6 simple tools to protect your online privacy (and help you fight back against mass surveillance) Faced with the enormous power of agencies such as the NSA and GCHQ, it can feel like there is little we can do to fight back. However, there are some great ways you can take control of your private communications online. The six tools below, which have been designed with security in mind, are alternatives to the regular apps and software you use. They can give you more confidence that your digital communications will stay private. Note: No tool or means of communication is 100% secure, and there are many ways that governments are intercepting and collecting our communications. 1. TextSecure is an easy-to-use, free app for Android (iPhones have a compatible app called Signal). 2. Redphone is another free, open-source app for Android (for iPhones it’s the same Signal app, which combines voice calls and messaging) which encrypts your voice calls end-to-end. 3. meet.jit.si – for video calls and instant messaging 4. miniLock – for file sharing 5. 6. Quick guide to technical terms
OK Glass, RIP Privacy: The Democratization Of Surveillance How’s this for synchronicity: Google Glass started shipping on the same week that CISPA passed the House, 3DRobotics unveiled their new site, and 4chan and Reddit pored over surveillance photos trying to crowdsource the identity of the Boston bombers. Cameras on phones. Cameras on drones. Cameras on glasses. Cameras atop stores, in ATMs, on the street, on lapels, up high in the sky. Modern cars log detailed data their manufacturers can access if they so desire. In 1999, Sun CEO Scott McNealy said: “You have zero privacy anyway. I’ve been arguing for years that “Soon enough, pseudonymity and anonymity will only exist online; in the real world…they’ll be more or less extinct.” One can reasonably dispute whether the collective crowdsourced 4chan/Reddit attempt to identify the Boston bomber was a good thing or not, and interesting people are engaged in both sides of just that argument – – but to me, the important thing is the precedent it sets. In the words of the ACLU:
Now you can legally edit your online history Google suffered a blow to their aim of owning each last morsel of information on the internet when the EU ruled that the tech behemoth must remove any personal data held on people that is deemed "inadequate, irrelevant, or no longer relevant". The decision means that individuals will be able to request that the search engine removes links about them which provide information that they do not want to be known – ensuring their "right to be forgotten". Google and free speech activists have reacted with outrage, claiming that this severely reduces freedom of speech, as well as allowing internet users to edit their history and restructure the digital footprint that they've left on the online world. The court's decision was made after a Spanish man requested that notice of his house being repossessed was removed from a major news website: he'd paid the debts, so why was the information relevant anymore? That news article about the time you drove into a supermarket while off your face?
Homeland Security Tracks These Keywords on Twitter and Facebook Next time you write about an "infection," cooking "pork," sitting at the "airport" or "subway," or even mention "social media," know there's a chance the Department of Homeland Security will scan the tweet or Facebook comment. The Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) just released DHS internal documents about the surveillance of social media and the information collected daily. EPIC gained access to the documents with a lawsuit, pushing the Freedom of Information Act. The documents included hundreds of keywords that the government tracks. The Department of Homeland Security initiative started in February 2011. The department aimed to use social media to stay in-the-know about breaking news as it's happening. "Social media outlets provide instant feedback and alert capabilities to rapidly changing or newly occurring situations," states U.S. SEE ALSO: Republican Senators: Keep Government Out of Cybersecurity Do you feel safer with U.S. Thumbnail courtesy of Flickr, Hello Turkey Toe
Online Privacy FAQ Copyright © 2007 - 2014Privacy Rights Clearinghouse This FAQ is an addendum to our Fact Sheet 18 on Internet privacy.www.privacyrights.org/fs/fs18-cyb.htm It provides answers to questions that we are often asked by individuals who contact us concerning online privacy and safety. 1. I have found my name and personal information on the Internet at sites like ZabaSearch and Intelius. I am worried about identity theft. How can I get my information removed from all of these sites? There is no one simple way to have your information entirely removed from all of the information broker sites. Once your personal information has been recorded in public records, there is no effective way to permanently or completely remove it (for example, birth certificate, marriage license, home ownership documents, court records, and in some states voter registration, etc.). As part of the request for removal, the information broker Web site may ask you for personal information to “verify” your identity. 2. 3.
Apple, Facebook, others defy authorities, increasingly notify users of secret data demands after Snowden revelations Fueling the shift is the industry’s eagerness to distance itself from the government after last year’s disclosures about National Security Agency surveillance of online services. Apple, Microsoft, Facebook and Google all are updating their policies to expand routine notification of users about government data seizures, unless specifically gagged by a judge or other legal authority, officials at all four companies said. Yahoo announced similar changes in July. As this position becomes uniform across the industry, U.S. tech companies will ignore the instructions stamped on the fronts of subpoenas urging them not to alert subjects about data requests, industry lawyers say. Companies that already routinely notify users have found that investigators often drop data demands to avoid having suspects learn of inquiries. “It serves to chill the unbridled, cost-free collection of data,” said Albert Gidari Jr., a partner at Perkins Coie who represents several technology companies. Ronald T. Ann E.
Muse & Geek - [LEGISLATION] Directive Européenne sur les Cookies Depuis quelques temps, vous avez pu apercevoir sur vos divers sites web préférés un bandeau vous signalant l'utilisation des cookies et vous demandant, de manière plus ou moins tacite, votre consentement pour en déposer sur votre navigateur. Il s'agit en fait d'une obligation légale émise par la Commission Européenne sous la directive 2002/58/EC mise à jour par la directive 2009/136/EC et entrée en vigueur le 25 Mai 2011. L'article 5(3) de cette directive stipule (page 20) que : Les États membres garantissent que le stockage d’informations, ou l’obtention de l’accès à des informations déjà stockées, dans l’équipement terminal d’un abonné ou d’un utilisateur n’est permis qu’à condition que l’abonné ou l’utilisateur ait donné son accord, après avoir reçu, dans le respect de la directive 95/46/CE, une information claire et complète, entre autres sur les finalités du traitement. Consentement, d'accord. Mais avant de faire le tour de l'Europe, qu'est-ce qu'un cookie ?
White House pushes online privacy bill of rights - Feb. 23 A series of online privacy debacles has Washington stepping up its oversight. NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- The Obama administration on Thursday unveiled a new online bill of rights intended to protect consumers' privacy when they surf the Web. The policy lays out a set of guidelines for Internet companies about how they should treat consumers' data and manage their customer interactions. It stresses transparency, security, and user control of their data. (Click here to read the privacy bill of rights in its entirety). The bill is a splashy gesture, but it's also pretty toothless. The document is stuffed with vague rules such as: "Companies should offer consumers clear and simple choices, presented at times and in ways that enable consumers to make meaningful decisions." The White House admitted that its framework is fairly lightweight. In the meantime, the White House cast its bill of rights as a "comprehensive blueprint" for future legislation. "We need this now," Bryson said.
I Have Nothing to Hide? As a rule, I am a humble person. There has never been sufficient enough reason for me to believe myself inherently superior in anyway whatsoever to anybody else. I have always, for the sake of privacy and, indeed, fear, kept my thoughts from others. I just never thought that my most intimate ruminations were important, at least to the degree that would encourage me to risk revealing notions foreign to the palate of commercialized, commoditized society. This, however, has been a mistake. I have questioned the legitimacy of status quo since grade school, though only in an inward fashion, always accepting that others, because they had made the decisions, knew better somehow. I do not possess a patent on truth, nor does anybody else; I accept that for most things, a clear, unambiguous, and absolute truth does not exist, hence the advantage of scientific theory and the process by which human societies in free and open environments progress. Illegal Surveillance
Legal Help Removing Content From Google This page will help you get to the right place to report content that you would like removed from Google's services under applicable laws. Providing us with complete information will help us investigate your inquiry. If you have non-legal issues that concern Google's Terms of Service or Product Policies, please visit We ask that you submit a separate notice for each Google service where the content appears. What Google product does your request relate to? Which product does your request relate to? What can we help you with? Choose from the following options Are you the copyright owner or authorized to act on his/her behalf? What is the allegedly infringing work in question? The image/video is of yourself I have read the above and wish to proceed Are you the owner of the technological protection measure, the copyright owner of the work protected by this technology, or a representative authorized to act on behalf of either owner? Google Help
Statement on Internet Confidentiality | Internet Architecture Board 13 November 2014 In 1996, the IAB and IESG recognized that the growth of the Internet depended on users having confidence that the network would protect their private information. RFC 1984 documented this need. Since that time, we have seen evidence that the capabilities and activities of attackers are greater and more pervasive than previously known. The IAB now believes it is important for protocol designers, developers, and operators to make encryption the norm for Internet traffic. Newly designed protocols should prefer encryption to cleartext operation. We recommend that encryption be deployed throughout the protocol stack since there is not a single place within the stack where all kinds of communication can be protected. The IAB urges protocol designers to design for confidential operation by default. We believe that each of these changes will help restore the trust users must have in the Internet.
Obama's Privacy Push Means Business As Usual For Web Firms If the Obama administration wanted a simpler way to protect consumer privacy, it didn't need to issue a dense report or pressure Congress to pass laws increasing government oversight of the private sector - especially during an election year. The White House simply needed to look in its own consumer protection playbook and take a page from its efforts to help credit card customers avoid crippling debt. Last year the Obama administration proposed rules for banks that require simple summaries of what their credit card agreements say; that followed similar rules requiring banks to show customers in monthly statements how long it would take to pay down their balance if they only paid the minimum amount due. Instead, the Obama administration released the Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights in a Networked World Thursday, which lays out ideas for protecting consumers. "Delivering 'free' online services costs money, and there's always some kind of trade-off. Companies Get A Seat At The Table
Carnegie Mellon report finds Internet privacy tools are confusing, ineffective for most people PITTSBURGH—Internet users who want to protect their privacy by stopping advertisers and other companies from tracking their online behavior will have great difficulty doing so with commonly available "opt-out" tools, researchers at Carnegie Mellon University report. User testing found that privacy options in popular browsers, as well as online tools or plug-ins for blocking access by certain websites or otherwise opting out of tracking, were hard for the typical user to understand or to configure successfully. "All nine of the tools we tested have serious usability flaws," said Lorrie Cranor, director of the CyLab Usable Privacy and Security Laboratory (CUPS). "We found that most people were confused by the instructions and had trouble installing or configuring the tools correctly," Cranor said. "Often, the settings they chose failed to protect their privacy as much as they expected, or to do anything at all." The major findings: Users can't distinguish between trackers.