You’ve gotta love the hypocrisy of these people. I suppose the billions of hollow point bullets that the DHS is purchasing is simply not enough to make Janet Napolitano sleep well at night. Of course, when real heroes like Aaron Swartz engage in civil disobedience using computers they are hounded using the CFAA and threatened with decades in prison until they kill themselves, but if you work for Big Sis then you are referred to as “hackers for good.” Long live Oceania! From The Washington Times:
Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano says the department is seeking skilled computer hackers — primarily college-age students — to help with the “new and rapidly growing threats” to America’s cybersecurity systems, the Christian Science Monitor reports.
They will be “hackers for good,” and will join a force of about 600 already being trained by DHS, Ms. Napolitano said, during Tuesday remarks to reporters.
The Air Force has an internship program for high-schoolers to hone their hacking skills, with the ultimate aim being to train them for work in the military’s Cyber Emergency Response Team unit, the Christian Science Monitor reports.
DHS is hoping to capitalize on this skill set at an early age — thus, the recruiting reach-out to high-school students.
How incredibly creepy is that.
Full article here.
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Believe it or not the article itself is actually a lot worse than even the title implies. These microphones are in many cases being coupled with cameras in order to gain an even greater level of surveillance. All with grants from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Now honestly, does anyone really think this is for Al Qaeda? This is a great follow up to my piece from last week titled: Coming to Your Car: Mandatory Black Boxes That Record Everything.
Transit authorities in cities across the country are quietly installing microphone-enabled surveillance systems on public buses that would give them the ability to record and store private conversations, according to documents obtained by a news outlet.
The systems are being installed in San Francisco, Baltimore, and other cities with funding from the Department of Homeland Security in some cases, according to the Daily, which obtained copies of contracts, procurement requests, specs and other documents.
The systems use cables or WiFi to pair audio conversations with camera images in order to produce synchronous recordings. Audio and video can be monitored in real-time.
Well, well isn’t this article from CNET just lovely! Apparently every agency in our government is competing to be the America Stasi.
The information collection is part of the FBI’s controversial effort, known internally as “Going Dark,” aimed in part at convincing Congress to rewrite federal wiretapping law to require Internet companies including Facebook, Google, Microsoft, and Yahoo to build in back doors for government surveillance. CNET reported in May that the FBI has asked tech companies not to oppose the plan.
The Homeland Security report, made public this afternoon, was obtained under the Freedom of Information Act by the Electronic Frontier Foundation, which is enmeshed in a lawsuit against the FBI after many of the documents it requested were withheld. CNET reported last week that a federal judge ruled that the government did not adequately respond to EFF’s request.
In an unusual twist, Homeland Security provided the partially redacted report (PDF) to the EFF under open government laws — but then turned around and demanded the document’s return, which the EFF refused to do.
A spokesman for the FBI declined to comment on the documents.
In other news, most Americans are more concerned about what Justin Bieber ate for dinner last night.
Full CNET article here.