idea of criminalizing whistle-blowing and reporting of illegal activities is a dangerous precedent.
The fact that abuse of the Social Security Disability system is occurring is no revelation for it has been known for some time to all but the casual observer. Some people are and have been drawing funds when they are not actually disabled.
An out of control Congress beholden to special corporate clients threatens to criminalize most internet use.
Where do the rich live? Mainly in the banking, investment, and speculation centers. I wonder why? To put a spin on an old saying, "vultures of a feather flock together".
A well paid, healthy, happy employee is a more productive employee. How much more productive? Very, and there are plenty of examples of these employees paying for themselves. Why don't most businesses do the same? Because shorting an employee's wages flows into the pockets of the management and owners for awhile.
It turns out those far-right tin foil hat-wearing conspiracy theorists aren't that crazy after all. But how did crazy conspiracy theories become unfortunate realities in America today? Ask Attornery General Eric Holder.
It seems that everywhere you look or is it "don't look" these days, the State is continuing to tighten its grip on personal freedoms once held dear by the general population.
But times change. Some of the developments are downright shocking and some are just under most people's radar.
It is a wonder if the general population is quite certain they are comfortable with being tracked. Some folks are horrified by what tracking technology is capable while other just shrug their shoulders and say "I don't have anything to hide".
On Wednesday a few hundred activists crowded into the courtroom of the Second Circuit, the spillover room with its faulty audio feed and dearth of chairs, and Foley Square outside the Thurgood Marshall U.S. Courthouse in Manhattan where many huddled in the cold...
The indefinite-detention provision in the defense authorization bill seemed to many civil libertarians like a betrayal by Obama. While the president had promised to veto the law over that provision, Levin, a sponsor of the bill, disclosed on the Senate floor that it was in fact the White House that approved the removal of any exception for citizens from indefinite detention.
Many on the right and on the left are arguing that the signing of National Defense Authorization Act, which provides funding for 2012, contains provisions that put the civil liberties of Americans at the discretion of the Presidency.