Show: Reality Exploit Roundtable
Date: June 7, 2013
Topics: The Soviet Surveillance States of America, Per-Jurisdiction US Privacy, US Border Nazis Suspend Constitution Claimning Spidey Sense
Panelists: Wise-Guy, Plato, Voodoo, Hiro
Tags: NSA, FBI, Darknets, Crypto, Mumble, VOIP, Truecrypt, Surveillance, Cameras, PRISM
Intro clip Paul Rosenberg on RT
Intro music by Sun Araw – “Deep Cover”
- Voodoo: Black and Yellow Pages, Beer Can Engines
- Plato: Twitter, Reddit
- Hiro: Podcasts: AgoristRadio | News: OrlinGrabbe
Topic 1 – Wise-Guy
The Soviet Surveillance States of America
For students of U.S. intelligence and law, the new confirmation that the federal government has been collecting phone call detail records
en masse on Americans and are jacked directly into all the major dot.coms shouldn’t come as a big surprise. How did we get here and were are we going?
Wired points out some wild government fudging of surveillance numbers:
Every year, the Justice Department gives Congress a tally … of the demands
for “business records” in [national security cases] issued under … the USA
Patriot Act. In 2011, they demanded … 205 business records.
What the government didn’t tell you was that one ‘request for business
So a single order issued to Verizon Business Solutions in April covered
metadata for every phone call made by every customer.
- “We Are This Far From A Turnkey Totalitarian State” – Big Brother Goes Live September 2013
- Wired: How the NSA and FBI Lie With Numbers
- NSA collecting phone records of millions of Verizon customers daily
- U.S., British intelligence mining data from nine U.S. Internet companies in broad secret program
- NSA slides explain the PRISM data-collection program
- The Unconstitutional 14th Amendment
Topic 2 – plato
While the US Federal Govt grasps further communications, normal citizens also
have to obey the laws of state and local jurisdictions.
We are starting to see different rules being applied by different jurisdictions.
Piedmont, CA is using its residents’ funds to install license plate readers at
15 points on the border of the municipality.
Meanwhile, the Texas legislature has passed a bill, HB 912, banning some private uses of drones.
The proposed law would make it a misdemeanor to have a drone photograph “an
individual or privately owned real property… with the intent to conduct
surveillance on the individual or property captured in the image.”
Of course, the authorities are still allowed to snoop about with their drones.
The Texas legislature also passed HB 2268, an email privacy bill that would require
state authorities to get a warrent to access emails.
Both bills will become law if and when Texas governor Rick Perry decides to sign them.
And finally, citizens in Iowa City constructed a bill banning their local
government from using license plate readers, red light cameras and drones to
issue automated traffic and parking tickets. Instead an officer must physically
be on the scene and witness the event.
Plato, these jurisdictions have very different strategies when it comes to
privacy and technology. How do you think it will play out over the coming years?
Topic 3 – voodoo
Feds say they can search your laptop at the border but won’t say why
“Under the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution,
Americans are generally protected from unreasonable searches and
seizures by government agents. But we generally have less privacy at
the border—usually when entering the United States from abroad.”
“Back in February 2013, the Office for Civil Rights and Civil
Liberties at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) released an
executive summary (PDF) of its findings to justify warrantless border
searches of laptops. However, that summary did not include any
substantial analysis of the reasoning the government provides.”
The issue is an important one even though it affects only a very small proportion of the many millions of travelers who enter the United States each month. The table below summarizes the relevant statistics; as it shows, only a few hundred people each month are subjected to any kind of electronic device search (which vary in their comprehensiveness), and of that number, only a small minority have their electronic devices detained for any length of time.
Interpreted = Relax, it’s not a big deal and hardly happens.
The DHS also says that it definitely can’t change its policies to be “suspicion-based,” as that would be “operationally harmful.” Why?
“Because we say so:” First, commonplace decisions to search electronic devices might be opened to litigation challenging the reasons for the search. In addition to interfering with a carefully constructed border security system, the litigation could directly undermine national security by requiring the government to produce sensitive investigative and national security information to justify some of the most critical searches. Even a policy change entirely unenforceable by courts might be problematic; we have been presented with some noteworthy CBP and ICE success stories based on hard-to-articulate intuitions or hunches based on officer experience and judgment. Under a reasonable suspicion requirement, officers might hesitate to search an individual’s device without the presence of articulable factors capable of being formally defended, despite having an intuition or hunch based on experience that justified a search.”