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Thread: Emerging Surveillance State?

  1. #511
    Lead Moderator calikid's Avatar
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    The FISA requests sound like rubberstamp judges, but at least they have judges. National Security Letters, on the other hand, have no oversight. Even with the public uproar post-Snowden, the seemingly excessive surveillance goes on. Hopefully congress will get motivated one day, and pass a few laws for public rights to privacy. Maybe even sunset a few of the Patriot Act provisions.


    Apple: We just got blitzed by US national security requests

    The US made twice as many data requests to Apple in the last six months of 2016 as it did in the first six months, the company says.
    by Shara Tibken

    The US and other governments around the world needed a lot of help getting data from Apple devices last year.

    The number of national security orders issued to Apple by US law enforcement doubled to about 6,000 in the second half of 2016, compared with the first half of the year, Apple disclosed in its biannual transparency report. Those requests included orders received under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, as well as national security letters, the latter of which are issued by the FBI and don't require a judge's sign-off.

    Critics of national security letters, like the Electronic Frontier Foundation, say they "allow the FBI to secretly demand data about ordinary American citizens' private communications and Internet activity without any meaningful oversight or prior judicial review." Companies that receive national security letters are subject to gag orders, which means they can't even disclose they've received such orders -- unless the letters become declassified.

    That's what happened in Apple's case. It disclosed late Monday, as part of its most recent transparency report, that one of the national security orders it received came in the form of a declassified national security letter. It didn't provide any more information about the letter, including when it originally received the order or what the order involved. Other companies have shared more information about the requests when they're declassified.

    Apple on Tuesday declined to comment beyond its transparency report, as did the US Department of Justice.

    National security letters were enabled by the USA Freedom Act, which passed in 2015. As part of the regulations, the FBI has to re-examine past national security letters and decide which can be declassified. Those started being reported by recipients a year ago.

    Apple's not the only company that's received national security letters. Twitter disclosed in January that it received two from the FBI in the last two years that previously came with gag orders not to discuss them. Google, Yahoo and Cloudflare also have published national security letters received from the FBI, some dating back to 2013.
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  2. #512
    Who really owns Apple anyway? Like Google and the media, it's a multinational conglomerate which suggests that it too is embedded into the global military/industrial complex.

    Which ever faction of that complex retains information like data from Apple (inclusive) is still going to use that information for their own purposes which undoubtedly would be to gain more power within that complex.
    Last edited by A99; 05-27-2017 at 02:14 PM.
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  3. #513
    Lead Moderator calikid's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by A99 View Post
    Who really owns Apple anyway? Like Google and the media, it's a multinational conglomerate which suggests that it too is embedded into the global military/industrial complex.

    Which ever faction of that complex retains information like data from Apple (inclusive) is still going to use that information for their own purposes which undoubtedly would be to gain more power within that complex.
    I did respect the fight Apple gave the FBI over decrypting the San Bernardino terrorist phone.
    Apple Made some (IMO) valid points about customer privacy.

    Apple did not just roll over and surrender the info, and they expressed a firm resolve to see the matter through in court. You may recall the FBI went another route, and withdrew the request before court date arrived. Kudos to Apple for standing up for their customers.

    This current news piece does show an increase in LEO demands. Be nice to see stricter guidelines for approval on such requests.
    The aim of an argument or discussion should not be victory, but
    progress. -- Joseph Joubert
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  4. #514
    Apple doesn't care about your privacy... all they care about is profit. I don't think that makes them worthy of anyone's respect especially in the case of the FBI needing to have info about terrorists connections and potential attacks, pedophiles, illicit cigarette trafficking, drug trafficking, sex trafficking, the illegal arms trade, weapons of mass destruction etc... Most Americans share the same sentiment I do on this issue.
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  5. #515
    Lead Moderator calikid's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by A99 View Post
    Apple doesn't care about your privacy... all they care about is profit. I don't think that makes them worthy of anyone's respect especially in the case of the FBI needing to have info about terrorists connections and potential attacks, pedophiles, illicit cigarette trafficking, drug trafficking, sex trafficking, the illegal arms trade, weapons of mass destruction etc... Most Americans share the same sentiment I do on this issue.
    Apple supplied a well reasoned argument when they stated that breaking encryption for one is the same as breaking it for all. (Any back door established for Police would surely be exploited by hackers).

    Not about who has broken the law, it is about the next "request".
    The government has already been clearly shown to overstep their authority by the Snowden releases.
    Why would we expect them to show restraint with additional surveillance tools?

    LAw Enforcement has major funding to fight the crimes you listed, and we all wish them success.

    But IMO we must place limits on police powers or you end up living in a police state.
    You may be willing to surrender civil liberties for a little security, and you are entitled to your opinion.
    I on the other hand, would object to the loss of such hard earned rights.
    The aim of an argument or discussion should not be victory, but
    progress. -- Joseph Joubert
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  6. #516
    MEMORIAL DAY 2017

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