Project by Brian House and Kyle McDonald is a Raspberry-Pi-powered lightbulb attachment that can listen into nearby conversations (which are then posted onto Twitter) - video embedded below:
Conversnitch is a small device that automatically tweets overheard conversations, bridging the gap between (presumed) private physical space and public space online.
Information moves between spaces that might be physical or virtual, free or proprietary, illegal or playful, spoken or transcribed.
The Conversnitch Twitter feed can be found here
"As you can see from the screengrab below, this week the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department is using LEEDIR to gather photos and videos from eyewitnesses of a chaotic street party in Isla Vista that led to over 100 arrests. Sheriff’s investigators hope the images they receive will allow them to ID more suspects. According to today’s announcement, agencies might typically retain uploaded content for a month or two, then delete it. But there’s no requirement to delete it, nor is there a guarantee of true anonymity for uploaders, though you do not have to provide your name."
Today investigative reporter Julia Angwin speaks to Fresh Air about her extreme efforts to erase her digital footprint. Part of that work involved developing a better understanding of what kind of data is out there and where it comes from. Here she explains data brokers:
"Data brokers began by compiling very simple information from the Yellow Pages, the White Pages and government directories. The property records in your state are publicly on file somewhere, the data brokers will go buy it and put it in their dossier. At the same time, your address is usually on-file [in] many places with magazines or newspapers you subscribe to. … Also the post office sells access to its change of address list.
What’s happening now in the digital era is that they’re adding to their files with all sorts of digital information, so they can find out about you, what you’re doing online, what you’re buying online. … So now these records that they have are getting much more precise. They’re no longer just being used to send you junk mail that you can throw away. Now they’re being used online as well to help places figure out who you are as soon as you arrive at their website. They can make an instant assessment by matching your online stuff to some of the online data…
I found out there are a lot of data brokers out there. It took me almost a month to compile a list, because there’s no real list of who are they all, and I was able to identify about 200 or so of them. Of those, very few were willing to let me see my data. It was about a dozen that would let me see my data: some of the bigger brokers, LexisNexis, Axium, and some very small outfits.
… What was shocking about it was that it ranged from incredibly precise — every single address I’d ever lived at including the number on my dorm room in college, which I couldn’t even remember … to very imprecise, inaccurate things … that were not at all true — that I was a single mother … with no college education living in a place I didn’t live.”
Angwin’s book is called Dragnet Nation: A Quest for Privacy, Security and Freedom in a World of Relentless Surveillance
graffiti by Banksy
#you are being watched
The document indicates the passenger tracking operation was a trial run of a powerful new software program CSEC was developing with help from its U.S. counterpart, the National Security Agency.
In the document, CSEC called the new technologies “game-changing,” and said they could be used for tracking “any target that makes occasional forays into other cities/regions.”
Sources tell CBC News the technologies tested on Canadians in 2012 have since become fully operational.
CSEC claims “no Canadian or foreign travellers’ movements were ‘tracked,’” although it does not explain why it put the word “tracked” in quotation marks.
#you are being watched
How the cops watch your tweets in real-time
Arstechnica’s Nate Anderson breaks down NSA programs like BlueJay – which provides real-time, geo-fenced access to every single public tweet so that local police can keep tabs on #gunfire, #meth, and #protest (yes, those are real examples) in their communities
Read the full story here.
CCC-TV - The Internet (Doesn't) Need Another Security Guide →
As Internet privacy/security professionals and amateur enthusiasts, we are often asked to give advice about best practices in this field. Sometimes this takes the form of one-on-one advice to our friends, sometimes it’s training a room full of people, and sometimes you may be asked to write a blog post or a brief guide or an entire curriculum. This talk will survey the current Internet privacy guide landscape and discuss the perils and pitfalls of creating this type of resource, using the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s Surveillance Self Defense project as a case study.
"Facial-recognition technology is quickly becoming a mainstay of commercial and government surveillance systems. While it can provide benefits in automation and security, it is also a threat to privacy. Sophisticated algorithms can already extract information about your gender, age and even mood from a single image, and then link those physical attributes to commercial or government databases."
-Face to Anti-Face
The most cyberpunk post on this website, possibly ever.
For future reference.
DIY Phone Signal Blocking Pouch
Instructions from the KILLYOURPHONE.COM workshops to create a simple tech privacy-focused pouch for your signal sending device:
The pouch has a very simple design. Of course you are invited make something more fashionable but this version is very easy to make and it works. Make it any size you want! (Tablet etc) To make it fit most common current smart phones I usually make the pouch 10 x 20 cm. IMPORTANT: What ever you do make sure you fold the material on all sides to make sure the radio waves can’t get through!!
Tutorial for a 10 x 20 cm pouch:
- Cut 12 cm stripes from your roll [HF+LF Shielding] blocking fleece.
- Make pieces of 50 x 12 cm, each for one pouch. (i.e. from a 1 m roll stripe you’ll get 2 pieces.)
- Fold your 50 x 12 cm piece in length to 25 x 12 cm
- Fold again the long sides, each 1 cm and pin them with needles.
- Sew two straight seams on the left and right side.
- Fold the opening at least 2 times! Find a paper clip or clamp to close the pouch.
The project also has a FAQ for doubters … you can check the project’s website with more valuable information here
*But… but WHY would I want to stick my beloved cellphone into a radiation-proof homemade Faraday sack?
*Because it’s constantly ratting you out to data-miners whether you touch it or not, that’s why:
Nearly 200 million text messages a day are being collected from people around the globe by the National Security Agency as part of a secret program called “Dishfire.” That’s according to a new report from The Guardian and the UK’s Channel 4 News service, aided by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden. As part of the program, so-called “untargeted” texts are collected then analyzed by a separate service called “Prefer,” which is capable of pulling together detailed reports for the agency. News of the program comes from an internal NSA presentation dated June 2011, which refers to SMS text messages as “a goldmine to exploit.”
"A GOLDMINE TO EXPLOIT"
Some of the information captured by the program includes names, phone numbers, and images, though other seemingly basic alerts offer a closer look at someone’s habits. Three such examples are texts from banks and other services about financial transactions, detailed meeting information from calendar invites, as well as messages from wireless phone carriers that are sent when borders are crossed. The program also kept track of missed calls, passwords, and information about SIM cards….