Digital IDs Are More Dangerous Than You Think

from Wired THERE ARE SIGNIFICANT, real-world benefits to having an accepted and recognized identity. That’s why the concept of a digital identity is being pursued around the world, from Australia to India. From airports to health records systems, technologists and policy makers with good intentions are digitizing our identities, making modern life more efficient and streamlined. Governments seek to digitize their citizens in an effort to universalize government services, while the banking, travel, and insurance industries aim to create more seamless processes for their products and services. But this isn’t just about efficiency and market share. In places like Syria […]

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Jaywalkers Under Surveillance In Shenzhen Soon To Be Punished Via Text Messages

from South China Morning Post Traffic police in the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen have always had a reputation for strict enforcement of those flouting road rules in the metropolis of 12 million people. Now with the help of artificial intelligence and facial recognition technology, jaywalkers will not only be publicly named and shamed, they will be notified of their wrongdoing via instant messaging – along with the fine. Intellifusion, a Shenzhen-based AI firm that provides technology to the city’s police to display the faces of jaywalkers on large LED screens at intersections, is now talking with local mobile phone […]

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They Are Watching You – and Everything Else on the Planet

from National Geographic About 10:30 on a Saturday morning in the north London borough of Islington, two men on mopeds race down the shopping corridor of Upper Street. Sheathed in helmets, gloves, and jackets, they look more like manic video game figures than humans. They weave through traffic and around double-decker buses at kamikaze velocity. Motorists flinch at their approach. The bikers pop wheelies and execute speedy figure eights along the busy street. Still, something more purposeful than joyriding would seem to be on their minds. After three or four minutes, they abruptly turn off Upper and onto a quiet […]

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What It’s Like to Live in a Surveillance State

from NYTs Imagine that this is your daily life: While on your way to work or on an errand, every 100 meters you pass a police blockhouse. Video cameras on street corners and lamp posts recognize your face and track your movements. At multiple checkpoints, police officers scan your ID card, your irises and the contents of your phone. At the supermarket or the bank, you are scanned again, your bags are X-rayed and an officer runs a wand over your body — at least if you are from the wrong ethnic group. Members of the main group are usually […]

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Why You Should Care About Yahoo Secretly Scanning Emails Even If You Use Gmail

from NewStatesman Yahoo reportedly built secret software to allow intelligence agencies to scan its users’ emails last year. Here’s why this affects everyone – even those without a Yahoo account.  If someone guessed, around, let’s say, 1948, that one day 280 million people’s personal correspondence would be systematically sifted, scrutinised and spied on by government agencies, it would have made a great dystopian novel. The news broken by Reuters yesterday, however, that Yahoo secretly built a software programme in 2015 to scan all of its users’ incoming emails on behalf of US intelligence services has barely caused a ripple in the general population. Who […]

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Mass Government Surveillance Is Chilling To Online Dissent

from co.exist We act differently when we know we’re being watched, and that includes adapting our online behavior because we know that the government is tracking our every move. If you’ve ever changed what you were about to write in a forum post, or censored a tweet because you thought it might get picked up by the NSA, you already know that this is true. Self-censorship is particularly dangerous, because it can silence minority opinions, says a new research paper by Wayne State University journalism professor Elizabeth Stoycheff. It can lead, she says, to a “spiral of silence,” wherein “individuals, motivated by […]

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IoT Opens New Privacy, Surveillance Issues, Says Harvard Study

from MediaPost Data wants to be free. Not as in there not being a financial cost, but more in terms of being accessible to many. But not all entities want data to be free, for a host of reasons. The U.S. government has since the early Snowden days a few years back suggested that their ability to track suspects using technology is under threat because of encryption by tech companies. But a new study just out from the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University says that is not the case. The study, Don’t Panic; Making Progress on […]

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New Reports Describe More Mass Surveillance and Schemes to Undermine Encryption

from Wired THE NEWS OF government mass surveillance keeps coming, as two more stories reveal that spy agencies in the US and the UK plotted to record the browsing habits of every internet user.  First up is a story from The Intercept about Karma Police, a seven-year-old program launched by the British spy agency GCHQ designed to catalog visits to porn sites, social media and news sites, as well as activity on search engines, chat forums, and blogs. As previously reported, GCHQ has tapped more than 200 undersea cables as part of its spying partnership with the NSA, siphoning gigabytes of data each day. […]

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