Apple is said to be working with authorities on a solution to help them wiretap phones using iMessage, which the DEA has complained in documents is too secure due to encryption.

The Feds say that because iMessage is encrypted, any data they intercept is worthless. There are physical workarounds like bugging a house or installing malware on a targets phone, but those are more complex than simple electronic surveillance. Strong encryption schemes prevent onlookers with malicious intent from being able to read your data even if they manage to intercept it.

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The network traffic of the internet contains a bonanza of information for governments, companies, and individuals alike.

Right now, you are being tracked. The NSA has intercepted your internet connection and analyzed it for data that the government wants. Google analytics has looked at your traffic. Any network peer for your ISP, and your ISP itself have had access to your traffic data. Your unecrypted email is being perused by applications to give you targeted marketing. If you're on your phone, your GPS coordinates are available. Even if you have GPS disabled, your cell provider is logging which towers you hit to make calls or connect to the internet. Facebook tracks the actions of all of its users on the site, even people who are not logged in. As reported in our article about Raytheons RIOT, not only can they track your tweets, they can aggragate everyone you are associated with and track huge swaths of people at once.

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Raytheon "RIOT" EXIF Stripping Software Tracks Timestamps and Location Data from Images En Masse

In this demonstration video, a Raytheon employee shows how their "RIOT" system can categorize huge piles of social network data to track where a person has been and where they are likely going to be. It strips the EXIF data from images that are posted online which includes latitude and longitude, dates, and times. It also uses "check in" data from apps to find out where people are and when.

It also is capable of finding relationships between users on social networking sites, in order to allow further information gathering about the person or group you are tracking.

If you want to defend from this kind of "mass surveillance" program, your best bet would be to make as much of your social network data private as possible. Of course this data is moved around the internet unencrypted when your friends access it anyway, so the only true defense would be to not use social media entirely. Clearly, checking in at places is a bad idea if you want to stay under the radar. Furthermore, it would be wise to learn how to strip EXIF data from images.

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Viking VPN Politics Blog Introduction


In cyberspace,

                There is a seemingly never ending tug of war between those that want your personal information, and those trying to keep it private (1). Government Agencies (1)(2), Law Enforcement (1)(2)(3), Marketing Companies (1), Internet Service Providers (1), Clandestine Organizations (1)(2)(3)(4), and even your Utility Providers (1) all want unfettered access to every aspect of your life that they can get their hands on, without your knowledge (1)(2).

                Ongoing legal battles seem to face an uphill battle of existing and a barrage of proposed legislation (1) seems to be bombarding the internet on a quarterly basis. This blog targets threats to privacy, and the erosion of the free and open exchange of information that was fostered in by the information age. We will report on proposed legislation, legal battles, loopholes, and actions taken by governments around the world to limit privacy and liberty (

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Smart Meter Surveillance - Scare Mongering or Reality?

This video hosted at Youtube has riled up a huge community over the last year. We will take a look at the play by play claims of this video and the sites with additional relevant concerns.

Smart Meters are being installed all over the US and abroad by power companies. These meters do a lot more than just watch your power usage. They relay real time information about your power usage and upload data to servers, where the data is scraped and analyzed for suspicious behaviour like running a business without a license from your home, or running a marijuana grow house, or to tell law enforcement when you're most likely to be home. Because there is no law preventing it, this data can be disclosed and/or sold to parties without consent from the homeowner, let alone a warrant.

Here is the play by play of the video, with the claim being made vs the reality.

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