Archive for November 2014

Banks using social media to assess loan applications

And so it begins. Totalitarian tiptoe, as David Icke describes it.

Australian banks have begun to use social media data (profiling) as a factor in their lending policies. I’m sure they’re not alone.

On one level this is an unsurprising development, but looking at it from a broader perspective, it is the beginning of deciding who get access to the banking system (i.e.  access to using electronic money) and who does not. The first example I came across of a bank emptying out someone’s account was Mark Phillips at the end of 1987 when he was rescuing his now wife Cathy O’Brien from her planned execution for a snuff film as she turned 30, at the end of her useful mind control programmed life as Presidential level slave. (They are not kept past 30, because the brain chemistry begins to change and the programming begins to break down – mid-life crisis, anyone?) It was probably not the first occasion and certainly not the last, but it serves to point out that the money you think is yours in your bank account is there at the whim of the banks. They can zero it out anytime they want.

Open Whisper Systems partners with WhatsApp to provide end-to-end encryption

WhatsApp has become perhaps the most widely used independent (read not Microsoft, Google, Yahoo, etc.) messaging system out there.

This exciting announcement tells us that the TextSecure encryption technology is being quietly rolled out inside the WhatsApp client. For example, it’s already in the Android client and many have been using it without even knowing their messages are now encrypted end-to-end.

There are several things that excite me about this announcement:

  • There have been security and encryption tools such as PGP around for years, but their usability sucks and most have not used them. This is changing, primarily courtesy of the revelations of Ed Snowden
  • These tools can be retrospectively added to existing applications where this a will and a desire to do so
  • TextSecure is public domain software, reviewed by anyone willing to pick it apart and shoot holes in it, as many have done, making it much, much stronger as a result
  • At the heart of this code is one Moxie Marlinspike (anyone guess he’s a keen sailor?), who is committed to making a difference in on-line communications security. The Internet world allows the dedication of one individual to make a huge difference when applied in the right way (this is not to diminish the rest of the wonderful crew at OWS working on their exciting, secure products such RedPhone for Android and Silent for iOS)

Thank you, Moxie. And be careful of the hypothermia…

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