Jacob Appelbaum of the Tor Project and Wikileaks addressed the European Parliament on the issue of surveillance and freedom. It was a remarkable speech, even by Appelbaum's high standards. An amateur transcript gives you a sense of what's going on, but the video is even better: "Is it used for coercion? Is data passed to autocratic regimes? Is it used to study groups? Is it used to disrupt? Yes, yes, and yes. Might they force or forge data? Absolutely."
When Obama says that we don't need to be afraid, first of all, it's insulting to every single one of you in the room. When he says to Americans "Don't worry, we don't spy on Americans." I think "What about every other human being on this planet?" And I apologize on behalf of my incredibly insulting President for saying that about each and every one of you, because that is not acceptable. He's also wrong, because in my experience with Wikileaks, Americans actually have more to be afraid of. The reason is that there is a system and culture of repression that is so total that in some cases, people will not pick up the phone to talk for fear of the meta-data linking that person to my telephone. So in the US I basically don't have a telephone that people know about. I have one for emergencies that is never powered on.
Is it used for coercion? Is data passed to autocratic regimes? Is it used to study groups? Is it used to disrupt? Yes, yes, and yes. Might they force or forge data? Absolutely. In fact, I've been detained at borders where they've let me know how utterly in trouble I was going to be but that they could not arrest me, which is a very fascinating thing. I'm not allowed to see this file, I'm not allowed to correct this file, I'm not allowed to know it. They've accidentally let me see the file while holding me in an interrogation cell. Their two-way mirror wasn't quite so good. In this case I said "hey, that data's wrong." They said "you can't see that data." I said "but I already did" They said "no, you didn't." "okay." So, clearly, someone makes mistakes, and whether or not it's an intentional mistake is a good question.
How do we detect this kind of surveillance? It's easy. Do you have a phone? You have a tracking device. You make a call? It was probably intercepted.
J. Appelbaum Speaks at Euro Parliament - Addresses issues of Privacy, Security, Encryption, Spying, and Govt Abuses of Journalists
In 2013, Lavabit — famous for being the privacy-oriented email service chosen by Edward Snowden to make contact with journalists while he was contracting for the NSA — shut down under mysterious, abrupt circumstances, leaving 410,000 users wondering what had just happened to their email addresses.
China is engaged in a bizarre dystopian experiment to use social network ratings to punish political dissidence, “antisocial behavior” and noncomformity, using data pulled from many sources, including purchases on China’s major ecommerce networks like Alibaba; but you don’t have to be the Chinese government to spy on people with an extraordinary degree of creepy […]
An apartment-dweller in Tver, Russia installed a video camera on his or her front door, looking out into the stairwell, then uploaded a compendium of amusing and/or interesting moments to YouTube. The neighbors seem generally hostile to surveillance, though some of them are in no condition to notice it. Google Translate suggests the following caption: […]
Looking to upgrade your weekend? Here are three randomly awesome products on my mind this week.#3 FRESHeBUDS Pro Magnetic Bluetooth EarbudsAs more and more phones and gadgets switch to Bluetooth-only compatibility, you’ll need to get Bluetooth headphones like the rest of us. I’ve been super impressed with these affordable magnetic headphones. Pull the magnetic earbuds apart to auto-connect […]
Traditional folding wallets are designed for paper bills—but these days, carrying cash is rarely a necessity. More often than not, I don’t carry cash at all. This Bogui Clik Wallet is the best answer I’ve found for avoiding the hassle of those tight-fitting credit card pockets.This attractive, minimalist wallet features a protective lip, so my cards don’t […]
Using my iPhone while it’s charging is always a hassle. With tucked-away outlets and the meager length of included lightning cables, comfortable scrolling while plugged in is annoying. These 10-Ft MFi-Certified Lightning Cables are super convenient and probably the best iPhone accessory purchase I’ve made.At over three times the length of normal cables, these reach anywhere you […]