Surveillance

Let’s face it, we’ll be no safer with a national facial recognition database

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A commitment to share the biometric data of most Australians – including your driving licence photo – agreed at Thursday’s Council of Australian Governments (COAG) meeting will result in a further erosion of our privacy. That sharing is not necessary. It will be costly. Bruce Baer Arnold The Conversation But will it save us from terrorism? Not all, although it will give people a false sense of comfort. Importantly, it will allow politicians and officials to show that they are ... Read More »

Government risks over reach on tougher national security laws

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While, at first glance, uploading all of Australia’s drivers licence photos into a central data base in the name of national security seems logical, it is not without some serious… Editorial The Canberra Times The worst is the obvious potential for “big brother” style surveillance of individuals who may not represent threats to the safety of the realm through the rapidly growing national network of CCTV cameras in shopping centres, on streets and… Critics, including members of the Australian Privacy ... Read More »

Chinese spy ships: The devil in the detail

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Recent posts in The Interpreter (by Iain Henry, Euan Graham and James Goldrick) have commented on the presence of a Chinese intelligence-gathering ship off the Queensland Coast during Exercise Talisman Sabre. Sam Bateman The Interpreter All these posts are broadly correct – the incident suggested Chinese hypocrisy with its objections to foreign military activities in its exclusive economic zone (EEZ), specifically its objections to American surveillance and intelligence-collection in its EEZ. However, we need to be careful in making assessments ... Read More »

Calls on surveillance partnership of intelligence agencies to respect strong encryption

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Liberty Victoria is one of 83 organisations and experts from 5 nations demanding “Five Eyes” respect strong… On Friday 30 June 2017, 83 organisations and individuals from Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States sent letters to their respective governments insisting that government officials defend strong… The letter comes on the heels of a meeting of the “Five Eyes” ministerial meeting in Ottawa, Canada last… Calls on surveillance… Read More »

Act now to protect your digital rights, Big Brother and his Little Sisters may be watching

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Imagine China takes down its national internet blocking system – aka the Great Firewall – tomorrow. Will this affect how you use the… Jack Linchuan Qiu The Conversation Without the Great Firewall, Facebook and Google will grow exponentially in… Before long, the tech giants own a sizeable share of the Chinese market and have become good buddies with… This scenario unfolds at a time when Donald Trump’s inward-looking policy upsets Silicon Valley’s efforts to expand its global empire, and… Act ... Read More »

The futility of secrets in the age of technology

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The latest CIA leak proves that state actors no longer get to decide who can be privy to information stamped ‘secret’. Andrew Mitrovica Al Jazeera News One of the jobs of so-called intelligence officers is to collect and carefully consider the facts and to offer sound, sober advice, devoid of hyperbole. This is the… The futility of… Read More »

Oliver Stone: ‘We owe Edward Snowden a huge debt. He’s a hero for our time’

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The reliably controversial American auteur spent 18 months talking to the CIA whistle-blower for his new film The Irish Times Tara Brady Oliver Stone Exclusive Interview You don’t need to keep rewinding – and the use of the iconic phrase “back and to the left” is entirely optional – to uncover a… Oliver Stone: ‘We… Read More »

There’s still time to stop the surveillance society

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Revelations that security agencies unlawfully collected information for 17 years are worrying. But worse is a bill that threatens to normalise surveillance Gus Hosein This government’s “neither confirm nor deny” mantra over the extent of its surveillance powers has been replaced with a… There’s still time to… Read More »

The price of connection: ‘surveillance capitalism’

Imagine, if you can, a period long before today’s internet-based connectivity. Nick Couldry  Imagine that, in that distant time, the populations of every country were offered a new plan. The plan would involve linking up every space of social interaction, most sites of work, a large proportion of private moments of reflection, and a… Source: The price of connection: ‘surveillance capitalism’ Read More »

‘Edward Snowden did this country a great service. Let him come home’

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Bernie Sanders, Daniel Ellsberg, former members of the NSA and more weigh in on whether Obama should grant clemency to the divisive whistleblower Ed Pilkington Bernie Sanders leads a chorus of prominent public figures calling for clemency, a plea agreement or, in several cases, a full pardon for the National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden… Source: ‘Edward Snowden did this country a great service. Let him come home’ | US news | The Guardian Read More »

The FBI has collected 430,000 iris scans in a so-called ‘pilot program’

Critics say the agency project includes few privacy protections.. By Colin Lecher and Russell Brandom As a modestly sized department — policing 2 million citizens with just over 1,800 sworn officers — the San Bernardino Sheriff’s Department doesn’t seem like it would be on the cutting edge of surveillance technology. But the department has quietly become one of the most productive nodes in a nationwide iris-scanning project, collecting iris data from at… Source: The FBI has collected 430,000 iris scans ... Read More »