Tag Archive: Privacy


Just A Penny And A Rubber Band

 

 

 

” We love bikes. We love skirts. But sometimes these two don’t mix well. Which is why we came up with Penny in Yo’ Pants. An easy solution to making your skirt bikeable.

  Check out our website at pennyinyourpants.co.uk. We will be making a slicker model shortly that will be even better than a penny and a rubber band (imagine that). Proceeds will go to get more women on bikes around the world!

  This was prototyped during Cyclehack Glasgow, 2014. cyclehack.com “

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

About these ads

Report: Ordinary Americans Caught Up In Data Sweep

 

 

 

 

 

” When the U.S. National Security Agency intercepted the online accounts of legally targeted foreigners over a four-year period it also collected the conversations of nine times as many ordinary Internet users, both Americans and non-Americans, according to a probe by The Washington Post.

  Nearly half of those surveillance files contained names, email addresses or other details that the NSA marked as belonging to U.S. citizens or residents, the Post reported in a story posted on its website Saturday night. While the federal agency tried to protect their privacy by masking more than 65,000 such references to individuals, the newspaper said it found nearly 900 additional email addresses that could be strongly linked to U.S. citizens or residents.”

The Snowden revelations continue to reveal the extent of State spying during the Age Of Obama …

” The material reviewed by the Post included roughly 160,000 intercepted e-mail and instant-message conversations, some of them hundreds of pages long, and 7,900 documents taken from more than 11,000 online accounts. It spanned President Barack Obama’s first term, 2009 to 2012, and was provided to the Post by former NSA analyst Edward Snowden.

  The daily lives of more than 10,000 account holders who were not targeted were catalogued and recorded, the Post reported. The newspaper described that material as telling “stories of love and heartbreak, illicit sexual liaisons, mental-health crises, political and religious conversions, financial anxieties and disappointed hopes.” The material collected included more than 5,000 private photos, the paper said.”

AP News

Happy Birthday America

Happy 4th, America. Here’s 7,000 Fireworks Going Off At The Same Time

How To Make Your Own Fireworks (In 1785)

The Fireworks Laws In Every State

Here are the states where you can buy fireworks

 

 

 

 

Liberty/Statism

 

Man Confronts Salt Lake City Police After An Officer Shot His Dog

Honor the defenders of liberty: your neighbors

This Fourth of July America Our Liberty is Under Siege From Within

With liberty in peril from within, would Founders recognize the US

 

 

 

 

 

International

 

 

US military discloses secret military presence in Somalia

US Admits Military Presence in Somalia, Eyes Expansion

U.S. Discloses Secret Somalia Military Presence

 

 

 

National


 

Border Crisis

 

Cartels Exploit Immigration Crisis To Smuggle More Drugs

Poll: Public holds Obama responsible for border crisis

Immigration Border Crisis Photos

You soon may not need citizenship to vote in the US; just become a New Yorker

 

 

 

Politics

Clinton gaffe: Former secretary of State confuses Britain’s political parties

Big break in IRS case will change scandal’s course

Richard Mellon Scaife, Influential U.S. Conservative, Dies at 82

 

 

 

Hurricane Arthur

 

NC residents flee as Arthur makes landfall

Hurricane Arthur scythes through Outer Banks of North Carolina

Track Hurricane Arthur – Up to the Minute Coverage

National Hurricane Center

 

 

 

Business/Economy

 

BBC News – Dow Jones Industrial Average hits 17,000

Time for fireworks: Dow tops 17,000!

Analyze this: what Wall Street’s saying about Dow 17k

U.S. Seen as Biggest Oil Producer After Overtaking Saudi

Inside (Monsanto) America’s Third-Most-Hated Company

 

 

 

Tech/Privacy

 

 

Facebook Experiments Had Few Limits

Russia Moves To Ban Online Services That Don’t Store Personal Data In Russia

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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New Sensors Will Scoop Up ‘Big Data’ On Chicago

 

 

 

 

 

 

” The curled metal fixtures set to go up on a handful of Michigan Avenue light poles later this summer may look like delicate pieces of sculpture, but researchers say they’ll provide a big step forward in the way Chicago understands itself by observing the city’s people and surroundings.

  The smooth, perforated sheaths of metal are decorative, but their job is to protect and conceal a system of data-collection sensors that will measure air quality, light intensity, sound volume, heat, precipitation and wind. The sensors will also count people by measuring wireless signals on mobile devices.”

 

 

 

 

” Some experts caution that efforts like the one launching here to collect data from people and their surroundings pose concerns of a Big Brother intrusion into personal privacy.

  In particular, sensors collecting cellphone data make privacy proponents nervous. But computer scientist Charlie Catlett said the planners have taken precautions to design their sensors to observe mobile devices and count contact with the signal rather than record the digital address of each device.”

 

 

Chicago Tribune has more on the latest intrusions into personal privacy 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This Top Turns See-Through If You Leave Personal Data Exposed

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

” A Brooklyn-based designer has created a 3D-printed sculptural boob tube to spark social commentary on the state of privacy in a data-driven world — by making the top gradually more sheer.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

” X.pose’s striking black webbed rubber structure was engineered using a Stratasys printer, moulded to the body to ensure comfort and very much inspired by creator Xuedi Chen’s previous work, Invasive Growth (moss-grown jewellery based on the parasitic cordyceps fungus). But underneath, its layers tell another story about our lack of control and veritable vulnerability when it comes to who uses our data, what for and how much they take.”

 

 

The artist describes her creation thusly …

 

 

” x.pose is a wearable data-driven sculpture that exposes a person’s skin as a real-time reflection of the data that the wearer is producing. In the physical realm we can deliberately control which portions our bodies are exposed to the world by covering it with clothing. In the digital realm, we have much less control of what personal aspects we share with the services that connect us. In the digital realm we are naked and vulnerable. “

 

 

Wired UK

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Commentary From John Whitehead At The Rutherford Institute

 

 

 

 

 

” By John W. Whitehead 
June 16, 2014

A standing military force, with an overgrown Executive will not long be safe companions to liberty.”—James Madison

“ Here [in New Mexico], we are moving more toward a national police force. Homeland Security is involved with a lot of little things around town. Somebody in Washington needs to call a timeout.”—Dan Klein, retired Albuquerque Police Department sergeant.

  If the United States is a police state, then the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is its national police force, with all the brutality, ineptitude and corruption such a role implies. In fact, although the DHS’ governmental bureaucracy may at times appear to be inept and bungling, it is ruthlessly efficient when it comes to building what the Founders feared most—a standing army on American soil.

The third largest federal agency behind the Departments of Veterans Affairs and Defense, the DHS—with its 240,000 full-time workers, $61 billion budget and sub-agencies that include the Coast Guard, Customs and Border Protection, Secret Service, Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)—has been aptly dubbed a “runaway train.”

  In the 12 years since it was established to “prevent terrorist attacks within the United States,” the DHS has grown from a post-9/11 knee-jerk reaction to a leviathan with tentacles in every aspect of American life. With good reason, a bipartisan bill to provide greater oversight and accountability into the DHS’ purchasing process has been making its way through Congress.

  A better plan would be to abolish the DHS altogether. In making the case for shutting down the de facto national police agency, analyst Charles Kenny offers the following six reasons: one, the agency lacks leadership; two, terrorism is far less of a threat than it is made out to be; three, the FBI has actually stopped more alleged terrorist attacks than DHS; four, the agency wastes exorbitant amounts of money with little to show for it; five, “An overweight DHS gets a free pass to infringe civil liberties without a shred of economic justification”; and six, the agency is just plain bloated.

  To Kenny’s list, I will add the following: The menace of a national police force, a.k.a. a standing army, vested with so much power cannot be overstated, nor can its danger be ignored. Indeed, as the following list shows, just about every nefarious deed, tactic or thuggish policy advanced by the government today can be traced back to the DHS, its police state mindset, and the billions of dollars it distributes to police agencies in the form of grants.

  Militarizing police and SWAT teams. The DHS routinely hands out six-figure grants to enable local municipalities to purchase military-style vehicles, as well as a veritable war chest of weaponry, ranging from tactical vests, bomb-disarming robots, assault weapons and combat uniforms. This rise in military equipment purchases funded by the DHS has, according to analysts Andrew Becker and G.W. Schulz, “paralleled an apparent increase in local SWAT teams.” The end result? An explosive growth in the use of SWAT teams for otherwise routine police matters, an increased tendency on the part of police to shoot first and ask questions later, and an overall mindset within police forces that they are at war—and the citizenry are the enemy combatants.”

     Below are a list of other ways in which the State is busy eroding our Constitutional rights , all explored in greater depth at the Rutherford Institute .

” Spying on activists, dissidents and veterans. 

Stockpiling ammunition. 

Distributing license plate readers. 

Contracting to build detention camps. 

Tracking cell-phones with Stingray devices. 

Carrying out military drills and lockdowns in American cities. 

Using the TSA as an advance guard. 

Conducting virtual strip searches with full-body scanners. 

Carrying out soft target checkpoints. 

Directing government workers to spy on Americans.  

Conducting widespread spying networks using fusion centers. 

Carrying out Constitution-free border control searches. 

Funding city-wide surveillance cameras. 

Utilizing drones and other spybots. 

  It’s not difficult to see why the DHS has been described as a “wasteful, growing, fear-mongering beast.” If it is a beast, however, it is a beast that is accelerating our nation’s transformation into a police state through its establishment of a standing army, a.k.a. national police force.

  This, too, is nothing new. Historically, as I show in my book A Government of Wolves: The Emerging American Police State, the establishment of a national police force has served as a fundamental and final building block for every totalitarian regime that has ever wreaked havoc on humanity, from Hitler’s all-too-real Nazi Germany to George Orwell’s fictional Oceania. Whether fictional or historical, however, the calling cards of these national police agencies remain the same: brutality, inhumanity, corruption, intolerance, rigidity, and bureaucracy—in other words, evil. “

Read more here

How To Stop Facebook From Tracking Your Browsing History

 

 

 

” Last week, Facebook announced that it was going to start tracking our browsing activity. Facebook is claiming that this feature is part of its ad-tailoring program (it also recently introduced a tool that lets you give feedback on ads). Of course, it’s not quite that innocent: Advertisers will pay more for information on what you do outside of Facebook because it will help them target you better inside of Facebook.

  Sound good to you? Great, carry on! No? You have some choices, including privacy company Abine’s new DoNotTrackMe tool for Facebook.

” It is crazy for anyone to allow Facebook to collect their browsing history when they’re not even logged into Facebook,” said Abine CEO Rob Shavell, in a press release announcing the technology. “The idea that one company should be trusted to know about our friends and family and then also everything we do online is insane.”

  And the scope of Facebook’s tracking ability is greater than you may think. “Our browsing history, which Facebook can only collect because of the many ‘like’ and ‘login’ buttons they have placed on other sites, allows Facebook to connect two critical sets of information about us: ‘Who we are,’ our identity and personal information and social graph; [and] ‘what we do,’ which sites we go to each day, what we do there, and more,” Shavell explained via email. 

” You might have ‘nothing to hide,’ but if you have a Facebook account and surf without technology protecting you from this new default on data collection, you will certainly find out,” he says. “

From the DoNotTrackMe website

” If you’re like the average web user, you’re unknowingly tracked over 100 times each time you surf the web.

  DoNotTrackMe automatically blocks these tracking companies – ad networks, social networks, and sneaky data collection companies – from tracking your browsing behind the scenes. DoNotTrackMe has blocked over 1 trillion attempts to track millions of users’ browsing and actively blocks over 600 of these companies.

  DoNotTrackMe also protects your email address, phone, and credit card from being abused by companies on the web and on your mobile device.”

    The more we learn of Facebook , the more we want to have nothing to do with it . Read more on protecting your privacy from those corporate Statists of Zuckerberg’s at the Daily Dot .

Judge Says NSA Can Continue To Destroy Evidence

 

 

 

 

 

 

” Well, this is unfortunate. After yesterday’s back and forth between the DOJ and the EFF over the ongoing destruction of key evidence in the Jewel v. NSA case, the court ordered an emergency hearing for this afternoon. About an hour before the hearing, the DOJ presented its opposition to the temporary restraining order, arguing, basically, that it would be too damn complicated to stop destroying evidence in the case. Part of this is because the data collected under the Section 702 program apparently isn’t just one big database, but is quickly fed into all sorts of other systems.”

 

 

Tech Dirt has the whole story . See also :

 

Judge Asks for More Information About NSA Spying Evidence Destruction After Emergency Hearing

Judge Changes Mind, Says NSA Can Resume Destroying Evidence

Judge Says NSA Can Continue To Destroy Evidence

FISA Court Reverses Order to Destroy NSA Phone Data -CIO.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Delete Your Facebook

 

 

 

 

Published on Jun 5, 2014

” Click to tweet: http://ctt.ec/R18PL
Please share! Help spread the word! #deletefacebook
Here is my facebook, It will be gone on Sat 12PM PST.
https://www.facebook.com/Matthiasiam

Here is how to Delete Facebook- http://goo.gl/yHg29r
Reset The Net! : https://www.resetthenet.org/

Like my shirt? Find it here: http://www.longlivetheswarm.com

SOURCES —————————————-­———————–

FB Passive Listening: http://goo.gl/y1CYR0
FB Reads Your Texts: http://goo.gl/x7nPfu
NSA FB Servers: http://goo.gl/dflG51
FB Privacy Listening Issues: http://goo.gl/nluYZB
FB Stores Your Recordings: http://goo.gl/bmY6bQ
FB Silently Updates TOS: http://goo.gl/ZAajME
Reddit Thread on FB Listening: http://goo.gl/imGjs8
Users Slam FB Listening: http://goo.gl/SQZ8Ny

PROTECT YOURSELF —————————————-­—–

IOS Privacy – http://goo.gl/TSmRO6
Android Privacy – http://goo.gl/FtNUq9
Delete FB – http://goo.gl/yHg29r

FACEBOOK ALTERNATIVES ———————————–

Twitter | http://www.twitter.com
Reddit | http://www.reddit.com
Path | http://www.path.com
Vine | http://www.vine.co
Tumblr | http://www/tumblr.com

MOVIES —————————————-­————————-

V for Vendetta
Minority Report
Terms and Conditions May Apply 
1984
Got some other movies? Let me know in the comments

—————————————-­—————————————-­————-

GAME CHANNEL: http://www.youtube.com/matthiasarcade

TWITTER: http://www.twitter.com/matthiasiam

GOOGLE+: http://www.google.com/+matthiasiam

INSTAGRAM: http://www.instagram.com/matthiasiam “

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How The NSA Could Bug Your Powered-Off iPhone, and How To Stop Them

 

 

 

 

 

” Just because you turned off your phone doesn’t mean the NSA isn’t using it to spy on you.

  Edward Snowden’s latest revelation about the NSA’s snooping inspired an extra dose of shock and disbelief when he said the agency’s hackers can use a mobile phone as a bug even after it’s been turned off. The whistleblower made that eye-opening claim when Brian Williams of NBC Nightly News, holding his iPhone aloft during last Wednesday’s interview, asked, “What can the NSA do with this device if they want to get into my life? Can anyone turn it on remotely if it’s off? Can they turn on apps?

They can absolutely turn them on with the power turned off to the device,” Snowden replied.

  Snowden didn’t offer any details on this seemingly magical feat. But a group of particularly cunning iPhone hackers say it’s possible. They also say you can totally and completely turn off your iPhone so no one—not even the NSA—can use it to spy on you.”

 

 

Learn mored at Wired

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

High Schoolers School Nancy Pelosi On NSA Abuse

 

 

 

     While being confronted about domestic surveillance and fourth amendment violations a group of high school students  get Nancy Pelosi to blame Bush and defend the NSA , thus revealing her to be the tool that she is .

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO): Net Neutrality

 

 

 

Published on Jun 1, 2014

” Cable companies are trying to create an unequal playing field for internet speeds, but they’re doing it so boringly that most news outlets aren’t covering it. 
John Oliver explains the controversy and lets viewers know how they can voice their displeasure to the FCC.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Google Received 12,000 Requests To Be ‘Forgotten’ On First Day, Report Says

 

 

google form

 

 

” It’s been less than 48 hours since Google launched its online tool that allows people in the European Union to request to be “forgotten” from search results, and the company has already received 12,000 requests, according to a new report.

  The requests are in response to a European Court of Justice ruling earlier this month that found EU citizens have a “right to be forgotten” online and that Google must remove links to search results that can damage a person’s reputation.

  Reuters reports the company received 12,000 requests in the first 24 hours the form was online, with requests at times coming in as fast as 20 per minute.”

 

Mashable has more on people’s desire to be “forgotten”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Darkcoin, The Shadowy Cousin Of Bitcoin, Is Booming

 

 

 

 

 

” In only a month, the little-known bitcoin alternative known as Darkcoin has rocketed nearly tenfold in value–from around 75 cents a coin to almost seven dollars. Its selling point: Darkcoin offers far greater anonymity than bitcoin, mixing up users’ transactions so that it’s incredibly difficult to trace a payment to a person. And though few have yet to accept that more-anonymous coin for actual goods and services, the promise of Darkcoin’s privacy features seems to have sparked a miniature boom. It’s one of the fastest growing among the wave of cryptocurrencies that’s followed bitcoin’s success, with the total value of its combined coins topping out at nearly $30 million.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

” Darkcoin, supporters argue, serves a real privacy need. Despite its reputation for being more anonymous than traditional money, the bitcoin network actually allows anyone to see every transaction on a public accounting ledger known as the blockchain. Users often have to take extra steps, like mixing their coins in a “laundry” service, to prevent those addresses from being tied to their identity by any government or corporation that wants to snoop.”

 

Wired

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Out In The Open: The Tiny Box That Lets You Take Your Data Back From Google

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

” The National Security Agency is scanning your email. Google and Facebook are hoarding your personal data. And online advertisers are selling your shopping habits to the highest bidder.

  Today, more than ever, people are thinking about how to opt out of this madness without quitting the internet entirely. The obvious answer is to host your own web apps on your own computer server. And thanks to the burgeoning Indie Web Movement, there’s no shortage of open source alternatives to popular services like Google Calendar, Facebook’s photo albums, or Dropbox’s file sharing. The problem is that setting up and managing your own server is a pain in the neck–at least for the average consumer.box-with-label-small

  For open source developer Johannes Ernst, what the world really needs is a simple device that anyone can use to take their data back from the wilds of the internet. So he designed the Indie Box, a personal web server preloaded with open source software that lets you run your own web services from your home network–and run them with relative ease. Any system administrator will tell you that setting up a server is just the first step. Maintaining it is the other big problem. Indie Box seeks to simplify both, with an option to fully automate all updates and maintenance tasks, from operating system patches to routine database migrations.

  You can’t buy an Indie Box yet, but you can pre-order one through the crowdfunding site Indie GoGo. A completely assembled device costs $500. That may sound like a lot, but Ernst argues that the cost is in line with other machines equipped with similar hardware. And the prices could eventually come down if Ernst is successful in raising funds for the project. Eventually, the Indie Box software platform will be available to download, and that will let people install all its tools on their own hardware.”

 

Wired has more and you can go to Indie Box’s homepage here

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NSA Spy Program One Step Closer To Extinction

 

 

 

 

 

 

” The House of Representatives is moving ahead to curtail how the National Security Agency collects and retains telephone data on Americans, the National Journal reported.

  The House Judiciary Committee voted 32-0 Wednesday to amend the USA Freedom Act, the National Journal said. The House Intelligence Committee will vote on its version of the legislation on Thursday. The intelligence committee version doesn’t include a blanket prohibition on bulk collection.

  House members will need to reconcile conflicts between the two versions. The final bill is expected to be in line with President Barack Obama’s announced NSA reforms. A vote by the full House could take place by the end of May, The Wall Street Journal reported.

  Amending the USA Freedom Act is aimed at minimizing how much private information the government retains and to proscribe how such data can be obtained, the Journal reported.”

 

 

 

    While we applaud any efforts at reining in government spying , we remain exceedingly skeptical that much will be accomplished in reestablishing our citizenry’s privacy as long as we have the Patriot Act and the FISA courts which really amount to a “Star Chamber” . Read more at Newsmax

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Facial Recognition: Is The Technology Taking Away Your Identity?

 

facial recognition

 

 

” This summer, Facebook will present a paper at a computer vision conference revealing how it has created a tool almost as accurate as the human brain when it comes to saying whether two photographs show the same person – regardless of changes in lighting and camera angles. A human being will get the answer correct 97.53% of the time; Facebook’s new technology scores an impressive 97.25%. “We closely approach human performance,” says Yaniv Taigman, a member of its AI team.

  Since the ability to recognise faces has long been a benchmark for artificial intelligence, developments such as Facebook’s “DeepFace” technology (yes, that’s what it called it) raise big questions about the power of today’s facial recognition tools and what these mean for the future.

  Facebook is not the only tech company interested in facial recognition. A patent published by Apple in March shows how the Cupertino company has investigated the possibility of using facial recognition as a security measure for unlocking its devices – identifying yourself to your iPhone could one day be as easy as snapping a quick selfie.

  Google has also invested heavily in the field. Much of Google’s interest in facial recognition revolves around the possibilities offered by image search, with the search leviathan hoping to find more intelligent ways to sort through the billions of photos that exist online. Since Google, like Facebook wants to understand its users, it makes perfect sense that the idea of piecing together your life history through public images would be of interest, although users who uploaded images without realising they could be mined in this manner might be less impressed when they end up with social media profiles they never asked for.

  Google’s deepest dive into facial recognition is its Google Glass headsets. Thanks to the camera built into each device, the headsets would seem to be tailormade for recognising the people around you. That’s exactly what third-party developers thought as well, since almost as soon as the technology was announced, apps such as NameTag began springing up. NameTag’s idea was simple: that whenever you start a new conversation with a stranger, your Google Glass headset takes a photo of them and then uses this to check the person’s online profile. Whether they share your interest in Werner Herzog films, or happen to be a convicted sex offender, nothing will escape your gaze. “With NameTag, your photo shares you,” the app’s site reads. “Don’t be a stranger.” “

 

More at The Guardian . Read the whole thing and be afraid , very afraid .

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Supreme Court To Weigh Cellphone Searches

 

 

Cellphone Stats

 

 

 

” The Supreme Court will consider Tuesday whether police need a warrant to search a suspect’s cellphone, in two appeals that could define the parameters of law enforcement tapping into the trove of data stored on smartphones.

  The issue, arising in separate cases from Boston and San Diego, is the latest collision at the court between the capabilities of technology and the centuries-old Fourth Amendment prohibition on unreasonable searches and seizures.

  The outcome of Tuesday’s cases could affect the way police handle tens of thousands of arrests each year. Lower courts have reached conflicting conclusions, including in the two cases before the court.

  Law-enforcement advocates argue phones are similar to other personal effects found on someone at the time of arrest: Police can go through photos, address books and similar materials found on a person without obtaining a warrant, under Supreme Court precedents intended to protect officers’ safety and prevent destruction of evidence.

  Privacy advocates contend police shouldn’t have unfettered access to information that previously couldn’t be seen without entering someone’s home.”

 

More at The WSJ

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Facebook Knows Everything About You, And If You Don’t Believe Us Here’s Proof

 

 

o-DIGITAL-SHADOW-570

 

 

” A marketing stunt for the upcoming Ubisoft game “Watch Dogs” is inadvertently allowing users to check how well they’ve set up their Facebook privacy settings.

  The campaign called “Digital Shadow“, which currently is available only in the US, requests permission to access a user’s account and then pulls information to build a comprehensive dossier of the user as if he or she were an assassin’s target. And we do mean comprehensive.

  Digital Shadow first shows users the photos they’ve tagged as public, then it moves on to examine their friends. It shows users which of their Facebook friends they interact with most, which interact with them the most, which they don’t interact with at all, and (gulp) which friends they’ve been stalking that haven’t been stalking them back. (Those who’ve been keeping tabs on their exes should avoid this section at all costs.) “

 

    We’ve tried and tried without success to access the “Digital Shadow” website in order to report first-hand on how it works but the site is either down for service or , more likely , swamped with traffic from the above referenced article .

 

 

Huff Post has the story

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

An Eavesdropping Lamp That Livetweets Private Conversations

 

 

 

 

 

” As former NSA director Michael Hayden learned on an Amtrak train last year, anyone with a smartphone instantly can become a livetweeting snoop. Now a whole crowd of amateur eavesdroppers could be as close as the nearest light fixture.

  Two artists have revealed Conversnitch, a device they built for less than $100 that resembles a lightbulb or lamp and surreptitiously listens in on nearby conversations and posts snippets of transcribed audio to Twitter. Kyle McDonald and Brian House say they hope to raise questions about the nature of public and private spaces in an era when anything can be broadcast by ubiquitous, Internet-connected listening devices.

“ What does it mean to deploy one of these in a library, a public square, someone’s bedroom? What kind of power relationship does it set up?” asks House, a 34-year-old adjunct professor at the Rhode Island School of Design. “And what does this stream of tweets mean if it’s not set up by an artist but by the U.S. government?”

  The surveillance gadget they unveiled Wednesday is constructed from little more than a Raspberry Pi miniature computer, a microphone, an LED and a plastic flower pot. It screws into and draws power from any standard bulb socket. Then it uploads captured audio via the nearest open Wi-Fi network to Amazon’s Mechanical Turk crowdsourcing platform, which McDonald and House pay small fees to transcribe the audio and post lines of conversation to Conversnitch’s Twitter account. “This is stuff you can buy and have running in a few hours,” says McDonald, a 28-year-old adjunct professor at the Interactive Telecommunications Program at the Tisch School of the Arts.” “

 

More at Wired

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IRS Among Agencies Using License Plate-Tracking Vendor

 

 

irs-license-plate-scanner

 

 

 

” The Internal Revenue Service and other U.S. agencies awarded about $415,000 in contracts to a license plate-tracking company before Homeland Security leaders dropped a plan for similar work amid privacy complaints.

  Federal offices such as the Forest Service and the U.S. Air Force’s Air Combat Command chose Livermore, California-based Vigilant Solutions to provide access to license plate databases or tools used to collect plate information, according to government procurement records compiled by Bloomberg.

  Vigilant, a closely held company, has received such work since 2009. In February, Jeh Johnson, secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, ordered the cancelation of an immigration agency plan to buy access to national license plate data. While the technology can help solve crimes, the American Civil Liberties Union and other groups have said the mass collection of data infringes the privacy of innocent people.

“ Especially with the IRS, I don’t know why these agencies are getting access to this kind of information,” said Jennifer Lynch, a senior staff attorney with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a San Francisco-based privacy-rights group. “These systems treat every single person in an area as if they’re under investigation for a crime — that is not the way our criminal justice system was set up or the way things work in a democratic society.” “

Read more at Bloomberg

From One Of Our Favorite Pages – CopBlock

 

 

Surv Cam Silly String

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Snowden Speaks: A Vanity Fair Exclusive

 

 

i.1.s-snowden-saga-pr

 

 

 

” “Every person remembers some moment in their life where they witnessed some injustice, big or small, and looked away, because the consequences of intervening seemed too intimidating,” former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden tells Vanity Fair about his motivation for leaking tens of thousands of secret documents. “But there’s a limit to the amount of incivility and inequality and inhumanity that each individual can tolerate. I crossed that line. And I’m no longer alone.”

  Snowden’s extensive response is part of a 20,000-word narrative in Vanity Fair’s May issue, by special correspondent Bryan Burrough and contributing editors Suzanna Andrews and Sarah Ellison. The article is the first comprehensive account—bolstered by interviews with dozens of key players—providing an inside look at how a geeky dropout from the Maryland suburbs found himself alone in a Hong Kong hotel room, releasing some of America’s most carefully guarded secrets to the world.

  Snowden writes to Vanity Fair about the N.S.A.’s allegations that he never filed a formal complaint (and directly challenges it to deny he contacted internal oversight); about why he’s not a spy; about what he calls the “post-terror generation”’s views on defending the Constitution; about the crucial ways in which he differs from WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange; about his amusement at being labeled a right-winger; and more.

  Among the highlights of Snowden’s response: “

Read the interview at Vanity Fair

Search Engine DuckDuckGo Is Taking On Google By Doing The One Thing They Won’t Do

DuckDuckGo

 

 

” DuckDuckGo bills itself as “the search engine that doesn’t track you”. After the revelations in the US National Security Agency files, that sounds tempting. 

  Named after the playground game duck duck goose, the site is not just banking on the support of people paranoid about GCHQ and the NSA. Its founder, Gabriel Weinberg, argues that privacy makes the web search better, not worse. Since it doesn’t store your previous searches, it does not and cannot present personalized search results. That frees users from the filter bubble – the fear that, as search results are increasingly personalized, they are less likely to be presented with information that challenges their existing ideas.

  It also means that DuckDuckGo is forced to keep its focus purely on search. With no stores or data to tap, it cannot become an advertising behemoth, it has no motivation to start trying to build a social network and it doesn’t get anything out of scanning your emails to create a personal profile.

  Having answered one billion queries in 2013 alone, DuckDuckGo is on the rise. We asked Weinberg about his website’s journey.”

 

 

Read more about private , or more private anyway , web browsing with DuckDuckGo here .

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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