The newest information regarding the NSA domestic spying scandal raises an important question: If America’s tech giants didn’t ‘participate knowingly’ in the dragnet of electronic communication, how does the NSA get all of their data?
One theory: the NSA hired two secretive Israeli companies to wiretap the U.S. telecommunications network.
In April 2012 Wired’s James Bamford — author of the book “ The Shadow Factory: The NSA from 9/11 to the Eavesdropping on America” — reported that two companies with extensive links to Israel’s intelligence service provided hardware and software to wiretap the U.S. telecommunications network for the National Security Agency (NSA).
By doing so, this would imply, companies like Facebook and Google don’t have to explicitly provide the NSA with access to their servers because major Internet Service Providers (ISPs) such as AT&T and Verizon already allows the U.S. signals intelligence agency to eavesdrop on all of their data anyway.
Customs and Border Protection collects a wealth of information through the technologies deployed at the ports of entry, all of which is stored in a master crossing record the agency keeps on every individual who enters the country.
That record contains information gathered at every crossing: the time, date and port of the crossing, the information taken from their travel documents, photos and data collected on their belongings and vehicles, and determinations made by customs officers throughout the process. For non-U.S. citizens, this also means biometric data, such as photos and fingerprints.
That record also includes data culled from a variety of federal databases and sources.
The intelligence community is working to build biometric identification systems that can single out individuals from hundreds of yards away or more…
Ultimately, the tech would let spy agencies rapidly identify people using cameras deployed on far off rooftops and unmanned aircraft, according to the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity, the research arm for the CIA and other intelligence agencies.
Snowden writes in the book that his seven years working for the NSA and CIA led him to conclude the U.S. intelligence community “hacked the Constitution” and put everyone’s liberty at risk and that he had no choice but to turn to journalists to reveal it to the world.
“I realized that I was crazy to have imagined that the Supreme Court, or Congress, or President Obama, seeking to distance his administration from President George W. Bush’s, would ever hold the IC [intelligence community] legally responsible — for anything,” he writes.
The report warned the corporate social credit system would cover all aspects of a company’s business in China. Their behaviour in a number of fields – such as tax, customs, environmental protection and product quality – will be rated as will their compliance with the government’s requirements.China’s social credit system may soon target online speech
For companies, higher scores will mean lower tax rates, better credit conditions, easier market access and more public procurement opportunities, but lower scores could lead to sanctions and blacklisting.
Snowden also said: “The greatest danger still lies ahead, with the refinement of artificial intelligence capabilities, such as facial and pattern recognition.
“An AI-equipped surveillance camera would be not a mere recording device, but could be made into something closer to an automated police officer.”
He is concerned the US and other governments, aided by the big internet companies, are moving towards creating a permanent record of everyone on earth, recording the whole of their daily lives.
Justin Raimondo and Eric Garris sued the agency in San Francisco federal court in 2013, claiming they learned from a Freedom of Information Act request that the FBI conducted a “threat assessment” of them but wouldn’t tell them any more about it.
Following a nearly four-year battle, the FBI in 2017 agreed to turn over records it created when it spied on the journalists and pay $299,000 to settle their attorneys’ fees.