The Easy Days Are Over – By William Saletan NOV. 14 2015 8:06 PM


After Paris, this period of relative peace and easy libertarianism is coming to an end.

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If you’re an 18-year-old American, you were 3 or 4 when al-Qaida hit the United States on Sept. 11, 2001. You haven’t seen a major terrorist strike in your country since then. Maybe you heard about the attacks in Madrid in 2004, London in 2005, or Mumbai in 2008. But aside from the occasional lone-wolf incident—Fort Hood, Texas, in 2009, or the Boston Marathon bombing of 2013—you’ve been lucky.

You’ve grown up in an era of peace at home: no world wars, no cold war, and little fear of being blown up or gunned down by militants. It’s an era of libertarianism: We’re less afraid of bad guys coming to kill us, so we don’t see why Uncle Sam should track our phone calls. It’s also an era of isolationism, because our troops have fought two wars overseas, in Afghanistan and Iraq, and they haven’t turned out well. We’re sick of those wars, and we feel pretty safe at home. So we don’t want to go fight again.

The libertarianism and isolationism of our time crosses party lines. It affects President Obama, who came into office promising to bring our troops home. But it also affects Republicans. Sen. Lindsey Graham, the Republican presidential candidate who has campaigned on a platform of sending troops to fight ISIS, couldn’t even garner enough support in the polls to get into his party’s undercard debate last week. And if you study surveys on national security and domestic surveillance, you’ll find that Republicans are, by some measures, more hostile to surveillance than Democrats are.

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Mathias Jud: Art that lets you talk back to NSA spies – Filmed September 2015 at TEDGlobal>London


In 2013, the world learned that the NSA and its UK equivalent, GCHQ, routinely spied on the German government. Amid the outrage, artists Mathias Jud and Christoph Wachter thought: Well, if they’re listening … let’s talk to them. With antennas mounted on the roof of the Swiss Embassy in Berlin’s government district, they set up an open network that let the world send messages to US and UK spies listening nearby. It’s one of three bold, often funny, and frankly subversive works detailed in this talk, which highlights the world’s growing discontent with surveillance and closed networks.

Security News This Week: Cops Accidentally Leaked Footage From License Plate Readers – YAEL GRAUER. : 10.31.15 7:00 AM


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It’s been a busy week. The Senate voted 74-21 to pass CISA, the problematic surveillance bill that has privacy advocates and civil liberties groups up in arms. In better news, the EU Parliament voted to net neutrality rules filled with loopholesthat aren’t exactly neutral. The Library of Congress approved copyright law exemptions that would allow people to modify software on their cars—but the exemptions only last three years after they begin to take effect, which won’t be for another year. And Tor launched the beta version of Tor Messenger, which looks like the easiest-to-use encrypted, anonymous instant messaging app.

But that’s not all. Each Saturday we round up the news stories that we didn’t break or cover in depth at WIRED, but which deserve your attention nonetheless. As always, click on the headlines to read the full story in each link posted. And stay safe out there!

Cops Were Accidentally Leaking License Plate Surveillance Data Online

The fact that local governments collect data on every driver’s travel history is pretty disconcerting. That idea that this data is sometimes widely available to anyone with a web browser is even scarier. Earlier this year, EFF learned that information from more than 100 auto license plate reader cameras was available online, and sometimes the camera’s live video stream (and plate captures) could be viewed in real time. The digital rights group was able to trace five cameras to their sources, and found multiple issues such as poor or default passwords, or no passwords at all. Luckily, when notified by EFF, the agencies secured the systems, but tracking the sources of all cameras wasn’t possible. Other than securing surveillance technology before using it (what a concept!) it would behoove law enforcement agencies to limit their data storage to days, not years—and only for vehicles suspected to have been involved with a crime, the EFF concluded.

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http://www.wired.com/2015/10/security-news-this-week-cops-accidentally-leaked-footage-from-license-plate-readers/

FBI director says its aircraft flew over Ferguson at request of local police – Associated Press in Washington Thursday 22 October 2015 18.31 EDT


  • James Comey denies bureau’s planes are used for mass surveillance

  • FBI flights useful to police and public at times of ‘tremendous turbulence’

Jamey Comey, the director of the FBI, testifies before the House judiciary committee during an oversight hearing in Washington on Thursday.

JameyComey, the director of the FBI, testifies before the House judiciary committee during an oversight hearing in Washington on Thursday. Photograph: Joshua Roberts/Reuters

The FBI director, James Comey, said on Thursday that the agency used its aircraft above Ferguson, Missouri, last year at the request of local law enforcement to help keep track of unrest on the ground.

Comey did not go into details during a House judiciary committee hearing on Thursday, including how long the surveillance lasted.

But in response to questioning, he said the FBI uses airplanes during investigations of specific suspects in criminal, terrorism and espionage investigations and when local police request help during a “developing situation” or emergencies such as riots. He said the planes were never used for mass surveillance.

“We don’t fly planes around America looking down to see if somebody might be doing something wrong,” Comey told the panel.

http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/oct/22/fbi-director-says-its-aircraft-flew-over-ferguson-at-request-of-local-police

Christopher Soghoian: How to avoid surveillance … with the phone in your pocket – Filmed March 2015 at TED2015


Who is listening in on your phone calls? On a landline, it could be anyone, says privacy activist Christopher Soghoian, because surveillance backdoors are built into the phone system by default, to allow governments to listen in. But then again, so could a foreign intelligence service … or a criminal. Which is why, says Soghoian, some tech companies are resisting governments’ call to build the same backdoors into mobile phones and new messaging systems. From this TED Fellow, learn how some tech companies are working to keep your calls and messages private.

Security News This Week: Oh Good, the Weaponized Police Drones Are Here – YAEL GRAUER. 29.15. 08.2 AM


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We’re still feeling the ripple effect from the Ashley Madison hack this week. Not only is its parent company, Avid Life Media, offering a $500K CDN reward for info on the hackers, and not only are the lawsuits rolling in, but on Friday CEO Noel Bidermen stepped down. The world’s biggest online drug marketplace Agora is on hiatus following suspicious activity that its moderators think was intended to deanonymize the site.  The UN’s newly appointed privacy chief described the UK’s digital surveillance as worse than 1984. Meanwhile, a U.S. appellate court ruled that the Federal Trade Commission can regulate and fine companies for getting hacked, so long as they engaged in unfair or deceptive business practices, such as publishing a privacy policy and failing to make good on it.

But there’s more. Each week we round up the news stories that we didn’t break or cover in depth at WIRED, but which deserve your attention nonetheless. As always, click on the headlines to read the full story in each link posted, and stay safe out there!

Militarized Drones Are Now Legal In North Dakota

Police in North Dakota can now legally fly militarized drones armed with tasers, tear gas, rubber bullets, pepper spray, or sound cannons, thanks to the passage of House Bill 1328. The bill was originally meant to require police officers to obtain a search warrant in order to use the drones for criminal evidence, and would have banned the use of all weapons on drones (not just the lethal ones), but then a lobbyist made some changes. A compliance committee is supposed to track and review police use of drones and keep it in check, but the group has no legal authority—and its members aren’t exactly unbiased. “Of the committee’s 18 members, six are from UND, which has a vested interest in promoting drone use. Three are members of local government, including the city planner and an assistant state’s attorney. And the rest are either current or former members of law enforcement and emergency services,” the Daily Beast’s Justin Glawe writes.

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http://www.wired.com/2015/08/security-news-week-oh-good-weaponized-police-drones/