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 to Opt Out of Twitter's New Privacy Settings

Since Wednesday night, Twitter users have been greeted by a pop-up notice about Twitter’s new privacy policy, which will come into effect June …

Privacy

EFF Publishes "Pwning Tomorrow," a Speculative Fiction Anthology

<i>From Mary Shelley to George Orwell to H.G. Wells to William Gibson, science fiction has been the most enduring, most convincing way for artists to</i> …

Science Fiction

Snooper's Charter: Survey Finds Most UK Citizens Unaware Of Government Surveillance Capabilities

Citizens of the United Kingdom are worried about overreaching government surveillance, but seven in 10 remain unaware of the government’s ability to …

Surveillance

Here's a Chilling Glimpse of the Privacy-Free Future

The computers are watching.<p>Imagine if you lost your keys and instead of fishing around in the couch cushions, you could just pull out your phone and search for them. Just a quick, textual query with a quick response that they're on your desk, you doofus. This is not only possible; it's possible …

Privacy

A Stolen NSA Tool Is Being Used in a Global Cyberattack

The magnitude of the event shows the danger of insider threats to the U.S. intelligence community.<p>The shadow of ousted FBI director James Comey hung over the Senate Intelligence committee’s worldwide threat hearing yesterday. Like Banquo’s ghost in Macbeth, the presence of Comey’s absence was …

National Security Agency (NSA)

Investigatory Powers: 'Real-time surveillance' in draft update

Technology reporter<p><b>The "live" surveillance of British web users' internet communications has been proposed in a draft technical paper allegedly prepared by the government.</b><p>This, and the removal of encryption on content, would be made available under the Investigatory Powers (IP) Act, should the …

Surveillance

Hundreds of privacy-invading apps are using ultrasonic sounds to track you

Apps are using ad-tracking audio signals that your phone can hear, but you can't.<p>A new privacy-busting technique that tracks consumers through the …

Apps

The great British Brexit robbery: how our democracy was hijacked

A shadowy global operation involving big data, billionaire friends of Trump and the disparate forces of the Leave campaign influenced the result of the EU referendum. As Britain heads to the polls again, is our electoral process still fit for purpose?<p><i>“The connectivity that is the heart of</i> …

Censorship

Meet FlexiSpy, The Company Getting Rich Selling 'Stalkerware' to Jealous Lovers

How a small company in Thailand came to dominate the shady market of consumer spyware.<p><b>This story is part of</b> <b>When Spies Come Home</b><b>, a Motherboard series about powerful surveillance software ordinary people use to spy on their loved ones.</b><p>Atir Raihan likes to flash his cash. Bald, bulky Raihan poses in …

Security

everything is bad but you can make it less bad 101

online security for reporters (and everyone else) everything is bad but you can make it less bad 101

Russian Cybercriminals Are Loving Those Leaked NSA Windows Weapons

Microsoft said up-to-date Windows machines aren’t vulnerable to leaked tools said to have belonged to the National Security Agency, but as many as 150,000 who haven’t installed updates are now infected with the so-called DOUBLEPULSAR tool. (AP Photo/Raphael Satter)<p>It’s been little over a week and a …

Security

Over 36,000 Computers Infected with NSA's DoublePulsar Malware

DOUBLEPULSAR, one of the NSA hacking tools leaked last Friday by the Shadow Brokers, has been used in the wild by ordinary hackers, who infected over …

Information Security

Cybersecurity for the People: How to Protect Your Privacy at a Protest

Planning on going to a protest? You might not be aware that just by showing up, you can open yourself up to certain privacy risks — police often spy …

Cybersecurity

A Primer on DarkNet Marketplaces

In its investigative efforts against DarkNet marketplaces, the FBI—much like in our other criminal priorities—focuses its resources not on individual …

Security

US border searches of phones and laptops have almost doubled

A former Homeland Security official said the spike in device searches was a "conscious strategy" to use a loophole that allows agents to search …

Microsoft Office Hack: Exploit In Word Used By Government Hackers Against Russian Targets

A major security vulnerability in Microsoft Word that was patched yesterday was used by a group of government hackers to infect Russian victims with …

Information Security

WikiLeaks reveals Grasshopper, the CIA's Windows hacking tool

In case you haven’t had your dose of paranoia fuel today, WikiLeaks released new information concerning a CIA malware program called “Grasshopper,” that specifically targets Windows.<p>The Grasshopper framework was (is?) allegedly used by the CIA to make custom malware payloads. According to the user …

Information Security

Sen. Ron Wyden: Government Must Explain Why It Tried to Expose Twitter User

Only a day after Twitter revealed that it had received a summons from the Department of Homeland Security demanding identifying information about an …

A huge trove of patient data leaks, thanks to telemarketers' bad security

The data of almost a million patients with diabetes and other medical ailments has been secured.<p>A trove of records containing personal and health …

Twitter Does Something Right, Gets Government to Drop Attempt to Unmask “Alt” Gov Twitter Account

In the early days of the Trump administration, “alt” Twitter accounts quickly popped up, proclaiming to be run in secret by government workers in …

US drops request for identity of anti-Trump Twitter account

Twitter has dropped a lawsuit it filed against the US government, saying the government has withdrawn a summons for records about who is behind an …

Twitter drops lawsuit after government withdraws request to unmask anonymous Trump critic

Twitter has voluntarily dismissed its lawsuit against the Trump administration after the government withdrew its demand for the social network to …

Privacy

As Trump drops summons for Twitter records, here are all the 'alt' and rogue government handles you can follow

Twitter wanted to sue the U.S. government after the Department of Homeland Security sought records revealing the identity behind the rogue Twitter account "ALT_uscis". A lawsuit was filed by the social media giant on Thursday against the DHS, which has now been withdrawn after agency dropped …

U.S. Department of Justice

What should you think about when using Facebook?

<b>Courbet, The Winnowers</b><p>TL;DR: Facebook collects data about you in hundreds of ways, across numerous channels. It’s very hard to opt out, but by …

Facebook

It's Incredibly Easy to Figure Out Someone Else's Social Security Number

Today in identity fraud.<p>The way people talk about social security numbers would have you believe that keeping it a secret is vital. But, as CGP Grey explains in a new video, if someone is serious about stealing an identity via an SSN—assuming the card was issued before 2011—all they have to do is …

DARK NET, A WILDERNESS WHERE INVISIBLE WORLD WARS ARE FOUGHT AND HACKERS ROAM FREE

<b>I. THE BACK DOOR</b><p>His name is not Opsec, but I will call him that to guard his privacy. In webspace he is known as a grand master of the dark art of …

WikiLeaks’ latest release of CIA cyber-tools could blow the cover on agency hacking operations

WikiLeaks’ latest disclosure of CIA cyber-tools reveals a technique used by the agency to hide its digital tracks, potentially blowing the cover on current and past hacking operations aimed at gathering intelligence on terrorists and other foreign targets.<p>The release Friday of the CIA’s “Marble …

Security

I’ll never bring my phone on an international flight again. Neither should you.

A public domain image of a US Customs and Border Patrol agent in an airport.A few months ago I wrote about how you can encrypt your entire life in …

Privacy

Why political rebels love WhatsApp

MPs are increasingly turning to tech to coordinate political skulduggery, but their ignorance of encryption is a security risk<p>There are well-founded fears that few of the politicians tasked with devising legislation covering the use of encryption technology have any expertise in that field – and in …