Search


Intersection: Sidewalks & Public Space

Chapter by Melissa Ngo

"The Myth of Security Under Camera Surveillance"


  • Categories


  • Archives

    « Home

    Archive for the ‘Civil liberties’ Category

    Washington Post: Newest Androids will join iPhones in offering default encryption, blocking police

    Friday, September 19th, 2014

    The Washington Post reports that Google’s Android mobile operating system is following in the footsteps of Apple’s iOS. Apple recently announced that iOS 8 (released Wednesday) has encryption that the company cannot break, which means that it could not give iOS users’ data to law enforcement officials with a valid warrant. The Post reports:

    The next generation of Google’s Android operating system, due for release next month, will encrypt data by default for the first time, the company said Thursday, raising yet another barrier to police gaining access to the troves of personal data typically kept on smartphones.

    Android has offered optional encryption on some devices since 2011, but security experts say few users have known how to turn on the feature. Now Google is designing the activation procedures for new Android devices so that encryption happens automatically; only somebody who enters a device’s password will be able to see the pictures, videos and communications stored on those smartphones. [...] Read more »

    Washington Post: Tech firm tries to pull back curtain on surveillance efforts in Washington

    Friday, September 19th, 2014

    The Washington Post reports that experts are searching and unveiling surveillance equipment that spies on the public in Washington, D.C.:

    The man was Aaron Turner, chief executive of Integricell, a mobile security company. The specially outfitted smartphones, he said, are designed to act like high-tech divining rods that warn users of suspicious mobile activity, potentially indicating surveillance equipment used by police, intelligence agencies and others to track people and snoop on their calls.

    Known as IMSI catchers, for the unique identifying phone code called an IMSI, the surveillance devices trick mobile phones into thinking they have logged onto legitimate cell networks, such as Verizon or AT&T, when in fact the signals have been hijacked.

    For years, researchers have warned of the growing prevalence of the equipment, and Turner said the spygear is rife throughout the Washington area. Read more »

    Privacy and Apple’s Latest Mobile Operating System, iOS 8

    Thursday, September 18th, 2014

    Apple has released its latest mobile operating system, iOS 8. There are a variety of privacy-related features and changes. However, users must also be careful to check their privacy settings. For example, be sure to check the Frequent Locations setting. If you had it turned off, it will turn itself back on when you upgrade to iOS 8. There is also the possibility that Location Tracking services were turned on automatically for some apps, as well.

    One big privacy and security change has to do with the company’s ability to unlock data for law enforcement officials who have a valid search warrant. The Washington Post reports: ”The move, announced with the publication of a new privacy policy tied to the release of Apple’s latest mobile operating system, iOS 8, amounts to an engineering solution to a legal quandary: Rather than comply with binding court orders, Apple has reworked its latest encryption in a way that prevents the company — or anyone but the device’s owner — from gaining access to the vast troves of user data typically stored on smartphones or tablet computers.” Read more »

    Opinion at Boston Globe: Surveillance and privacy

    Wednesday, September 17th, 2014

    In an opinion column for the Boston Globe, Alan M. Dershowitz (a professor emeritus at Harvard Law School) discusses surveillance, privacy, and the case of former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden, who  revealed several surveillance programs by the agency. Dershowitz writes:

    THE RECENT disclosure by Edward Snowden of the US government’s wide net of surveillance has stimulated an emotional debate about security, privacy, and secrecy. We have learned from Snowden that the National Security Agency engages in virtually unchecked monitoring of all sorts of communications that were thought to be private but that we now know are maintained in secret government databases.

    Three fundamental issues are raised by these disclosures: Was it proper for the government to conduct such massive surveillance and to maintain such extensive files? Was it proper for the government to keep its surveillance program secret from the public? If not, did this governmental impropriety justify the unlawful disclosure of so much classified information by Snowden? Read more »

    Wall Street Journal: Sotomayor: Americans Should be Alarmed by Spread of Drones

    Tuesday, September 16th, 2014

    The Wall Street Journal reports on comments by U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor concerning privacy and aerial drones (also known as “unmanned aerial vehicles” or “unmanned aircraft systems,” UAV or UAS). For more on drones and privacy, read this previous post. The Journal reports:

    Americans should be more concerned about their privacy being invaded by the spread of drones, Justice Sonia Sotomayor told an Oklahoma City audience on Thursday.

    Speaking before a group of faculty members and students at Oklahoma City University’s law school on Sept. 11, Justice Sotomayor said “frightening” changes in surveillance technology should encourage citizens to take a more active role in the privacy debate. She said she’s particularly troubled by the potential for commercial and government drones to compromise personal privacy.

    New York Times: With Tech Taking Over in Schools, Worries Rise

    Monday, September 15th, 2014

    The New York Times reports that there are increasing concerns about student privacy nationwide:

    At a New York state elementary school, teachers can use a behavior-monitoring app to compile information on which children have positive attitudes and which act out. In Georgia, some high school cafeterias are using a biometric identification system to let students pay for lunch by scanning the palms of their hands at the checkout line. [...]

    Now California is poised to become the first state to comprehensively restrict how such information is exploited by the growing education technology industry.

    Legislators in the state passed a law last month prohibiting educational sites, apps and cloud services used by schools from selling or disclosing personal information about students from kindergarten through high school; from using the children’s data to market to them; and from compiling dossiers on them. Read more »