Tag: Surveillance of Citizens by Government

Microsoft’s President on Silicon Valley in the Cross Hairs

[embedded content] Brad Smith began his career at Microsoft in 1993. Aside from serving as its president, he is the company’s chief legal officer and the co-author of a new book, “Tools and Weapons: The Promise and the Peril of the Digital Age.” Andrew Ross Sorkin, DealBook editor and columnist for The New York Times, […]

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U.S. Tries to Seize Edward Snowden’s Proceeds From New Memoir

WASHINGTON — The Justice Department sued the former intelligence contractor Edward Snowden on Tuesday, seeking to seize his proceeds from his new memoir because he did not submit the manuscript for review before it was published so officials could make sure it contained no classified information. Mr. Snowden, whose 2013 leaks of top-secret documents about […]

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Real-Time Surveillance Will Test the British Tolerance for Cameras

CARDIFF, Wales — A few hours before a recent Wales-Ireland rugby match in Cardiff, amid throngs of fans dressed in team colors of red and green, and sidewalk merchants selling scarves and flags, police officers popped out of a white van. The officers stopped a man carrying a large Starbucks coffee, asked him a series […]

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In Edward Snowden’s New Memoir, the Disclosures This Time Are Personal

Revealing state secrets is hard, but revealing yourself in a memoir might be harder. As Edward Snowden puts it in the preface of “Permanent Record”: “The decision to come forward with evidence of government wrongdoing was easier for me to make than the decision, here, to give an account of my life.” Snowden, of course, […]

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N.S.A. Official: We Need to Prepare for the Future of War

The National Security Operations Center occupies a large windowless room, bathed in blue light, on the third floor of the National Security Agency’s headquarters outside of Washington. For the past 46 years, around the clock without a single interruption, a team of senior military and intelligence officials has staffed this national security nerve center. The […]

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The Crown Prince’s Digital Iron Fist

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman of Saudi Arabia makes no secret of his desire to transform his country. Since he began consolidating power in 2015, he has marketed himself to domestic and international audiences as a force of modernity, touting an agenda of cultural liberalization and economic reform. In 2016, he outlined his would-be revolution […]

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Police Use of Facial Recognition Is Accepted by British Court

LONDON — In one of the first lawsuits to address the use of live facial recognition technology by governments, a British court ruled on Wednesday that police use of the systems is acceptable and does not violate privacy and human rights. The case has been closely watched by law enforcement agencies, privacy groups and government […]

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China’s Prisons Swell After Deluge of Arrests Engulfs Muslims

The Chinese government has built a vast network of re-education camps and a pervasive system of surveillance to monitor and subdue millions from Muslim minorities in the Xinjiang region. Now China is also turning to an older, harsher method of control: filling prisons in Xinjiang. The region in northwest China has experienced a record surge […]

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How Much School Surveillance Is Too Much?

Back-to-school season is upon us and the future of child surveillance may soon be underway in Florida. Last month I referenced a proposed school surveillance program in the state, where lawmakers were planning to introduce a statewide database “that would combine individuals’ educational, criminal-justice and social-service records with their social media data, then share it […]

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Trump Administration Asks Congress to Reauthorize N.S.A.’s Deactivated Call Records Program

WASHINGTON — Breaking a long silence about a high-profile National Security Agency program that sifts records of Americans’ telephone calls and text messages in search of terrorists, the Trump administration on Thursday acknowledged for the first time that the system has been indefinitely shut down — but asked Congress to extend its legal basis anyway. […]

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How Bodycams Distort Real Life

“You’re going to kill me.” It’s chilling to hear Tony Timpa’s words on a Dallas police officer’s bodycam recording because he was right. A few minutes after Mr. Timpa, 32, pleaded with the police for his life, it was over and his corpse was loaded into the back of an ambulance. The bodycam footage shows […]

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Children as Young as 11 Added to N.Y.P.D. Facial Recognition Database

[What you need to know to start the day: Get New York Today in your inbox.] The New York Police Department has been loading thousands of arrest photos of children and teenagers into a facial recognition database despite evidence the technology has a higher risk of false matches in younger faces. For about four years, […]

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In Hong Kong Protests, Faces Become Weapons

HONG KONG — The police officers wrestled with Colin Cheung in an unmarked car. They needed his face. They grabbed his jaw to force his head in front of his iPhone. They slapped his face. They shouted, “Wake up!” They pried open his eyes. It all failed: Mr. Cheung had disabled his phone’s facial-recognition login […]

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Anyone Can Hire a Team of Spies

The plan was simple: give the government of Uzbekistan the ability to monitor everyone’s communications. I first heard the story about five years ago from an American defense consultant. I had spoken to him over the years about arms sales, particularly those involving the former Soviet Union. He had been involved in overseeing foreign military […]

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What We’ve Learned From Our Privacy Project (So Far)

ImageA Huawei surveillance camera is pictured at Interpol World in Singapore.CreditEdgar Su/Reuters The Privacy Project has been underway for four months, and in that time we’ve learned quite a bit about what we do — and don’t — know about privacy. Privacy is a complex, nebulous and constantly evolving issue, but amid the chaos and […]

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As Cameras Track Detroit’s Residents, a Debate Ensues Over Racial Bias

[For more coverage of race, sign up here to have our Race/Related newsletter delivered weekly to your inbox.] DETROIT — Twenty-four hours a day, video from thousands of cameras stationed around Detroit, at gas stations, restaurants, mini-marts, apartment buildings, churches and schools, streams into the Police Department’s downtown headquarters. The surveillance program, which began in […]

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China Snares Tourists’ Phones in Surveillance Dragnet by Adding Secret App

BEIJING — China has turned its western region of Xinjiang into a police state with few modern parallels, employing a combination of high-tech surveillance and enormous manpower to monitor and subdue the area’s predominantly Muslim ethnic minorities. Now, the digital dragnet is expanding beyond Xinjiang’s residents, ensnaring tourists, traders and other visitors — and digging […]

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Smile, Your City Is Watching You

Walking through the streets of New York City, you can feel the thrill of being lost in the crowd. As throngs of people filter past, each going about their days, it seems possible to blend in without being noticed. But as municipalities and companies pursue the dream of “smart cities,” creating hyper-connected urban spaces designed […]

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A Major Police Body Cam Company Just Banned Facial Recognition

Axon, the company that supplies 47 out of the 69 largest police agencies in the United States with body cameras and software, announced Thursday that it will ban the use of facial recognition systems on its devices. “Face recognition technology is not currently reliable enough to ethically justify its use,” the company’s independent ethics board […]

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