Updated Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday

Monday, August 13, 2012

Why is US spy surveillance 'TrapWire' in Ottawa?

Here it is, as straightforward as can be said without any plausible reason for it to be a lie:

"TrapWire is in place at every HVT in NYC, DC, Vegas, London, Ottawa and LA. " [Source]

What is Trapwire?

First of all, before we go off the rails read this excellent article on what Trapwire is.

There's also an interesting white paper on TrapWire from 2007 that's worth a read.

From the paper:
"TrapWire is a unique, predictive software system designed to detect patterns of pre-attack surveillance"

As far as I can understand it, the best way to explain it is to think of it as a giant network between all of the security cameras that surround 'HVT's (High Value Targets) around the US - and Ottawa - where each and every camera is constantly logging people's faces, putting them into/checking them against a database and then tracking their whereabouts.

It's not deployed 'countrywide' - it's not watching you in your bedroom or while you work.  We're not that far gone yet.

And, luckily, there's no way at all that this network of surveillance could ever, possibly, be abused...


And yet WikiLeaks had been suffering under a 10 Gigabit per second DDOS attack pretty much since the story broke (Just over 10 days now of sustained attack on WikiLeaks and all it's mirrors).

From the article:

"Anti Leaks describes itself as a group of “young adults, citizens of the United States of America.” The first question, for which there is no immediate answer, is can a new hacking group come from nowhere and mount a sustained 10 GB/sec DDoS attack (it’s now in its tenth day) against a high profile site like WikiLeaks?"


"TrapWire is a surveillance system that links IP CCTV cameras across the country with facial recognition and data analytics (and, according to Anonymous, online social media monitoring)."

And yet we end up at my biggest question:

How the hell did TrapWire find it's way into Ottawa?

As far as the leaked email goes, it confirms that TrapWire's been up and running here since February 15, 2011.

But is this, perhaps, why Harper stripped Canadians of our CSIS watchdog?

It certainly wasn't to save $1 Million per year.

Axing CSIS watchdog 'ridiculous'
Axing CSIS watchdog 'huge loss,' says former inspector general

Lose a watchdog, gain the beginnings of a surveillance state?

Because once the network is installed, how hard is it, really, to add to it?

And what is a 'High Value Target' anyway?

Who gets to decide what's 'High Value'?

Can private enterprises in Canada sign on?

(Can a Bank join in? How about Bay street? or... a Movie Theatre?)

More importantly:

Where is all that TrapWire data going?

It's being collected in Ottawa, but is it crossing our border into US hands?

Where is the facial recognition software hosted? How does it link up?

I mean, it has to link, right? How could CSIS know that their facial recognition has caught an image of someone the FBI suspects is a terrorist?

Is CSIS even the party responsible for running/monitoring 'TrapWire' in Canada?

How little we know and yet each point brings more and more questions to light:

Could Canadians be walking around in Canada and end up in a US Database?

How long is that data held onto for?

When and how is it deleted?

I mean, if you created a network looking to sift for a needle in a haystack, to pinpoint 'terrorist activities' you never know when anyone could end up being a terrorist, right?

Better to monitor and keep everything you find on everyone just in case.

Oh and remember how our government was calling Environmentalists 'Terrorists' and 'Extremists'?

Doesn't this TrapWire reveal just add a whole scary, new level of context to those statements?

I know I feel safer.

Don't you?

Also worth a read:
Google, Salesforce were allegedly offered 'TrapWire' spy tool

Here's the text of the page that #trapwire removed from Google cache

Here's Anonymous' take on the situation

Papers released by WikiLeaks show US department of homeland security paid $832,000 to deploy system in two cities

PNG format screencap of TrapWire's Leadership page (who's who)


Gloria said...

Watch out for those border talks between Harper, Obama and Calderon. Watch out for their secret meetings too.

We know U.S. police are permitted to cross the border into Canada. We also know, Harper is a snake in the grass, not to be trusted nor, believed.

People should read: Harper gives a speech in New York, at the Council of Foreign Relations. This was Sept 25/2007.

theUKtoday said...

We have had surveillance by CCTV in the UK for years, in fact there are millions of CCTV cameras, it was obvious that eventually it would become sinister & trapwire sounds just the tool our governmnet would welcome with open arms, we probably had a lot to do with the software development as well. When you are more likely to be killed by a cop in the states than a terrorist it shows that terrorism isnt the reason trapwire has been implemented ...Welcome to Prison on Earth

Mogs said...

Welcome to Harper's world "You won't recognize canada when I'm done with it." Harperland the 51st state