Week 10 News Digest

FBI wants Congress to mandate backdoors in tech devices to facilitate surveillance

20 October 2014


This article is a response to statements made by Apple and Google. They said that they would make the data customers collect on their phones and computers safer and more secure from those hacking by law enforcement, spies, and identity thieves. FBI director James Comey asks Congress to order tech companies to improve their devices with backdoors. This will make them more available to law enforcement agencies. Privacy supporters forecast that not very many in Congress will support Comey’s pursuit for better surveillance powers. Congress is not close to passing any laws that will make the products more vulnerable to hacking.

ACLU Study: St. Louis City surveillance cameras are an invasion of privacy

OCTOBER 23, 2014


The ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union) have created a study in this article. They believe that surveillance cameras in St. Louis City are doing little to nothing to help the city fight crime. They also believe that because they are doing little to no help, that the cameras are actual so pointless that they are now invasions of privacy to citizens of the city in St. Louis. Because the ACLU believe this, they want to get rid of the surveillance cameras completely in the city of St. Louis. The city would save money and could spend the money they save on anything else.

UN Rights Expert Urges Governments To Protect Right To Privacy While Spying



This article talks about Ben Emmerson, the United Nations human rights expert, and how he want the Government to update their laws concerning mass surveillance of the internet for terrorism. He believes that terrorism is a huge threat to our nation and he believes that using and updating the laws for privacy and surveillance will help capture more terrorist or those who threaten other’s lives. He reminds the government that it is their right to protect the innocent citizens from those who threaten our safety. He wants the government to produce a detailed and evidence based justification to show that this system is actually working.

UN special rapporteur slams US, UK spying on Internet users

Oct 24, 2014


In this article, it talks about how the United Nation’s top official for counter terrorism and human rights has talked badly about the mass Internet surveillance techniques that are used by the United States and by the United Kingdom. HE goes on to describe them as a systematic interference to human rights to privacy. He also says that they are a recognizable and clear violation to these human rights. He goes on to relate how Snowden revealed how these agencies were spying on cell phone records. He warns that intelligence and the law enforcement agencies were able to inspect every internet user in countries.

Automated Mass Surveillance is Unconstitutional, EFF Explains in Jewel v. NSA

OCTOBER 24, 2014


The EFF, in this article, have gone to court to show that the mass surveillance on Internet use and on cell phones are one hundred percent and clearly unconstitutional. The court did not agree with the EFF. The EFF continued to show that this issue is a huge problem. They argue that this mass surveillance has an issue with the fourth amendment. The government filed for opposition to the report from September and said that the Fourth amendment has nothing to do with this mass surveillance and is irreverent. The government continues to say that the purpose of mass surveillance is for the safety and protections of the citizens.

Surveillance, Does it work?

Since the horrific terrorist attack on 9/11 airports have increased their security claiming that they are keeping us safe. Starting as a simple mandatory search, Americans would say that is was all right if it was for them to be protected. As time went on new technology was brought to airports such as an electronic strip search using full body scanner, which could see through clothing. Even pat-downs were getting pretty personal. Now, Americans question, “Is this surveillance really working?”, “Is this really protecting us?”, and “Is this really necessary?”.

These many new technologies that are used at airports that are to “protect” us and “protect” our belongings do indeed work. But it has become clear that prejudices and biases have become increasingly involved. There are even no-fly lists. There was a man who had to change his name because he was fed up with consistently missing his flights every time he had to travel because he was being “randomly” searched. Some of the technologies are set up to automatically and “randomly” search people. It is known that a black woman is more likely to be strip-searched than any other person at the airport.

The many technologies are endless. There is an iris scanner that can detect the color of one’s eyes. It can easily detect the difference between blue eyes and hazel eyes. It does have some issues from the elderly who may had cataracts and for people who are in wheelchairs and they will without a doubt be subject to search because this technology doesn’t work for them. There are also motion detectors, thermal sensors, and video cameras to help surveillance.

Security cameras, the number on most thought of surveillance, even have evolved to give better pictures and more clear evidence. With better cameras to detect more issues, wouldn’t the airport not necessarily need these other technologies? So that they “could do more with less?”

Today airports actually want to do “more with more”. With many different stakeholders these security and surveillance systems are being transformed with more than just basic surveillance in mind. While these new technologies are increasing protection for us, it is also increasing instinctive overprotection that could be helpful in the future or most likely be more harmful to the idea of surveillance and security.

An example from our readings in the book, Supervision: an Introductory to the Surveillance Society, states that the security have had instances where they would not be doing their job watching and seeing for issues but instead looking at women’s breasts or butts just for the operators enjoyment. Some of the other findings include that security officers would follow young people and those of color disproportionately. These people are supposed to be protecting us.

On the border of the US there are high surveillance towers and high barbed wired fences to help mandate infractions and help agents to prevent anything unlawful to come across the border. There are more than plenty of differing displays of border surveillance. The European Union created the system EURODAC in 2003. This collected fingerprints and other information from individuals who were searching for sanctuary; refugees. The intentions of the EURODAC were meaningful but like any of the other technologies or regulations for security, it had changed and now is used through the creep function. This is what may have started as good intentions but has been changed by political circumstances.

I believe that people want to be protected from harm and have the right to do so. But is it against their rights to be overly searched and have their privacy invaded? These new surveillance technologies are claiming to help increase the protection of the citizens of the United States from future terrorist attacks. Studies are increasingly showing that these new policies are decreasing and falling into the state of being overprotective and aren’t very effectual in preventing crime and terrorism. The claims are truthful and have great intensions but at some point these new technologies are invading privacy and clearly prejudices and biases are getting in the way. Airports are starting to collect data that is seemingly unnecessary and it is creating friction between the security and those who plan to travel.

The surveillance production in these airports are billion dollar industries. They are invested to help and protect. The claim is true and with all good intensions but in all reality, it is just too much protection and too much security. Just for them to say that they have these technologies isn’t enough to have actual hard evidence that they work. In the end, the hard core surveillance is actually effecting and disturbing the right to privacy and crime is still present in airports today.


( http: / / www.google.com / patents / US20040008253

( http: / / www.aviationpros.com / contact/ 10944310 / e- anthony – incorvati Airports )

(Gilliom, John, and Torin Monahan. “Security at Any Cost?” Supervision: An Introduction Ti the Surveillance Society. Print)

(http://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=XcQK1zSxVJYC&oi=fnd&pg=PA249&dq=EURODAC+creep+function&ots=QovoWOW0S_&sig=vMFmSbCvqBWChMlAWwBzHk8KJIA#v=one page&q= EURODAC%20creep%20function&f=false)

( http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080 / .VCWDCEvqMds