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Gonzalo San Gil, PhD.

Stop Watching Us | Stop Watching Us - 0 views

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    "The revelations about the National Security Agency's surveillance apparatus, if true, represent a stunning abuse of our basic rights. We demand the U.S. Congress reveal the full extent of the NSA's spying programs."
Paul Merrell

Surveillance scandal rips through hacker community | Security & Privacy - CNET News - 0 views

  • One security start-up that had an encounter with the FBI was Wickr, a privacy-forward text messaging app for the iPhone with an Android version in private beta. Wickr's co-founder Nico Sell told CNET at Defcon, "Wickr has been approached by the FBI and asked for a backdoor. We said, 'No.'" The mistrust runs deep. "Even if [the NSA] stood up tomorrow and said that [they] have eliminated these programs," said Marlinspike, "How could we believe them? How can we believe that anything they say is true?" Where does security innovation go next? The immediate future of information security innovation most likely lies in software that provides an existing service but with heightened privacy protections, such as webmail that doesn't mine you for personal data.
  • Wickr's Sell thinks that her company has hit upon a privacy innovation that a few others are also doing, but many will soon follow: the company itself doesn't store user data. "[The FBI] would have to force us to build a new app. With the current app there's no way," she said, that they could incorporate backdoor access to Wickr users' texts or metadata. "Even if you trust the NSA 100 percent that they're going to use [your data] correctly," Sell said, "Do you trust that they're going to be able to keep it safe from hackers? What if somebody gets that database and posts it online?" To that end, she said, people will start seeing privacy innovation for services that don't currently provide it. Calling it "social networks 2.0," she said that social network competitors will arise that do a better job of protecting their customer's privacy and predicted that some that succeed will do so because of their emphasis on privacy. Abine's recent MaskMe browser add-on and mobile app for creating disposable e-mail addresses, phone numbers, and credit cards is another example of a service that doesn't have access to its own users' data.
  • Stamos predicted changes in services that companies with cloud storage offer, including offering customers the ability to store their data outside of the U.S. "If they want to stay competitive, they're going to have to," he said. But, he cautioned, "It's impossible to do a cloud-based ad supported service." Soghoian added, "The only way to keep a service running is to pay them money." This, he said, is going to give rise to a new wave of ad-free, privacy protective subscription services.
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  • The issue with balancing privacy and surveillance is that the wireless carriers are not interested in privacy, he said. "They've been providing wiretapping for 100 years. Apple may in the next year protect voice calls," he said, and said that the best hope for ending widespread government surveillance will be the makers of mobile operating systems like Apple and Google. Not all upcoming security innovation will be focused on that kind of privacy protection. Security researcher Brandon Wiley showed off at Defcon a protocol he calls Dust that can obfuscate different kinds of network traffic, with the end goal of preventing censorship. "I only make products about letting you say what you want to say anywhere in the world," such as content critical of governments, he said. Encryption can hide the specifics of the traffic, but some governments have figured out that they can simply block all encrypted traffic, he said. The Dust protocol would change that, he said, making it hard to tell the difference between encrypted and unencrypted traffic. It's hard to build encryption into pre-existing products, Wiley said. "I think people are going to make easy-to-use, encrypted apps, and that's going to be the future."
  • Companies could face severe consequences from their security experts, said Stamos, if the in-house experts find out that they've been lied to about providing government access to customer data. You could see "lots of resignations and maybe publicly," he said. "It wouldn't hurt their reputations to go out in a blaze of glory." Perhaps not surprisingly, Marlinspike sounded a hopeful call for non-destructive activism on Defcon's 21st anniversary. "As hackers, we don't have a lot of influence on policy. I hope that's something that we can focus our energy on," he said.
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    NSA as the cause of the next major disruption in the social networking service industry?  Grief ahead for Google? Note the point made that: "It's impossible to do a cloud-based ad supported service" where the encryption/decryption takes place on the client side. 
Gonzalo San Gil, PhD.

Opt out of PRISM, the NSA's global data surveillance program - PRISM Break - 0 views

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    "Use a combination of Tor Browser and another free browser to surf the web. Try to use Tor for as many things as possible. Browsing the web may be slower, but it will offer you far better anonymity. Make sure to learn the basics of Tor before using it."
Gonzalo San Gil, PhD.

Tortilla Open Source Anonymous Traffic Routing Tool for Tor | Threatpost - 0 views

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    "Update: Malware analysts are in a constant cat-and-mouse game with hackers when it comes to studying malicious code behaviors. Researchers handle malware samples gingerly, in a test network away from production machines and away from the Internet. Samples are opened in virtual machines and analysts observe not only malicious payloads, but communication with third-party servers."
Gonzalo San Gil, PhD.

The SSD Project | EFF Surveillance Self-Defense Project - 2 views

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    "The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has created this Surveillance Self-Defense site to educate the American public about the law and technology of government surveillance in the United States, providing the information and tools necessary to evaluate the threat of surveillance and take appropriate steps to defend against it. "
Paul Merrell

Mozilla Sets New Plans for Do Not Track Browser | Adweek - 0 views

  • Much to the disappointment of the digital advertising establishment, Mozilla is going ahead with plans to automatically block third-party cookie tracking in its Firefox browser. Mozilla first announced its Do Not Track browser in February, only to back off in May saying it needed to do more testing. But that didn't stop a growing chorus of loud protests from the advertising community, which argued that the browser would choke off the ad-supported Internet. The Interactive Advertising Bureau's general counsel Mike Zaneis called Mozilla's browser nothing less than a "nuclear first strike" against the ad community. No date has been set for when Firefox will turn on the feature, but advertisers, which have been regularly meeting with Mozilla and were hopeful for a compromise, are already lashing back at Mozilla.
  • "It's troubling," said Lou Mastria, the managing director for the Digital Advertising Alliance, which manages an online self-regulatory program called Ad Choices that provides consumers with the choice to opt-out of targeted ads. "They're putting this under the cloak of privacy, but it's disrupting a business model," Mastria said. Advertisers are worried that Mozilla's plans could be the death knell to thousands of small Web publishers that depend on third-party targeted ads to stay in business. Nearly 1,000 signed a petition urging Mozilla to change its plans.  "One publisher said that 20 percent of their business would go away. That's huge," said Mastria. "Mozilla is really picking business model winners and losers."
  • Not all cookies will be blocked under Mozilla's latest plans for its proposed browser; there will be exceptions. Through a partnership with the Center for Internet and Society at Stanford Law School, the two are launching a Cookie Clearinghouse. Overseen by a six-person panel, it will determine a list of undesirable cookies and then block those. "The Cookie Clearinghouse will create, maintain and publish objective information," Aleecia McDonald, director of privacy at CIS, said in a statement. "Web browser companies will be able to choose to adopt the lists we publish to provide new privacy options to their users." But others say the approach is far from objective. "What these organizations and the privacy groups that back them are really saying is 'let us choose for you because we know best,' " said Daniel Castro, a senior analyst with the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation. "The proponents of this model have claimed they are empowering users. ... This is basically Sarah Palin's 'Death Panels' but for the Internet."
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  • Advertisers have so far resisted some of the Do Not Track proposals advocated by privacy groups arguing they are technological solutions that could quickly be rendered obsolete by the fast-moving Internet economy. When Micosoft launched its Do Not Track default browser, advertisers said they would not honor it. Meanwhile, members of the World Wide Web Consortium's tracking group, represented by advertisers, privacy groups and other stakeholders, have been unable to reach consensus about a universal Do Not Track browser solution. In Congress, where baseline privacy legislation has moved at a glacial pace, Mozilla's news gave Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) more ammunition for his Do Not Track Online Act. Introduced earlier this year, the bill hasn't gotten much traction and only has one co-sponsor, Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.). "With major Web browsers now starting to provide privacy protections by default, it's even more important to give businesses the regulatory certainty they need and consumers the privacy protections they deserve," Rockefeller said in a statement. "I hope this will end the emerging back and forth so we can act quickly to pass new legislation."
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    Cookie Clearinghouse. Overseen by a six-person panel, it will determine a list of undesirable cookies and then block those.
Gonzalo San Gil, PhD.

EU is negotiating about new data privacy laws | # Take Part - 0 views

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    [ Currently the EU is negotiating about new data privacy laws. This new EU Regulation will replace all existing national laws on data privacy. Here you can see a general overview which Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) are pushing for more or less data privacy. Choose a country, a political group or a MEP from the "Top 10" list to find out more. ...]
Gonzalo San Gil, PhD.

It's privacy versus cybersecurity as CISPA bill arrives in Senate | ITworld - 2 views

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    [ By Melissa Riofrio, PC World | Security, CISPA, privacy April 25, 2013, 12:16 PM - Cybersecurity and online privacy are two critical interests that seem destined never to get along. Sure, you want malicious hackers, spammers, and other Internet lowlifes brought to justice--but you also want to protect your online data. ...]
Paul Merrell

U.S. gives big, secret push to Internet surveillance | Politics and Law - CNET News - 0 views

  • Justice Department agreed to issue "2511 letters" immunizing AT&T and other companies participating in a cybersecurity program from criminal prosecution under the Wiretap Act, according to new documents obtained by the Electronic Privacy Information Center.
Paul Merrell

Ad industry threatens Firefox users with more ads if Mozilla moves on tracking plans | ... - 0 views

  • The online ad industry has attacked Mozilla over its decision to block third-party cookies in a future release of Firefox, calling the move "dangerous and highly disturbing," and claiming that it will result in more ads shown to users. The fierce reaction came from the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) and Association of National Advertisers (ANA), both of which laid out positions in blog posts on March 14.
  • In their blogs, the two groups lambasted Mozilla, predicting dire consequences, including the shuttering of small businesses and small websites, fewer choices for online users, and more ads in Firefox. "If Mozilla follows through on its plan ... the disruption will disenfranchise every single Internet user," said Randall Rothenberg, president and CEO of the IAB, in his post. "All of us will lose the freedom to choose our own online experiences; we will lose the opportunity to monitor and protect our privacy; and we will lose the chance to benefit from independent sites ... because thousands of small businesses that make up the diversity of content and services online will be forced to close their doors."
  • What raised the IAB's and ANA's hackles was Mozilla's decision last month to automatically block all third-party tracking cookies in a future version of Firefox, perhaps as soon as June with the release of Firefox 22. Cookies are used by online advertisers to track users' Web movements, then deliver targeted ads, a practice labeled "online behavioral advertising," or OBA, by the ad industry. The new Firefox policy will allow cookies presented from domains that users actually visit -- dubbed a "first-party" site -- but will automatically block those generated by a third-party domain unless the user had previously visited the cookie's site-of-origin.
Gonzalo San Gil, PhD.

Alert: Our Privacy About to be Destroyed in Brussels? | La Quadrature du Net - 0 views

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    [ Submitted on 22 Jan 2013 - 14:35 data protection press release Printer-friendly version Send by email Paris, 22 January 2013 - The consideration of the "data protection" privacy regulation is in progress in the European Parliament, with a vote in the consumers committee (IMCO) on Wednesday. It is the object of an unprecedented lobbying campaign, mostly driven by US companies. If citizens don't act, banks, insurance companies and Internet service operators will have a free hand to collect, process, store and sell all of our personal data, which will enable them to know and direct all that we do online and offline. ...]
Paul Merrell

Google starts watching what you do off the Internet too - RT - 1 views

  • The most powerful company on the Internet just got a whole lot creepier: a new service from Google merges offline consumer info with online intelligence, allowing advertisers to target users based on what they do at the keyboard and at the mall. Without much fanfare, Google announced news this week of a new advertising project, Conversions API, that will let businesses build all-encompassing user profiles based off of not just what users search for on the Web, but what they purchase outside of the home. In a blog post this week on Google’s DoubleClick Search site, the Silicon Valley giant says that targeting consumers based off online information only allows advertisers to learn so much. “Conversions,” tech-speak for the digital metric made by every action a user makes online, are incomplete until coupled with real life data, Google says.
  • Of course, there is always the possibility that all of this information can be unencrypted and, in some cases, obtained by third-parties that you might not want prying into your personal business. Edwards notes in his report that Google does not explicitly note that intelligence used in Conversions API will be anonymized, but the blowback from not doing as much would sure be enough to start a colossal uproar. Meanwhile, however, all of the information being collected by Google — estimated to be on millions of servers around the globe — is being handed over to more than just advertising companies. Last month Google reported that the US government requested personal information from roughly 8,000 individual users during just the first few months of 2012.“This is the sixth time we’ve released this data, and one trend has become clear: Government surveillance is on the rise,” Google admitted with their report.
Paul Merrell

Who Needs CISPA? FBI Has a Non-Profit Workaround - Slashdot - 1 views

  • "What has been left out of the CISPA debate thus far is the FBI's long time workaround for information sharing with private industry: 'In 1997, long-time FBI agent Dan Larkin helped set up a non-profit based in Pittsburgh that "functions as a conduit between private industry and law enforcement."
Gonzalo San Gil, PhD.

Tor Project: Overview - 2 views

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    Overview Tor is a network of virtual tunnels that allows people and groups to improve their privacy and security on the Internet. It also enables software developers to create new communication tools with built-in privacy features. Tor provides the foundation for a range of applications that allow organizations and individuals to share information over public networks without compromising their privacy.
Paul Merrell

Technology News: Tech Law: Court Ruling Grants Email the Cloak of Privacy - 0 views

  • The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals has handed down a ruling that delights privacy advocates and Fourth Amendment purists: In U.S. v. Warshak, it found that the government should have obtained a search warrant before seizing and searching defendant Stephen Warshak's emails, which were stored by email service providers.
  • It is an important ruling, because it is the first time a federal court of appeals has extended the Fourth Amendment to email with such careful consideration, and it is likely to be influential on both legal and practical levels
  • The decision is particularly important because the Stored Communications Act does allow the government to secretly obtain emails without a warrant in many situations, according to the EFF, which filed an amicus brief in the case.
¡%@&# Dizzywizard

Google's Schmidt: People Upset With Street View Can Always Move | John Paczkowski | Dig... - 1 views

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    WTF? do no evil? why does he come out with such statements ??
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    wtf?
Matteo Spreafico

ReclaimPrivacy.org | Facebook Privacy Scanner - 2 views

  • This website provides an independent and open tool for scanning your Facebook privacy settings.
  • Our mission is to promote privacy awareness on Facebook and elsewhere. Spread awareness to your friends on Facebook by sharing this website with them:
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