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Privacy, Censorship, and Staying Anonymous – Big Brother

Editor’s Note – The following is excerpted from a HUGE study or research volume, conducted privately. It is a great start to understaning the problem with your loss of privacy.

It is the best way to understand the extent of how you are being watched, big brother style. It is far worse than you can imagine, and if you have an hour or more to read it, you may just want to hide in your closet. Bring a dictionary of technical terms.

The monitoring of the internet officially is just around the corner. Its already happening in Great Britain:

Under legislation expected in next month’s Queen’s Speech, internet companies will be instructed to install hardware enabling GCHQ – the Government’s electronic “listening” agency – to examine “on demand” any phone call made, text message and email sent, and website accessed in “real time”, The Sunday Times reported.

A previous attempt to introduce a similar law was abandoned by the former Labour government in 2006 in the face of fierce opposition.

The video below sums it all up about Google, but please, read on after viewing:

Big Brother is Watching – Privacy, Censorship, and Staying Anonymous

rezn8d.com

The freedom of our internet is at stake, 1984 is here, Big Brother is watching you, tracking your every move, and he is slowly dissolving your connections to uncensored content. Google’s actions have prompted me to write a “State of the Internet” address regarding our current Orwellian existence.

In addition to Google’s new privacy concerns, this page will seek to document any programs, software, and companies or organizations that help fund, effect, or support censorship and/or tracking on the internet; as well as ways to protect yourself and browse anonymously online. This page will be updated from time to time with no notice.

Google is the world’s most popular search engine, and YouTube (owned by Google) is the world’s most popular video hosting site.  Google also offers tons of other services, like Gmail, the world’s most popular online email service, Google Maps, the world’s most popular mapping software, who’s Street View cars recorded local WIFI’s in your homes and geolocated them. The two services of greatest concern for privacy advocates are Google Analytics and Google Safe Browsing.  Google Chrome is Google’s own browser, combines all of the above mentioned services together like Voltron’s Big Brother.  Google’s mantra “do no evil” is now officially riding the fail whale.

Now Google has “up and done it“.

“The main change is for users with Google Accounts. Our new Privacy Policy makes clear that, if you’re signed in, we may combine information you’ve provided from one service with information from other services. In short, we’ll treat you as a single user across all our products, which will mean a simpler, more intuitive Google experience.”

The idea is to consolidate all your online activities into a single profile that tells their marketing clients and law enforcement anything they want to know about Joe Smith, 221 Mockingbird Lane.  Privacy advocates are up in arms.  You should be too, read on and I’ll take you on a tour of modern day Big Brother.

So what made all of Google’s services “the world’s most popular” on the internet?  Quality products and excellent results.  We all love Google, but our love has emboldened and empowered them to spit in the face of those who built their success.

We live in the “information age” where large packs of “personally identifiable” data are sold to anyone who can foot the bill.  These sales range from the mundane to the down-right dangerous.  And who oversees these sales?  The answer is: Nobody.  There are no laws governing what private corporations do with large data-sets.  Therefore it is solely up to the discretion of each company on how, what, when, and where they sell your data.  I received this email offering to sell me data sets:

See list here.

In 2012, there’s the “physical you” and the “digital you”; the former being clueless, and the latter being sold on open markets like a modern day slave.

Big Brother 2012

Customer Loyalty Cards

Those cards you get from your grocery store are a sign of the times.  Vast advertising firms buy your “purchase history” from these “loyalty programs” so they can create spreadsheets that show “Sally likes Heinz Ketchup with her Ballpark Franks and Doritos.”  This information is used to create partnerships with other suppliers, to strategically place store inventory, and to create “target audiences” for their advertising campaigns.  See Personalized Recommendation Database Management fromciteseerx.ist.psu.edu which not only applies to loyalty program cards, but all forms of online purchase tracking.

Credit Card Purchases

Anything you purchase with a credit card, debit card, or the like, is recorded, and more than likely sold as a data product.  There are those who would do away with all paper money claiming a “cashless society” would mean all transactions would be traceable.

Cellphones

We all heard about the News of the World phone hacking scandal.  This practice is more common than you know.  Everything you say or type into a “smartphone” is recorded and analyzed by multiple parties.  Your phone probably has this installed:

Carrier IQ Rootkit discovery and media attention

On November 12, 2011, researcher Trevor Eckhart stated in a post on androidsecuritytest.com[14] that Carrier IQ was logging information such as location without notifying users or allowing them to opt-out,[15] and that the information tracked included detailed keystroke logs,[16] potentially violating US federal law.[17] Carrier IQ on November 16, 2011, sent Eckhart a cease and desist letter claiming that he was in copyright infringement by posting Carrier IQ training documents on his website and also making “false allegations.”[18][19] Eckhart sought and received the backing of user rights advocacy group Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF).

On November 23, 2011, Carrier IQ backed down and apologized.[20] In the statement of apology, Carrier IQ denied allegations of keystroke logging and other forms of tracking, and offered to work with the EFF.[21]

On November 28, 2011, Eckhart published a YouTube video that he claims shows Carrier IQ software in the act of logging, as plain text, a variety of keystrokes. Included in the demonstration were clear-text captures of passwords to otherwise secure websites, and activities performed when the cellular network was disabled.[22] The video of the demonstration showed Carrier IQ’s software processing keystrokes, browser data, and text messages’ contents, but there was no indication that the information processed was recorded or transmitted. Carrier IQ responded with the statement, “The metrics and tools we derive are not designed to deliver such information, nor do we have any intention of developing such tools.”[23][24] A datasheet for a product called Experience Manager on Carrier IQ’s public website clearly states carriers can “Capture a vast array of experience data including screen transitions, button presses, service interactions and anomalies”.[25]

Which phones have it?

On December 1, 2011, AT&TSprint and T-Mobile confirmed it was on their phones. Sprint said, “We collect enough information to understand the customer experience with devices on our network and how to address any connection problems, but we do not and cannot look at the contents of messages, photos, videos, etc., using this tool…The information collected is not sold and we don’t provide a direct feed of this data to anyone outside of Sprint.” Verizon was the only one of the four biggest U.S. firms to say it was not installed on their phones.[32]

Big Brother involved here?

A request to the FBI under the Freedom of Information Act for “any manuals, documents or other written guidance used to access or analyze data gathered by programs developed or deployed by Carrier IQ” was denied, citing pending law enforcement proceeding. This has led to speculation that the FBI is using data obtained through Carrier IQ for investigations.[38]

Security responses

Fortinet has deemed Carrier IQ as a security risk/rootkit.[39] using definition Riskware/CarrierIQ!Android[40]

Medical Records

Every time you visit a doctor, a hospital, or refill a prescription, you leave a huge paper and digital trail.  With more and more records being stored online, it is only a matter of time before your herpes diagnosis shows up in a Google search, along with your address, phone number, and social security number.

Facebook

Facebook tracks everything you do online.  If you click the “stay logged into Facebook” button, then anytime you visit a website that has a “Like” button on it, Facebook knows you were there.  Facebook Like buttons are on most websites now, therefore they are unavoidable, making Facebook a tracking juggernaut.  Recently, Facebook bundledfacial recognition software giving them new ways to track your activities.

Skype, VOIP, Instant Message

Skype, the world’s most popular video conferencing software, is now built into Facebook.  Skype is a great tool for seeing and talking to people over the internet, and has an excellent messaging component, however every second of your video stream is recorded by Microsoft.  Similar to a man-in-the-middle attack, your video and audio streams are routed from your computer, to the Microsoft recording databases, then to your video conferencing partner, without you noticing a thing.  Why is this a concern?  There are no public notices that this is happening, and I am sure there are plenty of people talking on Skype, saying things they want kept private.  Did you know our government said “Skype usage now allowed on congressional computers“?  Which three letter agencies are monitoring these conversations?  Microsoft has a patent application for Legal Intercept that describes a technique of recording:

“As mentioned previously, traditional techniques for silently recording telephone communication may not work correctly with VoIP and other network-based communication technology. As used hereafter, the term VoIP is used to refer to standard VoIP as well as any other form of packet-based communication that may be used to transmit audio over a wireless and/or wired network. For example, VoIP may includeaudio messages transmitted via gaming systemsinstant messaging protocols that transmit audio, Skype and Skype-like applicationsmeeting softwarevideo conferencing software, and the like.”

Even scarier:

“Modification may include, for example, adding, changing, and/or deleting data within the data. The data as modified is then passed to a protocol entity that uses the data to establish a communication session”

You just can’t get any more “Big Brother” than that, or can you?  Not only is this spying, they can censor you midstream (ouch) or even change what you said (damn!) which is straight out of an Orwell novel.  To top all this off, the RC4 encryption scheme Skype uses to keep your transmissions secure was broken and posted online allowing anyone who can write code to “listen in”.  Also see: Video Conferencing Systems Vulnerable To Hackers

There is much, much more to this study and we recommend reading the rest here.

Shortlink:

Posted by on April 1, 2012. Filed under Big Gov't. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

One Response to Privacy, Censorship, and Staying Anonymous – Big Brother

  1. Thank you for covering this important topic, I’m glad it resonated with you. More Big Brother information here: http://rezn8d.net/category/big-brother/

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