Author Topic: Terrorism, web sites, games and privacy (anonymity)  (Read 65111 times)

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Offline kat

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Re: Terrorism, web sites, games and privacy (anonymity)
« Reply #30 on: May 24, 2013, 04:25:30 PM »
Looks like other outlets are starting to take the whole "XBox One/Kinect watches you" thing seriously (cf. above)  -  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"). 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,

Offline kat

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Is 'gamification' worth the intrusion
« Reply #31 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. Whilst this sort of thing seems to cause concern for some, 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 (no numbers given, just hyperbole at present).

Offline ratty redemption

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Re: Terrorism, web sites, games and privacy (anonymity)
« Reply #32 on: May 28, 2013, 10:01:46 PM »
this reminds me of google mails "helpful" importance ranking:

Quote
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, its 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.

Offline kat

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Re: Terrorism, web sites, games and privacy (anonymity)
« Reply #33 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'.
"

Offline ratty redemption

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Re: Terrorism, web sites, games and privacy (anonymity)
« Reply #34 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.

Offline kat

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Re: Terrorism, web sites, games and privacy (anonymity)
« Reply #35 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.

Offline ratty redemption

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Re: Terrorism, web sites, games and privacy (anonymity)
« Reply #36 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.

Offline kat

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Google Street View images being used to 'find' tax dodgers
« Reply #37 on: June 02, 2013, 02:50:05 AM »
Google Street View images being used to 'find' tax dodgers. 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?

"What are you worried about? You have nothing to hide, right?"
"If I have nothing to hide, you have no reason to look!"


Offline kat

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The FCC & Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act
« Reply #39 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 under the control of the FCC 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" sticker, it's likely the device carries this ability irrespective as to where it is in the world.


Offline ratty redemption

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Re: Terrorism, web sites, games and privacy (anonymity)
« Reply #40 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.

Offline kat

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US & UK crack secure Internet encryption (SSL et-al)
« Reply #41 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.

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 (usual liability disclaimer for anything downloaded blah blah, so-on and so-forth).

Further reading
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-23981291
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/06/us/nsa-foils-much-internet-encryption.html
http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/09/05/nsa-snowden-encryption-cracked/2772721/

Offline kat

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NSA tracks Google ads to find Tor users
« Reply #42 on: October 05, 2013, 08:28:52 PM »
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" The Guardian
"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)


Offline ratty redemption

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Re: Terrorism, web sites, games and privacy (anonymity)
« Reply #43 on: October 05, 2013, 09:09:06 PM »
good point kat, and interesting article.

Offline kat

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Re: Terrorism, web sites, games and privacy (anonymity)
« Reply #44 on: November 01, 2013, 04:57:19 PM »
"We don't spy, we just collect data points" [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 as well [Develop].

 

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