UK’s MI5 Accused Of “Extraordinary & Persistent Illegality” Over Mishandling Of Bulk Data Collection

uk’s-mi5-accused-of-“extraordinary-&-persistent-illegality”-over-mishandling-of-bulk-data-collection

13-06-19 08:31:00,

By now, most people in the “free” European democracies and in the US have accepted that we now live in a de facto surveillance state, as government agencies like the NSA (in the US) and MI5 and GCHQ (in the UK) hoover up reams of personal data – everything from our log logs, texts and browser history – and dump it in a giant database.

This week, a civil rights group is making the latest effort to try and hold this vast and unchecked government bureaucracy accountable by challenging MI5, the British domestic intelligence service, in the country’s high court, accusing it of violating data collection and storage privileges by storing private citizens’ information in bulk without proper protections.

MI5

The suit, brought by the human rights organization Liberty, alleges that MI5 has no control of its storage of vast volumes of people’s calls, messages, web browsing history, as well as other personal data that the agency has managed to obtain on the basis of surveillance warrants, which were often issued under false pretext, according to RT.

Furthermore, MI5 routinely violates privileges obtained by the Investigatory Powers Act (IPA), which allows the security services to hack individuals computers and phones under the pretext of national security. And though the suit alleges that the agency has been aware of the breaches, it has purportedly done nothing to address them.

Liberty claims that the MI5 persistently violates privileges obtained by the Investigatory Powers Act (IPA), which allows the security services to hack individuals’ computers and phones in the name of national security. The agency’s failures have been identified by the head of the Investigatory Powers Commissioner’s Office (IPCO), Sir Adrian Fulford, who is tasked with safeguarding the storage and timely deletion of bulk data. A series of 10 documents and letters from MI5 and IPCO have been shared with the court in support of the claims.

The spy agency has been aware of breaches of compliance with the IPA for at least three years but has “kept the failings secret,” according to the evidence presented. The MI5 handling of people’s data was found to be “undoubtedly unlawful”by Fulford, who accused the intelligence service of “historical lack of compliance” with IPA safeguards.

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Facebook accused of promoting terrorism with auto-generated content

10-05-19 07:49:00,

After five months of research, a whistleblower says Facebook allows terrorist sympathizers to thrive not only by failing to remove their accounts, but also by auto-creating celebratory videos and pages for terrorist groups.

The National Whistleblower Center in Washington (NWC) has published a 48-page comprehensive study into how Facebook neglects to curb, and even boosts, Al-Qaeda affiliated militants’ outreach, arguing that Facebook’s lack of action facilitates the recruitment of terrorists.

The study, conducted by an unnamed whistleblower from August through December 2018, showed that out of 3,228 accounts belonging to ‘friends’ of self-identified terrorists, only 30 percent were removed by the platform.

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These “friends” hail from around the world. Those who were singled out for the survey are based in the Middle East, Europe, Asia, and Latin America. Among them, “many openly identified as terrorists themselves and shared extremist content,” the executive summary of the report states.

The social media giant, which recently prided itself on taking down 99 percent of Al-Qaeda and Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS) related content before it is reported by users, actually creates such content itself with its auto-generating tools, according to the report.

For example, it refers to an auto-generated page Facebook “set up” for Al-Shabaab militant group, complete with an ISIS logo. Somalia-based Al-Shabaab has long been associated with Al-Qaeda. In 2015, a splinter group of its fighters pledged allegiance to IS.

The page came about because some users listed their membership in the terrorist group as their job occupation, prompting Facebook’s AI to create a “local business” page.

Another popular feature embedded in the Facebook algorithm allows for glorification of terrorism and extremism, the report says, referring to “celebration” and “memories” videos. It turns out that the seemingly innocuous feature makes no distinction between a user sharing a video with, say, birthday celebrations, and violence-filled extremist content. One such chilling “celebration” video featuring puddles of blood racked up over 2,000 likes, the report notes.

The “frame” feature that allows users to pledge allegiance to a favorite sports team or express support for a country,

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