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Off-topic => The politics => Topic started by: vox_mundi on November 13, 2019, 05:52:27 PM

Title: Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?
Post by: vox_mundi on November 13, 2019, 05:52:27 PM

The phase “Quis custodiet ipsos custodes,”is a Latin phrase by Juvenal, the Roman poet, translated as "Who watches the watchmen", "Who watches the watchers", "Who will guard the guards", or something similar.

I think it's an appropriate phrase for a thread to cover the subject of corporate & state surveillance, facial recognition, the erosion of anonymity and the use of this information to manipulate (or subjugate) people in today's cyber connected world.

This covers a lot of territory; from China's surveillance of Uyghurs and their own citizens, to the use of facial recognition by US police, and social medias intrusion into our lives.


To TPTB: If the subject is a distraction, feel free to make it invisible on the Home/Index page.


Google: You Can Trust Us With the Medical Data You Didn’t Know We Already Had

Google now has access to detailed medical records on almost 50 million Americans, but the company promises it won't mix that medical data with any of the other data Google collects on consumers who use its services. (... funny, I don't recall consenting to that)

... Patient data shared with Google includes names, birth dates, addresses, family members, allergies, immunizations, radiology scans, hospitalization records, lab tests, medications, medical conditions, "and some billing claims and other clinical records," according to a followup article in the Journal. The partnership "covers the personal health records of around 50 million patients of Ascension," the Wall Street Journal wrote.

The Journal said that "Neither doctors nor patients have been formally notified of the arrangement" and that Google and Ascension began the project "in secret last year."

Google said its work with Ascension is similar to what it was already doing with "dozens of other health care providers."

The news about Google's work with Ascension comes as Google is trying to buy Fitbit for $2.1 billion, in a deal that is pending regulatory approval. Fitbit devices are used for health tracking, among other things, and Google wants to use Fitbit to bolster its existing Wear OS platform.

Update ... The Google/Ascension project is now being investigated by the Office for Civil Rights in the Department of Health and Human Services, the Wall Street Journal reported in an update last night. The office said it "will seek to learn more information about this mass collection of individuals' medical records to ensure that HIPAA protections were fully implemented."



If You've Given Your DNA to a DNA Database, US Police May Now Have Access To It

In the past week, news has spread of a Florida judge's decision to grant a warrant allowing police to search one of the world's largest online DNA databases, for leads in a criminal case.

The warrant reportedly approved the search of open source genealogy database GEDMatch. An estimated 1.3 million users have uploaded their DNA data onto it, without knowing it would be accessible by law enforcement.

GEDmatch lets users upload their raw genetic data, obtained from companies such as Ancestry or 23andMe, to be matched with relatives who have also uploaded their data.

The terms of the warrant granted in Florida allowed access to the full database—including individuals who had not opted in. This directly overrides explicit user consent.


US Violated Constitution by Searching Phones for No Good Reason, Judge Rules

A federal court in Boston ruled on Tuesday that suspicionless searches of electronics at U.S. border crossings are unconstitutional, finding that reasonable suspicion of an actual crime is required before authorities can demand access to cell phones and other devices.

CBP defines "advanced" searches as those "in which an officer connects external equipment, through a wired or wireless connection, to an electronic device, not merely to gain access to the device, but to review, copy and/or analyze its contents." Anything short of that is a "basic" search.

The ruling came in a case filed "on behalf of 11 travelers whose smartphones and laptops were searched without individualized suspicion at US ports of entry," the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) said today. The ACLU teamed up with the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) to fight the government on behalf of plaintiffs including 10 US citizens and one lawful permanent resident.

One plaintiff "observed a CBP officer viewing communications between her and her lawyer," another plaintiff's "phone contained information from his work as a journalist," and another plaintiff's "phone was a work phone officially owned by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory," the ruling said. Federal officials did not dispute that they retained information that they got from these searches of electronic devices.

Multiple plaintiffs had their electronic devices seized during the border searches, although they were later returned.

"The district court order puts an end to CBP and ICE's asserted authority to search and seize travelers' devices for purposes far afield from the enforcement of immigration and customs laws," the ACLU announcement said. "Border officers must now demonstrate individualized suspicion of contraband before they can search a traveler's device." ...


Facebook Bug Shows Camera Is Covertly Activated In Background During App Use

When you're scrolling through Facebook's app, the social network could be using your camera, concerned users have found. Multiple people have found and reported that their iPhone cameras were turned on in the background while they were looking at their feed.

The issue came to light through several posts on Twitter. Users noted that their cameras were activated behind Facebook's app as they were watching videos or looking at photos on the social network. 

After people clicked on the video to full screen, returning it back to normal would create a bug in which Facebook's mobile layout was slightly shifted to the right. With the open space on the left, you could now see the phone's camera activated in the background.

This was documented in multiple cases, with the earliest incident on Nov. 2.


Edward Snowden Says Facebook is Just as Untrustworthy as the NSA

... “Facebook’s internal purpose, whether they state it publicly or not, is to compile perfect records of private lives to the maximum extent of their capability, and then exploit that for their own corporate enrichment. And damn the consequences,” Snowden told Swisher. “This is actually precisely the same as what the NSA does. Google ... has a very similar model. They go, ‘Oh, we’re connecting people.’ They go, ‘Oh, we’re organizing data.’” Although, Snowden said, these companies still don’t know as much as the government, which can gather information from all of the many tech platforms.

“The more Google knows about you, the more Facebook knows about you, the more they are able ... to create permanent records of private lives, the more influence and power they have over us,” Snowden told Swisher. “There is no good reason why Google should be able to read your email. There is no good reason why Google should know the messages that you’re sending to your friend. Facebook shouldn’t be able to see what you’re saying when you’re writing to your mother.”

Snowden also pointed out that the Fourth Amendment — which protects citizens from searches unless law enforcement has a warrant or probable cause — only applies to government, not to companies. So while the FBI might need a warrant to probe your inbox, there’s no constitutional barrier to a company like Facebook searching and retrieving people’s private information without a judge’s approval.


US Customs Officer Harasses Defense One Journalist at Dulles Airport

A U.S. passport screening official held a Defense One journalist’s passport until he received an affirmative answer to this repeated question: “You write propaganda, right?

The incident took place about 4 p.m. on Thursday at Dulles International Airport. News Editor Ben Watson was returning from an assignment in Denmark when he entered permanent resident reentry aisle No. 17 at Dulles. After the Customs and Border Protection official asked the usual question about undeclared fruit or meat, the interaction took an unusual and unsettling turn.

Watson recalls the conversation:

CBP officer, holding Watson’s passport: “What do you do?

Watson: “Journalism.”

CBP officer: “So you write propaganda, right?

Watson: “No.”

CBP officer: “You’re a journalist?

Watson: “Yes.

CBP officer: “You write propaganda, right?

Watson: “No. I am in journalism. Covering national security. And homeland security. And with many of the same skills I used in the U.S. Army as a public affairs officer. Some would argue that’s propaganda.

CBP officer: “You’re a journalist?

Watson: “Yes.

CBP officer: “You write propaganda, right?

Watson waited five seconds. Then: “For the purposes of expediting this conversation, yes.

CBP officer, a fourth time: “You write propaganda, right?

Watson, again: “For the purposes of expediting this conversation, yes.

CBP officer: “Here you go.”

At that point, the CBP officer handed back the passport.


Title: Re: Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?
Post by: nanning on November 14, 2019, 05:45:26 AM
Thank you vox for this.
Deep state developments are much more dangerous and advanced then most people realise I think. I guess that for some deeply insane people "1984" is a manual, SF-dreams are real and technology means unlimited magic. Hostile environment indeed.
Title: Re: Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?
Post by: TerryM on November 14, 2019, 08:49:52 AM
The most terrifying example I've seen was an autonomous sniper rifle that was fed a large number of facial recognition files. When it recognised a face it aimed and shot the individual.

The technology should be illegal, but it's our governments that are developing and deploying it. Rather than asking if it will fall into the wrong hands we should accept that the wrong people are those that develop such devices.

This is the stuff of nightmares, not dreams.
Title: Re: Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?
Post by: sidd on November 15, 2019, 12:40:55 AM
Re: autonomous sniper rifle

Judging by the nonexistent security of most hardware and software, that sniper rifle would be immediately hacked 30 ways from sunday to shoot anyone the hacker decided to put in the face recognition database.

Title: Re: Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?
Post by: vox_mundi on November 15, 2019, 01:06:59 AM
I don't know about the personalized ones, but Russia, S.Korea, and Israel are actively using autonomous machine-guns for border surveillance. These don't discriminate once you enter the kill-box.

Facial recognition is still a little buggy if your target is not well represented in the training data.
Title: Re: Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?
Post by: oren on November 15, 2019, 09:40:17 PM
Among Israel's various atrocities, this is one I've not yet heard of.
Looking it up, these are not autonomous machine guns, but rather remotely operated ones.
Title: Re: Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?
Post by: vox_mundi on June 23, 2020, 11:24:38 PM
So much for government transparency; apparently I am now an 'enemy of the state' ...


DHS Expands Insider-Threat Program to Cover Everyone Who Accesses Its Info

... The letter, penned by Chief Security Officer Richard McComb—who still occupies that role today—recommended “expanding the scope of the DHS Insider Threat Program beyond the protection of classified information to include the threats posed to the department by all individuals with access to the department’s facilities, information, equipment, networks or systems.”

“Originally, the ITP focused on the detection, prevention, and mitigation of unauthorized disclosure of classified information by DHS personnel with active security clearances,” the impact statement reads. “The memorandum expands the scope of the ITP to its current breadth: threats posed to the department by all individuals who have or had access to the department’s facilities, information, equipment, networks, or systems.”

This update officially changes the department’s definition of “insider” to include anyone who has ever had access to DHS resources—physical or digital.

The impact assessment also notes the new definitions require the collection of new information from sources not tapped previously.

“As part of this update, information available to the ITP may now come from any DHS component, office, program, record or source, including records from information security, personnel security and systems security for both internal and external security threats,” the document states.

New information sources also include data “lawfully obtained” through “access from any United States government agency, other domestic or foreign government entity, and from a private sector entity.”