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2018: April-June

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Offsite Article: Smart-Home Spies...

Link Here6th June 2018
The only thing worse than getting a bad night's sleep is to subsequently get a report from my smart-bed telling me I got a low score and missed my sleep goal.

See article from



Dark days...

China deploys facial recognition glasses that link to a central database to provide extensive information about the subject

Link Here5th June 2018
Chinese police are using dark sunglasses equipped with facial recognition technology to spot criminal suspects.

The glasses are linked to a central database which contains details of criminal records. Wearing the technology, police can almost instantly view an individual's personal details, including name, ethnicity, gender and address.

Police at the Zhengzhou East Railway Station arrested seven people who were suspected of being involved in kidnapping and hit-and-run cases during an operation in January. They have also held another 26 people who were using fake identification cards.

Pictures of the operation, which were published online by the web version of China's People's Daily newspaper, show a female police officer wearing dark black sunglasses which have a small camera attached on the right-hand lens. The camera is connected by an electronic lead to a hand-held device. The device has an app where police officers can process images they have taken of suspicious individuals. The facial information captured by the glasses will be sent back to a database which provides information on whether the suspect is on the run from police, and even their recent Internet history.



Offsite Article: The internet of snooping things...

Link Here2nd June 2018
Which? investigation reveals staggering level of smart home surveillance

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Oyster Cards. Hidden gems of police information...

Police speak of how easy it is to identify a bus load of passengers

Link Here25th May 2018

An interesting observation on Twitter:

Just been at a hate crime event with the Met police + they told me something really useful. If you're on a bus + you witness a hate crime, if you give the police the number on the back of your Oyster/debit card, they can trace the bus + every passenger on it to find the culprit.

Perhaps best to avoid registering your card, and topping it up via cash.



The Secure Data Act...

US lawmakers propose law to prevent the sate from demanding back door access to IT products and communications

Link Here11th May 2018
US lawmakers from both political parties have come together to reintroduce a bill that, if passed, would prohibit the US government from forcing tech product makers to undermine users safety and security with back door access.

The bill, known as the Secure Data Act of 2018 , was returned to the US House of Representatives by Representative Zoe Lofgren and Thomas Massie.

The Secure Data Act forbids any government agency from demanding that a manufacturer, developer, or seller of covered products design or alter the security functions in its product or service to allow the surveillance of any user of such product or service, or to allow the physical search of such product, by any agency. It also prohibits courts from issuing orders to compel access to data.

Covered products include computer hardware, software, or electronic devices made available to the public. The bill makes an exception for telecom companies, which under the 1994 Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act (CALEA) would still have to help law enforcement agencies access their communication networks.



Government given 6 months to restrict mass snooping data to be used against serious crimes only...

But of course successive governments have been systematically increasing maximum sentences for minor crimes so that they count as 'serious' crimes

Link Here29th April 2018
Full story: Snooper's Charter Plus...2015 Cameron government expands the Snooper's Charter
High Court judges have given the UK government six months to revise parts of its Investigatory Powers Act. The government has been given a deadline of 1 November this year to make the changes to its Snooper's Charter.

Rules governing the British surveillance system must be changed quickly because they are incompatible with European laws, said the judges.

The court decision came out of legal action by human rights group Liberty. It started its legal challenge to the Act saying clauses that allow personal data to be gathered and scrutinised violated citizens' basic rights to privacy.

The court did not agree that the Investigatory Powers Act called for a general and indiscriminate retention of data on individuals, as Liberty claimed. However in late 2017, government ministers accepted that its Act did not align with European law which only allows data to be gathered and accessed for the purposes of tackling serious crime. By contrast, the UK law would see the data gathered and held for more mundane purposes and without significant oversight.

One proposed change to tackle the problems was to create an Office for Communications Data Authorisations that would oversee requests to data from police and other organisations.

The government said it planned to revise the law by April 2019 but Friday's ruling means it now has only six months to complete the task.

Martha Spurrier, director of Liberty, said the powers to grab data in the Act put sensitive information at huge risk.

Javier Ruiz, policy director at the Open Rights Group which campaigns on digital issues, said:

We are disappointed the court decided to narrowly focus on access to records but did not challenge the general and indiscriminate retention of communications data.



European Production Orders...

The EU proposes that mass snooping data must be produced by internet companies with 6 hours of a police request

Link Here19th April 2018
The European Commission has outlined new requirements for telecoms companies, clouds, email service providers, and operators of messaging apps, to produce snooping data on a specified individual within six hours of a rquest.

The proposed European Production Order will allow a judicial authority in one Member State to request electronic evidence (such as emails, text or messages in apps) directly from internet companies with an office in any Member State. The data may be nominally held overseas but will still have to be produced.

That super-short deadline will only be imposed in the case of an emergency. Less urgent investigations have been offered a ten-day deadline.

A European Preservation Order will also be issued to stop service providers deleting data.

The Production Orders will be applicable only to crimes punishable with a maximum sentence of at least three years, but governments have been artificially increasing maximum sentences for quite a while now to ensure that relatively minor crimes can be classed as 'serious'.

The EU Commission has cited terrorism as the justifications for the new requirements, but a 3 year maximum sentence rather suggests that the these orders will be used for more widely than just for terrorism prevention.



Offsite Article: GrayKey...

Link Here14th April 2018
Police are buying a $30,000 box that can crack iPhone passwords by brute force

See article from



Offsite Article: Endangering the people...

Link Here10th April 2018
Full story: US Crypto Wars...US authorities look to breaking the encryption used to keep people safe
US 'Democrats' re-visit legislation demanding that the US authorities should be given a backdoor key to encrypted communications

See article from



Offsite Article: Are your phone camera and microphone spying on you?...

Link Here7th April 2018
Taping over the lens is just the first step in keeping online snoopers out of your business. By Dylan Curran

See article from

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