Big Brother Watch responds to £7.5m Clearview AI fine by the ICO

Monday, 23 May 2022 — Big Brother Watch

Big Brother Watch Team 

Responding to facial recognition company Clearview AI being fined over £7.5m & all UK data to be deleted, Silkie Carlo, Director of Big Brother Watch said:

“This important enforcement action by the ICO should be another nail in the coffin for facial recognition in the UK. Clearview AI has hoarded multiple photos of each and every one of us from the internet and made it available to the highest bidder. The use of facial recognition on billions of photos will end anonymity as we know it. Already, several police forces, banking firms and a university in the UK used this Orwellian spying tech. Facial recognition used as a mass surveillance tool like this has a serious, irreversible impact on all of our privacy. The ICO’s order for Clearview AI to delete all UK images is extremely welcome, but it may be difficult to enforce. Parliament must now to take action on facial recognition and impose an immediate ban on excessive face surveillance.”

ENDS. 

NOTES:
More information regarding our campaign against facial recognition is available here.
Spokespeople are available for interviews. Contact Big Brother Watch’s 24h media line on 07730439257 or email info@bigbrotherwatch.org.uk

Google Censorship! Now your Private Email is under threat!

Thursday, 7 April 2022 — The New Dark Age

Updated:

This is the latest outrage inflicted on our right to access information and it goes one step further in the war on freedom of expression!

Previously, intercepts like the one below, only happened when you clicked on a link in your Browser but Google have taken censorship onto an entirely new level. Google now intercepts your PRIVATE EMAIL, allegedly to protect you against phishing and other online scams.

This is how it works:

The email in question arrives in your Inbox and looks normal until you click on it to open it when this message appears, replacing the content of the email!

Mr intercept

There are two live links in the offending message, one asks you to report the ‘offending’ site by saying “This isn’t a web forgery…”

Clicking on the link: ‘This isn’t a web forgery…” takes you to the page below:


Click on it, you arrive at this Google page

You can submit a report, either for or against. Once you have submitted the report, you are presented with the following page:

Google intercept

If you reply, which I did, cursing the bastards for interfering with my right to information. ‘Google Safe Browsing’ [sic] but not safe from Google! The algorithm even intercepts mail from Google!

If you click on the link, “Ignore this warning”, the message disappears and the original Email message is revealed but Google have another trick up their sleeve, as any links in the message, DON’T WORK! There is however, a workaround as the actual link is there it just doesn’t work! If you can, copy the link and paste it directly into your browser (Windows and Macs use a different method to reveal the link) and you’ll get to the site in question.

This is insidious censorship masquerading as protecting the user and it reveals the true nature of Google because it means that Google is not only scanning your PRIVATE EMAIL for ‘questionable’ links but of course, for ‘questionable’ content, which means Google is actually reading the contents of your formally, private Email!

Given the ubiquitous nature of Google’s role in ALL electronic communications, short of returning to actual, physical letters, I’m not sure what can be done about this outrage but at least let’s make the world aware that this kind of outrageous interception of our communications is going on. Frankly it’s the final nail in coffin of any kind of democratic control over communications.

Big Brother Watch responds to new government anti-encryption campaign

Tuesday, 18 January 2022 — Big Brother Watch

Responding to the launch of a new anti-encryption campaign from the Home Office, Mark Johnson, Legal and Policy Officer at Big Brother Watch said:

“The Home Office’s bizarre attack on end-to-end encryption is an attack on a technology that Government ministers use for communication every day. It’s disturbing to see such a cynical campaign launched in attempt to justify yet wider and deeper state surveillance of everyday, private conversations.

Our intelligence agencies and law enforcement already have extensive powers to gain total access to criminals’ phones and communications. But end-to-end encryption is crucial for protecting the safety and privacy of our chats en masse.

The ability to have a private conversation is a freedom we cherish in liberal democracies and it is vital that we safeguard it online as well as offline.”

ENDS.

NOTES:
More information regarding the launch of the Home Office’s campaign is available here.

Spokespeople are available for interviews. Contact Big Brother Watch’s 24h media line on 07730439257 or email info@bigbrotherwatch.org.uk

See also: https://www.rt.com/news/546385-home-office-media-blitz-encryption-chat/

Leaked Doc Reveals Which Messengers Send the Most Data to FBI

3 December 2021 — RT International

An internal FBI report reveals how WhatsApp and iMessage happily hand over users’ data to the Feds, sometimes providing the source and destination of messages every 15 minutes.

The sensitive Federal Bureau of Investigation paper, unearthed by the transparency group Property of the People, spells out in concise yet shocking detail the Bureau’s ability to secure messaging app content and associated metadata via warrants and subpoenas — and shows that WhatsApp and Apple’s iMessage turn over the most information to authorities.

It’s a rare insight into the systematic manner in which U.S. authorities can access private information, and can only cast significant doubt on the publicly avowed positions of Apple and Facebook/Meta in respect of user privacy.

The PATRIOT Act And The Whistleblowers Who Challenged Mass Surveillance After 9/11

26 October 2021 — THE DISSENTER

Mark Klein, former AT&T technician who blew the whistle on NSA warrantless wiretapping (Photo: insunlight)

[Editor’s Note: To mark the 20th anniversary of the rise of the American security state after the September 11th attacks, The Dissenter continues a retrospective on this transformation in policing and government.]

Mark Klein worked for over twenty years as a technician for the AT&T Corporation. He blew the whistle on the AT&T’s collaboration with the National Security Agency, which allowed for warrantless wiretapping of phone and internet communications.

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Golden age or collapse? Snowden teases future without Big Tech after trolling Facebook throughout disastrous six-hour-long outage

4 October 2021 — RT

Golden age or collapse? Snowden teases future without Big Tech after trolling Facebook throughout disastrous six-hour-long outageFile photo: NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden speaks at a conference in Moscow, Russia September 2, 2021. ©  REUTERS/Olesya Astakhova
While millions were wailing and gnashing their teeth over the outage affecting Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram, NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden was having a bit of fun – daring to suggest the world would be better without them.

Blinken comes riding the Pegasus

25 July 2021 — Indian Punhline

by M. K. BHADRAKUMAR

Pegasus: the spyware technology that threatens democracy

Pegasus, the winged divine horse from Greek mythology, symbolises a range of things. The mythological salad can include many symbolic narratives — ranging from soul’s immortality to poetic inspiration — even the Marxist eschatological myth of the withering away of the state.

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medConfidential Bulletin, 23rd July 2021

23 July 2021 — medConfidential

GP data grab; paused again, but still going ahead

If you asked NHS Digital for opt-out forms and the forms didn’t show up, or took ages to arrive, people tell us that happened a lot. You can get forms from us here.

We’d like to be able to tell you that you will have more information on the ‘GPDPR’ data scheme in the future than you have today – but, as you’ll see below, that’s not a promise the Government was willing to make.

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Councils’ “hidden algorithms” profile millions on benefits, Big Brother Watch investigation finds

20 July 2021 — Big Brother Watch

Big Brother Watch Team

Big Brother Watch’s new report “Poverty Panopticon: the hidden algorithms shaping Britain’s welfare state”, published today, reveals:

  • 540,000 benefits applicants are secretly assigned fraud risk scores by councils’ algorithms before they can access housing benefit or council tax support.1
  • Personal data from 1.6 million people living in social housing is processed by commercial algorithms to predict rent non-payers.2
  • 250,000+ people’s data is processed by a range of secretive automated tools to predict the likelihood they’ll be abused, become homeless or out of work.3
  • Campaigners file complaint with data watchdog

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GPDPR – An Open Letter to GP Practices

22 June 2021 — Dr. Bhatti.com

GPs are raising the alarm about plans to make 55 million NHS patients’ data available to corporations for profit. A group of GPs in East London are taking action to withhold the data and protect the privacy of their patients by refusing to share data from their Practice. They’re encouraging medical practitioners throughout England to join them through an open letter.

SUPPORT AND SHARE THE OPEN LETTER

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Statewatch News 18 June (Issue 12/21, also available as a PDF)

18 June 2021 — Statewatch

Statewatch News 18 June (Issue 12/21, also available as a PDF)

Global call to ban public biometric surveillance

As public and private sector institutions push ahead with the development and deployment of remote biometric surveillance systems – currently best-exemplified by facial recognition technology – opposition is increasing.

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UK: medConfidential Bulletin, 11th June 2021

11 June 2021 — medConfidential

What just happened?

On 12 May, NHS Digital quietly announced there would be a new GP data collection, known as ‘GP Data for Planning and Research’, ‘GPDPR’ – or the #GPdataGrab, for clarity.

NHS Digital and the Secretary of State, who on 6th April had Directed NHS Digital to run the scheme, hoped no-one would notice.

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Matt Hancock has quietly told your GP to hand over your health data. Why?

28 May 2021 — Open Democracy

If you live in England, all your encounters with your GP – information about your physical, mental and sexual health – could be ‘sold’ to third parties

Phil Booth

The government wants your GP data, and it hasn’t given GPs much of a choice

From 1 July this year, if you’re registered with a GP in England, the government will be taking a copy of every medical event your GP recorded on their systems since you first registered with them. (Your children’s records, too, if you have children.)

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