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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 - 24 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

Games are an opportunity!

CIA, FBI and Pentagon spies have infiltrated online games including World of Warcraft, Second Life and Xbox Live games.
posted by xowie on Dec 9, 2013 - 67 comments

It's like that scene from Amazon Women on The Moon...but less funny

On Lulu, women can rate men in categories — ex-boyfriend, crush, together, hooked-up, friend or relative — with a multiple-choice quiz. Women, their gender verified by their Facebook logins, add pink hashtags to a man’s profile ranging from the good (#KinkyInTheRightWays) to the bad (#NeverSleepsOver) to the ugly (#PornEducated). The hashtags are used to calculate a score generated by Lulu, ranging from 1 to 10, that appears under the man’s profile picture. (The company’s spokeswoman declined to explain the ratings algorithm.) Men can add hashtags, which appear in blue, but these are not factored into their overall score. (SLNYT)
posted by sio42 on Nov 21, 2013 - 482 comments

I am not talking about love on a roof in Brooklyn

A couple made the mistake of breaking up on a NYC rooftop next to comedian Kyle Ayers, who promptly live-tweeted their breakup with the hashtag #roofbreakup, which went viral, prompting not only retweets, commentary, and memeification, but also a video re-enactment. However, some are considering the wider implications of this kind of phenomenon, pondering the ethics of the panopticon, live reportage on ordinary people, and even the nature of relationships itself in the context of the pair. [more inside]
posted by corb on Nov 20, 2013 - 237 comments

Privacy is not an end in itself

"In 1967, The Public Interest, then a leading venue for highbrow policy debate, published a provocative essay by Paul Baran, one of the fathers of the data transmission method known as packet switching [and agent of RAND]. Titled “The Future Computer Utility," the essay speculated that someday a few big, centralized computers would provide 'information processing … the same way one now buys electricity. Highly sensitive personal and important business information will be stored in many of the contemplated systems … At present, nothing more than trust—or, at best, a lack of technical sophistication—stands in the way of a would-be eavesdropper.' To read Baran’s essay (just one of the many on utility computing published at the time) is to realize that our contemporary privacy problem is not contemporary. It’s not just a consequence of Mark Zuckerberg’s selling his soul and our profiles to the NSA. The problem was recognized early on, and little was done about it... It’s not enough for a website to prompt us to decide who should see our data. Instead it should reawaken our own imaginations. Designed right, sites would not nudge citizens to either guard or share their private information but would reveal the hidden political dimensions to various acts of information sharing." -- MIT Technology Review on The Real Privacy Problem
posted by Potomac Avenue on Nov 12, 2013 - 17 comments

Aviator

Aviator, a web browser from WhiteHat Security. [more inside]
posted by chunking express on Oct 30, 2013 - 53 comments

Surveillance City State.

"Reality has caught us" Ubisoft game Watch Dogs, scheduled for release next year, models pervasive surveillance as a game. Polygon's Charlie Hall investigates Chicago's vast camera network and finds the fiction might be not so far away from reality. [more inside]
posted by Sebmojo on Oct 16, 2013 - 18 comments

Don't not make everything not private!

Facebook privacy settings simulator
posted by Sebmojo on Oct 14, 2013 - 49 comments

Wither Privacy

Facebook just got less private. Now anyone one can find you. Facebook has eliminated a setting that controls whether users could be found when people type their name into the website's search bar. [more inside]
posted by MisantropicPainforest on Oct 11, 2013 - 144 comments

Leveraging Imperfections of Sensors for Fingerprinting Smartphones

SensorPrint is a proposal to exploit subtle imperfections in accelerometers as a unique fingerprint for smartphones [pdf]. It's easy to demonstrate the idea: Generate a unique ID for your own device. SensorPrint joins other hardware-based tracking concepts in the pursuit of non-configurable, location-aware, un-deletable "cookies" on your mobile device. [via]
posted by Chinese Jet Pilot on Oct 10, 2013 - 5 comments

"...somewhere where no one was asking me for anything.”

Daniel Radcliffe’s Next Trick Is to Make Harry Potter Disappear (slnyt profile, via) [more inside]
posted by zarq on Oct 3, 2013 - 29 comments

"Everyone being held was a US citizen."

But that didn't prevent On the Media producer Sarah Abdurrahman and several members of her family and friends from being detained at a Canadian-US border while on the way home from a wedding. The story is all the more frightening as it details Sarah's inability to get any answers about policy from the Border Patrol, including the name of the officers who held her.
posted by Eyeveex on Sep 23, 2013 - 92 comments

It only gets funnier with time.

"These discussions are thoughtful and measured, but the premise that frames them all is shaky; Lessig doesn't offer much proof that a Soviet-style loss of privacy and freedom is on its way. … Unlike actual law, Internet software has no capacity to punish. It doesn't affect people who aren't online (and only a tiny minority of the world population is). And if you don't like the Internet's system, you can always flip off the modem." — David Pogue is the creator of the ''Missing Manual'' series, which will include guides to Mac OS 9, Outlook Express and Windows 2000.
posted by Nomyte on Sep 19, 2013 - 39 comments

All Your ***** Belong To Us

Google knows almost every wi-fi password. Of course this means that the NSA also has access to them. Apple might not be much better.
posted by blue shadows on Sep 16, 2013 - 97 comments

Cookieless Monster

Cookieless Monster: Exploring the Ecosystem of Web-based Device Fingerprinting [pdf]. From the 2013 IEEE Symposium on Security and Privacy, this article examines "how web-based device fingerprinting currently works on the Internet. By analyzing the code of three popular browser-fingerprinting code providers, we reveal the techniques that allow websites to track users without the need of client-side identifiers [i.e. cookies]." [more inside]
posted by paleyellowwithorange on Aug 28, 2013 - 33 comments

Laura Poitras

How Laura Poitras Helped Snowden Spill His Secrets. "It all started with her own fight against surveillance." [more inside]
posted by homunculus on Aug 13, 2013 - 94 comments

Privacy Instincts

Too much information: Our instincts for privacy evolved in tribal societies where walls didn't exist. No wonder we are hopeless oversharers. [Via]
posted by homunculus on Aug 8, 2013 - 14 comments

Possible FBI infiltration of TOR

In a crackdown that FBI claims to be about hunting down pedophiles, half of the onion sites in the TOR network has been compromised, including the e-mail counterpart of TOR deep web, TORmail. FreedomWeb, an Irish company known for providing hosting for Tor "hidden services" -- services reached over the Tor anonymized/encrypted network -- has shut down after its owner, Eric Eoin Marques, was arrested over allegations that he had facilitated the spread of child pornography. [more inside]
posted by whyareyouatriangle on Aug 4, 2013 - 126 comments

Lucy Kellaway's 'History of Office Life'

A series of BBC News Magazine articles on the office as workplace: (i) How the office was invented; (ii) The ancient Chinese exam that inspired modern job recruitment (previously); (iii) The invention of the career ladder; (iv) The arrival of women in the office; (v) Do we still need the telephone?; (vi) Are there too many managers?; (vii) The era of the sexually charged office; (viii) The decline of privacy in open-plan offices; (ix) How the computer changed the office forever and (x) Why did offices become like the home?—by columnist Lucy Kellaway. [more inside]
posted by misteraitch on Aug 2, 2013 - 22 comments

"Promises to get data retention, privacy policies in place later."

On July 30th, the Oakland City Council unanimously voted to accept $2 million in federal funds to create a 24/7 "Domain Awareness Center" that would "link surveillance cameras, license-plate readers, gunshot detectors, Twitter feeds, alarm notifications and other data into a unified 'situational awareness' tool for law enforcement." [more inside]
posted by brundlefly on Aug 1, 2013 - 53 comments

If your suffering leads to our suffering, you may be liable for damages.

The new documentary "Terms And Conditions May Apply," about the privacy overreach of major tech companies, presents its trailer on a cleverly written page of terms and conditions.
posted by mark7570 on Jul 11, 2013 - 11 comments

Why not?

After a six-month hiatus, Surveillance Camera Man (previously) is back with a new video, and a site of his own. (via waxy) [more inside]
posted by progosk on Jul 11, 2013 - 55 comments

Mail Covers for everybody.

Concerned about privacy and government surveillance? Not even snail-mail is safe: With Mail Isolation Control and Tracking, the US Postal Service is now photographing the exterior of every piece of paper mail in the United States, and storing the data indefinitely.
posted by anemone of the state on Jul 3, 2013 - 100 comments

Alternatives to Microsoft, Yahoo, Google, Facebook, PalTalk, AOL, etc.

Microsoft, Yahoo, Google, Facebook, PalTalk, AOL, Skype, YouTube, Apple are being monitored by the FBI and NSA, with Dropbox "coming soon." So what can you do? Use some alternatives. As Gabriel Weinberg, founder of DuckDuckGo, told NPR: "we made the choice to just not track people so there is nothing to turn over."
posted by filthy light thief on Jun 26, 2013 - 118 comments

At least you know it's recording...

The end of Summer 2013 should see the release of Memoto, a wearable camera that takes a picture of what's in front of you every thirty seconds 24/7. Billed as an unobtrusive observer for lifebloggers, it is also being touted as a legal witness and an alibi provider. An interview that asks Memoto's CEO about privacy. (warning: interview filmed in shaky-cam)
posted by Tell Me No Lies on Jun 23, 2013 - 38 comments

Privacy in an age of publicity

The Secret History of Privacy. "Something creepy happened when mystery became secular, secrecy became a technology, and privacy became a right..." [Via]
posted by homunculus on Jun 17, 2013 - 26 comments

The Challenge to European Data Rights

The Council of the European Union recently released a proposal to amend the General Data Protection Regulation. Scaling back from becoming the most strict privacy regulation in the world, the amendment greatly favors corporate interests while reducing the rights of data subjects. [more inside]
posted by ChipT on Jun 17, 2013 - 8 comments

I do not expect to see home again.

I will be satisfied if the federation of secret law, unequal pardon and irresistible executive powers that rule the world that I love are revealed even for an instant."
posted by bitmage on Jun 9, 2013 - 1038 comments

Where Looks Don’t Matter and Only the Best Writers Get Laid

How the feminist internet utopia failed, and we ended up with speculative realism. Contemporary mass culture equates anonymity with secrecy or downright negative intent, not harmless experimentation. Who lies about who they are online? Pedophiles, scammers, hackers, bullies, Wikileaks. Anonymity has turned from thrilling to terrifying. 1:1 self-to-body ratio is a moral mandate. It’s no wonder that nailing down objective reality seems so attractive.
posted by Cash4Lead on Jun 7, 2013 - 34 comments

A bad day for privacy.

Washington Post: NSA and FBI are mining data from nine major tech companies in formerly secret program. Microsoft, Yahoo, Google, Facebook, PalTalk, AOL, Skype, YouTube, Apple are being monitored, with Dropbox "coming soon". The program, called PRISM, is reportedly the most prolific contributor to the President's Daily Brief.
posted by brentajones on Jun 6, 2013 - 415 comments

The FBI, the NSA and your phone records in 2013.

Glenn Greenwald has produced a secret court order requiring Verizon to hand over to the NSA "telephony metadata" of all local and international calls either originating or terminating in the United States on an "ongoing, daily basis," and further barring Verizon from disclosing to the public the fulfillment of this request or the existence of the court order itself. The ACLU refers to the practice as "beyond Orwellian." Direct link to the court order available here. [more inside]
posted by phaedon on Jun 6, 2013 - 488 comments

Inside joke! Obscure meme reference!

The Pew Internet And American Life Project has a new report out on Teens, Social Media, and Privacy. danah boyd comments:
My favorite finding of Pew’s is that 58% of teens cloak their messages either through inside jokes or other obscure references, with more older teens (62%) engaging in this practice than younger teens (46%).
[more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Jun 5, 2013 - 51 comments

"The Neighbors don’t know they are being photographed"

Photographer Arne Svenson has sparked a bit of controversy with his recent show "The Neighbors," about which he says, "I turned to the residents of a glass-walled apartment building across the street from my NYC studio. The Neighbors don’t know they are being photographed; I carefully shoot from the shadows of my home into theirs. I am not unlike the birder, quietly waiting for hours, watching for the flutter of a hand or the movement of a curtain as an indication that there is life within." [more inside]
posted by taz on May 17, 2013 - 323 comments

Based on your history, we know you are interested in cephalopods.

I turned around to face an approaching figure. It was Larry Page, naked, save for a pair of eyeglasses. “Welcome to Google Island. I hope my nudity doesn’t bother you. We’re completely committed to openness here. Search history. Health data. Your genetic blueprint. One way to express this is by removing clothes to foster experimentation. It’s something I learned at Burning Man,” he said.
posted by Horace Rumpole on May 17, 2013 - 30 comments

Facebook Home. Universally unpopular?

Facebook Software Updates in Real Life: Parody [SYTL 2min 20sec] 'Facebook Updates in Real Life' illustrates that not all of the mobile user base is happy with the current 'Facebook Home' improvements. [more inside]
posted by Faintdreams on May 14, 2013 - 53 comments

Some big Internet companies, privacy, and the government

EFF's Who Has Your Back? for 2013. The Electronic Frontier Foundation has published the 2013 edition of their analysis of how well your private data is protected from the government by about a dozen big internet companies. Also available as pdf. Focused on the US, but may apply elsewhere, too.
posted by at home in my head on May 1, 2013 - 13 comments

Dystopian Future (and present)

Panopticon is a documentary which details how our concept of privacy is altered by the modern surveillance state.
posted by antonymous on Apr 30, 2013 - 12 comments

Transcript of secret meeting between Julian Assange and Eric Schmidt

On the 23 of June, 2011 a secret five hour meeting took place between WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange, who was under house arrest in rural UK at the time and Google CEO Eric Schmidt. We provide here a verbatim transcript of the majority of the meeting; a close reading, particularly of the latter half, is revealing.
[more inside]
posted by palbo on Apr 25, 2013 - 40 comments

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