web analytics
April 21, 2015 / 2 Iyar, 5775
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post


Quick Takes: News You May Have Missed

Aaron Klein

Aaron Klein

Why Does The Government Need Our Phone Records?

Clues to the federal government’s reason for collecting the telephone records of millions of Verizon customers may be found in a recently unearthed 2010 project seeking to predict criminal activity using vast quantities of data on citizens mined from social network websites such as Facebook and Twitter.

In February, the Sydney Morning Herald reported that the Massachusetts-based multinational corporation, Raytheon – the world’s fifth largest defense contractor – had developed a “Google for Spies” operation.

Herald reporter Ryan Gallagher wrote that Raytheon had “secretly developed software capable of tracking people’s movements and predicting future behavior by mining data from social networking websites” like Facebook, Twitter, and Foursquare.

The software is called RIOT, or Rapid Information Overlay Technology.

Raytheon told the Herald it hasn’t sold RIOT to any clients but admitted that in 2010 it shared the program’s software technology with the U.S. government as part of a “joint research and development effort…to help build a national security system capable of analyzing ‘trillions of entities’ from cyberspace.”

In April, RIOT was reportedly showcased at a U.S. government and industry national security conference for secretive, classified innovations, where it was listed under the category “big data – analytics, algorithms.”

Jay Stanley, senior policy analyst for the ACLU Speech, Privacy and Technology Project, argues that such software raises major ethical dilemmas even though RIOT apparently utilizes only publicly available information from companies like Facebook, Twitter, and Foursquare.

“The government has no business rooting around people’s social network postings – even those that are voluntarily publicly posted – unless it has specific, individualized suspicion that person is involved in wrongdoing,” Stanley wrote on the ACLU blog.

Stanley wrote that among the many problems with government large-scale analytics of social network information “is the prospect that government agencies will blunderingly use these techniques to tag, target, and watchlist people coughed up by programs such as RIOT, or to target them for further invasions of privacy based on incorrect inferences.”

“The chilling effects of such activities,” he concluded, “while perhaps gradual, would be tremendous.”

NSA Working Out Of The University Of Maryland?

Does the National Security Agency run covert facilities at the University of Maryland, and possibly other U.S. universities as well?

Edward Snowden, the whistleblower behind the NSA surveillance revelations, told the UK Guardian newspaper that he previously worked as a security guard for what the publication described as “one of the agency’s covert facilities at the University of Maryland.”

Some reports indicate that the NSA runs a classified program at the university involved in data mining and the use of intrusive, controversial technology. One such report came from PBS in January 2009. The news agency described an NSA artificial intelligence program “designed to gain insight into what people are thinking.”

PBS reported that the system is so potentially intrusive “that at least one researcher has quit, citing concerns over the dangers in placing such a powerful weapon in the hands of a top-secret agency with little accountability.”

According to the PBS report, the data mining system and other surveillance programs were being run out of a 120,000-square-foot building in M Square Research Park in College Park, Maryland, operated in collaboration with the University of Maryland.

In the 2009 report, PBS referred to possible data mining from social media websites. “As more and more data is collected – through phone calls, credit card receipts, social networks like Facebook and MySpace, GPS tracks, cell phone geolocation, Internet searches, Amazon book purchases, even E-Z Pass toll records – it may one day be possible to know not just where people are and what they are doing, but what and how they think.”

Director Of National Intelligence Misled Congress On Data Mining

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper seemingly misled lawmakers when he told a Senate committee hearing three months ago that the National Security Agency does not “wittingly” collect data on millions of Americans.

On March 12, Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) asked Clapper at a hearing of the Senate Intelligence Committee: “Does the NSA collect any type of data at all on millions or hundreds of millions of Americans?”

Clapper responded: “No, sir.”

Wyden continued by asking, “It does not?”

Clapper stated: “Not wittingly. There are cases where they could, inadvertently perhaps, collect – but not wittingly.”

Asked about those remarks this week, Clapper told the National Journal, “What I said was, the NSA does not voyeuristically pore through U.S. citizens’ e-mails. I stand by that.”

Clapper’s testimony is at odds with multiple news media reports of the NSA collecting phone and Internet data from millions of Americans.

About the Author: Aaron Klein is a New York Times bestselling author and senior reporter for WND.com. He is also host of an investigative radio program on New York's 970 AM Radio on Sundays from 7 to 9 p.m. Eastern. His website is KleinOnline.com.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Quick Takes: News You May Have Missed”

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
Rav Aharon Lichtenstein
My Encounter with Rav Lichtenstein
Latest Indepth Stories
Rav Aharon Lichtenstein

What was supposed to have been a 15 minute interview, turned into an intense learning session and intellectual battle, the likes of which I had never experienced in my entire life.

Rabbi Lichtenstein (z"l).

Rav Lichtenstein did not learn Tanaim, Amoraim, Rishonim and Achronim, rather he learned with them

Israel Supreme Court at Night

How can NIF claim they don’t support BDS when they try to repeal laws forbidding boycotts of Israel?

Rabbi Lichtenstein (z"l).

“Rav Lichtenstein’s vision and inspiration served to guide the development of Tzohar.”

As Holocaust survivors decline rapidly attacks on the veracity of the Holocaust rapidly escalates

The Constitution created history’s most powerful legislature & inherent foreign policy power battle

The S-300 poses a major problem; Israel will have to get creative as to if, when & where it strikes

“The resentment towards us (Jews/Israelis) was really intense. They clearly hate Zionism & Zionists”

Egypt has been more effective against Gazan smuggling tunnels than Israel’s military operations

She had many names and was many things to many people, but to me she was just Babineni.

Is ISIS in Gaza? “No, but there are ISIS loyalists here..we pray to God they unite under ISIS’ flag”

Rabbi Portal was that great “inspirer,” changing people for the better, enriching the lives of all

Iran knows Obama, Putin, and the Europeans don’t have a Red Line beyond which they will go to war

There is no way to explain the Holocaust. I know survivors who are not on speaking terms with G-d. I know many who are the opposite. I have no right to go there…

When a whole side of your family perishes, friends become the extended family you do not have.

“We stand with Israel because of its values and its greatness and because its such a wonderful ally”

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/columns/aaron-klein/quick-takes-news-you-may-have-missed-184/2013/06/12/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: