Internet Architects Plan Counter-Attack On NSA Snooping

Internet Architects Plan Counter-Attack On NSA Snooping (ZeroHedge, Aug 24, 2013):

“Not having encryption on the web today is a matter of life and death,” is how one member of the Internet Engineering Task Force – IETF (the so-called architects of the web) described the current situation. As the FT reports, the IETF have started to fight back against US and UK snooping programs by drawing up an ambitious plan to defend traffic over the world wide web against mass surveillance. The proposal is a system in which all communication between websites and browsers would be shielded by encryption. While the plan is at an early stage, it has the potential to transform a large part of the internet and make it more difficult for governments, companies and criminals to eavesdrop on people as they browse the web. “There has been a complete change in how people perceive the world,” since Snowden exposed the NSA’s massive surveillance efforts, and while “not a silver bullet,” the chief technologist at security firm RSA notes, “anything that improves trust in this digital world is a noble aim.”

Via The FT,

Key architects of the internet have started to fight back against US and UK snooping programmes by drawing up an ambitious plan to defend traffic over the world wide web against mass surveillance.

The Internet Engineering Task Force, a body that develops internet standards, has proposed a system in which all communication between websites and browsers would be shielded by encryption.

Read moreInternet Architects Plan Counter-Attack On NSA Snooping

Meanwhile, Back In The World Of Big Barack Brother …

Meanwhile, Back In The World Of Big Barack Brother… (ZeroHedge, Aug 21, 2013):

Update:

Want To Be ‘Liked’? There’s A Virus For That

Want To Be “Liked”? There’s A Virus For That (ZeroHedge, Aug 18, 2013):

There was a time when the shadier online “element” was mostly interested in procuring credit card numbers, usually from Eastern European sources, in order to turn a quick buck. However, over time, interest in credit card fraud declined and according to RSA the going rate for 1000 credit card numbers has now dropped to a mere $6. What has taken the place of monetary online fraud, is artificial “likability” and “popularity.” Reuters reports that with the rise of social networking, instead of obtaining credit card numbers, hackers have used their computer skills to create and sell false endorsements – such as “likes” and “followers” – that purport to come from users of Facebook, its photo-sharing app Instagram, Twitter, Google’s YouTube, LinkedIn and other popular websites. This can be seen in the costs charged by “service” providers: 1,000 Instagram “followers” can be bought for $15, while 1,000 Instagram “likes” cost $30. It is likely that the going rates for fake popularity on other online social networks, FaceBook and Twitter is comparable.

In other words, being “liked” and “followed” online – traditionally an indication of influence, importance and power – has become more important than having instant access to liquidity, and naturally, since there is demand for online popularity shortcuts, there is also supply.

Enter Zeus: a computer virus that was once widely used to steal credit card numbers, has now been modified to create bogus likes that can be used to generate buzz for a company or individual.

In short: marketing and self-promotion is now the most impotant gray market commodity on the internet.

From Reuters:

These fake “likes” are sold in batches of 1,000 on Internet hacker forums, where cyber criminals also flog credit card numbers and other information stolen from PCs. According to RSA, 1,000 Instagram “followers” can be bought for $15 and 1,000 Instagram “likes” go for $30, whereas 1,000 credit card numbers cost as little as $6.

Read moreWant To Be ‘Liked’? There’s A Virus For That

Obama Administration Wants Online Streaming To Be A Felony

Obama to Fill Prisons with File Sharers Instead of Pot Smokers? (Activist Post, Aug 18, 2013):

The most ridiculous provisions of the defeated SOPA are put back on the table. Obama Administration wants online streaming to be a felony.

The Washington Post reports:

You probably remember the online outrage over the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) copyright enforcement proposal. Last week, the Department of Commerce’s Internet Policy Task Force released a report on digital copyright policy that endorsed one piece of the controversial proposal: making the streaming of copyrighted works a felony.

As it stands now, streaming a copyrighted work over the Internet is considered a violation of the public performance right. The violation is only punishable as a misdemeanor, rather than the felony charges that accompany the reproduction and distribution of copyrighted material.

SOPA attempted to change that in Section 201, aptly titled “Streaming of copyrighted works in violation of criminal law.” Some have suggested that the SOPA version and an earlier stand-alone piece of legislation from Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) would have criminalized covers of songs shared on Youtube.

A slightly more colorful explanation of this development is in the video below:

Private Search Engine DuckDuckGo’s Traffic Performance Goes Parabolic (Chart Of The Day)

Chart of the Day: DuckDuckGo (Liberty Blitzkrieg, Aug 15, 2013):

A month ago, I highlighted the explosive growth in privacy focused search engine DuckDuckGo. At the time, I also stated that I would start using it for my searches to see how it goes. Well I am very pleased to report that I have now successfully conditioned myself to use this search engine for about 90% of my online queries, and I have found the results to be excellent. It appears I am not the only one, as according to website information hub Alexa, DuckDuckGo’s performance has continued to go parabolic.

This just goes to show that when people decide they are fed up and want something new, they will shift to something new. We have the power to change things, we just need to wake up and do it.

In Liberty,
Mike

GOOGLE: If You Send To Gmail, You Have ‘No Legitimate Expectation Of Privacy’

GOOGLE: If You Send To Gmail, You Have ‘No Legitimate Expectation Of Privacy’ (San Francisco Chronicle, Aug 13, 2013):

If you happen to send an email to one of the 400 million people who use Google’s Gmail service, you shouldn’t have any expectation of privacy, according to a court briefing obtained by the Consumer Watchdog website.

In a motion filed last month by Google to have a class action complaint dismissed, Google’s lawyers reference a 1979 ruling, holding that people who turn over information to third parties shouldn’t expect that information to remain private.

From the filing (emphasis added):

Read moreGOOGLE: If You Send To Gmail, You Have ‘No Legitimate Expectation Of Privacy’

Welcome To The Silk Road: A Mind-Blowing Interview With Dread Pirate Roberts

Welcome to the Silk Road: A Mind-Blowing Interview with Dread Pirate Roberts (Liberty Blitzkrieg, Aug 15, 2013):

An entrepreneur as professionally careful as the Dread Pirate Roberts doesn’t trust instant messaging services. Forget phones or Skype. At one point during our eight-month preinterview courtship, I offer to meet him at an undisclosed location outside the United States. “Meeting in person is out of the question,” he says. “I don’t meet in person even with my closest advisors.” When I ask for his name and nationality, he’s so spooked that he refuses to answer any other questions and we lose contact for a month.All my communications with Roberts are routed exclusively through the messaging system and forums of the website he owns and manages, the Silk Road… “The highest levels of government are hunting me,” says Roberts. “I can’t take any chances.”
– From Forbes’ recent article on the Silk Road

Most of my readers have probably heard of the Silk Road. No, not the historical trade routes that linked Europe to Asia, but rather the online illegal drug marketplace accessible only via anonymity browsing software Tor, and where the only currency accepted is Bitcoin.

Those of you who have heard about it, probably know far less about the man that runs it. A character who only goes by the name Dread Pirate Roberts. He’s a character who usually stays firmly in the shadows for obvious reasons, but who has come out and done an excellent interview with Andy Greenberg of Forbes. What follows are some of the more interesting exchanges.

From Forbes:

Read moreWelcome To The Silk Road: A Mind-Blowing Interview With Dread Pirate Roberts

The Meshnet … Will Permit Secure Communication Without Surveillance And Decentralized Internet Access

Meet The Meshnet: A New Wave of Decentralized Internet Access (Liberty Blitzkrieg, Aug 13, 2013):

Across the US, from Maryland to Seattle, work is underway to construct user-owned wireless networks that will permit secure communication without surveillance or any centralized organization. They are known as meshnets and ultimately, if their designers get their way, they will span the country.
From the New Scientist article, Let’s Start the Net Again

In the wake of the NSA spy revelations, many people have become disillusioned or despondent regarding the seemingly unstoppable pervasiveness of the surveillance state. I am not one of those people. As James Baldwin famously stated: “Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.”

Read moreThe Meshnet … Will Permit Secure Communication Without Surveillance And Decentralized Internet Access

Edward Snowden’s Email Service Provider Shuts Down Following U.S. Government Pressure

Snowden’s Email Service Provider Shuts Down Following Government Pressure (ZeroHedge, Aug 8, 2013):

Secure and free web-based email service provider Lavabit shut down today. What makes Lavabit different from countless other email providers who have shuttered over the years is that according to BoingBoing, Lavabit is the email service supposedly used by Edward Snowden. Which would explain the nebulous tone in the farewell letter posted on the company’s front page by owner Ladar Levison. It also explains why Lavabit was shut down by the US government, although that was mostly inferred from the letter which due to legal limitations does not expound on the official reasons for the shut down – one can imagine. It certainly explains the following punchline in Levison’s letter: “This experience has taught me one very important lesson: without congressional action or a strong judicial precedent, I would _strongly_ recommend against anyone trusting their private data to a company with physical ties to the United States.“We wholeheartedly agree.

Lavabit’s farewell letter:

My Fellow Users,

I have been forced to make a difficult decision: to become complicit in crimes against the American people or walk away from nearly ten years of hard work by shutting down Lavabit. After significant soul searching, I have decided to suspend operations. I wish that I could legally share with you the events that led to my decision. I cannot. I feel you deserve to know what’s going on–the first amendment is supposed to guarantee me the freedom to speak out in situations like this. Unfortunately, Congress has passed laws that say otherwise. As things currently stand, I cannot share my experiences over the last six weeks, even though I have twice made the appropriate requests.

Read moreEdward Snowden’s Email Service Provider Shuts Down Following U.S. Government Pressure

U.S. Secret Service On Twitter: Contact Us To ‘Report A Tweet’


Stasi (Wikipedia)

Secret Service: Contact Us to ‘Report a Tweet’ (CNS News, Aug 6, 2013):

On a day when terror threats continued to dominate the U.S. headlines, the Secret Service — a division of the Homeland Security Department since 2003 — tweeted the following message:

“Contact your nearest field office with time-sensitive or critical info or to report a tweet,” said one message.

That tweet from the Secret Service links to telephone numbers for every Secret Service office in the U.S. or its territories (there are 117 of them) and all 20 Secret Service offices overseas.

In a separate tweet on Tuesday morning, the Secret Service asked, “Have you seen any of our Most Wanted?” This tweet links to a list of suspects, most wanted for theft or fraud. None are listed as suspected terrorists.

This is not the first time the Secret Service has asked its Twitter followers to tell on other subscribers.

Read moreU.S. Secret Service On Twitter: Contact Us To ‘Report A Tweet’