Edward Snowden risked his life and freedom to bring to the world’s attention that the American government illegal (and unethically) spies on innocent people everywhere on the planet. Many Americans called Snowden a traitor and a liar. Now, the courts in his home country agree with Snowden: the wiretapping by the National Security Agency (NSA) was indeed illegal. Hopefully the American government will stop spying on innocent people, and with his vindication hopefully others will be inspired to speak truth to power like Snowden did.
The US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit said that the program, under which the NSA collected and analyzed bulk data provided by telecommunications companies, was in violation of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act and could have been unconstitutional.
“Seven years ago, as the news declared I was being charged as a criminal for speaking the truth, I never imagined that I would live to see our courts condemn the NSA’s activities as unlawful and in the same ruling credit me for exposing them,” said Snowden, who fled to Russia after exposing the program, on Twitter. “And yet that day has arrived.”
What you wear can impinge the ability of people to look at you. That’s been true for centuries, but today your fashion choices can actually make it harder for governments or private entities to track you throughout the day. The mass surveillance in our current society should concern you as it erodes our freedoms. One fashion designer has had enough of her liberties being attacked that the designed some flashy gear to obfuscate who you are. The clothing designed by Kate Rose confuses algorithms to think that you are something you are not, for example by wearing certain patterns a computer may think you are a car.
Use of patterning and adversarial input techniques are on the rise as computer vision analysis of everything from our faces to our license plates becomes ubiquitous for everything from marketing to state surveillance. This talk will be a highly tactical guide to give an overview of the work in the area of confounding or intentionally triggering computer vision systems with fashion. This presentation will show you the same open source guides, libraries, and resources to build your own adversarial clothing, via the process used to develop ALPR-triggering fabrics. This talk will review not only the technical and aesthetic considerations, but also getting over the manufacturing hurdle from design to prototype so you can quickly deploy your fashion hacks to the people
The privacy rich messaging app Signal continues to make the world of communication safe from prying eyes. With an announcement yesterday of the launch of the Signal Foundation the group will have a long lasting impact on the world of privacy. Private communication is healthy for a democratic society and the ability to have conversation free from the spying efforts of governments is getting harder. Signal wants to change this by making protecting one’s privacy simple and brainless.
Long before we knew that it would be called Signal, we knew what we wanted it to be. Instead of teaching the rest of the world cryptography, we wanted to see if we could develop cryptography that worked for the rest of the world. At the time, the industry consensus was largely that encryption and cryptography would remain unusable, but we started Signal with the idea that private communication could be simple.
As more and more of our lives happen online, data protection and privacy are critical. This isn’t just important for select people in select countries. It’s important for people from all walks of life in every part of the world. Everyone deserves to be protected. We created the Signal Foundation in response to this global need. Our plan is to pioneer a new model of technology nonprofit focused on privacy and data protection for everyone, everywhere.
Thanks to the bravery of whistleblowers we know that the Five Eyes are monitoring all internet chatter regardless of who’s talking. This is a big concern for people who care about freedom and rights to have personal communication. As a result, Amnesty International put together a review of messaging apps so you can make an educated decision around what app you use. They cover the basics of what apps are available and what concerns there are around messaging security.
Why is end-to-end encryption important?
End-to-end encryption is important because it protects your personal data even as it passes through the company’s servers. It means that the company is not able to decrypt your messages or see the content. It recently emerged that Yahoo allowed US intelligence officials to scan hundreds of millions of YahooMail accounts. This could easily happen with instant messaging too, if it’s not end-to-end encrypted.
Thanks to Delaney!
In a world where our digital lives are tracked by democratic governments (Canada and the UK amongst them) we need to ensure that we can have private conversations online. Over at Digg they have collected a very easy to follow setup to get your protecting your privacy online in only an hour!
Keep Your Private Conversations Private
It’s rude enough for a stranger to even eavesdrop on your conversations in a place as public as a park. So opting to use messaging services with end-to-end encryption doesn’t make you some sort of criminal or tin foil hat-wearing nut. Whether you mind or not, there are organizations out there that are just scooping up every chat (Hello NSA!) you send out over the internet. No one is actively looking at them, or might ever look at them, but they’re listening so you might as well turn some music on or something.
It’s sort of like taping over your webcam or looking both ways before you cross the street — it’s such an easy and painless thing to do that it far outweighs the consequences of not doing that thing.
Think that because you have “nothing to hide” that you shouldn’t be concerned about being tracked? Or that it’s OK for the democratically elected governments to justify mass surveillance? Well, Edward Snowden has a nice and short counter argument:
Some might say “I don’t care if they violate my privacy; I’ve got nothing to hide.” Help them understand that they are misunderstanding the fundamental nature of human rights. Nobody needs to justify why they “need” a right: the burden of justification falls on the one seeking to infringe upon the right. But even if they did, you can’t give away the rights of others because they’re not useful to you. More simply, the majority cannot vote away the natural rights of the minority.