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Archive for the ‘Legal’ Category

Control of traveling waves in the Mammalian cortex.

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January, 2005

Source URL:  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15698234?

Control of traveling waves in the Mammalian cortex.

Richardson KA1, Schiff SJ, Gluckman BJ.
Author information
Krasnow Institute for Advanced Study
George Mason University
Fairfax, Virginia 22030, USA.

Abstract

We experimentally confirmed predictions that modulation of the neuronal threshold with electrical fields can speed up, slow down, and even block traveling waves in neocortical slices. The predictions are based on a Wilson-Cowan-type integro-differential equation model of propagating neocortical activity. Wave propagation could be modified quickly and reversibly within targeted regions of the network. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first example of direct modulation of the threshold to control wave propagation in a neural system.

We therefore predicted that we could speed up, slow down, and block propagating neural activity in neocortical slices with the application of electric fields. Furthermore, we predicted that we could affect wave propagation either globally, over the whole slice, or locally, in a specific region of the slice, by changing the geometry of the applied field.

We experimentally confirmed theoretical predictions that threshold modulation can increase or decrease the propagation speed of, and even block, cortical traveling waves. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first example of direct modulation of threshold to control wave propagation in a neural system. Such modulation could be applied rapidly in a locally precise manner. Since neural systems permit direct access to threshold, these findings open avenues to novel neural prosthetic applications including control and containment of seizure propagation.

Related:

Ex-spy says NSA did mass surveillance during Utah Olympics

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June 2, 2017

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A former top spy agency official who was the target of a government leak investigation says the National Security Agency conducted blanket surveillance in Salt Lake City during the 2002 Winter Olympics in Utah, according to court documents.

Ex-NSA official Thomas Drake wrote in a declaration released Friday that the NSA collected and stored virtually all electronic communications going into or out of the Salt Lake City area, including the contents of emails and text messages.

“Officials in the NSA and FBI viewed the Salt Lake Olympics Field Op as a golden opportunity to bring together resources from both agencies to experiment with and fine tune a new scale of mass surveillance,” Drake wrote.

It comes as part of a lawsuit filed by attorney Rocky Anderson, who was the mayor of Salt Lake City during the games held a few months after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. Anderson said the document was disclosed to the U.S. Department of Justice on Wednesday.

Full Story:  http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_OLYMPICS_NSA_LAWSUIT?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2017-06-02-20-04-38

Scientists discover that our brain waves can be sent by electrical fields – ScienceAlert

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PETER DOCKRILL

15 JAN 2016

“The implications are that such directed fields can be used to modulate both pathological activities, such as seizures, and to interact with cognitive rhythms that help regulate a variety of processes in the brain.”

The results indicate that electric fields (ephaptic effects) are capable of mediating propagation of self-regenerating neural waves,” they write. “This novel mechanism coupling cell-by-volume conduction could be involved in other types of propagating neural signals, such as slow-wave sleep, sharp hippocampal waves, theta waves, or seizures.”

If their findings, which are reported in The Journal of Neuroscience, can be expounded in further studies, it could help us to better understand how brain waves are associated with things like memory, epilepsy, and healthy physiology.

Source URL:   http://www.sciencealert.com/scientists-discover-new-method-of-brain-wave-transmission-electrical-fields

Lest We Forget: The NSA already has backdoor access to your iPhone

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Amidst current attention on the Federal Court’s attempt to require Apple to install a backdoor allowing the FBI to access a criminal’s iPhone, may we remind ourselves of the NSA’s spectacular access to the same device using  DROPOUT JEEP:

From 2013

How The NSA Hacks Your iPhone (Presenting DROPOUT JEEP)

DROPOUT JEEP is a software implant for the Apple iPhone that utilizes modular mission applications to provide specific SIGINT functionality. This functionality includes the ability to remotely push/pull files from the device. SMS retrieval, contact list retrieval, voicemail, geolocation, hot mic, camera capture, cell tower location, etc. Command, control and data exfiltration can occur over SMS messaging or a GPRS data connection. All communications with the implant will be covert and encrypted.”

The flowchart of how the NSA makes your iPhone its iPhone is presented below:

  • NSA ROC operator
  • Load specified module
  • Send data request
  • iPhone accepts request
  • Retrieves required SIGINT data
  • Encrypt and send exfil data
  • Rinse repeat

And visually:

 

Jewel v NSA: EFF Allowed to Conduct Discovery Against Unwarranted NSA Surveillance Programs

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From:  https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2016/02/big-victory-judge-pushes-jewel-v-nsa-forward

February 19, 2016 | By David Greene

Big Victory: Judge Pushes Jewel v. NSA Forward

We won a groundbreaking legal victory late Friday in our Jewel v. NSA case, which challenges the NSA’s Internet and telephone surveillance. Judge Jeffrey White has authorized EFF, on behalf of the plaintiffs, to conduct discovery against the NSA. We had been barred from doing so since the case was filed in 2008, which meant that the government was able to prevent us from requesting important information about how these programs worked.

This marks the first time a party has been allowed to gather factual evidence from the NSA in a case involving the agency’s warrantless surveillance. The government had fought all our requests to proceed with this lawsuit, arguing that the state secrets privilege protects it against both discovery and liability. Judge White previously rejected that argument for our statutory claims under the Wiretap Act, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, and the Stored Communications Act. This ruling affirms Judge White’s previous decision and opens the door for discovery.

This is an important step forward to lifting the cloak of secrecy that has thus far shielded the NSA from judicial scrutiny, and EFF looks forward to finally getting to the nuts and bolts of this extraordinarily important lawsuit.

EFF News on Jewel v. NSA

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State Secrets Privilege trumps 4th Amendment?  Did we vote for that?

This most recent ruling was in response to the motion for partial summary judgment EFF filed in July 2014 arguing that the NSA’s backbone surveillance violates the Fourth Amendment. The government responded with its own motion for partial summary judgment, asserting several defenses, including the “state secrets” privilege, which permits judges to disregard evidence that would endanger national security if publicly released. In support of its motion, the government filed secret declarations by NSA officials that were available to Judge White, but not to us [EFF] or the public, and the judge relied on this evidence in his order.

Judge White did not rule on the legality or constitutionality of the NSA mass Internet surveillance we challenged. Rather, the court explained that the publicly available information did not paint a complete picture of how the NSA collects Internet traffic, so the court could not rule on the program without looking at information that could constitute “state secrets.”

“Because a fair and full adjudication of the Government Defendants’ defenses would require harmful disclosures of national security information that is protected by the state secrets privilege, the Court must exclude such evidence from the case,” Judge White writes in the decision. “Addressing any defenses involves a significant risk of potentially harmful effects any disclosures could have on national security.”

Full Story at:  Jewel v. NSA: Making Sense of a Disappointing Decision Over Mass Surveillance | Electronic Frontier Foundation

Also Must Read: Origin and History of the State Secrets Privilege

Written by bothernews

February 19, 2015 at 12:26 pm

Senator Rand Paul re-introduces ‘Audit the Fed’ bill

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Republican Senator Rand Paul, a potential 2016 presidential candidate, on Wednesday re-introduced a bill that would expose the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy discussions and decisions to a congressional audit.

The Fed fears that a full GAO audit would reveal too much detail of monetary policy decisions made by the Federal Open Market Committee. Fed officials have said such exposure would complicate their public communications, hurt their credibility and stoke financial market volatility. The central bank also fears that efforts to impinge on its independence would hurt U.S. monetary policy.

Full Story:  Senator Rand Paul re-introduces ‘Audit the Fed’ bill – Yahoo News Canada

Written by bothernews

January 29, 2015 at 12:45 am