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surveillance state

The sun sets behind the Beijing skyline and a security camera, on December 5, 2013. Beijing is the second most expensive city in Asia for expatriates, jumping up the ranking from fifth place last year while Tokyo still tops the list despite a sharply weaker yen, a survey showed. AFP …

High-Tech Surveillance in Muslim Xinjiang Province Spreads Across China

Reuters offered a look on Tuesday at how high-tech surveillance techniques developed to monitor the Muslims of Xinjiang province are spreading across the rest of China, all the way to the capital city of Beijing. The account provides a textbook case of surveillance state mission creep, as techniques devised for what the Chinese government described as a unique emergency situation become part of everyday life.

A Cellebrite engineer explains the technology used to unlock smartphones and pull data

China Touts Mass Surveillance Goals at ‘Big Data’ Expo

China launched its International Big Data Industry Expo 2018 on Saturday in the city of Guiyang with remarks by Vice Minister of Industry and Information Technology Chen Zhaxiong, who boasted of his nation’s establishment of massive data platforms for manufacturing, commerce, finance, transportation, and medical care. The conference is expected to have about 40,000 guests.

Young Vietnamese girls wave Chinese and Vietnamese flags as visiting Chinese vice president Xi Jinping (not pictured) is greeted during the official welcoming ceremony at the presidential palace in Hanoi on December 21, 2011. Xi is on a three-day official visit for talks with all top Vietnamese leaders on a …

Hayward: U.S. Media Finally Notices China’s Creepy ‘Social Credit’ System

CBS News on Tuesday reported on China’s plan to assign citizens a “social credit score,” a system that has already restricted the travel privileges of millions of people who were rated poor citizens due to undesirable speech and behavior. The system begins expanding nationwide next week after a limited trial run.

China's President Xi Jinping (C) arrives to speak on the final day of the APEC CEO Summit, part of the broader Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) leaders' summit, in the central Vietnamese city of Danang on November 10, 2017. World leaders and senior business figures are gathering in the Vietnamese city …

China Congratulates Itself for Making ‘Remarkable Progress’ on Human Rights

China’s state-run Xinhua news service brings the joyous news that China’s State Council Information Office has declared China is making “remarkable progress” on human rights. This is a remarkable development, since authoritarian communist dictatorships are usually very critical of themselves.

AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin

Robert Barnes: Obama Encouraged ‘Deep State’ ‘De Facto Coup’ Against Trump

On Friday’s Breitbart News Daily, SiriusXM host Alex Marlow asked attorney Robert Barnes about the campaign of leaks to damage the Trump administration, described by some observers as “deep state” career bureaucrats and/or holdovers from the Obama administration acting as saboteurs. Marlow wondered if there was any legal recourse for the Trump administration to halt this operation.

AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais

Eric Holder: Edward Snowden Performed a ‘Public Service’

Former Attorney General Eric Holder sent a decidedly mixed message on host David Axelrod’s podcast by saying that fugitive NSA contractor Edward Snowden “harmed American interests” by revealing government secrets – even putting the lives of American agents at risk! – but saluting him for performing a “public service” anyway.

An undercover FBI agent brought binders of purported oil and gas analysis that also contained "covertly placed recording devices" to meetings with one of the Russian spies

FBI Seeks to Exempt Massive Biometric Database from Privacy Laws

The FBI’s Next Generation Identification System is the largest biometric database ever assembled, a billion-dollar system containing information on over 52 million people, many of them never subjected to a criminal investigation. The FBI has proposed exempting this massive database from the U.S. Privacy Act, which means citizens would not be told their information was included in NGIS or given an opportunity to correct any errors their files might contain.

FBI Director James Comey(C) testifies next to National Security Agency Director Adm. Michael Rogers(R) and Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, during the Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on worldwide threats to America and its allies, on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC February 9, 2016. / AFP / MOLLY RILEY (Photo …

NSA May Soon Be Allowed to Share Intercepts with Other Agencies

Earlier this week, a declassified Inspector General report suggested the National Security Agency’s controversial Internet and phone monitoring program scoops up much less data than we previously suspected, because the program has a narrower targeting list. If that made anyone feel more comfortable with the Surveillance State, news that the Obama Administration is planning to let the NSA share more of its data with other agencies might refresh their anxieties.

An illustration picture shows the logo of the U.S. National Security Agency on the display of an iPhone in Berlin, June 7, 2013. REUTERS/PAWEL KOPCZYNSKI

NSA Report: Amount of Data Under Surveillance Greatly Exaggerated

The New York Times used a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit to obtain a National Security Agency report from 2015, in which the agency’s Inspector General looked at those controversial Internet surveillance programs and determined they are far less extensive than widely suspected.

AP Photo/John Locher

Spy Fridge: The Internet of Things Meets the Surveillance State

During the same laugh-a-minute Senate report where he said North Korea was a major nuclear threat, and that Iran would soon join them, and that ISIS was using the “torrent of migrants” from Syria to infiltrate the Western world, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper also said on Tuesday that electronic surveillance would soon be possible through nearly every device in the home.

Narendra Modi

Facebook Reports Surge in Government Demands for User Data

Facebook’s Global Government Requests Report was released on Wednesday, and it showed a tremendous surge in requests for user account data from governments around the world, topped by the government of the United States. The governments of Turkey and India were cited as the most aggressive in censoring Facebook pages.

Internet cable (Michael Bocchieri / Getty)

Study Projects 34 Billion Internet Connections by 2020

The growth of the Internet has been one of the most astounding developments in human history, and it shows no sign of slowing down. In fact, a new report from Business Insider predicts the number of devices connected to the Internet will more than double over the next five years – from 10 billion in 2015, to 34 billion in 2020. That works out to a 28 percent compound annual growth rate.

cyberattack

China to Impose Orwellian ‘Social Credit System’ on Internet Users

The latest brainstorm from the Chinese Communist Party is a system for monitoring the Internet activity and financial transactions of its citizens, computing a “social credit” score on the acceptability of each person’s behavior, similar to the credit ratings compiled by financial institutions.

Hamilton County Sheriffs Office via AP

Despite Drug Use and Jihadi Red Flags, Chattanooga Killer Flew Under Police Radar

Questions are being asked about whether Chattanooga killer Mohammad Youssef Abdulazeez should have been under surveillance by counterterrorist authorities before he launched his deadly attacks, killing four Marines and a Navy petty officer before he was brought down in a gun battle with police. Were there “red flags” that should have tipped off investigators that Abdulazeez was a potential terrorist threat?

Rand Paul

Rand Paul: NSA Supporters ‘Secretly Want There to be an Attack on the United States, So They Can Blame it on Me

Rand Paul has planted his flag on some difficult ground, and quite frankly, successful presidential candidates don’t throw themselves into heavy intra-party fire and sustain major political wounds to prove ideological points. Perhaps he would do well to reconstruct his argument to emphasize the libertarian points where more of the Republican Party agrees with him, and more of the ever-shifting middle of the American electorate would be willing to listen.

AFP PHOTO / POOL / CHARLES PLATIAU

France Approves Domestic Spying with ‘Almost No Judicial Oversight’

The Surveillance State faces stiff criticism in the United States. Limiting domestic surveillance, or at least subjecting it to more extensive oversight, is likely to be a prominent feature of several 2016 presidential campaigns. But in France, Parliament just took domestic surveillance up a notch, granting internal intelligence services “their most intrusive domestic spying abilities ever, with almost no judicial oversight,” as The New York Times puts it.

Xinhua/Yao Dawei/AFP

Emboldened By Snowden Revelations, China Plays Hardball With U.S. Tech Companies

The New York Times has a depressing article headlined “Mutual Suspicion Mars Tech Trade With China,” whose title buries the lede. The story is more about tech companies suspicious of both China and the Obama Administration. There is a serious information-technology trade war underway, and China is eating Team Obama’s lunch, in part due to continuing fallout from Edward Snowden’s revelations of Obama’s digital surveillance state.

smartphone

Obama Drops Plan to Store NSA Phone-Snooping Data With Third Parties

The Obama Administration has dropped a plan to outsource the storage of cell-phone metadata to third-party vendors, but the Surveillance State is still very much interested in that data. From a public-relations standpoint, the goal of these post-Snowden reform proposals is to erase the image of phone companies “giving our phone data to the government.” If the companies are storing the data themselves and making it accessible to the government, the public’s comfort level with the process might increase.

An Alexandria Police Department squad car is seen outfitted with a license plate scanner mounted to the trunk, Tuesday, July 16, 2013, in Alexandria, Va. Local police departments across the country have amassed millions of digital records on the location and movements of vehicles with a license plate using automated …

Police Departments Quietly Equipped with Device That Lets Them See Through Walls

Modern police have radar guns that allow them to see through the walls of houses, and they’ve been using them for the past two years without telling the public. In fact, they still haven’t formally announced the technology. If no one has briefed him yet, I would like to volunteer to be the guy who tells Senator Rand Paul about the drone that can see through walls.