Tag Archives: surveillance

Are you ready? This is all the data Facebook and Google have on you | Dylan Curran

The harvesting of our personal details goes far beyond what many of us could imagine. So I braced myself and had a look

Want to freak yourself out? Im going to show just how much of your information the likes of Facebook and Google store about you without you even realising it.

Google knows where youve been

Google stores your location (if you have location tracking turned on) every time you turn on your phone. You can see a timeline of where youve been from the very first day you started using Google on your phone.

Click on this link to see your own data: google.com/maps/timeline?

Here is every place I have been in the last 12 months in Ireland. You can see the time of day that I was in the location and how long it took me to get to that location from my previous one.

A Google map of every place Ive been in Ireland this year. Photograph: Dylan Curran

Google knows everything youve ever searched and deleted

Google stores search history across all your devices. That can mean that, even if you delete your search history and phone history on one device, it may still have data saved from other devices.

Click on this link to see your own data: myactivity.google.com/myactivity

Google has an advertisement profile of you

Google creates an advertisement profile based on your information, including your location, gender, age, hobbies, career, interests, relationship status, possible weight (need to lose 10lb in one day?) and income.

Click on this link to see your own data: google.com/settings/ads/

Google knows all the apps you use

Google stores information on every app and extension you use. They know how often you use them, where you use them, and who you use them to interact with. That means they know who you talk to on Facebook, what countries are you speaking with, what time you go to sleep.

Click on this link to see your own data: security.google.com/settings/secur

Google has all of your YouTube history

Google stores all of your YouTube history, so they probably know whether youre going to be a parent soon, if youre a conservative, if youre a progressive, if youre Jewish, Christian, or Muslim, if youre feeling depressed or suicidal, if youre anorexic

Click on this link to see your own data: youtube.com/feed/history/s

The data Google has on you can fill millions of Word documents

Google offers an option to download all of the data it stores about you. Ive requested to download it and the file is 5.5GB big, which is roughly 3m Word documents.

This link includes your bookmarks, emails, contacts, your Google Drive files, all of the above information, your YouTube videos, the photos youve taken on your phone, the businesses youve bought from, the products youve bought through Google

They also have data from your calendar, your Google hangout sessions, your location history, the music you listen to, the Google books youve purchased, the Google groups youre in, the websites youve created, the phones youve owned, the pages youve shared, how many steps you walk in a day

Click on this link to see your own data: google.com/takeout

Facebook has reams and reams of data on you, too

Facebook offers a similar option to download all your information. Mine was roughly 600MB, which is roughly 400,000 Word documents.

This includes every message youve ever sent or been sent, every file youve ever sent or been sent, all the contacts in your phone, and all the audio messages youve ever sent or been sent.

Click here to see your data: https://www.facebook.com/help/131112897028467

A snapshot of the data Facebook has saved on me. Photograph: Dylan Curran

Facebook stores everything from your stickers to your login location

Facebook also stores what it thinks you might be interested in based off the things youve liked and what you and your friends talk about (I apparently like the topic girl).

Somewhat pointlessly, they also store all the stickers youve ever sent on Facebook (I have no idea why they do this. Its just a joke at this stage).

They also store every time you log in to Facebook, where you logged in from, what time, and from what device.

And they store all the applications youve ever had connected to your Facebook account, so they can guess Im interested in politics and web and graphic design, that I was single between X and Y period with the installation of Tinder, and I got a HTC phone in November.

(Side note, if you have Windows 10 installed, this is a picture of just the privacy options with 16 different sub-menus, which have all of the options enabled by default when you install Windows 10)

Privacy options in Windows 10. Photograph: Dylan Curran

They can access your webcam and microphone

The data they collect includes tracking where you are, what applications you have installed, when you use them, what you use them for, access to your webcam and microphone at any time, your contacts, your emails, your calendar, your call history, the messages you send and receive, the files you download, the games you play, your photos and videos, your music, your search history, your browsing history, even what radio stations you listen to.

Here are some of the different ways Google gets your data

I got the Google Takeout document with all my information, and this is a breakdown of all the different ways they get your information.

My Google Takeout document. Photograph: Dylan Curran

Heres the search history document, which has 90,000 different entries, even showing the images I downloaded and the websites I accessed (I showed the Pirate Bay section to show how much damage this information can do).

My search history document has 90,000 different entries. Photograph: Dylan Curran

Google knows which events you attended, and when

Heres my Google Calendar broken down, showing all the events Ive ever added, whether I actually attended them, and what time I attended them at (this part is when I went for an interview for a marketing job, and what time I arrived).

Here is my Google calendar showing a job interview I attended. Photograph: Dylan Curran

And Google has information you deleted

This is my Google Drive, which includes files I explicitly deleted including my rsum, my monthly budget, and all the code, files and websites Ive ever made, and even my PGP private key, which I deleted, that I use to encrypt emails.


Google can know your workout routine

This is my Google Fit, which shows all of the steps Ive ever taken, any time I walked anywhere, and all the times Ive recorded any meditation/yoga/workouts Ive done (I deleted this information and revoked Google Fits permissions).


And they have years worth of photos

This is all the photos ever taken with my phone, broken down by year, and includes metadata of when and where I took the photos


Google has every email you ever sent

Every email Ive ever sent, thats been sent to me, including the ones I deleted or were categorised as spam.


And there is more

Ill just do a short summary of whats in the thousands of files I received under my Google Activity.

First, every Google Ad Ive ever viewed or clicked on, every app Ive ever launched or used and when I did it, every website Ive ever visited and what time I did it at, and every app Ive ever installed or searched for.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/mar/28/all-the-data-facebook-google-has-on-you-privacy

US government demands details on all visitors to anti-Trump protest website

Privacy advocates call warrant for IP addresses of just one.3 million individuals who visited inauguration protest website an unconstitutional fishing expedition

The federal government needs to unmask everyone who visited an anti-Trump website with what privacy advocates have to say is an unconstitutional fishing expedition for political dissidents.

The warrant seems to become an escalation from the Department of Justices (DoJ) campaign against anti-Trump activities, such as the harsh prosecution of inauguration day protesters.

On 17 This summer, the DoJ offered an internet site-webhost, DreamHost, having a search warrant for each bit of information it possessed which was associated with an internet site which was accustomed to coordinate protests during Donald Trumps inauguration. The warrant covers those who buy and operate the website, but additionally seeks to obtain the IP addresses of just one.3 million individuals who visited it, along with the time and date of the visit and knowledge by what browser or operating-system they used.

The web site, www.disruptj20.org, was utilized to coordinate protests and civil disobedience on 20 The month of january, when Trump was inaugurated.

This unique situation which specific warrant are pure prosecutorial overreach with a highly politicized department of justice under [Attorney General Shaun] Sessions, stated Chris Ghazarian, general counsel for DreamHost. You ought to be concerned that anybody ought to be targeted only for going to a website.

The warrant is made public Monday, when DreamHost announced its intends to challenge the federal government in the court. The DoJ declined to comment. A hearing is scheduled for Friday.

The federal government has strongly prosecuted activists arrested throughout the 20 The month of january protests in Washington Electricity. In April, the united states attorneys office in Washington Electricity filed a single indictment charging greater than 217 individuals with identical crimes, including legal rioting.

Ghazarian stated that DreamHost provided the federal government with limited customer details about who owns the web site if this first received a great jury subpoena per week following the protests happened. However the government returned in This summer using the much broader search warrant.

Were a gatekeeper between your government and thousands of individuals who visited the web site, stated Ghazarian. You want to have them protected.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation, that has been counseling DreamHost, characterised the warrant as unconstitutional along with a fishing expedition.

I cant conceive of the legitimate justification apart from casting your internet as broadly as you possibly can to warrant countless user logs, senior staff attorney Mark Rumold told the Protector.

Logs of IP addresses dont distinctively identify users, however they backlink to a particular physical addresses if no digital tools are utilized to mask it.

The things they could be getting is a summary of everybody that has have you been thinking about attending these protests or seeing what happening in the protests and thats the troubling aspect. Its a brief step once you have their email list for connecting the Ip to someones identity, he stated.

Wide-reaching warrants for user data are occasionally issued once the content of the website is illegal for example pirated movies or child sexual abuse imagery, but speech isn’t prohibited.

This [the web site] is pure first amendment advocacy the kind of advocacy the very first amendment is built to safeguard and promote, Rumold added. Frankly Im glad DreamHost is pushing back onto it.

It is not the very first time that the federal government has searched for to unmask people protesting against Trump or his policies.

In March this season, Customs and Border Protection (CBP), a division from the homeland security department, purchased Twitter to give the telephone number, mailing addresses and IP addresses associated with @ALT_USCIS, a free account that presupposed to convey the views of dissenters inside the government.

The account, whose username is really a mention of US Citizenship and Immigration Services, is among a large number of alternative Twitter accounts established after Trump was inaugurated. The unverified accounts claimed to supply an uncensored look at civil servants who could not agree with Trumps policies.

To safeguard the identity of the individual running the account, Twitter launched a suit from the Trump administration, quarrelling it might have a grave chilling impact on it of this account particularly and the rest of the alternative agency accounts which have been produced to voice dissent to government policies.

After public outcry within the administrations overreach, CBP dropped the request.

Find out more: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/aug/14/donald-trump-inauguration-protest-website-search-warrant-dreamhost

South Korea spy agency admits trying to rig 2012 presidential election

National Intelligence Service states it mobilised cyberwarfare experts to make sure Park Geun-hye beat rival and today president Moon Jae-in

South Koreas spy agency has accepted it conducted an illicit campaign to help the countrys 2012 presidential election, mobilising groups of experts in mental warfare to make sure that the conservative candidate, Park Geun-hye, beat her liberal rival.

An interior analysis through the effective National Intelligence Service also revealed attempts by its former director along with other senior officials to help voters during parliamentary elections under Parks predecessor, the hardline rightwinger Lee Myung-bak.

Claims, now confirmed through the service, it had become behind a hostile online campaign to sway voters is for certain to increase public anger towards South Koreas political system.

Park, who narrowly beat the present president, Moon Jae-in, to get the countrys first female president within the 2012 election, is standing trial on corruption and abuse of power charges, and faces existence imprisonment.

Attention from the scandal that brought to her impeachment late this past year revealed prevalent collusion in the greatest degree of South Korean politics and business, and propelled Moon, a left-leaning liberal, to some landslide victory in May.

Moon, who had been the prospective of the smear campaign through the NIS throughout his first, unsuccessful, run for that presidential Blue House this year, has vowed to reform the spy agency to avoid it from influencing future elections.

He’s stated intelligence officials should concentrate on foreign matters, including countering the threat from North Korea.

The NISs in-house analysis discovered that its cyberwarfare unit created as much as 30 extra-departmental teams comprising officials and internet-savvy citizens to upload posts meant for conservative politicians for 2 years within the run-to the 2012 presidential election.

The teams were billed with distributing pro-government opinions and suppressing anti-government views, branding them as attempts by pro-North Korean forces to disrupt condition matters, the NIS report stated.

A spokesman for Park claimed the NIS inquiry was politically motivated. The NIS states it’ll dissociate itself from politics but it’s meddling in politics again by beginning this probe, Kang Hyo-sang, of Parks opposition Liberty Korea party, stated inside a statement.

The report was launched around the final day’s the trial of Won Sei-hoon, the NISs director from 2009-13, who’s billed with orchestrating the clandestine campaign to improve support for Park.

Based on South Koreas Yonhap news agency, the report stated that days prior to the 2012 election, NIS officials who’re usually involved in mental warfare against North Korea, published messages critical of Moon on social media and news sites.

The NIS taskforce stated similar attempts have been designed to influence elections for that national set up this year and 2012, where additionally, it put prominent opposition politicians under surveillance, Yonhap added.

Transcripts reveal that Won, who faces a four-year prison sentence, advised senior NIS officials to intervene in elections, letting them know the fight against anti-government forces was on the componen using the countrys clandestine campaign to destabilise North Korea.

Our mental operations against North Korea are essential, but our mental operations from the South Korean public are pretty important, too, Won stated throughout a meeting in April 2012 eight several weeks prior to the presidential election based on the Hankyoreh newspaper.

The NISs new director, Suh Hoon, has vowed to finish the agencys participation in domestic politics.

We’re shedding participation in politics and strengthening our core intelligence abilities by concentrating on our traditional role in national security [and] handling operations regarding overseas matters, including North Korea and antiterrorism, Huh told the South Korean parliaments intelligence committee recently, based on the Hankyoreh.

Find out more: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/aug/04/south-koreas-spy-agency-admits-trying-rig-election-national-intelligence-service-2012

Yahoo email spying claims prompt warning from UN rights tsar

David Kaye, special rapporteur on freedom of expression, says government monitoring of digital communications undermines individual privacy online

Yahoos alleged scanning of emails of hundreds of millions of users at the request of US intelligence raises serious human rights concerns, according to a United Nations advocate.

Government monitoring of digital communications, when conducted as described in recent reports, could undermine the privacy that individuals depend on in order to seek, receive and impart information online, said David Kaye, UN special rapporteur on the right to freedom of opinion and expression.

Kaye, an independent expert, was appointed by the UNs human rights council in 2014 to examine and report on specific situations or human rights issues. He was responding to reports that Yahoo complied with a secretive US government request to scan emails in 2015.

Yahoo, based in Sunnyvale, California, said this week that the reports were misleading but declined to specify its objections.

The revelations rekindled a long-running debate in the United States over the proper balance between digital privacy and national security, and sparked criticism from privacy and human rights officials in Europe.

Privacy advocates said the Yahoo case may amount to an unprecedented use of the authorities granted to the National Security Agency by Congress.

Addressing students at Georgetown University on Tuesday, the fugitive former NSA contractor Edward Snowden who leaked a trove of classified documents to journalists in 2013 exposing NSA surveillance programs said the Yahoo report renewed questions about whether government surveillance was subject to sufficient congressional oversight and public scrutiny.

Thats not to say that this Yahoo program is sinister, Snowden said via satellite. It could be related to cyber security, where it is related to known malware actors.

US government officials have sought to defend US surveillance operations as appropriately balanced and transparent, though they did not deny the reports about Yahoo.

The United States only uses signals intelligence for national security purposes, and not for the purpose of indiscriminately reviewing the emails or phone calls of ordinary people, said Richard Kolko, a spokesman for the US Office of the Director of National Intelligence.

White House spokesman Josh Earnest told reporters on Tuesday that he could not confirm the existence of specific intelligence programs or intelligence tools, but defended the checks and balances placed on what information or methods the intelligence community could seek.

With Reuters

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/oct/08/yahoo-email-spying-claims-prompt-warning-from-un-rights-tsar

SR-71 Blackbird reunion sets course for a new generation

Warner Robins, Georgia (CNN)Once upon a time there was a “magic airplane” that protected the world from harm by flying faster than a speeding bullet and soaring higher than the highest mountain.

But this is no fairy tale.
    “Once upon a time,” was really from 1964 to 1999.
    And the aircraft was a U.S. Air Force spy plane called the SR-71.
    Forty years ago last Thursday in 1976, the Lockheed jet nicknamed the Blackbird broke the world absolute speed record — flying 2,193 mph — literally faster than a bullet. That’s three times the speed of sound.
    “This is a magic airplane,” said the pilot who broke the record, retired Maj. Gen. Eldon “Al” Joersz. “You have this very powerful, exotic machine at your control that you’re trying to dance with — to make music with. Because that’s what she wants from you. She wants to fly smooth and nice.”
    Incredibly, the record still stands. No manned airplane with an air-breathing engine has ever flown faster.
    Officially. (Wink)
    As many Blackbird aficionados know, the SR-71 was the first stealth aircraft, with a special shape and exterior coating designed to evade radar detection.
    It was unmatched in its ability to use speed and extreme altitude — 16 miles high — to capture photographs and other kinds of intelligence that helped keep the Cold War from heating up.

    ‘Keeping history alive’

    On Saturday, the Blackbird family, as you might call them, held a kind of reunion at the Museum of Aviation in Warner Robins, Georgia, about 20 miles south of Macon.
    Fourteen former crew members, including pilots, reconnaissance systems officers, technicians and others traveled from across the nation to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the record breaking flight.


    “It was enjoyable to get back in the airplane and refresh your memory where some of the stuff was,” said Joersz. But he noticed that everything wasn’t exactly the same.
    Forty years ago “the airplanes were so nice [with] leather seats and you’re in a pressure suit … and everything was so well put together… but here… it’s a beautiful old airplane but it’s got some gauges missing and there’s no soft, cushiony seat, so you kind of say ‘It’s too bad that we’re not keeping this just the way it was back then,'” Joersz said.
    “We were not the only ones who could fly this fast or who could go this high,” Morgan said. “We happened to be at the right place at the right time.”

    The Blackbird family

    “It’s beautiful. It’s mysterious. It’s awesome. It’s powerful. It’s timeless,” said former Air Force Lt. Carolyn Rosenberg, describing the Blackbird.
    That’s high praise for a jet designed in the 1950s.
    She used to watch them fly at March Air Force Base, before she met Maury Rosenberg, her future spouse. “The men that worked on the ground and who flew the plane were the cream of the crop,” she said.
    Turns out Maury was one of those guys. He flew those beautiful, mysterious, awesome SR-71s.
    After piloting Blackbirds from 1973-1978and from 1981-1984, Maury decided to move to slower airplanes and fly for United Airlines. “This experience has left an imprint on our lives — all of us,” he said. “Every aspect of our lives — even whatever we went on to after the Air Force.”
    Just about everyone said they came to rely on the other teams to do their jobs with precision and perfect timing.
    For example, when each Blackbird would return from a surveillance flight, former electronic warfare systems technician Michael Hull remembers how ground crews sprung into action.
    “As soon as they pulled in the hangar and shut off the engines, it was just like a beehive: Maintenance guys drop the doors down, pull the mission tapes out, dropping the cameras out, wheeling them right into shops, pull the film out … and the data would go right into the intel vans and be processed immediately. It was just an amazing operation.”
    The secrecy of working in the Blackbird program required personal sacrifice, like long separations from family without being able to tell them where they were or what they were doing.
    Dave Burns, the ex-crew chief, remembered when he was stationed at the SR-71 base in Japan and he broke the rules to use the jet’s high frequency radio to contact a ham operator in Nebraska. The ham operator kindly patched Burns into a land line so he could call his mom, just to tell her he loved her and he was OK.

    What’s next

    Although it’s amazing the record has lasted this long, there’s no doubt “someone is going to go faster and take the record,” Joersz said. “In the meantime we’re happy to be the representatives that represent the speed that this airplane was able to achieve.”
    “The technology is there to go faster,” he said. Lockheed Martin and other aerospace companies are developing a number of supersonic and hypersonic programs.
    Could hypersonic engines be useful in powering a manned surveillance aircraft?
    Maybe, said Carpenter.
    Unlike satellites, an aircraft’s movements aren’t predictable, obviously. A hypersonic aircraft, meaning an object flying at least five times the speed of sound, flies across hostile airspace and gather intelligence so quickly and unpredictably that it would be out of range before adversaries on the ground could pose a threat.
    “A hypersonic vehicle could be a deep penetrator and could provide that unknown time when it would penetrate,” Carpenter said.
    And how cool would it be if some of the people who eventually develop that new technology were inspired to pursue engineering by an amazing 1960s-era jet called the Blackbird?

    Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2016/07/31/us/sr-71-blackbird-crew-reunion/index.html