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  1. The NSA Helped British Spies Observe Yahoo Users For Years

    Mostly to figure out why they still used Yahoo?

    Here's news to make you recoil from your computer in disgust: we're not done with horrifying NSA revelations. The Guardian broke the news today that the NSA helped its British equivalent GCHQ spy on Yahoo users from 2008 to 2010 as part of operation "Optic Nerve," and now spies know what a lot of us look like naked. M would be outraged.

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  2. FISA Gets Thumbs Up From Senate for Five More Years of Creepy Government Eavesdropping

    Way back in September we reported that the House of Representatives gave thumbs up to the FISA Amendments Act renewal -- allowing the National Security Agency (NSA) to continue to eavesdrop on the private conversations of American citizens without a warrant, granted the person in question is at least assumed to be involved in a foreign affair that could threaten national security. Essentially, the government can do as they please sifting through our email and phone calls. This week, after days of tenuous -- and largely fruitless -- debates and the shooting down of amendments drafted to rein in the unconstitutional nature of FISA, the Senate also gave their approval to the renewal of the act for another five years shortly before it was due to expire. Given the global sociopolitical barometer, flat out ignoring civil liberties seems to be the trendy thing to do these days.

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  3. House Gives Thumbs Up to Five More Years of Broad Electronic Eavesdropping

    The FISA Amendments Act essentially allows the government to eavesdrop on Americans' email and phone calls without a warrant. There's just one stipulation: One of those involved must be "believed" to be from outside the United States. So, basically, they can conduct electronic surveillance on domestic targets so long as they suspect there might be some kind of foreign involvement. This is the act that the House of Representatives have agreed to reauthorize for five more years.

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  4. British Airways Plans to Become Exceedingly Creepy

    There's nothing quite like being approached by complete strangers that know everything you've ever posted on the internet. It's even more creepy when they specifically target, say, your previous flight experiences. That's essentially what British Airways is looking to provide: Personnel that are caught up on your past flights, know you by sight, and are willing to engage you on these things. To this end, their "Know Me" program will see staff using Google images to try and put a face with the name. Cue creepy interactions.

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  5. Canadian Big Brother is Listening in Airports

    Or they will be soon if the Canada Border Services Agency has any say in the matter. It is on said agency's behalf that high-definition cameras and microphones with the capability to eavesdrop on citizens travelling through the airport are being installed. They've stated that no audio recording is happening at current but that they will, in the future, be able to record conversations. Surely they will use this power responsibly and not just record everything. Or not.

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  6. New Law Aims To Monitor Calls, Texts, Emails, and Web History Of U.K. Users

    A new U.K. law, expected to be announced during the Queen's Speech in May, would allow the Government Communications Headquarters ( -- a British intelligence agency -- to have unlimited access to a wealth of information about U.K. citizens' communications. The law, which proponents claim is necessary for tackling terrorism and crime in general, would allow the GCHQ to pull up records concerning any citizen's phone calls, text messages, emails, and web history. At the moment, access to such information requires the permission of a Magistrate, much in the same way search warrants work in the United States. The new law, however, would remove this step.

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  7. DoJ Orders Twitter to Hand Over Wikileaks Follower Info

    It was a paranoid weekend for some Twitter users when it was revealed that the popular micro-blogging site received a court order from the U.S. Department of Justice to turn over information related to followers of the @WikiLeaks account. From the @WikiLeaks Twitter stream:

    WARNING all 637,000 @wikileaksfollowers are a target of US gov subpoena against Twitter, under section 2. B
    The order requires Twitter to provide information on specific users, such as IP addresses, physical addresses, and banking information.

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  8. Obama Administration Proposes Unique Internet ID for Every American

    In the coming months, the Obama administration is planning on passing a new proposal, the National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace, to the U.S. Commerce Department regarding a national "cybersecurity measure" that will aim to give each U.S. citizen their own unique Internet ID, but U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke assures us, "We are not talking about a national ID card." Head on past the break to see if Locke can assuage your fears of Big Brother watching your every cyber-move.

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  9. Yet Another Way in Which Your Smart Phone Will Betray You

    KDDI Research and Development (which is a subsidiary of KDDI, one of Japan's largest phone companies) has developed a phone that lets your manager know whether you are slacking off. Not by listening in, or by watching with the phone's camera, but by using software that "learns" your daily routine from the phone's accelerometer and then reports on when you deviate from the norm.

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