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Where did the principle of secrecy in correspondence go? | Technology | The Guardian
In the age of surveillance, it is easy to forget that governments weathered robust privacy protections for centuries. But secrecy is central to the vitality of democracy
Surveillance  Essays 
19 hours ago by danielcberman
The conviction of a computer scientist who searched “insider trading” should concern us all | The Outline
This isn’t me putting on a tinfoil hat, either. In 2013, the ACLU expressed concern that the Justice Department was improperly obtaining our search results, while last year, the organization pointed out that the vast majority of individuals whose internet activity is monitored by the government are never informed that they were surveilled in the first place. And within the government, Ron Wyden, the senior Democratic Senator from Oregon, has been dogged in his quest to understand the degree to which law enforcement has access to Americans’ data and how. Wyden recently called out the FBI for “misstat[ing] the number of devices rendered inaccessible by encryption” in what appeared to be an attempt to establish a legal right to access encrypted devices or to water down encryption technology so that they can gain access to more of our shit than they already have.
2018-08  privacy  surveillance  police_state 
2 days ago by Weaverbird
From laboratory in far west, China's surveillance state spreads quietly • Reuters
Cate Cadell:
<p>Filip Liu, a 31-year-old software developer from Beijing, was traveling in the far western Chinese region of Xinjiang when he was pulled to one side by police as he got off a bus.

The officers took Liu’s iPhone, hooked it up to a handheld device that looked like a laptop and told him they were “checking his phone for illegal information”.

Liu’s experience in Urumqi, the Xinjiang capital, is not uncommon in a region that has been wracked by separatist violence and a crackdown by security forces.

But such surveillance technologies, tested out in the laboratory of Xinjiang, are now quietly spreading across China.

Government procurement documents collected by Reuters and rare insights from officials show the technology Liu encountered in Xinjiang is encroaching into cities like Shanghai and Beijing.

Police stations in almost every province have sought to buy the data-extraction devices for smartphones since the beginning of 2016, coinciding with a sharp rise in spending on internal security and a crackdown on dissent, the data show.

The documents provide a rare glimpse into the numbers behind China’s push to arm security forces with high-tech monitoring tools as the government clamps down on dissent…

…These sorts of scanners are used in countries like the United States but they remain contentious and security forces need to go through a lengthy legal process to be able to forcibly break into a suspect’s phone.

In China, while a number of firms say they have the ability to crack many phones, police are generally able to get users to hand over their passwords, experts say.</p>

It's very intrusive, but of course there's no way for people to protest effectively. It's claimed that it can break into iPhones - which of course you can if you get the passcode.
china  surveillance 
3 days ago by charlesarthur

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