Surveillance

Is paying your bills digitally secure and private?

Digital Bills

Episode 1647

Jacob from South Elgin, Illinois

Jacob wants to know if paying electronically is secure. He doesn't like that it has a digital paper trail that people can see what he's spending his money on. Leo says that there's a fine line between the security of digital transactions and the privacy concerns that come with them. Leo also says that facial recognition and the prevalence of security cameras are a larger concern. The police can follow you everywhere using facial recognition and know where you are at all times. So he's more concerned with that.

Britain Passed the Most Extreme Surveillance Law Ever in a Democracy

Houses of Parliament

Episode 1341

Britain passed the "Snooper's Charter," which is being claimed the most extreme surveillance law ever passed in a democracy. Current Prime Minister Theresa May introduced it before she was Prime Minister. She's tried two times to pass it, and after four years, it was passed on Wednesday by both houses of Parliament. The law will force internet service providers in Britain to record every internet customer's web history in real time for every place they visit. It discourages encryption. It gives law enforcement and intelligence agencies the power to hack into devices of any citizen.

Putin Signs New Law in Russia That Increases Surveillance of Citizens

Episode 1303

Russian President Vladimir Putin signed anti-terrorism legislation, including increased electronic surveillance of Russian citizens. This effectively removes all privacy as telephone companies and internet providers will save and store private communications of its customers and make it available to the government upon request. Phone calls, text messages, and emails will be kept for 6 months, and all metadata will be kept for up to 3 years. This also will outlaw encryption.

How can I monitor activity on someone's iPhone?

Apple iPhone 6s

Episode 1267

Marley from Los Angeles, CA

Marley wants to put tracking software on her soon to be ex's iPhone. What program would be least likely to be detected? Leo says that the easiest way is to turn on Apple's Find My iPhone feature. It will give her the location of the phone. Can she listen to the calls and see keystrokes? Leo says that Apple makes it very hard to do that. She can jailbreak it, but that comes with a whole host of issues, including ethical ones. If she's logged into the same Apple ID, she could see what his text messages are.

Governments Use Paris Attack to Justify More State Surveillance

Encryption

Episode 1153

Using the Paris attack to justify stepping up the intrusiveness of state surveillance, UK Prime Minister David Cameron is calling for and end to any communication that the government is unable to read with a simple warrant signed by the home secretary. Leo says that this can't happen. The US even tried to prevent strong encryption by classifying it as munitions, and it just didn't work because it's really easy to create strong encryption.

Should I really be worried about the NSA spying on me?

NSA protesters

Episode 1065

Po from Los Angeles, CA

Po isn't thrilled about the trend of surveillance in this country and how easy it could be for them to listen in on cellphones. Leo says that the courts have held that metadata (where he is or who he's calling) isn't subject to a warrant. So the government can make a request for a "pen register," pay a fee and then they can know someone's exact whereabouts.

Federal Judge Declares National Security Letters Unconstitutional

Episode 961

Judge Susan Ilston has declared the Federal Government's National Security Letter powers and the gag orders that come with them to be Unconstitutional. The lawsuit stemmed from an FBI letter to a telco that demanded information and the Telco denying the request. They sued, claiming that the gag order and the auhtority of the national security letters is unconstitutional. The judge agreed and struck it down.