Category Archives: Surveillance

Some Citizens are Embracing the Age of Big Brother

Let’s get microchipped and party!

“We are in a process of developing a whole series of techniques which will enable the controlling oligarchy to get people actually to love their servitude.” – Aldous Huxley

Verimed Health Link, Human Implantable RFID Commercial

Google’s Tentacles Reaching into Your Brain

Google to Offer Ads Based on Interests

Photo from scroogle.org

Photo from scroogle.org

Google will begin showing ads on Wednesday to people based on their previous online activities in a form of advertising known as behavioral targeting, which has been embraced by most of its competitors but has drawn criticism from privacy advocates and some members of Congress.

Perhaps to forestall objections to its approach, Google said it planned to offer new ways for users to protect their privacy. Most notably, Google will be the first major company to give users the ability to see and edit the information that it has compiled about their interests for the purposes of behavioral targeting. Like rivals such as Yahoo, it also will give users the choice to opt out from what it calls “interest-based advertising.”

Privacy advocates praised Google’s decision to give users access to their profiles.

Given Google’s position as the No. 1 seller of online ads, its approach is likely to put pressure on other companies to follow suit. Online advertising industry groups said it might help quell calls for government regulation.

But the privacy advocates also said Google needed to do more to notify people that they were being tracked.

“We think more needs to be done on how to educate people and tell them how to opt out,” said Ari Schwartz, chief operating officer of the Center for Democracy and Technology. Full Story

See Also:

Mozilla Foundation evades taxes on its Google windfall
‘Every Move You Make, I’ll Be Watching You’

Use Scroogle.org or ixquick to avoid Google’s intrusive and exploitative tactics.

Obama’s Intel Pick Wants National ID System

Update: U.S. intelligence candidate pulls out after objections

Intelligence pick wants national ID

Following the 9/11 attacks, President Obama’s nominee for a top intelligence post advocated that to effectively combat terrorism, the U.S. government should implement a national identity system, “so we better know who is who.”

In testimony before the 9/11 commission, Charles “Chas” Freeman, the U.S. ambassador to Saudi Arabia during the first Gulf War, also recommended conducting the war on terrorism primary as a law enforcement effort.

Freeman is slated to head the U.S. National Intelligence Council, or NIC, a crucial component of the U.S. intelligence apparatus. The NIC serves as the center for midterm and long-term strategic thinking within the American intelligence community. It provides intelligence briefs for Obama and key U.S. agencies and produces reports that help determine American policy on crucial issues, such as Iran’s nuclear program.

The declassified portions of Freeman’s statements before the 9/11 commission were partially rehashed this week by Jerusalem-based researcher Ashley Rindsberg, a blogger for the Huffington Post website.

Freeman gave the commission three recommendations for better fighting Islamic terrorism:

“First, the U.S. government should improve the visa system. More names to the forms should be added in order to distinguish among the many ‘Abdullah bin Mohammads.’ Technical means should also be used to cut the wait.”

“Second, the United States should implement a national identity system, so we better know who is who.”

Third, the war on terrorism should be seen primarily as a law enforcement and intelligence war, not as a military one.”

Freeman has recently come under fire for his documented ties to foreign governments, including receiving funds from the Saudi government and his service on the advisory board of a Chinese-government-owned oil company widely seen as conducting business deals meant to expand the communist nation’s influence worldwide. One of the Chinese company’s recent attempts to purchase a large U.S. oil firm drew bipartisan congressional opposition amid fears the deal would harm American national security interests. Violating U.S. sanctions?

Since 2004, Freeman has been on the international advisory board of the China National Offshore Oil Corporation, or CNOOC. Full Story

Fox News On Chas Freeman

RFID Chips: Toxic Technology Infringes on Privacy, Life

Congress to vote on RFID chip plus brain scans

RFID – Microchips implants

Dog bleeds to death from ID chipping

A couple in California, required by law to have their dog implanted with a microchip in order to take him camping, swallowed their objections … and watched their Chihuahua named Charlie Brown bleed to death from the procedure.

“I wasn’t in favor of getting Charlie chipped, but it was the law,” said Lori Ginsberg, the Chihuahua’s owner, citing an ordinance that requires all dogs over the age of four months in unincorporated Los Angeles County be microchipped. Dog owners who refuse to comply face a $250 fine for the first offense and up to six months in jail and $1,000 fine for continued non-compliance.

“This technology is supposedly so great until it’s your animal that dies,” she said. “I can’t believe Charlie is gone.”

Charlie was implanted with a Radio Frequency Identification capsule, or RFID, which consists of a microchip and electronic components tucked inside a capsule of glass about the size of a grain of rice. Ideally, when people or pets implanted with an RFID under their skin are lost and then found, a device made for reading the chips can identify them and enable them to be returned home.

Full Story

Chip Implants Linked to Animal Tumors

When the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved implanting microchips in humans, the manufacturer said it would save lives, letting doctors scan the tiny transponders to access patients’ medical records almost instantly. The FDA found “reasonable assurance” the device was safe, and a sub-agency even called it one of 2005’s top “innovative technologies.”

But neither the company nor the regulators publicly mentioned this: A series of veterinary and toxicology studies, dating to the mid-1990s, stated that chip implants had “induced” malignant tumors in some lab mice and rats.

“The transponders were the cause of the tumors,” said Keith Johnson, a retired toxicologic pathologist, explaining in a phone interview the findings of a 1996 study he led at the Dow Chemical Co. in Midland, Mich.

Leading cancer specialists reviewed the research for The Associated Press and, while cautioning that animal test results do not necessarily apply to humans, said the findings troubled them. Some said they would not allow family members to receive implants, and all urged further research before the glass-encased transponders are widely implanted in people.

To date, about 2,000 of the so-called radio frequency identification, or RFID, devices have been implanted in humans worldwide, according to VeriChip Corp. The company, which sees a target market of 45 million Americans for its medical monitoring chips, insists the devices are safe, as does its parent company, Applied Digital Solutions, of Delray Beach, Fla.

Full Story

‘Every Move You Make, I’ll Be Watching You’*

How does the idea of having your whereabouts and activities tracked at every move sound? Google takes its spying on the public a step further, creating cell phone software that allows you to be watched, followed, and tracked down.

Google Offers “Latitude” To Track People

Google is releasing free software Wednesday that enables people to keep track of each other using their cell phones.

CNET got a sneak peek at it, and CNET-TV Senior Editor and Early Show contributor Natali Del Conte explained how it works on the show Tuesday.

She says “Latitude” uses GPS systems and what’s called cell tower triangulation to do the job. The software seeks the closest three cell towers and, with GPS, combines the data to show where someone is.

It is designed to work on any phone with Internet capabilities, except the iPhone.

“Latitude” is being marketed as a tool that could help parents keep tabs on their children’s locations, but it can be used for anyone to find anyone else, assuming permission is given.

“What Google Latitude does is allow you to share that location with friends and family members, and likewise be able to see friends and family members’ locations,” Steve Lee, product manager for Google Latitude, told CNET. “For example, a girlfriend could use it to see if her boyfriend has arrived at a restaurant and, if not, how far away he is.”

CNET points out that, “To protect privacy, Google specifically requires people to sign up for the service. People can share their precise location, the city they’re in, or nothing at all.”

“What we found in testing,” Lee added to CNET, “is that the most common scenario is a symmetrical arrangement, where both people are sharing with each other.” Full Story

Google Spies on You:

If you don’t want your searches to be tracked use Scroogle instead of Google

*Article title from the Sting song: I’ll be Watching You

Obama Wants to Spy on You

This is looking an awful lot like the Bush Administration…

Obama Sides With Bush in Spy Case

The Obama administration fell in line with the Bush administration Thursday when it urged a federal judge to set aside a ruling in a closely watched spy case weighing whether a U.S. president may bypass Congress and establish a program of eavesdropping on Americans without warrants.

In a filing in San Francisco federal court, President Barack Obama adopted the same position as his predecessor. With just hours left in office, President George W. Bush late Monday asked U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker to stay enforcement of an important Jan. 5 ruling admitting key evidence into the case.

Thursday’s filing by the Obama administration marked the first time it officially lodged a court document in the lawsuit asking the courts to rule on the constitutionality of the Bush administration’s warrantless-eavesdropping program. The former president approved the wiretaps in the aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks.

“The Government’s position remains that this case should be stayed,” the Obama administration wrote (.pdf) in a filing that for the first time made clear the new president was on board with the Bush administration’s reasoning in this case.

full story