SURVEILLANCE

These Toys Don’t Just Listen To Your Kid; They Send What They Hear To A Defense Contractor

Kids say a lot of random, unsolicited, or just plain personal things to their toys while playing. When that toy is stuffed with just fluff and beans, it doesn’t matter what the kid says: their toy is a safe sounding board. When their playtime companion is an internet-connected recording device that ships off audio files to a remote server without even notifying parents — that’s a whole other kind of problem.
READ MORE: https://consumerist.com/2016/12/06/these-toys-dont-just-listen-to-your-k...

US Web Anonymity to Become Reasonable Suspicion

Beginning on Thursday, December 1st, the power granted to U.S. law enforcement agencies to access the computers and phones of its citizens will be expanded. The new powers allow authorities to more easily gain a warrant to remotely access the computers of those people suspected of using technological means to hide their location. This expansion is being resisted by members of the U.S. Congress, but the deadline may pass before legislation can reverse the change.
read more: https://edgylabs.com/2016/11/30/web-anonymity-ends-thursday/

Tor phone is antidote to Google “hostility” over Android, says developer

The Tor Project recently announced the release of its prototype for a Tor-enabled smartphone—an Android phone beefed up with privacy and security in mind, and intended as equal parts opsec kung fu and a gauntlet to Google.

The new phone, designed by Tor developer Mike Perry, is based on Copperhead OS, the hardened Android distribution profiled first by Ars earlier this year.
READ MORE: http://arstechnica.com/security/2016/11/tor-phone-prototype-google-hosti...

Your Government Wants to Militarize Social Media to Influence Your Beliefs

A global conference of senior military and intelligence officials taking place in London this week reveals how governments increasingly view social media as “a new front in warfare” and a tool for the Armed Forces.

The overriding theme of the event is the need to exploit social media as a source of intelligence on civilian populations and enemies; as well as a propaganda medium to influence public opinion.
READ MORE: http://motherboard.vice.com/read/your-government-wants-to-militarize-soc...

Tor Browser 6.0.6 is released

This release is updating Firefox to 45.5.0esr. Moreover, other components got an update as well: Tor to 0.2.8.9, HTTPS-Everywhere to 5.2.7, and OpenSSL to 1.0.1u.

We fixed a lot of usability bugs, some caused by Apple's macOS Sierra (meek did not work anymore and windows could not be dragged either). We moved directly to DuckDuckGo as our search engine avoiding a roundtrip to Disconnect.me first. Finally, we added a donation banner shown in some localized bundled starting on Nov 23 in order to point to our end-of-the-year 2016 donation campaign.
MORE: https://blog.torproject.org/blog/tor-browser-606-released

New leak may show if you were hacked by the NSA

Shadow Brokers—the name used by a person or group that created seismic waves in August when it published some of the National Security Agency's most elite hacking tools—is back with a new leak that the group says reveals hundreds of organizations targeted by the NSA over more than a decade.

"TheShadowBrokers is having special trick or treat for Amerikanskis tonight," said the Monday morning post, which was signed by the same encryption key used in the August posts. "Many missions into your networks is/was coming from these ip addresses."
READ MORE: http://arstechnica.com/security/2016/10/new-leak-may-show-if-you-were-ha...

The New Zealand Company Destroying Privacy Worldwide

It was a powerful piece of technology created for an important customer. The Medusa system, named after the mythical Greek monster with snakes instead of hair, had one main purpose: to vacuum up vast quantities of internet data at an astonishing speed.

The technology was designed by Endace, a little-known New Zealand company. And the important customer was the British electronic eavesdropping agency, Government Communications Headquarters, or GCHQ.
READ MORE: https://theintercept.com/2016/10/23/endace-mass-surveillance-gchq-govern...

NY To Test Facial Recognition Cameras At ‘Crossing Points’

Governor Andrew Cuomo made a number of promises that would thrill New Yorkers, like the promise of a renovated Penn Station, called Penn-Farley, a direct train from there to LaGuardia Airport, and the completion of the long-awaited Second Avenue Line. Oh, and facial recognition cameras around the city, he said:

“At each crossing, and at structurally sensitive points on bridges and tunnels, advanced cameras and sensors will be installed to read license plates and test emerging facial recognition software and equipment.”

READ MORE: http://www.vocativ.com/365430/ny-facial-recognition-cameras-bridges-tunn...

N.S.A. Contractor Arrested in Possible New Theft of Secrets

The F.B.I. secretly arrested a National Security Agency contractor in recent weeks and is investigating whether he stole and disclosed highly classified computer code developed to hack into the networks of foreign governments, according to several senior law enforcement and intelligence officials.

The theft raises the embarrassing prospect that for the second time in three years, an insider has managed to steal highly damaging secret information from the N.S.A. In 2013, Edward J. Snowden, who was also a contractor for the agency, took a vast trove of documents that were later passed to journalists, exposing N.S.A. surveillance programs in the United States and abroad.
READ MORE: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/10/06/us/nsa-leak-booz-allen-hamilton.html?_r=1

Yahoo secretly built a tool to scan all email in realtime for US spies

In 2015, Yahoo CEO Marissa Meyer ordered the company's engineers to build a tool that scanned Yahoo Mail messages in realtime for "characters" of interest to a US security agency, either the FBI or the NSA.

As far as we know, the move was unprecedented in US tech history, and it triggered the departure of then-CSO Alex Stamos (previously), now CSO for Facebook.
READ MORE: http://boingboing.net/2016/10/04/yahoo-secretly-built-a-tool-to.html

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