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Bush Administration but was widely criticized and challenged as illegal, because it did not include warrants obtained from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court.
In the act was renewed by Congress under President Obama for an additional five years, through December According to this report, PRISM is only used to collect internet communications, not telephone conversations.
These internet communications are not collected in bulk, but in a targeted way: Under this directive, the provider is legally obliged to hand over to DITU all communications to or from the selectors provided by the government.
Internal NSA presentation slides included in the various media disclosures show that the NSA could unilaterally access data and perform "extensive, in-depth surveillance on live communications and stored information" with examples including email, video and voice chat, videos, photos, voice-over-IP chats such as Skype , file transfers, and social networking details.
According to The Washington Post , the intelligence analysts search PRISM data using terms intended to identify suspicious communications of targets whom the analysts suspect with at least 51 percent confidence to not be U.
Also according to The Guardian's Glenn Greenwald even low-level NSA analysts are allowed to search and listen to the communications of Americans and other people without court approval and supervision.
Greenwald said low level Analysts can, via systems like PRISM, "listen to whatever emails they want, whatever telephone calls, browsing histories, Microsoft Word documents.
He added that the NSA databank, with its years of collected communications, allows analysts to search that database and listen "to the calls or read the emails of everything that the NSA has stored, or look at the browsing histories or Google search terms that you've entered, and it also alerts them to any further activity that people connected to that email address or that IP address do in the future.
Shortly after publication of the reports by The Guardian and The Washington Post , the United States Director of National Intelligence , James Clapper , on June 7, released a statement confirming that for nearly six years the government of the United States had been using large Internet services companies such as Facebook to collect information on foreigners outside the United States as a defense against national security threats.
They contain numerous inaccuracies. It cannot be used to intentionally target any U. On June 7, U. President Barack Obama , referring to the PRISM program [ citation needed ] and the NSA's telephone calls logging program, said, "What you've got is two programs that were originally authorized by Congress, have been repeatedly authorized by Congress.
Bipartisan majorities have approved them. Congress is continually briefed on how these are conducted. There are a whole range of safeguards involved.
And federal judges are overseeing the entire program throughout. You know, we're going to have to make some choices as a society.
On June 8, , Director of National Intelligence Clapper made an additional public statement about PRISM and released a fact sheet providing further information about the program, which he described as "an internal government computer system used to facilitate the government's statutorily authorized collection of foreign intelligence information from electronic communication service providers under court supervision, as authorized by Section of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act FISA 50 U.
All such information is obtained with FISA Court approval and with the knowledge of the provider based upon a written directive from the Attorney General and the Director of National Intelligence.
Senate Select Committee on Intelligence , subsequently criticized the fact sheet as being inaccurate. The fact sheet was withdrawn from the NSA's website around June On June 18, NSA Director Alexander said in an open hearing before the House Intelligence Committee of Congress that communications surveillance had helped prevent more than 50 potential terrorist attacks worldwide at least 10 of them involving terrorism suspects or targets in the United States between and , and that the PRISM web traffic surveillance program contributed in over 90 percent of those cases.
In contrast to their swift and forceful reactions the previous day to allegations that the government had been conducting surveillance of United States citizens' telephone records, Congressional leaders initially had little to say about the PRISM program the day after leaked information about the program was published.
Several lawmakers declined to discuss PRISM, citing its top-secret classification,  and others said that they had not been aware of the program.
Following these statements some lawmakers from both parties warned national security officials during a hearing before the House Judiciary Committee that they must change their use of sweeping National Security Agency surveillance programs or face losing the provisions of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act that have allowed for the agency's mass collection of telephone metadata.
Otherwise, in two and a half years, you're not going to have it anymore. Leaks of classified documents pointed to the role of a special court in enabling the government's secret surveillance programs, but members of the court maintained they were not collaborating with the executive branch.
Congress pressed the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to release declassified versions of its secret ruling, the court dismissed those requests arguing that the decisions can't be declassified because they contain classified information.
There is a rigorous review process of applications submitted by the executive branch, spearheaded initially by five judicial branch lawyers who are national security experts, and then by the judges, to ensure that the court's authorizations comport with what the applicable statutes authorize.
These statistics do not reflect the fact that many applications are altered to prior or final submission or even withheld from final submission entirely, often after an indication that a judge would not approve them.
Polli had publicly stated in that he had received requests from US intelligence agencies to do things that would be in violation of Austrian law, which Polli refused to allow.
The Australian government has said it will investigate the impact of the PRISM program and the use of the Pine Gap surveillance facility on the privacy of Australian citizens.
Brazil 's president at the time, Dilma Rousseff , responded to Snowden's reports that the NSA spied on her phone calls and emails by cancelling a planned October state visit to the United States, demanding an official apology, which by October 20, , hadn't come.
On 20 October a committee at the European Parliament backed a measure that, if it is enacted, would require American companies to seek clearance from European officials before complying with United States warrants seeking private data.
The legislation has been under consideration for two years. The vote is part of efforts in Europe to shield citizens from online surveillance in the wake of revelations about a far-reaching spying program by the U.
Paris prosecutors had opened preliminary inquiries into the NSA program in July, but Fabius said, "… obviously we need to go further" and "we must quickly assure that these practices aren't repeated.
After finding out about the PRISM program, the Mexican Government has started constructing its own spying program to spy on its own citizens.
But they have all the partners doing it for them and then they share all the information. At a meeting of European Union leaders held the week of 21 October , Mariano Rajoy , Spain's prime minister, said that "spying activities aren't proper among partner countries and allies".
On 28 October the Spanish government summoned the American ambassador, James Costos , to address allegations that the U. They found in each case a warrant for interception was in place in accordance with the legal safeguards contained in UK law.
In August , The Guardian newspaper's offices were visited by agents from GCHQ, who ordered and supervised the destruction of the hard drives containing information acquired from Snowden.
Corporate executives of several companies identified in the leaked documents told The Guardian that they had no knowledge of the PRISM program in particular and also denied making information available to the government on the scale alleged by news reports.
In response to the technology companies' denials of the NSA being able to directly access the companies' servers, The New York Times reported that sources had stated the NSA was gathering the surveillance data from the companies using other technical means in response to court orders for specific sets of data.
In another classified report obtained by The Post, the arrangement is described as allowing 'collection managers [to send] content tasking instructions directly to equipment installed at company-controlled locations,' rather than directly to company servers.
I wouldn't be surprised if they were subject to a gag order. The New York Times reported on June 7, , that "Twitter declined to make it easier for the government.
But other companies were more compliant, according to people briefed on the negotiations. While providing data in response to a legitimate FISA request approved by the FISA Court is a legal requirement, modifying systems to make it easier for the government to collect the data is not.
This is why Twitter could legally decline to provide an enhanced mechanism for data transmission. In response to the publicity surrounding media reports of data-sharing, several companies requested permission to reveal more public information about the nature and scope of information provided in response to National Security requests.
On June 14, , Facebook reported that the U. That same day, Microsoft reported that for the same period, it received "between 6, and 7, criminal and national security warrants, subpoenas and orders affecting between 31, and 32, consumer accounts from U.
Google issued a statement criticizing the requirement that data be reported in aggregated form, stating that lumping national security requests with criminal request data would be "a step backwards" from its previous, more detailed practices on its website's transparency report.
The company said that it would continue to seek government permission to publish the number and extent of FISA requests.
Cisco Systems saw a huge drop in export sales because of fears that the National Security Agency could be using backdoors in its products.
On September 12, , Yahoo! The New York Times editorial board charged that the Obama administration "has now lost all credibility on this issue,"  and lamented that "for years, members of Congress ignored evidence that domestic intelligence-gathering had grown beyond their control, and, even now, few seem disturbed to learn that every detail about the public's calling and texting habits now reside in a N.
James Robertson , a former federal district judge based in Washington who served on the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act court for three years between and and who ruled against the Bush administration in the landmark Hamdan v.
Rumsfeld case, said FISA court is independent but flawed because only the government's side is represented effectively in its deliberations.
He suggested creating an advocate with security clearance who would argue against government filings. I don't think that is a judicial function. Daly observed that, "The problem is not just what the National Security Agency is gathering at the risk of our privacy but what it is apparently unable to monitor at the risk of our safety.
Ron Paul , a former Republican member of Congress and prominent libertarian , thanked Snowden and Greenwald and denounced the mass surveillance as unhelpful and damaging, urging instead more transparency in U.
New York Times columnist Thomas L. Friedman defended limited government surveillance programs intended to protect the American people from terrorist acts:.
That is why I'll reluctantly, very reluctantly, trade off the government using data mining to look for suspicious patterns in phone numbers called and e-mail addresses—and then have to go to a judge to get a warrant to actually look at the content under guidelines set by Congress—to prevent a day where, out of fear, we give government a license to look at anyone, any e-mail, any phone call, anywhere, anytime.
Political commentator David Brooks similarly cautioned that government data surveillance programs are a necessary evil: Conservative commentator Charles Krauthammer worried less about the legality of PRISM and other NSA surveillance tools than about the potential for their abuse without more stringent oversight.
We need a toughening of both congressional oversight and judicial review, perhaps even some independent outside scrutiny.
Plus periodic legislative revision—say, reauthorization every couple of years—in light of the efficacy of the safeguards and the nature of the external threat.
The object is not to abolish these vital programs. It's to fix them. In a blog post, David Simon , the creator of The Wire , compared the NSA's programs, including PRISM, to a s effort by the City of Baltimore to add dialed number recorders to all pay phones to know which individuals were being called by the callers;  the city believed that drug traffickers were using pay phones and pagers, and a municipal judge allowed the city to place the recorders.
The placement of the dialers formed the basis of the show's first season. Simon argued that the media attention regarding the NSA programs is a "faux scandal.
Political theorist , and frequent critic of U. But governments will use whatever technology is available to them to combat their primary enemy — which is their own population.
Sentiment around the world was that of general displeasure upon learning the extent of world communication data mining. Some national leaders spoke against the NSA and some spoke against their own national surveillance.
One national minister had scathing comments on the National Security Agency's data-mining program, citing Benjamin Franklin: After Carr replied that there was a legal framework to protect Australians but that the government would not comment on intelligence matters, Xenophon argued that this was not a specific answer to his question.
Taliban spokesperson Zabiullah Mujahid said, "We knew about their past efforts to trace our system. We have used our technical resources to foil their efforts and have been able to stop them from succeeding so far.
Reactions of internet users in China were mixed between viewing a loss of freedom worldwide and seeing state surveillance coming out of secrecy.
The story broke just before U. To me, it's abusively using government powers to interfere in individuals' privacy.
Surveillance can be viewed as a violation of privacy , and as such is often opposed by various civil liberties groups and activists. Authoritarian government seldom have any domestic restrictions, and international espionage is common among all types of countries.
The area of surveillance is increasingly a topic of academic study,  including through research centers,  books,    and peer-reviewed academic journals.
The vast majority of computer surveillance involves the monitoring of data and traffic on the Internet. There is far too much data on the Internet for human investigators to manually search through all of it.
Therefore, automated Internet surveillance computers sift through the vast amount of intercepted Internet traffic to identify and report to human investigators the traffic that is considered interesting or suspicious.
This process is regulated by targeting certain "trigger" words or phrases, visiting certain types of web sites, or communicating via email or online chat with suspicious individuals or groups.
Computers can be a surveillance target because of the personal data stored on them. Such software could be installed physically or remotely.
Through accessing this information, the government is able to obtain search history, emails, stored information, live chats, file transfers, and more.
This program generated huge controversies in regards to surveillance and privacy, especially from U.
The official and unofficial tapping of telephone lines is widespread. About half of these letters requested information on U. Human agents are not required to monitor most calls.
Speech-to-text software creates machine-readable text from intercepted audio, which is then processed by automated call-analysis programs, such as those developed by agencies such as the Information Awareness Office , or companies such as Verint , and Narus , which search for certain words or phrases, to decide whether to dedicate a human agent to the call.
Law enforcement and intelligence services in the United Kingdom and the United States possess technology to activate the microphones in cell phones remotely, by accessing phones' diagnostic or maintenance features in order to listen to conversations that take place near the person who holds the phone.
The StingRay tracker is an example of one of these tools used to monitor cell phone usage in the United States and the United Kingdom. Originally developed for counterterrorism purposes by the military, they work by broadcasting powerful signals that cause nearby cell phones to transmit their IMSI number , just as they would to normal cell phone towers.
Once the phone is connected to the device, there is no way for the user to know that they are being tracked. The operator of the stingray is able to extract information such as location, phone calls, and text messages, but it is widely believed that the capabilities of the StingRay extend much further.
A lot of controversy surrounds the StingRay because of its powerful capabilities and the secrecy that surrounds it.
Mobile phones are also commonly used to collect location data. The geographical location of a mobile phone and thus the person carrying it can be determined easily even when the phone is not being used, using a technique known as multilateration to calculate the differences in time for a signal to travel from the cell phone to each of several cell towers near the owner of the phone.
In response to customers' privacy concerns in the post Edward Snowden era,  Apple's iPhone 6 has been designed to disrupt investigative wiretapping efforts.
The phone encrypts e-mails, contacts, and photos with a code generated by a complex mathematical algorithm that is unique to an individual phone, and is inaccessible to Apple.
Comey and other law enforcement officials since even lawful requests to access user content on the iPhone 6 will result in Apple supplying "gibberish" data that requires law enforcement personnel to either break the code themselves or to get the code from the phone's owner.
Although the CALEA requires telecommunication companies to build into their systems the ability to carry out a lawful wiretap, the law has not been updated to address the issue of smart phones and requests for access to e-mails and metadata.
Once the data has been collected, the GCHQ can hold on to it for up to two years. The deadline can be extended with the permission of a "senior UK official".
Surveillance cameras are video cameras used for the purpose of observing an area. They are often connected to a recording device or IP network , and may be watched by a security guard or law enforcement officer.
Cameras and recording equipment used to be relatively expensive and required human personnel to monitor camera footage, but analysis of footage has been made easier by automated software that organizes digital video footage into a searchable database , and by video analysis software such as VIRAT and HumanID.
The amount of footage is also drastically reduced by motion sensors which only record when motion is detected. With cheaper production techniques, surveillance cameras are simple and inexpensive enough to be used in home security systems, and for everyday surveillance.
There are about million surveillance cameras worldwide as of The growth of CCTV has been slowing in recent years. In the United States , the Department of Homeland Security awards billions of dollars per year in Homeland Security grants for local, state, and federal agencies to install modern video surveillance equipment.
Speaking in , Chicago Mayor Richard Daley announced that Chicago would have a surveillance camera on every street corner by the year In the United Kingdom , the vast majority of video surveillance cameras are not operated by government bodies, but by private individuals or companies, especially to monitor the interiors of shops and businesses.
In the Netherlands, one example city where there are cameras is The Hague. There, cameras are placed in city districts in which the most illegal activity is concentrated.
Examples are the red-light districts and the train stations. They will be connected to a centralized database and monitoring station, which will, upon completion of the project, contain a picture of the face of every person in China: The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency DARPA is funding a research project called Combat Zones That See that will link up cameras across a city to a centralized monitoring station, identify and track individuals and vehicles as they move through the city, and report "suspicious" activity such as waving arms, looking side-to-side, standing in a group, etc.
At Super Bowl XXXV in January , police in Tampa, Florida, used Identix's facial recognition software, FaceIt, to scan the crowd for potential criminals and terrorists in attendance at the event  it found 19 people with pending arrest warrants.
Governments often  initially claim that cameras are meant to be used for traffic control , but many of them end up using them for general surveillance.
For example, Washington, D. The development of centralized networks of CCTV cameras watching public areas — linked to computer databases of people's pictures and identity biometric data , able to track people's movements throughout the city, and identify whom they have been with — has been argued by some to present a risk to civil liberties.
One common form of surveillance is to create maps of social networks based on data from social networking sites such as Facebook , MySpace , Twitter as well as from traffic analysis information from phone call records such as those in the NSA call database ,  and others.
These types of threats are most easily countered by finding important nodes in the network, and removing them.
To do this requires a detailed map of the network. Jason Ethier of Northeastern University, in his study of modern social network analysis, said the following of the Scalable Social Network Analysis Program developed by the Information Awareness Office:.
The purpose of the SSNA algorithms program is to extend techniques of social network analysis to assist with distinguishing potential terrorist cells from legitimate groups of people In order to be successful SSNA will require information on the social interactions of the majority of people around the globe.
Since the Defense Department cannot easily distinguish between peaceful citizens and terrorists, it will be necessary for them to gather data on innocent civilians as well as on potential terrorists.
Some people believe that the use of social networking sites is a form of "participatory surveillance", where users of these sites are essentially performing surveillance on themselves, putting detailed personal information on public websites where it can be viewed by corporations and governments.
Examples of mostly behavioral characteristics include gait a person's manner of walking or voice. Facial recognition is the use of the unique configuration of a person's facial features to accurately identify them, usually from surveillance video.
Another form of behavioral biometrics, based on affective computing , involves computers recognizing a person's emotional state based on an analysis of their facial expressions, how fast they are talking, the tone and pitch of their voice, their posture, and other behavioral traits.
This might be used for instance to see if a person's behavior is suspect looking around furtively, "tense" or "angry" facial expressions, waving arms, etc.
A more recent development is DNA profiling , which looks at some of the major markers in the body's DNA to produce a match. The computers running the database are contained in an underground facility about the size of two American football fields.
The Los Angeles Police Department is installing automated facial recognition and license plate recognition devices in its squad cars, and providing handheld face scanners, which officers will use to identify people while on patrol.
Facial thermographs are in development, which allow machines to identify certain emotions in people such as fear or stress, by measuring the temperature generated by blood flow to different parts of the face.
Aerial surveillance is the gathering of surveillance, usually visual imagery or video, from an airborne vehicle—such as an unmanned aerial vehicle , helicopter , or spy plane.
Military surveillance aircraft use a range of sensors e. Digital imaging technology, miniaturized computers, and numerous other technological advances over the past decade have contributed to rapid advances in aerial surveillance hardware such as micro-aerial vehicles , forward-looking infrared , and high-resolution imagery capable of identifying objects at extremely long distances.
For instance, the MQ-9 Reaper ,  a U. The United States Department of Homeland Security is in the process of testing UAVs to patrol the skies over the United States for the purposes of critical infrastructure protection , border patrol, " transit monitoring ", and general surveillance of the U.
The United Kingdom , as well, is working on plans to build up a fleet of surveillance UAVs ranging from micro-aerial vehicles to full-size drones , to be used by police forces throughout the U.
In addition to their surveillance capabilities, MAVs are capable of carrying tasers for " crowd control ", or weapons for killing enemy combatants.
They have developed systems consisting of large teams drone planes that pilot themselves, automatically decide who is "suspicious" and how to go about monitoring them, coordinate their activities with other drones nearby, and notify human operators if something suspicious is occurring.
This greatly increases the amount of area that can be continuously monitored, while reducing the number of human operators required. Thus a swarm of automated, self-directing drones can automatically patrol a city and track suspicious individuals, reporting their activities back to a centralized monitoring station.
Data mining is the application of statistical techniques and programmatic algorithms to discover previously unnoticed relationships within the data.
Data profiling can be an extremely powerful tool for psychological and social network analysis. A skilled analyst can discover facts about a person that they might not even be consciously aware of themselves.
Economic such as credit card purchases and social such as telephone calls and emails transactions in modern society create large amounts of stored data and records.
In the past, this data was documented in paper records, leaving a " paper trail ", or was simply not documented at all. Correlation of paper-based records was a laborious process—it required human intelligence operators to manually dig through documents, which was time-consuming and incomplete, at best.
But today many of these records are electronic, resulting in an " electronic trail ". Every use of a bank machine, payment by credit card, use of a phone card, call from home, checked out library book, rented video, or otherwise complete recorded transaction generates an electronic record.
Public records—such as birth, court, tax and other records—are increasily being digitized and made available online. In addition, due to laws like CALEA , web traffic and online purchases are also available for profiling.
Electronic record-keeping makes data easily collectable, storable, and accessible—so that high-volume, efficient aggregation and analysis is possible at significantly lower costs.
Information relating to many of these individual transactions is often easily available because it is generally not guarded in isolation, since the information, such as the title of a movie a person has rented, might not seem sensitive.
However, when many such transactions are aggregated they can be used to assemble a detailed profile revealing the actions, habits, beliefs, locations frequented, social connections , and preferences of the individual.
The centers will collect and analyze vast amounts of data on U. It will get this data by consolidating personal information from sources such as state driver's licensing agencies, hospital records, criminal records, school records, credit bureaus, banks, etc.
Under United States v. Miller , data held by third parties is generally not subject to Fourth Amendment warrant requirements. Corporate surveillance is the monitoring of a person or group's behavior by a corporation.
The data collected is most often used for marketing purposes or sold to other corporations, but is also regularly shared with government agencies.
Although there is a common belief that monitoring can increase productivity, it can also create consequences such as increasing chances of deviant behavior and creating punishments that are not equitable to their actions.
Data collected on individuals and groups can be sold to other corporations, so that they can use it for the aforementioned purpose.
It can be used for direct marketing purposes, such as targeted advertisements on Google and Yahoo. These ads are tailored to the individual user of the search engine by analyzing their search history and emails  if they use free webmail services , which is kept in a database.
For instance, Google , the world's most popular search engine, stores identifying information for each web search. An IP address and the search phrase used are stored in a database for up to 18 months.
Their revenue model is based on receiving payments from advertisers for each page-visit resulting from a visitor clicking on a Google AdWords ad, hosted either on a Google service or a third-party website.
Millions of sites place Google's advertising banners and links on their websites, in order to share this profit from visitors who click on the ads.
Each page containing Google advertisements adds, reads, and modifies "cookies" on each visitor's computer.
This information, along with the information from their email accounts, and search engine histories, is stored by Google to use for building a profile of the user to deliver better-targeted advertising.
According to the American Management Association and the ePolicy Institute that undertake an annual quantitative survey about electronic monitoring and surveillance with approximately U.
In addition, most companies use software to block non-work related websites such as sexual or pornographic sites, game sites, social networking sites, entertainment sites, shopping sites, and sport sites.
The American Management Association and the ePolicy Institute also stress that companies "tracking content, keystrokes, and time spent at the keyboard The United States government often gains access to these databases, either by producing a warrant for it, or by simply asking.
The Department of Homeland Security has openly stated that it uses data collected from consumer credit and direct marketing agencies—such as Google—for augmenting the profiles of individuals whom it is monitoring.
Federal government has gathered information from grocery store "discount card" programs, which track customers' shopping patterns and store them in databases, in order to look for "terrorists" by analyzing shoppers' buying patterns.
Organizations that have enemies who wish to gather information about the groups' members or activities face the issue of infiltration.
In addition to operatives' infiltrating an organization, the surveilling party may exert pressure on certain members of the target organization to act as informants i.
Fielding operatives is very expensive, and for governments with wide-reaching electronic surveillance tools at their disposal the information recovered from operatives can often be obtained from less problematic forms of surveillance such as those mentioned above.
Nevertheless, human infiltrators are still common today. For instance, in documents surfaced showing that the FBI was planning to field a total of 15, undercover agents and informants in response to an anti-terrorism directive sent out by George W.
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