Worried about the surveillance state? Well, it's time to worry even more. I'm sorry. This is bad news.Read More
Snapchat's latest concept will remind you of Google Glass, but that's the last thing they want.Read More
Four major technology coalitions have joined forces to write an open letter advising against a bill that would require companies like Apple, Google, and Facebook to allow the U.S. government to have access to encrypted data.Read More
Let's shed some light... on your secrets.
Remember comedian Kyle Ayers eavesdropping on and livetweeting a couple's breakup? Hilarious, yes, but ethical... hard to say. Well, any residual paranoia New Yorkers had left over from that fiasco is about to increase 1,000 fold: the city now has secret livetweeting lamps. Quick, everyone do a room check!Read More
Et tu, CVE-2014-0160?
We've only known about the Heartbleed threat since April 7th, but sources say the bug was no surprise to the NSA. In a violation of trust that may end America's remaining patience for irresponsible surveillance, the NSA kept the coding flaw a secret and left citizens vulnerable to threats from criminals and foreign intelligence agencies for years.Read More
Being a professional voyeur is stressful. Thanks to Edward Snowden, we now know that the NSA provided their employees with the guidance necessary to navigate the demands of their unique profession using a "Dear Abby"-style advice column. One frequent complaint? NSA spies were uncomfortable with constant surveillance in the workplace.Read More
We're mad as Hell, and we're not gonna take it anymore.
The Internet is tired of complaining about the NSA, but instead of taking the "just stop complaining about it" option, there's an Internet-wide day of activism today. So, if you want your Internet porn habits to stay private (or your personal phone records. Whatever), crank up "We're Not Gonna Take It" and read what they want you to do about it.Read More
The ability to constantly share everything, with people you've never met before, and you don't even know they're listening! Welcome to the future!
Do you like sharing on the Internet? Of course you do, it's what the Internet is for! But what if there was a service to let you share everything? Not just what you think is cool, but every site you visit and email you send, period. Good news -- there is! And the better news? You're already signed up for PRSM, the NSA's new social network.Read More
Dear NSA: I love bald eagles and America, I promise.
If you're paranoid and obsessive, not to mention prone to oversharing, there's a good chance you're a little concerned about this whole NSA surveillance thing. And it's not unlikely that you've been mentally running through every text, phone call, picture, email, and IM you've sent in the past, well, ever. But worry no more! The Guardian has developed a tool to see just how likely it is that the NSA cares about you. At all.Read More
What would be more unnerving to you -- that your government was keeping a running list of all the calls you made from your cell phone, or that your neighbor probably wouldn't have a problem with the policy? If it's that last one...well, we've got some bad news. A poll taken last week by the Pew Research Center and the Washington Post found that most respondents -- 56% to be exact -- found the NSA's phone record requisitions to be fair play.Read More
George Orwell's classic novel of a dystopian future is now a very popular guide to the world in which we live.
As news of government surveillance of private citizens continues to break, many people are looking for a convenient primer on living under the all-seeing eye of a totalitarian dictatorship. Granted, we're not there yet, but that hasn't stopped plenty of folks from preparing. For Amazon, that means that copies of 1984, George Orwell's bleak vision of a dystopian future, is positively flying off of digital shelves, shooting up a staggering 7,005% in popularity in the past few days.Read More
Germany's national railway is testing small surveillance drones to stop graffiti, because of course.
Germany is a country that takes its privacy very seriously. Google has had a number of problems with German privacy laws in the past, which is why it's surprising to see that the country's national rail system is considering using surveillance drones to stop people from vandalizing railway stations. When I say, "stop people," they'll just be gathering evidence as a preventative measure, not firing missiles at vandals or anything like that. At least not yet.Read More
Because berserk homeless people and the combined smell of the passengers' rancid body odor didn't make riding the bus enough of a horrible experience, government officials are currently in the process of installing surveillance devices to record any and all conversations during bus rides -- and we mean from everybody on board. The plan will be put into action in a number of major city transit hubs across the nation ranging from San Francisco, California to Baltimore, Maryland. Advocates say that this system of audio surveillance will aid in law enforcement and resolving service issues, but, frankly the public would probably rather not have the government hear their thoughts on last night's episode of American Horror Story.Read More
Search and surveillance has always been a part of criminal investigation and to keep things from going too far, searches generally require warrants. That's how it works in the physical world, and for the most part, that's how it works in the cyberworld too. There's one big difference though: In the real world, police sometimes come to your door with the warrant, letting you know something is up; whereas in cyberland searches and surveillance are secret by default. As such, many of those surveilled in investigations that never turn into cases will never know they were being watched. U.S. Magistrate Judge Stephen Smith sees this as a problem.Read More
Step one of achieving a dystopia is having the physical infrastructure to monitor large amounts of people at all times. Step two is having the software (or manpower I guess) to parse it all. A Japanese surveillance company has just made huge strides in that second part. The company, Hitachi Kokusai Electric, is just finishing development of a facial recognition system that, given enough footage, can scan and index around 36 million faces in just around 1 second. You'd need a pretty insane amount of footage before that calculation time became non-trivial.Read More
Consumer electronics giant Cisco is facing down a lawsuit brought by 11 members of the Chinese religious group Falun Gong which claim that the company was complicit in the Chinese crackdown on the religion. Founded in 1992, Falun Gong grew to massive popularity in China until it was outlawed by the government in 1999. Since then, members of the group have reportedly been the victims of numerous human rights abuses. The suit claims that Cisco competed forcefully for a contract with the Chinese government, knowing full well that their surveillance technology "Policenet" would be used to monitor and repress Falun Gong online activities. Falun Gong claims that as a result of Cisco's successful contract bid, over 5,000 members of their religion were arrested, possibly tortured or killed. Cisco has stated that they are not at fault, and will fight the suit "vigorously" in American courts. A Cisco representative has stated that the company operates no networks in China and followed U.S. export policies for technology and did not customize the Policenet system -- which Falun Gong refers to as "Golden Shield" -- in any way for use by the Chinese government. The suit was filed in San Jose, California, and there is no word as to when it is expected to go to trial. (CNET via Slashdot)Read More