Kategori surveillance

Australia passes controversial anti-encryption law that could weaken privacy globally

The Australian government has passed new legislation that would allow law enforcement authorities to force tech companies to hand over user information, even if it’s protected by end-to-end encryption (via BBC). The Assistance and Access Bill 2018 has been criticized by Apple as well as other technology companies and academics who argue that the legislation will weaken the data security of all Australians, with a reach that could jeopardize the data of companies, citizens, and societies around the world. Läs mer

“Utan kontanter går vi rakt in i en digital diktatur” – tidigare rikspolischef varnar för naivitet

Kontanterna spelar fortfarande en stor roll inom den gråa och naturligtvis också svarta ekonomin, men de elektroniska betalningssystemen föder nya former av brottslighet som belastar polisen. Nätbedrägerierna växer lavinartat och drivs ofta av internationella ligor.

– Det blir både lättare och svårare att tackla den här typen av ekonomisk brottslighet, berättar kriminalkommissarie Hannu Kortelainen vid Helsingforspolisen. Läs mer

Den frihet vi ger upp är svår att vinna tillbaka

Regeringens årliga sammanfattning av hur röstboskapet har buggats och avlyssnats är ingen munter läsning.

Lagar som stiftades i kampen mot terrorism används numera till att klara upp stölder i badhus. -/-

Den som tycker att utvecklingen inte är mycket att tjafsa om bör betänka att det finns mycket goda skäl till att våra grundläggande rättigheter har skyddats i lag och i internationella konventioner.


Can DuckDuckGo Become the Anti-Google?

”Recently, a privacy-oriented search engine called DuckDuckGo raised $10 million from a Canadian pension fund,” reports Marketplace.org, saying the privacy-focused search engine is ”trying to establish itself as the anti-Google.” An anonymous reader quotes their report:

”So it’s like Google, except when you search on it, you’re completely anonymous,” said Gabriel Weinberg, CEO of the company. The searches are encrypted. The site knows where you are, but only while you’re searching, and it doesn’t store your personal information. ”We serve you the search results and we throw away your personal information…so your IP address and things like that. And we don’t actually store any cookies by default. And so when you search on DuckDuckGo, it’s like every time you’re a new user and we know nothing about you…” Weinberg said about a quarter of Americans have taken some action to protect their privacy, and DuckDuckGo searches have been growing about 50 percent a year. Läs mer

’Do Not Track,’ the Privacy Tool Used By Millions of People, Doesn’t Do Anything

When you go into the privacy settings on your browser, there’s a little option there to turn on the ”Do Not Track” function, which will send an invisible request on your behalf to all the websites you visit telling them not to track you.


Yahoo and Twitter initially said they would respect it, only to later abandon it. The most popular sites on the internet, from Google and Facebook to Pornhub and xHamster, never honored it in the first place.


From the department of irony, Google’s Chrome browser offers users the ability to turn off tracking, but Google itself doesn’t honor the request, a fact Google added to its support page some time in the last year. […] ”It is, in many respects, a failed experiment,” said Jonathan Mayer, an assistant computer science professor at Princeton University. ”There’s a question of whether it’s time to declare failure, move on, and withdraw the feature from web browsers.” That’s a big deal coming from Mayer: He spent four years of his life helping to bring Do Not Track into existence in the first place.


Siri Shortcut Discreetly Records Your Police Encounters

Saying ”Hey Siri, I’m getting pulled over,” will have your iPhone pause music, turn down brightness, and start recording using the front facing camera. Its creator calls it the civilian equivalent of body cams.


The shortcut was developed by Robert Petersen, who told Business Insider that ”it seemed to me that if you’re getting pulled over it couldn’t hurt to have a recording of the incident … The police these days in many places have body cams, so this could be the civilian equivalent.”


Amazon, Apple Servers Completely Compromised by Chinese Hardware Backdoors

For years, security researchers have warned that unscrupulous hardware manufacturers or foreign governments could hijack the manufacturing process, installing backdoors into equipment that would be difficult to detect or stop. Now, we’ve caught the Chinese red-handed, and the fallout could be ugly.

An extensive report from Bloomberg details how Amazon’s investigation into deploying servers manufactured by Elemental Technologies led to the discovery of hardware backdoors smaller than a grain of rice. The chips had been hidden on Supermicro motherboards.

After discovering the chips in 2015, the government spent three years investigating the situation. They’ve determined that the hardware creates “a stealth doorway into any network that included the altered machines. Multiple people familiar with the matter say investigators found that the chips had been inserted at factories run by manufacturing subcontractors in China.”

Amazon, Apple Servers Completely Compromised by Chinese Hardware Backdoors

Amazons reply:

What if the Bloomberg story is true?

Hard(ware) questions about government hacking: what if the Bloomberg story is true?

Google Secretly Tracks What You Buy Offline Using Mastercard Data

Over a week after Google admitted the company tracks users’ location even after they disable location history, it has now been revealed that the tech giant has signed a secret deal with Mastercard that allows it to track what users buy offline.

Google has paid Mastercard millions of dollars in exchange to access this information.

Neither Google nor Mastercard has publicly announced the business partnership over allowing Google to measure retail spending, though the deal has now been disclosed by Bloomberg.


What Attorneys and Their Clients Need to Know About Windows 10 and Microsoft’s New Privacy Policies

August 1, 2015

In short, according to Zach Epstein of BGR.com, “Windows 10 is … spying on nearly everything you do.” According to Microsoft, its “consumer products, websites and services” collect information such as

  • your full name, email address, mailing address, and phone number
  • passwords and password hints
  • your age, gender, and occupation
  • the stocks you track
  • credit card numbers and security codes
  • “data about how you interact with [Microsoft’s] services,” such as “the features you use, the items you purchase, the web pages you visit, and the search terms you enter”
  • “data about your contacts and relationships” – but only if you use a Microsoft service “to manage contacts, or to communicate or interact with other people or organizations.” (I’m not sure there’s anyone using a Microsoft system who doesn’t use it to “communicate or interact.”)

It gets worse. Microsoft “collect[s] content of your files and communications” including “the content of your documents, photos, music or video…. It also includes the content of your communications sent or received using Microsoft services, such as the subject line and body of an email, text or other content of an instant message, audio and video recording of a video message, and audio recording and transcript of a voice message you receive or a text message you dictate.” Microsoft “systematically scan[s]” this content “in an automated manner…”

What Attorneys and Their Clients Need to Know About Windows 10 and Microsoft’s New Privacy Policies