How technical illiteracy threatened the privacy of hundreds of retired police officers By Nathaniel Mott On March 18, 2014 The names, addresses, and social security numbers of 300 retired police officers and their dependents in Syracuse, New York were mistakenly shared Friday when a city employee sent an email with “an attachment” containing all of that information to another retired officer. That officer says that he immediately deleted the information from his computer and warned City Hall about the breach. A letter was sent to affected officers and their families, the local news station assured its viewers that the police department won’t make the mistake again, and this was labeled a small problem in a city about to enter the throes of March Madness. This accidental compromise of hundreds of retired police officers’ privacy is more than just a small error — it’s a reminder of how dangerous technical illiteracy can be.
For sale: Systems that can secretly track where cellphone users go around the globe Makers of surveillance systems are offering governments across the world the ability to track the movements of almost anybody who carries a cellphone, whether they are blocks away or on another continent. The technology works by exploiting an essential fact of all cellular networks: They must keep detailed, up-to-the-minute records on the locations of their customers to deliver calls and other services to them. Surveillance systems are secretly collecting these records to map people’s travels over days, weeks or longer, according to company marketing documents and experts in surveillance technology. The world’s most powerful intelligence services, such as the National Security Agency and Britain’s GCHQ, long have used cellphone data to track targets around the globe. But experts say these new systems allow less technically advanced governments to track people in any nation — including the United States — with relative ease and precision. Sen.
How Your Data Are Being Deeply Mined by Alice E. Marwick The recent revelations regarding the NSA’s collection of the personal information and the digital activities of millions of people across the world have attracted immense attention and public concern. But there are equally troubling and equally opaque systems run by advertising, marketing, and data-mining firms that are far less known. Using techniques ranging from supermarket loyalty cards to targeted advertising on Facebook, private companies systematically collect very personal information, from who you are, to what you do, to what you buy. Data about your online and offline behavior are combined, analyzed, and sold to marketers, corporations, governments, and even criminals. The scope of this collection, aggregation, and brokering of information is similar to, if not larger than, that of the NSA, yet it is almost entirely unregulated and many of the activities of data-mining and digital marketing firms are not publicly known at all.
How Conspiracy Theories Go Viral The baffling case of the disappearing Malaysia Airlines plane has been a breeding ground for wacky theories and conspiracies over the last week: That the plane was testing cloaking technology, was hijacked by China, was shot down by North Korea, was shot down by the US, was stolen, time-traveled back to the 70s and was reverse-engineered to create the original 777, was taken by aliens and is currently on Mars, or is hiding in Pakistan "like Bin Laden," to name a few. It’s just the latest incident to garner this kind of wild speculation. Since the advent of the web and explosion of social media, unsubstantiated claims, false reports, and conspiracies both reasonable and ridiculous, tend to spread like wildfire, reverberating through the internet echo chamber and picking up steam along the way until truth and nonsense are indistinguishable. Indeed, last year a World Economic Forum report listed "massive digital misinformation" as one of the main risks for modern-day society.
Shinseungback Kimyonghun Aposematic Jacket, 2014, lens, Raspberry Pi, camera, Wi-Fi module, battery pack and fabric, 15 x 60 x 70 cm. 'Aposematic Jacket' is a wearable computer for self-defense. The lenses on the jacket give off the warning signal, “I can record you”, to prevent possible attack. When the wearer pushes a button under threat, the jacket records the scene in 360 degrees and sends the images to the Web. Aposematic Jacket (project video), 2014. Stallman: How Much Surveillance Can Democracy Withstand? Editor’s Note: Given Richard Stallman’s longtime role in promoting software that respects user freedom (including GNU, which just turned 30), his suggested “remedies” for all the ways technology can be re-designed to provide benefits while avoiding surveillance — like the smart meters example he shares below — seem particularly relevant. The current level of general surveillance in society is incompatible with human rights. To recover our freedom and restore democracy, we must reduce surveillance to the point where it is possible for whistleblowers of all kinds to talk with journalists without being spotted. To do this reliably, we must reduce the surveillance capacity of the systems we use. Using free/libre software, as I’ve advocated for 30 years, is the first step in taking control of our digital lives. We can’t trust non-free software; the NSA uses and even creates security weaknesses in non-free software so as to invade our own computers and routers.
Tweeting turns serious, teen girl stabbed in Bayard Sunday By Susan Dunlap email@example.com on Twitter @SCSunNews Posted: 02/19/2014 06:22:58 PM MST SILVER CITY >> An argument that started on the social media site Twitter ended with a 17-year-old Bayard girl being stabbed in the early morning hours of Sunday. Another girl, also 17, is suspected in the stabbing. Both girls were tweeting threatening comments to each other prior to the incident. Google CEO On Privacy (VIDEO): 'If You Have Something You Don't Want Anyone To Know, Maybe You Shouldn't Be Doing It' Yahoo, Verizon, Sprint, and others have recently come under fire for sharing customer data with the authorities, and admitting to "spying" abilities that would "shock" and "confuse" customers. A CNBC interview with Google CEO Eric Schmidt suggests the search giant Google shouldn't get off easy, and users should be wary of what Google knows about them -- and with whom they can share that information. CNBC's Mario Bartiromo asked CEO Schmidt in her December 3, 2009 interview: "People are treating Google like their most trusted friend. Should they?" Schmidt's reply hints that if there's scandalous information out there about you, it's your problem, not Google's.
Top 15 Open Source/Free Security/Hacking Tools 1. Nmap Nmap (“Network Mapper”) is a free and open source (license) utility for network discovery and security auditing. Nmap uses raw IP packets in novel ways to determine what hosts are available on the network, what services (application name and version) those hosts are offering, what operating systems (and OS versions) they are running, what type of packet filters/firewalls are in use, and dozens of other characteristics. Nmap homepage. data_and_goliath_excerpt_the_best_ways_to_undermine_surveillance.2 Illustration by Robert Neubecker This essay is excerpted from Data and Goliath: The Hidden Battles to Collect Your Data and Control Your World by Bruce Schneier, published by W. W. Norton & Co.
A Culture of Surveillance What’s the harm in surveillance? The question was posed indirectly over two years ago when the Associated Press launched the first in a Pulitzer Prize-winning series of investigative exposés drawing on leaked files from the New York City Police Department’s then-Intelligence Division (recently renamed Intelligence Bureau). The documents outlined a vast domestic spying operation targeting American Muslims for surveillance, mapping, and infiltration. No one seems exempt. Why I’m Saying Goodbye to Apple, Google and Microsoft — Backchannel Part of my conversion stems from an abiding distaste for corporate and government control-freakery. If we believe in liberty, we have to realize that we take risks to be more free. If we believe in competition, we sometimes have to intervene as a society to ensure that it’s fair.
How WikiLeaks opened our eyes to the illusion of freedom We remember anniversaries that mark the important events of our era: September 11 (not only the 2001 Twin Towers attack, but also the 1973 military coup against Allende in Chile), D-day, etc. Maybe another date should be added to this list: 19 June. Most of us like to take a stroll during the day to get a breath of fresh air.
Understanding and selecting authentication methods If you are serious about computer/network security, then you must have a solid understanding of authentication methods. Debra Littlejohn Shinder takes a moment to lay out the role authentication plays in a security plan. Computer/network security hinges on two very simple goals:Keeping unauthorized persons from gaining access to resourcesEnsuring that authorized persons can access the resources they needThere are a number of components involved in accomplishing these objectives. One way is to assign access permissions to resources that specify which users can or cannot access those resources and under what circumstances.