Archive for February 2014

Kim Dotcom: Leaks by Snowden Highlight Need for Privacy in Digital Age

I have commented previously on the naivety of the MPAA going after Kim Dotcom to make an example of him in their piracy wars. This interview from last year further illustrates this point.

Pope Francis to face Trial March 31, 2014

Sometimes the rate at which the complex, hidden ball of wax we take to represent power and truth in our world is unravelling to reveal the ugly truth can be almost overwhelming – but unravelling it is, albeit mostly not in the public eye.

Here is a further release from Kevin Annett regarding action against Pope Francis for his role in child trafficking in Argentina; but for me the most interesting is those forces representing QEII looking at going after Kevin. I find his plan to approach the United States for protection from these efforts to be naïve in the extreme.

Selling Your Secrets

This article provides an excellent overview of the security and privacy exposures we all have, courtesy of the NSA and private players serving their and other interests. I quote:

Over the last eight months, journalists have dug deep into these documents to reveal that the world of NSA mass surveillance involves close partnerships with a series of companies most of us have never heard of that design or probe the software we all take for granted to help keep our digital lives humming along.

There are three broad ways that these software companies collaborate with the state: a National Security Agency program called “Bullrun” through which that agency is alleged to pay off developers like RSA, a software security firm, to build “backdoors” into our computers; the use of “bounty hunters” like Endgame and Vupen that find exploitable flaws in existing software like Microsoft Office and our smartphones; and finally the use of data brokers like Millennial Media to harvest personal data on everybody on the Internet, especially when they go shopping or play games like Angry Birds, Farmville, or Call of Duty.

Of course, that’s just a start when it comes to enumerating the ways the government is trying to watch us all, as I explained in a previous TomDispatch piece, “Big Bro is Watching You.” For example, the FBI uses hackers to break into individual computers and turn on computer cameras and microphones, while the NSA collects bulk cell phone records and tries to harvest all the data traveling over fiber-optic cables. In December 2013, computer researcher and hacker Jacob Appelbaum revealed that the NSA has also built hardware with names like Bulldozer, Cottonmouth, Firewalk, Howlermonkey, and Godsurge that can be inserted into computers to transmit data to U.S. spooks even when they are not connected to the Internet.

“Today, [the NSA is] conducting instant, total invasion of privacy with limited effort,” Paul Kocher, the chief scientist of Cryptography Research, Inc. which designs security systems, told the New York Times. “This is the golden age of spying.”

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