Privacy & Security


Thank you for visiting the Camden Civil Rights Project page on Privacy & Security. The section attempts to highlight the current challenges to privacy, free speech and data security created by modern technological advances and to recommend measures  for counteracting the adverse impact of these privacy and security risks. Our archives contain a variety of informative print, audio and video materials on domestic surveillance, open access, and cyber security. Archived articles can be accessed by clicking on the links below. Please feel free to use the comment section to recommend materials and resources you believe will aid in creating a better understanding of the issues raised by domestic surveillance, internet privatization & censorship, and cyber security.


Mass Surveillance

Edward Snowden: The Most Wanted Man in the World

by James Bamford (Wired Magazine)

ACLU: Domestic Surveillance Program Goes Too Far

Associated Press

With Liberty to Monitor All: US Surveillance is Harming Journalism, Law, Democracy

Joint Report by Human Rights Watch and the American Civil Liberties Union

The FBI’s Secret Rules

The Groundbreaking Series by the Intercept on how the FBI recruits and incentivizes informants based on the Department’s Leaked Confidential Human Source Policy Guide

The Most Militarized Universities in America

by William M. Arkin and Alexa O’Brien (Vice News)

Privacy Rights in the Digital Age

American Civil Liberties Union

Nine of 10 Individuals Found in NSA Intercepted Conversations Were Not the Intended Surveillance Targets

by Barton Gellman, Julie Tate and Ashkan Soltani (Washington Post)

White House Panel Member Admits No Evidence that NSA’s Mass Surveillance Has Stopped Any Terrorist Plots

by Michael Isikoff (NBC News)

Police Surveillance

Revealed: How the FBI Coordinated the Crackdown on Occupy

by Naomi Wolf (The Guardian)

Police Scan Social Media to Help Assess Your ‘Threat Rating’

By Brent Skorup (Reuters)

FBI Taps Hacker Tactics to Spy on Suspects

 By Jennifer Valentino-DeVries and Danny Yadron (Wall Street Journal)

Law Enforcement Officers Instructed Not to Reveal Source of Evidence Gained Through NSA Surveillance Program

by  John Shiffman and Kristina Cooke (Reuters)

Turns Out Stingrays Can Record Calls

by Kim Zetter (Wired Magazine)

A New Way for Tech Firms to Fight Orders to Unlock Devices

by Kim Zetter (Wired Magazine)

War on Activism

Social Media as a Tool for Protest

by Marko Papic and Sean Noonan (Stratfor Intelligence)

How Western Intelligence Agencies Manipulate the Internet to Attack and Marginalize Government Critics

by Glenn Greenwald (The Intercept)

NSA Documents Reveal British Intelligence Partner GCHQ Targeting Hactivists and Dissidents

by Mark Schone, Richard Esposito, Matthew Cole and Glenn Greenwald (NBC Investigative Report)

Documents Confirm: FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force Targets Peaceful Activists for Harassment, Political Surveillance

American Civil Liberties Union

Corporations Spy on Non-Profits with Impunity

by Ralph Nader (Huffington Post)

What’s the Government Doing Targeting Civil Rights Leaders?

by Laura W. Murphy (ACLU Washington)

Western Law Enforcement Agencies Using “Honey Traps” to Infiltrate Activists Circles

by Rob Evans (The Guardian)

Open Access

Social Media and the Internet: A Story of Privatization

by Victoria D. Baranetsky  (Pace Law Review)

A Primer on Open Access to Science and Scholarship

by Peter Suber (Earlham College)

Open Access: Unlocking the Value of Scientific Research

by Richard K. Johnson (The Scholarly Publishing & Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC ))

Guerilla Open Access Manifesto

by Aaron Swartz

Security Measures

Counterintelligence: Elicitation Techniques

Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)

What Are Man-in-the-Middle Attacks and How Can I Protect Myself From Them?

by Vic Hargrave (Trend Micro)

Snoopy Exploit Snoops on Unsuspecting Users With Wireless Surveillance System

by Michael Kerner (EWeek Magazine)

How (and Why) to Set Up a VPN Today

Eric Geier (PC World)

The Pros and Cons of Using Tor

by L. Christopher Skufca (Camden Civil Rights Project w/attached Guide for Safe Tor Use by Security Analyst Michael Hampton)

Edward Snowden: ‘Smartphones can be taken over’

by Peter Taylor (BBC News)

Tools and Techniques Used by the Joint Threat Research Intelligence Group (JTRIG) 

The Intercept (U.K.)

Exploiting Corporate Printers

by INFOSEC Institute

Hackers Remotely Kill a Jeep on the Highway – With Me in It

by Andy Greenberg (Wired Magazine)


PBS Frontline: Spying on the Home Front (2007)

Synopsis: Spying on the Home Front looks at the massive FBI data sweep of U.S. citizen’s records and the electronic surveillance of their communications.  FRONTLINE investigates  National Security Agency (NSA) wiretapping and how the FBI and other intelligence agencies”data mine” – sift through Internet communications –  of millions of Americans, and that the FBI and are mining social media and commercial-sector data banks to an unprecedented degree.

Experienced national security officials and government attorneys see a troubling and potentially dangerous collision between the strategy of pre-emption at home and the Fourth Amendment’s protections against unreasonable search and seizure. Peter Swire, a law professor and former White House privacy adviser to President Clinton, tells FRONTLINE that since 9/11 the government has been moving away from the traditional legal standard of investigations based on individual suspicion to generalized suspicion. The new standard, Swire says, is: “Check everybody. Everybody is a suspect.” Former CIA Assistant General Counsel, Suzanne Spaulding, warns “So many people in America think this does not affect them. They’ve been convinced that these programs are only targeted at suspected terrorists. … I think that’s wrong. … Our programs are not perfect, and it is inevitable that totally innocent Americans are going to be affected by these programs.”

Watch the video HERE

Edward Snowden: “I don’t want to live in a society that does these sort of things”

The source behind the Guardian’s NSA files talks to Glenn Greenwald about his motives for the biggest intelligence leak in a generation. Read the Guardian’s full NSA files coverage HERE:…

Watch the video HERE

Glenn Greenwald: Why Privacy Matters

Journalist and attorney, Glenn Greenwald, was one of the first reporters to see — and write about — the Edward Snowden files, with their revelations about the United States’ extensive surveillance of private citizens. In this searing talk, Greenwald makes the case for why you need to care about privacy, even if you’re “not doing anything you need to hide.”

Watch the video HERE

Mass Surveillance: Implications on Privacy and Speech

This entertaining five minute video discusses the legality of the government’s current domestic mass surveillance program, making the case that it invades our privacy and places an unconstitutional chilling effect upon First Amendment speech and political association. Brought to you by Fight for the Future and Demand Progress.

Watch the video HERE

NSA Surveillance Placing A “Chilling Effect” on the Press

Human Rights Watch and the American Civil Liberties Union have released a joint report, entitled “With Liberty to Monitor All: How Large-Scale US Surveillance is Harming Journalism, Law, and American Democracy,” based on extensive interviews with dozens of journalists, lawyers, and senior US government officials. The 120-page report   documents how national security journalists and lawyers are adopting elaborate steps or otherwise modifying their practices to keep communications, sources, and other confidential information secure in light of revelations of unprecedented US government surveillance of electronic communications and transactions. The report finds that government surveillance and secrecy are undermining press freedom, the public’s right to information, and the right to counsel, all human rights essential to a healthy democracy.

Watch the video HERE

Matthew Green: The NSA is Breaking Our Encryption — Why We Should Care

Encryption dates back to the Founding Fathers and the Bill of Rights. Now, the United States National Security Agency is breaking and undermining core encryption technologies that power the Internet, saying it’s being done for our own protection from terrorists. But are we sacrificing our freedoms for fear? Matthew Green discusses the campaign waged by U.S. intelligence and law enforcement agencies to weaken commercial encryption standards to make our communications more accessible.

Watch the video HERE

Police Surveillance and Predictive Policing

Privacy today faces increasing threats from a growing surveillance apparatus that is most often justified in the name of crime prevention. This video short brought to you by AJ+ summarizes some of the highly intrusive technology which allows law enforcement to conduct targeted surveillance against individuals who are not suspected of engaging in any criminal activity.  Numerous law enforcement agencies—including the Federal Bureau of Investigation, private security contractors and state and local police departments—intrude upon the private communications of innocent citizens, amass vast databases of who we call and when, and catalog “suspicious activities” based on the vaguest of standards. The government’s collection of this sensitive information is itself an invasion of privacy. But its use of this data is also rife with abuse as innocuous data is fed into bloated watchlists, with severe consequences upon individuals who do not even realize why they have been targeted. History has repeatedly shown that powerful, state surveillance tools are most often abused for political ends which disproportionately target political dissidents and disfavored minorities.

Watch the video HERE

The Tor Project: Protecting Online Anonymity

Jacob Appelbaum introduces the Tor Project and the Tor Network – an anonymity network used to protect individual’s identities online. Tor is free software for enabling anonymous online communication. Tor is intended to protect the personal privacy of users, as well as their freedom and ability to conduct confidential communication, by keeping their Internet activities from being monitored. Tor directs Internet traffic through a free, worldwide, volunteer network consisting of more than six thousand relays to conceal a user’s location and usage from anyone conducting network surveillance or traffic analysis. It is legally used by millions worldwide to circumvent censorship and to stay safe from online snooping.

Watch the video HERE

FBI Using GPS to Track Activists

An environmental activist contacted Wired Magazine after she discovered a GPS tracking device had been placed under her vehicle, courtesy of the FBI. According to, this method is becoming a common way for the feds to track anyone deemed to be suspicious or to pose a “potential threat.” This continues the government’s trend of clamping down on what they perceive to be the most dangerous threat to our nation — the democratic participation of political activists.

Watch the video HERE

Phreaked Out: Real-Time Smartphone Hacks

Smartphones are vulnerable to hacks when connected to a network—whether cellular or wi-fi. In this episode of Phreaked Out, they examine three real-time phone hacks – man-in-the middle attacks, the Snoopy exploit and intercepting cellular call data using an IMSI catcher.

Watch the video HERE

How Smartphones are Covertly Hacked through SMS Messaging

Hacking into mobile phones is a walk in the park, say experts. All it takes is a single SMS sent from the hacker’s phone, to break into a phone and gain total control over it, including listening to recordings of phone conversations, reading text messages and even accessing passwords. Experts say that mobile is the new playground for hackers as these devices are easier to break into than PCs, and consumers pay less attention and are tardy when securing their phone.

Watch the video HERE

Phreaked Out: Car Hacking

In this episode of “Phreaked Out,” top security researchers in the field of car hacking highlight security holes in automobile technology. Less sophisticated hackers have discovered how to unlock vehicle doors to relieve you of your documents and valuables. However, the researchers show how a more sophisticated hacker can access your vehicle’s main computer system and take remote access of the automobile, giving them control of the steering, accelerating, braking and ignition.  Although aware of the threat, these exploits have gone largely unaddressed by American auto manufacturers.

Watch the video HERE

Open Access Explained!

What is open access? Open Access (OA) stands for unrestricted access and unrestricted reuse of scholarly materials. Here’s why that matters. Most publishers own the rights to the articles in their research and professional journals. Anyone who wants to access the articles must pay a fee. Anyone who wants to re-publish the findings is required to obtain permission from the publisher and is often required to pay an additional fee. However, much of this scientific and scholarly research is publicly funded through government research grants. Therefore, open access advocates argue that publicly funded research should be freely accessible to the public . Publishers should not be given exclusive ownership rights to research knowledge or be allowed to create a financial obstacle to public dissemination  of this knowledge through charging fees. Nick Shockey and Jonathan Eisen of PHD Comics take us through the world of open access publishing and explain just what it’s all about.

Watch the video HERE

Aaron Swartz: The Internet’s Own Boy (2014)

Synopsis: Filmmaker Brian Knappenberger explores the life and work of programming prodigy and internet activist Aaron Swartz. The documentary presents a dynamic and tragic portrait of the life of Reddit co-founder Aaron Swartz, a champion of open access who grew up to lead the internet community into a new age of data sharing and free speech. The film examines how the suppression of information and lack of government transparency has been used to avoid public scrutiny and prevent informed participation in the democratic process.

Watch the video HERE

Revealed: The Activists Who Uncovered the FBI’s Covert CoIntelPro Counter-Surveillance Program 

Synopsis: Amy Goodman of Democracy Now! interviews three of the original activists responsible for the 1971 break-in of an FBI office in Media, PA, to steal documents related to the Agency’s illegal domestic surveillance tactics. The group later leaked the removed documents to the press, revealing the FBI’s covert counter-intelligence program, CoIntelPro, which consisted of a mass surveillance campaign against celebrities, politicians and political dissidents, as well as the infiltration, monitoring and disruption of social and political movements. The former activists discuss how they planned and executed the break-in, and how the struggle to keep their identities hidden amidst an agency wide manhunt. Also discussed is the FBI smear campaign against the outspoken Hollywood actress Jane Seberg; the suicide letter sent to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. by the FBI; and the assassination of Black Panthers leader Fred Hampton. Their story is relevant now more than ever amidst revelations about the current domestic surveillance abuses and the FBI’s entrapment tactics and informant culture which many critics believe has led to a manufactured war on terror.

Watch the video HERE

Greenwald Meets Bernstein: From Watergate to Snowden

Synopsis: Glenn Greenwald and Carl Bernstein discuss how NSA surveillance has affected contemporary investigative journalism with  journalist, Fredrik Laurin, of Swedish Radio. Greenwald and Bernstien discuss the U.S. Government’s history of placing journalists, activists and whistleblowers under surveillance. Greenwald discusses how the Snowden revelations have affected the precautions investigative journalists must take  to protect their sources (and themselves), as well as the current practice of prosecuting whistleblowers under the Obama administration.   Bernstein examines how institutional secrecy has increased since Watergate and suggests that there is much less oversight of intelligence abuses than in the past.

View the video HERE

“If we desire respect for the law, we must first make the law respectable.” – U.S. Supreme Court Justice Louis D. Brandeis

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