Accountability and Intelligence: The Surveillance State’s Foreseeable Fall

by Alex Marthews on April 25, 2014

I promised a longer and brighter view of where a world of mass surveillance is headed. Surveillance means power, but it also means accountability. The deep state is trying to impose perfect accountability on others, and to preserve perfect unaccountability for itself. That can’t last. Employees of the deep state cannot be expected to have […]

High Over Compton: “Wide Area Surveillance” Surveils Entire Town

by Alex Marthews on April 22, 2014

The Atlantic picks up on a story from the Center for Investigative Reporting that in 2012, the LA County Sheriff’s Department secretly tested a civilian surveillance aircraft by flying it over a town in their jurisdiction and taking high-resolution footage of everything visibly happening there, over a period of up to six hours (highlights are […]

By 2020, Commercial Vendors Will Offer Quantum Encryption

by Alex Marthews on May 14, 2013

One of the major problems with challenging the surveillance state is that it is extremely difficult to prove legally that you have been under surveillance. The only people able to prove it are the government themselves, or (in highly unusual cases) people to whom the government has accidentally disclosed that they are under surveillance. What […]

FBI-Borg Informs US Private Sector of its Impending Assimilation, Generously Limits Fines for Resistance to $25,000 Per Day Per Violation

by Alex Marthews on May 8, 2013

The FBI has a new proposal afoot to require communications companies doing business in the US to make their communications technologies “wiretap-ready”, to avoid the “going-dark problem”. From Charlie Savage at the New York Times, six hours ago: The Obama administration, resolving years of internal debate, is on the verge of backing a¬†Federal Bureau of […]

Stingrays Can Do More Than You Ever Imagined: Law Enforcement, Cellphone Interceptions, and Countermeasures

by Alex Marthews on April 9, 2013

Previously, we reported on the existence of stingrays, also known as `IMSI catchers’, which are used by law enforcement as mobile cellphone towers. Stingrays intercept location and other data from all cellphones in the area, redirecting the traffic from regular cellphone towers. They can be used to get cellphone data without having even to go […]

By 2020, Americans May Have Started Talking About The Right To Obscurity

by Alex Marthews on April 4, 2013

Americans are used to thinking of ourselves as “rights pioneers.” But the American constitution is particularly difficult to amend, and is therefore slower than most to respond to a rapidly changing technological and cultural landscape. Justice Brandeis’s 1890 law review article on “The Right to Privacy” conceived of the Constitution as embodying a central, unarticulated […]

By 2020, Stingray Will Be Launched! New Doohickey Allows Police To Get Everybody’s Cellphone Locations Without Going Through the Telcos

by Alex Marthews on March 11, 2013

We continue our series updating you on the exciting new world of mass surveillance you should expect in a few short years (previous posts include discussions of real-time life recording, terahertz surveillance and indoor cellphone tracking), by bringing you the Stingray.

By 2020, There Will Be Eyes On Everyone: Implications of Universal, Mass, Peer-to-Peer Surveillance

by Alex Marthews on February 6, 2013

We’re used to the fact that data storage technologies, once so sensationally expensive, are becoming drastically cheaper. What we don’t yet clearly realize is what that will mean for our everyday lives. Within ten years, it will be reasonably cheap to track every moment of your life. The technology already exists. You could each have […]

By 2020, Terahertz Surveillance Will Be Here, and the NYPD Will Love It

by Alex Marthews on February 4, 2013

Once again, Mayor Bloomberg’s private army is in the vanguard of new surveillance technologies. The NYPD has just taken delivery of a portable machine capable of detecting the terahertz radiation emitted by every human being. It allows them to remotely detect guns or other inorganic illegal materials being concealed under people’s clothing. Suspects! We meant […]

By 2020, Cellphones Will Be Able To Track You Inside Buildings Too

by Alex Marthews on December 21, 2012

Science Daily reports that one of the technological limitations on cellphones’ tracking capabilities is about to be lifted. A research team led by Professor Dong-Soo Han of the Department of Computer Science at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology has developed a way of locating cellphones using their WiFi fingerprints to within 10 […]