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Private WhatsApp groups visible in Google searches

Your #WhatsApp groups may not be as secure as you think they are


Google is indexing invite links to private WhatsApp group chats. This means with a simple search anyone can discover and join these groups including ones the administrator may want to keep private.

Does #Google care about your privacy and security? No.

Does #Facebook honestly care about your privacy and security? No.

https://www.dw.com/en/private-whatsapp-groups-visible-in-google-searches/a-52468603

#Facebook #chat #apps #privacy #security #surveillance #messaging #im
 
Image/Photo

Private WhatsApp groups visible in Google searches

Your #WhatsApp groups may not be as secure as you think they are


Google is indexing invite links to private WhatsApp group chats. This means with a simple search anyone can discover and join these groups including ones the administrator may want to keep private.

Does #Google care about your privacy and security? No.

Does #Facebook honestly care about your privacy and security? No.

https://www.dw.com/en/private-whatsapp-groups-visible-in-google-searches/a-52468603

#Facebook #chat #apps #privacy #security #surveillance #messaging #im
 
May be paywalled...

Ring and Nest helped normalize American surveillance and turned us into a nation of voyeurs

"Amazon’s Ring, Google’s Nest and other Internet-connected cameras — some selling for as little as $59 — have given Americans the tools they need to become a personal security force, and millions of people now seeing what’s happening around their home every second — what Ring calls the 'new neighborhood watch'."

"But the allure of monitoring people silently from afar has also proved more tempting than many expected. Customers who bought the cameras in hopes of not becoming victims joke that instead they’ve become voyeurs."

"The Washington Post surveyed more than 50 owners of in-home and outdoor camera systems across the United States about how the recording devices had reshaped their daily lives. Most of those who responded to online solicitations about their camera use said they had bought the cameras to check on package deliveries and their pets, and many talked glowingly about what they got in return: security, entertainment, peace of mind. Some said they worried about hackers, snoops or spies."

#surveillance #voyeurism #privacy
 
Quote of note:

"Without oversight, it is inconceivable that tactics turned against undocumented immigrants won’t eventually be turned to the enforcement of other laws. As the world has seen in the streets of Hong Kong, where protesters wear masks to avoid a network of government facial-recognition cameras, once a surveillance technology is widely deployed in a society it is almost impossible to uproot." -- The New York Times Editorial Board

Via The Government Uses ‘Near Perfect Surveillance’ Data on Americans

#surveillance #DHS #FourthAmendment #privacy
 
"The American Civil Liberties Union plans to fight newly revealed practices by the Department of Homeland Security which used commercially available cell phone location data to track suspected illegal immigrants."

"'DHS should not be accessing our location information without a warrant, regardless whether they obtain it by paying or for free. The failure to get a warrant undermines Supreme Court precedent establishing that the government must demonstrate probable cause to a judge before getting some of our most sensitive information, especially our cell phone location history', said Nathan Freed Wessler, a staff attorney with the ACLU’s Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project."

#DHS #surveillance #immigration #FourthAmendment #LocationTracking
ACLU says it’ll fight DHS efforts to use app locations for deportations
 
"Sidestepping the need to obtain a search warrant, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has reportedly been accessing phone location data belonging to millions of Americans by buying it straight from private marketing firms. The data is drawn from seemingly ordinary phone apps, including mobile games and weather apps, the Wall Street Journal reports."

"DHS uses the data purchased from private marketing companies to generate law enforcement leads and search for undocumented immigrants, according to the Journal, which first broke news of the arrangements on Friday."

"In a landmark 2018 decision, the Supreme Court ruled that the Fourth Amendment protects cellphone location information. As a result, police are required to obtain a warrant before obtaining location data. But according to the Journal, government lawyers have argued that a warrant is not required because the data is already commercially available."

#DHS #privacy #surveillance #immigration #FourthAmendment #LocationTracking
 
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Your Data is Your Business. Tell #Google & #IAB to Mind Theirs

Petition


You go online. An advertisement appears for the exact coffee machine you looked up last week. Is it a trick? Nope.

When you are online, your personal information, like your:
  • Gender
  • Age
  • Location
  • Information derived from your browsing history (yes, the naughty stuff, but also health queries and voting preferences)
... is collected and broadcast to tens of thousands of companies in the online advertising industry.

Based on your data, companies size you up and decide in milliseconds if you’re a potential customer. If you are, they bid for the right to show you an ad. For coffee machines – or whatever else they believe would interest you.

This is not right. It is not legal.


You have the right to feel safe when looking up medical information, choosing a school for your child, or seeking support to come out to your family without this being broadcast to strangers.

Petition:
https://www.liberties.eu/en/campaigns/ad-tech-2-petition--your-data-is-your-business/319

#privacy #surveillance #spying #mobile #phones #cellular #Internet #browsing #advertising #capitalism #CorporateGreed #security #private
 
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Your Data is Your Business. Tell #Google & #IAB to Mind Theirs

Petition


You go online. An advertisement appears for the exact coffee machine you looked up last week. Is it a trick? Nope.

When you are online, your personal information, like your:
  • Gender
  • Age
  • Location
  • Information derived from your browsing history (yes, the naughty stuff, but also health queries and voting preferences)
... is collected and broadcast to tens of thousands of companies in the online advertising industry.

Based on your data, companies size you up and decide in milliseconds if you’re a potential customer. If you are, they bid for the right to show you an ad. For coffee machines – or whatever else they believe would interest you.

This is not right. It is not legal.


You have the right to feel safe when looking up medical information, choosing a school for your child, or seeking support to come out to your family without this being broadcast to strangers.

Petition:
https://www.liberties.eu/en/campaigns/ad-tech-2-petition--your-data-is-your-business/319

#privacy #surveillance #spying #mobile #phones #cellular #Internet #browsing #advertising #capitalism #CorporateGreed #security #private
 
"Apple and other big tech companies are increasingly going head-to-head with national governments as they attempt to control the internet within their borders."

#Apple #Putin #Russia #surveillance #privacy #cybersecurity
 
facepalm

London cops announce citywide facial recognition cameras

" In 2018, London's Metropolitan Police Force announced trials of a facial recognition system that could be married to the city's legendarily invasive CCTV thicket; the tests failed 98% of the time and led to arrests of people who opted out by covering their faces."

"Based on that dismal performance, and perhaps emboldened by the coming Brexit and its liberation from EU privacy rules, the Met have announced that they are rolling out permanent, citywide facial recognition."

#London #UK #FacialRecognition #surveillance
London cops announce citywide facial recognition cameras
 
"Clearview founder Ton-That is linked to various Trump allied far-right figures, this report states, naming Rudy Giuliani, Michael Cernovich, Chuck Johnson, Pax Dickinson, the details of which go back some years."

#ClearviewAI #facialrecognition #surveillance
Clearview AI founder linked to Trump world and Far-Right, NYPD denies facial recognition firm's boast that it helped catch terrorist suspect
 
Apologies, may be paywalled:

The Cybersecurity 202: Bezos hack reveals dangerous escalation in use of commercial hacking tools, experts warn

"An alleged Saudi hacking campaign that compromised the cellphone of Amazon founder and Washington Post owner Jeff Bezos is a chilling example of how even the world's richest person can be hacked with tools that were likely bought off the shelf."

"It marks a significant escalation in the way nations use commercial hacking tools -- and is fueling calls from officials and experts to ban the international sale of spyware."

"'This should be a wake-up call for the international community', Agnes Callamard, a U.N. investigator who urged such a moratorium in light of the Bezos hack, told me. 'We need to take action before we are completely unable to control this technology'."

#cybersecurity #foreignpolicy #surveillance #internationallaw
 
"UN experts have called for an immediate investigation into the 'possible involvement' of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in the hacking of Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos’ iPhone in 2018."

"'The information we have received suggests the possible involvement of the Crown Prince in surveillance of Mr. Bezos, in an effort to influence, if not silence, The Washington Post’s reporting on Saudi Arabia', UN special rapporteurs said in a statement Wednesday."

"'The alleged hacking of Mr. Bezos’s phone, and those of others, demands immediate investigation by U.S. and other relevant authorities, including investigation of the continuous, multi-year, direct and personal involvement of the Crown Prince in efforts to target perceived opponents'."

"The statement from UN’s human rights body centers on forensic investigations into the claim by Bezos — one of the world’s wealthiest men and owner of the Washington Post — that the Saudi government orchestrated a cyberattack against him to extract large amounts of data from his phone, including nude photos sent to his mistress."

#JeffBezos #SaudiArabia #MBS #cybersecurity #surveillance #espionage #InformationWarfare #disinformation #propaganda
 
If they did pull something like that off, it would be quite the coup, so to speak. And belligerent as hell.

Also, very "Russian-like" in operational methodology.

Report: Saudi Crown Prince Personally Sent Malware to Jeff Bezos, Possibly to Steal Those Dick Pics

"Here’s another twist in the mystery of just how pictures of Amazon CEO and billionaire Washington Post owner Jeff Bezo’s dick, along with sexts to his then-mistress Lauren Sanchez, ended up in the hands of the National Enquirer last year: Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman may have personally infected his phone with malware in May 2018."

"That’s according to a Tuesday report in the Guardian, which wrote 'sources' said a 'digital forensic analysis' concluded that while Bezos was having what was surely a very relatable conversation with the Saudi strongman via encrypted chat service WhatsApp, bin Salman sent him an unsolicited video file containing malware. The Financial Times filled in some more details later, reporting FTI Consulting cybersecurity expert Anthony J. Ferrante had led the analysis, which concluded Bezos’s phone had transmitted dozens of gigabytes of data after the crown prince sent the file."

#cybersecurity #SaudiArabia #surveillance #InformationWarfare
 
"The Amazon billionaire Jeff Bezos had his mobile phone 'hacked' in 2018 after receiving a WhatsApp message that had apparently been sent from the personal account of the crown prince of Saudi Arabia, sources have told the Guardian."

"The encrypted message from the number used by Mohammed bin Salman is believed to have included a malicious file that infiltrated the phone of the world’s richest man, according to the results of a digital forensic analysis."

"This analysis found it 'highly probable' that the intrusion into the phone was triggered by an infected video file sent from the account of the Saudi heir to Bezos, the owner of the Washington Post."

"The two men had been having a seemingly friendly WhatsApp exchange when, on 1 May of that year, the unsolicited file was sent, according to sources who spoke to the Guardian on the condition of anonymity."

"Large amounts of data were exfiltrated from Bezos’s phone within hours, according to a person familiar with the matter. The Guardian has no knowledge of what was taken from the phone or how it was used."

#cybersecurity #SaudiArabia #JeffBezos #surveillance #espionage
 
"Apple Inc dropped plans to let iPhone users fully encrypt backups of their devices in the company’s iCloud service after the FBI complained that the move would harm investigations, six sources familiar with the matter told Reuters."

"The tech giant’s reversal, about two years ago, has not previously been reported. It shows how much Apple has been willing to help U.S. law enforcement and intelligence agencies, despite taking a harder line in high-profile legal disputes with the government and casting itself as a defender of its customers’ information."

#Apple #surveillance #privacy #encryption #FBI
 
" Bruce Schneier writes in the New York Times that banning facial recognition (as cities like San Diego, San Francisco, Oakland, Brookline and Somerville have done) is not enough: there are plenty of other ways to automatically recognize people (gait detection, high-resolution photos of hands that reveal fingerprints, voiceprints, etc), and these will all be used for the same purpose that makes facial recognition bad for our world: to sort us into different categories and treat us different based on those categories."

"Some of these distinctions are easy to imagine: showing different ads on billboards based on who's looking at them, for example. Others are more sinister: targeting us for police interventions, raising the prices, or denying us entry to a place of business."

"Schneier says that we need to regulate more than facial recognition, we need to regulate recognition itself -- and the data-brokers whose data-sets are used to map recognition data to peoples' identities."

#privacy #facialrecognition #surveillance #discrimination
Facial recognition isn't just bad because it invades privacy: it's because privacy invasions fuel discrimination
 
" Bruce Schneier writes in the New York Times that banning facial recognition (as cities like San Diego, San Francisco, Oakland, Brookline and Somerville have done) is not enough: there are plenty of other ways to automatically recognize people (gait detection, high-resolution photos of hands that reveal fingerprints, voiceprints, etc), and these will all be used for the same purpose that makes facial recognition bad for our world: to sort us into different categories and treat us different based on those categories."

"Some of these distinctions are easy to imagine: showing different ads on billboards based on who's looking at them, for example. Others are more sinister: targeting us for police interventions, raising the prices, or denying us entry to a place of business."

"Schneier says that we need to regulate more than facial recognition, we need to regulate recognition itself -- and the data-brokers whose data-sets are used to map recognition data to peoples' identities."

#privacy #facialrecognition #surveillance #discrimination
Facial recognition isn't just bad because it invades privacy: it's because privacy invasions fuel discrimination
 
"As the U.S. military and defense contractors eye a potential drone war with Iran as tensions with the country remain elevated, the defense industry is also preparing to test-fly domestic versions of its combat drones over major American cities in an effort to fully integrate military-grade drones into civil airspace alongside commercial air traffic in the coming years."

"That’s right, those robotic killing machines used for counterterrorism strikes in the Middle East are coming home — and could eventually be used to surveil large protests and communities of color throughout the U.S."

"The Poway-based defense contractor General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc., will test-fly its SkyGuardian drone, outfitted with a 79-foot wingspan and advanced surveillance capabilities of more than 2,000 feet, over San Diego, California, sometime this year."

#surveillance #PoliceState #FourthAmendment #DomesticTerrorism
Large Military-Grade Drones Could Soon Be Flying Over Your Backyard
 
"Until recently, Hoan Ton-That’s greatest hits included an obscure iPhone game and an app that let people put Donald Trump’s distinctive yellow hair on their own photos."

"Then Mr. Ton-That — an Australian techie and onetime model — did something momentous: He invented a tool that could end your ability to walk down the street anonymously, and provided it to hundreds of law enforcement agencies, ranging from local cops in Florida to the F.B.I. and the Department of Homeland Security."

"His tiny company, Clearview AI, devised a groundbreaking facial recognition app. You take a picture of a person, upload it and get to see public photos of that person, along with links to where those photos appeared. The system — whose backbone is a database of more than three billion images that Clearview claims to have scraped from Facebook, YouTube, Venmo and millions of other websites — goes far beyond anything ever constructed by the United States government or Silicon Valley giants."

"Federal and state law enforcement officers said that while they had only limited knowledge of how Clearview works and who is behind it, they had used its app to help solve shoplifting, identity theft, credit card fraud, murder and child sexual exploitation cases."

"Until now, technology that readily identifies everyone based on his or her face has been taboo because of its radical erosion of privacy."

#privacy #surveillance #facialrecognition #biometrics #ClearviewAI
 

Ring confirms it fired four employees for watching customer videos | Engadget

Ring has responded to the US Senators demanding answers to the security issues it's facing in a letter, which was obtained by Motherboard. In it, the Amazon-owned company has admitted that it had to fire employees for watching customers' videos beyond what they were allowed to. Ring received the four complaints over the course of four years, and it opened an investigation for each one of them. While all the employees involved had the authority to view customer videos, Ring said they accessed or attempted to access data that "exceeded what was necessary for their job functions."
#technology #tech #SmartHome #Ring #video #surveillance
 
● NEWS ● #hrw #Dhaka ☞ #Bangladesh : Online #Surveillance , Control
 
● NEWS ● #hrw #Dhaka ☞ #Bangladesh : Online #Surveillance , Control
 
"...Sirius isn't just a radio company—it offers a variety of 'connected car solutions'. Among those solutions is SiriusXM Guardian, which is available on the Fiat Chrysler Uconnect infotainment system. Cars that have telematics equipment installed by the manufacturer—in this case, Fiat Chrysler—can send data over mobile networks using Sirius' connected services. Those cars, Sirius said, are a small subset of the total number of vehicles that have satellite radios installed."

"Sirius additionally told Ars that it sporadically works with law enforcement bodies to comply with valid vehicle-location court orders. The company stressed that it does so by remotely activating the installed telematics hardware in a car, rather than by interacting in any way with the actual satellite radio."

#SiriusXM #surveillance #LocationTracking
 
Überwachungsfirma FinFisher geht mit Anwälten gegen unsere kritische Berichterstattung vor




#Netzpolitik #FinFisher #Überwachung #Surveillance #Security #Privacy #Internet
Überwachungsfirma geht mit Anwälten gegen unsere kritische Berichterstattung vor
 
Random dystopian future stuff.

#dystopian #future #surveillance #automata
 

In which the FBI lies to Congress and America. Yes, again.

Remember the FBI's promise it wasn’t abusing the NSA’s data on US citizens? Well, guess what… • The Register

https://www.theregister.co.uk/2019/10/08/fbi_spying_abuse/
The FBI routinely misused a database, gathered by the NSA with the specific purpose of searching for foreign intelligence threats, by searching it for everything from vetting to spying on relatives.

In doing so, it not only violated the law and the US constitution but knowingly lied to the faces of congressmen who were asking the intelligence services about this exact issue at government hearings, hearings that were intended to find if there needed to be additional safeguards added to the program.

That is the upshot of newly declassified rulings of the secret FISC court that decides issues of spying and surveillance within the United States.

On Tuesday, in a year-old ruling [PDF]that remains heavily redacted, everything that both privacy advocates and a number of congressmen – particularly Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) – feared was true of the program turned out to be so, but worse.
... Really, just read the entire article. The short version is that although this database is theoretically supposed to be used only for foreign intelligence matters, FBI agents were casually using it all the time on as little as personal whim. On one single day in December 2017, FBI agents ran 6,800 searches against the Section 702 database. It appears possible none of them were authorized. And that was just one day.

#surveillance #spying
 

Wanna break free from #Google?


Here are some recommendations:
What did I missed? What is you favourite alternative? and why?
#freesoftware #foss #floss #open-source #opensource #linux #gnu-linux #fdroid #technoethical #mobile #software #privacy #surveillance #freedom
 
"Emails sent by Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials expose how ICE used social media and information gleaned by for-profit data brokers to track down and arrest an immigrant in Southern California. In the emails, which were disclosed in federal court filings, officials discussed the relationship status of the person, noting that he was 'broken hearted', according to Facebook posts, and confirmed his identity through pictures posted at his father’s birthday party."

"ICE ultimately arrested the person after he 'checked in' to a Home Depot on Facebook."

"The emails are a rare glimpse into the ever-widening surveillance dragnet ICE uses to track down immigrants who are subject to possible deportation. In this case, ICE used Thomson Reuters’s controversial CLEAR database, part of a growing industry of commercial data brokers that contract with government agencies, essentially circumventing barriers that might prevent the government from collecting certain types of information."

#ICE #Gestapo #immigration #socialmedia #surveillance
 

US government is entitled to all Snowden book proceeds, judge rules


https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2019/12/us-government-is-entitled-to-all-snowden-book-proceeds-judge-rules/
Well, that pretty much eliminates any guilt about getting this book without buying it.

ebook in the Imperial Library of Trantor (.onion, so you'll need the Tor Browser)
magnet link for regular torrent of ebook
magnet link to paste into I2PSnark for ebook
magnet link to paste into I2PSnark for audio book

https://invidio.us/watch?v=Nd6qN167wKo Terminal F from NRK (Norway, but in English) This is a traditional documentary. 58:09
https://invidio.us/watch?v=8OGmvE9znFY Meeting Snowden - ARTE Documentary. Snowden speaks English. Narrator speaks French, but is subtitled in English. Also features Lawrence Lessig and Birgitta Jónsdóttir, who both speak English. This is mostly a panel discussion. 48:49
Snowden on Daily Show. https://invidio.us/watch?v=PArFP7ZJrtg

My review of Snowden's book. https://diasp.eu/posts/7438a8b0c0610137796e4061862b8e7b

Citizenfour oscar-winning documentary by Laura Poitras. https://cryptome.org/Citizenfour.7z

#snowden #privacy #surveillance #liberty #freedom #permanent-record #book #cia #nsa #rights
 

US government is entitled to all Snowden book proceeds, judge rules


https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2019/12/us-government-is-entitled-to-all-snowden-book-proceeds-judge-rules/
Well, that pretty much eliminates any guilt about getting this book without buying it.

ebook in the Imperial Library of Trantor (.onion, so you'll need the Tor Browser)
magnet link for regular torrent of ebook
magnet link to paste into I2PSnark for ebook
magnet link to paste into I2PSnark for audio book

https://invidio.us/watch?v=Nd6qN167wKo Terminal F from NRK (Norway, but in English) This is a traditional documentary. 58:09
https://invidio.us/watch?v=8OGmvE9znFY Meeting Snowden - ARTE Documentary. Snowden speaks English. Narrator speaks French, but is subtitled in English. Also features Lawrence Lessig and Birgitta Jónsdóttir, who both speak English. This is mostly a panel discussion. 48:49
Snowden on Daily Show. https://invidio.us/watch?v=PArFP7ZJrtg

My review of Snowden's book. https://diasp.eu/posts/7438a8b0c0610137796e4061862b8e7b

Citizenfour oscar-winning documentary by Laura Poitras. https://cryptome.org/Citizenfour.7z

#snowden #privacy #surveillance #liberty #freedom #permanent-record #book #cia #nsa #rights
 
"Recently released documents revealed the FBI has for years secretly demanded vast amounts of Americans’ consumer and financial information from the largest U.S. credit agencies."

"The FBI regularly uses these legal powers — known as national security letters — to compel credit giants to turn over non-content information, such as records of purchases and locations, that the agency deems necessary in national security investigations. But these letters have no judicial oversight and are typically filed with a gag order, preventing the recipient from disclosing the demand to anyone else — including the target of the letter."

#FBI #privacy #NSL #cybersecurity #surveillance
FBI secretly demands a ton of consumer data from credit agencies. Now lawmakers want answers
 
"A leading research centre has called for new laws to restrict the use of emotion-detecting tech."

"The AI Now Institute says the field is 'built on markedly shaky foundations'."

"Despite this, systems are on sale to help vet job seekers, test criminal suspects for signs of deception, and set insurance prices."

"It wants such software to be banned from use in important decisions that affect people's lives and/or determine their access to opportunities."

#emotiondetection #surveillance
 
"Immigration and border agents may be scooping up cellphone information from thousands of innocent U.S. citizens in their effort to track a few people who’ve crossed the border illegally — using invasive surveillance tools that were originally developed to protect military operations."

"That’s the big concern raised in a lawsuit the American Civil Liberties Union filed yesterday against U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Customs and Border Protection, demanding to know how widely the agencies are using the tools called StingRays and who they’re targeting."

#surveillance #privacy #fourthamendment #immigration #cybersecurity #stingrays
 
Derp.

Defense Department To Congress: 'No, Wait, Encryption Is Actually Good; Don't Break It'

" As Senate Judiciary Committee Chair Lindsey Graham has continued his latest quest to undermine encryption with a hearing whose sole purpose seemed to be to misleadingly argue that encryption represents a 'risk to public safety'. The Defense Department has weighed in to say that's ridiculous. As you may recall, the DOJ and the FBI have been working overtime to demonize encryption and pretend -- against nearly all evidence -- that widespread, strong encryption somehow undermines its ability to stop criminals."

"However, it appears that other parts of the government are a bit more up to date on these things. Representative Ro Khanna has forwarded a letter to Senator Graham that he received earlier this year from the Defense Department's CIO Dana Deasy, explaining just how important encryption actually is. The letter highlights how DoD employees rely on the kind of strong encryption found on mobile devices and in VPN services to protect the data of their employees, both at rest (on the devices) and in transit (across the network)."

#encryption #surveillance #privacy #cybersecurity
 
"Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Customs and Border Protection (CBP) are using incredibly invasive surveillance technology as part of their continued efforts to target and tear apart communities across the country. They’re doing so in near-total secrecy and without any public accountability."

"The ACLU has been asking ICE and CBP for basic information about this program for years, and now we’re asking a federal court to intervene."

#ICE #CBP #stingrays #surveillance #fourthamendment
 
Worth a read.

DREAD - White House Veterans helped Gulf Monarchy build secret surveillance unit

"In the years after 9/11, former U.S. counterterrorism czar Richard Clarke warned Congress that the country needed more expansive spying powers to prevent another catastrophe. Five years after leaving government, he shopped the same idea to an enthusiastic partner: an Arab monarchy with deep pockets."

"In 2008, Clarke went to work as a consultant guiding the United Arab Emirates as it created a cyber surveillance capability that would utilize top American intelligence contractors to help monitor threats against the tiny nation."

"The secret unit Clarke helped create had an ominous acronym: DREAD, short for Development Research Exploitation and Analysis Department. In the years that followed, the UAE unit expanded its hunt far beyond suspected extremists to include a Saudi women’s rights activist, diplomats at the United Nations and personnel at FIFA, the world soccer body. By 2012, the program would be known among its American operatives by a codename: Project Raven."

"Reuters reports this year revealed how a group of former National Security Agency operatives and other elite American intelligence veterans helped the UAE spy on a wide range of targets through the previously undisclosed program — from terrorists to human rights activists, journalists and dissidents."

#surveillance #transparency #ProjectRaven #DREAD
 

How Facebook tracks you on Android (even if you don't have a Facebook account)


Hackernoon

(...) 1 Facebook is able to track you because Android developers of 3rd party apps (example: Indeed Job Search) implement Facebook’s Software Development Kit (SDK).
2 SDK is a collection of tools that eases the creation of software. By using Facebook SDK, developers can do advanced analytics without the need to code it from scratch. SDK is like a Swiss Army Knife. With it, you can start your job immediately instead of having to build your own scissors, knife, corkscrew etc.
3 This article is written based on the research conducted by Frederike Kaltheuner and Christopher Weatherhead. You can watch the full video here. The official study can be found here. (...)

According to Privacy International, research done by the University of Oxford has suggested that approximately 42.55% of the free apps in the Google Play Store could share data with Facebook. (...)

Out of the 42.55%, this study picked 34 apps, based on the fact that they have either a huge number of installations, or they involve sensitive information such as religion and health, or they are simply utility apps (You know, torchlight, QR code scanner, fart sound etc). (...)

Out of the 34 apps, over 61% of them automatically transfer data to Facebook the moment a user opens the app. (...)

What’s our defense? (...)

1. Reset your advertising identifier (Very simple)
Every device has an advertising identifier (aka ad id). You can’t stop Facebook or Google from tracking you but you can make their tracking difficult by frequently resetting your ad id. If you reset it, in theory, Facebook and Google algorithms will view you as a different person in your next online activity.
Android Phone: Go to settings > Google > Ads > Reset advertising identifier
iPhone: Go to settings > Privacy > Advertising > Reset advertising identifier

2. Limit ad personalization (Very simple)
In theory, this should limit the amount of data collected by the companies. However, this study showed that we can end up sharing more data to companies if we limit ad personalization. But I will not go into the details of that.
Android: Go to Settings > Google > Ads > Opt Out of Personalized Advertising
iPhone: Go to settings > Privacy > Advertising > turn on ‘Limit Ad Tracking’

3. Review permissions (Very annoying)
Did you notice that apps these days have been asking for permissions before you carry out a simple task like importing a photo or opening a map? Yeah, it’s irritating but it’s crucial. This allows you to have greater control of your privacy. Not perfect, but at least it helps to a certain extent.

4. Use Brave browser to surf & use DuckDuckGo to search (Simple)
Brave (as opposed to Google Chrome) is a web browser which focuses a lot more on data privacy.
DuckDuckGo (as opposed to Google Search) is a search engine which distinguishes itself from other search engines by not profiling its users.

5. Educate yourself / your parents / your children on how the Internet works (Not so simple)
Education is the most powerful weapon. There are tons of articles and YouTube videos explaining how computers and network works; go read them up. However, if the content is too complex, especially for the older generations and the newcomers (aka your children), you can check out Potato Pirates -Enter The Spudnet. It’s a board game that’s developed to teach cybersecurity and internet piracy without computers. (...)

Full article




Tags: #privacy #data #data mining #surveillance capitalism #facebook #apps #android #ios #tracking #personal data #kayak #brave #brave browser #duckduckgo #permissions #Software Development Kit #SDK
 
"When it comes to the extensive and invasive use of biometric data, the USA is one of the worst offenders in the world, faring only slightly better than China."

"According to research conducted by Comparitech, which rated 50 countries according to how, where and why biometrics were taken and how they are stored, the US ranked as the fourth worst country. Topping the list is China, followed by Malaysia and Pakistan."

"While Comparitech did not look at every country in the world, its study did compare 50 of them. To give a country a rating out of 25, each was rated out of five in four categories (storage, CCTV, workplace, and visas) according to how invasive and pervasive and the collection and use of biometrics is."

#privacy #cybersecurity #biometrics #surveillance
The US shows a 'concerning lack of regard for the privacy of people's biometric data'
 
"Trackers are hiding in nearly every corner of today’s Internet, which is to say nearly every corner of modern life. The average web page shares data with dozens of third-parties. The average mobile app does the same, and many apps collect highly sensitive information like location and call records even when they’re not in use. Tracking also reaches into the physical world. Shopping centers use automatic license-plate readers to track traffic through their parking lots, then share that data with law enforcement. Businesses, concert organizers, and political campaigns use Bluetooth and WiFi beacons to perform passive monitoring of people in their area. Retail stores use face recognition to identify customers, screen for theft, and deliver targeted ads."

"The tech companies, data brokers, and advertisers behind this surveillance, and the technology that drives it, are largely invisible to the average user. Corporations have built a hall of one-way mirrors: from the inside, you can see only apps, web pages, ads, and yourself reflected by social media. But in the shadows behind the glass, trackers quietly take notes on nearly everything you do. These trackers are not omniscient, but they are widespread and indiscriminate. The data they collect and derive is not perfect, but it is nevertheless extremely sensitive."

"This paper will focus on corporate 'third-party' tracking: the collection of personal information by companies that users don’t intend to interact with. It will shed light on the technical methods and business practices behind third-party tracking. For journalists, policy makers, and concerned consumers, we hope this paper will demystify the fundamentals of third-party tracking, explain the scope of the problem, and suggest ways for users and legislation to fight back against the status quo."

#surveillance #privacy
 

From Permanent Record by Edward Snowden pgs. 191-193


"Our mission was pretty much appliance-based on this one afternoon I'm recalling - we were in Best Buy. Having settled on a new microwave, we were checking out, on Lindsay'a healthful insistence, a display of blenders. She had her phone out and was in the midst of researching which of the ten or so devices had the best reviews, when I found myself wandering over to the computer department at the far end of the store.

But along the way I stopped. There, at the edge of the kitchenware section, ensconced atop a brightly decorated and lit elevated platform, was a shiny new refrigerator. Rather, it was a 'Smart-fridge' which was being advertised as 'Internet-equipped.'

This, plain and simple, blew my mind.

A salesperson approached, interpreting my stupefaction as interest - "It's amazing, isn't it?" - and proceeded to demonstrate a few of the features. A screen was embedded in the door of the fridge, and next to the door was a tiny stylus, which allowed you to scribble messages. If you didn't want to scribble, you could record audio and video memos. You could also use the screen as your regular computer, because the refrigerator had Wi-Fi. You could check your email, or check your calendar. You could watch YouTube clips, or listen to MP3s. You could even make phone calls. I had to restrain myself from keying in Lindsay's number and saying from across the floor, "I'm calling you from a fridge."

Beyond that, the salesperson continued, the fridge's computer kept track of internal temperature, and, through scanning barcodes, the freshness of your food. It provided nutritional information and suggested recipes. I think the price was over $9,ooo. "Delivery included," the salesperson said.

I remember driving home in a confused silence. This wasn't quite the stunning moonshot tech-future we'd been promised. I was convinced the only reason the thing was Internet- equipped was so that it could report back to its manufacturer about its owner's usage and about any other household data that was obtainable. The manufacturer, in turn, would monetize that data by selling it. And we were supposed to pay for the privilege.

I wondered what the point was of my getting so worked up over government surveillance if my friends, neighbours, and fellow citizens were more than happy to invite corporate surveillance into their homes, allowing themselves to be tracked while browsing in their pantries as efficiently as if they were browsing the Web. It would be another half decade before the domotics revolution, before 'virtual assistants' like Amazon Echo and Google Home were welcomed into bedroom and placed proudly on nightstands to record and transmit all activity within range, to log all habits and preferences (not to mention fetishes and kinks), which would then be developed into advertising algorithms and converted into cash. The data we generate just by living - or just by letting ourselves be surveilled while living - would enrich private enterprise and impoverish our private existence in equal measure. If government surveillance was having the effect of turning the citizen into a subject, at the mercy of state power, then corporate surveillance was turning the consumer into a product, which corporations sold to other corporations, data brokers and advertisers.

Meanwhile, it felt as if every major tech company, including Dell, was rolling out new civilian versions of what I was working on for the CIA: a cloud. (In fact, Dell had even tried four years previously to trademark the term 'cloud-computing' but was denied). I was amazed at how willingly people were signing up, so excited at the prospect of their photos and videos and music and e-books being universally backed up and available that they never gave much thought as to why such uber-sophisticated and convenient storage solution was being offered to them for 'free' or for 'cheap' in the first place.

I don't think I'd ever seen such a concept be so uniformly bought into on every side. 'The cloud' was as effective a sales term for Dell to sell to the CIA as it was for Amazon and Apple and Google to sell to their users. I can still close my eyes and hear Cliff some CIA suit about how "with the cloud, you'll be able to push security updates across agency computers world-wide," or "when the cloud's up and running, the agency will be able to track who has read what file world-wide." The cloud was white and fluffy and peaceful, floating high above the fray. Though many clouds make a stormy sky, a single cloud provided a benevolent bit of shade. It was protective. I think it made everyone think of heaven. "
dl #EdwardSnowden #CIA #cloud #comuting #surveillance #books at
 

From Permanent Record by Edward Snowden pgs. 191-193


"Our mission was pretty much appliance-based on this one afternoon I'm recalling - we were in Best Buy. Having settled on a new microwave, we were checking out, on Lindsay'a healthful insistence, a display of blenders. She had her phone out and was in the midst of researching which of the ten or so devices had the best reviews, when I found myself wandering over to the computer department at the far end of the store.

But along the way I stopped. There, at the edge of the kitchenware section, ensconced atop a brightly decorated and lit elevated platform, was a shiny new refrigerator. Rather, it was a 'Smart-fridge' which was being advertised as 'Internet-equipped.'

This, plain and simple, blew my mind.

A salesperson approached, interpreting my stupefaction as interest - "It's amazing, isn't it?" - and proceeded to demonstrate a few of the features. A screen was embedded in the door of the fridge, and next to the door was a tiny stylus, which allowed you to scribble messages. If you didn't want to scribble, you could record audio and video memos. You could also use the screen as your regular computer, because the refrigerator had Wi-Fi. You could check your email, or check your calendar. You could watch YouTube clips, or listen to MP3s. You could even make phone calls. I had to restrain myself from keying in Lindsay's number and saying from across the floor, "I'm calling you from a fridge."

Beyond that, the salesperson continued, the fridge's computer kept track of internal temperature, and, through scanning barcodes, the freshness of your food. It provided nutritional information and suggested recipes. I think the price was over $9,ooo. "Delivery included," the salesperson said.

I remember driving home in a confused silence. This wasn't quite the stunning moonshot tech-future we'd been promised. I was convinced the only reason the thing was Internet- equipped was so that it could report back to its manufacturer about its owner's usage and about any other household data that was obtainable. The manufacturer, in turn, would monetize that data by selling it. And we were supposed to pay for the privilege.

I wondered what the point was of my getting so worked up over government surveillance if my friends, neighbours, and fellow citizens were more than happy to invite corporate surveillance into their homes, allowing themselves to be tracked while browsing in their pantries as efficiently as if they were browsing the Web. It would be another half decade before the domotics revolution, before 'virtual assistants' like Amazon Echo and Google Home were welcomed into bedroom and placed proudly on nightstands to record and transmit all activity within range, to log all habits and preferences (not to mention fetishes and kinks), which would then be developed into advertising algorithms and converted into cash. The data we generate just by living - or just by letting ourselves be surveilled while living - would enrich private enterprise and impoverish our private existence in equal measure. If government surveillance was having the effect of turning the citizen into a subject, at the mercy of state power, then corporate surveillance was turning the consumer into a product, which corporations sold to other corporations, data brokers and advertisers.

Meanwhile, it felt as if every major tech company, including Dell, was rolling out new civilian versions of what I was working on for the CIA: a cloud. (In fact, Dell had even tried four years previously to trademark the term 'cloud-computing' but was denied). I was amazed at how willingly people were signing up, so excited at the prospect of their photos and videos and music and e-books being universally backed up and available that they never gave much thought as to why such uber-sophisticated and convenient storage solution was being offered to them for 'free' or for 'cheap' in the first place.

I don't think I'd ever seen such a concept be so uniformly bought into on every side. 'The cloud' was as effective a sales term for Dell to sell to the CIA as it was for Amazon and Apple and Google to sell to their users. I can still close my eyes and hear Cliff some CIA suit about how "with the cloud, you'll be able to push security updates across agency computers world-wide," or "when the cloud's up and running, the agency will be able to track who has read what file world-wide." The cloud was white and fluffy and peaceful, floating high above the fray. Though many clouds make a stormy sky, a single cloud provided a benevolent bit of shade. It was protective. I think it made everyone think of heaven. "
dl #EdwardSnowden #CIA #cloud #comuting #surveillance #books at
 
" After news broke that Peter Thiel and Mark Zuckerberg had consumed a secret White House dinner with Donald Trump, Elizabeth Warren characterised it as part of Facebook's 'charm offensive with Republican lawmakers' in response to her call to use antitrust law to break up Facebook, calling the move 'corruption, plain and simple...how the government keeps working for giant corporations and the wealthy and well-connected'."

#SocialMedia #surveillance #privacy
Elizabeth Warren calls Zuck and Thiel's secret Trump White House dinner "corrupt"
 
"US Senator Edward Markey yesterday revealed the results of a months-long investigation into Amazon‘s Ring camera-doorbells and the company’s relationship with law enforcement. The Senator’s press team dubbed the findings 'alarming' and called the company’s policies 'an open door for privacy and civil liberty violations'."

"The press release [...] describes several key findings indicating that Amazon executives took little or no action to prevent or discourage misuse of camera footage by law enforcement, even going so far as to urge officers to 'to take steps that will increase rates of video sharing' and approaching customers with targeted language intended to convince them to give footage to law enforcement."

#Amazon #Ring #privacy #surveillance
 
Yet another reason why I am not a Democrat... they always get this wrong...

Democrats in Congress reauthorize Patriot Act, again

"Kudos to Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and the 9 other Democrats for voting against it!"

#PatriotAct #surveillance
Democrats in Congress reauthorize Patriot Act, again
 
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