Archive for Orwellian Nightmare

‘Robo-camera’ threatens residents with prosecution | UK news | The Guardian

Posted in News with tags , , on February 7, 2012 by cykros

A council has apologised for installing a “robo-camera” in a housing estate garden which indiscriminately takes pictures of anyone entering, residents included, before warning them they are in a restricted area and face prosecution.

London’s Camden council said it recently installed the flash-equipped cameras in the borough to tackle antisocial behaviour but mistakenly activated the robotic voice message for one in the communal gardens of the Walker House estate, near Euston station.

In darkness the camera automatically takes a photo when triggered by a motion sensor. A voice then warns: “Stop! This is a restricted area and your photograph was just taken. We will use it to prosecute you. Leave the area now.”

In a statement the council said the Walker House camera was installed in September last year in response to an increasing number of complaints of antisocial behaviour. All of its similar cameras, manufactured by Q Star Technologies, can issue the verbal message but this was normally deactivated, it added.

“All flash cameras have the capacity to deliver voice messages when activated but in this instance it appears that voice messages were inadvertently activated when the camera batteries were replaced four to five weeks ago,” the statement said.

Camden said the cameras themselves were installed as “a temporary measure”, and added: “We do not want to stop residents from enjoying their open spaces and communal areas and under no circumstances would we want voice messages to be used in areas where they may be disturbed. The voice messages will be deactivated as soon as possible.”

via ‘Robo-camera’ threatens residents with prosecution | UK news | The Guardian.

Nice try to cover up this self-aware robot camera hell bent on prosecuting all humans :-P. We seem to have blown right through 1984 into its logical future…

How The CIA Uses Social Media to Track How People Feel – Jared Keller – Technology – The Atlantic

Posted in News with tags , , , , on November 9, 2011 by cykros

The Associated Press reports that the CIA maintains a social-media tracking center operated out of an nondescript building in a Virginia industrial park. The intelligence analysts at the agency’s Open Source Center, who other agents refer to as “vengeful librarians,” are tasked with sifting through millions of tweets, Facebook messages, online chat logs, and other public data on the World Wide Web to glean insights into the collective moods of regions or groups abroad. According to the Associated Press, these librarians are tracking up to five million tweets a day from places like China, Pakistan and Egypt.

via How The CIA Uses Social Media to Track How People Feel – Jared Keller – Technology – The Atlantic.

Just a confirmation that the more paranoid ideas we were already harboring are quite true. Smile for the birdie!

Scott Olsen injuries prompt review as Occupy Oakland protests continue | World news | guardian.co.uk

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , on October 27, 2011 by cykros

Oakland’s independent police review body will examine the clashes between riot officers and protesters that left an Iraq war veteran in a critical condition as Occupy protestors prepare to rally at the same spot for a third night of protests.

Police battled protesters following an Occupy Oakland march to demonstrate against the closing of two occupations in the city in the early hours of Tuesday morning. More than 100 people have been arrested in Oakland since police cleared a camp in Frank Ogawa plaza.

Scott Olsen, 24, suffered a fractured skull and brain swelling after he was allegedly hit in the head by a police projectile during the clashes on Tuesday. A spokesperson for Highland hospital in east Oakland confirmed he was critically ill after being admitted on Tuesday night.

A source at the Oakland citizen’s police review board said it had not yet received a formal complaint, but would be “looking into” the circumstances surrounding Olsen’s injuries. The board will decide whether to launch an official investigation over the next couple of days.

Jay Finneburgh, an activist photographer who was at the protest, published pictures of Olsen lying bloodied on the ground, while video footage appeared to show police throwing a ‘flash bang’ explosive close to fellow protesters trying to provide aid.

“[Olsen] stood behind me,” Finneburgh told the Guardian. “I looked to my left and he hit the ground, and he hit it hard.

“A woman went to look down at him, and he was bleeding from the head. She started screaming,” he said.

Video footage posted to YouTube shows Olsen lying motionless in front of a police line after apparently having been hit. A group of up to 10 protesters gather around him, but a police officer can be seen throwing a device close to the group which then explodes with a bright flash and loud bang, scattering the protesters. The video then cuts to footage of protesters carrying Olsen away as he bleeds from the head.

via Scott Olsen injuries prompt review as Occupy Oakland protests continue | World news | guardian.co.uk.

So…not only was this a person (which would be quite bad enough), but it was an IRAQ WAR VETERAN. Oakland PD, the only moral course of action is for every last officer to turn in your badges and uniforms. You have shown yourself as the vermin you are, and your influence as an organized force will be purged from our nation. Reclaim your humanity now, and if you choose not to, do not expect mercy from the hands of the people you have turned on.

Verizon Wireless Changes Privacy Policy – Slashdot

Posted in News with tags , , , on October 17, 2011 by cykros

“Recently Verizon changed its home internet TOS to by default share your location with advertisers. Now Verizon Wireless has also changed its privacy policy to by default share your web browsing history, cell phone location and app usage as well. Whilst there have been a few stories on these changes, internet forums have largely been quiet. Where is the outrage? Or have we just come to accept that ISPs are going to sell our personal information and web browsing habits?”

via Verizon Wireless Changes Privacy Policy – Slashdot.

So. Anyone who remotely gives a damn about privacy should be taking this as their cue to ditch Verizon (though honestly, what you’re doing still with Verizon baffles me given their history). For those of you with no other worthwhile options (say, those of you with a choice between nothing but Comcast and Verizon for home Internet, or no choice other than Verizon and AT&T for cell phone use), you should take this as your cue to start using anonymization tools, because you ARE being monitored…no speculation about it.

Who Runs the World ? – Network Analysis Reveals ‘Super Entity’ of Global Corporate Control – Planetsave

Posted in News with tags , , on September 11, 2011 by cykros

In the first such analysis ever conducted, Swiss economic researchers have conducted a global network analysis of the most powerful transnational corporations TNCs. Their results have revealed a core of 787 firms with control of 80% of this network, and a “super entity” comprised of 147 corporations that have a controlling interest in 40% of the network’s TNCs.

When we hear conspiracy theorist talk about this or that powerful group or alliance of said groups “pulling strings” behind the scenes, we tend to dismiss or minimize such claims, even though, deep down, we may suspect that there’s some degree of truth to it, however distorted by the theorists’ slightly paranoid perception of the world. But perhaps our tendency to dismiss such claims as exaggerations at best comes from our inability to get even a slight grip on the complexity of global corporate ownership; it’s all too vast and complicated to get any clear sense of the reality.

From the abstract:

“We present the first investigation of the architecture of the international ownership network, along with the computation of the control held by each global player. We find that transnational corporations form a giant bow-tie structure* and that a large portion of control flows to a small tightly-knit core of financial institutions. This core can be seen as an economic “super-entity” that raises new important issues both for researchers and policy makers.” [emphasis added]

Data from previous studies neither fully supported nor completely disproved the idea that a small handful of powerful corporations dominate much or most of the world’s commerce. The researchers acknowledge previous attempts to analyze such networks, but note that these were limited in scope to national networks which “neglected the structure of control at a global level.”

via Who Runs the World ? – Network Analysis Reveals ‘Super Entity’ of Global Corporate Control – Planetsave.

Well, glad to see we finally got some good quantifiable evidence behind the claims that we all have known on some level were true. Should help shatter the myth of this level playing field free market capitalism where everyone has the opportunity to rise or fall to any echelon of prosperity and power…

Genetic DNA Patdowns Coming

Posted in News with tags , on March 8, 2011 by cykros

Now, we learn that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), of which TSA is a part, is planning to test portable technology for DNA screening. Which means that the day may not be far off when the TSA starts deploying the technology at airports to scan and inspect individual travelers’ genetic information, effectively documenting and storing copies of individual DNA codes. Not surprisingly, the TSA denies that this would happen, claiming at its blog: “TSA is not testing and has no plans to use any technology capable of testing DNA.” However, the denial is not very comforting, since the same blog entry also states: “DHS S&T expects to receive a prototype DNA analyzer device this summer to conduct a preliminary evaluation of whether this kind of technology could be considered for future use. At this time, there are no DHS customers, nor is there a timeline for deployment, for this kind of technology — this is a simply a preliminary test of how the technology performs.” The DHS is not going to test technology it does not envision ever using, and if the test is “successful” it is hard to imagine the TSA not conducting genetic pat-downs at airports.

via Genetic DNA Patdowns Coming.

For those of you who didn’t really mind the pat downs or full body scan (read: irradiation), the TSA is working on a new method to turn people into cattle that might finally get you at least a little bit irked. How this supposedly would do ANYTHING to prevent someone from getting on a plane with a bomb or other weapon is beyond me, but I don’t doubt for a second they’d do it (after all, it’s been shown that things can still fairly easily make it through the scans and patdowns). And what better excuse to create a national DNA database (which I’m SURE would never be used for something like, idk, eugenics) than to cry “Terrorism!”? War is Peace, after all. We can only be safe by giving up privacy…