Tag Archives | Privacy

FBI Report Accidentally Exposes the Severity of the Police State

André Gustavo Stumpf (CC BY 2.0)

André Gustavo Stumpf (CC BY 2.0)

via The Anti-Media:

(TheAntiMedia) A recently published FBI report accidentally proves that while the police claim cops face growing threats from rowdy populationslike in Fergusonthe opposite is true. The report presents law enforcement deaths in 2013.

The report found that across the entire country, only 76 LEOs were killed in “line-of-duty” incidents. 27 died as a result of “felonious” acts and 49 officers died in accidentsnamely, automobile (ironically, of the 23 killed in car accidents, 14 were not wearing seat beltsa violation for which cops routinely ticket drivers). More officers die from accidents than actual murders on the job. The report also outright admits that intentional murders of cops were down from 2004 and 2009.

Further, 49,851 officers were assaulteda statistic that seemingly proves police are at risk. 29.2%, or 14,556, were actually injured (an admittedly high number).

Read the rest
Continue Reading

Symantec discovers sophisticated malware likely made by a Western intelligence agency

1342079006_symantec-logo

via Pando Daily:

Researchers at Symantec have discovered malware that has been used to spy on individuals, telecoms, and businesses since 2008. It’s thought to be the prime surveillance tool of a nation-state because of the sheer amount of time it would’ve taken to create such complex malware.

The malware is said to have been found in ten countries across the Middle East, North America, Russia, and Europe. The main targets are said to be Russia and Saudi Arabia, but the malware has also been discovered in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Ireland, and Mexico, among other countries.

Symantec reports that the malware, which is dubbed Regin, can spread through spoofed sites, insecure applications, and an unconfirmed exploit in Yahoo Messenger. The researchers report that whoever created Regin “put considerable effort into making it highly inconspicuous,” with the hope of allowing it to “potentially be used in espionage campaigns lasting several years.”

According to the Wall Street Journal, Symantec researchers believe Regin was developed by a “Western intelligence agency” because it closely resembles Stuxnet, the infamous malware used to sabotage Iran’s nuclear programs in 2010, which was made by the United States and Israel.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

Americans’ Cellphones Targeted in Secret U.S. Spy Program

The Wall Street Journal reveals yet another sneaky US Government domestic spying surveillance program:

The Justice Department is scooping up data from thousands of mobile phones through devices deployed on airplanes that mimic cellphone towers, a high-tech hunt for criminal suspects that is snagging a large number of innocent Americans, according to people familiar with the operations.

The U.S. Marshals Service program, which became fully functional around 2007, operates Cessna aircraft from at least five metropolitan-area airports, with a flying range covering most of the U.S. population, according to people familiar with the program.

Planes are equipped with devices—some known as “dirtboxes” to law-enforcement officials because of the initials of the Boeing Co. unit that produces them—which mimic cell towers of large telecommunications firms and trick cellphones into reporting their unique registration information.

The technology in the two-foot-square device enables investigators to scoop data from tens of thousands of cellphones in a single flight, collecting their identifying information and general location, these people said.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

Secure Messaging Scorecard – Which apps and tools actually keep your messages safe?

Maurizio Pesce (CC BY 2.0)

Maurizio Pesce (CC BY 2.0)

via Electronic Frontier Foundation:

In the face of widespread Internet surveillance, we need a secure and practical means of talking to each other from our phones and computers. Many companies offer “secure messaging” products—but are these systems actually secure? We decided to find out, in the first phase of a new EFF Campaign for Secure & Usable Crypto.

This scorecard represents only the first phase of the campaign. In later phases, we are planning to offer closer examinations of the usability and security of the tools that score the highest here. As such, the results in the scorecard below should not be read as endorsements of individual tools or guarantees of their security; they are merely indications that the projects are on the right track.

Read More at EFF: https://www.eff.org/secure-messaging-scorecard

Read the rest

Continue Reading

Why You Should Be Afraid Of Your Smart TV

Michael Price isn’t generally a tin-foil hat wearing crank. In fact he’s counsel in the Liberty and National Security Program at the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law (i.e., part of the establishment). But now he’s getting the tin foil ready as a result of his new privacy-smashing Smart TV, as he relates at Salon:

I just bought a new TV. The old one had a good run, but after the volume got stuck on 63, I decided it was time to replace it. I am now the owner of a new “smart” TV, which promises to deliver streaming multimedia content, games, apps, social media and Internet browsing. Oh, and TV too.

LG smart TV

The only problem is that I’m now afraid to use it. You would be too — if you read through the 46-page privacy policy.

The amount of data this thing collects is staggering. It logs where, when, how and for how long you use the TV.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

Terms of Service: Al Jazeera’s Cool Web Comic About Big Data

Could you see any stalwart of the mainstream media in America using the medium of an online comic to address the tensions that so-called Big Data present? Upstart Al Jazeera America commissioned cartoonist Josh Neufeld and reporter Michael Keller to create a graphic novella that you can read here online and you’ll also find download links for iBooks, ePub and PDF versions. This is the first page:

Screen Shot 2014-10-29 at 4.06.04 PM

Read the rest

Continue Reading

Ed Snowden Taught Me To Smuggle Secrets Past Incredible Danger. Now I Teach You

Edward Snowden-2.jpg

Edward Snowden by Laura Poitras / Praxis Films (CC)

Micah Lee was staff technologist for the Electronic Frontier Foundation and chief technology officer of the Freedom of the Press Foundation when he was first contacted by Edward Snowden. He tells us what he learned about smuggling secrets at The Intercept:

Late on the evening of January 11, 2013, someone sent me an interesting email. It was encrypted, and sent from the sort of anonymous email service that smart people use when they want to hide their identity. Sitting at the kitchen table in the small cottage where I lived in Berkeley with my wife and two cats, I decrypted it.

The anonymous emailer wanted to know if I could help him communicate securely with Laura Poitras, the documentary filmmaker who had repeatedly cast a critical eye on American foreign policy.

From: anon108@■■■■■■■■■
To: Micah Lee
Date: Fri, 11 Jan 2013

Micah,

I’m a friend. I need to get information securely to Laura Poitras and her alone, but I can’t find an email/gpg key for her.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

Electronic Frontier Foundation: Know Your Rights

friendly-banner_0

via EFF:

Your computer, phone, and other digital devices hold vast amounts of personal information about you and your family. This sensitive data is worth protecting from prying eyes, including those of the government.

EFF has designed this guide to help you understand your rights if officers try to search the data stored on your computer or portable electronic device, or seize it for further examination somewhere else. Keep in mind that the Fourth Amendment is the minimum standard, and your specific state may have stronger protections.

Read More.

Read the rest

Continue Reading

Adobe’s e-book reader sends your reading logs back to Adobe—in plain text

"Adobe even logs what you read in Digital Editions' instruction manual."

“Adobe even logs what you read in Digital Editions’ instruction manual.”

via Ars Technica:

Adobe’s Digital Editions e-book and PDF reader—an application used by thousands of libraries to give patrons access to electronic lending libraries—actively logs and reports every document readers add to their local “library” along with what users do with those files. Even worse, the logs are transmitted over the Internet in the clear, allowing anyone who can monitor network traffic (such as the National Security Agency, Internet service providers and cable companies, or others sharing a public Wi-Fi network) to follow along over readers’ shoulders.

Ars has independently verified the logging of e-reader activity with the use of a packet capture tool. The exposure of data was first discovered by Nate Hoffelder of The Digital Reader, who reported the issue to Adobe but received no reply.

Digital Editions (DE) has been used by many public libraries as a recommended application for patrons wanting to borrow electronic books (particularly with the Overdrive e-book lending system), because it can enforce digital rights management rules on how long a book may be read for.

Read the rest
Continue Reading