Stop the Secrecy


Let’s save online privacy, together

Wed, 01/21/2015 - 13:06 -- Eva Prkachin

Governments around the world just don’t seem to get it.

It’s been nearly two years since Edward Snowden revealed that the United States and their allies, including Canada, had been spying on their own citizens at an unprecedented scale.

It’s been nearly two decades now since the Internet began to transform our society - opening up new avenues for free expression, unbridled creativity, and unrestrained collaboration.

The Independent: Yup, it's this easy to get on the NSA's radar

Mon, 01/19/2015 - 12:40 -- David Christopher

Have you ever googled Tor or other privacy tools? Experts say these leaks confirm that the NSA is engaged in indiscriminate mass surveillance.

Article by James Vincent for The Independent

Any internet users who use or even read about privacy services online will be targeted for surveillance by the NSA, according to a new report from German broadcaster ARD.

According to leaked source-code of the US spy agency’s ‘XKeyscore’ software, individuals who search for information about anonymising services such as Tor have their IP addresses logged by the NSA and can be flagged for further monitoring.

The Register: Could we see universal Internet in the next decade?

Fri, 01/16/2015 - 16:38 -- Eva Prkachin

Could this idea help bring the world closer to universal Internet access?

Article by Simon Sharwood for the Register

WorldVu, an outfit that last year looked to have Google and Elon Musk backing its vision for a fleet of broadband-beaming low-earth orbit satellites, has scored backing from Virgin and Qualcomm.

BGR: Verizon's shareholders have had it with their anti-Net Neutrality fight

Fri, 01/16/2015 - 16:01 -- Eva Prkachin

Verizon's Internet slow lane gamble is starting to cost them.

Article by Brad Reed for BGR

Given how just about any net neutrality proposals have the potential to inhibitVerizon’s bottom line, you’d think that all the company’s shareholders would be 100% behind its efforts to fight them. However, you’d be wrong — Ars Technica reports that the Nathan Cummings Foundation and Trillium Asset Management LLC, both Verizon shareholders, are not pleased with how Verizon has been responding to the net neutrality controversy.

The Center for Public Integrity: Ridiculous road-blocks to municipally-run broadband networks

Fri, 01/16/2015 - 15:57 -- Eva Prkachin

Big Telecom is desperate to stop municipal fiber Internet

Article by Allan Holmes for the Center for Public Integrity

Janice Bowling, a 67-year-old grandmother and Republican state senator from rural Tennessee, thought it only made sense that the city of Tullahoma be able to offer its local high-speed Internet service to areas beyond the city limits.

Daily Dot: Meet the algorithm that knows you better than your friends

Fri, 01/16/2015 - 15:16 -- Eva Prkachin

Personality algorithms are getting frighteningly accurate.

Article by Jam Kotenko for the Daily Dot

These days, when you want to find out more about someone, the solution is almost automatic. You go to that person's Facebook profile and take a quick (or perhaps extended) gander at that person’s life. At the end of your information expedition, you'll have a better grasp of what that person is like in real life.

The Verge: How the legal response to the Charlie Hebdo attacks could destroy privacy

Thu, 01/15/2015 - 14:52 -- Eva Prkachin

Is the surveillance state about to expand in Europe?

Article by Amar Toor for the Verge

Paris is still very much on edge after last week’s attacks on the offices of satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, which precipitated a three-day manhunt and left 17 dead. Thousands of soldiers have been deployed amid fears of further violence, as government leaders and intelligence officials try to make sense of France's worst terrorist attack in decades.

Medium: Keep Aaron Swartz's dream alive

Wed, 01/14/2015 - 15:30 -- Eva Prkachin

Over two years ago, we lost Internet activist Aaron Swartz to suicide after he was relentlessly persecuted for alleged copyright infringement. Find out how you can best honor Aaron and keep his legacy alive.

Article by Ben Wikler for Medium

Today is two years and a day after the suicide of Aaron Swartz.

Aaron was one of my closest friends. That night was the worst of my life.

BoingBoing: David Cameron: banning encrypted chat apps is a terrible, terrible idea

Tue, 01/13/2015 - 15:57 -- Eva Prkachin

Is U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron prepared to deal with the enormous consequences of making chat encryption illegal?

Article by Cory Doctorow for BoingBoing

What David Cameron thinks he's saying is, "We will command all the software creators we can reach to introduce back-doors into their tools for us." There are enormous problems with this: there's no back door that only lets good guys go through it. If your Whatsapp or Google Hangouts has a deliberately introduced flaw in it, then foreign spies, criminals, crooked police (like those who fed sensitive information to the tabloids who were implicated in the hacking scandal -- and like the high-level police who secretly worked for organised crime for years), and criminals will eventually discover this vulnerability. They -- and not just the security services -- will be able to use it to intercept all of our communications. That includes things like the pictures of your kids in your bath that you send to your parents to the trade secrets you send to your co-workers.