Is saving 30 percent on your car insurance enough to justify granting Big Brother access to your vehicle? That’s the question many consumers and industry analysts are asking, as more auto insurance companies offer new options that calculate premiums based on a person’s driving habits, rather than set variables such as age, gender, and past driving records.
Law enforcement agencies around the nation are increasingly turning to tracking cell phones in surveillance operations, and, according to a recent report by the ACLU, they are doing so largely without the benefit of a warrant. According to the secular legal group, many of the more than 200 police departments that responded to the ACLU survey on their use of such tracking said that their officers do not bother with a warrant to access such investigative resources.
A new service offered by Google is raising some eyebrows, as users now have access to monthly reports that reveal all their online activities using Google products (Gmail, YouTube, Google+ social network, online search, etc.). Called "Account Activity," the new feature will allow users to "step back and take stock of what you’re doing online," Google product manager Andreas Tuerk noted in a blog post. "Knowing more about your account activity also can help you take steps to protect your Google Account."
Citing a September letter from China, Russia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan outlining their plan to introduce a UN resolution on Internet governance, U.S. Representatives Michael McCaul (R-Texas, left) and Jim Langevin (D-R.I.) have sponsored House Concurrent Resolution 114 to prevent such an action.
The lead story in Wired magazine for April exposed the Stellar Wind program for its intended purpose: to spy on every jot and tittle of every American citizen’s life all the way down to his “pocket litter:” parking-lot stubs, receipts from McDonalds, tickets from his haircut at Cost Cutters, as well as all the way up to the content of his every e-mail, every Google search, every telephone or cellphone conversation.
In the little town of Bluffdale, Utah, between the Wasatch Range and the Oquirrh Mountains, the National Security Agency (NSA) is building what will be the nation's largest spy center, reports Wired, a print magazine and online publication reporting on technological developments and their effects, including electronic privacy. Dubbed the Utah Data Center, the project is already employing thousands of hardhat workers in its construction and will soon have some 10,000 construction workers building a data center that will be more than five times the size of the nation's capitol, Wired reports.
The good news is that in the near future governments, including our own, may no longer be planting bugs or tapping phones to spy on people. The bad news is they won't have to. New surveillance technology has been developed that will enable the CIA and other agencies to keep its eyes and ears on what people are watching and listening to by a series of connected gadgets activated when a movie is downloaded or a Web radio station is turned on. Even basic home appliances, from refrigerators to clock radios, may soon come equipped with apparatus that enables those outside the home to keep tabs on where the occupant is and what he is doing. The new technology will transform the world of electronic surveillance, predicts CIA Director David Petraeus (left).
A new effort to hand control over the Internet to the United Nations is underway as oppressive regimes such as the communist dictatorship ruling mainland China clamor for more censorship and regulation of the World Wide Web.
The Obama administration has remained silent so far, having failed to even select a leader to defend U.S. interests at upcoming talks on the subject. But critics of the global move are already striking back, warning that transferring Internet governance to the UN would be a massive blow to freedom and prosperity for the whole planet.
Computers experts around the world are warning that, in an attempt to stop the damage inflicted by a Trojan virus that has infected millions of computers worldwide, the FBI plans to shut down Internet Service Providers (ISPs) whose administrators have not yet cleared their systems of the malware.
As the 2012 election nears, a report published by the non-partisan Pew Center on the States asserted that nearly two million deceased Americans are still registered to vote, while one in every eight voter registrations contains significant errors. More than 2.7 million Americans have active registrations in more than one state, and approximately 12 million contain address inaccuracies, likely preventing them from receiving voting-related mail; further, more than 50 million eligible U.S. citizens are unregistered.
In a formal "request for information," the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) asked software companies for a digital tool that would systematically scan the entire social media realm to find potential terrorist-related threats and intelligence information. While hundreds of intelligence analysts are already probing overseas Facebook and Twitter posts, U.S. law enforcement officials claim digital software could sift through more data than humans ever could.