TOR for good [soapbox]

TOR is easily conflated with criminal activity and evil.  But at least one library in NH has taken the position of supporting, or at least not actively blocking TOR:  https://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2015/09/16/440848324/n-h-public-library-resumes-its-support-of-tor-network in spite of concerns that the same access could allow illegal activities.  The library is not a passive bystander, but operates a TOR relay that participates in […]

Alexa listening to and laughing at you [alert]

http://money.cnn.com/2018/05/24/technology/alexa-secret-recording/index.html Alexa has many talents. Amazon’s voice assistant can play music, set timers, order a pizza, and send recordings of private conversations to random people in its users’ contact list. It’s funny when these things happen to other people.   It’s not so funny when it happens to you.   It’s funny when Alexa is doing this, […]

Apple Enforcing Privacy Requirements

Good news !  Apple is now requiring developers to remove software that sends location data to external parties without obtaining explicit consent from the consumer. https://9to5mac.com/2018/05/08/apple-location-apps-third-parties/ From the article: Thus far, we’ve seen several cases of Apple cracking down on these types of applications. The company informs developers via email that “upon re-evaluation,” their application […]

Is an AI calling you == Robocall?

Should realistic computer generated calls be regulated? https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-switch/wp/2018/05/08/a-google-program-can-pass-as-a-human-on-the-phone-should-it-be-required-to-tell-people-its-a-machine/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.c92ecc54723c New AI based callers from google and others, are so good they can fool humans. If they are then able to do this (from the article): a scene from the TV show “The Office,” in which a scheming assistant to the regional manager, Dwight Schrute, makes 50 […]

World password day

https://www.passwordday.org/ Did you miss world password day?  Me too. But it’s never too late to start protecting your own security and privacy.  This article mentions “layering up” which is just another name for two factor authentication, or multi factor authentication. Also, it’s a good time to start using a password manager. Google those terms, ask […]

What /who is your smart tv talking to?

https://freedom-to-tinker.com/2018/04/23/announcing-iot-inspector-a-tool-to-study-smart-home-iot-device-behavior/ From the article: Most single- or limited-purpose IoT devices are susceptible to this simple attack. We are currently designing and evaluating obfuscation techniques to protect activity inference from network metadata. Finding #3: Many IoT Devices Contact a Large and Diverse Set of Third Parties In many cases, consumers expect that their devices contact manufacturers’ […]