Tag Archives: privacy

Guide to Anonymous Apps

From New York Magazine, a rundown of 25 anonymous  apps, most likely used by teenagers, perverts, and the paranoid. But…I think their usage will grow, given the pervasiveness of illegal surveillance by our government.

Iron Box Security

A secure computer is one that is powered down and not connected to any network.” A quote:

Just a musing, I guess…. the point is that the industry is now building security models which want to provide collaboration, and single sign-on, and synchronization, and interoperation, and ‘cloud storage’ and so forth – but in doing so simply do not and can’t provide good reasons for trust nor solid mathematical proofs of how the things I don’t want them to ever do have been rendered impossible.

In fact, most of them simply refuse to enumerate things they render impossible. Security means guaranteeing that certain things are impossible. Nobody’s even trying to do that because doing the minimum to achieve meaningful guarantees that meaningful kinds of abuse are impossible, would also mean that features like password wallets where they can guarantee password ‘recovery’ are also impossible.

They’re selling the set of things that are enabled rather than the things that are prevented.

Good computer security could be built. But maybe it can’t be sold.

And because that’s what computer security is like these days … I’m forced to use an iron box. With a padlock.


Who watches the watchers?

From Politico: Who Watches the Watchers? Big Data Goes Unchecked, a story, which is part of a series about “private-sector data collection and the implications of consumer privacy.”

What’s going on is pretty creepy.

Privacy doesn’t exist so there is no need to pretend it does

From Cleveland.com—the introductory remarks:

That unblinking eye you feel on your back belongs to your government. Get used to it. The concept of personal privacy is dead.

Tuesday afternoon an Ohio House committee passed a bill that could eventually allow the state to issue an “enhanced” driver’s license. Supporters say this enhanced license will make it easier for Americans to cross into Mexico or Canada without a passport. Our federal government likes the enhanced license, which comes embedded with a radio chip, because it would allow customs officials to access drivers’ personal data and verify citizenship even before they come in contact with the vehicle.

That is how the concept of personal privacy is attacked these days – through the ruse of convenience. But I suppose we’re getting somewhere now. We’re no longer even pretending that we have an issue with turning our lives – and our papers – completely over to our government.

It’s not the emperor who has no clothes – it’s the rest of us, virtually bare and naked. While government has steadily become less transparent – we, the citizens, have become completely, passively transparent.

Oh, joy.

Why Tech’s Best Minds Are Very Worried About the Internet of Things

From Wired (Hat tip: Instapundit):

The Internet of Things is coming. And the tech cognoscenti aren’t sure that’s a good thing.

For years, the prospect of an online world that extends beyond computers, phones, and tablets and into wearables, thermostats, and other devices has generated plenty of excitement and activity. But now, some of the brightest tech minds are expressing some doubts about the potential impact on everything from security and privacy to human dignity and social inequality.

There will be more pushback.

World’s leading authors: state surveillance of personal data is theft

From The Guardian:

• 500 signatories include five Nobel prize winners
• Writers demand ‘digital bill of rights’ to curb abuses


The world of surveillance operated by the people we pay to guard us exceeds the fevered dreams of the Stasi—Tom Stoppard


13 things the government is trying to hide from you

From Salon:

Our government is intentionally keeping massive amounts of information secret from voters

“We believe most Americans would be stunned to learn the details of how these secret court opinions have interpreted…the Patriot Act.  As we see it, there is now a significant gap between what most Americans think the law allows and what the government secretly claims the law allows.  This is a problem, because it is impossible to have an informed public debate about what the law should say when the public doesn’t know what its government thinks the law says.” U.S. senators Ron Wyden and Mark Udall