I Fought the Law
Tech giants like Google, Twitter, and Facebook have a surveillance problem on their hands: they have created some of the most ubiquitous surveillance networks in human history, and now the U.S. government is taking advantage of those systems by making them hand over their records. Now, Twitter is trying to tell the world exactly what’s been happening.
In a blog post called “Taking the fight for #transparency to court,” Twitters VP of Legal announced that they’re filing a lawsuit against the FBI and the Department of Justice:
It’s our belief that we are entitled under the First Amendment to respond to our users’ concerns and to the statements of U.S. government officials by providing information about the scope of U.S. government surveillance – including what types of legal process have not been received.
On the third floor of Google’s NYC headquarters, there is a giant flatscreen monitor with a strange, churning map of New York City, cast in greyscale and resembling some cross between Google Maps, Instagram and the NASDAQ. When we took or first look at it, we noticed different social media posts popped up whenever the Read More
It's the Cops!
It’s the stuff of urban legend: a couple has a wild night in a seedy motel, only to have it recorded by a secret camera. Read More
When drug runners started using drones to scout out marijuana growing fields that were ripe for the raiding, it was only a matter of time before the police nabbed a couple for themselves.
The Los Angeles Police Department recently added two small camera-equipped, remote control helicopters to their arsenal, the Los Angeles Times reported over the weekend. The drones were a gift from the Seattle Police Department, who quickly changed their minds about the drones as soon as everyone in Seattle freaked out about having little police helicopters flying around.
Troubled by Edward Snowden’s revelations about the U.S. government’s snooping habits, a group of Harvard and MIT students created an email service they insist is completely NSA-proof.
The new email platform is called ProtonMail, BostInno reports. The service’s five brainy founders met while working at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) in Switzerland. They bonded over a shared desire to build an email service even more secure than Lavabit, Mr. Snowden’s now-defunct email service of choice.
Following a few weeks in private beta, ProtonMail is launching its open beta phase starting today.
Rise of the Drones
Welcome to 2014, where it’s possible that a seemingly harmless piece of furniture could be broadcasting your private conversations across the Internet.
Two artists have just unveiled a creepy product called the Conversnitch, Wired reports, and sadly, it has nothing to do with Quidditch. Rather, it’s a device that looks exactly like a lamp, except it records nearby conversations, transcribes the audio files, and then posts snippets of the conversations to Conversnitch’s Twitter account.
The creators, Brian House and Kyle McDonald, believe the Conversnitch is reflective of the current NSA-related privacy threats Americans are currently facing.
It's Zuck's World We're Just Living In It
Drones are incredibly versatile, able to do everything from delivering beer to, er, killing innocent people :(. And now, hackers have developed a new skill for the flying robots — and it’s definitely on the disconcerting end of the drone use spectrum.
Hackers have developed a drone that can steal information from smartphones, CNNMoney reports. It’s being tested in London, and research on the drones’ functionality will be presented at the Black Hat Asia cybersecurity conference in Singapore next week.
Guess Facebook knows we’re all feeling a little paranoid these days. Today the company released its first “Global Government Requests Report,” which aims to shed a little more light on exactly what the social network is handing over to the authorities.
Google, of course, has been doing this for years, and last year Twitter hopped on the bandwagon, as well.
The Future Will See You Now
Hey, here’s a smart take on the NSA’s data mining efforts, courtesy of Mashable: “You’re Being Monitored All the Time — Deal With It.”
Oh, well, when you put it that way!
Say cheese! According to a new study by Quinnipiac University, an overwhelming majority of New Yorkers–82 percent–support an increase in surveillance cameras in public places. The majority is spread across all racial and sexual demographics, and even transcends the furthest boundaries, with both Democrats and Republicans strongly supporting it.