Point, Click … Eavesdrop

Important information for privacy advocates and paranoiacs alike in an article over on Wired (based on the EFF‘s freedom of information requests), about the FBI’s Digital Collection System Network:

“the surveillance systems let FBI agents play back recordings even as they are being captured (like TiVo), create master wiretap files, send digital recordings to translators, track the rough location of targets in real time using cell-tower information, and even stream intercepts outward to mobile surveillance vans.”

If we can assume that the system is secure and the authorisation process (via the courts) is reliable, it looks like a really impressive law enforcement tool. However, software is usually buggy – so open to attack, and the courts don’t seem to matter – so the US government can spy on anyone they like.

Between this, free speech zones, detention without charge, and extraordinary rendition, it makes me worry about the state of the US (and the UK’s involvement). It even makes me nervous about the holiday in the New York I have booked.

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