Products that allow others to spy on you

| December 3, 2011 | 3 Replies

Electronista introduces Wikileaks’ new web page listing many of the products allowing the government to spy on you:

Wikileaks has a web page called the Spy Files that shows off a number of Internet surveillance products meant for government agencies. The confidential brochures and slide presentations are made for law enforcement and authoritarian regimes and can be used to spy on the public and track political dissidents. In all, Wikileaks has 287 files for products from 160 companies and promises to reveal even more in the future.

Wikileaks worked with activist groups like Privacy International and press organizations including the Bureau of Investigative Journalism and the Washington Post. The surveillance industry is unregulated, allowing governments, authorities and military to quietly track and intercept calls and e-mails and take over computers, Wikileaks believes.

[Addendum Dec 3, 2011]. Here’s an excerpt from an email I just received from Josh Levy of Free Press (and see here)

Trevor Eckhart exposed the privacy breach in a shocking video that shows how Carrier IQ secretly records actions that you take on your phone — numbers that you dial, letters that you press when texting or searching the Web, menu buttons that you push — and sends it all back to Carrier IQ headquarters.

There’s no way to turn any of this off without hacking your phone. And carriers neglected to inform the public that this software exists in the first place.

The fact that one company is secretly storing away the data of millions of cellphone users — without our knowledge, and with no way for us to opt out — is just incredible. You’d expect this sort of thing from the Chinese government — not from a company operating in the present-day U.S.

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About the Author ()

Erich Vieth is an attorney focusing on consumer law litigation and appellate practice. He is also a working musician and a writer, having founded Dangerous Intersection in 2006. Erich and his wife, Anne Jay, live in the Shaw Neighborhood of St. Louis, Missouri, where they are raising their two extraordinary daughters.

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  1. Monica Kozeny says:

    “You’d expect this sort of thing from the Chinese government — not from a company operating in the present-day U.S.”

    The thing is, I believe most people in my generation expect EXACTLY this sort of thing from the U.S. government. I’ve talked to several friends about Carrier IQ, and none of them seemed shocked. The general attitude seems to be that it is a foregone conclusion that the government is spying on us, and there’s not a damn thing we can do about it. Basically the right to privacy is a fairy tale we grew up with that crumbled like so many others when we reached maturity.

    • Erich Vieth says:

      Monica: My experience over the past few years is that most people I talk with, regardless of age, have no expectation of privacy anymore, and that they are will to give up that expectation in return for the perception that this will make them more secure from terrorist attacks. I’m amazed that people are so willing to give up hard fought constitutional rights even when there is no probable cause established to spy on particular citizens. An organization that is out there fighting the fight is Electronic Frontier Foundation. https://www.eff.org/

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