Cryptogon has a post on a law proposing videoing of drivers in cars - Proposed Law Would Put Video Cameras In Cars.
I’m sure the FBI wouldn’t access these cameras, like they access the microphones on the cell phones that people are carrying around. Oh no. Never.
Lawmakers are considering controversial new legislation this week that would allow vehicles to be equipped with dashboard cameras to record the moments leading up to accidents.
The proposed law, AB1942, would promote safer driving habits and reduce accidents by permitting video recorders to be installed on the windshield.
The bill currently allows devices to record video, audio, how fast and which direction the vehicle is traveling, a history of where your car has been, steering and brake performance and seat belt usage.
The devices would record in a continuous loop and would only save information if there is unusual vehicle motion or a crash. They could also be capable of transmitting the information to a central control center the moment of the accident.
Proponents say there are enough safety measures to avoid an invasion of privacy, but others call the proposal a huge overreach of government power.
The post mostly caught my eye because of this reference to an old CNet article on eavesdropping on mobile phone users, even when their phones are switched off -FBI taps cell phone mic as eavesdropping tool.
The FBI appears to have begun using a novel form of electronic surveillance in criminal investigations: remotely activating a mobile phone's microphone and using it to eavesdrop on nearby conversations.
The technique is called a "roving bug," and was approved by top U.S. Department of Justice officials for use against members of a New York organized crime family who were wary of conventional surveillance techniques such as tailing a suspect or wiretapping him.
Nextel cell phones owned by two alleged mobsters, John Ardito and his attorney Peter Peluso, were used by the FBI to listen in on nearby conversations. The FBI views Ardito as one of the most powerful men in the Genovese family, a major part of the national Mafia.
The surveillance technique came to light in an opinion published this week by U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan. He ruled that the "roving bug" was legal because federal wiretapping law is broad enough to permit eavesdropping even of conversations that take place near a suspect's cell phone.
Kaplan's opinion said that the eavesdropping technique "functioned whether the phone was powered on or off." Some handsets can't be fully powered down without removing the battery; for instance, some Nokia models will wake up when turned off if an alarm is set.
While the Genovese crime family prosecution appears to be the first time a remote-eavesdropping mechanism has been used in a criminal case, the technique has been discussed in security circles for years.
The U.S. Commerce Department's security office warns that "a cellular telephone can be turned into a microphone and transmitter for the purpose of listening to conversations in the vicinity of the phone." An article in the Financial Times last year said mobile providers can "remotely install a piece of software on to any handset, without the owner's knowledge, which will activate the microphone even when its owner is not making a call."
Cryptogon also has some thoughts about Matt Simmons' passing away - Matt Simmons Dead “Of An Apparent Heart Attack”.