The Grand Signal

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Post Tagged with: "eavesdropping"

Aussie police start using unmanned drones to spy on criminals

Aussie police start using unmanned drones to spy on criminals

Southern Australian Police (SAPOL) have invested in multiple unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) equipped with infrared cameras to patrol the skies and spy on suspected criminals. Four “off the shelf” quadcopters are already in the process of being purchased — small copters with mounted cameras.

Although civil groups have fervently complained about unmanned surveillance units, Police Minister Michael O’Brien has dispelled concerns

“UAVs represent a cost effective solution for a range of policing operations, especially in situations when using conventional aircraft is too dangerous or costly,” he said. ”They can be fitted with a variety of cameras, can be deployed in minutes, and can fly at heights that effectively make them inaudible from the ground.

The cost of UAVs (and associated training costs) have been estimated at approximately $200,000. O’Brien has dismissed claims from the Australian Council of Civil Liberties regarding the controversial privacy issues.


Give us your thoughts below!

July 4, 2013 0 comments Read More
FBI caught monitoring 160 billion+ physical parcels

FBI caught monitoring 160 billion+ physical parcels

On the heels of the NSA PRISM program controversy, new developments have suggested the depths of the surveillance go beyond online correspondence to offline as well. A bookstore owner in Buffalo, Leslie Pikering, recently received a parcel with a confidential card mistakenly left attached to it:

“Show all mail to supv” — supervisor — “for copying prior to going out on the street,” read the card.

Mr. Pickering’s mail was part of a long line of targets encompassing a national operation sancionted by the Postal Service. Nearly 160 billion parcels last year were intricately photographed by Mail Isolation Control, and it’s content images saved by the Government. Although the initial motivation was to use mail covers to track those suspected of crimes, the current approach is much more generalized.

“In the past, mail covers were used when you had a reason to suspect someone of a crime,” said Mark D. Rasch, the former director of the Justice Department’s computer crime unit. “Now it seems to be ‘Let’s record everyone’s mail so in the future we might go back and see who you were communicating with.’ Essentially you’ve added mail covers on millions of Americans.”


Is the FBI going too far, or is this business as usual? Chime in below!

July 3, 2013 0 comments Read More
Leaked slides show NSA is eavesdropping on live conversations

Leaked slides show NSA is eavesdropping on live conversations

Recently leaked NSA slides reported by the Washington Post have fueled the ongoing controversy regarding Snowden and the PRISM program. The slides summarize plans by the NSA to engage in real-time surveillance of e-mail, text and voice chat.

New leaked slides have hit the Washington Post today going into extensive detail about the wealth of realtime surveillance – both offline and online – being used to monitor users and companies. Government-sactioned equipment known as “interception units” have been installed by the FBI on private company property to feed real-time information to the NSA and CIA.


Workflow used by FBI to acquire data from a new company

The full extent of surveillance in this program has yet to be uncovered, particularly since a lot of slides remain classified. The Post has reported, however, that the built-in system has afforded the NSA the ability to “receive live notifications when a target logs on or sends an e-mail”.

In addition to e-mail, voice, video and real-time text chat are also monitored via information transmitted immediately through the interception units. According to the Washington Post notes, nearly 120,000 individuals (presumably foreign nationals) have been specifically targeted by the NSA for real-time monitoring through the program.

NSA officials have not commented on the leaked information, although most of the major tech companies reportedly involved in the program have explicitly denied involvement.

June 30, 2013 0 comments Read More
NSA bugs Washington EU offices, EU expresses disbelief

NSA bugs Washington EU offices, EU expresses disbelief

German news Magazine Der Spiegel broke the news earlier today that NSA-sanctioned bugs were installed in the EU building in downtown Washington, DC. The report indicates that the EU’s internal computer network was also infiltrated, with the NSA gaining access to internal emails and documents.

Furthermore, the Der Spiegel report has uncovered evidence linking the NSA to an undercover, eavesdropping operation in Brussels nearly 5 years ago. EU security officers noticed strange calls targeting the European Council, which were ultimately traced back to a NATO-compound NSA office.

Reuters has reported that Martin Schulz, the president of the European Parliament, has expressed severe concerns about US-EU relationships if the report’s findings are confirmed. In an e-mail statement, Martin Schulz said:

“On behalf of the European Parliament, I demand full clarification and require further information speedily from the U.S. authorities with regard to these allegations”

An official spokesman for the Office of the U.S Director of National Intelligence has yet to offer a comment or official statement on the Der Spiegel report or Martin Schulz’s comments.

June 30, 2013 1 comment Read More

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