63 votes
Accepted

Did the FBI plant an informant in the Trump campaign during the Obama administration?

tl;dr: The claim is based on a misrepresentation or misinterpretation of testimony by a co-founder of Fusion GPS. There is no evidence that there ever was an embedded FBI informant in the Trump ...
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  • 50.5k
38 votes
Accepted

Must churchgoers be registered with the government in Kansas City?

The mayor's 4th order of 30 April 2020 said, in part: Religious gatherings, including but not limited to, weddings, funerals, memorial services, and wakes, of ten (10) persons inside or ten (10) ...
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  • 96.4k
26 votes

Did the FBI plant an informant in the Trump campaign during the Obama administration?

Update: The New York Times published an article on this so detailed that it seems to supplant all previous information about this informant, at least pending further information: F.B.I. Used Informant ...
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  • 1,138
18 votes

Can cell phones be turned on remotely for surveillance by the NSA?

It is technically possible to set up this type of surveillance without raising alarms, and it has been reported by credible sources to have been used by both the FBI and foreign governments to surveil ...
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  • 7,958
17 votes

Do spying devices implanted through human ear canals exist?

There is a lot wrong with the whole thing here. For a start, when you try and find the original article allegedly written by Professor Kelley which is titled Case Studies of Destabilization and ...
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  • 1,838
14 votes

Do the "Presidential Alerts" give the government full access to all phone functionality?

The presidential alerts are part of a bigger system that also includes AMBER alerts and alerts for bad weather and "other threatening emergencies". These alerts are called Wireless Emergency Alerts (...
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  • 22.8k
10 votes

Can cell phones be remotely converted into listening devices?

Edward Snowden seems to think so: "Mr Snowden said [UK intelligence agency] GCHQ could gain access to a handset by sending it an encrypted text message and use it for such things as taking ...
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  • 201
9 votes
Accepted

Did a series of PSAs about surveillance culture lead to schools in New Mexico getting Ritalin eliminated as a behavior-modifying drug?

I genuinely thought this was unanswerable, because of the weirdness of linking surveillance culture to Ritalin, until I read the attempted answer by Daniel Hicks, where he has trouble finding any ...
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  • 38.4k
9 votes

Do "License Plate Blockers" work?

No, conclusively they do not work. There have been many studies done on them and there are several companies that do exactly this kind of debunking. Every major photo enforcement company knows exactly ...
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6 votes

Do the "Presidential Alerts" give the government full access to all phone functionality?

This isn't a complete answer to your questions, but I'd like to point out that the government doesn't need access to the E911 chip to locate you. Traditionally mobile phone networks were switched ...
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  • 170
6 votes

Were Papadopoulos, Manafort, and Flynn subjects of FISA applications?

Comey testified that the FBI was investigating Flynn, Manafort, Page, and Papadopoulos, however the FBI application for a FISA wiretap was turned down and they were told to narrow the focus. A later ...
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  • 491
5 votes
Accepted

Can wifi signals be used to read lips?

The Atlantic article in the question provides references to support its claims: And a group of researchers led by a Berkeley Ph.D. student presented technology at a 2014 conference that could “hear”...
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  • 132k
4 votes

Can cell phones be remotely converted into listening devices?

Yes. And not just by the police. There are existing demonstrated attacks which allow a malicious 3rd party to do so. http://www.computerworld.com/article/2472441/cybercrime-hacking/mobile-rat-attack-...
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  • 9,396
1 vote

Are remote self-powered implanted devices with transmitters practical?

The paper you linked purports 10 V * 6e-7 A were produced, which is 6e-6 W - it also purports that this is a power density of 1e-2 W/cm², which would put the area of the actual generator being used at ...
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  • 757
1 vote

Did a series of PSAs about surveillance culture lead to schools in New Mexico getting Ritalin eliminated as a behavior-modifying drug?

Browsing the article it's unclear, but I get a hint that, at one point, Ritalin was being "prescribed" by school districts in New Mexico, and this is the practice that was ended. And the ACLU ...
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1 vote
Accepted

Have the NSA spying programs stopped any terrorist attacks?

As far as I know there has only been one successful "plot" foiled, involving a San Diego cab driver who gave $8,500 to an al-Qaeda affiliate(archive.org version). Note that the source may have some ...
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