Digital Lineups - Reason.com →
#social media mining
According to Jennifer Lynch, senior staff attorney with the EFF, the FBI plans to have as many as 52 million photos in its database by 2015. The system is designed to be capable of conducting tens of thousands of searches every day. Those 52 million images will include a planned 4.3 million faces photographed for non-criminal purposes and another million drawn from ill-defined sources. Searches will be run against all records in the database, no matter how they were obtained.
"This is a problem because we do not know what rules govern these categories, where the data comes from, how the images are gathered, who has access to them, and whose privacy is impacted," warns EFF’s Lynch.
Whatever the source of the images, there’s no guarantee they’ll be correctly matched to suspects. Last year, the Electronic Privacy Information Center extracted a separate set of documents from the FBI revealing that federal specifications on the Next Generation Identification system facial recognition software allow for tagging “an incorrect candidate a maximum of 20 percent of the time.”
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.