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NYT on British Surveillance


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In case you guys were wondering what some of us New Yorkers think of all your surveillance: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/16/opinion/from-the-birthplace-of-big-brother.html?hp

Don't feel bad--our Supreme Court just decided the fuzz can strip search you for any--repeat, ANY--infraction.

1983 "Investor's Special Edition" Turbo Esprit (#43/50) | 2012 Evora S

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I totally and utterly disagree with this impending legislation. It really is frightening to think that they can monitor anything, anytime with no requirements to follow a process of law. Especially at a time when, as a public, we have little or no faith in Politicans and law makers.

1984 is here!

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I may have posted this before...but it's appropriate to this thread....

Is your tv watching you?

Most mind provoking thoughts from another site..............

While Web cameras and Internet connectivity are not new to HDTVs, their complete integration is, and it's the always connected camera and microphones, combined with the option of third-party apps (not to mention Samsung's own software) gives us cause for concern regarding the privacy of TV buyers and their friends and families.

Samsung has not released a privacy policy clarifying what data it is collecting and sharing with regard to the new TV sets. And while there is no current evidence of any particular security hole or untoward behavior by Samsung's app partners, Samsung has only stated that it "assumes no responsibility, and shall not be liable" in the event that a product or service is not "appropriate."

Samsung demoed these features to the press earlier this month. The camera and microphones are built into the top if the screen bezel in the 2012 8000-ser ies plasmas and are permanently attached to the top of the 7500- and 8000ES-series LED TVs. A Samsung representative showed how, once set up and connected to the Internet, these models will automatically talk to the Samsung cloud and enable viewers to use new and exciting apps.

These Samsung TVs locate and make note of registered viewers via sophisticated face recognition software. This means if you tell the TV whose faces belong to which users in your family, it personalizes the experience to each recognized family member. If you have friends over, it could log these faces as well.

In addition, the TV listens and responds to specific voice commands. To use the feature, the microphone is active. What concerns us is the integration of both an active camera and microphone. A Samsung representative tells us you can deactivate the voice feature; however this is done via software, not a hard switch like the one you use to turn a room light on or off.

And unlike other TVs, which have cameras and microphones as add-on accessories connected by a single, easily removable USB cable, you can't just unplug these sensors.

During our demo, unless the face recognition learning feature was activated, there was no indication as to whether the camera (such as a red light) and audio mics are on. And as far as the microphone is concerned the is no way to physically disconnect it or be assured it is not picking up your voice when you don’t intend it to do so.

Samsung does provide the ability to manually reposition the TV's camera away from viewers. The LED TV models allow you to manually point it upward, facing the ceiling; the plasma’s camera can be re-aimed to capture objects in the rear of the TV according a Samsung spokesperson.

Privacy concerns

We began to wonder exactly what data Samsung collects from its new “eyes and ears” and how it and other companies intend use it, which raises the following questions:

  • Can Samsung or Samsung-authorized companies watch you watching your Samsung TV?
  • Do the televisions send a user ID or the TV’s serial number to the Samsung cloud whenever it has an Internet connection?
  • Does Samsung cross reference a user ID or facial scan to your warranty registration information, such as name, address etc.?
  • Can a person or company listen to you, at will, via the microphone and Internet connection?
  • Does Samsung’s cloud store all this information? How secure is this extremely personal data?
  • Can a hacker intercept this data or view you via the built in camera?
  • Can a third-party app program do any of the above?
  • Exactly what information does the TV send to Samsung or other parties?
  • Does Samsung intend to sell data collected by its Smart TV owners, such as who, what and when one is viewing?

Companies desiring to provide highly targeted advertisements to you via the TV screen or external marketing would find this data extremely valuable. “Hey, you look a little tired, how about some Ambien? I’m seeing a little grey, have you tried Grecian Formula? Joe, it looks like you packed on a few pounds recently, here’s information from Weight Watchers. Hey kids, you look bored, look at these TOYS!”

So what, if any, privacy does Samsung promise by way of a stated policy?

Weeks have passed since we formally requested answers to these questions from Samsung asking what if any privacy assurances Samsung provides. To date no privacy statement has been furnished to HD Guru or end users. The first models with these features arrived on dealer’s shelves over two weeks ago. All that we’ve been told is that when connecting to the Internet, the TVs f irst connect to the Samsung cloud, and from there, they connect to the various streaming video services and other apps for activation.

Samsung induces its new Smart TV owners to register online by offering a free three-month extension of the TV’s warranty. This would couple user names and addresses to their TV serial numbers, if the company so desired.

Want to read the owner’s manual for your new Samsung TV? This is accomplished by download, as Samsung stopped including printed owner’s manuals at least two years ago. However, before you may download the manual, you must first agree to the following online statement:

Samsung assumes no responsibility, and shall not be liable, in connection with whether any such products or services will be appropriate, functional or supported for the Samsung products or services available in your country.

We asked Samsung to define “appropriate” but to date have not received a response. We will update readers with a response or a privacy statement if and when Samsung chooses to provide one.

Security threats

Don’t assume a TV is an un-hackable island! Samsung does not disclose what operating system is within its TVs, therefore we cannot confirm if it is Android and/or any other that might have a prior history of hacking.

It has been widely reported Android phones have been hacked allowing outside control of phones, via third party apps.

Countless companies have had their networks hacked, causing tho usands of customers’ personal data to be released to the world. If this were to happen to Samsung it is theoretically possible hackers could gain access to names, addresses -- and images of the faces of entire families.

The TV has a built-in Facebook app. Can the TV make the next connection and access your Facebook account and match other viewers to their Facebook pictures for even more personal data?

A Samsung representative said the company is working on apps that will allow its Smart TV owners to turn their televisions into a silent home-security system by allowing remote viewing on a smartphone or tablet via the TV’s built-in camera. This ability makes us ask, “Who else could gain access this video feed?”

There are security systems that go over the Internet, however, many are encrypted. Is any Samsung’s data encrypted? The company doesn't say. Generally security companies let customers know when their data is encrypted, as it is a selling point.

In addition, the Samsung HDTVs come with an external infrared blaster that allows users to control a cable or satellite box via voice, gesture or the Samsung remote. We ask: does the TV send this information over to Samsung’s cloud as well? Does Samsung now know what other equipment you have, when you’re home to use it, what channel you’re viewing and when?

The models with this unprecedented feature set are the 2012 8000 series plasmas PN51E8000, PN60E8000, PN64E8000 and LED models UN46ES7500, UN50ES7500, UN55ES7500, UN46ES8000, UN55ES8000, UN60ES8000 and UN65ES8000. Many of these models are now at dealers with the rest scheduled to ship within the next few weeks.

The above was culled from Pprune......as for phone tapping; we always used to tell people that, if they THOUGHT their phone was being tapped, it wasn't the Authorities that were doing it....!!

Edited by molemot

Scientists investigate that which already is; Engineers create that which has never been." - Albert Einstein

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I believe they do this because they don't know to handle the problems they face within the current law.

A radio personality over here in Oz is against drugs, but thinks the government seriously need to think about decriminalising it as the current methods they use are simply not working. The belief being that by decriminalising it would see a drop in the price of currently illicit drugs making it not worthwhile for some producers.

I can not remember all the details, but it does not allow container loads of 'whatever' to be brought in by ship. Or so I believe.

Anyway, back to the topic. The governments work on the principal of 'if you are law-abiding, you have nothing to worry about.' The issue becomes what they then do with all the extra info they get. An innocent conversation between two people where one talks about going for a blast in his car, quotes a speed and then receives a ticket in the mail with a recording of the conversation as proof.

Maybe buying shares in your countries postal service may be a good idea as that may become a securer medium for talking between two people.

All we know is that when they stop making this, we will be properly, properly sad.Jeremy Clarkson on the Esprit.

Opinions are like armpits. Everyone has them, some just stink more than others.

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This is, of course, all completely creepy, on both sides of the pond. But I've always wondered something--why has Britain in particular taken the lead in an insane amount of public video surveillance? I mean, you folks invented civil liberties, so what's the root of this movement over the past decade+?

1983 "Investor's Special Edition" Turbo Esprit (#43/50) | 2012 Evora S

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Authorative paranoia? Path of least effort?

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Our news recently had a court case where the people won against a local council that had used public place security cameras to book people for parking offences.

The court said it was not the purpose the cameras were for and so the fines were nuked.

Like Bibs said though, don't need to pay people, just get supercomputers to screen everything and then they pick from the bunch.

All we know is that when they stop making this, we will be properly, properly sad.Jeremy Clarkson on the Esprit.

Opinions are like armpits. Everyone has them, some just stink more than others.

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History has shown that they will get the wrong people and innocent people will suffer. "If you have done nothing wrong you have nothing to fear" is the most dangerous, complacent mealy-mouthed bleating platitude since "Peace in Our Time" was announced.

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Once they perfect the iHUD eyeglasses that also project a holographic representation of whoever you want to appear as, jam all nearby electronic communications, and send and receive data over a 256k encryption system, I'm all in. Then I can have my video chats in a public park with Kim Jong-un about rocketry without being hassled by The Man.

1983 "Investor's Special Edition" Turbo Esprit (#43/50) | 2012 Evora S

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Like Dan says above, the whole "If you haven't done anything wrong" routine is just Bollox. (Crap! Thats several times I've agreed with you. Must be mellowing). The UK govt in particular seem hugely interested in both interfering and trying to run our lives and make us "Good little citizens".

In Nottingham town centre they have fitted speakers to the CCTV camera's so they can tell people off for a percieved misdemeanors and the Central Govt still hasn't scrapped road charging by fitting a chip in every car that monitors where you drive, how far and at what speed.

What is also worrying is that in a 5 mile journey in Norwich (and I would suspect in every city in the UK) our local paper said you get caught on up to 30 cameras. And thats if you're not doing anything wrong!

Possibly save your life. Check out this website.
http://everyman-campaign.org/

 

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We already arrested, held, denied civil rights here, under our "New Anti Terrorism Laws". Turns out he was perfectly innocent. Still trying to get his life back and compensation.

Enforce the laws we have before introducing any new ones !!

Life is like a sewer, what you get out of it, depends on what you put into it. (Tom Leahrer)

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Enforce the laws we have before introducing any new ones !!

If only eh? Isn't it the case that there is no Political capital in this?? It makes you sound better to the electorate if you can say we are introducing a law to correct this wrong that was left by the previous administration. At least it keeps the printers in business with all the re issuing of law books.

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Sir Tim Berners-Lee, "inventor" of the internet, is very concerned and very much opposed to the legislation, pointing out that there is no way the information can be kept secure against misuse/abuse and there are in any event no realistic proposals put forward to do so.

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What is also worrying is that in a 5 mile journey in Norwich (and I would suspect in every city in the UK) our local paper said you get caught on up to 30 cameras. And thats if you're not doing anything wrong!

And the problem with this is? I'm all for more CCTV/snooping/checking our emails etc etc.

What I always say is if you have done nothing wrong you have nothing to fear. :getmecoat:

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A man walks into a police station to report that his wallet has been stolen. He is told to wait. He is then arrested and taken to spend a night in prison before being released - because, wait for it-

He had the same birthdate as an escaped prisoner ! And his name sounded the same but is spelt differently.

It did not help him that an escaped prisoner was kinda unlikely to walk breezily into a police station and you might think that it might give the officers pause for thought.

I must of course protect identities and this happened quite a few years ago. But I know the above to be a totally 100% true story.

and you say we have " nothing to fear !!!!!?" Sorry, doesn`t wash.

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I recall years ago reading an article in WIRED by some futurist who predicted that eventually we'll have access to devices--probably glasses--with mics and video--that will record everything we do, pretty much all the time, out of a combination of narcissism and liability protection. Not a stretch to then see the same thing on your car. But then it leads to all sorts of insanity, like how do you notify other people in a private setting that they're being recorded? Will there be third-party certification agencies guaranteeing that your device hasn't been hacked or the recordings tampered with? Hang on...what's all this then?!...

Anyway, when this does happen, that will officially be the day I buy an El Camino, move to the middle of nowhere, and shoot anyone I see on sight with my great-grandfather's Damascus-barrel 10-gauge black powder hammer-action shotgun, which will drill a hole in an elephant when loaded with a slug.

1983 "Investor's Special Edition" Turbo Esprit (#43/50) | 2012 Evora S

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In support of what Dan is saying read this link, this guy was held under Australia's counter-terrorism laws.

Arrested, re-arrested, badgered, and bullied, subsequently found to innocent.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2007/jul/14/terrorism.australia

Life is like a sewer, what you get out of it, depends on what you put into it. (Tom Leahrer)

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Perhaps the guy at work with a sticker over the web cam on his laptop is not so daft after all.

How do they know an email is from you and not from someone getting into your account and sending it from your computer?

Saying that those who do no wrong have nothing to worry about assumes that all laws are fair, just and correctly enforced. That's a bad assumption.

S4 Elan, Elan +2S, Federal-spec, World Championship Edition S2 Esprit #42, S1 Elise, Excel SE

 

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This topic only serves to remind me why I wear a self-constructed 4ft square "hat" whenever I go outside on clear days.

Excerpt from the "It's not paranoia if they're really watching you" site...

satellites:

the sky has eyes

In the USA, the only entities that are allowed to own and operate satellites -- even if they are used to do scientific research, or to provide commercial services relating to communications, entertainment or weather forcecasting -- is the Department of Defense (DOD) or one of the USA's independent intelligence-gathering agencies: the Central Intelligence Agency (created in 1947), the National Security Agency (1952), the National Reconnaissance Organization (1960), or the National Imagery and Mapping Organization (1996). Foreign governments, private companies and scientific institutions must either pay a fee or enter into an exclusive information-sharing agreement (or both) if they want to get access to America's satellites.

Being second is to be the first of the ones who lose.

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