Posts tagged with: privacy
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    All of us are born with certain "natural rights" - rights which are are not dependent on the laws, customs, or beliefs of any particular culture or government, and are therefore universal and inalienable. Among those are the right to privacy, of which I'm an advocate. Since the world's governments aren't doing a very good job respecting privacy (let alone protecting it like they should be), the responsibility falls to us, individually. Thankfully, technology gives us the tools we need to build solutions that will help deter all but the most determined parties from invading our ...

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    The iPhone belonging to a confessed drug dealer in Brooklyn has been cracked into. But it wasn't opened with the zero-day exploit that the FBI purchased supposedly from a gray hat hacker. Someone else just knew the passcode for the iPhone. Prosecutors in the case said that an unidentified person turned in the code. The Justice Department had been requesting for Apple's assistance in opening up the iPhone, running iOS 7, for months. This case pre-dates the San Bernadino debacle that brought the nation face-first into a public debate about privacy, security and encryption. The drug dealer ...

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    If you're in Canada and you don't want the Royal Canadian Mounted Police peeping through your BlackBerry's content, get rid of it. Chances are, if that phone's not for business, the agency has a way to get into it — likely thanks to BlackBerry. An investigation lead by Motherboard and Vice tells of "over one million" BBM messages obtained and then read by breaking BlackBerry's standard end-to-end encryption. The messages were used to pin down suspects of a mafia-related murder in Montreal. The company uses a "global encryption key" on all of its devices while corporate phones pass ...

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    Last week, an item came across our news desk which started the little hamster in my brain a-runnin’. Congresswoman Jackie Speier wants to close the “burner phone loophole” and require cheap, prepaid phones to be registered at the point of sale, which is sure to upset Hollywood scriptwriters throughout the entire city. Essentially, these low-cost, pre-paid cell phones would no longer be anonymous devices to be thrown casually into the trash after mocking local law enforcement. Rather they’d be a CSI: Cyber dream come true as they would all have a name, and presumably Social ...

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    Oh, how it must sting that Apple needs law enforcement cooperation now, after so many adamant refusals of its own assistance in a very delicate and complex terrorist attack investigation! But hands down the most ironic thing about this point of Cupertino’s FBI dispute is the intelligence service can’t be compelled to disclose the hacking technique used on Syed Farook’s iPhone 5c. Tim Cook could always sue, which would be even more ironic, and argue a so-called “Vulnerabilities Equities Process” applies here. Unfortunately, that’s not exactly an official or legal act, but rather ...

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    All’s well that ends well. But has the colossal Apple – FBI squabble on delicate matters like device encryption, data protection and counter-terrorism efforts really ended well for both parties involved? At least one? Not exactly, and ultimately, this long, contested battle will probably go down in the history books as a tie. On one hand, the Cupertino-based tech giant stood its ground against the US Department of Justice, and evaded any definitive laws passed in Congress forcing it to comply with court orders in cases of private information extraction from iDevices. On the other, law ...

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    More users than ever are concerned with their mobile privacy these days, taking steps to secure their data like encrypting phone storage, running VPNs, and being mindful about what kind of personal data they voluntarily share with the companies behind apps and services. All that may be well and good, but at the end of the day you're still carrying around what's essentially a mobile tracking device registered in your name – pretty much the worst nightmare of any privacy-minded folk. The desire to separate your phone service from your identity has led to the proliferation of so-called ...

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    If you perhaps wondered why US law enforcement insists so many iPhones seized in serious crime investigations be unlocked by Apple, with little to no mention of similar requests for Android handhelds, it turns out it’s not because iGear is more popular among criminals. Granted, government-funded institutions like the San Bernardino County Department of Public Health tend to distribute iPhones as work equipment to their employees, which indirectly led to the huge controversy regarding the Syed Farooq-owned 5c. Yes, the FBI’s access to data stored on the infamous device could have been ...

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    As a presidential candidate that prides himself on “telling it like it is”, as well as his ‘uge dingus, Donald Trump has sure been caught lying a lot lately. Trump University is under scrutiny, and so was the Republican front-runner’s knowledge of David Duke and the former KKK Grand Wizard’s anti-Semitic views in recent weeks. On a much lighter note, Tim Cook should probably be relieved to hear the controversial but surging politician couldn’t stay away from his iPhone for more than a few weeks. Remember the Apple boycott he randomly pleaded for during a rally back in February ...

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    The FBI, San Bernardino County District Attorney, the local Police Department and all their highly-placed politician supporters have never been able to provide a very compelling argument for why a specific iPhone 5c owned by a terrorist needs to be decrypted. Until Friday, that is, when San Bernardino Police Chief Jarrod Burguan made a fairly solid case for the unlocking of the device for the sake of clarity. Clarity regarding the number of December 2, 2015 assailants. According to Burguan, “the majority” of surviving witnesses testified to seeing or hearing only two Inland Regional ...

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    While owners of low-cost Fire tablets aren’t routinely characterized as extremely tech-savvy, and Amazon’s argument for ditching full disk encryption probably held up, the timing of the security-shrinking move wasn’t the wisest. Even if no one actually uses the feature, it feels weird to just give it up voluntarily, without so much as a heads up, when other companies’ execs are literally risking their freedom to protect it on every single iDevice around. But ultimately, Amazon appears to have listened to the voice of reason (and public scrutiny), yielding to the numerous security ...

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    Although it’s probably far from settled, the legal battle between Apple and the FBI over a specific iPhone’s encryption but actually way more than that already provoked all the feelings. You may have started off somewhere in the middle, understanding the stances of both involved parties, and you likely groaned at Trump’s boycott pleas, shed a tear as a San Bernardino survivor’s husband announced his unlikely support for Cupertino, and laughed when an iPad Pro froze in front of Congress. While it’s virtually impossible now to maintain a neutral position concerning the privacy war ...

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    After several weeks of heated controversy, heavy accusations of Apple support for terrorism, and counter-accusations of the public’s violation of privacy by the FBI, the most important encryption dispute ever has finally reached the US Congress. Before it can be decided if legislature must be passed to back tech companies or law enforcement organizations in similar cases in the future, the two parties offered their arguments yesterday, with Bruce Sewell obviously taking on central deposition duties for Apple. Sewell has been Cupertino’s general counsel and senior vice president of ...

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    Various polls conducted on the heels of Apple’s refusal to comply with a court order and assist the FBI in decrypting an iPhone 5c potentially containing information relevant to the San Bernardino shooting investigation have perhaps surprisingly shown most Americans don’t share Tim Cook’s stance on privacy. But even as all remaining Republican presidential candidates and miscellaneous public institutions turn up the heat on Apple to give up security for this “particular” device, the tech giant’s opposition is unflinching. More so after an unexpected favorable New York district ...

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    When Apple was ordered to help assist the US government in decoding an iPhone 5c that belonged to the San Bernardino mass shooter, CEO Tim Cook was quick to type up and publish a response against the thrust of that court ruling. But it didn't file a formal response to the order. The federal magistrate judge overseeing the case said Apple had five business days to respond. According to two anonymous sources, instead of next Tuesday, February 23, the company is reportedly getting until Friday the 26th to compose its arguments. Three days may not seem like much time, but it's all the extra ...

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    California and New York are working on bills that would prohibit (or severely restrict) encryption on phones. Why is encryption so important, and why are encryption laws that prohibit your ability to secure your devices and data such a bad idea? Back before these United States of America were recognized as a country, we were colonies of Great Britain. Pilgrims to the Americas were typically fleeing governmental or religious oppression, seeking a new start is a far-off land, free from the shackles and scrutiny of over-reaching governments and tyrants. That was a long time ago, and what ...

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    Since the world’s largest online social networking service insists on its users declaring their real names upon opening an account, you’d think Facebook is generally opposed to privacy-protecting software like Tor. But anonymous browsing, communication and socialization has been permitted on desktops for close to two years now, and up next, FB intends to let Android enthusiasts do the same. For the time being, you’ll need to jump through a few hoops to get The Onion Router protocol up and running on your phone, and also keep your expectations low regarding the service’s stability ...

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    Device security and data privacy have long been a part of CyanogenMod’s open-source, customizable and continuously improving Android vision, although running a CM nightly build can often be risky from a number of standpoints. More so now that WhisperPush capabilities are disabled in Marshmallow-based CM13, unless you opt for the equally secure Signal app Edward Snowden himself commended in the recent past. In case you weren’t aware, WhisperPush was integrated into CyanogenMod starting way back in December 2013 to ensure your text messages were always encrypted and no outsider had ...

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    It’s no longer just the UK government that wants backdoors implemented into all of today’s smartphones for “safety” and terrorism-opposing reasons, as soon enough, New Yorkers may not be able to buy or lease fully encrypted handhelds in the fourth-most populous American state anymore. If a piece of legislation currently in debate at the NY state assembly is ultimately passed, “any smartphone that is manufactured on or after January First, Two Thousand Sixteen, and sold or leased in New York, shall be capable of being decrypted and unlocked by its manufacturer or its operating ...

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    "If you don't have anything to hide, why do you have curtains on your bedroom window?" - Anonymous Privacy, in these United States, is a fundamental Civil Right. Specifically, the Fourth Amendment enshrines that no unreasonable searches shall be performed without a warrant. This protects individuals from being targeted because of their beliefs, whether those are religious, political, ethnic, cultural, or anything else. As much as we'd like to deny that sort of targeting exists, history shows us that the British used unlawful searches to single out and victimize Colonists based on their ...

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    Every few seconds, your phone transmits information about your location and antenna status to cell towers in the area. Devious hooligans can siphon traffic and spoof protocols to steathily record your phone's data. The Department of Homeland Security has a different way of collecting lots of data: essentially sending a flying "stingray" (also called a "dirtbox") to act as a cell tower and track phone owners' locations and general identifying attributes. Not as insidious as the former method, but these "dirtboxes" have been flying as part of a secret spy program for seven years. A House ...

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    This is the place where you and only you can listen to every single request you made. Well, supposedly. And if supposedly is what you're worried about, read on to find out how to protect yourself. Each utterance of "OK Google," every tap of that red mic icon, your phone records a clip of you saying whatever you're saying (savory or not). It then sends it off to Google's servers to process your command and deliver your results (desired or not). It also keeps that clip in your Google Voice & Audio Activity log. Of course, Google would like to keep these seconds-long files around to hone ...

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    We've spent hours on the subject of data transmission security and device security on this site. We've reviewed BlackBerry after BlackBerry and a Blackphone, too — with another one out there that we'd might want in our review labs. A lot of us treasure hiding data from our adversaries and our nightmares, whoever or whatever they are. But in the case of smartphone encryption, you could end up causing a nightmare for if not yourself, then your family and the people that would fight for you. Let's be clear that the majority of smartphones encrypted and picked up by law enforcement come from ...

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    The pager has long been outshined by the smartphone in terms of usefulness in the hospital. After all, you can send pictures to the people who need them. But the fact that SMS and MMS missives are work- and immediacy-friendlier than emails or web-based messengers means that the data doctors and nurses trade isn't encrypted and not that secure. A survey just published in peer-reviewed journal BMJ Innovations focuses on nurses' and doctors' usage of smartphones in five hospitals at a London NHS Trust. About 98 percent of doctors and 95 percent of nurses responding said that they own a ...

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    The recent power move of Verizon acquiring AOL — one of a few major moves in the telecom industry — is now producing consequences for data privacy hawks and Verizon's advertising coffers. And whether or not Verizon Wireless customers know it or like it, they're all involved in the process. The AOL Advertising Network, which collects information from traffic from its sites and other vendors using AOL's services, is merging with Verizon's ad services. Here's what Verizon and AOL are already gathering: postal address email address very specific parameters about your "mobile web ...

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