Surveillance State, Privacy & Citizenship

By Wesley Fryer | Articles and thoughts relating to our modern surveillance state (government and corporate) as well as privacy and citizenship. by @wfryer

How An Entire Nation Became Russia's Test Lab for Cyberwar

<b>The clocks read</b> zero when the lights went out.<p>It was a Saturday night last December, and Oleksii Yasinsky was sitting on the couch with his wife and …

Cybersecurity

How to check if your Windows antivirus will block Microsoft’s Meltdown-Spectre fix

Earlier today we showed you everything you need to do to patch your mobile devices and other computers against the Meltdown-Spectre chip …

Information Security

Microsoft releases PowerShell script to check if your PC is vulnerable to Meltdown and Spectre

In the wake of the Meltdown and Spectre chip bug revelations, people around the world are wondering whether or not they are affected. Bearing in mind …

Linux

Here's what every Chrome user should do in the wake of #Spectre

The new year kicked off with a bang on Jan. 3 when security researchers revealed two major software vulnerabilities that affect, to some extent, most …

Google

“Meltdown” and “Spectre”: every modern processor has unfixable security flaws | Ars Technica

Immediate concern is for Intel chips, but everyone is at risk.<p>Windows, Linux, and macOS have all received security patches that significantly alter …

Information Security

The inventor of Linux is furious at Intel

• <b>Techies are going crazy after "Meltdown" and "Spectre," two new methods for stealing passwords, were revealed by Google on Thursday.</b>• <b><br>The flaws affect nearly every single Intel processor.</b>• <b><br>This makes Linus Torvalds, the inventor of Linux, furious at the chip giant.</b>• <b><br>Torvalds asks: "Is Intel basically</b> …

Linus Torvalds

How to protect your PC against the major ‘Meltdown’ CPU security flaw

Everything we know so far<p>Details have emerged on two major processor security flaws this week, and the industry is scrambling to issue fixes and secure machines for customers. Dubbed “Meltdown” and “Spectre,” the flaws affect nearly every device made in the past 20 years. The Meltdown flaw …

Information Security

How Antivirus Software Can Be Turned Into a Tool for Spying

It has been a secret, long known to intelligence agencies but rarely to consumers, that security software can be a powerful spy tool.<p>Security software runs closest to the bare metal of a computer, with privileged access to nearly every program, application, web browser, email and file. There’s good …

Anti-Virus Software

The man who can't face the internet

Earlier this month, Facebook announced it would be using facial recognition to let users know every time a photo of them had been uploaded to the site.<p>Such a feature would be extremely useful to one man - public-relations professional Jonathan Hirshon, who has managed to stay anonymous on the …

Privacy

Privacy Complaints Mount Over Phone Searches at U.S. Border Since 2011

WASHINGTON — They spoke of being humiliated and shaken. They described being “made to feel like a criminal.” And they maintained that their rights had been violated.<p>Grievances over lost privacy run through a trove of roughly 250 complaints by people whose laptops and phones were searched without a …

Privacy

Snowden's New App Turns Your Phone Into a Home Security System

Your digital security, any sufficiently paranoid person will remind you, is only as good as your physical security. The world's most sensitive users …

Edward Snowden

Facial recognition at US airports becoming routine, researchers warn | Ars Technica

Prof asks: “We’re wondering if this is the best use of a billion dollars?”<p>Georgetown University researchers have released yet another report warning …

Surveillance

Massive leak exposes data on 123M US households

An unsecured database contained a wide range of personal details about virtually every American household, researchers say.<p>A massive database containing information on more than 123 million American households was discovered unsecured on the internet earlier this month, researchers said Tuesday.<p>The …

Security

Cyber Security in the Mobile Space

As more and more technology is packed into the mobile phone, the potential for security breaches simultaneously increases. Although the exact methods …

Privacy

Alexa, Is Amazon Taking Over The World?

This week, the tradeoffs we don’t see when we shop on Amazon. How the company’s dominance from retail to web hosting could create a dystopia of social profiling. Why the answer isn’t to cancel your Prime. And yes, I test drive the Amazon Look so you don’t have to.<p>Amazon is the new Standard Oil, the …

Viral

The FCC Is Blocking a Law Enforcement Investigation Into Net Neutrality Comment Fraud

In addition, the agency told me there was nothing it could do after someone hijacked my identity to claim I falsely supported killing net neutrality protections.<p>The FCC is blocking a law enforcement investigation into fraudulent comments designed to provide bogus support for the agency’s looming …

Net Neutrality

How Email Open Tracking Quietly Took Over the Web

"I just came across this email," began the message, a long overdue reply. But I knew the sender was lying. He’d opened my email nearly six months …

Privacy

Google lifts lid on FBI data requests: Now you can read actual letters online

Google publishes all the National Security Letters on its Transparency Report that it's been cleared to disclose.<p>Google has expanded the National …

Fake news and botnets: how Russia weaponised the web

The digital attack that brought Estonia to a standstill 10 years ago was the first shot in a cyberwar that has been raging between Moscow and the west ever since<p>It began at exactly 10pm on 26 April, 2007, when a Russian-speaking mob began rioting in the streets of Tallinn, the capital city of …

Oops. Another 39 #Txed Schools Suffer Data Breach #cybersecurity

Do you have kids enrolled in a school district? It wouldn't hurt to ask that district, "How are you safeguarding my child's personally ident...

This Is How to Safely Surf the Internet

With data breaches like the Equifax hack becoming more common, investing in your online privacy has never been more critical. And let’s be real: that …

The US could be on the verge of dismantling digital privacy as we know it

When Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor Stuart Madnick teaches his class on the ethics of cybersecurity, he begins by polling his students on whether they highly value privacy. Year after year, the results are consistent: nearly all of his students agree.<p>Then, he polls them on whether …

The Motherboard Guide to Avoiding State Surveillance

A straightforward guide to privacy, messaging, and keeping yourself safe from passive and active surveillance.<p><i>This is excerpted from the Motherboard Guide to Not Getting Hacked, our comprehensive guide to digital security. We recommend you read that entire guide if you are generally looking to</i> …

Researchers craft Android app that reveals to find horrific menagerie of hidden spyware; legally barred from doing the same with iOS

Yale Privacy Lab and Exodus Privacy's devastating report on the dozens of invasive, dangerous "trackers" hidden in common Android apps was generated …

Privacy

Extreme digital vetting of visitors to the US moves forward under a new name | Ars Technica

ICE invited tech firms to make algorithms that will track immigrants’ social media.<p>This article originally appeared on ProPublica on November 22, …

Once you have a student's name, birthday and SSN, the US Department of Education will give you EVERYTHING else

The US Department of Education's Free Application for Federal Student Aid program requires any student applying for federal aid for college or …

What Amazon Echo and Google Home Do With Your Voice Data

Amazon Echo and Google Home—and other devices that have Alexa and Google Assistant built in—are some of the most promising new technologies to come …

Amazon

A Conversation with Giovanni Buttarelli about The Future of Data Protection: setting the stage for an EU Digital Regulator

The nature of the digital economy is as such that it will force the creation of multi-competent supervisory authorities sooner rather than later. …

Privacy

More than 480 web firms record 'every keystroke'

<b>Hundreds of web firms are tracking every single keystroke made by visitors, a study from Princeton University has suggested.</b><p>The technique - known as session replay - is used by companies to gain an understanding of how customers use websites.<p>More than 480 websites used the technique, according to …