Marshall Sutherland
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.
Haakon Meland Eriksen (Parlementum)
Good read, thanks.
Marshall Sutherland

What Data Does Windows 10 Send to Microsoft?
by Techquickie on YouTube

Your Windows 10 installation is probably sending quite a bit of information to Microsoft. Just what sorts of things are being sent, and could they be used to identify you or your activities?
Mike Macgirvin
Back in the day we used to move images around with dd, but you had to be aware of and transfer data in exact multiples of the block size. I figured by using startup disk creator I wouldn't have to try and find any documentation about the blocksize of my Chinese USB stick. And after having Microsoft thwart several of my earlier efforts I also didn't want to do it over yet again. So yes you can use dd, but if you've got a device with an unusual blocksize (something besides an exact multiple of 512) you're going to have to know what that is.
Einer von Vielen
  last edited: Thu, 08 Feb 2018 11:21:17 -0500  
but you had to be aware of and transfer data in exact multiples of the block size.
Indeed, the blocksize can make troubles. After using "dd" to create the last bootable USB I tried to re-format it again and run into errors caused by different block sizes. I think It was something like "the partation table says blocksize XY but the real physical block size is YZ".

I will remember and try "your" startup disk creator the next time. Thanks for the hint.
Adam Robertson
At my kid's school , I help maintian all of the office computers and network. They have painfully slow internet because of the remote location.

I can always tell when one of the Windows 10 computers is doing its thing (uploading data) because no one else can access the internet. At first I thought it was a network issue but my router tells me exactly who is the culprit.  Windows 10 Desktop every time.

I think I have them convinced to downgrade to Windows 7 pro,
Marshall Sutherland
Big Brother on wheels: Why your car company may know more about you than your spouse.


Privacy experts believe tens of millions of Americans are already being monitored by automakers.

I'm really hoping my 20 year old car hangs in there for many more years.
Marshall Sutherland
Max Schrems at CCC: “Privacy Shield goes down as soon as EU Courts deliberate” – Nextcloud


In a Dutch interview, Max Schrems, the Austrian lawyer who successfully sued Facebook and got the Safe Harbour agreement between US and Europe thrown out, said he is convinced Privacy Shield will “encounter the same fate.”
Marshall Sutherland
How Email Open Tracking Quietly Took Over the Web

You give up more privacy than you might think each time you open an email.
  last edited: Wed, 13 Dec 2017 14:28:34 -0500  
I have had my mail program on text-only for years, but this is concerning... at least I am sure I have not yet received a tracked conversational email.
Marshall Sutherland
In Thunderbird, I have the option set not to accept remote content by default. So, at least I'm not being tracked by the emails from unknown sources that I delete out of hand (most of which have already been eliminated by the spam filter). I'm sure I'm being tracked by some senders I do want to get email from.

At work, we have been swapping our customer email correspondence over to a email service that does this sort of thing so that we know our notices have been delivered, so I can appreciate that there are some legitimate uses. If we have a legal requirement to send a notice, it is useful to have proof of delivery.
Marshall Sutherland
Big data meets Big Brother as China moves to rate its citizens


The Chinese government plans to launch its Social Credit System in 2020. The aim? To judge the trustworthiness – or otherwise – of its 1.3 billion residents
Very interesting article.
Maria Karlsen
Somehow I'm not surprised. But I didn't think this kind of things would happen this soon.
Marshall Sutherland
Android getting "DNS over TLS" support to stop ISPs from knowing what websites you visit

DNS over TLS is a new method of making DNS requests, stopping even your ISP from seeing the sites you visit. It's now coming to Android, maybe Android 8.1.
Interesting interview.
Marshall Sutherland

End Warrantless Deep State Spying: Don't Renew 702
by ReasonTV on YouTube

It's time to rein in warrantless domestic surveillance before it's too late.
Marshall Sutherland
  last edited: Thu, 07 Sep 2017 21:26:46 -0400  
Equifax data leak may affect nearly half the US population

Hackers steal Social Security numbers, birthdates, addresses and more from potentially up to 143 million people.

When looking for this story, the first thing I found was... :-)

Marshall Sutherland
I Won’t Get Chipped … and Neither Should You - Banyan Hill Publishing


I will never willingly have a microchip implanted in my body. Does that make me a paranoiac, a Luddite … or prescient?
Marshall Sutherland
Roomba's Next Big Step Is Selling Maps of Your Home to the Highest Bidder

The Roomba is generally regarded as a cute little robot friend that no one but dogs would consider to be a potential menace. But for the last couple of years, the robovacs have been quietly mapping homes to maximize efficiency. Now, the device’s makers plan to sell that data to smart home device manufacturers, turning the friendly robot into a creeping, creepy little spy.
Marshall Sutherland
Before You Hit 'Submit,' This Company Has Already Logged Your Personal Data

If you’re daydreaming about buying a home or need to lower the payment on the one you already have, you might pay a visit to the Quicken Loans mortgage calculator. You’ll be asked a quick succession of questions that reveal how much cash you have on hand or how much your home is worth and how close you are to paying it off. Then Quicken will tell you how much you’d owe per month if you got a loan from them and asks for your name, email address, and phone number.
Marshall Sutherland
Sovereign ManSovereign Man wrote the following post Wed, 08 Mar 2017 10:57:32 -0500
The most shocking revelation from the CIA spying scandal
The most shocking revelation from the CIA spying scandal

It happened again– another spying scandal in the Land of the Free.

Yesterday Wikileaks released 8,761 CIA documents detailing the agency’s hacking of smart phones, routers, computers, and even televisions.

These files reveal that the CIA can and has hacked devices that were supposedly secure– iPhones, iPads, and Android devices.

The documents further reveal that the CIA is deliberately infecting personal computers with spyware, including Windows, Mac OS/X, Solaris, Linux, and other operating systems.

They’re also hacking WiFi routers to deploy software that monitors Internet activity, and have even figured out how to bypass anti-virus software so that their spyware cannot be detected.

They’ve also managed to make the rest of the world believe that Russian hackers, not the CIA, are behind all this malware and spyware.

It’s like a restatement of that old Mission: Impossible line– “Should any of your IM force be caught or killed… we’ll blame Russia.”

The CIA is pretty shameless about its activities, nicknaming its various hacking programs “Assassin”, “Medusa”, and “Brutal Kangaroo”.

One of the deepest revelations is that the agency is able to hack Internet-connected televisions, including Samsung smart TVs, through a program called “Weeping Angel”.

Basically the CIA can turn your TV into a listening device, recording conversations in the room and transmitting the audio to a CIA server.

Even if you think the TV is off, it’s not.

CIA hackers have been able to spoof the on/off display and set the television to a “false off” mode.

Bottom line, no device that’s connected to the outside world is truly safe.

And future Wikileaks publications may show that the intelligence community is hacking home automation devices, Internet-connected automobiles (including driverless vehicles), and artificial intelligence like Amazon’s Alexa.

It’s hard to be shocked at this point that the government is spying on its own allies and citizens.

This is just the latest in a pattern of brazen surveillance and flagrant Constitutional violations on the part of the US intelligence community.

But that’s precisely what I find MOST concerning– the LACK of concern over these new CIA documents.

People have such a low expectation of their government now, and have become so accustomed to the government routinely violating their civil liberties, that there’s hardly any public outrage anymore about these spying scandals.

More importantly, the lack of concern is indicative of what freedom means in the Land of the Free today.

Here’s a great example–

Young people are traditionally the most politically charged activists in the country.

But where are the protests across university campuses demanding freedom and privacy?

It’s not happening.

That’s because university students are too busy protesting against ideas they don’t want to hear about.

At Middlebury College last week, a small liberal arts school in Vermont, a small mob of student protestors physically assaulted a conservative speaker because his ideas offended them.

They couldn’t simply skip the lecture and allow interested students to attend.

No, they had to engage in violent censorship, oppressing any idea that doesn’t conform to their narrow agenda.

The only thing these cry bullies are interested in hearing is apologetic white men groveling over their privilege.

This is the new reality in the Land of the Free: freedom has deteriorated into some gender studies professor’s socialist fantasy.

Constitutionally guaranteed liberties have become irrelevant.

Forget about “free speech”.

Any intellectual dissent from the intolerant Social Justice view is now considered “hate speech”.

And the Fourth Amendment, which establishes “the right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures,” has become a distant memory.

As a child who grew up in the 80s during the height of the Cold War, I imagine there would have been widespread disgust if a similar scandal had been exposed.

Spying on citizens and allies? That’s what the Soviet Union did.

But today, everything else is more important.

Transgender bathrooms. Silencing hate speech. Forcing elementary school children to feel guilty about their white privilege. Political correctness in extremis. #everyone-else-but-white-people’s-lives-matter.

This is what dominates the social conversation now in the Land of the Free.

Privacy is no longer a Western value.

After all, people narcissistically upload their entire lives to social media (as if anyone cares what they’re having for dinner) so that Mark Zuckerberg can auction off our details to the highest bidder.

And it is precisely this decline that I find most disturbing.

Some people hold the idiotic belief that, “If I have nothing to hide, I have nothing to fear.”

This is dangerous logic, for so many reasons.

Even the use of the word ‘hide’ is ridiculous… as if the fact that I don’t upload photos of my nether regions to Instagram means that I’m “hiding” something.

We all keep things private. It’s why we wear clothing, don’t discuss our personal finances in polite company, and worry when our social security number is stolen.

But more importantly, if it doesn’t matter that the CIA is monitoring people’s most intimate moments, then does anything matter?

They keep moving the line, probing deeper and deeper into our lives and enveloping the nation inside an Orwellian surveillance state.

And it doesn’t stop… because we’re in the midst of a complete breakdown of western values.
Marshall Sutherland
EU privacy watchdogs say Windows 10 settings still raise concerns

European Union data protection watchdogs said on Monday they were still concerned about the privacy settings of Microsoft's Windows 10 operating system despite the U.S. company announcing changes to the installation process.
Even my mom says Windows 10 still raises concerns.
Marshall Sutherland
I’ll never bring my phone on an international flight again. Neither should you.


A few months ago I wrote about how you can encrypt your entire life in less than an hour. Well, all the security in the world can’t save you if someone has physical possession of your phone or laptop, and can intimidate you into giving up your password.
Marshall Sutherland
This is a pitch for NextCloud, but it could just as easily be a pitch for Hubzilla.

Brexit and Trump should give you enough reason to move to your own cloud – Nextcloud

Nextcloud is an open source, self-hosted file sync and share and communication app platform. Access  & sync your files, contacts, calendars  & communicate and collaborate across your devices. You decide what happens with your data, where it is and who can access it!
Marshall Sutherland
Tomorrow is Data Privacy Day - Wikipedia
Data Privacy Day (known in Europe as Data Protection Day)[1] is an international holiday that occurs every 28 January.[2] The purpose of Data Privacy Day is to raise awareness and promote privacy and data protection best practices. It is currently observed in the United States, Canada, India and 47 European countries. Data Privacy Day's educational...
Marshall Sutherland
WhatsApp vulnerability allows snooping on encrypted messages

A security vulnerability that can be used to allow Facebook and others to intercept and read encrypted messages has been found within its WhatsApp messaging service.

Facebook claims that no one can intercept WhatsApp messages, not even the company and its staff, ensuring privacy for its billion-plus users. But new research shows that the company could in fact read messages due to the way WhatsApp has implemented its end-to-end encryption protocol.

Privacy campaigners said the vulnerability is a “huge threat to freedom of speech” and warned it could be used by government agencies as a backdoor to snoop on users who believe their messages to be secure.