In Anti-Surveillance Camouflage for Your Face,
technology reporter Robinson Meyer details an experiment in which he tried actually going about his day to day life in downtown Washington DC while wearing CV Dazzle
, (previously on MeFi
) makeup and hairstyles to confuse facial recognition software. The technique is inspired by the old naval technique of dazzle camouflage
, which sought not to conceal a ship, but to confuse viewers as to its size and heading. Similarly, CV Dazzle aims to confuse software by making your face look less like a face and more like a confusing collection of shapes. This proves to have unanticipated effects on how Robinson is perceived by humans as well, leading to insights about how our appearance signals our privilege and place in the social hierarchy, and how that can overlap or conflict with the digital wakes we leave.
posted by Naberius
on Jul 24, 2014 -
In one of the most damning Snowden leaks yet revealed, Glenn Greenwald and Murtaza Hussain show that the NSA targets prominent Muslim-Americans
under the FISA secret court program. The Office of the Director of National Intelligence has in response issued a denial
that any Americans were targeted for exercising their constitutional rights via its tumblr.
posted by p3on
on Jul 9, 2014 -
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 -
The Washington Post and The Guardian won the Pulitzer Prize in public service
for their reporting on the widespread domestic spying by the US National Security Agency.
A full list of the mentioned articles can be found here for the Washington Post
, and here
for the Guardian.
Edward Snowden, who supplied the journalists with the leaked information, today said
: "Today's decision is a vindication for everyone who believes that the public has a role in government. We owe it to the efforts of the brave reporters and their colleagues who kept working in the face of extraordinary intimidation, including the forced destruction of journalistic materials, the inappropriate use of terrorism laws, and so many other means of pressure to get them to stop what the world now recognises was work of vital public importance." [more inside]
posted by MisantropicPainforest
on Apr 14, 2014 -
New Snowden disclosures:
"The National Security Agency has built a surveillance system capable of recording '100 percent' of a foreign country’s telephone calls, enabling the agency to rewind and review conversations as long as a month after they take place." [more inside]
posted by Noisy Pink Bubbles
on Mar 18, 2014 -
Stephen Colbert, as "Stephen Colbert" gave the closing keynote speech at the 2014 RSA Conference in San Francisco. While this speech has not been made officially available, it has been posted in its entirety to YouTube. Part 1, Part 2
[total length <20m] [warning - audience video of conference hall video screens -- content overcomes video shortcomings]
posted by hippybear
on Mar 10, 2014 -
The Day We Fight Back
is a protest against mass surveillance. "The SOPA and PIPA protests were successful because we all took part, as a community. As Aaron Swartz put it, everybody "made themselves the hero of their own story." We can set a date, but we need all of you, the users of the Internet, to make it a movement. [more inside]
posted by aniola
on Feb 11, 2014 -
Passweird - Passwords too gross to steal.
This website will create for you a password that is not only secure*, but is also so utterly repulsive that not even the most hardened criminal, identity thief, NSA agent, or jealous boyfriend would ever want to use it. *ish, but probably not. Don't use these for real.
posted by Rock Steady
on Dec 30, 2013 -
Der Spiegel reports on the NSA's "plumbers" at the Office of Tailored Access Operations, who collect and deploy exploits to infiltrate computers and even redirect shipments so they can install malware and hardware backdoors on electronics ordered by those they are targeting.
Jacob Appelbaum [AKA ioerror] reports
on the NSA's 'catalog', which ranges from $30 monitor cables that send back screenshots, to exploits for network security hardware from Cisco and Huawei, to backdoored BIOS code and firmware for all major hard drive manucfacturers.
While some of the NSA's malware requires physical access or proximity, much of it is remotely installable over the Internet.
At the 30c3 conference in Hamburg,
Appelbaum gives an in-depth talk about the NSA's Tailored Access Operations hacking activities
and its 'interdiction' process, whereby computers are tampered with during shipping or as part of a 'black-bag' operation.
Appelbaum, a Wikileaks affiliate who has reported on documents leaked by Edward Snowden, has been personally targeted
by such operations, as have his family members.
posted by anemone of the state
on Dec 30, 2013 -
Edward Snowden has delivered the UK Channel 4's Alternative Christmas Message
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 -
Once upon a database query, while I pondered weak security,
And many avenues of access via backdoor,
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a wiretapping,
As of some one gently sniffing, sniffing at our server's door.
“‘Tis some hacker,” I muttered, “tapping at our server door
Or just a virus, nothing more.” -- The NSA Raven
posted by Chocolate Pickle
on Dec 11, 2013 -
The Men Who Leaked The Secrets
To the likes of Brooks, Snowden was a disconcerting mystery; Glenn Greenwald, though, got him right away. "He had no power, no prestige, he grew up in a lower-middle-class family, totally obscure, totally ordinary," Greenwald says. "He didn't even have a high school diploma. But he was going to change the world – and I knew that." And, Greenwald also believed, so would he. "In all kinds of ways, my whole life has been in preparation for this moment," he says. [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns
on Dec 10, 2013 -
Curious as to what various legal and intelligence agencies can do with the data they are now currently collecting? They are collecting cell phone locations, there are currently license plate scanning vehicles in many larger cities, and Google Maps will gladly integrate with your location mapping systems to show you what type of business is at your coordinates. All state criminal databases are now nationally available. So the ACLU would like you to know what is going to happen
in the possible near future.
posted by Purposeful Grimace
on Dec 9, 2013 -
Facebook, Google, Yahoo, Microsoft, Apple, LinkedIn and Aol have all teamed up to oppose
widespread government surveillance. In an open letter to the US president and members of congress, the companies urge
the government to reform
its digital spy apparatus.
reactions at the Guardian.
posted by brina
on Dec 9, 2013 -
"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 -
How would you, as a junior analyst in S2C41, the branch of the Signals Intelligence Directorate, navigate the millions of records logged daily, in order to find the nugget to get you noticed?
“EVILOLIVE, MADCAPOCELOT, ORANGECRUSH, COBALTFALCON, DARKTHUNDER: the names are beguiling. But they don’t always tell us much, which is their reason for existing: covernames aren’t classified, and many of them – including the names of the NSA’s main databases for intercepted communications data, MAINWAY, MARINA, PINWALE and NUCLEON – have been seen in public before, in job ads and resumés posted online.” Daniel Soar sorts through the possibilities in the London Review of Books
, 24 Oct 2013. (See also William Arkin's blog on codenames) [more inside]
posted by zbsachs
on Nov 4, 2013 -