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#1301 2020-08-22 17:52:02

Annoyed by those pesky warrant requirements for getting tracking data on people?  No problem, just bypass them by buying what you want on the open market!

The Secret Service paid about $2 million in 2017-2018 to a firm called Babel Street to use its service Locate X, according to a document Vice Motherboard obtained. The contract outlines what kind of content, training, and customer support Babel Street is required to provide to the Secret Service.

Locate X provides location data harvested and collated from a wide variety of other apps, tech site Protocol reported earlier this year. Users can "draw a digital fence around an address or area, pinpoint mobile devices that were within that area, and see where else those devices have traveled" in the past several months, Protocol explained.

Agencies under the Department of Homeland Security--including Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Customs and Border Protection (CBP)--have purchased access to cellphone location activity for investigations, The Wall Street Journal reported in February. In June, the WSJ also reported that the IRS purchased access to location data through commercial databases.

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#1302 2020-08-22 22:55:24

They would hate life if they tracked my cell phone.  Just work meeting calls from home and trips to the golf course.  The position of my phone on the corner of my monitor table in my office is the same about 95% of the time.

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#1303 2020-08-26 16:01:51

Something is rotten in...

Denmark's top foreign intelligence chief has been suspended for spying on Danish citizens illegally for up to six years after a whistleblower released a trove of documents to government regulators.

In a press release yesterday, the independent regulator of the Danish security services (Tilsynet med Efterretningstjenesterne or TET) said it had received information from a whistleblower in November that revealed the country's foreign intelligence service "had withheld key and crucial information," and given "incorrect information on matters relating to the collection of the service and disclosure of information." . . .

The TET states that the FE [Forsvarets Efterretningstjeneste] service has carried out "operational activities in violation of Danish law, including obtaining and passing on a significant amount of information about Danish citizens."

Also from the BBC, with slightly less detail.

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#1304 2020-09-04 11:41:01

Just desserts?  Not too hopeful about any actual remedies, though.

A National Security Agency (NSA) surveillance program has been ruled unlawful, seven years after it was exposed by whistleblower Edward Snowden.

The surveillance of millions of Americans' telephone records first came to light in 2013.

Now, the US Court of Appeals has ruled intelligence leaders who publicly defended the program lied.

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#1305 2020-09-04 13:52:21

That was the Ninth Circuit, famous for their no-bullshit rulings.  Trump has been trying to subvert the Fifth Circuit (Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi) for obvious reasons.

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#1306 2020-09-05 15:22:56

https://cruelery.com/sidepic/hsovdragnet.jpg
Dragnet averted, at least in one case

Officials in the Greater Chicago area were investigating a case in which stolen pharmaceuticals were sold on the black market. Investigators believed that the culprit stole the pharmaceuticals from one location--perhaps a drug store or medical clinic--then traveled to a second location--perhaps a FedEx or UPS store--to ship them to customers.

To help them identify the suspect, investigators asked Google for data about every smartphone that was near these two locations during particular 45-minute windows of time--one window at the first location and two other windows on different days at the second location.

Initially, the government asked [the court for a warrant] for all cell phones that had been within 100 meters of each establishment. When that application was rejected as too broad, the government narrowed its request to compact polygons right around the buildings. In its third request, the government agreed not to ask for names or other identifying information, instead getting the data in anonymized form with a unique identifier for each device.

The courts rejected all three requests, concluding that none of them complied with the Fourth Amendment's requirement that warrants particularly describe "the persons or things to be seized." The first location was in a busy commercial corridor, so the 100-meter radius of the first proposed search could have easily included dozens or even hundreds of smartphones owned by innocent bystanders.

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#1307 2020-10-29 18:22:08

More "the dog ate my homework" from NSA after Sen. Ron Wyden asks questions.

In at least one instance, a foreign adversary was able to take advantage of a back door invented by U.S. intelligence, according to Juniper Networks Inc, which said in 2015 its equipment had been compromised. In a previously unreported statement to members of Congress in July seen by Reuters, Juniper said an unnamed national government had converted the mechanism first created by the NSA. The NSA told Wyden staffers in 2018 that there was a "lessons learned" report about the Juniper incident and others, according to Wyden spokesman Keith Chu.

"NSA now asserts that it cannot locate this document," Chu told Reuters.

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#1308 2020-11-15 21:10:49

So eine Überraschung: spooks conceal vital information from the government.

Swiss politicians only found out last year that cipher machine company Crypto AG was (quite literally) owned by the US and Germany during the Cold War, a striking report from its parliament has revealed.

The company, which supplied high-grade encryption machines to governments and corporations around the world, was in fact owned by the US civilian foreign intelligence service the CIA and Germany's BND spy agency during the Cold War, as we reported earlier this year.

Although Swiss spies themselves knew that Crypto AG's products were being intentionally weakened so the West could read messages passing over them, they didn't tell governmental overseers until last year - barely one year after the operation ended.

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#1309 2021-05-08 20:46:38

President Donald Trump's Department of Justice secretly obtained phone records of multiple Washington Post reporters, the newspaper reported on Friday.

According to The Washington Post, the three reporters, who were looking into Russia's role in the 2016 election, each received a letter from DOJ dated May 3.

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#1310 2021-06-04 14:58:16

Forget donuts, the NSA loves Danish.  Not only spying on allies, but on the U.S. itself.

Denmark's secret service helped the US National Security Agency (NSA) to spy on European leaders, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel and President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, a European media investigation published on Sunday revealed.

The disclosure that the US had been spying on its allies first started coming to light in 2013, but it is only now that journalists have gained access to reports detailing the support given to the NSA by the Danish Defense Intelligence Service (FE). . . .

The Danish government knew of the involvement of their country's secret service in the NSA scandal by 2015 at the latest.

They began to collect information on the FE's cooperation with the NSA between 2012 and 2014 in the secret Dunhammer report following the disclosures by the former NSA employee and whistleblower Edward Snowden, NDR reported.

The information they gathered made it clear that the FE had helped the NSA to spy on leading politicians in Sweden, Norway, the Netherlands and France, as well as Germany.

Danish intelligence also helped the US agency to spy on the Danish foreign and finance ministries as well as a Danish weapons manufacturer. The FE also cooperated with the NSA on spying operations against the US government itself.

Germany and France are not amused.

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#1311 2021-06-05 21:33:30

I'm not celebrating too hard, but I guess it's something positive.

The Justice Department on Saturday said it will no longer seize reporters' records in leak investigations, a notable policy shift on the heels of disclosures that federal prosecutors aggressively pursued communication data from reporters to identify their sources. . . .

The commitment from President Joe Biden's Justice Department comes just a day after The New York Times reported a top lawyer for the paper had revealed that the department, under the Trump administration and then continued under the current administration, had sought to obtain the email logs of four of its reporters. The disclosure was the latest in a series of revelations about the Justice Department secretly obtaining records from journalists, including a CNN reporter, as well as reporters from The Washington Post and other news organizations.

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#1312 2021-06-06 13:33:11

square wrote:

The disclosure was the latest in a series of revelations about the Justice Department secretly obtaining records from journalists, including a CNN reporter, as well as reporters from The Washington Post and other news organizations.

I'm guessing OAN, Breitbart, Fox, and Newsmax are not on the list.

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#1313 2021-06-07 21:02:23

Baywolfe wrote:

square wrote:

The disclosure was the latest in a series of revelations about the Justice Department secretly obtaining records from journalists, including a CNN reporter, as well as reporters from The Washington Post and other news organizations.

I'm guessing OAN, Breitbart, Fox, and Newsmax are not on the list.

There's no way anyone in the Justice Department is going risk the brain amoeba exposure  associated with those last three networks.

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#1314 2021-08-30 22:17:18

Hope you're not in the wrong place at the wrong time!

The figures, published Thursday, reveal that Google has received thousands of geofence warrants each quarter since 2018, and at times accounted for about one-quarter of all U.S. warrants that Google receives. The data shows that the vast majority of geofence warrants are obtained by local and state authorities, with federal law enforcement accounting for just 4% of all geofence warrants served on the technology giant.

According to the data, Google received 982 geofence warrants in 2018, 8,396 in 2019 and 11,554 in 2020. But the figures only provide a small glimpse into the volume of warrants received and did not break down how often it pushes back on overly broad requests. . . .

Geofence warrants are also known as "reverse-location" warrants, since they seek to identify people of interest who were in the near vicinity at the time a crime was committed. Police do this by asking a court to order Google, which stores vast amounts of location data to drive its advertising business, to turn over details of who was in a geographic area, such as a radius of a few hundred feet at a certain point in time, to help identify potential suspects. . . .

[Google's] Sensorvault is said to have the detailed location data on "at least hundreds of millions of devices worldwide," collected from users' phones when they use an Android device with location data switched on, or Google services like Google Maps and Google Photo, and even Google search results. In 2018, the Associated Press reported that Google could still collect users' locations even when their location history is "paused."

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#1315 2021-08-30 23:20:14

Much like the Capitol Insurrectionists found out; the secret, if you're worried about that sort of thing, is to remove all electronic devices from your person and hope that none of the surveillance cameras pick you up.

Last edited by Baywolfe (2021-08-30 23:20:40)

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#1316 Yesterday 15:36:18

Who loves the deep state now?

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#1317 Yesterday 17:19:38

JetRx wrote:

Who loves the deep state now?

Excellent find!

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