Boing Boing 

FBI asserts right to monitor cell phones without a warrant

cell-tower

The Obama administration has already let people know they have "no reasonable expectation of privacy" when they use their cell phones, so it shouldn't be surprising that the FBI claims it has the right to install fake cell phone towers and "use them to track cell phones' locations and users while intercepting the contents of calls and texts."

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UK government tells nursery workers to turn in potential terrorist toddlers


They'll have to report 3-year-olds who are "at risk of radicalisation," according to a consultation document that the Home Office is pushing to turn into legislation.

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Bottom line: are humans sensors or things to be sensed?


A magesterial longread from Hans de Zwart of the Netherlands' Bits of Freedom steps carefully through all the ways in which the modern technological landscape focuses on ubiquitous surveillance for the purposes of social control and increased profitability for corporations.

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Citizenfour: all it's cracked up to be and more

I've been travelling continuously since September, and that means that despite my best efforts, I haven't been able to see Citizenfour, Laura Poitras's storied Edward Snowden documentary -- until last night.

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What's in the files the NSA dribbled out after its Xmas dump?


Patrick writes, "The NSA dumped its IOB reports on Christmas Eve, except that it was short 15 files, I pointed that out, next dump was silent but an additional 12 files, I pointed out the three missing files, and as of today, the three extra files were added, but the extra 3 files have a different naming convention."

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NSA can wiretap Skype wholesale

Another gem from the latest Der Spiegel NSA leaks: the NSA can listen in on all Skype traffic and read Skype messages, because Microsoft hands over its keys.

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FBI can secretly spy on Americans even if its useless oversight court says no


In theory, the FBi needs to get the FISA court to sign off on requests for secret warrants to spy on Americans -- in practice, it almost always rubberstamps those requests. But on the rare occasions when the FISA court says no, the FBI just gets a National Security Letter (AKA "the other secret warrant") and gets spying.

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NSA dumps incriminating documents on Christmas Eve


At 1:30pm on Christmas Eve, the NSA dumped a huge cache of documents on its website in response to a long-fought ACLU Freedom of Information Act request, including documents that reveal criminal wrongdoing.

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War on General Purpose Computers is the difference between utopia and dystopia


My Wired op-ed, How Laws Restricting Tech Actually Expose Us to Greater Harm, warns that we've learned the wrong lesson from the DRM wars: we've legitimized the idea that we can and should design computers to disobey their owners and hide their operations from them in order to solve our problems (and that we should protect this design decision by making it a felony to disclose flaws in devices, lest these flaws be used to jailbreak them).

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Algorithmically evolved masks that appear as faces to facial-recognition software


Sterling Crispin uses evolutionary algorithms to produce masks that satisfy facial recognition algorithms: "my goal is to show the machine what it’s looking for, to hold a mirror up to the all-seeing eye of the digital-panopticon we live in and let it stare back into its own mind."

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Sock-puppet- and traffic-analysis-resistant group conversation protocol

Dissent implements the Dining Cryptographers and Verifiable Shuffling algorithms to produce a group-conversation system that is resistant to traffic analysis. Feels like we're entering the second golden age of cypherpunk.

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UK cops demand list of attendees at university fracking debate


Canterbury Christ Church University refused to give the Kent police a list of the attendees at a debate on fracking, despite the cops insistence that they needed to have the names to assess "the threat and risk for significant public events in the county to allow it to maintain public safety."

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Over 700 million people have taken steps to improve privacy since Snowden


As Schneier points out, the way this is spun ("only 39% of people did something because of Snowden") is bullshit: the headline number is that more than 700 million people are in the market for a product that barely exists, and that could make more money than Facebook if you get it right.

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Power up! Donate to EFF now and double your donation!


EFF has secured a fund of matching grants -- all the donations that are made during the Power Up period are matched, dollar-for-dollar, doubling your donations!

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We know you love privacy, Judge Posner. We just wish you'd share.


As I wrote yesterday, 7th circuit judge Richard Posner's views on privacy (basically: "nothing to fear, nothing to hide" and "it should be illegal to made a phone the government can't search") are dismal and unsophisticated -- but they're also deeply hypocritical.

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Blackphone announces privacy-oriented app store


Blackphone, the Swiss-based, secure hardware/OS mobile phone from PGP inventor Phil Zimmerman has announced that it will provide a store with privacy-oriented apps that are sandboxed to minimize data-misuse.

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NYC theater overrules MPAA rating for Snowden documentary


Citizenfour, the acclaimed Laura Poitras documentary about Edward Snowden, has been given an R rating by the notoriously corrupt and opaque MPAA ratings board (see This Film Is Not Yet Rated).

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Judge Posner: it should be illegal to make phones the government can't search

Cory Doctorow on why privacy is about more than concealing crime—and why backdoors are inevitably available to everyone, not just people you trust.

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Spies can't make cyberspace secure AND vulnerable to their own attacks


In his Sunday Observer column, John Naughton makes an important point that's hammered home by the escape of the NSA/GCHQ Regin cyberweapon into the wild: spies who make war on the Internet can't be trusted with its security.

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Stats-based response to UK Tories' call for social media terrorism policing


David Cameron wants social media companies to invent a terrorism-detection algorithm and send all the "bad guys" it detects to the police -- but this will fall prey to the well-known (to statisticians) "paradox of the false positive," producing tens of thousands of false leads that will drown the cops.

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Irish government retroactively legalizes GCHQ surveillance revealed in Snowden docs

As reported by The Irish Times on Saturday, 6th December; "Foreign law enforcement agencies will be allowed to tap Irish phone calls and intercept emails under a statutory instrument signed into law by Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald."

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Senator Ron Wyden introduces a bill banning FBI backdoors


It's a legislative shot across the bow of the FBI, who are demanding back-doors in phones and other devices, claiming "children will die" unless our pocket supercomputers are designed to allow untrusted parties to secretly take them over.

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NSA leak reveal plans to subvert mobile network security around the world


The NSA's AURORAGOLD program -- revealed in newly released Snowden docs -- used plundered internal emails to compromise nearly every mobile carrier in the world, and show that the agency had planned to introduce vulnerabilities into future improvements into mobile security.

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Why journalists should be free speech partisans


Following on the New York Times's decision to continue its critical coverage of China, despite the Chinese government's retaliation against it, Dan Gillmor calls on journalists and news organizations to abandon the pretense of "neutrality" and take a partisan stand for free speech in questions of censorship, surveillance, net neutrality, copyright takedown, and other core issues of speech in the 21st century.

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Sweden awards Snowden the "Right Livelihood" award


The parliament gave him several standing ovations as he accepted by video-link from Moscow.

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Vodafone made millions helping GCHQ spy on the world


A newly released Snowden doc, published in the German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung, shows how Cable and Wireless (now a Vodafone subsidiary) made millions of pounds illegally installing fiber-taps to help GCHQ conduct its programme of mass surveillance.

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Essential reading: the irreconcilable tension between cybersecurity and national security


Citizenlab's Ron Diebert lays out the terrible contradiction of putting spy agencies -- who rely on vulnerabilities in the networks used by their adversaries -- in change of cybersecurity, which is securing those same networks for their own citizens.

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Glenn Greenwald: NSA-proofing your product is good for business


Just because Congress can't even pass minimal NSA reform, it doesn't mean that privacy is dead: American tech companies are NSA-proofing their services because customers are demanding it.

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TRAITORS

Alexander (R-TN), Ayotte (R-NH), Barrasso (R-WY), Blunt (R-MO), Boozman (R-AR), Burr (R-NC), Chambliss (R-GA), Coats (R-IN), Coburn (R-OK), Cochran (R-MS), Collins (R-ME), Corker (R-TN), Cornyn (R-TX), Crapo (R-ID), Enzi (R-WY), Fischer (R-NE), Flake (R-AZ), Graham (R-SC), Grassley (R-IA), Hatch (R-UT), Hoeven (R-ND), Inhofe (R-OK),

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Whatsapp integrates Moxie Marlinspike's Textsecure end-to-end crypto


It's the largest-ever deployment of end-to-end crypto, and assuming they didn't add any back-doors or make critical errors, this means that hundreds of millions of users can now communicate without being spied upon by governments, crooks, cops, spies or voyeurs.

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