Thursday, 31 March 2016

Surveillance Society, Big Brother, Alive And Well.

           A science fiction story, imagine if law enforcement organisations could with one fell swoop, gather up all the data on 10,000 mobile phones in one area, all at once, without any phone user knowing a thing about it. All your text, photos, emails, notes, contacts, personal details, the lot, while you sit at your desk, sip your coffee, travel to and from your work. Silently, invisibly, pouring all your personal stuff into a law enforcement data centre, to be pried over by faceless bureaucrats.  
       Sadly it is not a science fiction story, it is called "Stingray" and it is happening here and now, and no law enforcement organisation will talk about it, why? The ever increasing surveillance society, the prying eyes of the state looking ever deeper into our personal lives, with no hint of discussion, all are guilty in the piercing vision of the state. So, right now, who knows all your personal details, who is scrutinising all your contacts, what unknown shadowy smutty mind, is making inferences on your texts? You have a right to know, you are being denied that right.
This from Open Media:
      Governments around the world are using highly secretive technologies to spy on our cell phones — spying devices that are capable of listening to your calls and sucking up every single piece of sensitive, personal information in your phone.1
       These invasive devices are called “Stingrays”, and they trick your cell phones into giving away your most sensitive information – without your consent.
       It’s time to put a stop to this. Take a stand today: Demand safeguards to protect us from Stingray surveillance. If enough of us speak up, decision-makers will be forced to listen.
Stingrays can’t be targeted at just one person — instead they sweep up data from entire neighbourhoods.2 They’re being used to eavesdrop on innocent individuals, and can capture the sensitive data of up to 10,000 people at a time.3 You don’t have to do anything wrong to be a victim. And if you have been spied on, you won’t even know.
       What’s worse: Law enforcement is keeping the use of this irresponsible tool under a veil of secrecy. Despite evidence that suggests their prevalent use, countries like Australia, the U.K,. and Canada are refusing to even acknowledge their existence — making it impossible to hold an informed debate.4
       But the use of Stingrays by police forces around the globe is slowly being revealed. In the U.S., the NYPD recently admitted it has used Stingrays over 1000 times.5 We know they’re also being used in other countries including France, Germany, and Australia.6,7,8
        Experts are challenging this new bulk surveillance and adding your voice will give them the leverage they need to succeed — will you speak up right now, and help us put a stop to Stingray surveillance?
We can’t afford to wait until Stingray use is too widespread to stop. We have to act now.
Thank you for speaking up for our digital privacy,
Laura, on behalf of your OpenMedia team
     P.S. We need your help to ensure that law-makers act quickly, by showing that we have a groundswell of support to make action happen. Will you take action NOW?
[1] What is a Stingray and why should I care? Source: OpenMedia
[2],[3] The Secret Surveillance Catalogue. Source: The Intercept
[4] Phone Hackers: Britain's Secret Surveillance. Source: Vice
[5] NYPD has used Stingrays more than 1,000 times since 2008. Source: NYCLU
[6] France has adopted in July 2015 the possibility for the intelligence services to use IMSI Catchers with a very weak oversight. Source: Re/code
[7] Behind the curve: When will the UK stop pretending IMSI catchers don't exist? Source: Privacy International.
[8] Special investigation: Bugged, tracked, hacked. Source: Channel 9

More on Stingray HERE:
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