Corporate Governance and Surveillance

Corporate Governance and Surveillance

 

Corporate Governance and Surveillance

#1 the government tells the companies that they are legally required to comply, and that as corporations they are legally forbidden to reveal the subpoenas/requests for information. Apparently the laws Congress has passed since 9/11 support this position. So the commands from the government probably start near the top of the company, and work their way down.
#2  if  CEOs were to quit every time a government tells them to do something they don’t agree with, few would remain.
#3: the government both prosecutes and persecutes individual whistleblowers in these situations.

Q: Did none of these people resign in protest?  Did none ask to be reassigned?  Were they all convinced by the NSA’s argument that “it’s the only way to keep you safe”?  Or were they simply cowed into silence, afraid to act, afraid to move, afraid to not do what was asked?

Michael Woodford’s _Exposure_, about his very brief tenure as president of Olympus, and the accounting scandals that came to light during his time, which he refused to sweep under the rug.  He became a major whistleblower, and much of Olympus’s board resigned, and some were prosecuted, as a result.

The Surveillance State
Shouldn’t IT/Networking/Internet professionals have standards that, hopefully, distinguishes us from… say… China and the State-run ISP of North Korea

Why these activities are so pernicious, is that regardless of how appropriate the intended consequences anyone can paw over the data can use it for any purpose.

Big Data, Internet Surveillance, and 4th Amendment:
“The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized”

 

THE 4TH AMENDMENT

Security
Beginners Eyes: Digital Birds: Nothing is what it seems. The Illusions of Security:

The Known and Unknown Rules, becoming part of the borg. The Masters, The Humplings, and The Dregs but so what! You never get the truth from the company Memo ~ Timothy Leary.
Email Privacy
Another Court of Appeals upholds 4th Amendment rights in email. June 2007
A significant opinion was decided by the 6th Circuit Warshak v. US, upholding 4th Amendment protections for emails. The 6th Circuit ruled, agreeing with an amicus brief filed by EFF, that “A [government] seizure of e-mails from an ISP, without either a warrant supported by probable cause, notice to the account holder to render the intrusion the functional equivalent of a subpoena, or a showing that the user maintained no expectation of privacy in the e-mail, amounts to” a 4th amendment violation. This case is doubly important because the government primarily argued that the 4th Amendment shouldn’t matter, as it complied with most (but not all) of the relevant administrative subpoena statute, with its lesser standards of proof. Details: US statutes offer some privacy for emails, based on distinctions like ‘sent’ vs. ‘in transit’ vs. ‘stored’ vs. ‘read or unread.’ These categories, their standards of proof and the protections they offer, are hotly debated themselves because the US has several statutes (the Wiretap Act, ECPA, etc.) that protect some emails and computer uses, most cases never have to address the 4th Amendment issue. The case can be decided just based on whether the statute was followed. A recent case, Councilman, may be familiar to readers as an example of a case that involved the intricacies of these statutes. But the issue has always been lurking as to whether or not there is additional 4th Amendment protection above and beyond the statutes – especially as amendments (like the Patriot Act) have pared back the protections or standards in these statutes. The court today signaled there clearly is independent 4th Amendment protection, and ruled that some portions of ECPA were constitutionally inadequate.
~ Ethan Ackerman
http://www.eff.org/legal/cases/warshak_v_usa/ http://volokh.com/posts/1182181742.shtml
http://howappealing.law.com/061807.html#026198

Big Data
Infringements on Privacy – What is Protected and Private?

Cellphone Data On 4th Amendment Grounds
10/26/2012 Judge Protects Cellphone Data On 4th Amendment Grounds, Cites Government’s Technological Ignorance
Magistrate Judge Smith points out that part of the issue is that the principals involved (the assistant US Attorney and a special agent) seemed to lack essential knowledge of the underlying technology, and that this lack of knowledge prevented them from recognizing the overreach of their request.
Various US government agencies have spent a lot of time and energy hoping to ensnare as much cell phone data as possible without having to deal with the “barriers” erected by the Fourth Amendment. The feds, along with Los Angeles law enforcement agencies, have bypassed the protections of the Fourth Amendment by deploying roving cell phone trackers that mimic mobile phone towers. The FISA Amendments Act has been used as a “blank check” for wholesale spying on Americans and has been abused often enough that the Director of National Intelligence was forced to admit these Fourth Amendment violations publicly.
The good news is that a few of these overreaches are receiving judicial pushback.

Surveillance – Who’s Watching the N.S.A. Watchers?
Welcome to a world where Google knows exactly what sort of p0rn you like, and more about your interests than your partner does. Welcome to a world where your cell phone company knows exactly where you are all the time. Welcome to the end of private conversations, because increasingly your conversations are conducted by e-mail, text, or social networking sites. you do or is done on a computer, is saved, correlated, studied, passed around from company to company without your knowledge or consent; and where the government accesses it at will without a warrant.

Senators: NSA phone sweeping has been going on since 2007
http://thehill.com/
“Everyone’s been aware of it for years, every member of the Senate,” said Sen. Saxby Chambliss (Ga.), the ranking Republican on the Senate Intelligence Committee.  Under the auspices of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. He said he was not aware of a single citizen filing a complaint about it.

I love the comment that “nobody complained about it” —  maybe because nobody knew about it!

“There’s another way to phrase that and that is that the absence of evidence is not the evidence of absence.” – Donald Rumsfeld

NSA/FBI also tapped into major Internet Companies
https://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9239899/NSA_FBI_mining_data_directly_from_major_Internet_companies_report_says
“the only members of Congress who know about PRISM were bound by oaths of office to hold their tongues.”
Q: Does this “oath to hold their tongues” supersede their oath to uphold the Constitution to the United States against enemies both foreign and DOMESTIC?

Good timeline: Electronic Surveillance Under Bush and Obama
http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2013/06/07/us/07nsa-timeline.html

NYT: President Obama’s Dragnet By THE EDITORIAL BOARD
https://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/07/opinion/president-obamas-dragnet.html
The administration has now lost all credibility on this issue. Mr. Obama is proving the truism that the executive branch will use any power it is given and very likely abuse it.

So that’s what the NYT “discovered” that we have today: a 1997 type of control.  Perhaps they can also announce the ’97 solution.

In 1997 All these methods, besides the obvious advantages of a legal and centralized control method, provide however a back door into each person’s or company’s private businesses by giving government agencies the possibility of easy decryption of otherwise private messages. One could add that these methods make network systems insecure also by design, whereas before they were insecure by accident.
… in http://mcwg.org/mcg-mirror/cert.htm — one of the most visited pages in the Internet at the time. The paper also showed in ’97 that PGP and PKI would not work for encryption (sorry, even if done right) and that’s why we started to develop a secure system that anyone can use well and it’s now ZSentry.  http://zsentry.com
So, why are the NYT and people here claiming surprise today? This is all actually very old old news. This was a new (’97) type of control — and was devised because the Internet is at odds with centralized control, so Internet control must be decentralized in order to be effective.

Q: How Does the How the military and civil service always manage to control the administration’s position on such things?

A #1: from  Mark Stahlman Brooklyn NY
In early 1960, Eisenhower gave his farewell speech in which he famously named the “military-industrial complex” and, as most have forgotten, the equally dangerous “scientific and technological elite.”
As a man who had both made history and who personally knew dozens of others with “world-historic” ambitions, most notably the Rockefeller brothers, even he couldn’t stop the *machine* that came rolling out of WW II to dominate US policy and actions — domestic and foreign.
Following the Nixon impeachment, what President was safe?  Was Reagan *really* the President?  How about Clinton after he was also “impeached”?  No one thought that George W. Bush was really the “decider” — did they?
The NYTimes endlessly complains about how Obama is “detached” and “too cool.”  Of course he is.  Why would he want to know what’s going on?  He’s a law professor from Chicago, without the experience or personality to actually “run” anything.
Only 57.5% of eligible voters actually cast ballots in the 2012 election and Gallop has just fallen on their sword over how they mis-estimated the makeup of the turnout — which was skillfully “engineered” to give Obama an apparent “victory” where everyone knows he really won because many Republicans *really* didn’t want Romney, so they stayed home.
The US hasn’t had an over-reaching *strategy* since the Cold War and that was designed in the 1950s.  Instead, we have a situation where “no one” is in charge and “no one” really has a comprehensive picture of what is actually going on or what to do about strategically.
Instead, the MACHINE is running the place.  If the technology *wants* it to be done, then it is budgeted and “cleared” legally, since, as we all know, the Constitution requires actual people to apply it — but the *people* have retreated into their “fall-out” shelters, hoping to survive the conflagration.
It has been a *very* long time since the US has had either a leader or a leadership group or a process like this. As a result, the *BUS* is “driving” itself and, for better-and-worse, the rest of the world both knows and fears where it is heading  . . . !!

A #2  John Dougan acm.org
The civil service controls what the politicians see and hear (substantially in a policy proposal sense, certainly also in an intelligence information sense) so of course they have substantial control of the discourse. I think they also have an advantage in that relatively few people in the US think of the civil service as its own entity, with its own goals, directions and interests. This enable it to operate in more of a stealth mode. Lobbyists certainly understand this.
Organization,  is about linkages. Society may be thought of as the workings of an intricate machine, with all the parts working happily at their complementary functions.
http://www.troynovant.com/Franson/Vance/Dodkins-Job.html

Mainstream Media Fail to Break Even One of Four Obama Scandals
http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Journalism/2013/06/06/Mainstream-Media-Did-Not-break-Even-One-of-Four-Obama-Scandals
But one thing is for damn sure, whatever that scandal is, you can bet the American mainstream media will be playing catch up and not carrying the glory of breaking a story about a major White House scandal. Fact: Over the past few weeks, four major scandals have broken over the Obama administration, and it is a very sad (and frightening) truth that our pathetic, American, lapdog mainstream media is not responsible for breaking even a single one.

This disclosure was made by a British newspaper not U.S. Journalists.
Perhaps the recent monitoring of (Associated Press) reporters inhibited them from pursuing the matter.  Will this lead to the UK and USA going forward with expanding the UK’s Official Secrets Act to include disclosing secrets of foreign countries?

DNI Statement on NSA Disclosures June 6
http://s3.documentcloud.org/documents/710150/dni-statements-on-disclosure-of-classified.pdf
Address some of the questions raised in the WaPo/Guardian articles and of course, includes the usual statements about “balancing privacy/security” and how such disclosures hurt the country, etc,

What We Don’t Know About Spying on Citizens: Scarier Than What We Know
http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2013/06/what-we-dont-know-about-spying-on-citizens-scarier-than-what-we-know/276607/
The NSA’s surveillance of cell-phone calls show how badly we need to protect the whistle-blowers who provide transparency and accountability.
Yesterday, we learned that the NSA received all calling records from Verizon customers for a three-month period starting in April. That’s everything except the voice content: who called who, where they were, how long the call lasted — for millions of people, both Americans and foreigners. This “metadata” allows the government to track the movements of everyone during that period, and a build a detailed picture of who talks to whom. It’s exactly the same data the Justice Department collected about AP journalists.
We know the FBI has issued tens of thousands of ultra-secret National Security Letters to collect all sorts of data on people — we believe on millions of people — and has been abusing them to spy on cloud-computer users. We know it can collect a wide array of personal data from the Internet without a warrant. We also know that the FBI has been intercepting cell-phone data, all but voice content, for the past 20 years without a warrant, and can use the microphone on some powered-off cell phones as a room bug — presumably only with a warrant.
NSA’s ECHELON program from a 2000 European investigation, and about the DHS’s plans for Total Information Awareness from 2002, but much less about how these programs have evolved.
For a lot of this, we’re completely in the dark.
And that’s wrong.
The U.S. government is on a secrecy binge. It overclassifies more information than ever. And we learn, again and again, that our government regularly classifies things not because they need to be secret, but because their release would be embarrassing.
Knowing how the government spies on us is important. Not only because so much of it is illegal — or, to be as charitable as possible, based on novel interpretations of the law — but because we have a right to know. Democracy requires an informed citizenry in order to function properly, and transparency and accountability are essential parts of that. That means knowing what our government is doing to us, in our name. That means knowing that the government is operating within the constraints of the law. Otherwise, we’re living in a police state.

We need whistle-blowers.
The rest of society isn’t grateful enough for what they did to defend their reputations or help them get another job. Whistleblowers are utterly dependent on how other people tell their story: will the focus be on their motives (disgruntled, troublemaker, security risk, politically inept) or whether what they did was for the greater good?

Manning trial draws focus on to Obama’s security state
http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/9799dbd4-ce02-11e2-a13e-00144feab7de.html
In the three years it has taken the US military to bring Bradley Manning to trial, the Obama administration might have hoped some of the political heat surrounding the biggest leak of classified information in US history would have dissipated.

Free Bradley Manning petition to the White House
https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/free-bradley-manning/6qFjYRhj
if you agree with it, please sign it and send it to your friends on facebook and on your email lists.

Dept. of Homeland Security: Laptops, Phones Can Be Searched Based on Hunches
http://washington.cbslocal.com/2013/06/05/dept-of-homeland-security-laptops-phones-can-be-searched-based-on-hunches/
The 23-page report, obtained by The Associated Press and the American Civil Liberties Union under the U.S. Freedom of Information Act, provides a rare glimpse of the Obama administration’s thinking on the long-standing but controversial practice of border agents and immigration officers searching and in some cases holding for weeks or months the digital devices of anyone trying to enter the U.S. the US Government also asserts that such warrantless searches can be done within 100 miles of the US border[1]. Two thirds of the US population lives within that distance.[2]

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Border_search_exception:

§ 287 (a) (3) of the Immigration and Nationality Act,
66 Stat. 233, 8 U.S.C. § 1357(a)(3), which simply provides
for warrantless searches of automobiles and other conveyances
“within a reasonable distance from any external boundary of the
United States,” as authorized by regulations to be promulgated
by the Attorney General. The Attorney General’s regulation,
8 CFR § 287.1, defines “reasonable distance” as “within 100
air miles from any external boundary of the United States.”

[2] http://www.aclu.org/technology-and-liberty/fact-sheet-us-constitution-free-zone
* What we found is that fully TWO-THIRDS of the United
States’ population lives within this Constitution-free or
Constitution-lite Zone.   That’s 197.4 million people who live
within 100 miles of the US land and coastal borders.

* Nine of the top 10 largest metropolitan areas as determined
by the 2000 census, fall within the Constitution-free Zone.
(The only exception is #9, Dallas-Fort Worth.) Some states are
considered to lie completely within the zone: Connecticut,
Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan,
New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island and Vermont.

Welcome to the era of Total Information Awareness and ain’t it grand?
http://news.cnet.com/8301-13578_3-57588055-38/welcome-to-the-era-of-total-information-awareness-and-aint-it-grand/
The problem isn’t the National Security Agency. It’s the Patriot Act and what it represents as we watch the modern surveillance state take shape — in secret.

How Congress unknowingly legalized PRISM in 2007
“unknowingly” ?? they just chose to marginalise their concerns in the name of protecting the homeland
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2013/06/06/how-congress-unknowingly-legalized-prism-in-2007/

WaPost backtracks on claim tech companies ‘participate knowingly’ in PRISM data collection
http://thenextweb.com/us/2013/06/07/wapost-backtracks-on-claim-tech-companies-participate-knowingly-in-prism-data-collection/

A slide depicting the top-secret PRISM program
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jun/06/us-tech-giants-nsa-data
NSA taps in to user data of Apple, Google and others, secret files reveal
• Top secret PRISM program claims direct access to servers of firms including Google, Skype and Yahoo
• Companies deny any knowledge of program in operation since 2007
The National Security Agency has obtained direct access to the systems of Google, Facebook, Apple and other US internet giants, according to a top secret document obtained by the Guardian.
The NSA access is part of a previously undisclosed program called PRISM, which allows officials to collect material including search history, the content of emails, file transfers and live chats, the document says.
The Guardian has verified the authenticity of the document, a 41-slide PowerPoint presentation – classified as top secret with no distribution to foreign allies – which was apparently used to train intelligence operatives on the capabilities of the program. The document claims “collection directly from the servers” of major US service providers.

SA slides explain the PRISM data-collection program
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/special/politics/prism-collection-documents/

British government has access to Internet giants’ data via US spy agency.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/technology/newspaper-british-government-has-access-to-internet-giants-data-via-us-spy-agency/2013/06/07/33217d60-cf7e-11e2-8573-3baeea6a2647_story.html
Britain’s Guardian newspaper says that the U.K. government has been secretly gathering communications data from American Internet giants through the medium of the U.S. National Security Agency. The paper says that it has seen documents showing how the British eavesdropping agency GCHQ has had access to America’s “Prism” system since at least June 2010.

Is Big Data turning government into ‘Big Brother?’ 6/06/2013
http://investing.businessweek.com/research/stocks/news/article.asp?docKey=600-201306070302APONLINEDOMESTIC_US_NSA_Phone_Records_-1
With every phone call they make and every Web excursion they take, people are leaving a digital trail of revealing data that can be tracked by profit-seeking companies and terrorist-hunting government officials.

Documents: U.S. mining data from 9 leading Internet firms; companies deny knowledge
http://www.washingtonpost.com/investigations/us-intelligence-mining-data-from-nine-us-internet-companies-in-broad-secret-program/2013/06/06/3a0c0da8-cebf-11e2-8845-d970ccb04497_story.html
The National Security Agency and the FBI are tapping directly into the central servers of nine leading U.S. Internet companies, extracting audio and video chats, photographs, e-mails, documents, and connection logs that enable analysts to track foreign targets, according to a top-secret document obtained by The Washington Post.
The program, code-named PRISM, has not been made public until now. It may be the first of its kind. The NSA prides itself on stealing secrets and breaking codes, and it is accustomed to corporate partnerships that help it divert data traffic or sidestep barriers. But there has never been a Google or Facebook before, and it is unlikely that there are richer troves of valuable intelligence than the ones in Silicon Valley.

Welcome to the Bush-Obama White House: They’re Spying on Us The “Bush-Obama era” will be long remembered for curbing the Constitution. http://www.nationaljournal.com/politics/welcome-to-the-bush-obama-white-house-they-re-spying-on-us-20130606
Welcome to the era of Bush-Obama, a 16-year span of U.S. history that will be remembered for an unprecedented erosion of civil liberties and a disregard for transparency. On the war against a tactic—terrorism—and its insidious fallout, the United States could have skipped the 2008 election. It made little difference. Despite his clear and popular promises to the contrary, President Obama has not shifted the balance between security and freedom to a more natural state—one not blinded by worst fears and tarred by power grabs. If anything, things have gotten worse.

Revealed: NSA collecting phone records of millions of Americans daily
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jun/06/nsa-phone-records-verizon-court-order
The National Security Agency is currently collecting the telephone records of millions of US customers of Verizon, one of America’s largest telecoms providers, under a top secret court order issued in April.

National Security Agency reportedly collecting info on *all* calls placed by Verizon subscribers
(Guardian)
“The National Security Agency is currently collecting the telephone records of millions of US customers of Verizon, one of America’s largest telecoms providers, under a top secret court order issued in April.  The order, a copy of which has been obtained by the Guardian, requires Verizon on an “ongoing, daily basis” to give the NSA information on all telephone calls in its systems, both within the US and between the US and other countries … Under the Bush administration, officials in security agencies had disclosed to reporters the large-scale collection of call records data by the NSA, but this is the first time significant and top-secret documents have revealed the continuation of the practice on a massive scale under President Obama.”

CALEA 2.0
Let’s not forget that if the NSA+Verizon (et.al?) thing isn’t scary enough, the FBI wants to backdoor everything we own for spying, ala CALEA 2.0.
https://www.eff.org/mention/fbi-wants-backdoor-all-communications-software

Al Gore
In digital era, privacy must be a priority. Is it just me, or is secret blanket surveillance obscenely outrageous?
@algore former vice president slammed the overreach of the NSA’s surveillance powers on Twitter.  http://t.co/KONSBtTWjc

Initial thoughts on the NSA-Verizon surveillance order
http://cyberlaw.stanford.edu/blog/2013/06/initial-thoughts-nsa-verizon-surveillance-order
The WaPo and Guardian report this evening that through its PRISM program, NSA also is directly tapped into the systems of many leading Internet services, such as Microsoft, Yahoo, Google, AOL, Skype, and (as of April 2013) Apple.
Turn over call information (“telephony metadata”) to the National Security Agency (NSA).

The Fix
SOCOM-approved Silent Circle Resists Calls For Wiretap Backdoors
http://www.defensenews.com/article/20130606/C4ISR01/306060013/SOCOM-approved-Silent-Circle-Resists-Calls-Wiretap-Backdoors
Silent Circle’s products are built completely around security and privacy. They meet the NSA’s “Suite B” standards. Emails are encrypted using the PGP protocol designed 20 years ago by Phil Zimmermann, the longtime security expert and privacy rights advocate who serves as the company’s president. Voice and video communications are encrypted by ZRTP, another Zimmermann invention.
Janke says the company has three customer bases: individual subscribers, enterprise clients, and governments. In the federal government, he said, there’s even been a surprising market coming from the Bring Your Own Device phenomenon: agencies, he says, buy Silent Circle for their workers to manage their personal smart phones.
The firm says U.S. Special Operations Command approved it as a commercial secure communications provider earlier this year.

Google Glass technology to be banned, infuriating a consumer watchdog group who accused the tech giant of hypocrisy
http://www.cnbc.com/id/100798068
Nonprofit organization Consumer Watchdog called Google executives hypocrites for the restrictions.
“Google has unleashed one of the most privacy invasive devices ever,” John M. Simpson, privacy project director at Consumer Watchdog, said in a press release.
“Google Glass aids and abets people who want to invade our privacy by videoing or photographing us surreptitiously, but when it comes to their own privacy Google executives jealously guard it.”

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