JUST PASSED ‘USA FREEDOM ACT’: Surveillance State, Your Touch and Your Smartphone

by Denise Simon
Clash Daily Contributor

There was a Rand Paul filibuster last week over the NSA broad sweep of citizen’s private affairs. Senator Paul does have a major point in his efforts to protect our privacy yet to what ends when it comes to national security? He pledges to take the matter of the vote on the NSA to see the Patriot Act end.

There is yet another piece of legislation [just signed into law] that is important to understand. The USA Freedom Act. In part:

Uniting and Strengthening America by Fulfilling Rights and Ending Eavesdropping, Dragnet Collection, and Online Monitoring Act

H.R. 3361/ S. 1599
Purpose:  To rein in the dragnet collection of data by the National Security Agency (NSA) and other government agencies, increase transparency of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC), provide businesses the ability to release information regarding FISA requests, and create an independent constitutional advocate to argue cases before the FISC.

End bulk collection of Americans’ communications records
• The USA Freedom Act ends bulk collection under Section 215 of the Patriot Act.
• The bill would strengthen the prohibition on “reverse targeting” of Americans—that is, targeting a foreigner with the goal of obtaining communications involving an American.
• The bill requires the government to more aggressively filter and discard information about Americans accidentally collected through PRISM and related programs.

Reform the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court
• The USA Freedom Act creates an Office of the Special Advocate (OSA) tasked with promoting privacy interests before the FISA court’s closed proceedings. The OSA will have the authority to appeal decisions of the FISA court.
• The bill creates new and more robust reporting requirements to ensure that Congress is aware of actions by the FISC and intelligence community as a whole.
• The bill would grant the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight  Board subpoena authority to investigate issues related to privacy and national security.

Increase Transparency
• The USA Freedom Act would end secret laws by requiring the Attorney General to publicly disclose all FISC decisions issued after July 10, 2003 that contain a significant construction or interpretation of law.
• Under the bill, Internet and telecom companies would be allowed to publicly report an estimate of (1) the number of FISA orders and national security letters received, (2) the number of such orders and letters complied with, and (3) the number of users or accounts on whom information was demanded under the orders and letters.
• The bill would require the government to make annual or semiannual public reports estimating the total number of individuals and U.S. persons that were subject to FISA orders authorizing electronic surveillance, pen/trap devices, and access to business records.

DONT APPLAUD JUST YET…this next introduction of technology is very chilling. When does it all stop with surveillance?

NSA will Track Your Smartphone Finger Strokes
Smartphone technology built by Lockheed Martin promises to verify a user’s identity based on the swiftness and shape of the individual’s finger strokes on a touch screen. The mobile device feature, created by Lockheed Martin, verifies a user’s identity based on the swiftness and shape of the individual’s finger strokes on a touch screen. The technology is but one incarnation of handwriting-motion recognition, sometimes called “dynamic signature” biometrics, that has roots in the Air Force.

“Nobody else has the same strokes,” said John Mears, senior fellow for Lockheed IT and Security Solutions. “People can forge your handwriting in two dimensions, but they couldn’t forge it in three or four dimensions. Three is the pressure you put in, in addition to the two dimensions on the paper. The fourth dimension is time. The most advanced handwriting-type authentication tracks you in four dimensions.”  The biometric factors measured by Lockheed’s technology, dubbed “Mandrake,” are speed, acceleration and the curve of an individual’s strokes. “We’ve done work with the NSA with that for secure gesture authentication as a technique for using smartphones,” Mears said. “They are actually able to use it.”

According to Defense One . Lockheed officials said they do not know how or if the agency has operationally deployed the Mandrake smartphone doodling-recognition tool. The company also is the architect of the FBI’s recently completed $1 billion facial, fingerprint, palm print, retina scan and tattoo image biometric ID system. That project, called the Next Generation Identification system, could tie in voice and “gait matching” (how a person walks) in the future, the bureau has said. Mandrake potentially might be useful for emergency responders who often do not have the time or capability to access an incident command website, Mears said.

Image: https://www.flickr.com/photos/goodncrazy/5531939741/

Denis SimonDENISE SIMON is the Senior Research/Intelligence Analyst for Foreign and Domestic Policy for Stand Up America US as well as the aide de camp for MAJOR GENERAL PAUL E. VALLELY, US ARMY (ret). Her weekly show delves into the very deep and murky waters of foreign and domestic issues. Each week her guests include high level Intel people, former Flag Officers, DEA, CIA, NSA, etc… You name it… http://majestic.waverstreamer.com:2418

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