Oh for fuck's sake, not this fucking bullshit again (cryptography edition)


America, Canada, New Zealand, the UK and Australia are in a surveillance alliance called The Five Eyes, through which they share much of their illegally harvested surveillance data.

In a recently released Statement of Principles on Access to Evidence and Encryption, the Five Eyes powers have demanded, again, that strong cryptography be abolished and replaced with defective cryptography so that they can spy on bad guys.

They defend this by saying "Privacy is not absolute."

But of course, working crypto isn't just how we stay private from governments (though god knows all five of the Five Eyes have, in very recent times, proven themselves to be catastrophically unsuited to collect, analyze and act on all of our private and most intimate conversations). It's how we make sure that no one can break into the data from our voting machines, or push lethal fake firmware updates to our pacemakers, or steal all the money from all of the banks, or steal all of the kompromat on all 22,000,000 US military and government employees and contractors who've sought security clearance.

Also, this is bullshit.

Because it won't work.

Here's the text of my go-to post about why this is so fucking stupid. I just can't be bothered anymore. Jesus fucking christ. Seriously? Are we still fucking talking about this? Seriously? Come on, SERIOUSLY?
AP Exclusive: Google tracks your movements, like it or not

Google wants to know where you go so badly that it records your movements even when you explicitly tell it not to.

An Associated Press investigation found that many Google services on Android devices and iPhones store your location data even if you’ve used privacy settings that say they will prevent it from doing so.

Computer-science researchers at Princeton confirmed these findings at the AP’s request.
No, Your Phone Isn't Secretly Recording You

Sorry, conspiracy theorists: They found no evidence of an app unexpectedly activating the microphone or sending audio out when not prompted to do so. Like good scientists, they refuse to say that their study definitively proves that your phone isn’t secretly listening to you, but they didn’t find a single instance of it happening. Instead, they discovered a different disturbing practice: apps recording a phone’s screen and sending that information out to third parties.
Sorry, conspiracy theorists
they discovered a different disturbing practice: apps recording a phone’s screen and sending that information out to third parties

I fail to see why conspiracy theorists should get a "sorry" in this context.
  last edited: Fri, 06 Jul 2018 07:47:39 -0400  
Some conspiracy theorists are very invested in their conspiracies, so being wrong can be worse (to them) than having their conspiracies turn out not to be true.
Of course, just because random apps aren't doing it doesn't mean that targeted spyware doesn't do it!
Marketing Firm Leaked Database With 340 Million Records

The leak may include data on hundreds of millions of Americans, with hundreds of details for each, from demographics to personal interests.
  New analysis shows how Facebook and Google push users into sharing personal data : Forbrukerrådet


As the new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is implemented across Europe, users of digital services have been confronted with new privacy settings through numerous pop-up messages.
I am now a happy non-facebook user :) Account not only "closed" (which is paused) but deleted.
Border Patrol Agents Shut Down Highways in Maine and New Hampshire With Checkpoints


Federal agents refused to let drivers in Maine and New Hampshire pass until they disclosed their citizenship. The government says checkpoints are vital to curbing unauthorized immigration.
Disturbing Congress Documents Reveal Even MORE Things That Facebook Knows About You

It's no secret that Facebook collects information on all its users. The Cambridge Analytica scandal in April brought the extent and depth of this data acquisition to the public eye, leading Congress to request Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to appear before them. Senators asked the company over 2,000 questions, which Facebook has now answered. And it appears there's a lot of ways in which the social media platform can track us that many people might not be aware of.

Links to the documents with the questions and answers are included in the article.
Review | Hands off my data! 15 default privacy settings you should change right now


Say no to defaults. A clickable guide to fixing the complicated privacy settings from Facebook, Google, Amazon, Microsoft and Apple.
Or don't use F, G, A, M & A...
In Win For Privacy Rights, Court Says Police Need Warrant To Search Area Around Home

The Supreme Court reversed a conviction that came after an officer looked at a motorcycle under a tarp outside a private residence — without a warrant.
Can Your Smart Home Appliances Snitch on You?

In the age of Alexa, new questions arise about how your smart devices could be used by police.

No, I have no connection to themarshallproject.org, :-)
How a “location API” allows cops to figure out where we all are in real time

The digital privacy world was rocked late Thursday evening when The New York Times reported on Securus, a prison telecom company that has a service enabling law enforcement officers to locate most American cell phones within seconds. The company does this via a basic Web interface leveraging a location API—creating a way to effectively access a massive real-time database of cell-site records.
Thanks for sharing

The Golden State Killer Is Tracked Through a Thicket of DNA, and Experts Shudder
by By GINA KOLATA and HEATHER MURPHY on The New York Times
Big Brother Meets Black Mirror in the Middle Kingdom

Imagine a world where everything you ever do or say is watched and rated by invisible eyes.

That’s why the only good system is an agnostic one, built with checks and balances to crush any group that tries to seize it for their own dark designs. That’s the reason I stand behind decentralized systems, so no one power can force-feed their warped ideology down everyone’s throats. Even if a system is built by the most enlightened men and women who ever walked the face of the Earth eventually someone with very different desires will come to power. And they will find every way to exploit the weaknesses of any poorly designed system for their own advantages.
Palantir Knows Everything About You

Peter Thiel's data-mining company is using War on Terror tools to track American citizens.
Thanks for sharing.
How to save your privacy from the Internet’s clutches

Another week, another massive privacy scandal. When it’s not Facebook admitting it allowed data on as many as 87 million users to be sucked out by a developer on its platform who sold it to a polit…

Quite a long list of suggestions at the end of the article.
Cops Around the Country Can Now Unlock iPhones, Records Show

A Motherboard investigation has found that law enforcement agencies across the country have purchased GrayKey, a relatively cheap tool for bypassing the encryption on iPhones, while the FBI pushes again for encryption backdoors.
They're back! 'Feds only' encryption backdoors prepped in US by Dems

US lawmakers are yet again trying to force backdoors into tech products, allowing Uncle Sam, and anyone else with the necessary skills, to rifle through people's private encrypted information.
“Who cares, I have nothing to hide” — Why the popular response to online privacy is so flawed

“It’s important to acknowledge that privacy isn’t about hiding — it’s about having and exercising more agency over who sees our personal information,” said Rebecca Ricks, a Mozilla fellow and technologist, in an email exchange with Mic. “So much of our social, networked lives is contextual: There are conversations I have with my friends that I wouldn’t want my family to see. There is information I give my bank that I wouldn’t want a hacker to see. Strengthening privacy controls means improving trust and communication online.”
I figure there is many ways to define "integrity" but one way I read about is that integrity is the process of sharing information that defines you in a social context. The information about me defines me and I need to be in control over that.

As it turns out this process is crucial for the human being and the ability for humans socially interact. It has nothing to do with secrets.

We have all been in or seen the situation where mother shows old photos for our girlfriend or mature friends, photos that show a person we are no more and views of that person that we'd rather not shared right now. In this particular case Mother violates my right to decide what information my associated shall see and how I shall be perceived.

I know that the book was written by a Swedish author, first name Erik (as is mine) and it is most sure 10 years+ since I read it. Sadly I am unable to find the book again. The author wrote about how ordinary stores collects information via membership and 5% discount and how they sell it and abuse it otherwise. He was well ahead of his time.
I finally had a chance to read about what all this hubbub is about...

Facebook’s Surveillance Machine
by By ZEYNEP TUFEKCI on The New York Times
The House That Spied on Me


In December, I converted my one-bedroom apartment in San Francisco into a “smart home.” I connected as many of my appliances and belongings as I could to the internet: an Amazon Echo, my lights, my coffee maker, my baby monitor, my kid’s toys, my vacuum, my TV, my toothbrush, a photo frame, a sex toy, and even my bed.
Good read, thanks.