Boing Boing 

Edward Snowden, two years later: the world rejects surveillance

Writing in the NYT, Snowden celebrates the second anniversary of his disclosures by celebrating the "profound difference" in the surveillance debate since then.

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House easily passes further anti-surveillance amendments


The USA Freedom Act was a very timid curb on surveillance powers, but it was also the first time since the 1970s that Congress limited spies' powers -- and it won't be the last.

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There was a David Cameron who swallowed a fly...

In my latest Guardian column, I talk about the real danger from the UK Tories' plan to ban effective cryptography: not the initial mandate forcing companies to help spy on their users, but all the things we'll have to do when that doesn't work.

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Less than a day left to kill Paraguay's mass surveillance bill


Katitza from EFF writes, "Paraguay is at a vitally important digital civil liberties crossroads, and we're calling on all Paraguayans to help! "

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USA Freedom Act: the good, the bad, and what's next


With the sunsetting of Section 215 of the Patriot Act and the passage of the USA Freedom Act, Congress has, for the first time since the 1970s, put limits on the surveillance powers of America's spooks.

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Tim Cook says competitors violate users' privacy

slowness "We are the company that doesn't want your data," said the Apple CEO, in a "blistering" speech interpreted as an attack on Google and Facebook.

“Some of the most prominent and successful companies (in Silicon Valley) have built their businesses by lulling their customers into complacency about their personal information,” Techcrunch reported Cook as telling an audience in Washington. “They’re gobbling up everything they can learn about you and trying to monetize it. We think that’s wrong. And it’s not the kind of company that Apple wants to be.”

“We at Apple reject the idea that our customers should have to make tradeoffs between privacy and security,” Cook said. “We can, and we must provide both in equal measure. We believe that people have a fundamental right to privacy. The American people demand it, the constitution demands it, morality demands it.”

I've been wondering how long it would be before Apple would more explicitly begin to sell privacy. However bad it might sound, it says worse things about the other firms that Apple can turn user privacy into a competitive advantage.

For those among us who want privacy but aren't particularly tech-savvy, what are the credible alternatives to the proverbial "least-evil tech giant?"

Mass surveillance versus medicare

Jon Stewart's on fire here, asking why the same Republican politicians who stuck up for the Patriot Act's invasive state surveillance to save hypothetical American lives were so violently opposed to state-sponsored health-care on the grounds that the state had no business poking its nose into your private health matters.

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UN rapporteur sticks up for crypto and anonymity

Within days of David Cameron's Queen's Speech promise to ban the use of effective crypto in the UK, David Kaye, the UN special rapporteur for Freedom of Expression effectively called this a plan to make UK into a rogue state.

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Facebook rolls out new encryption features

Reuters


Reuters

An update rolled out today by Facebook allows users to post their public email encryption key on their Facebook profile, so others can encrypt future emails to that user. Here's the official blog post at Facebook.

More at CPJ:

Facebook profiles now have a field for PGP public keys--just like for phone numbers or email addresses. Uploaded keys can be shared as widely or narrowly as desired, just like other information on a Facebook profile. For journalists who use Facebook to connect with sources and disseminate, share, and comment on news, their profile will now indicate they are available for encrypted emails. The new feature will also make it easier to securely contact potential sources.

A sample display of the new encryption feature offered to users by Facebook.


A sample display of the new encryption feature offered to users by Facebook.

"Status update: Facebook users now have access to PGP encryption" and "CPJ welcomes Facebook move to add PGP encryption features" [Committee to Protect Journalists]

"Securing Email Communications from Facebook" [Facebook]

NSA can't legally surveil Americans' every phone call, for now. Thanks, Edward Snowden.

GARY CAMERON/REUTERS


GARY CAMERON/REUTERS

nsa-eagle_0

Today is a big day for privacy in the United States: each of us can now call our mom, our best friend, or a pizza delivery service without the NSA automatically keeping a record of who we called, when, and how long the conversation lasts.

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PATRIOT Act expires -- now what?

For the first time since its passage in 2001, Congress has declined to renew section 215 of the USA PATRIOT Act, which provided for mass, warrantless surveillance -- now what happens?

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How metadata compromises you

"It's only metadata," is the catch-all excuse for mass surveillance -- after all, if spies aren't capturing what your message says why should you care if they're getting who sent it, what its subject line is, where you and the sender are, and everything you do before and after receiving the message?

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Ron Wyden and Rand Paul kill the Patriot Act (ish)


After an all-night session, Rand Paul [R-KY] and Ron Wyden [D-OR] tag-teamed majority leader Mitch McConnell [R-KY] and beat him to the mat -- he has abandoned the current legislative effort to extend section 215 of the Patriot Act, which authorizes mass surveillance and is set to expire on June 1.

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Which Colombian ISPs keep your data private?


Karen from the Electronic Frontier Foundation writes, "EFF is teaming up with groups in Latin America to take our 'Who Has Your Back' report international!"

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danah boyd explains student privacy bills

"The conversation is constructed as being about student privacy, but it’s really about who has the right to monitor which youth".

Eric Shit is a portrait of Eric Schmidt painted in an unorthodox medium

ericschmidt

Google CEO Eric Schmidt, famous for weirdly off-kilter mockery of the privacy his company exploits for its billions, has been immortalized in shit.

Artist Katsu selected "Eric Shit" as the second in his series of portraits created using his own excrement. The first was of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg.

Techcrunch's Kim-Mai Cutler interviewed Katsu, who explained that his process is born in a fascination with the artistic possibilities of human-produced materials…

… But it’s really about bio-data. These titans of the cloud, are like, basically in competition to control every bit of granular data about individuals. That’s what makes their companies so powerful. They understand that human data has this immense value and they’re shielding and hiding that from the public. Maybe feces is the last thing that they could possibly control.

Here's a video of the artwork (demonstrating its LED-flashing frame) posted by alexaspace (via The Verge's James Vincent). ericshit

Today's terrifying Web security vulnerability, courtesy of the 1990s crypto wars

The Logjam bug allows attackers to break secure connections by tricking the browser and server to communicate using weak crypto -- but why do browsers and servers support weak crypto in the first place?

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