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General Category => Blog => Topic started by: kat on February 05, 2010, 12:16:31 PM

Title: Terrorism, web sites, games and privacy (anonymity)
Post by: kat on February 05, 2010, 12:16:31 PM

The UK Gov have launched a new web site (https://reporting.direct.gov.uk) that lets citizens  report suspicious activities on the Internet, all in the name of stopping the boogeyman of the moment, "terrorism (http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/CrimeJusticeAndTheLaw/Counterterrorism/DG_183993)" (actually 'terrorist', 'extremist' and 'hate' material online). Under Section 3 (http://www.opsi.gov.uk/ACTS/acts2006/ukpga_20060011_en_2) of the Terrorism Act 2006 (http://www.opsi.gov.uk/ACTS/acts2006/ukpga_20060011_en_1) (amendments to Terrorism Act 2000?) it's an offense to, amongst other things, "indirectly encourage the commission or preparation of acts of terrorism". This then begs the question, how do games like Modern Warfare, Rainbow Six, and a million other 'US vs Evil terrorist' games fit into that? Not only are they indirectly 'promoting' terrorism, but it's something that's positively profitable! Then there's the web sites... oh no and the communities, forums harbouring brainwashed acolytes ready to risk it all... online, PvP. All those subversive gamers  talking about weapons and blowing things up, that can't be good.

OK, I'm being facetious for the sake of making a point about how open ended, far reaching and broad spectrum this all is. For instance, I was watching Myth Busters clips the other day, the episode when the guys experimented with thermite (off-topic: interesting that Google spell checker doesn't know that word.. yeah right! .Ed), they actually show, or at least 'tell', viewers how the stuff is made - aluminium and iron oxides. Under the broad sweeping criteria afforded this new initiative for reporting 'terrorist' material online, that video, and all the related videos that crop up as a results of it, are illegal. And so too, believe it or not, would be web site related to games like Modern Warfare; remember all that hoo haa about the airport 'terrorist' scene? You guessed it, because it indirectly promotes and/or glorifies acts of terrorism it's technically illegal to have clips of it online. Thank god for the First Amendment.. oh wait, we don't have that in the UK.

It would seem 'they' are coming for your internetz! (more on this to come).

Quick links to interesting posts (latest at top)

(Some posts have be moved to their own dedicated topic for better discussion. Update booksmarks as needed. kat)

- "Muslim blood is cheap" or "why can't we play as terrorists, part II" (http://www.katsbits.com/smforum/index.php?topic=865.0)
- "Just shoot the Aayrabs" or "why can't we play as terrorists" (http://www.katsbits.com/smforum/index.php?topic=866.0)
- Apple, Court Orders, the FCC and access to iPhone devices (http://www.katsbits.com/smforum/index.php?topic=867.0)
- Twitters "Ministry of Truth" Trust & Safety Council (http://www.katsbits.com/smforum/index.php?topic=826.0)
- Free Speech & Expectations of Privacy on Social Media (http://www.katsbits.com/smforum/index.php?topic=869.0)
- Draft Investigatory Powers Bill  (http://www.katsbits.com/smforum/index.php?topic=871.0)
- Paris terrorists (may have) used PlayStation 4's (http://www.katsbits.com/smforum/index.php?topic=872.0)
- Privacy in the aftermath of Paris (2015) (http://www.katsbits.com/smforum/index.php?topic=873.0)
- Our Privacy isn't click-bait (http://www.katsbits.com/smforum/index.php?topic=874.0)
- Cyber Violence Against Women and Girls - A World-Wide Wake-Up Call (http://www.katsbits.com/smforum/index.php?topic=875.0)
- Stazi watching Facebook?! (http://www.katsbits.com/smforum/index.php?topic=876.0)
- Social Platforms making it difficult to prosecute Terrorists (http://www.katsbits.com/smforum/index.php?topic=877.0)
- FCC Open Commission Meeting (Feb 2015) (http://www.katsbits.com/smforum/index.php?topic=880.0)
- President Obama's Plan for a Free and Open Internet (http://www.katsbits.com/smforum/index.php?topic=882.0)
- Apple/Google discuss Government surveillance plans (http://www.katsbits.com/smforum/index.php?topic=878.0)
- Charlie Hebdo, terrorism and freedom of speech (http://www.katsbits.com/smforum/index.php?topic=881.0)
- Trolls & Online Abuse laws (UK) (http://www.katsbits.com/smforum/index.php?topic=884.0)
- GCHQ identified Kinect as possible snooping tool (http://www.katsbits.com/smforum/index.php?topic=53.msg3513#msg3513)
- Terrorists and Spies ruining our games! (http://www.katsbits.com/smforum/index.php?topic=53.msg3336#msg3336)
- FBI can secretly turn on laptop cameras (http://www.katsbits.com/smforum/index.php?topic=53.msg3323#msg3323)
- How the Internet is now "weaponised" (http://www.katsbits.com/smforum/index.php?topic=53.msg3247#msg3247)
- Kinect can see through clothing (http://www.katsbits.com/smforum/index.php?topic=53.msg3232#msg3232)
- NSA tracks Google ads to find Tor users (http://www.katsbits.com/smforum/index.php?topic=53.msg3018#msg3018)
- US & UK crack secure Internet encryption (SSL et-al) (http://www.katsbits.com/smforum/index.php?topic=53.msg2979#msg2979)
- The FCC & Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act (http://www.katsbits.com/smforum/index.php?topic=53.msg2950#msg2950)
- Google Street View images being used to 'find' tax dodgers (http://www.katsbits.com/smforum/index.php?topic=53.msg2861#msg2861)
- Is 'gamification' worth the intrusion (http://www.katsbits.com/smforum/index.php?topic=53.msg2855#msg2855)
- Executive Order -- Improving Critical Infrastructure Cyber-security (http://www.katsbits.com/smforum/index.php?topic=53.msg2654#msg2654)
- Internet Black-boxes in the UK (http://www.katsbits.com/smforum/index.php?topic=53.msg2652#msg2652)
- Microsoft Patent allows Kinect to watch you without you knowing (http://www.katsbits.com/smforum/index.php?topic=53.msg2555#msg2555)
- (UK) Defamation Bill to force websites to identify trolls (http://www.katsbits.com/smforum/index.php?topic=53.msg2341#msg2341)
- Sims creator next venture to 'gamify' your life (http://www.katsbits.com/smforum/index.php?topic=53.msg1932#msg1932)
- Lying on the Internet could land you in jail?! (http://www.katsbits.com/smforum/index.php?topic=53.msg1931#msg1931)
- Joint Committee on the Draft Defamation Bill - First Report (http://www.katsbits.com/smforum/index.php?topic=53.msg1885#msg1885)
- Could Lying on Facebook, Checking Out NSFW Stuff Land You in Jail? (http://www.katsbits.com/smforum/index.php?topic=53.msg1801#msg1801)
- Homeland Security invokes Patriot Act on Assange (http://www.katsbits.com/smforum/index.php?topic=53.msg1736#msg1736)
Title: Re: Terrorism, web sites and games
Post by: ratty redemption on February 06, 2010, 11:12:24 PM
@ kat, interesting and I've often thought the same about science programs and modern warfare type games possibly getting red flagged.
Title: Re: Terrorism, web sites and games
Post by: kat on July 22, 2010, 01:55:47 PM
Bit of a bump but I thought I'd post this here as it's related to the topic of web site being taken down due to terrorist content being 'on a server'. Burst.net pulled an entire server that hosted 73,000 blogs for the sake of being told by the FBI that one of those was an al-Qaeda website (http://news.cnet.com/8301-31001_3-20010923-261.html) (it's not entirely clear if it was an entire site dedicated to the group or just 'some material'. Apparently someone at the company made an 'error' in stopped the service which then disabled all material being hosted and not just the bad stuff. Needless to say a lot of people are not happy about it, least of all those that lost their blogs because of one site.
Title: Re: Terrorism, web sites and games
Post by: ratty redemption on July 22, 2010, 02:55:27 PM
wow, that sucks. also aren't these service providers trained in the event that actual illegal material is found on one of their servers?
Title: Re: Terrorism, web sites and games
Post by: kat on July 22, 2010, 03:42:56 PM
Technically yes, there is a supposed to be an industry wide, albeit voluntary, procedure and protocol in place that usually it revolves around something called "DMCA take-down request". For example a musician finding their music being distributed without permission can send in a take down request on said files. The Host/ISP is then obliged to remove the content and it's up to the distributed to then prove they had permission in order to get the files back up.

In this instance, because it was something to do with 'terrorism' it seems someone at Burst panicked and shut the server down without notice. They do generally have the authority to do that if it's in their T&C, but it's usually invoked where their client was doing something that was putting the server itself at risk (the current legislation doesn't hold host/ISP/service providers liable for the *contents* of their services - it's stops them being arbitrarily sued). Because this was a client of a client, it's certainly questionable but most certainly not the right way to have gone about solving this - technically all they had to do was delete the offending blogs and folder contents and jobs done.

Initially the iNet was full of speculation about this being another heavy handed offensive by the Record/Movie industry, although it wasn't, it does kind of set a precedent where ISPs may just shut down services at the behest of 'official' communications, which is obviously somewhat troubling; it's not that far a stretch of the imagination to think of companies like Activision/EA sending out take down requests on mod sites because they're 'interfering' with revenue generation from Down loadable Content (DLC).
Title: Re: Terrorism, web sites and games
Post by: ratty redemption on July 22, 2010, 03:56:03 PM
kat, very interesting and keep us updated please with anything related to this new type of witch hunt.
Title: Re: Terrorism, web sites and games
Post by: pazur on July 23, 2010, 06:36:18 PM
Very interesting... so http://www.urbanterror.info is in danger ;) ... and yea mods vs. paid DLC is really becoming an issue. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 and Battlefield: Bad Company 2 are games that are closed and forbid modding in the T&C (at least for BFBC2 I'm sure). If you want to create custom maps that get actually played you need to create them either for Modern Warfare, Counter Strike Source, Call of Duty 2 or Wolfenstein Enemy Territory. (source: rank of games in Xfire - http://www.xfire.com/games/#). Mods are quite successful in Battlefield 2 IMHO.
Title: Re: Terrorism, web sites and games
Post by: ratty redemption on July 24, 2010, 04:46:14 PM
pazur, good point about the urbanterror game and interesting to hear of the increasing restrictions put on the mod communities.

my new team is designing our hopefully oneday commercial game to be built around a mod and fan fiction/art community of which we don't intend to charge for dlc whether it be from us or from the community. we also intend to charge a fair price (what ever that may be at the time) for our game, similar to the business model being used by the blacklight: tango down devs, here's a review from cnet.com of their game:


Title: Re: Terrorism, web sites and games
Post by: kat on July 24, 2010, 05:10:51 PM
Didn't Urban Terror get into some trouble a few years back over some 'terrorist' modification? I can't remember the details other than I think someone created a (sub)mod whereby you were on the terrorists 'team' and went around creating havock. Seem to recall it caused quite a fuss and was removed, taken down or something or other...
Title: Re: Terrorism, web sites and games
Post by: ratty redemption on July 24, 2010, 05:26:06 PM
interesting and imagine if that was also applied to nazis in ww2 games and that players could only ever play on the side of the 'good guys'
Title: Re: Terrorism, web sites and games
Post by: pazur on July 25, 2010, 09:16:55 PM
Blacklight: Tango Down looks nice. So there will be a SDK for level designers once it's out?
Title: Re: Terrorism, web sites and games
Post by: ratty redemption on July 25, 2010, 10:18:29 PM
pazur, not sure but here is the gametrailers.com page for blacklight

Title: Re: Terrorism, web sites and games
Post by: kat on August 24, 2010, 09:44:33 PM
Didn't Urban Terror get into some trouble a few years back over some 'terrorist' modification?...
Found it. It was a movie put together in Battlefield 2 - GamePolitics - "Was Congress Misled by "Terrorist" Game Video? We Talk to Gamer Who Created the Footage (http://gamepolitics.livejournal.com/285129.html)"
CM: ... When did you first come up with the idea for the video? Is there a story the video is trying to tell, or is it just a collection of interesting footage from the game?

SJ: The idea came to me when I saw that Team America movie. GREAT movie everybody should watch it. This video was just for fun with a Team America twist. There is a character [Gary Johnston] in the movie that talks about his goats getting killed by a Blackhawk helicopter and that's why he wanted revenge. I just took that story for my BF2 video and worked it out.

CM: What was the original intent in making the video? Fan-film, demo of gaming skill, protest, art project, clan recruitment, just for fun?

SJ: It was just a fan-film made by me. There are a lot of films made by the battlefield community. There is an in game battle recorder, so that encourages [you] to make movies about the game you have just played.
And this is typical of what the above article spoke about (http://kotaku.com/171722/al-qaeda-using-video-games-for-recruitment).. how the movie of the mod was misappropriated by Congress and used to justify speaking out against games.
Title: Re: Terrorism, web sites and games
Post by: ratty redemption on August 24, 2010, 10:28:52 PM
to quote that kotaku article:

What we have seen is that any video game that comes out. they'll modify it and change the game for their needs

wow, really? so iow anyone who mods any type of video game is therefore a terrorist? thank god we have the american and british governments to protect us from such despicable acts ;)
Title: Homeland Security invokes Patriot Act on Assange
Post by: kat on August 27, 2011, 08:24:00 PM
Quote from: ZDNet
Summary: The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has invoked the Patriot Act on Wikileaks’ domain registrar, in a bid to access information on founder Julian Assange.

Imagine the above applied to the guy that built that 'terrorism' mod?. It would mean the Federal Gov getting hold of all the data pinged by the server.. all the IP addresses and other potentially locatable information to do with 'who' downloaded the files, what they looked at on site, any and all comments made (including those in private members areas), and if they had a game server, who played on it, from where and how often. And the real kicker is that the US Government seems to infer that US law again trumps EU and individual country sovereignty and laws (even if law courts here say otherwise). Crazy stuff.
Title: Re: Terrorism, web sites and games
Post by: ratty redemption on August 27, 2011, 10:16:43 PM
agreed, crazy and i find it ironic that they call that act 'patriot' which is also the name of one of their flawed missiles systems they sell to just about any country who can afford them. also analogous to breaking an egg with a sledge hammer.


Title: Could Lying on Facebook, Checking Out NSFW Stuff Land You in Jail?
Post by: kat on September 17, 2011, 06:05:00 PM
Looks like congress is pushing to make misdemeanor crimes felonies in light of all that news about computers being compromised in recent months. Interesting article on WebProNews - Could Lying on Facebook, Checking Out NSFW Stuff Land You in Jail? (http://www.webpronews.com/could-lying-on-facebook-and-checking-out-nsfw-stuff-at-work-land-you-jail-time-2011-09). The UK and EU have their own "Computer Misuse Acts".

Refs mention in the article:
Other Resources
Title: Joint Committee on the Draft Defamation Bill - First Report
Post by: kat on October 22, 2011, 12:36:07 AM
Interesting article in IT Pro (http://www.itpro.co.uk/636850/mps-propose-web-anonymity-crackdown) about a new bit of draft (daft) Legislation being proposed by the UK Government, the Draft Defamation Bill (http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/jt201012/jtselect/jtdefam/203/20302.htm). Reading through the article I'm not entirely sure who they're trying to blame and/or hold accountable or responsible for cleaning up the mess caused by Trolls or defamatory posts. Without reading further (and based on what's written in the article) this has the potential to set a very dangerous precedent.. exactly who is making the judgement call that "9/11 was an inside job" to use a topical example, is a defamatory statement that merits the invocation of what then would be a 'breach' under the Deformation Bill?

In fact, why is it even necessary for this to be written up? This website, as all others on the Internet, has it's own, albeit generic, Terms & Conditions that allows matters of defamation etc, to be dealt with in whatever appropriate manner is deemed fit by the sites owner - Facebook, Twitter, DigitalArtists et-al can all pull, delete or remove accounts because users voluntary acquiesce to that as a condition of use. In other words, by proxy there already exists a *private mechanism* to deal with most issues that occur to which this Bill seems to infer no-one but the State has the authority to deal with. For the Senior Staff Writer on IT Pro (c/f the box-out comment on site) to make or imply this is anything but a private property matter is pretty bad... for that same person to then imply that freedom of speech is conditional is absolutely horrifying.

(And yes, one has the Right to Freedom of Speech, but that doesn't necessarily mean there aren't consequences for being a dumb-ass. It's a very powerful weapon, so use it wisely. Else you give those that can the ability to take it away. Digital ID anyone?)

Further Reading
Title: Re: Terrorism, web sites, games and privacy (anonymity)
Post by: ratty redemption on October 22, 2011, 01:29:46 AM
interesting and i wish i could say i'm shocked by this latest attempt by our respective governments to demonstate they 'know what's best for us' but yes, the internet isn't like the wild west, it is for the most part privately owned and there are already rules in most places, even if end users tend to ignore them a lot of the time, they can and do get banned for breaking a site's tos. even youtube uploaders can ban users from commenting on their pages, we don't need any more policing.
Title: Lying on the Internet could land you in jail?!
Post by: kat on November 17, 2011, 12:37:58 PM
Lying on the Internet could land you in jail?!
Quote from: CNet
The law must allow "prosecutions based upon a violation of terms of service or similar contractual agreement with an employer or provider," Richard Downing, the Justice Department's deputy computer crime chief, will tell the U.S. Congress tomorrow ... The law in question, the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, has been used by the Justice Department to prosecute a woman, Lori Drew, who used a fake MySpace account to verbally attack a 13-year old girl who then committed suicide. Because MySpace's terms of service prohibit impersonation, Drew was convicted of violating the CFAA. Her conviction was later thrown out.
This is a little odd because the 'crimes' they're wanting to target relate to infringements of 'private property' agreements. The Terms of Service agreements are effectively contractual obligations between consenting private parties so any offense would more likely be a Civil matter rather than a Criminal one - unless some type of harm to others was perpetrated.

Title: Sims creator next venture to 'gamify' your life
Post by: kat on November 17, 2011, 04:23:42 PM
Quote from: Develop Online
The Sims creator has established a new company, called HiveMind, and is looking to build a mobile phone app that will pool together an extraordinary level of personal data, and in turn provide services, information, help, ideas and games (http://www.develop-online.net/news/39148/Next-Will-Wright-game-will-digitise-your-life)
For this to work they are going to need one colossally complex protection system to be in place to secure the amount of information they're proposing the game will need to access (and collect over time) in order for it to work well. This potentially makes the data RealID collects on individuals like a single page of War and Peace!
Title: (UK) Defamation Bill to force websites to identify trolls
Post by: kat on June 14, 2012, 06:50:54 AM
Reading things like this makes for an increased sense of unease (it should be mentioned that it's taken the UK Gov. six or so months to release this into the public domain for inspection - see comment from Oct 2011).
Websites are to be given greater protection against legal action over libel or hate content under new legislation to be unveiled today – but only if they expose internet trolls' identities. (http://www.pcpro.co.uk/news/375088/defamation-bill-to-force-websites-to-identify-trolls)

Additional Reading
Title: Microsoft Patent allows Kinect to watch you without you knowing
Post by: kat on November 06, 2012, 03:48:34 PM
Via MCV (http://www.mcvuk.com//news/read/patent-allows-kinect-to-watch-you-monitor-your-film-usage/). A Patent registered to Microsoft allows Kinect to monitor activity to ensure content licenses are being complied with.
Quote from: US Patent & Trademark Office
A content presentation system and method allowing content providers to regulate the presentation of content on a per-user-view basis. Content is distributed an associated license option on the number of individual consumers or viewers allowed to consume the content. Consumers are presented with a content selection and a choice of licenses allowing consumption of the content. The users consuming the content on a display device are monitored so that if the number of user-views licensed is exceeded, remedial action may be taken.

The way the Patent works equates to actively monitoring the "display area" and "display device", sending back information therein to the provider so they can then charge accordingly - license a movie, the system 'sees' 5 people in the room, the fee is then amended appropriately (based on the initial license terms and conditions).
Quote from: US Patent & Trademark Office
"[0028] ...a per-viewer license may comprise counting the number of viewers in a viewing area and directly charging for each identified user in the viewing area.".

5. ... including continuously monitoring a number of users at a display device during the performance of the content.

6. ... including determining whether a number of users at a display device exceeds the license option during the performance of the content.

7. ... including presenting the user an option to change the license if a number of allowed user performances in a license is exceeded during performance...

14. ... including identifying specific users within a display area of a display device...

Using the system content providers can even determine how much time has elapsed for content to be considered as having been watched or "used".
Quote from: US Patent & Trademark Office
"[0038] Various algorithms may be used to determine whether a user present within the display area of the display device has consumed enough of the content for such consumption to be considered a "use" of the content".

Further Reading
Title: Re: Terrorism, web sites, games and privacy (anonymity)
Post by: ratty redemption on November 06, 2012, 05:04:39 PM
surely this is an invasion of user's privacy?
Title: Re: Terrorism, web sites, games and privacy (anonymity)
Post by: kat on November 06, 2012, 05:42:01 PM
It depends whether users voluntarily press the red button. That's a key concept in all this stuff which includes the likes of Facebook, Twitter et-al, not just Kinect and other gesture systems. Whilst they all tend to operate under the auspices of the 'commons' (services provided for and to the public), participation in them is entirely voluntary in the final analysis. That's why court cases are typically lost with respect to privacy, with respect to a 'provision of service' (loosing users data is another matter entirely).

Having said that, the Patent in question tends to use the word "monitor" rather than "watch"; whilst there are general technical and legalistic reason for that (words don't always have the same dictionary definition in Law as they do in common use), it's also because those two nouns(?) illicit a completely different response depending on the content. For example, "the device monitors you/your children for age appropriate content access" versus "the device watches you/your children for age appropriate content access". All things being equal, the latter should make ones spider-sense tingle.

Of course this then gets into a discussion about "informed consent".
Title: Re: Terrorism, web sites, games and privacy (anonymity)
Post by: ratty redemption on November 06, 2012, 05:54:04 PM
understood and interesting. does this also mean that kinect could one day determine if a user was old enough to view certain content?
Title: Re: Terrorism, web sites, games and privacy (anonymity)
Post by: kat on November 06, 2012, 06:31:30 PM
They don't say how but the patent certain lays that they can.
Title: Re: Terrorism, web sites, games and privacy (anonymity)
Post by: kat on November 23, 2012, 12:38:08 AM
Senate bill rewrite lets feds read your e-mail without warrants (http://news.cnet.com/8301-13578_3-57552225-38/senate-bill-rewrite-lets-feds-read-your-e-mail-without-warrants/)
Leahy scuttles his warrantless e-mail surveillance bill (http://news.cnet.com/8301-13578_3-57552687-38/leahy-scuttles-his-warrantless-e-mail-surveillance-bill/)
Title: Internet Black-boxes in the UK
Post by: kat on February 06, 2013, 08:04:20 PM
Internet Black-boxes in the UK (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2274388/MI5-install-black-box-spy-devices-monitor-UK-internet-traffic.html)
Quote from: DailyMail
The Bill has encountered stiff opposition, but authorities have been at pains to stress that they're not seeking unfettered access to the content of emails or recordings of phone calls. Instead, they claim, what they are after is what many have described as 'outside of the envelope' information: Who sends a message, where and how it is sent, and who receives it. For example, while the email addresses of senders and recipients would be available to agencies, they would still need to obtain a court order for access to the contents of the emails.

Additional Reading
Access to communications data by the intelligence and security Agencies: Special Report (UK) (http://isc.independent.gov.uk/committee-reports/special-reports)
Title: Executive Order -- Improving Critical Infrastructure Cybersecurity
Post by: kat on February 14, 2013, 05:43:53 AM
Still slightly puzzled as to why this was needed giving that the Patriot Act and CISPA in particular pretty much covered all their respective bases already? Remember that generally speaking, and Executive order is an instruction which bypasses the normal Congressional Legislative process. So what's in this that needed that level of Presidential override?

Presidential Policy Directive -- Critical Infrastructure Security and Resilience (http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2013/02/12/presidential-policy-directive-critical-infrastructure-security-and-resil)
Executive Order -- Improving Critical Infrastructure Cybersecurity (http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2013/02/12/executive-order-improving-critical-infrastructure-cybersecurity)
Title: Re: Terrorism, web sites, games and privacy (anonymity)
Post by: kat on May 24, 2013, 04:25:30 PM
Looks like other outlets are starting to take the whole "XBox One/Kinect watches you (http://www.mcvuk.com/news/read/the-extent-of-kinect-2-s-visual-drm-is-beginning-to-emerge/)" thing seriously (cf. above (http://www.katsbits.com/smforum/index.php?topic=53.msg2555#msg2555))  -  Although the XBox One's camera has been upgraded to 1080p and there only appears to be that single camera on the XBox itself, the device is reported as requiring the Kinect addon for it to work (or at least achieve its full operation potential). Kinect takes the "watching you" to a whole 'nother level, some of which is discussed in the press with quite the innocent geeky aplomb (here for example- "... the real revelation of the facial software is that it recognizes you when you turn it on and loads your personal profile. If you and your significant other both have personalized profiles, the new Kinect will recognize which one of you is ready to play" (http://www.digitaltrends.com/video-game-system-reviews/microsoft-xbox-one-review/)). Given the extent to which it can 'analyse' it's surroundings, right down to the users pulse, you'll either find this really cool, or really creepy,
Title: Is 'gamification' worth the intrusion
Post by: kat on May 28, 2013, 08:14:48 PM
Is "gamification" worth the amount of 'intrusion' required to facilitate a system that can "monitor" users whilst engaged in "gamified" activities? DailyMail writes that Microsoft recently submitted a Patent (not yet granted?) with respect to how users of their systems would be constantly monitored in order to 'reward them' for particular activities (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2331985/Xbox-One-track-EVERYTHING-watch-TV--reward-watching-ads.html). Whilst this sort of thing seems to cause concern for some (http://www.develop-online.net/news/44315/Xbox-One-Kinect-functionality-sparks-privacy-concerns), it doesn't appear to register with a vast majority of people buying into the platform as record pre-orders are being touted in certain quarters (http://www.mcvuk.com/news/read/xbox-one-breaks-pre-order-records-at-blockbuster/) (no numbers given, just hyperbole at present).
Title: Re: Terrorism, web sites, games and privacy (anonymity)
Post by: ratty redemption on May 28, 2013, 10:01:46 PM
this reminds me of google mails "helpful" importance ranking:

Gmail analyzes your new incoming messages to predict what's important, considering things like how you've treated similar messages in the past, how directly the message is addressed to you, and many other factors.

To predict which of your incoming messages are important, Gmail automatically takes into account a number of signals, including:

-Who you email: If you email Bob a lot, it’s likely that messages from Bob are important.

-Which messages you open: Messages you open are likely to be more important than those you skip over.

-What keywords spark your interest: If you always read messages about soccer, a new message that contains those same soccer words is more likely to be important.

-Which messages you reply to: If you always reply to messages from your mom, messages she sends are likely to be important.

-Your recent use of stars, archive and delete: Messages you star are probably more important than messages you archive without opening.

so if say, i was a terrorist and my fellow terrorists were planning to do something illegal, gmail could help us better organize our plans? on behave of all terrorists thank you google.

disclaimer: of course i'm not a terrorist, and if i was i certainly wouldn't use gmail.
Title: Re: Terrorism, web sites, games and privacy (anonymity)
Post by: kat on May 28, 2013, 10:54:02 PM
lol... double irony with Google's motto being "Don't be Evil!".

And yes, if you add the above to the way our communications (comms) are 'scanned' for content delivery purposes with respect to advertising it all adds up to some very 'deep-packet' analysis - this is the one things that many don't understand - just how deep that rabbit hole actually is; whilst an individual services 'scanning' may not seem much cause for concern, added to other systems such as comms sorting, ISP records, search data, time spend and where it's spent, a *very* detailed over-view of your activities are just a few data-mining clicks away from those able to take advantage of that.. it's one of the very reasons why Google and other 'data handlers' want to get their sticky mitts into such seemingly disconnected, but broad reaching areas of our lives, the more they have, the more they believe they can monetise and control what we see and therefore purchase. This means filtering search results based on their perception of your interests to such an extent that you really are only shown the results that fit the generated profile that's built up around you (it's why you can be in the same room with more than one person and each of you will return different results using the same search terms). There's a technical word for this it's called the "Google Bubble" - or more ominously "the world according to Google".

"In the beginning there was only darkness and ignorance.
Then Google brought the light and showed the lost people the way.
That way was good, for it was the 'Google Way', all other ways were evil.
And people doth sayeth from that time forward-eth...
'Don't be Evil'.
Title: Re: Terrorism, web sites, games and privacy (anonymity)
Post by: ratty redemption on May 29, 2013, 12:07:09 AM
he he, agreed to all that. and i will continue to use gmail, just i don't believe for one moment that google have my best interests at heart with all their "cool" new features and apps they are adding.

also how secure is all this personal data on us? if the marketing agencies and authorities can be granted access, then surely that means hackers, including actual terrorists, can use this tech to help them become more efficient. and as rabbit was saying the other day to me, it doesn't stop people, face to face, in real life from planning criminal activities.
Title: Re: Terrorism, web sites, games and privacy (anonymity)
Post by: kat on May 29, 2013, 06:49:02 AM
Where data is concerned "buying access" is probably of greater importance/concern than security per say, because it implies 'cost' is the only (real) barrier/controlling mechanism preventing unwarranted/unwanted access, not 'morals' ("Don't be Evil" right?), and not necessarily the 'law' (there are plenty of 'exceptions' in law to [cough]accidental access[/cough]).

Add to that the fact that Google and other data collection agencies make no bones about monetising the information they collect on us and it really does becomes a slippery slope (it's more akin to black ice, you know it's there but you don't know where until your butt hits the ground). Even Governments sell our data, albeit more clandestinely, through the sale of Census and other data (including medical records and financial information). The trouble is that when this stuff is discussed one come across as being a bit of a tin-foil hat wearer when nothing could be further from the truth.
Title: Re: Terrorism, web sites, games and privacy (anonymity)
Post by: ratty redemption on May 29, 2013, 10:04:24 AM
good points, very interesting.

i wonder if amazon etc, will ever start selling tin foil hats with their company logos on them? it would surely be more convenient for us consumers not to have to design and make our own. and just think how cool we would all look, he he.
Title: Google Street View images being used to 'find' tax dodgers
Post by: kat on June 02, 2013, 02:50:05 AM
Google Street View images being used to 'find' tax dodgers (http://finance.yahoo.com/news/in-lithuania--the-tax-man-cometh-right-after-the-google-car-passeth-142614154.html). According to the article, Government agencies (in Lithuania in this instance but it does appear to be used elsewhere) are trawling through images produced by Google for properties which appear to have unapproved modifications or other 'undeclared' changes/improvements. Once found they are prosecuted relative to their suspected infringements.

Could XBox One and other 'always on' technologies be used in similar fashion? Granted there is a slight difference in that Street View images are published into the 'Public Commons' and readily accessible  by anyone. However, the over-reaching problem with the way data is or can be used means, certainly within the context of the above, that anyone highlighted by such 'mining' is considered suspicious of something irrespective as to whether they are or not (the simple act of looking automatically implies 'suspicion' if not 'guilt'). Are there remedies to say "no thanks" to this other than simply not using technology and becoming Luddites (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Luddite)?

"What are you worried about? You have nothing to hide, right?"
"If I have nothing to hide, you have no reason to look!"
Title: Re: Terrorism, web sites, games and privacy (anonymity)
Post by: ratty redemption on August 10, 2013, 04:22:41 PM
can the fbi remotely activate our android & laptop mics?

Title: The FCC & Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act
Post by: kat on August 10, 2013, 04:58:41 PM
Yes. They've been able to do this for some time in fact.

And... they don't need to (have never needed to actually) install any 'bugs' or additional tools to do it either as the manufacturers are required by law to build 'backdoors' into their devices and systems to allow access since the early/mid 1990's. This is all done under the auspices of the Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Communications_Assistance_for_Law_Enforcement_Act) under the control of the FCC (http://www.fcc.gov/encyclopedia/communications-assistance-law-enforcement-act) which specifically;

Quote from: Wikipedia
CALEA's purpose is to enhance the ability of law enforcement and intelligence agencies to conduct electronic surveillance by requiring that telecommunications carriers and manufacturers of telecommunications equipment modify and design their equipment, facilities, and services to ensure that they have built-in surveillance capabilities, allowing federal agencies to monitor all telephone, broadband internet, and VoIP traffic in real-time.

To put this in context.. when we wonder at the NSA's (and other alphabet agencies) apathy over our outrage at what they do, they just look at CALEA and their likes and shrug their shoulders with a "meh, you should have thought about it when 'X' was passed".

The broader problem for us at least is that whilst TechBeat wasn't around at the time, other newspapers were, and as has been their failing for a long time, they've collectively been remiss in the duties to inform the wider public of the broader issues and source documents on matters like this; which is why Conspiracy Theories pop-up - which newspapers then do their level best to marginalise and dismiss through hyperbole and ad hominems so as to control the narrative, i.e. not just what story is being told, but more importantly for them as corporations, who is telling it - news is a highly profitable big business.

It should be noted that it's highly likely that more-of-less where ever you see the little "FCC (http://www.fcc.gov/logos)" sticker, it's likely the device carries this ability irrespective as to where it is in the world.

Title: Re: Terrorism, web sites, games and privacy (anonymity)
Post by: ratty redemption on August 10, 2013, 06:43:55 PM
interesting. i wish i could say i was shocked to learn the manufacturers are involved but i'm not at all surprised.
Title: US & UK crack secure Internet encryption (SSL et-al)
Post by: kat on September 06, 2013, 06:55:43 AM
This is big. It's been going on for a while and has been known, but the actual depth of this is staggering and something we should all be concerned about (but not necessarily paranoid).

Quote from: Guardian
Th[e] methods [used] include covert measures to ensure NSA control over setting of international encryption standards, the use of supercomputers to break encryption with "brute force", and – the most closely guarded secret of all – collaboration with technology companies and internet service providers themselves (http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/sep/05/nsa-gchq-encryption-codes-security).

This affects any service secured by SSL or other types of encryption, mail, bank access, medical records access, shopping carts (from KatsBits store to Amazon.com and iTunes.com).

So what can be done? Not sure yet this might be a place to start (http://prism-break.org/) (usual liability disclaimer for anything downloaded blah blah, so-on and so-forth).

Further reading
Title: NSA tracks Google ads to find Tor users
Post by: kat on October 05, 2013, 08:28:52 PM
NSA tracks Google ads to find Tor users (http://news.cnet.com/8301-1009_3-57606178-83/nsa-tracks-google-ads-to-find-tor-users/) CNet.

Here's the problem. The way around this 'loophole' is for sites to not use any form of third party tracked advert over which they have no control, i.e. Google, Bing, Yahoo adverts. However, this typically means taking a hit on passive income, which on some site can be quite a significant loss on their revenue streams. In such circumstances how does the site maintain it's income level without switching to subscription models or asking users to cough up cash to keep a site alive?

So on one hand we decry the use of all this spying and the ease with which it seems to be occurring, but on the other do very little as a whole to support sites so they can keep going in way that might means employing approaches that would mitigate it. Catch 22?.

Further Reading
"NSA and GCHQ target Tor network that protects anonymity of web users" (http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/oct/04/nsa-gchq-attack-tor-network-encryption) The Guardian
"How does Tor protect against an attacker just running thousands of nodes?" (http://security.stackexchange.com/questions/41542/how-does-tor-protect-against-an-attacker-just-running-thousands-of-nodes) Stack Exchange (this isn't a problem restricted to Tor but any network using publicly available access nodes (points of entry/exit), although one can be accessing a node or collection of nodes relatively anonymously it doesn't mean data transmission isn't being tracked by the entity running said nodes)

Title: Re: Terrorism, web sites, games and privacy (anonymity)
Post by: ratty redemption on October 05, 2013, 09:09:06 PM
good point kat, and interesting article.
Title: Re: Terrorism, web sites, games and privacy (anonymity)
Post by: kat on November 01, 2013, 04:57:19 PM
"We don't spy, we just collect data points (http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-250_162-57609833/)" [CBS]. If that's a good enough reason for General Alexander of the NSA, then it's good enough for Microsoft to explain their data-collection policy for XBox One (http://www.develop-online.net/news/microsoft-discloses-how-kinect-collects-private-data/0185401) as well [Develop].
Title: Re: Terrorism, web sites, games and privacy (anonymity)
Post by: ratty redemption on November 01, 2013, 06:49:47 PM
well that's all very reassuring.
Title: Kinect can see through clothing
Post by: kat on November 13, 2013, 02:10:03 AM
Oops. Looks like Kinect can ascertain a bit more than was being initially admitted when you stand in front of it (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2503474/XBox-One-Kinect-camera-clothes-detect-anatomy.html) (for good and bad).

[EDIT 18th Nov] after watching the video in full, it doesn't do what is being suggested by the Daily Mail and other outlets; it turns out to be an unfortunately combination of circumstance - the video author possibly going 'commando' and the way the Kinect devices is interpreting the play of light and shadow as that cloth attributed to that particular area folds and changes shape. Had Kinect actually been able to "see through clothing" the same effect would be seen in other areas, the knees and thighs for example, which are typically equally close to clothing's surface.

It's wise then not to get to caught up in the sensationalist aspects presented by these types of headlines, certainly not for the sake of completely dismissing the broader issues presented - that is the accuracy with which 'he' (the author), and the environment within which he conducted the test, is represented by the system. It's so well defined in fact that, yes indeed, Kinect (and ergo anyone with access to it or the data it's collecting) can discern the difference between anyone within range of one. And quite easily it would appear.

Original Video - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JaOlUa57BWs
Title: Re: Terrorism, web sites, games and privacy (anonymity)
Post by: ratty redemption on November 13, 2013, 09:46:52 AM
he he, and the tech is impressive, i'll give them that.
Title: How the Internet is now "weaponised"
Post by: kat on November 18, 2013, 11:37:54 AM
Wired has an interesting article on how the Internet has now "weaponised" (http://www.wired.com/opinion/2013/11/this-is-how-the-internet-backbone-has-been-turned-into-a-weapon/) by the might of the Military Industrial Complex. What this means is that due to the way the NSA, GCHQ and other Government spy agencies around the world have access, they can 'inject' and/or 'intercept' standard http requests with relative ease. This is generally because the Internet to a large extent is based on 'trust' so barring the use of channels that are actually encrypted (https for example), much of the data used to deliver the content of a website to you sits out in the open for anyone with an appropriate level of access to see, a problem exacerbated by the legal terms we sign up to when using Social media or any new 'Cloud' based service (as users we contractually agree to allow our material to be stored and retained without question, and that it can be used however the other party sees fit - this is one of the reasons news media outlets can grab an image from Facebook and plaster it all over the web; users specifically agree to allow that). When reading articles and news concerning the "NSA Spygrid", the sad fact is, the Internet is its backbone.
Title: FBI can secretly turn on laptop cameras
Post by: kat on December 07, 2013, 08:16:36 PM
It's a shame that information like this isn't news unless it's reported by the New York Times or Washington post. In the meantime anyone that's ever raised the concerns has been summarily dismissed as "conspiracy nuts" by the very same papers. And they wonder why people are starting to regard them as simply reinforcing their self-imposed status as information and 'news' gatekeepers (incidentally they won't be apologising any time soon to those 'nuts' that have been reporting on things like this for years).
If the guy being tracked in the above was computer illiterate enough not to recognise malware delivered directly by mail then one has to question the necessity of sending the package in the first place when cross-referencing IP data would do the job just as well (given how illiterate the chap may have been)... which then gets into the realms of 'enabling', just how far are the security services willing to go in order to catch a suspect?
Title: Re: Terrorism, web sites, games and privacy (anonymity)
Post by: ratty redemption on December 07, 2013, 09:24:29 PM
very interesting and agreed, we're usually dismissed it seems until something either directly affects the broadsheets or they can sell more issues with their breaking stories, he he.
Title: Terroists and Spies ruining our games!
Post by: kat on December 09, 2013, 04:34:42 PM
You could not make this up - NSA and GCHQ spies 'operated in games including World of Warcraft and Second Life' (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/video-games/video-game-news/10506017/NSA-and-GCHQ-spies-operated-in-games-including-World-of-Warcraft-and-Second-Life.html) [Telegraph]. It's things like this that are behind SOPA, ACTA and the PPP, all of which are attempts to clamp down on the Internet under the guise of (laughable) preventing stuff like this from happening.
Title: Re: Terrorism, web sites, games and privacy (anonymity)
Post by: kat on December 10, 2013, 08:16:12 PM
A group of artists and authors have penned an open letter concerning 'privacy'. Sadly, the irony displayed, given the articles authors, is astounding - International bill of digital rights (http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/dec/10/international-bill-digital-rights-petition-text) [The Guardian]. Appeals to the UN, and the individuals status within a 'democracy', no longer means what they used to (some would argue it's always been an illusion any way), and plays into the hands of power-brokers because an individuals rights are then determined by those said same institutions to which appeal is made. And for their edification.. we most certain DID give the state the authority it now has to surveil.. or have they not been paying attention to the news? We all, as a democratic society, collectively voted to be [sic]"kept safe". One could argue quite easily that is an example of democracy at its finest ::)
Title: Re: Terrorism, web sites, games and privacy (anonymity)
Post by: ratty redemption on December 10, 2013, 09:15:16 PM
i just read your previous post and he he, i love this quote:

Intelligence operatives feared that games such as Second Life and World of Warcraft could be used to secretly communicate, move money or plot terrorist attacks, all under the radar of existing snooping ability. The security agencies were already able to intercept emails and phone calls, but many online games were considered possible safe havens for illegal activity.
Title: GCHQ identified Kinect as possible snooping tool
Post by: kat on February 28, 2014, 06:07:07 PM
GCHQ identified Kinect as possible snooping tool; Microsoft denies all knowledge (http://www.mcvuk.com/news/read/gchq-identified-kinect-as-possible-snooping-tool/0128871) [Develop].

Nothing to hide right?

If you have nothing to hide, there is no reason for anyone to be looking.

Based on the comments posted to accompany the linked article, people either 'get it', or they don't (very few comments sitting on the fence). Sadly, the issue is not about 'humans' watching 'humans', someone watching CCTV or the output from Kinect as in this instance. It's about 'machines' gathering 'data' - "data" being the catch-all redefinition of the effects attributed to an individuals actions. This redefinition and machine abstraction is why Government's can 'spy' and not appear to be breaking the well established Law, it's being done by 'objects' and 'entities' that have no individual agency or accountability.

What can be done with all this 'data'? It's a doorway into an individuals personalised routines that can be, at the very least, monetised, or perhaps used a means to enact individual prohibitions.
Title: Re: Terrorism, web sites, games and privacy (anonymity)
Post by: ratty redemption on February 28, 2014, 06:46:55 PM
interesting tech but scary for our future lives.
Title: Re: Terrorism, web sites, games and privacy (anonymity)
Post by: kat on March 28, 2014, 10:33:12 AM
The DailyMail isn't exactly a fountain of facts and responsible journalism but this article - "Drones, satellites and lasers: Mark Zuckerberg reveals Facebook's sci-fi vision for the future of the internet (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2591138/Drones-satellites-lasers-Mark-Zuckerberg-outlines-future-internet-Facebook.html)" - raises some interesting questions and concerns about why there is this need and apparent rush for giant Internet corporations like Facebook and Google to be wanting to "bring the Internet to everyone". What does that even mean in this day an age of NSA spying, traffic and data harvesting, heavy commercialisation of 'information' through advertising, political, religious and economic censorship, 'hacking', and on, and on, and on.

The long and short of it is that there's nothing egalitarian about bringing the Internet to everyone, the West isn't saving the digitally poor Countries of the often Third or Developing World, it's simply about expanding, exploiting and controlling new markets, a bit like oil, gas and other 'natural' resources... we're resources you see.. what we do can be harvested, collected, and commoditised. Perhaps we can add a new euphemism to "BigAgra", "BigOil", "BigPharma"... "BigData".
Title: Re: Terrorism, web sites, games and privacy (anonymity)
Post by: kat on April 12, 2014, 03:15:32 PM
So it turns out the "HeartBleed (http://www.heartbleed.com/)" security flaw, which affects specific versions of OpenSSL and potentially allows inadvertent access to server memory (KatsBits isn't affected by this issue by the way), is being reported by Bloomberg (http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-04-11/nsa-said-to-have-used-heartbleed-bug-exposing-consumers.html) and other news outlets (http://www.theverge.com/2014/4/11/5605444/the-nsa-has-exploited-heartbleed-bug-for-years-bloomberg-reports) to have been exploited by the NSA since the flaws discovery some two or so years ago to grab data, without informing the public, under the catch-all guise of "National Security". Notwithstanding issues of Government Agencies exploiting flaws and gaps in the system instead of 'fixing' them, this whole situation raises far more questions that it does answers... If you want to know what you can do as a 'user' have a read of this article by ZDNet on ways you can check or mitigate fallout from HeartBleed (http://www.zdnet.com/how-to-protect-yourself-in-heartbleeds-aftershocks-7000028311/).
Title: Re: Terrorism, web sites, games and privacy (anonymity)
Post by: ratty redemption on April 12, 2014, 04:45:46 PM
wow, it's comforting to know our governments were there to protect us all as soon as they knew about this bug.

seriously though, is it just luck that katsbits didn't use the vulnerable versions of openssl?
Title: Re: Terrorism, web sites, games and privacy (anonymity)
Post by: kat on April 12, 2014, 05:25:30 PM
Without revealing too much about what is *not* used (which is just as 'valuable' as knowing what is)? Pretty much "yes" ;)

Isn't it wholly ironic that the largest, actual and very real, threat and imminent danger to our "safety" and "security", certainly where the Internet and technology is concerned, is from Government Agencies around the World. And there we are thinking there's no harm in sending cat pictures to each other!
Title: Re: Terrorism, web sites, games and privacy (anonymity)
Post by: ratty redemption on April 12, 2014, 05:55:27 PM
he he agreed, it also raises the question, who are the real terrorists in our day to day lives?

obviously a fanatical militant extremist with a bomb strapped to his or her body is a terrorist, but i would also say people who undermine our resources and infrastructures are that we depend upon to work, socialize and entertain ourselves with are equally as bad, they just are a lot more insidious, and more often than not purport to be our protectors.
Title: Re: Terrorism, web sites, games and privacy (anonymity)
Post by: kat on June 18, 2014, 02:03:37 PM
Google and Facebook can be legally intercepted, says UK spy boss (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-27887639) [BBC]
Generally speaking this is one of the ways ALL Nations get around Law prohibiting domestic spying, they get allies to do it then exchange the data (or grant each other equal access through 'data' treaties).
Title: Re: Terrorism, web sites, games and privacy (anonymity)
Post by: kat on July 11, 2014, 08:16:05 PM
As is being reported in the news (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2687112/Emergency-spy-laws-monitor-calls-web-use-needed-safe-Cameron-claims.html); PM and Deputy PM to announce emergency security legislation (https://www.gov.uk/government/news/pm-and-deputy-pm-to-announce-emergency-security-legislation)
And the draft text - The Data Retention and Investigatory Powers Bill (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/the-data-retention-and-investigatory-powers-bill)
Title: Re: Terrorism, web sites, games and privacy (anonymity)
Post by: kat on August 17, 2014, 05:23:04 PM
Not sure why the NSA and GCHQ feel the need to spy on everyone when Facebook and Google will do it for them with added [sarcasm]cool[/sarcasm] factor.
Title: Re: Terrorism, web sites, games and privacy (anonymity)
Post by: kat on October 07, 2014, 12:04:40 AM
"The cookie is dead. Here’s how Facebook, Google, and Apple are tracking you now (http://venturebeat.com/2014/10/06/the-cookie-is-dead-heres-how-facebook-google-and-apple-are-tracking-you-now/)" [VentureBeat]