They Spy.....

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Richard REME
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They Spy.....

Postby Richard REME » Tue Dec 20, 2016 5:26 pm

From the WEB..............

This year hasn’t been the best - and we’re not even talking about the 'real' world here.

Just take a look back at what has happened in terms of our online privacy and try not to shiver in fear.
The digital world has not been kind to us in 2016.
While some of in the tech industry have made progress, we continue to encounter violations that halt any real, transformative change, especially in the privacy department.
Founder of MeWe and privacy expert Mark Weinstein has put together a list of 2016’s top privacy and security violations that will make you rethink everything you use online.
If these don’t keep you up at night (probably because more often than not we were all unaware of them), they will by the time you finish reading.

1. WhatsApp shares your personal information
WhatsApp originally prided itself on privacy. Then it got bought by Facebook.
Close to one year later, WhatsApp announced that, under its new terms and conditions, it will now share your personal information with its parent company; Facebook.
WhatsApp claimed that these changes were in the best interest of the user (fighting spam and increasing business-to-consumer communication).
We’ll leave it up to you to decide if sacrificing your privacy in your own best interest.

2. Uber take users for a ride
Uber updated its app to track users’ locations even when they’re not using the app.
Uber said it was just data collection and analysis for improving the pickup and drop-off experience.
That’s questionable thinking, but scarier is the precedent such an action takes, suggesting this practice is okay.
It’s not.
Earlier this year, Uber also had to pay a $20,000 fine to the FTC for providing unauthorised third-party access to drivers’ personal information and using aerial tracking to identify riders. Let’s hope that such actions don’t become the norm.

3. Android’s data backdoor to China
We all know that Google tracks the location, text messages, and call logs of its devices users.
What we didn’t know until recently was that information went not only to Google, but also to a mysterious server in China.
To make matters worse, the backdoor used for the practice comes through pre-installed monitoring software, meaning it’s not malware or a security breach. It’s part of the device. According to the New York Times, American authorities don’t know if the data is being collected for advertising purposes or government surveillance. That’s not very comforting.

4. Fitbit fiasco
2016 saw a surge in fitness trackers, which while a helpful resource, revealed a lack of data protection. That’s because The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, better known as HIPAA, protects sensitive patient data according to the world as we knew it in 1996. These regulations predate mobile devices and the common use of the internet. Now in the 21st century, we’re learning there’s little online protection of our health information. Basically you share everything with products from companies such as Fitbit and in return they sell it to advertisers. You’d think we’d be in control of our medical profiles and our personal fitness habits.

5. Pokémon Go – your data is theirs
Pokémon Go became a worldwide phenomenon, but at what price?
A big hullabaloo arose about Pokémon Go’s full functionality requiring access to a user’s entire Google account on iOS, including your location data, email and browsing history. Seems a bit much? How else do you think Google can help you find a Squirtle or Caterpie near you?
Pokémon Go has to mine where you go, how you get there, and how long you stay. But your email? That’s bizarre and creepy. Other location apps such as Foursquare and Tinder do the same thing, as does Facebook. Pokémon Go however, can do it to a level no other app ever has before as they monitor every step, literally. That’s not the kind of gameplay we need to be encouraging. The game is great, but the privacy behind it is non-existent and a black hole for your “permanent record” as they store, monitor and pave the way to a world where they could even sell what you’ve been up to - naughty or nice.

6. SnapChat’s private eyes are watching you
Glasses help us put the world into focus. SnapChat’s Spectacles help us survey, record and post that view, without the permission of those caught on video.
With one simple tap, ten seconds of someone’s soul gets automatically uploaded onto the recorder’s account.
If that sounds disturbing, it’s because it is. Generation Z is the most recorded generation in history - willingly.
Even they would be less likely to express themselves freely or be true to themselves if they felt they were being recorded at all times though.
Such technology is invasive and impedes innovation. Remember Google Glass? People don’t really seem to want this.

7. China sets your social score
Late this year, the Chinese government introduced a system that connects citizens' financial, social, political and legal credit ratings to create a social score - as if they weren’t monitored enough already.
Then Facebook openly and willingly offered to provide every tidbit of data on their Chinese members and censor news on its site - then the Communist nation would let the social media app back into the country. In western democracies, such blatant actions would be a clear violation of people’s rights and freedom of speech.

8. Facebook “fake news”
Back in May, we learned that trending news on Facebook was controlled and edited by people – who were capable of discerning real news from fake news.
It seems this particular team overreached a bit and also ‘manipulated’ what appeared, but really why is this a surprise?
Forget privacy here – we already know Facebook assigns political labels to users based on what they see them do. This led to an uproar when conservatives discovered that stories in line with their beliefs were being ‘suppressed’ by liberal-leaning editors. No matter where you stand on the political spectrum, this is first a remarkable privacy violation, and second, incredible censorship. We aren’t supposed to censor or filter real news on social media. Then Facebook fired their filtering team. Of course humans still programme the algorithms. What was the result? Facebook’s algorithms boosted and spread fake headlines and news stories, distorting reality and very likely impacting the USA election.

9. Death by algorithm
Algorithms used to be equations assigned to math books. Time travel used to be the fodder of science fiction. Now social media sites and search engines use algorithms to change the order of time.
This year saw major sites such as Facebook and Instagram radically change algorithms, which changes everyone’s news feeds. In other words, your news feeds and timelines aren’t shown to you in real time - the algorithms of Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram and Twitter manipulate them - to display posts and content they think you want to see. A lot of people aren’t happy with this and with good reason. Part of the fun of these apps is that we get to see what people are doing or saying or what’s happening in the actual real life moment. Algorithms take that away. They ruin relevancy and introduce delay. News feeds are meant to be objective, yet these equations make them subjective. That subjectivity comes from mining through what we do online. So in the end, we are violated twice - by the invasion of privacy and the control of what we see - what we don’t see, and when we see it.

10. Racial profiling and user surveillance
Earlier this year, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram were called out by the California branch of the ACLU for sharing user data with a social media monitoring tool that tracks activists’ conversations. That isn’t very democratic. Even worse, the product can be manipulated to target activists of color, which has forced some Black Lives Matter activists off of social media and underground.
Facebook similarly got called out in 2016 for letting advertisers exclude specific “Ethnic Affinities,” which the company unveiled by collecting facts about users likes and friends. This is not only totally racist, but it also violates federal law.
The Fair Housing Act of 1968 and the Civil Rights Act of 1964 detail how you can’t exclude people based on race, gender, print notices or ads that show preferences or limitations based on the same criteria. Facebook must have missed that civics lesson.

11. U.S. Government’s back door demand
Our federal government tried to make Apple open a backdoor so it could peruse information in a suspect’s smartphone. Apple CEO Tim Cook became a privacy advocate/hero fighting back. A lawsuit looked inevitable, until the government said it found a way on its own to achieve the same end goal. Rather than end the debate, such an announcement appears to be dynamite to the whole subject. If government can bypass manufacturers in one instance, then what stops it from doing it over and over again? Devices are a convenience meant to keep us connected to people and our content. Turning them into evidence against ourselves or a confessional platform endangers the future of us and our technology.

12. Yahoo’s 1, 2, 3 – The ultimate fiasco
1) In September, Yahoo announced that 500 million user accounts had been breached and the data within them compromised. That alone would make for a bad year.
2) In November, word leaked that Yahoo had allowed U.S. intelligence agencies to read through its user emails in search of red flag phrases or keywords. Everything users have written suddenly available to be held against them in a court of law — as part of their “permanent record,” that nasty electronic dossier that lives forever in the hands of those who watch. It was an egregious violation of epic proportions and a perfect end to Yahoo’s year, until of course Yahoo reported at year’s end that....
3) one billion user accounts had been hacked back in 2013. Yes, within one calendar year, Yahoo had managed to achieve three epic acts of privacy ineptitude. What is going on at Yahoo?

13. England’s Snooper Charter
Yes, even the UK has co-opted reasonable privacy mores. Officially known as The Investigatory Powers Act 2016, the Snooper Charter in many ways gives UK police and spy agencies a carte blanche for keeping tabs on citizens. It supports the legalisation of global surveillance, data collection, government hacking, decryption, data mining of emails and app activity and as the cherry on top, monitoring all internet browsing - the good, the bad, and the none of your business. Edward Snowden called it: "The most extreme surveillance in the history of western democracy.” While most of these invasive actions will require a warrant, don’t expect a lot of pushback from governments who request permission to spy on its population.

So, what can YOU do about all of this?

It’s clear that there are several large perpetrators and everything you do at Facebook, Google, Snapchat and so on, is stored in your online permanent record: what you like, your politics, your partying, your religion, your health issues, who you are friends with, what you say… and now It all affects your ability to get a job, get into school, your car insurance - basically everything. Is this ok?
There are websites that allow you to network without tracking them.
Maybe it’s time for all of us to take action and end our support for privacy violators, demand better laws to protect our privacy rights, and join apps and networks that eliminate unnecessary corporate and ‘Big Brother’ surveillance.
See any privacy violations missing from our list? Join in the conversation! Use #WORSTyear4privacy and let me know what you think were the worst privacy crimes this year.

Richard.
Rough Engineering Made Easy

Bill Bentley
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Re: They Spy.....

Postby Bill Bentley » Fri Dec 23, 2016 11:32 am

....................................................................................................................................... :shock:

Bill Bentley
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Re: They Spy.....

Postby Bill Bentley » Fri Dec 23, 2016 11:47 am

Hi Richard,

can't see the problem myself, if people are honest and not involved in any deception then who gives a toss who knows what one thinks or does ?

On this site I publish, for all to read, my sincere views on many topics that are important to me. I have a good credit rating with banks because I have never not paid my bills. (Not that I am rich but because I do without when I can't afford something !!) I'm sure that many people don't like what I write because they have a different opinion and I am often surprised that I don't get a lot more criticism ... which says a lot about other people !

If you say what you mean and mean what you say and are prepared to back up your big mouth with your hard earned money, and when there is no other option your fists, and you are willing to loose your stake if you are wrong and are willing to learn from your mistakes ... then you don't need to hide your views from anybody. Indeed, it is only with honest interaction that we can make sound judgements and perhaps learn from one another.

... That said I don't use any of the life stealing networks mentioned and so, from a private point of view, couldn't care less. From a security point of view I can fully understand the NEED to use modern technology to detect and apprehend criminals and that includes those at the top of the tree, bankers, tax dodgers and their like ! It would be foolhardy to allow criminals to use technology and not allow governments to use it to protect their own peoples.

I simply don't believe that the Chinese, Russian or American security agencies wish me any more harm than the British or German governments, they are all governed by megalomaniacs who just want to take your money (TAX) and use it to further their own cause. I would not think the same of any government that is founded on any religion for it is their intention to rule, not only the world but also your mind and soul !

mick burgess
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Re: They Spy.....

Postby mick burgess » Fri Dec 23, 2016 9:28 pm

Hi Richard and Bill,
A very interesting read I thought for a minute is was a rerun of the USA election campaign !!!
Bill I don't as you say always agree with your "Eloquent and critical" views but this time I support every thing you say. Like it or not modern lifestyle revolves round social media communication 24/7 and if our national security can keep the population safe by monitoring it I don't have a problem.

I personally only use this means, yes I have an old basic mobile phone which has no internet facility and I only switch it on when I am out with the dogs or when I need to tell my wife where I am !!!!! Sadly youngsters today seem to have them stuck to there ears or hands why the hell go out in the beautiful English outdoors and have a bloody phone on!! They never hear the birds/animals or creatures calling to each other or take in the beautiful scenery as they walk the coastal paths missing out on the sound of the waves crashing against the cliffs etc.
As for company and conversation well I could write a book !!! Last Christmas my grand children came to stay and after Grandma had spent all morning cooking the dinner when we sat down to et " OUT came the BL.....DY Mobiles" As you can imagine dear old Pa PA had a sense of humour failure.

I gave a fairly stern look and said Right switch them off NOW and if one of them rings or bleeps I personally will flush it down the toilet thankfully I did not have to carry out my threat and after 1/2 hour the family began to have a conversation !!!!

They are all due to visit this Xmas I wonder how many will actually turn up !!! Hey Ho that's life I feel as though I am ONE of the seven dwarfs and no prizes for which one.

Happy Xmas to you both and Health and Happiness for 2017 Mick/Marion : :lol:

Bill Bentley
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Re: They Spy.....

Postby Bill Bentley » Sun Dec 25, 2016 6:26 am

Dear Mick Burgess and Marion,

what a strange chap you must be agreeing with at least some of what I write. Not because you agree for once with me, but because you are indeed an unusual person. There are very few soldiers, perhaps one in a thousand, who manage to WORK their way up through the ranks and achieve the rank of Major. Of those that achieve this remarkable feat there are perhaps only one in ten, former Hawk ex-ranker officers, that have ever registered with Noha’s Arc and of those, very few who actually have the balls to express themselves.

There are many qualities that make a Man a Man, one of which is courage, the courage NOT TO BE AFRAÌD to be seen for what you are; in your case a man who can walk with gentlemen and still talk on equal terms with us, the nine hundred and ninety nine that didn’t make it. Also having the courage to try and instill in the future generation true values, like the respect for a good meal which has been prepared with hard work and a bucket full of love.

I always find it sad that people pop up from nowhere to write their commiserations after the final curtain has fallen, but never took the opportunity to tell the person, while they could still enjoy the moment, how much YOU are appreciated and respected !

I very much enjoyed reading your obvious appreciation of the wonders of nature, for in my eyes they are the true wonders which we should treasure and protect. May you enjoy many more years of enjoying the howling wind and crashing waves and the flora and fauna of which we humans are all just a very small part.

I wish you Mick and Marion a very Merry Xmas and many more Happy New Years.

Bill & Rahi Bentley

mick burgess
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Tidworth, Herford, Manchester, Lulworth,
Catterick, Munster 1992 KRH Lulworth.
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Re: They Spy.....

Postby mick burgess » Tue Dec 27, 2016 8:00 pm

:roll: Hi Bill/Rahi,
I thank you very much indeed for your words of support and praise, but all I did was work hard, play hard and tried to serve my regiment with loyalty and love. In those 5o years and 6 months as I climbed the promotion ladder I strived not to change my personality. I always felt discipline came with respect rather than fear and that philosophy allowed me to keep the friendships I had made over those wonderful years in this fine regimental family of ours.
Yes as I moved from the naafi to the Cpl's mess, Sgt's mess and Offr's mess you could say I massaged my views and appearance to suit the conversation now and again but never once did I forget my roots as a spotty faced 15 year old boy soldier.
I also put my success if that's the right word to be supported all through my man service by my loving wife Marion who was a true Army Wife. Whenever we were posted never once did she complain even when we were separated on certain tours. During our 55 years we have moved Qtr's 28 times and 7 of those I was not there to help her pack up, change schools stop the gas and electric etc and all those stress full things that test a marriage when moving. I think the wives should also get an LSGC for being an Army wife.
Anyway Bill I'll shut up as I got the call to mash the spuds and cut the ham, thanks again and we wish you both and all old Hawks Health and Happiness for 2017.

Mick and Marion xx

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Re: They Spy.....

Postby Arnie » Fri Jan 20, 2017 3:06 pm

Hi Richard REME, Bill and Mick,

What a marvelous read.

Richard, being someone who is very interested in recent and contemporary history your original post was extremely interesting and added to what I already knew, or thought I knew. Having been in the Intelligence Corps I of course knew about the recent Governments attempts first to 'eavesdrop' on potential enemies which commonsense tells you that on the advent of the IT environment would be turned on potential enemies at home. Which again suggests that you have to 'listen' to everybody, because the system does not predict who are the 'baddies'. The later introduction of profiling does help but you have to have some data to start with.
Your initial piece expanded my knowledge of how all-pervasive what you do on that 'bleedin' phone or on the computer ties you into their system.
Then I read Bill's piece with which I agree wholeheartedly. Having been, for a major part of my life involved with security and intelligence, both in the service and in civvy street here in Australia, my mantra has always been If you have nothing to hide you have nothing to worry about.[b][/b] Now in my dotage I am prone to be skeptical about so called conspiracies. So far I have got 114 bodies in Hillary and Bill's back garden. I think all Forensic Scientists should go back to school, because one of these Suicides, dismembered himself (11 pieces) shot himself then set fire to himself. Believe it or not the conclusion of the police was Suicide. Of course many of these were in Arkansas.
So Bill you are right, who with a clear conscience, should give a toss about what they collect as long as in the collection of it[u][/u] they get some of the baddies. Having said that many interrogators and police of my acquaintance suggest you keep your mouth shut. Say nothing, absolutely nothing. Remember Miranda (saw it on TV once or twice) You have the right to remain silent or. . . . It is difficult to do, but if you can do it, do it.
Mick and Bill, it would be lovely to be like yourselves, great lovers of nature, but I am afraid, except for animals nature leaves me lukewarm. My preference is toward man made objects, have you been on the Peak on Hong Kong Island at dusk and seen the lights begin to sparkle and shine. My wonderful.
Happy New Year everyone. Going to watch the Inauguration on telly now.

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Re: They Spy.....

Postby PINKY » Fri Jan 20, 2017 3:33 pm

The wife and I are popping into Montana (we live 1.5 hours north of it in Alberta) for the weekend, could be fun!
ATB
Pinky

mick burgess
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Tidworth, Herford, Manchester, Lulworth,
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Re: They Spy.....

Postby mick burgess » Fri Jan 20, 2017 10:14 pm

Well old friends I am jealous of you ex pats enjoying foreign parts but you know the UK has some fantastic scenery as well and so varied around these small islands of ours, Over the last few years I spent many wonderful hours walking the coastal routes with my dogs. In particular the Jurassic coast in Dorset where I worked and lived to see the sun rise out over the sea and cast rippling shadows across Lulworth Cove or Worbarrow Bay is amazing and in the evening see it set over Portland bill as the buzzards, sparrow hawks and falcons swoop along and up over the cliffs is truly nature at its best.
Hopefully I will be able to stroll along the cliff tops not hearing any urban pollution for many year to come
Have a gteat w/e and health and happinrss to you and your families where ever you are. :roll: :oops: :lol:

Bill Bentley
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Re: They Spy.....

Postby Bill Bentley » Sun Jan 22, 2017 5:32 am

Arnie,

got to give you a slapping down buddy ! While I have never been to Hong Kong I expect it is rather like driving over the crest of a black desert hill and seeing Las Vegas, horrifying ! Back over the hill into the blackness and looking up at the night sky - countless millions of stars, turn around again and it looks like the horizon is on fire and not a star in sight :( . Have you seen those satellite pictures of the earth at night, vast areas of artificial light ... all consuming energy, polluting the atmosphere and the very air that we and all species have to breathe. Personally I would ban all lighted advertising ! As if we don't get enough 'consumer pressure' during the day. I guess we have to accept the selected use of street lighting in built up areas but this advertising mania is madness; does anybody actually buy products because they see one of these billboards ? If you can actually see them individually that is, for me they are just a blinding mess.

I should rather join Mick and take the dogs for a walk or better still let our dogs run between our horses feet as we ride off into the sunset ... now that is always a sight worth seeing :D

Can't agree on everything can we ... :lol:

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Re: They Spy.....

Postby Arnie » Sun Jan 22, 2017 6:23 am

Bill, absolutely not. Would it not be an awful world if everybody HAD to agree with what we are told, and what we should do. Correct me if I am wrong, but was it not '1984' the book by George Orwell which described a world where Big Brother laid down the law about what you should think and do. So Viva la difference.
Of course you are right about you and Mick and the dogs, horses for you, and at times I envy you but that is the way I am. My first wife who Mick and Marion knew, came from Oban, in the Highlands, on the West Coast of Scotland. There cant be many people who go there don't say it is absolutely gorgeous. The mountains and the glens, the heather and the streams. Now there is a place Mick, Marion and the dogs would love to roam. You and Rahi would love to ride your horses up and down this absolutely fabulous country. I hated it! As Mick and Marion knows I married Ellen in Tripoli, Libya in 1964 and had never heard of the place. Short version of a long story. First time I went there was in Sept 64. Ellen had gone home while I had to attend a course in Winterbourne Gunner, so travelled there on my own. Caught the one and only train of the day from Edinburgh at 1800 hrs. It was a Friday, so every hiker in the city was on that train. When we got out into the 'scenery' the train was travelling through the Trossachs, beautiful mountains and glens. It seemed like every 200 yards the train (steam), which was going very slowly stopped to let off a hiker. Hitched his knapsack on his back, waved to the driver, and set off through the heather. Oban was only a hundred miles or so from Edinburgh but the train got into Oban sometime after midnight, by which time I hated it. Never grew to like it either.
Also Bill am on the other side of the fence than you on Global Warming. Depending on who you read or listen to the scientific world is slowly beginning to refute what has commonly been expressed in the past. I expect another slap down!!
Nuff said, are we still friends.
Arnie :? :? :? :?

Bill Bentley
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Re: They Spy.....

Postby Bill Bentley » Sun Jan 22, 2017 8:19 pm

As ever Arnie you are right about most things, it sure was George Orwell's 1984 that predicted so accurately the 'controlled life situation' that we are currently moving into. Only recently I was contemplating re-reading it because my memory of it is somewhat vague. Interestingly Orwell wanted to call it 1948 but was advised that this would be too scary for people to accept, definitely a visionary piece of work. A friend once presented me with a pair of glasses from 'Wigan Pier', a place that never really existed until somebody decided to build it, based upon Orwell's book of the same name ... and of course Animal Farm is a must read piece too.

Most people or perhaps only many people would have found your train journey to be a romantic highlight, you poor soul, perhaps enlightenment will come ... one day ! How on earth Brenda copes with you, her being such a romantic, I well remember her story of BlueBell Woods in C-C-H which I also cherished as a kid ... even if my memories were more of shooting rats rather than the beauty of the BlueBells.

Perhaps you should read Prince Charles's new book, I'll certainly be on the cadge again as he sent me a copy of his previous book: 'Harmony' thanking me for my work with the environment, bees etc.. It has a rather special quality when it comes directly from Clarence House with a personal letter. Regarding the environment my friend you are sadly so very wrong and our children and their children will have to cope with great difficulties thanks to our wasteful way of life. In this respect HRH Prince Charles is also a visionary who will sadly only be recognized long after we are all no more.

Not to worry eh ! We know the truth:

Oh, come with old Khayyám, and leave the Wise
To talk; one thing is certain, that Life flies;
One thing is certain, and the rest is Lies;
The Flower that once has blown for ever dies.

Another visionary writer ... Cheers !


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