October 16, 2013
On October 26th, the Stop Watching US (SWU) will be sponsoring the Rally Against Mass Surveillance (RAMS) march which will take place in Washington, DC.
This protest is timed for the 12th anniversary of the signing of the US Patriot Act in 2001.
With half a million petitions in hand , the attendees of RAMS are expected to hand those documents to members of Congress “to remind them that they work for us — and we won’t tolerate mass surveillance any longer.”
Participants of the rally are encouraged to sign the petition initiated by SWU.
Members of SWU and protesters from RAMS will join organizations such as:
• American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)
• Association of Alternative Media (AAM)
• Bill of Rights Defense Committee (BRDC)
• Center for Democracy & Technology (CDT)
• Demand Progress
• Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF)
• Foundation for Innovation & Internet (FII)
• Green Party of the United States (GPUS)
• Guardian Project
• Libertarian Party
• Occupy Wall St (OWS)
• World Wide Web Foundation (WWWF)
Currently, tech giants such as Microsoft and Google are inventing sophisticated ways of data mining customers and users of their products to harvest information for not only advertising purposes but also to participate in the National Security Agency (NSA) PRISM program.
It has been suggested that the NSA could utilize ad data and cookies to locate anonymous Tor browser users with “tracking techniques” that could become “deeply embedded” with fewer corporations in “control” over that information.
In particular, Microsoft is developing tracking techniques that can record user activity from the web to applications on their smartphones, tablets and gaming consoles.
This technology would “essentially be a device identifier, meaning consumers could give permission for its advertising use when opting in to a device’s regular user agreement or terms of service.”
Last July, the House Rules Committee (HRC) approved several amendments to allow the National Security Agency (NSA) to have access to the $598.3 billion proposed National Defense Authorization Act of Fiscal Year 2014 (NDAA).
Fervently the Obama administration has opposed “the current effort in the House to hastily dismantle one of our intelligence community’s counterterrorism tools.”
The NSA is empowered by the 2001 US Patriot Act , Sec. 215 (50 U.S.C. § 1861), that states the federal government can collect data on Americans if there is a claim of national security compromise.
Metadata was syphoned under this clause for nearly a decade (that we know of).
That innocuous metadata that the NSA has been collecting includes trunk identifiers which are used to gather the metadata.
In fact, when hacking into a call, a trunk identifier can be used to not only gather information about the call, but to listen in on the conversation from both the caller and receiver.
Trunking is the way that the police can change their signal when on the radio every few seconds so that it cannot be syphoned by hackers. It is used by cell phone towers to encrypt the signal for a secure line.
Trunking follows the sender and receiver when they change channels so that GPS-like surveillance is conducted.
This allows the surveillance apparatus to have a continues stream regardless of when the channel changes every few seconds, which in turn allow those listening in to have a steady signal without breaks. Effectively, they can listen to the entire conversation and follow the signal as it changes.