Revealed: This is Palintir’s top-secret user manual for cops

1C5E0ED6-BC27-43D7-A92C-1B0590ACC6F5

Motherboard obtained a Palantir user manual through a public records request, and it gives unprecedented insight into how the company logs and tracks individuals.

Palantir is one of the most significant and secretive companies in big data analysis. The company acts as an information management service for Immigrations and Customs Enforcement, corporations like JP Morgan and Airbus, and dozens of other local, state, and federal agencies. It’s been described by scholars as a “secondary surveillance network,” since it extensively catalogs and maps interpersonal relationships between individuals, even those who aren’t suspected of a crime.

Palantir software is instrumental to the operations of ICE, which is planning one of the largest-ever targeted immigration enforcement raids this weekend on thousands of undocumented families. Activists argue raids of this scale would be impossible without software like Palantir. But few people outside the company and its customers know how its software works or what its specific capabilities and user interfaces are.

Continue reading… “Revealed: This is Palintir’s top-secret user manual for cops”

0

The Saudi government is hunting down women who flee the country by tracking the IMEI number on their cellphones

54ACE7D6-77D5-45C0-A2BE-7CD2B2DF9213

Soldiers checking the IMEI number of a mobile phone during a regional anti-insurgent operation in Mali. Reuters

  • Saudi Arabia is using military-grade technology to track down the cellphones of women who flee its patriarchal system, several runaways have told INSIDER.
  • Four women, all speaking anonymously for fear of reprisal, said they were made aware of attempts to track their cellphones via their IMEI number.
  • The unique ID number can pinpoint a phone virtually anywhere but is rarely used by civilians. The US military uses IMEIs to direct drone strikes.
  • The technique shows how seriously Saudi Arabia takes the escalating numbers of women fleeing its repressive, male-dominated society.
  • Saudi authorities declined to respond to INSIDER’s requests for comment.

Continue reading… “The Saudi government is hunting down women who flee the country by tracking the IMEI number on their cellphones”

0

The best reason for your city to ban facial recognition

 

1B9AE994-797E-471B-8E7B-CB10DFFA4DE9

The technology isn’t ready. Society isn’t ready. And the law isn’t ready.

This week, San Francisco became the first major U.S. city to bar itself from using facial recognition systems. The city’s Board of Supervisors voted 8–1 on Tuesday to prohibit the police and other public agencies — though not private companies — from using the emerging technology in any form as part of a larger bill to regulate broader surveillance efforts.

Some cheered the move as a victory for privacy and civil liberties. Some criticized it as a blow to law enforcement and public safety. And cynics dismissed it as an empty gesture, given that San Francisco wasn’t using facial recognition technology in the first place. Continue reading… “The best reason for your city to ban facial recognition”

0

How a Bitcoin evangelist made himself vanish, in 15 (not so easy) steps

fileupload-1551724657439-superJumbo

In October 2017, a SWAT team descended on Jameson Lopp’s house in North Carolina. Someone — it still isn’t clear who — had called the police and falsely claimed that a shooter at the home had killed someone and taken a hostage. After the police left, Mr. Lopp received a call threatening more mayhem if he did not make a large ransom payment in Bitcoin.

To scare off future attackers, Mr. Lopp quickly posted a video on Twitter of himself firing off his AR-15 rifle. He also decided he was going to make it much harder for his enemies — and anyone else — to find him ever again.

Mr. Lopp, a self-described libertarian who works for a Bitcoin security company, had long been obsessed with the value of privacy, and he set out to learn how thoroughly a person can escape the all-seeing eyes of corporate America and the government. But he wanted to do it without giving up internet access and moving to a shack in the woods.

Many celebrities and wealthy people, wary of thieves, paparazzi and other predators, have tried to achieve Mr. Lopp’s vision of complete privacy. Few have succeeded.

Continue reading… “How a Bitcoin evangelist made himself vanish, in 15 (not so easy) steps”

0

Alternatives to Facebook

9E0057CB-8F26-4EA3-B795-FC154B77F175

Facebook has been under relentless attack since the Cambridge Analytica scandal in early 2018. Broadcasters and news publishers have declared open season on Mark Zuckerberg, Sheryl Sandberg, and other senior executives at the company. And while not quite ubiquitous, #deletefacebook pops up every time there’s a story about data privacy. The EU has fined them, the US is trying to figure out how to regulate them, and the notion that free services should be absolutely free (as opposed to checking a box on a terms and conditions page that allows the free service to use your data as payment) is gaining traction.

Whether or not Facebook deserves the scrutiny it is under is a great topic for another article. Today, I want to have a look at alternatives. If you don’t like Facebook, what might work for you? Is the time right for the reemergence of focused social networks?

Continue reading… “Alternatives to Facebook”

0

The ‘deep web’ may be 500 times bigger than the normal web. Its uses go well beyond buying drugs

IMG_8658

The dark web is a hidden portion of the internet that can only be accessed using special software.

TOR, or The Onion Router, is a popular anonymous browsing network used to connect to the dark web.

While the dark web offers anonymity and a way to bypass internet censorship, it is commonly associated with illegal activities such as the buying and selling of drugs and other contraband.

The so-called dark web, a portion of the hidden internet, is usually associated with a host of illegal activities including the buying and selling of drugs, firearms, stolen financial data and other types of valuable information. The selling point? Total anonymity.

Continue reading… “The ‘deep web’ may be 500 times bigger than the normal web. Its uses go well beyond buying drugs”

0

7 laws that will have to change because of blockchain

Blockchain 6f5d

“Code is law,” as described in Lawrence Lessig’s book ‘Code and Other Laws of Cyberspace’, refers to the idea that computer code has progressively established itself as a predominant way to regulate behavior to the same degree as legal code.

With the advent of blockchain technology, code is assuming an even stronger role in regulating people’s interactions.

However, while computer code can enforce rules more efficiently than legal code, it also comes with a series of limitations.

Continue reading… “7 laws that will have to change because of blockchain”

0

Backyard skinny-dippers losing privacy to peeping drone stalkers

backyard skinnydippers 8h7g7u

Recent advances in technology mean we can no longer rely on fences or barriers around our homes to protect our privacy. This was certainly the case for Darwin resident Karli Hyatt, who on Tuesday explained how a drone invaded the security and privacy of her suburban backyard.

Hyatt had returned home last week from an evening gym session, undressed and jumped into her secluded backyard pool. She thought she was “skinny-dipping” in private. Within minutes, though, a small camera-mounted quadcopter drone was hovering close overhead. Hyatt is certain it was watching her, although there was no operator to be seen.

She describes the experience as initially shocking and has ongoing concerns about who might have been flying the drone and why. The result is an erosion of trust and cohesion in her neighborhood and a feeling of insecurity in her own home.

Continue reading… “Backyard skinny-dippers losing privacy to peeping drone stalkers”

0

The World Wide Web’s inventor warns it’s in peril on 28th anniversary

Tim Berners-Lee, who invented the World Wide Web, now wants to save it.

The computer scientist who wrote the blueprint for what would become the World Wide Web 28 years ago today is alarmed at what has happened to it in the past year.

“Over the past 12 months, I’ve become increasingly worried about three new trends, which I believe we must tackle in order for the web to fulfill its true potential as a tool which serves all of humanity,” he said in a statement issued from London. He cited compromised personal data; fake news that he says has “spread like wildfire”; and the lack of regulation in political advertising, which he says threatens democracy.

Continue reading… “The World Wide Web’s inventor warns it’s in peril on 28th anniversary”

0

Volunteering from home will soon be as common as working from home

c

We’re all familiar with the concept of working from home—and in 2017 volunteering from home will become just as ubiquitous. A busy life, working two jobs, unsociable working hours, and living in a remote location can all make it difficult for people to give time or money to good causes in their community. But technology now makes it possible to give your time and energy from the comfort of your own sofa, whether it’s to answer advice lines or support peers one-on-one.

Continue reading… “Volunteering from home will soon be as common as working from home”

0

The danger behind the algorithm economy

b

A few months ago The Washington Post reported that Facebook collects 98 data points on each of its nearly 2 billion users. Among this 98 are ethnicity, income, net worth, home value, if you are a mother, if you are a soccer mom, if you are married, the number of lines of credit you have, if you are interested in Ramadan, when you bought your car, and on and on and on.

Continue reading… “The danger behind the algorithm economy”

0