Monday, April 3, 2017

Is Privacy Dead or Alive in the US? Chapter One.

The privacy is dead conclusion has been drawn and continues still to be drawn as the Internet and its "providers" find more lucrative methods of monetizing their connectivity.  The US Congress and recently elected Trump administration believe that opening the Internet to user tracking will stimulate new business to "Make America Great Again".  The victims of such careless handling of individual privacy are you and I - users of "free" content, but funders of the connectivity provided our mobile devices, home broadband connections, and workplace Internet access.

Privacy aside, for the moment, the additional threat from cyber criminals to steal our identities on the "public" internet and to hack, phish, and ransom our accounts adds a second important factor in the current condition.

Homeland security notwithstanding, the ability of the US NSA to monitor our Internet activity, mobile telephone conversations and other online "shared" communication is the third leg of a crumbling privacy platform that was once protected by the Fourth Amendment of the US Constitution.

All that may disappear if President Trump choses to veto rather than approve the current legislation to eliminate most regulations and safeguards that currently protect us from the ISPs who we pay for our services.

Stay Tuned for additional chapters in the continuing saga of Privacy is Dead.

Thanks to your privacy friends at SafeJunction

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Apple Users - How Safe Are You from Your ISP?

The Turkish Crime Family may be attacking your iPhone or iCloud account.
You might want to change your passwords if you are an Apple user.

Apple Users Change Your Passwords

Thanks to NetLib Security

Monday, March 27, 2017

London terror attacker used WhatsApp before rampage- is encryption a problem

Encryption messaging apps continue to be used to assure the privacy of messages between two or more users of the app.  The huge question continues to be whether the use of such applications is a threat to national security.  The answer continues to point to the purpose for the use.

The laws of many countries also focus on purpose.  Using a firearm during the commission of a crime is very different from the use of the same firearm for hunting or personal protection.  Locking a house or car to protect personal property similarly affords the owner protection against intrusion as long as the owner is not engaged in criminal activity.

We hope that companies continue to be able to provide law abiding citizens the tools they need to protect their property, ideas, and messages as long as they are being used for lawful activities.

London terror attacker used WhatsApp, the encrypted messaging app, before rampage

Thanks to USA Today

Monday, March 20, 2017

Masking identity, protecting privacy, wiretapping, leaking, and other curious tactics

Watching the House Intelligence Committee televised public testimony of NSA chief Michael Rogers and FBI chief James Comey today provided yet another glimpse of the theater that has recently become confused with governance and the rule of law.  Discussions of "privacy" have become even more complicated as the private details of ongoing NSA/FBI investigations and the "masking" of the identities of suspects and others incidentally mentioned in investigations are being withheld as a matter of procedure.

The National Security Agency investigates suspicious and/or allegedly illegal activities that threaten US national security abroad.  The FBI investigates similar activities in the US.  The agencies mutually share information that overlaps during the conduct of an investigation whenever domestic and international subjects overlap.  The protection of the identities of the individuals involved are normally assured by statutory protections that guide each agency in the conduct of its duty.  Whistle blowing and information leaks occasionally occur, but are also deterred and discouraged by sanctions that can lead to long prison terms for convicted violators - Edward Snowden notwithstanding. 

In spite of the operational details of the agencies and the "trust" of a common citizen that the agencies are honoring their missions and discharging their duties faithfully, the current post Trump election climate replete with political operators, party biases, and news media zeolots continues to cloud the truth of the matters being investigated. And Privacy again may be the loser.  We'll see.

The fact that ABC chose to carry the CSpan broadcast as a "Special Report" may also be of interest to the curious as well while "Fake News" epithets abound.

ABC News
Fox News

Thanks to the House Intelligence Committee

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Wiretaps and other serious allegations about privacy

 President Trump has challenged FBI Director James Comey to investigate allegations that illegal wiretaps were conducted by the Obama Administration.  The curious part of the charge is that there seems to be no proof - at all.  Is this another of the Whie House's attempts to deflect attention by launching their own "Denial of Service" attack instead of patiently waiting for clarification.

Curious climate for governance these days.

 FBI - Privacy - Trump -Comey

Thanks to The New York Time