Surveillance

6 stories
Backed by Berkman Center, Canarywatch will monitor data requests from feds
shutterstock_239895754
On Monday, Harvard's Berkman Center for Internet and Society announced that it was taking part in a collaborative effort to gather information about secret federal legal notices that demand corporate and user data from web service providers. The Berkman Center worked alongside two digital rights groups, the Calyx Institute and the Electronic Frontier Foundation, as well as New York University's Technology Law and Policy Clinic, to create CanaryWatch.org, a site designed to collect and monitor all of the Internet's warrant canaries. What, you might be wondering, is a warrant canary? Read More
Watch word
Watch who watches what you say: MIT researchers can recreate sound based on video of nearby items
I've watched this video a few times, and it still blows my mind: Using high-speed video of nearby items, such as a plant or stray chip wrapper, MIT, Microsoft, and Adobe researchers found a way to analyze vibrations and algorithmically recreate roughly what sounds were in the room, down to actual words being spoken or a tune being played — without any recorded audio cues. Read More
The abuse in your pocket
As domestic abuse goes digital, shelters turn to counter-surveillance with Tor
Tor Privacy Womens Shelter
Sarah's abuser gained access to every password she had. He monitored her bank accounts and used her phone to track her location and read her conversations. She endured four years of regular physical and emotional trauma enabled by meticulous digital surveillance and the existing support services, from shelters to police, were almost powerless to help her. Read More
Sales pitch
These are the slides Digital Recognition Network uses to sell police and repo companies on its license plate surveillance database
ALPR Boston
Last week, BetaBoston provided a glimpse into how a handful of private data brokers have compiled massive databases of vehicle location records. By mounting high-speed license plate readers on tow trucks and repo "spotter" cars in nationwide networks, these brokers claim to have compiled scans for a majority of vehicles registered in the United States. Read More
Big Data is Watching
A vast hidden surveillance network runs across America, powered by the repo industry
DRN heat map March 2010

Few notice the “spotter car” from Manny Sousa’s repo company as it scours Massachusetts parking lots, looking for vehicles whose owners have defaulted on their loans. Sousa’s unmarked car is part of a technological revolution that goes well beyond the repossession business, transforming any ­industry that wants to check on the whereabouts of ordinary people. Read More