Loss of Privacy

Keeping you informed on recent losses to privacy and civil rights worldwide.

Browsing Posts in Security

Known as Stingrays, the FBI has admitted to using cell phone towers to track you. Their usual response includes they must do this to catch terrorists, pedophiles and missing children.

The press conference actually occurred back in October, but the video didn’t surface until this weekend and hadn’t been reported on until the Charlotte Observer’s excellent investigation into the use of Stingrays by local police was published on Sunday.

Stingrays work by allowing police to track the movement of a suspect, and are often used without a warrant, which was recently declared unconstitutional by the Florida Supreme Court.

Comey also said that the agency has “nothing to hide” from “good people,” but that secrecy is important if Stingrays are going to be effective. Comey doesn’t note, however, that, in trying to track down any one “bad person,” the agency law enforcement necessarily tracks the locations of everyone within a wide geographic radius, thanks to the way the technology works.

The ACLU, meanwhile, has said that every year, millions of good people are getting wrapped up in a surveillance dragnet they didn’t ask to be involved in.

“The devices wrap up innocent people, which looks like a dragnet search that’s not legal under the Fourth Amendment,” Nate Wessler, a staff attorney for the ACLU, recently told me. “Even if they’re tracking a specific suspect, they’re getting info about every bystander. That’s a concern.”

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Security of users’ passwords should be at the forefront of every web developer’s mind. Tom takes us through the insecure ways in which some websites deal with passwords.

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FImcPiG

You can find the full 1,000 words at pastebin.

Word cloud generated with Wordle. Data from Mark Burnett.

Image source.

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President Obama is at Stanford University today, hosting a cybersecurity summit. He and about a thousand guests are trying to figure out how to protect consumers online from hacks and data breaches.

Meanwhile, in the cyber underworld, criminals are trying to figure out how to turn every piece of our digital life into cash. The newest frontier: health records.

Security experts say health data is showing up in the black market more and more. While prices vary, this data is more expensive than stolen credit card numbers which, they say, typically go for a few quarters or dollars.

More at NPR.

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From Schiphol Airport:

Schiphol regularly tries out new technologies as part of our ongoing commitment to innovation. Recently, we began using Google Glass in the terminal and outside on the airfield. By tapping into this innovative technology, we hope to both gain a better insight into the passenger experience and support operations at the airport.

Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport is one of the busiest in Europe. Airport authority officers are trialling Google Glass as a hands-free way to look up gate and airplane information.

The airport started its trial of Glass last month, and has developed a Glass app which lets staff ask the device for gate or aircraft data and have the results displayed via the headset or on their smartphone. Another future feature the airport hopes to implement is the ability to measure the placement distance of barriers on the taxiway just by looking at them, rather than officers having to manually take measurements. It goes without saying that that’s going to require a very thin margin of error.

The airport is not committed to Glass beyond trialling it at this point. Any decision about whether the face computers will become a permanent fixture on staff will be taken next year, it said.

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