Big Data and The Surveillance Society

We kill people based on metadata. – Gen. Michael Hayden, former head of the NSA and CIA
Bene vixit, bene qui latuit. (To live well is to live concealed) - – Ovid (43 BC - 18 AD)
The most sacred thing is to be able to shut your own door. – G.K. Chesterton (1874 - 1936)
I don't know why people are so keen to put the details of their private lives in public; they forget that invisibility is a superpower. – Banksy (2006)

Spying On You Everywhere: Technology Companies Now Offer Global Spying Tools

by Arthur Foxake

A Washinton Post article published in august 2014 revealed what the tech-savvy amongs us have known for a long time; that almost all recent cell phones can be located and tracked with the easily available and affordable technology. Software apps that interact with the GPS system can locate a handhold phone or portable computer within alarming accuracy from anywhere on the planet the globe are nothing new. Documents in the information published by former United States security agent Ed. Snowden last year made public the fact that the US National Security Agency (NSA) could, and did, gather data on all internet and cellular network traffic. There have since been rumours,as yet unconfirmed, that the NSA / CIA and other governments not only eavesdrop on many calls but also have a siftware 'kill' switch that could take individuals, groups of individuals or even entire networks down if it became politically expedient to do so.

According the Washington Post story, however, it is no longer only government agencies such as the NSA or UK counterpart, GCHQ (General Communications Headquarters), with their advanced technology and almost unlimited resources that may be carrying out such surveillance.

Craig Timberg wrote for the Washington Post that an inexpensive tracking system allowing a targeted device to be to be followed around the world. Inexpensive is a relative term, our research suggests this would be beyond the pocket of most individuals, but easily affordable for mid sixed businesses.

"The technology works by exploiting an essential fact of all cellular networks: They must keep detailed, up-to-the-minute records on the locations of their customers to deliver calls and other services to them," Timberg reported.

Any Information Technology prosessional (such as Daily Stirrer founder Ian R Thorpe) knows how easy it is for surveillance systems to covertly collect these records and create a history of cellphone owners' movements over a period of time.

There are obvious privacy issues in that of people the world over, as we have plenty of evidence from the behaviour of Google, facebook, Microsoft and Apple that Corporate bosses are more than willing to play fast and loose with our civil rights and profit from selling illegally obtained private information on individuals.

To privacy campaigners and libertarians, this is a nightmare scenario.

"Any tin-pot dictator with enough money to buy the system could spy on people anywhere in the world,” Eric King, the deputy director of London-based privacy activist group Privacy International, said. "This is a huge problem."

It is a huge problem for governments as well. Berlin-based security consultant Tobias Engel commented. "It’s possible for almost anyone to track you as long as they are willing to spend some money on it."

And as any fule kno, if people can do something with little change of getting in trouble they will do it, not just governments but even more worryingly non-governments. If governments and corporations the world over are getting their hands on this technology, and the whereabouts of private individuals in the their homeland can be tracked without their knowledge, what sort of mischief can that facilitate.

Technology has developed at a rapid rate for the last half century, the lawmakers have not be able to keep up, how can they protect individuals against threats when those individuals or the law enforcement agencies cannot begin to understand the nature of the threat.



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MPs: Snowden files are ‘embarrassing indictment’ of British spying oversight

One news story that has united left and right over the past year is the shock and horror felt by the world at the extent to which governments, particularly the US Government, have been using digital technology to spy on their own populations. This was first revealed in electronic documents leaked by former US Government security contractor Ed Snowden (now in exile in Russia) but the story has since been fleshed out by other revelatios.

from The Guardian

A highly critical report by the Commons home affairs select committee published on Friday calls for a radical reform of the current system of oversight of MI5, MI6 and GCHQ, arguing that the current system is so ineffective it is undermining the credibility of the intelligence agencies and parliament itself.

"Edward Snowden’s disclosures of the scale of mass surveillance are an embarrassing indictment of the weak nature of the oversight and legal accountability of Britain’s security and intelligence agencies", the committee of MPs concluded.

A highly critical report by the Commons home affairs select committee published on Friday calls for a radical reform of the current system of oversight of MI5, MI6 and GCHQ, arguing that the current system is so ineffective it is undermining the credibility of the intelligence agencies and parliament itself.

The MPs say the current system was designed in a pre-internet age when a person's word was accepted without question. "It is designed to scrutinise the work of George Smiley, not the 21st-century reality of the security and intelligence services," said committee chairman, Keith Vaz. "The agencies are at the cutting edge of sophistication and are owed an equally refined system of democratic scrutiny. It is an embarrassing indictment of our system that some in the media felt compelled to publish leaked information to ensure that matters were heard in parliament."

Continue reading 'Snowden files are embarrassing indictment of British spying oversight', at The Guardian

What has the Daily Stirrer always told you? Never trust authority.





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WIKILEAKS: CIA can secretly load implants on Windows’s devices Back to Contents table

WikiLeaks have today released documents from the Vault 7 cache, a group of leaked information which contains details on the CIA Angelfire spyware tool which was developed to facilitate loading and execution of implants targeting computers using Microsoft Windows operating systems.

Artificial Intelligence - The Singularity Is Here And It Is Not Intelligent

Last Thursday the journal Science published an article by four MIT-affiliated data scientists (Sandy Pentland is in the group, and he’s a big name in these circles), titled “Unique in the shopping mall: On the reidentifiability of credit card metadata”. Sounds innocuous enough, but here’s the summary from the front page WSJ article describing the findings: Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, writing Thursday in the journal Science, analyzed anonymous credit-card transactions by 1.1 million people. Using a new analytic formula, they needed only four bits of secondary information—metadata such as location or timing—to identify the unique individual purchasing patterns of 90% of the people involved, even when the data were scrubbed of any names, account numbers or other obvious identifiers. Still not sure what this means? It means that I don’t need your name and address, much less your social security number, to know who you ARE. With a trivial amount of transactional data I can figure out where you live, what you do, who you associate with, what you buy and what you sell. I don’t need to steal this data, and frankly I wouldn’t know what to do with your social security number even if I had it … it would just slow down my analysis. No, you give me everything I need just by living your very convenient life, where you’ve volunteered every bit of transactional information in the fine print of all of these wondrous services you’ve signed up for. And if there’s a bit more information I need – say, a device that records and transmits your driving habits – well, you’re only too happy to sell that to me for a few dollars off your insurance policy. After all, you’ve got nothing to hide. It’s free money! Almost every investor I know believes that the tools of surveillance and Big Data are only used against the marginalized Other – terrorist “sympathizers” in Yemen, gang “associates” in Compton – but not us. Oh no, not us. And if those tools are trained on us, it’s only to promote “transparency” and weed out the bad guys lurking in our midst. Or maybe to suggest a movie we’d like to watch. What could possibly be wrong with that? I’ve written a lot (here, here, and here) about what’s wrong with that, about how the modern fetish with transparency, aided and abetted by technology and government, perverts the core small-l liberal institutions of markets and representative government. It’s not that we’re complacent about our personal information. On the contrary, we are obsessed about the personal “keys” that are meaningful to humans – names, social security numbers, passwords and the like – and we spend billions of dollars and millions of hours every year to control those keys, to prevent them from falling into the wrong hands of other humans. But we willingly hand over a different set of keys to non-human hands without a second thought.

Computer Cops Will Arrest You Before You Commit A Crime

by Ian R Thorpe

thought crime

Innocent until proved guilty has always been a basic principle of British and before the Union, English and Scottish justice. Since late in the ninth century when King Alfred signed into law the Liber Judicialis, the nearest thing England and Great britain has ever had to a written constitution or, until recently ever needed, the presumption of innocence has stood.

Thinking of committing a crime cannot be a punishable offence, Philip K. Dick foresaw a world in which computers would predict who was going to commit crimes so that a preventative arrest could be made, but only in George Orwell's dystopian novel "1984" has Thought Crime ever been a punishable offence.

Until now. Some people, those who are quick to yell "conspiracy theorist" when I or other dissidents refer to "the scientific dictatorship" or the "New World Order" (though we are only quoting the words of people with names like Rothschild, Rockefeller, Churchill, Bush, Kennedy, Kofi Annan, Giscard d'Estang, Henry Kissinger, Eisenhower, Clinton, Blair, Brown, Delors ... in fact read a compilation for yourselves ofNew World Order quotes.

Some warn against this new world order, this subsumation of democracy and individual freedom under a blanket of conformity demanded by scientists who promise by maiking us all into humandroids they can create an ordered, scientific society like the one depicted in Aldous Huxley's Brave New World.

What is realy scary about the people leading this line of though is they have no intention of asking is if we are willing to become Slaves of the Machines, these left wing Nazi fellow travellers plan to impose it on us because they think we are too thick to understand that what is best for them (the elite) is good for we, the punters, who were born for servitude. How quaint that all their wailing and gnashing of teeth, all their ersatz campassions should mask attitudes so similar to that of Medieval Aristocrats.

Take a look at this and understand the nightmare these oligarchic collectivist shits have planned for you:


With revelations that the National Security Agency has collected some 20 trillion phone calls and emails via an expansive nationwide surveillance network, most Americans have already come to the realization that everything they do is being monitored.

But many shrug off Big Brother's prying eyes by suggesting that, since they aren't doing anything wrong, they have nothing to worry about.

That may have been true several years ago, but the digital surveillance systems of today are far more advanced than most people understand. No longer are these machines simply recording the data and storing them in some historical archive to be pulled at a later date should the government ever have reason to take a closer look at your personal life.' Continue reading

So it now goes beyond looking for keywords in emails, people saying things like "I effing hate Manchester United, I'd like to blow up Old Trafford," they are actively monitoring behaviour. Here's a little quote from deeper in the document (I know most of you are not going to read it all)


The algorithms being used don't just look for obvious keyword phrases associated with criminal activity like "I'm going to kill you” or "meet me later and we'll give him a beat down,” but focus in on routine activities, geo-location, and aggregate historical information to calculate the chance of a particular individual being involved in a crime at some point in the future.

Researchers at the University of Virginia demonstrated tweets could predict certain kinds of crimes if the correct analysis is applied.

A research paper published in the scientific journal Decision Support Systems last month said the analysis of geo-tagged tweets can be useful in predicting 19 to 25 kinds of crimes, especially for offenses such as stalking, thefts and certain kinds of assault.

The results are surprising, especially when one considers that people rarely tweet about crimes directly, said lead researcher Matthew Gerber of the university's Predictive Technology Lab.

Gerber said even tweets that have no direct link to crimes may contain information about activities often associated with them.

This is happening in the USA now but we know that British and UK mainstream political leaders are eager to follow down the same route. We have a chance to let them know what we think of their caring, sharing, minority loving Naziism in a few weeks. You know what to do. And if you need an extra nudge, watch this video:



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Surveillance leading to totalitarian state
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