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Thread: Big Brother, Invisible friends and Web Surveillance

  1. #1

    Default Big Brother, Invisible friends and Web Surveillance

    Warning: posting to this thread will cause your dossier to be amended.

    Anyway, thoughts on whether our democracy is at risk due to all this access to people's thoughts and actions...

    Canadian governments go to telecoms for users information 1.2 million times a year
    By Annie Bergeron-Oliver Apr 29, 2014

    Excerpt:
    "A document filed with the office in 2011 – released publicly on Tuesday – reveals that government authorities ask telecom companies for an average of 1,193,630 disclosures every year. The aggregated disclosure provided to the office summarized the findings of nine, unknown telecom companies. It is unknown how many..."

    http://www.ipolitics.ca/2014/04/29/t...g-in-the-dark/



    Google stung by Canada’s privacy commissioner for ads linked to personal health history

    http://www.vancouversun.com/business...095/story.html





    It begins: tories aim to heighten web-surveillance powers

    http://www.connect2edmonton.ca/forum...ad.php?t=20772

  2. #2
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    I would say this is a symptom of the decline of democracy that has been ongoing the last couple of decades and is one of the causes of the acceleration of that decline.

    "For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong"

  3. #3

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    I'm just going to post some further interesting backup related to corporate access to what might be considered private data. My view is that you never know how someone might seek to use that information to manipulate opinion, coerce people (say to vote one way or the other), etc.


    Quote Originally Posted by KC View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by moahunter View Post
    ^thats brutal! but Google makes its money from gaining data for advertising, we shouldn't be surprised that they don't want to restrict access to information for fear of hurting their own business model. When you cheap out and buy android you are basically giving up your private information including your contacts to whoever wants it (unless you don't plan to install apps, which are supposedly the big Android draw).

    I'm starting to realize the Snowden guy is actually a hero for opening up on the NSA and issues of privacy in general.

    These shows (below) were interesting... I've always thought the idea of corrupting their databases with all kinds of bad survey results etc. would be a smart thing to do. And where does one buy the smartphone sleeves?




    How to defend your privacy online
    If this week's 60 Minutes story made you want to throw the data brokers and ad trackers off your trail, here’s how you can lead a more private life online
    excerpt:

    "What started out as an assignment to report on privacy issues has become a way of life for Angwin. As a journalist who relies on confidential sources, she became gravely concerned about her privacy online as she researched her book. So Angwin began to take some drastic steps to alter her behavior online."

    http://www.cbsnews.com/news/how-to-d...rivacy-online/



    The Data Brokers: Selling your personal information
    MARCH 9, 2014
    "Steve Kroft investigates the multibillion dollar industry that collects, analyzes and sells the personal information of millions of Americans with virtually no oversight."

    http://www.cbsnews.com/videos/the-da...l-information/


    See who's watching you online
    Mar 7, 2014

    excerpt:

    "There are thousands of data brokers, Kroft reports, sifting through government records, online searches, credit card purchases and other places, hunting for personal and identifiable information. Among the data they collect: user names, political affiliations, sexual orientation, income, religion and medical issues, including depression or alcoholism. "You can buy from any number of data brokers by malady," says Facebook's former director of public policy Tim Sparapani. "The lists of individuals in America...afflicted with...cancer, heart disease, you name it down to the most rare," he says. And, says Sparapani, the information can wind up in a file sold to prospective employers or any entity a user may have business with.

    Surfing the Internet may seem to be a solitary activity, but users are followed wherever they click, says digital privacy expert Ashkan Soltani. He used a program called "Disconnect" to reveal the presence of more than a dozen third parties used by a variety of websites that Kroft visited. On the monitor they appeared like a string of balloons. "These are all the companies that either place ads or measure people's behaviors on that site," says Soltani. "You've not invited them in and most computers or browsers allow them in by default," he tells Kroft.

    Think "Angry Birds" or "Brightest Flashlight Free" phone apps are really free? ..."

    http://www.cbsnews.com/news/see-whos...ng-you-online/



    ~

  4. #4

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    This is why they don't need the long form census.

  5. #5
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    And we all thought they were intrusive in the 1990's

  6. #6

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    Cyberspace is now worse than the wild wild west. This is about the best of times to be a government:

    http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/csec...ents-1.2517881

    A top secret document retrieved by U.S. whistleblower Edward Snowden and obtained by CBC News shows that Canada's electronic spy agency used information from the free internet service at a major Canadian airport to track the wireless devices of thousands of ordinary airline passengers for days after they left the terminal.
    Last edited by DefinatelyMaybe; 01-05-2014 at 04:54 PM.

  7. #7

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    Excerpt:
    "A document filed with the office in 2011 – released publicly on Tuesday – reveals that government authorities ask telecom companies for an average of 1,193,630 disclosures every year. The aggregated disclosure provided to the office summarized the findings of nine, unknown telecom companies. It is unknown how many..."
    www.ipolitics.ca/2014/04/29/t...g-in-the-dark

    Well, it you put it into context it may not be so bad. Most adults have cell phones or land lines, some have both. Think of all the government departments throughout the country, federally and provincially. Think of all the government correspondence, tax refunds, motor vehicle and licence renewals, pension info, child benefits etc. that is sent out each year. Now imagine how much is returned indicating the person no longer lives at a certain address. If that person gets a land line installed the govt. could find them through their phone carrier. Geez they could even be trying to find them because their tax refund got returned. Until we know the reason they are doing this maybe we should not be so cynical.
    "The man who does not read has no advantage over the man who cannot read." –Mark Twain

  8. #8

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    Not sure why this is news because it was covered last year here*, but CBC radio says it's a hot news story and "Tracking Protection" applies to Internet Explorer too... and they will post links.


    Web tracking puts lead in your saddlebags, finds Mozilla study

    Blocking third party access to content speeds up your browser
    25 May 2015 at 23:57, Richard Chirgwin

    "
    You already know that too many tracking cookies will slow Web page loading down to a crawl. Now, a study by Mozilla and Columbia University quantifies the problem.

    According to Columbia's Georgios Kontaxis and Mozilla's Monica Chew, spiking the excessive load of extraneous connections on the Alexa top 200 news sites can improve page load time by 44 per cent and cut data usage loading news sites by 39 per cent.

    Disturbingly, they also found that 99 per cent of the top 200 news sites carried “at least one unsafe element” (as defined by the Disconnect blocklist).

    The duo tested Firefox's Tracking Protection in this paper (PDF), presented to the IEEE's Web 2.0 Security & Privacy workshop.

    The performance boost observed in the paper comes entirely from ..."

    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2015/05...its_too_heavy/


    Turn on Tracking Protection in Firefox to Make Pages Load 44% Faster

    Melanie Pinola
    Filed to: FIREFOX
    PRIVACY
    WEB BROWSING
    BROWSERS
    5/26/15 9:30am

    http://lifehacker.com/turn-on-tracki...-lo-1706946166


    * Disconnect talks about speeding up page loading.

    https://disconnect.me

    ~
    Last edited by KC; 26-05-2015 at 04:22 PM.

  9. #9

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    Interesting...

    TD Visa customers' browsing activities open to 'surveillance' by bank


    http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/td-vis...bank-1.3339148

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    It seems like the NSA lied to us, Snowden did try on multiple occasions, to follow internal processes to report abuse of liberty before he released information.
    http://www.engadget.com/2016/06/05/s...-nsa-concerns/

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    Britain has passed the 'most extreme surveillance law ever passed in a democracy'

    The law forces UK internet providers to store browsing histories -- including domains visited -- for one year, in case of police investigations.

    It's 2016 going on 1984.

    The UK has just passed a massive expansion in surveillance powers, which critics have called "terrifying" and "dangerous".

    The new law, dubbed the "snoopers' charter", was introduced by then-home secretary Theresa May in 2012, and took two attempts to get passed into law following breakdowns in the previous coalition government.

    Four years and a general election later -- May is now prime minister -- the bill was finalized and passed on Wednesday by both parliamentary houses.

    But civil liberties groups have long criticized the bill, with some arguing that the law will let the UK government "document everything we do online".

    It's no wonder, because it basically does.

    The law will force internet providers to record every internet customer's top-level web history in real-time for up to a year, which can be accessed by numerous government departments; force companies to decrypt data on demand -- though the government has never been that clear on exactly how it forces foreign firms to do that that; and even disclose any new security features in products before they launch.

    Not only that, the law also gives the intelligence agencies the power to hack into computers and devices of citizens (known as equipment interference), although some protected professions -- such as journalists and medical staff -- are layered with marginally better protections.

    In other words, it's the "most extreme surveillance law ever passed in a democracy," according to Jim Killock, director of the Open Rights Group.

    The bill was opposed by representatives of the United Nations, all major UK and many leading global privacy and rights groups, and a host of Silicon Valley tech companies alike. Even the parliamentary committee tasked with scrutinizing the bill called some of its provisions "vague".

    And that doesn't even account for the three-quarters of people who think privacy, which this law almost entirely erodes, is a human right.

    There are some safeguards, however, such as a "double lock" system so that the secretary of state and an independent judicial commissioner must agree on a decision to carry out search warrants (though one member of the House of Lords disputed that claim).

    A new investigatory powers commissioner will also oversee the use of the powers.

    Despite the uproar, the government's opposition failed to scrutinize any significant amendments and abstained from the final vote. Killock said recently that the opposition Labour party spent its time "simply failing to hold the government to account".

    But the government has downplayed much of the controversy surrounding the bill. The government has consistently argued that the bill isn't drastically new, but instead reworks the old and outdated Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (RIPA). This was brought into law in 2000, to "legitimize" new powers that were conducted or ruled on in secret, like collecting data in bulk and hacking into networks, which was revealed during the Edward Snowden affair.

    Much of those activities were only possible thanks to litigation by one advocacy group, Privacy International, which helped push these secret practices into the public domain while forcing the government to scramble to explain why these practices were legal.

    The law will be ratified by royal assent in the coming weeks
    The real crime is most people are too wrapped up in stupid TV programs to care if their privacy rights are stripped away from them. Orwellian future indeed.

    http://www.zdnet.com/article/snooper...s-becomes-law/

  12. #12

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    Governments should be careful what they wish for. If a government official is investigated maybe a one years history of what web-sites they have visited may bring him/her down. I should imagine (and hope) investigations will be made only on people they have arrested for murder, child abuse, terrorist attacks and other acts that require them to look past computer patterns. If a person is not doing nefarious then I doubt they have anything to worry about.
    "The man who does not read has no advantage over the man who cannot read." –Mark Twain

  13. #13

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    The Oliver Stone movie 'Snowden' is a good explanation for the average person why it is dangerous to everyone to let the government have access to your privacy.

  14. #14

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    How much is what we do real private anyway. Visa/MasterCard/Direct Debit now know our buying patterns from knitting wool from Peru to blow up dolls from China.
    If you go into your Canada Revenue Account you can now access your CPP/EI etc in the way of what you have paid into it and when to file your next EI claim. Government departments are actually starting to get their data bases together to get the bigger picture on everyone.
    I sure don't think anyone should be honing in on your business if there is no reason to but if it boils down to people causing mayhem it's not a bad idea. I don't think the government is too interested in some ones Facebook baby picture club.
    "The man who does not read has no advantage over the man who cannot read." –Mark Twain

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gemini View Post
    How much is what we do real private anyway. Visa/MasterCard/Direct Debit now know our buying patterns from knitting wool from Peru to blow up dolls from China.
    If you go into your Canada Revenue Account you can now access your CPP/EI etc in the way of what you have paid into it and when to file your next EI claim. Government departments are actually starting to get their data bases together to get the bigger picture on everyone.
    I sure don't think anyone should be honing in on your business if there is no reason to but if it boils down to people causing mayhem it's not a bad idea. I don't think the government is too interested in some ones Facebook baby picture club.
    Yes, I doubt the government is that interested in someone's Facebook postings unless they accidentally end up on some terrorist watch list. However there can be a lot more sinister privacy issues. Health insurance companies would love to see everyone's medical records for obvious reasons, access to the Canada Revenue Agency's accounts would be an identity theft's dream and so on.

    I've never understood the people who use debit to buy a cup of coffee or a sandwich. I pay for things like that with cash. If there are two tills and I am behind the debit payer in line, I am almost always out of there first while the debit payer is still waiting for the machine to process through. I can only imagine how long their bank statements are with every two dollar purchase over the month on them, but I am guessing they never look at them anyways. I have observed they generally don't seem to want their receipts, so I doubt they actually keep track of anything. Hopefully the bank doesn't add a few extra debit purchases from Tim Hortons, just for fun or profit. I imagine they would probably never notice even if the bank did.

  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Gemini View Post
    How much is what we do real private anyway. Visa/MasterCard/Direct Debit now know our buying patterns from knitting wool from Peru to blow up dolls from China.
    If you go into your Canada Revenue Account you can now access your CPP/EI etc in the way of what you have paid into it and when to file your next EI claim. Government departments are actually starting to get their data bases together to get the bigger picture on everyone.
    I sure don't think anyone should be honing in on your business if there is no reason to but if it boils down to people causing mayhem it's not a bad idea. I don't think the government is too interested in some ones Facebook baby picture club.
    Yes, I doubt the government is that interested in someone's Facebook postings unless they accidentally end up on some terrorist watch list. However there can be a lot more sinister privacy issues. Health insurance companies would love to see everyone's medical records for obvious reasons, access to the Canada Revenue Agency's accounts would be an identity theft's dream and so on.

    I've never understood the people who use debit to buy a cup of coffee or a sandwich. I pay for things like that with cash. If there are two tills and I am behind the debit payer in line, I am almost always out of there first while the debit payer is still waiting for the machine to process through. I can only imagine how long their bank statements are with every two dollar purchase over the month on them, but I am guessing they never look at them anyways. I have observed they generally don't seem to want their receipts, so I doubt they actually keep track of anything. Hopefully the bank doesn't add a few extra debit purchases from Tim Hortons, just for fun or profit. I imagine they would probably never notice even if the bank did.
    Better buy some bank and insurance company shares.

  17. #17

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    People don't realize a lot of information about them is there for the asking. If a person was collecting benefits or some kind of fraud I wonder if government departments etc. check them out on public websites like Facebook, Craigslist, Plenty of Fish. You say you are actively looking for work then on your Facebook page it shows you eating lobster off the coast of Bora Bora. Or you have an insurance claim for a bad back and yet there you are swooshing down the slopes looking as fit as a fiddle. There are not many secrets left about you if your life is an open book on social media.
    "The man who does not read has no advantage over the man who cannot read." –Mark Twain

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