Fifteen Years After 9/11, Neverending War

Fifteen Years After 9/11, Neverending War:

Today, U.S. military engagement in the Middle East looks increasingly permanent. Despite the White House having formally ended the wars Iraq and Afghanistan, thousands of U.S. troops and contractors remain in both countries. The U.S. is dropping bombs on Iraq and Syria faster than it can make them, and according to the Pentagon, its bombing campaign in Libya has “no end point at this particular moment.” The U.S. is also helping Saudi Arabia wage war in Yemen, in addition to conducting occasional airstrikes in Yemen and Somalia….

Despite the lack of progress, the last 15 years of war have come at a horrific cost.

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The “plain hearing” doctrine now dictates when cops must hang up on wiretaps

US appeals court decides “novel question” of electronic surveillance law. sci tech news Continue reading The “plain hearing” doctrine now dictates when cops must hang up on wiretaps

Billionaire Secretly Funds Surveillance Program Aimed at Baltimore’s Mostly Black Population

Billionaire Secretly Funds Surveillance Program Aimed at Baltimore’s Mostly Black Population:

Over the past few years, billionaires have unilaterally shut down a popular newsite, pushed common core on the Department of Education and steered candidates to a hardline position on Israel. Now one Texas-based billionaire (who began amassing his fortune at Enron) has singlehandedly spearheaded a massive spying program – secret until now – in a city 1500 miles away from where he lives.

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Apple Releases Patch for iPhone, iPad After Israeli Spyware is Discovered

Apple Releases Patch for iPhone, iPad After Israeli Spyware is Discovered:

Apple issued a security update for those devices Thursday after researchers discovered spyware that turns hand-held Apple devices into the mother of all snoops, allowing remote operators to intercept all voice and data communications and pass along every photograph and video.

Researchers said spyware had never been found before this month that could “jailbreak” an iPhone or iPad and seize total control of its functions.

Efforts to use the spyware have surfaced in Mexico and the United Arab Emirates, where critics of the government appear to have been targeted for surveillance….

The Israeli company thought to have produced the spyware said in a statement that it insisted that governments that bought its products use them only in lawful ways….

Apple Inc. was notified by Citizen Lab and Lookout on Aug. 15 of the vulnerability in the iPhones and iPads, and it said the security update provided Thursday blocked the use of Trident spyware.

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A Billionaire Paid Baltimore Cops to Record the Outdoor Movement of Everyone in the City For Months

A Billionaire Paid Baltimore Cops to Record the Outdoor Movement of Everyone in the City For Months:

Ask the residents of any major American city to vote on a program of total aerial surveillance – where the cops would record footage of everything that happened within municipal borders, then store the high-resolution video on hard drives, so that they could effectively go back in time, tracing the outdoor movements of any individual – and the proposal would, at the very least, trigger furious debate.

But what if the police didn’t ask permission?

[For an example of the type of technology used, watch this.]

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DOJ lawyer who leaked Bush spy program is censured for ethics failure

Whistleblower thought program was “probably illegal as it was not court-supervised.” sci tech news Continue reading DOJ lawyer who leaked Bush spy program is censured for ethics failure

FBI’s stingray quickly found suspect after local cops’ device couldn’t

New court filings in US v. Ellis show the lengths that Oakland police, FBI went to. sci tech news Continue reading FBI’s stingray quickly found suspect after local cops’ device couldn’t

Persistent Surveillance Systems has been watching Baltimore for months [Updated]

Police charity that normally funds sports team trophies instead helped airborne snooping. sci tech news Continue reading Persistent Surveillance Systems has been watching Baltimore for months [Updated]

Rights groups decry plan to inspect social media of US-bound tourists

It’s a “surveillance program clothed as a customs administration mechanism.” sci tech news Continue reading Rights groups decry plan to inspect social media of US-bound tourists