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

LabCorp Investigates a Potential Breach that Could Affect Millions

U.S. health diagnostics giant LabCorp has revealed that it detected “suspicious activity” on its network this past weekend, which disrupted its …

Cybersecurity

FBI director: Without compromise on encryption, legislation may be the 'remedy'

FBI Director Christopher Wray said Wednesday that unless the U.S. government and private industry are able to come to a compromise on the issue of …

Privacy

What is the Tor Browser? How it works and how it can help you protect your identity online

The Tor Browser is a web broswer that anonymizes your web traffic using the Tor network, making it easy to protect your identity online. If you're …

Privacy

California just passed one of the toughest data privacy laws in the country

California lawmakers passed one of the toughest data privacy laws in the United States today, as they faced pressure from an even stronger ballot measure in the state.<p>The California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018 is set to dramatically change how businesses handle data in the most populous state. …

Privacy

Thousands of Swedish citizens have adopted biochips over wallets

Biohacking is as lively as ever in Sweden, with thousands of citizens now opting for surgically implanted microchips to access their personal …

Personal Information

Encrypted Messaging Isn’t Magic

Encrypted communication used to be too complicated for mainstream use, but approachable apps like WhatsApp and Signal have become a no-brainer for …

In non-startling news, EFF says STARTTLS email crypto is mostly done wrong

And so it's trying to kick off an effort to fix that up, because security and privacy matterHaving successfully pushed for universal HTTPS Web …

Information Security

EFF has released STARTTLS Everywhere: free tools to encrypt email between mail servers

When you send someone else an email, your mail server connects to their mail server to transmit the message, and spy agencies have made a …

Information Security

Apple iOS Passcode Crack Revealed by Security Researcher. Watch the Exploit in Action

An iPhone can be unlocked with a virtual keyboard pretending to type lots of passcodes, a security researcher revealed Friday. By sending all …

iOS

Best encrypted messaging apps 2018 for Android

1. Signal<p>2. Telegram<p>3. WhatsApp<p>4. Silence<p>5. Facebook Messenger<p><b>Read on for our detailed analysis of each app</b><p>The proliferation of messaging apps across …

Welcome

On the 25th of May 2018 the GDPR was finally enabled. You might have gotten a couple hundreds of emails regarding this. But how does it look in …

Apple will update iOS to block police hacking tool

A new feature will protect against the GrayKey phone-cracking tool<p>For months, police across the country have been using a device called a GrayKey to unlock dormant iPhones, using an undisclosed technique to sidestep Apple’s default disk encryption. The devices are currently in use in at least five …

iOS

China wants to track citizens’ cars with mandatory RFID chips

The government says it will help track congestion, but it’s likely to become another surveillance tool<p>The Chinese government is readying a program that will make it possible to track citizens’ cars using RFID chips, according to <i>The Wall Street Journal</i>. The program, which will be voluntary at first …

Surveillance

Panic Pendants: Increasing School Safety

Children huddle in the dark under their desks, door locked. A teacher clutches her chest, having a heart attack. A student is injured on the …

If You Care About Data, Change These 15 Default Privacy Settings Right Now

Say no to defaults.<p>On the Internet, the devil's in the defaults.<p>You're not reading all those updated data policies flooding your inbox. You probably …

Alexa sent private audio to a random contact, Portland family says

One minute, you're relaxing at home discussing the merits of hardwood floors. The next, a contact is calling you and telling you you're being hacked.<p>That's how a family in Portland, Oregon, is describing their experience with Amazon's Alexa after the popular voice assistant reportedly sent audio of …

Alexa recorded a woman’s private conversation and sent it to a random contact

It’s every smart home speaker owner’s worst nightmare: a private message recorded and sent to a recipient without their knowledge. But that’s what happened to a Portland woman, who told CBS News affiliate Kiro-TV that her Amazon Echo recorded an audio clip of her conversation and sent it to a …

Amazon Echo

Getting a Flood of G.D.P.R.-Related Privacy Policy Updates? Read Them

You have probably noticed a flood of emails and alerts from companies in the last few weeks informing you about changes to their privacy policies.<p>Don’t ignore them.<p>Yes, there is a lot of legalese to wade through. But resist the temptation to immediately delete those emails or close the alerts right …

Orlando Police Testing Amazon's Real-Time Facial Recognition

<b>Updated at 4:35 p.m. ET</b><p>Tech companies are trying to sell police real-time facial recognition systems, which can track and identify people as they walk down the street. As NPR reported two weeks ago, American police have generally held off, but there's new evidence that one police department — …

Surveillance

Teen phone tracking app exposed thousands of Apple accounts

Parents understandably pour a lot of trust into apps that monitor their kids' activity. That makes it all the more painful when there's a lapse in security, and that's unfortunately the case today. Security researcher Robert Wiggins discovered that TeenSafe, a mobile app that lets parents track …

News crew discovers 40 cellphone-tracking devices operating around DC

An NBC investigative journalism team and a security researcher went wardriving around the DC area with a cell-site-simulator detector that would tell …

7 Essential Privacy Tips for When You Travel

American travelers took 2.25 billion domestic trips and 87.7 million international trips in 2017, according to statistics from the U.S. Travel …

How to delete your Google history

Like Facebook and Apple before it, Google has introduced a new user privacy policy to comply with a new European data privacy law -- General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) -- that goes into effect on May 25. Google's updated privacy policy makes it easier to understand what information it …

US cell carriers are selling access to your real-time phone location data

The company embroiled in a privacy row has "direct connections" to all major US wireless carriers, including AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, and Sprint -- …

Pele: Who is Hawaii's volcanic fire goddess?

As Hawaii endures a week-long eruption of the Kilauea volcano on the Big Island, some Hawaiians have an idea of who might be behind it all: Pele, the honored female deity of fire.<p>Who is Pele?<p>Pele is considered the Hawaiian fire goddess, and the daughter of Haumea, the earth mother.<p>According to …

Natural Disasters

Malicious Chrome extensions infect 100,000-plus users, again

Over two months, seven extensions stole credentials and installed currency miners.<p>Criminals infected more than 100,000 computers with browser …

Data Breaches Decline In Number, But Still Expose Billions Of Records: Study

Here’s some good news on cyber security: the number of data breaches totaled 685 in the first quarter of 2018 -- a four-year low, down from 1,444 in …

Severe Bug Discovered in Signal Messaging App for Windows and Linux

Security researchers have discovered a severe vulnerability in the popular end-to-end encrypted Signal messaging app for Windows and Linux desktops …

Google makes it easier to delete the search, browsing and viewing history it keeps on you

Google is making it easier to see the search, browsing and YouTube viewing history it keeps on you, to delete any items you don’t want included, and to stop the company from logging your activity in future …<p>It’s doing this to comply with new European privacy regulations, known as the General Data …