You live in a society where if you mind your own business everyone else minds their own. If the police or government want to find out anything they have to issue a warrant. You live in a society where you have the fundamental human right of privacy. Right?
We actually live in a society that, in many ways, is much more pervasive and intrusive than Orwells Big Brother could have ever dreamed up. Nowadays we are constantly being tracked, watched and listened to by the government without most of us ever really realising this fact. CCTV, mobile phones, smart meters, smart televisions, internet, GPS, clocking in cards, RFID chips (if they get their way we will all be chipped), the list goes on and sadly on. Below is a list of some of the systems that they (your government/military) have in place to eavesdrop and record your every move.
Take the time to read through, and follow up on, the links to Wikipedia anything you don’t understand. I hope this list helps open your eyes a bit more. The governments, especially those of the United Kingdom and United States, are really overstepping the mark on privacy issues. I believe that every human being has the basic right to privacy. The sad fact is we all act differently when we know we are being observed, and the powers that be know this. Their ideal populace would be docile workers who don’t question anything and just swallow whatever cover stories the elite can conjure up.
- ECHELON: A signals intelligence (SIGINT) collection and analysis network operated on behalf of the five signatory states to the UKUSA Security Agreement.
- Data Retention Directive: A directive requiring EU member states to store citizens’ telecommunications data for six to 24 months and allowing police and security agencies to request access from a court to details such as IP address and time of use of every email, phone call, and text message sent or received.
- INDECT: Research project funded by the European Union to develop surveillance methods (e.g. processing of CCTV camera data streams) for the monitoring of abnormal behaviours in an urban environment.
- In August 2014 it was reported that law-enforcement agencies had been accessing Australians’ web browsing histories via internet providers such as Telstra without a warrant.
- It was reported that Australia had issued 75% more wiretap warrants in 2003 than the US did and this was 26 times greater than the US on a per capita basis.
- Golden Shield Project: Also known as the “Great Firewall of China”, it is a censorship and surveillance project operated by the Ministry of Public Security (MPS) division of the government of the People’s Republic of China. The project was initiated in 1998 and began operations in November 2003.
- Monitoring Bureau
- Public Information Network Security
- Frenchelon: A data collection and analysis network operated by the French Directorate-General for External Security.
- Nachrichtendienstliches Informationssystem: a searchable database operated by the German security agency Bundesamt für Verfassungsschutz (BfV).
- Project 6: a global surveillance project jointly operated by the German intelligence agencies Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND) and Bundesamt für Verfassungsschutz (BfV) in close cooperation with the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency(CIA).
- Central Monitoring System (CMS): A data collection system similar to the NSA’s PRISM program. It enables the Government of India to listen to phone conversations, intercept e-mails and text messages, monitor posts on social networking service and track searches on Google.
- DRDO NETRA: Network that is capable of tracking online communications on a real time basis by harvesting data from various voice-over-IP services, including Skype and Google Talk. It is operated by the Research and Analysis Wing.
- NATGRID: An intelligence grid that links the databases of several departments and ministries of the Government of India.
- SORM: A technical system used by the Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation to monitor internet and telephone communication.
- Titan traffic database: A database established by the Swedish National Defence Radio Establishment where call detail records (CDRs) of telephony and internet traffic and transaction data (IPDRs) concerning international telecommunications are stored.
- Onyx: A data gathering system maintained by several Swiss intelligence agencies to monitor military and civilian communications, such as e-mails, telefax and telephone calls. In 2001, Onyx received its second nomination for the ironically-named “Big Brother Award“.
- Impact Nominal Index: The Impact Nominal Index or INI is a computer system that enables the UK police force to establish whether other relevant authorities are holding information regarding a person of interest.
- Interception Modernisation Programme: An initiative to extend the UK government‘s capability to lawfully intercept and store communications data in a central database.
- Mastering the Internet (MTI): A clandestine mass surveillance program led by the British intelligence agency GCHQ. Data gathered by the GCHQ include the contents of email messages, entries on the social networking platform Facebook and the web browsing history of internet users.
- UK National DNA Database (NDNAD): It is also the oldest national DNA database in the world. Since its establishment in 1995, the database has grown to include DNA samples from 2.7 million individuals, or 5.2% of the UK’s population, many of whom have neither been charged with, or convicted of, any offence.
- Tempora: Launched in the autumn of 2011, this initiative allows the GCHQ to set up a large-scale buffer that is capable of storing internet content for 3 days and metadata for 30 days.
- Royal Concierge: prototyped in 2010, sends daily alerts to GCHQ whenever a booking is made from a “.gov.” second-level domain at select hotels worldwide.
Further information: Mass surveillance in the United States
- Boundless Informant: A system deployed by the National Security Agency to analyze global electronic information. In March 2013, Boundless Informant gathered 14 billion data reports from Iran, 6.3 billion from India, and 2.8 billion from the United States.
- BULLRUN: a highly classified U.S. National Security Agency program to preserve its ability to eavesdrop on encrypted communications by influencing and weakening encryption standards, by obtaining master encryption keys, and by gaining access to data before or after it is encrypted either by agreement, by force of law, or by computer network exploitation (hacking).
- Carnivore: A system implemented by the Federal Bureau of Investigation that was designed to monitor email and electronic communications. Apparently replaced by commercial software such as NarusInsight.
- DCSNet: The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)’s point-and-click surveillance system that can perform instant wiretaps on any telecommunications device located in the United States.
- Financial Crimes Enforcement Network: A bureau of the Department of the Treasury that collects and analyzes financial transactions in order to combat financial crimes.
- Magic Lantern: A keystroke logging software deployed by the FBI in the form of an e-mail attachment. When activated, it acts as a trojan horse and allows the FBI to decrypt user communications.
- Main Core: A personal and financial database storing information of millions of U.S. citizens believed to be threats to national security. The data mostly comes from the NSA, FBI, CIA, as well as other government sources.
- MAINWAY: NSA database containing metadata for hundreds of billions of telephone calls made through the four largest telephone carriers in the United States.
- MYSTIC is a voice interception program used by the National Security Agency.
- Nationwide Suspicious Activity Reporting Initiative: Under this government initiative, a Suspicious Activity Report (SAR) may be filed by law enforcers, public safety personnel, owners of critical infrastructure or the general public.
- NSA ANT catalog: a 50 page document listing technology available to the United States National Security Agency (NSA) ANT division to aid in cyber-surveillance.
- PRISM: A clandestine national security electronic surveillance program operated by the United States National Security Agency (NSA) which can target customers of participating corporations outside or inside the United States.
- Room 641A: A telecommunication interception facility operated by AT&T for the U.S. National Security Agency.
- Sentry Eagle: efforts to monitor and attack an adversary’s cyberspace through capabilities include SIGINT, Computer Network Exploitation (CNE), Information Assurance, Computer Network Defense (CND), Network Warfare, and Computer Network Attack (CNA). The efforts included weaking US commercial encryption systems.
- Special Collection Service (SCS): A black budget program that is responsible for “close surveillance, burglary, wiretapping, breaking and entering.” It employs covert listening device technologies to bug foreign embassies, communications centers, computer facilities, fiber-optic networks, and government installations.
- Tailored Access Operations: Intelligence-gathering unit of the NSA that is capable of harvesting approximately 2petabytes of data per hour.
- Terrorist Finance Tracking Program: A joint initiative run by the CIA and the Department of the Treasury to access the SWIFT (Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication) transaction database as part of the Bush administration‘s “Global War on Terrorism“. According to the U.S. government, its efforts to counter terrorist activitieswere compromised after the existence of the Terrorist Finance Tracking Program was leaked to the media.
- Intelligence Community (IC): A cooperative federation of 16 government agencies working together, but also separately, to gather intelligence and conductespionage.
- Utah Data Center: The Intelligence Community’s US$1.5 billion data storage center that is designed to store extremely large amounts of data, on the scale ofyottabytes.
- X-Keyscore: A system used by the United States National Security Agency for searching and analysing internet data about foreign nationals.
- GhostNet: A fictitious code name given to a large-scale surveillance project that is believed to be operated by the People’s Republic of China.
- Stuxnet: It is the first discovered malware that spies on industrial systems, and it was used to attack Iran‘s nuclear facilities. It is believed to have originated from the United States under the Bush administration.
- Information Awareness Office: An office established to bring together several DARPA projects focused on applying surveillance and information technology to track and monitor terrorists and other threats to U.S. national security.
- Multistate Anti-Terrorism Information Exchange (MATRIX): A data mining system originally developed for the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.
- ThinThread: A U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) program involved wiretapping and sophisticated analysis of the resulting data.
- Trailblazer Project: U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) program intended to develop a capability to analyze data carried on communications networks including cell phone networks and the Internet.