Jerry Jackson

Posts Tagged ‘Internet service provider’

Bill Approved To Create Massive Surveillance Database Of Internet Users

In Activism, Big Business, Human Rights, Internet Censorship, Police State, Society on July 30, 2011 at 1:32 am


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Privacy busting legislation a “stalking horse for a massive expansion of federal power”

Massive Surveillance Database

Internet User Surveillance

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Legislation that will force Internet providers to store information on all their customers and share it with the federal government and law enforcement agencies was significantly beefed at the last minute yesterday and approved by a U.S. House of Representatives committee.
Under the guise of protecting children from internet pornographers, the House Judiciary committee voted 19-10 to approve a bill that will require Internet Service Providers to store temporarily assigned IP addresses for future government use.
In addition, the bill was re-written yesterday to also include the enforced retention of customers’ names, addresses, phone numbers, credit card numbers and bank account numbers.
As Declan McCullagh of CNet reports, the panel rejected an amendment that would have clarified that only IP addresses must be stored.
“The bill is mislabeled,” said Rep. John Conyers of Michigan, the senior Democrat on the panel. “This is not protecting children from Internet pornography. It’s creating a database for everybody in this country for a lot of other purposes.”
It represents “a data bank of every digital act by every American” that would “let us find out where every single American visited Web sites,” said Rep. Zoe Lofgren, who led Democratic opposition to the bill. The Californian Representative described the legislation as a “mess of a bill” and a “stalking horse for a massive expansion of federal power”.
Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., noted that the bill would open a Pandora’s box of government abuse.
“This is not about child porn. It never has been and never will be,” Issa said. “This is a convenient way for law enforcement to get what they couldn’t get in the PATRIOT Act.”
Advocates for the legislation include the National Sheriffs’ Association, which has said it “strongly supports” mandatory data retention. The bill has also attracted endorsements from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, as well as the FBI.

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In a last ditch effort to derail the bill, the ACLU, along with dozens of other privacy watchdog groups penned a letter (PDF) to House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith earlier this week, noting that “any data retention mandate is a direct assault on bedrock privacy principles.”
“The data retention mandate in this bill would treat every Internet user like a criminal and threaten the online privacy and free speech rights of every American, as lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have recognized,” Senior Staff Attorney Kevin Bankston of the Electronic Frontier Foundation said.
“Requiring Internet companies to redesign and reconfigure their systems to facilitate government surveillance of Americans’ expressive activities is simply un-American. Such a scheme would be as objectionable to our Founders as the requiring of licenses for printing presses or the banning of anonymous pamphlets.” Bankston added.
“This is China-style law enforcement, treating everyone as a potential suspect and requiring the collection of personal information just in case it might later be useful to the government,” said Greg Nojeim, senior counsel for the Washington based Center for Democracy and Technology, in an interview with Bloomberg.
A fortnight ago, the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) appealed before the House Judiciary Committee, asking that Congress recognize the fact that retaining identifying information would put at risk “99.9% of Internet users.”
EPIC President Marc Rotenberg pointed out that it is more prudent to seek data minimization rather than data retention, in the wake of increased risk of data breaches and identity theft. Rotenberg noted that enforced data retention would make ISPs more vulnerable to hackers, citing the LulzSec group, which recently claimed responsibility for temporarily shutting down a CIA website and other high-profile hacks.
“Minimizing stored user data reduces incentives for hackers to attack data storage systems by reducing the amount of data available to steal. Minimization also reduces the costs of data breaches,” Rotenberg said in prepared testimony.
Rotenberg suggested that the data could be used to bring criminal charges that were unrelated to child pornography, noting that any mandatory retention of data would be accessible to police investigating any crime.
“Although this data retention requirement has been introduced as part of a bill focused on child sexual exploitation, there is no evidence to suggest that the majority of law enforcement requests for customer subscriber information relate to child protection cases.” Rotenberg argued.


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World Day against Cyber Censorship March 12th.

In Activism, Hacktivist, Human Rights, Internet Censorship, Society, World News on March 10, 2011 at 12:59 am


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Internet companies such as Yahoo! Inc., Google and Microsoft Corporation have made it possible for people around the world to communicate, interact, exchange ideas and challenge each other’s political, religious and cultural views. But for the millions of people who live in countries where freedom of expression, creativity and peaceful thought are not respected or protected, these concepts remain unknown or unfulfilled.
March 12 is recognized as an international day of action against Internet censorship. Amnesty International USA supports the efforts of Reporters Without Borders to call attention to online freedom of expression on this day and joins them in calling on Yahoo! Inc., Google and Microsoft Corporation to give all Internet users worldwide one day of uncensored Internet search and blogging on March 12.

Internet Censorship

Censorship

WASHINGTON, February 17, 2011 – The Senate Judiciary Committee conducted a hearing Wednesday to address potential criticisms of the Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Acts (COICA), which would target websites dedicated to stealing American intellectual property.
The bill empowers the Department of Justice to issue court orders to Internet service providers (ISPs), search engines, payment processors and online advertising networks who do not refrain from providing their services to rogue websites. The DOJ defines these “rogue” websites as those that promote either copyright infringement or the sale of counterfeit goods.

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FBI Calls for Backdoor to Snoop Web

In Internet Censorship on February 19, 2011 at 1:41 am


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The FBI is once again calling for the internet to be converted into a Stasi-like spy grid. “Web-based e-mail, social-networking and peer-to-peer services are frustrating law enforcement wiretapping efforts, a lawyer for the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation told lawmakers Thursday,” reports PCWorld.

censorship

internet censorship

The Obama administration will attempt to bribe, coerce, or intimidate web-based services not covered by traditional wiretap laws into helping the government turn the medium into a sprawling high-tech surveillance platform.

Valerie Caproni, general counsel at the FBI, reminded the U.S. House Judiciary Committee that the Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act, or CALEA, does not cover the internet. CALEA requires traditional telecom carriers to allow law enforcement agencies real-time access to communications.

Instead of forcing ISPs to adopt CALEA, the government will attempt to convince communication providers to build in so-called back doors allowing law enforcement access to their software. Caproni said she’s optimistic the U.S. government can find “incentives” for companies to “have intercept solutions engineered into their systems.”

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“We are not looking for any new authority,” she said. “We are concerned we are losing ground in actually being able to gather the information we are authorized to have.”

Laura Murphy, director of the ACLU Washington Legislative Office, said in a statement that the FBI plan “will actually change the structure of the Internet, providing the government with a master key to our online communications.”

Caproni said the FBI is concerned about the internet being used for criminal activity. “That criminal may be a massive drug dealer, they may be an arms trafficker, they may be a child pornographer or a child molester,” she said. “We need the actual ability to conduct the wiretaps so we can keep the streets safe.”

The FBI has a long history of using its authority to monitor and harass political activists. A report by the Electronic Frontier Foundation reveals that since 9/11, the FBI has been responsible for at least 40,000 violations of the law. It has functioned primarily since its inception in the early 1900s as a political police force tasked with going after political activists of all stripes.

“In many cases, many of those now under surveillance by the FBI are ordinary American citizens doing nothing more than exercising their First Amendment right to free speech by criticizing the government,” writes constitutional attorney John W. Whitehead.

Ms. Caproni has sheepishly admitted that the internet continues to stump the FBI and the government. It has allowed activists to coordinate and announce their protest activities. It also represents the greatest single threat to the ruling elite and the government because it allows unfettered dissemination of alternative news that is not reported by the corporate Mockingbird media.

Caproni told the House committee the FBI would have recommendations for Congress soon. Representative Hank Johnson, a Georgia Democrat, said Congress is ready to oblige. “What are you seeking here today?” he asked. “What is it exactly that you would want Congress to do?”

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The FBI wants Congress to turn the internet into the largest and most efficient Stasi snoop grid in history. It wants a legal fig leaf to cover its effort to neutralize the opposition through surveillance and ultimately harassment, intimidation, and in the case of the Black Panthers and American Indian Movement activists in the 1960s and 70s, assassination.

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Internet Censorship Is Rampant Around the World

In Egypt, Human Rights, Internet Censorship on February 11, 2011 at 1:18 am

Reporters Without Borders Internet censorship ...

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A stark set of infographics breaks down what we know about government censorship of the Internet.

Egypt‘s Internet may be back on, but that country’s weeklong web blackout was a wake-up call to the rest of the world about just how fragile the intertubes really are. Ars Technica has a detailed technical breakdown of how Internet “kill switches” work– in Egypt’s case, it was basically just a matter of cracking down on the country’s four major ISPs — but for an at-a-glance visual distillation of the who/what/why of web censorship, it’s hard to beat this sobering set of info graphics.First, who’s doing it? The above map, based on data from the press-freedom watchdogs at Reporters Without Borders, paints a grim picture: Almost all of the industrialized “first world” Internet is moderately to pervasively censored by government authorities. There are obvious and practical reasons for having some online surveillance, but the fact that only countries like Mongolia and Madagascar have a completely open web is rather shocking to see illustrated so starkly.

 

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infographics

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After a strong start, the infographics are interesting but a bit shaky, as seen in the chart above. Using circles to compare data is tricky enough to do correctly (see example #6 here), but even assuming their geometry is correct, the percentages are a bit tricky. Here, we seem to be talking about percentages of the entire universe of censored items. This, it’s not that 20% of all blogs in existence actually being censored, but rather than blogs make up 20% of all censored content. It probably would have been better to show all those dots as pieces of a whole.And here a Venn diagram lends visual legitimacy to three types of censorship that are hard, in practice, to ever disentangle from one another. There’s lots of insight contained in here, but let’s not forget that censoring to maintain “social values” is basically a buzzword for political propaganda. (The ONI’s own interactive censorship visualizations, while not as pretty, are probably more informative.)

infographics(3)

infographics(3)

That said, there’s no harm in whipping together a pretty-darn-good visual snapshot of the state of global web censorship while the subject happens to be hot in people’s Twitter feeds. So bravo, Yuxiyou.net! Next time, let’s get more info on sources after you’re done with Adobe Illustrator.

Read full article here

Read full article here

Amendment will allow government agency to use private sector to monitor the Internet

In Human Rights, Internet Censorship on February 6, 2011 at 12:50 am

Reporters Without Borders condemns the National Assembly’s adoption of an amendment proposed by the government that could allow the High Authority for the Diffusion of Art Works and Copyright Protection on the Internet (HADOPI) to pay private-sector companies to carry out online surveillance and filtering.

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World Day Against Cyber Censorship. March 15, 2011

Adopted discreetly on the night of 1 February, Amendment 151 to the Law on Simplifying and Improving the Quality of Laws would permit the HADOPI to “provide support for innovative research and experimentation projects by state or privately-owned entities that help the Authority to fulfil its mission.”

Reporters Without Borders supports the decision taken by the Socialist Party’s parliamentary group to refer the amendment to the Constitutional Council. The Laws Commission and some of the ruling party’s parliamentarians also opposed the amendment.

Under the guise of simplifying the relevant legislation, the amendment will enable the HADOPI to use the private sector to help it carry out its job of monitoring the licit and illicit use of copyright-protected works online. Reporters Without Borders fears the possibility of impartiality in an area affecting fundamental freedoms.

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