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Doxxing Defense

A list of resources on how to scrub a lot of personal information off of the internet
posted by Renoroc on Dec 1, 2014 - 35 comments

interview with filmmaker Laura Poitras

A nicely lengthy interview with documentary filmmaker Laura Poitras. Poitras was one of the key figures involved in the revealing of Edward Snowden as the NSA whistleblower; she has a film (Citizenfour) opening this week. Poitras discusses her role as a documentary filmmaker, as well as her unique perspectives on the War on Terror, NSA surveillance, her status as a high-profile dissenter, and being on the receiving end of government harrassment.
posted by paleyellowwithorange on Nov 11, 2014 - 19 comments

Industry and government say "Collect Everything".

"Sometimes, society gets it wrong... When that happens, strong privacy protections—including collection controls that let people pick who gets their data, and when—allow the persecuted and unpopular to survive."

What happens when we let industry and government collect all the data they want.

posted by anemone of the state on Nov 9, 2014 - 21 comments

MI5, MI6 and GCHQ 'spied on lawyers', breached lawyer-client privilege

British intelligence agencies have policies allowing staff to access confidential communications between lawyers and their clients, official documents have revealed. The guidance was disclosed for the first time at a tribunal which examines complaints against MI5, MI6 and GCHQ.
posted by marienbad on Nov 6, 2014 - 13 comments

The Issue Formally Known As Privacy

Should you be terrified of your new TV? With the release of Amazon Echo (or Jibo for the kids), passive monitoring devices are about to go mainstream. Meanwhile, Is Privacy Becoming a Luxury Good?
posted by gwint on Nov 6, 2014 - 87 comments

If everyone sees your dickpic hanging in a gallery except you is it art?

In light of Dries Verhoeven's public art of his Grindr interactions (since cancelled), Arne Svenson's show, "The Neighbors" (previously) and Future Femme's piece, Show Me More: A collection of DickPix, and amid questions of legality and ethics, the Guardian examines art, consent and privacy.
posted by frimble on Oct 30, 2014 - 11 comments

a man's home is his castle, a woman's body has never been wholly her own

"Trust Women" is a popular motto in the pro-choice movement. It sounds a little sentimental, doesn't it? Part of that old sisterhood-is-powerful feminism it is fashionable to mock today. But "Trust Women" doesn't mean that every woman is wise or good or has magical intuitive powers. It means that no one else can make a better decision, because no one else is living her life, and since she will have to live with that decision—not you, and not the state legislature or the Supreme Court—chances are she is doing her best in a tight spot.
How Pro-Choicers Can Take Back the Moral High Ground: an excerpt from essayist and poet Katha Pollitt's latest book, Pro: Reclaiming Abortion Rights. [more inside]
posted by divined by radio on Oct 29, 2014 - 39 comments

I know who you are and I saw what you did.

How secure is public wi-fi? A lot less than you probably imagine.
posted by Obscure Reference on Oct 20, 2014 - 52 comments

"Mess with the best, Die like the rest!"

JPMorgan Chase Says More Than 76 Million Accounts Compromised in Cyberattack [New York Times]
"The breach is among the largest corporate hacks, and the latest revelations vastly dwarf earlier estimates that hackers had gained access to roughly 1 million customer accounts."

posted by Fizz on Oct 2, 2014 - 122 comments

The next big thing is privacy

The way you beat an incumbent is by coming up with a thing that people want, that you do, and that your competitors can’t do.
Ind.ie is the same. They have, rather excellently, found a way of describing the underlying message of open source software without bringing along the existing open source community. [more inside]
posted by xcasex on Sep 29, 2014 - 57 comments

Privacy matters even with Tory ministers

Last Saturday, Tory cabinet minister for civil society Brooks Newmark resigned on the eve of the publication about his sexting habits. Allegedly he had sent unsolicited dirty pictures to a woman he thought was a Conservative Party activist, but was in fact an undercover reporter for the Sunday Mirror. Good, you may think, another scumbag who doesn't know the meaning of consent uncovered, but was this really the case, or was this actually a borderline criminal sting operation on the Mirror's part? [more inside]
posted by MartinWisse on Sep 29, 2014 - 68 comments

The real problem with Big Data and ubiquitous surveillance

The question is not so much “do you trust the CIA/NSA/MI6/etc?”. It’s “Do you trust every single sysadmin working for these organisations? Every single analyst? Every single middle manager?”
posted by MartinWisse on Sep 24, 2014 - 23 comments

"Nothing fades away anymore."

The Solace of Oblivion by Jeffrey Toobin [The New Yorker] "In Europe, the right to be forgotten trumps the Internet."
posted by Fizz on Sep 22, 2014 - 22 comments

(watch very closely for removal of this title)

Radical Librarianship: how ninja librarians are ensuring patrons' electronic privacy [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Sep 15, 2014 - 38 comments

Reddit: Somalia Of The Internet

In response to criticism over the banning of infamous subreddit TheFappening, where private photographs of women (both celebrities and not) were being circulated, Reddit chief Yishan Wong released a controversial op-ed stating that Reddit considers itself "not just a company running a website where one can post links and discuss them, but the government of a new type of community." T.C. Sottek, writing for The Verge, asserts that if this is the case, then Reddit is assuredly a failed state. [more inside]
posted by NoxAeternum on Sep 12, 2014 - 272 comments

"The present I was in right then didn’t make a lot of sense."

A Day of Speaking Truth to Power - Quinn Norton visits the Office of the Director of National Intelligence
posted by the man of twists and turns on Sep 3, 2014 - 20 comments

DuckDuckGo

Here's how one small company is slowly, surely beating its way into the most monopolized category in technology: Inside DuckDuckGo, Google's Tiniest, Fiercest Competitor.
posted by paleyellowwithorange on Sep 1, 2014 - 66 comments

Coveillance

Wired 'Senior Maverick' Kevin Kelly suggests: Why You Should Embrace Surveillance, Not Fight It.
posted by paleyellowwithorange on Aug 26, 2014 - 45 comments

If we're not in pain, we're not alive

You invest so much in it, don't you? It's what elevates you above the beasts of the field, it's what makes you special. Homo sapiens, you call yourself. Wise Man. Do you even know what it is, this consciousness you cite in your own exaltation? Do you even know what it's for?
Dr. Peter Watts is no stranger to MetaFilter. But look past his sardonic nuptials, heartbreaking eulogies, and agonizing run-ins with fascists (and fasciitis) and you'll find one of the most brilliant, compelling, and disquieting science fiction authors at work today. A marine biologist skilled at deep background research, his acclaimed 2006 novel Blindsight [full text] -- a cerebral "first contact" tale led by a diverse crew of bleeding-edge post-humans -- is diamond-hard and deeply horrifying, wringing profound existential dread from such abstruse concepts as the Chinese Room, the Philosophical Zombie, Chernoff faces, and the myriad quirks and blind spots that haunt the human mind. But Blindsight's last, shattering insight is not the end of the story -- along with crew/ship/"Firefall" notes, a blackly funny in-universe lecture on resurrecting sociopathic vampirism (PDF - prev.), and a rigorously-cited (and spoiler-laden) reference section, tomorrow will see the release of Dumbspeech State of Grace Echopraxia [website], the long-delayed "sidequel" depicting parallel events on Earth. Want more? Look inside for a guide to the rest of Watts' award-winning (and provocative) body of work. [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi on Aug 25, 2014 - 84 comments

The radiance of life

"Woolf often conceives of life this way: as a gift that you've been given, which you must hold onto and treasure but never open. Opening it would dispel the atmosphere, ruin the radiance—and the radiance of life is what makes it worth living. It's hard to say just what holding onto life without looking at it might mean; that's one of the puzzles of her books. But it has something to do with preserving life's mystery…" Virginia Woolf's Idea of Privacy
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome on Aug 10, 2014 - 11 comments

Snowden granted 3-year stay in Russia.

After several days in legal limbo, the world's most notorious whistleblower, Edward Snowden, has been granted a three-year stay in Russia. This is amid breaking news of Russia's issuing of a menu of its own sanctions against U.S./E.U. countries, et al. The former NSA employee has been stranded in Russia for more than a year. Recently, new leaks by other, as yet unknown whistle-blower(s) other than Snowden have surfaced, according to U.S. authorities. The leaks detail certain "rules" for targeting of people for surveillance (including merely searching for privacy software), as well as details on the kind of activity or relationships which may put innocent people on terrorist watch lists.
posted by fantodstic on Aug 7, 2014 - 54 comments

Google detects child porn images in user's gmail, leading to arrest

Google's updated Terms of Service state explicitly that the company automatically analyzes all email content to create targeted advertising. This case, in which Google identified child porn images in a user's email message, leading to his arrest, seems to be one of the first known instances of Google monitoring personal gmail accounts for illegal activity. The arrest raises questions over the privacy of personal email and Google's role in policing the web. [more inside]
posted by argonauta on Aug 4, 2014 - 75 comments

"Another search warrant 'for pictures of his erect penis'"

A 17 year-old Virginia teenager who is under investigation for sending a consensual sext to his 15-year-old girlfriend may be forced to have an erection in front of police as evidence in the case. [more inside]
posted by porn in the woods on Jul 9, 2014 - 85 comments

NSA gathers more data from non-targeted people than we thought.

In Snowden’s view, the PRISM and Upstream programs have “crossed the line of proportionality.” [SLWAPO] [more inside]
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering on Jul 6, 2014 - 58 comments

The Founding Fathers Would Have Protected Your Smartphone

The Supreme Court has unanimously reversed (large PDF) the California Court of Appeals in Riley v. California, deciding that police cannot search the contents of a phone without a warrant during an arrest, and that "the fact that technology now allows an individual to carry such information in his hand does not make the information any less worthy of the protection for which the Founders fought." [more inside]
posted by roomthreeseventeen on Jun 25, 2014 - 57 comments

Journey to the Centre of Google Earth

“But what shall we dream of when everything becomes visible?” Virilio replies: “We’ll dream of being blind."
posted by 0bvious on Jun 24, 2014 - 5 comments

How difficult is it for the NSA to spy on your Internet use?

On a bright April morning in Menlo Park, California, I became an Internet spy. This was easier than it sounds because I had a willing target. I had partnered with National Public Radio (NPR) tech correspondent Steve Henn for an experiment in Internet surveillance. For one week, while Henn researched a story, he allowed himself to be watched—acting as a stand-in, in effect, for everyone who uses Internet-connected devices. How much of our lives do we really reveal simply by going online? Ars tests Internet surveillance—by spying on an NPR reporter.
posted by Johnny Wallflower on Jun 16, 2014 - 15 comments

The Anti-Social Network

Whisper is an app that allows users to "anonymously share your thoughts and emotions with the world, and form lasting and meaningful relationships in a community built around trust and honesty." Secret is an app " to openly share what you're thinking and feeling with your friends. Speak freely, share anything." The Genius of Whisper, the Massively Popular App You Haven't Heard Of. With New Anonymous Social App Secret, the Merit Is in the Message. Two Apps, One Hot Trend [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Jun 15, 2014 - 72 comments

Thanks for nothing, jerkface

With Google+, it became clear that we were all little more than webs of flesh spun over packages of saleable data. The rise and fall of Google+ once again engenders strong feelings, this time in Violet Blue.
posted by telstar on Jun 7, 2014 - 107 comments

Peak Advertising and the Future of the Web

"Advertising is not well. Though companies supported by advertising still dominate the landscape and capture the popular imagination, cracks are beginning to show in the very financial foundations of the web. Despite the best efforts of an industry, advertising is becoming less and less effective online. The once reliable fuel that powered a generation of innovations on the web is slowly, but perceptibly beginning to falter. Consider the long-term trend: when the first banner advertisement emerged online in 1994, it reported a (now) staggering clickthrough rate of 78%. By 2011, the average Facebook advertisement clickthrough rate sat dramatically lower at 0.05%. Even if only a rough proxy, something underlies such a dramatic change in the ability for an advertisement to pique the interest of users online. What underlies this decline, and what does it mean for the Internet at large? This short [PDF] paper puts forth the argument for peak advertising—the argument that an overall slowing in online advertising will eventually force a significant (and potentially painful) shift in the structure of business online. Like the theory of Peak Oil that it references, the goal is not to look to the immediate upcoming quarter, but to think on the decade-long scale about the business models that sustain the Internet." [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi on Jun 3, 2014 - 173 comments

The Internet With a Human Face

"These big collections of personal data are like radioactive waste. It's easy to generate, easy to store in the short term, incredibly toxic, and almost impossible to dispose of. Just when you think you've buried it forever, it comes leaching out somewhere unexpected." A talk by Maciej Ceglowski, founder of Pinboard, about why we have Big Data and why it's frightening. [more inside]
posted by 23 on May 27, 2014 - 48 comments

“The link between surveillance and fear"

A Suicide Bomber’s Guide to Online Privacy is the title of a keynote talk that Peter Watts (previously) gave to the International Association Of Privacy Professionals' Canada Symposium.
My immediate reaction was that this had to be some kind of cruel hoax. But they hooked me anyway, with what basically came down to a double-dare: “You’ve got a chance to talk to the regulators who enforce privacy law and the executives as big companies who make decisions about what to do with your data – what do you want to say to them?” Well. Since you ask.
[more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on May 20, 2014 - 32 comments

Secrets, lies and Snowden's email: why I was forced to shut down Lavabit

Ladar Levison
My legal saga started last summer with a knock at the door, behind which stood two federal agents ready to to serve me with a court order requiring the installation of surveillance equipment on my company's network.. (Previous)
posted by adamvasco on May 20, 2014 - 108 comments

Google Has (Almost) All The Email

Even if you don't have a Gmail account, many of your contacts do. So Google has a lot of your email, even if you have been trying hard to avoid that.
posted by COD on May 12, 2014 - 105 comments

How to not let the internet know you're pregnant

"And finally, I'm actually here today to win the 'Most Creative Use of Tor' award," she said, followed by roars of laughter in the audience. "I really couldn't have done it without Tor, because Tor was really the only way to manage totally untraceable browsing. I know it's gotten a bad reputation for Bitcoin trading and buying drugs online, but I used it for BabyCenter.com."-- How Janet Vertesi tried and hid her pregnancy from the internet and big data. (Direct link to her presentation.)
posted by MartinWisse on Apr 30, 2014 - 64 comments

The unparalleled delights of escaping notice

"Maybe I am extra aware of it because I am currently visiting with my parents, and they have a tendency to shout to each other between floors, and I have a tendency to regress, and suddenly, just as when I was a teenager, all I want is to have some space of my own, where I can read, and think, in private."
posted by holmesian on Apr 24, 2014 - 30 comments

InBloom wilts under privacy heat

Controversial education tech company InBloom has shut down over student data privacy concerns. Backed with $100 million in grants from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Carnegie Corporation of New York, InBloom quickly announced nine states (CO, DE, GA, IL, KY, LA, MA, NC, NY) as partners, with more than 2.7 million students enrolled, with the goal of using big data to direct education emphasis and other decisions. With a recent decision by New York state to halt participation in any project involving storing student data in the way InBloom had planned (and the deletion of any such data already stored), all nine states had either put data sharing plans with InBloom on hold, made them voluntary, or pulled out completely. [more inside]
posted by 2bucksplus on Apr 22, 2014 - 29 comments

18 million reasons to go to two-factor authentication

German authorities have discovered yet another giant database of hacked passwords. The German Federal Office for Information Security says it will have a website allowing people to check if their accounts are affected up and running by Monday. Some 3 million Germans are believed affected; there is no indication that the impact is limited to Germans or Germany. A link to an ARD article on the case is here, in German.
posted by rhombus on Apr 4, 2014 - 26 comments

Aggregate Demand Management: "pass a law allowing the Fed to cut checks"

Free Money for Everyone - "A wacky-sounding idea with surprisingly conservative roots may be our best hope for escaping endless, grinding economic stagnation." (via) [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Mar 16, 2014 - 19 comments

Snowden To Address Audience in First Live Q&A, Days After EU Testimony

The good news is that there are solutions. The weakness of mass surveillance is that it can very easily be made much more expensive through changes in technical standards: pervasive end-to-end encryption can quickly make indiscriminate surveillance impossible on a cost-effective basis. The result is that governments are likely to fall back to traditional, targeted surveillance founded upon an individualized suspicion. Governments cannot risk the discovery of their exploits by simply throwing attacks at every “endpoint,” or computer processor on the end of a network connection, in the world. Mass surveillance, passive surveillance, relies upon unencrypted or weakly encrypted communications at the global network level.

Edward Snowden submits written testimony to an EU committee investigating mass surveillance, and answers questions. The testimony takes place 3 days ahead of his highly anticipated SXSW appearance, to take place later today. Snowden is expected to speak about privacy, security, mass surveillance programs, free speech and whistle-blowing in a rare remote video appearance before a live audience.
Kansas Congressman Mike Pompeo finds this “deeply troubling” in a letter he's sent to the organizers of the conference.

Meanwhile, people who wish to #asksnowden questions can use the hashtag on Twitter. The talk is to take place at 12pm PT, today.
posted by fantodstic on Mar 10, 2014 - 89 comments

Outsourcing the surveillance state

A vast hidden surveillance network runs across America, powered by the repo industry
posted by shothotbot on Mar 5, 2014 - 46 comments

The biggest data breach ever in the UK

Care data is an ambitious attempt to use data to improve the care of patients in the UK. It uses the scale of the NHS dataset to give epidemiologists and medically researchers access to large datasets to improve research. And now it's been thrown into disarray by the responsible body selling the information to insurance companies and even more .... [more inside]
posted by Gilgongo on Mar 3, 2014 - 40 comments

You can’t see Buzz Lightyear while backpacking

You don’t want your privacy: Disney and the meat space data race
The bands are even uniquely colored and monogrammed with your family members’ names so that they won’t get switched up. Why? Because they don’t want their database to get confused and think that you, a 45-year-old man, rode the teacups instead of your little son Timmy. This is one of the first examples I’ve seen of physical design (e.g., monogramming and coloring) for the sake of digital data purity.
If ever there was a testimony to the importance big data has achieved in business it’s this: We will now shape our physical world to create better streams of digital information.

posted by frimble on Jan 27, 2014 - 74 comments

"Nothing. You're screwed."

During their Freedom Hosting investigation and malware attack last year, the FBI unintentionally obtained the entire e-mail database of popular anonymous webmail service Tor Mail. And now, they've used it in an unrelated investigation to bust a Florida man accused of stealing credit card numbers. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Jan 27, 2014 - 39 comments

Alan Rusbridger reveals his personal secret to survival

"I take no exercise, drink and listen to the radio all night, and I play the piano." [more inside]
posted by rhombus on Jan 26, 2014 - 4 comments

Security Sunday

Ars Technica reports on malicious extensions on the Chrome web browser, which install advertising-based malware that hijack links and inject ad content. Further speech recognition exploits (source) leave open the opportunity for malicious sites to record sound captured by the user's web browser without permission.
posted by Blazecock Pileon on Jan 26, 2014 - 30 comments

21st century birdwatching

Drone Survival Guide is a downloadable poster of robotic birds. It's also available on mirrored paper for those in harm's way.
posted by xowie on Dec 29, 2013 - 28 comments

For everyone out there listening

Edward Snowden has delivered the UK Channel 4's Alternative Christmas Message (alternative links, transcript):
Together, we can find a better balance. End mass surveillance. And remind the government that if it really wants to know how we feel, asking is always cheaper than spying.
This address follows Monday's interview with the Washington Post in which he explains his motives for releasing information he collected while working for the NSA.
posted by Joe in Australia on Dec 24, 2013 - 93 comments

What information do data brokers have, and how do they use it?

From the testimony, PDF of Pam Dixon (World Privacy Forum) before the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation:
What do a retired librarian in Wisconsin in the early stages of Alzheimer's, a police officer, and a mother in Texas have in common? The answer is that all were victims of consumer data brokers.
[more inside]
posted by rjs on Dec 19, 2013 - 10 comments

The NSA: An Inside View [blog-post]

In which I relate my experience as an NSA employee and impart my thoughts on the policies in place, my former coworkers, and the current cyber war. I am an American patriot. Many impressions may come to mind at that word, “patriot”: perhaps that I am a Republican, that I don’t care about people outside the US, or that I am afraid of them. In my case, none of these conceptions apply. Patriotism to me simply means that I care about the US and its future. [more inside]
posted by panaceanot on Dec 16, 2013 - 149 comments

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