Archive for the ‘surveillance’ category

Jul 18, 2021

Private Israeli spyware used to hack cellphones of journalists, activists worldwide

Posted by in categories: business, cybercrime/malcode, military, mobile phones, surveillance

Military-grade spyware licensed by an Israeli firm to governments for tracking terrorists and criminals was used in attempted and successful hacks of 37 smartphones belonging to journalists, human rights activists, business executives and two women close to murdered Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, according to an investigation by The Washington Post and 16 media partners.

The phones appeared on a list of more than 50000 numbers that are concentrated in countries known to engage in surveillance of their citizens and also known to have been clients of the Israeli firm, NSO Group, a worldwide leader in the growing and largely unregulated private spyware industry, the investigation found.

The list does not identify who put the numbers on it, or why, and it is unknown how many of the phones were targeted or surveilled. But forensic analysis of the 37 smartphones shows that many display a tight correlation between time stamps associated with a number on the list and the initiation of surveillance, in some cases as brief as a few seconds.

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Jun 25, 2021

Baltimore spy plane program was invasion of citizens’ privacy, court rules

Posted by in categories: government, law enforcement, surveillance, transportation

The AIR program was run by a company called Persistent Surveillance Systems with funding from two Texas billionaires. The city police department admitted to using planes to surveil Baltimore residents in 2016 but approved a six-month pilot program in 2020, which was active until October 31st.

The city of Baltimore’s spy plane program was unconstitutional, violating the Fourth Amendment protection against illegal search, and law enforcement in the city cannot use any of the data it gathered, a court ruled Thursday. The Aerial Investigation Research (or AIR) program, which used airplanes and high-resolution cameras to record what was happening in a 32-square-mile part of the city, was canceled by the city in February.

Local Black activist groups, with support from the ACLU, sued to prevent Baltimore law enforcement from using any of the data it had collected in the time the program was up and running. The city tried to argue the case was moot since the program had been canceled. That didn’t sit well with civil liberties activists. “Government agencies have a history of secretly using similar technology for other purposes — including to surveil Black Lives Matter protests in Baltimore in recent years,” the ACLU said in a statement Thursday.

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Jun 22, 2021

A CCTV Company Pays Remote Supervisors to Monitor Employees

Posted by in categories: security, surveillance

Live Eye Surveillance, a Seattle-based company, takes it to the next level and provides security systems to convenience stores like 7-Eleven; it employs “remote supervisors” who are real people sitting miles away behind the surveillance cameras, monitoring all activity captured by the tools.

Employers are using various surveillance technologies to track employee movement and interactions, and now 7-Eleven stores are involved in the game.

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Jun 17, 2021

A New Spyware is Targeting Telegram and Psiphon VPN Users in Iran

Posted by in category: surveillance

A spyware in a 6-year-old Ferocious Kitten covert surveillance campaign now targets Telegram and Psiphon VPN users in Iran.

Jun 10, 2021

Across China, AI city brains are changing how the government runs

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, government, robotics/AI, surveillance

It is called the “city brain”, an artificial intelligence system that is now being used across China – only megacities could afford them before – for everything from pandemic contact tracing to monitoring illegal public assemblies and river pollution.

Authorities at all levels are now using AI for everything from pandemic control to monitoring illegal public assemblies.

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May 27, 2021

Greenwald vs. Dershowitz Debating Government Surveillance

Posted by in categories: government, surveillance

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Apr 10, 2021

Wireless power from 5G networks could replace batteries

Posted by in categories: energy, internet, surveillance

A new way to harvest power from 5G networks could make many of the batteries that power our devices a thing of the past, researchers say.

An ATHENA group member holds an inkjet-printed prototype of a mm-wave harvester. The researchers envision a future where IoT devices will be powered wirelessly over 5G networks. (Credit: Christopher Moore/Georgia Tech)

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Apr 4, 2021

Roboreptile climbs like a real lizard

Posted by in categories: robotics/AI, space travel, surveillance

While a Mars rover can explore where no person has gone before, a smaller robot at the University of the Sunshine Coast in Australia could climb to new heights by mimicking the movements of a lizard.

Simply named X-4, the university’s climbing has allowed a team of researchers to test and replicate how a lizard moves in the hope that their findings will inspire next-generation robotics design for disaster relief, remote surveillance and possibly even space exploration.

In a published today in Proceedings of the Royal Society B, the team states that have optimized their movement across difficult terrain over many years of evolution.

Mar 26, 2021

Leveraging the 5G network to wirelessly power IoT devices

Posted by in categories: energy, internet, surveillance

Researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology have uncovered an innovative way to tap into the over-capacity of 5G networks, turning them into “a wireless power grid” for powering Internet of Things (IoT) devices that today need batteries to operate.

The Georgia Tech inventors have developed a flexible Rotman lens-based rectifying antenna (rectenna) system capable, for the first time, of millimeter-wave harvesting in the 28-GHz band. (The Rotman lens is key for beamforming networks and is frequently used in radar surveillance systems to see targets in multiple directions without physically moving the antenna system.)

But to harvest enough power to supply low-power devices at long ranges, large aperture antennas are required. The problem with large antennas is they have a narrowing field of view. This limitation prevents their operation if the antenna is widely dispersed from a 5G base station.

Mar 16, 2021

Satellites Are Stranded on the ISS Because of a Military Coup

Posted by in categories: food, government, military, satellites, surveillance

Japan’s space agency wants to keep the satellite’s cameras out of military hands.

An unusual geopolitical situation is brewing aboard the International Space Station. Prior to the military coup in Myanmar earlier this year, Japan’s space agency JAXA had been collaborating with the country to build microsatellites that it planned to deploy in partnership with Myanmar’s government.

Now, JAXA has no idea what to do with the pair of 50-kilogram satellites, according to SlashGear. And while Japanese scientists hope to bring the agriculture and fishery-monitoring satellites to life, they’re currently holding them on the ISS instead of deploying them out of fear they might be misused for military purposes — a striking example of real-world geopolitics spilling over into space.

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