Surveillance News

I don’t blog news very often, but I’m trying to keep tabs on surveillance-related developments, so I’ll be doing one of these posts every week or so.

The Globe and Mail reported yesterday that a group of hackers and human rights activists are filing a suit in Germany alleging that the Merkel government assisted the NSA and the Britain’s GCHQ in spying on German citizens.

Fresno Bee columnist Rory Appleton has a few things to say about surveillance enabled by mobile apps, and about the state of privacy in general.

The Leather Library has video of former NSA technical director Bill Binney discussing why he decided to blow the whistle.

The Day We Fight Back’s campaign for a day of protest online on Feb. 11 is up to more than 3600 websites.

I’ll have an index page for surveillance-related posts up sometime this week.

Why I Agreed to The Alliance

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I suppose I should explain how I went from saying:

“yeah, we can talk about government surveillance here even though I think that battle is lost and it’s mostly an exercise in educating younger people about how it happened”

to saying:

 “let’s see how many people we can get to add pages to their blogs devoted to keeping tabs on this and keeping in touch with one another.”

I have no illusions about the number of people paying enough attention to what I’m doing here to wonder about that, but there must be a few. Most are people I knew before I started this blog. So here is what changed my mind.

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Keep doing your own thing.

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Here’s what I will do personally to keep the conversation about surveillance we’ve started going. I’m not asking anyone else to do these things. The trick to this is to find a way to help keep people talking about it that fits into the other things you do. I don’t want this to take over anyone’s blogging life, including my own, but I do want to keep it moving forward. Here are some things I will do:

  1. I’ll set up a page to index links to blog posts about surveillance as we find them. I’m not using my alliance page for this because it contains enough information already and I want it remain useful as a template. If you want to see what an insanely helpful page this could turn into, take a look at this list of 115 noteworthy articles about writing that blogger Kas Thomas has compiled and think about what list like that devoted to surveillance could do for us.
  2. I’ll keep following this issue and share things I find. I’ve been following it for awhile, just not very closely, and not on the blog. Most of the links on my alliance page are to things I’d saved on Sourcerer’s Facebook page because I thought they might be useful and some point (and I was right!)
  3. I’ll blog about it when there are new developments or when I have something to say. For the next couple of weeks, that means supporting  The Day We Fight Back, keeping tabs on a couple of court cases, and reporting on the progress of this alliance as it grows.
  4. I’ll follow links to posts about surveillance if anyone leaves them for me, read the information, and consider using it somehow.

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How I learned to stop worrying and love the #NSA (#privacyisaright #stopthensa #wordpress)

v_for_vendetta_by_manshonyagger-d4kz1vp

Something happened to me over the weekend. I came home Friday with the idea of editing some posts about comics and movies, writing one of my own called “Isildur’s Bane,” scheduling a few videos, and taking most of the weekend off.

Ten minutes after I arrived home, The Pirate Org derailed that plan.

I found this in my Twitter feed:

Of course I had to look into it. Despite my best efforts to stick to books and videos, I have strong political views. I care about the human rights and civil liberties of real, actual people. I quickly decided this was something I couldn’t pass up. I debated whether to support The Day We Fight Back personally on Facebook and Twitter, or whether to blog about it here.

To make a long story short, I did some research. I posted about the Feb. 11 event and proposed a Thunderclap (if you don’t know what that is, see this page ). I didn’t get the support I needed to set up the Thunderclap, but I had some good conversations.

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