Security Archives

Govt. Asks to Keep Eavesdropping Program

The problem here is that while anti-terror intelligence gathering is important, so also are little things like the Constitution, due process and individual rights. Those are pretty important. So much so that anything that comes close to breaching them needs first to be stopped and second to be very carefully overseen. Preferably by distrustful people.

Govt. Asks to Keep Eavesdropping Program

The Bush administration on Friday asked a federal judge to delay enforcing her order for a halt to the government’s warrantless communications surveillance program.The Justice Department argued that ending the intelligence-gathering program threatens “the gravest of harms to the government and to the American public” and leaves the country “more vulnerable to terrorist attack.”

Source – AP

Manufacturers will have to warn on wireless security

This is something that should have been included in wireless internet equipment from the very start. The reason is that entirely too many people buy stuff like that, take it home, hook it up and start using it without even bothering to look at the security settings… let alone do anything to make sure that just anyone with a Wireless LAN card can’t start using their internet connection or even snooping the files on their home (or business) LAN.

One thing that would have made this less needed would be if makers of wireless internet equipment had built it so that it required the security settings to be reviewed and set before using it. Then people would be much less likely to buy it and use it without even a thought to security.

Of course, that would have taken time and cost the manufacturers money and we just cannot mess with anything that will take away from the bottom line now can we?


Manufacturers will have to warn on wireless security
OUT-LAW News, 01/09/2006
California legislators have passed a law which will force makers of wireless internet equipment to include guidance on keeping data secure on wireless connections. The law now awaits signature by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.

From 1st October 2007, manufacturers must place warning labels on all equipment capable of receiving Wi-Fi signals, according to the new state law. These can take the form of box stickers, special notification in setup software, notification during the router setup or through automatic securing of the connection. One warning sticker must be positioned so that it must be removed by a consumer before the product can be used.

The warnings would have to contain information on how to secure files, folders and connections. Wireless internet connections can be used by anyone with Wi-Fi capability within the range of the transmitter unless they are secured. While many users have traditionally shared their connections, leaving them open for others to use, other users are becoming increasingly concerned about the implications of ‘piggybacking’ on networks.

Keeping Search History private

In response to the recent problems with search queries being made public by AOL and the potential for not only more such “accidental” releases of search histories, somebody has developed a tool that can help.

It’s called TrackMeNot.  It is a plugin for the Firefox browser that sends fake search queries to search engines. The idea is that your real searches will be hidden amongst the fake searches, thus concealing your real search habits.

This tool is by no means a cureall and it’s only useful for Firefox, but it can help add to privacy. Especially if you regularly delete the cookies that the search engines set.

By the way, the url that the article gives for TrackMeNot is incorrect.  The right one is http://mrl.nyu.edu/~dhowe/TrackMeNot/

Another, similar web-based tool that will work for any browser is Lost in the Crowd. It can be found at https://lostinthecrowd.org.


Tool Generates Fake Searches for Privacy
Aug 31, 3:58 PM (ET)
By ANICK JESDANUN
NEW YORK (AP) – A new tool seeks to make your searches more private by hiding them in plain sight.

TrackMeNot periodically sends fake, innocuous queries to search engines, making it harder for someone to glean your actual search habits by reviewing the companies’ logs that contain your queries.

The tool comes as AOL revealed it had released the search histories of more than 650,000 subscribers. Although user names were not included, the company admitted that the search terms themselves could contain sensitive information. Two AOL employees were fired and a third resigned over the disclosure.

Watchdog group warns against AOL’s free software

After years of seeing all manner of user complaints, ridicule and derision of AOL in various internet forums and most notably usenet, This story comes as no real surprize. Even if AOL moves to change their software to remove the behavior the folks at stopbadware.org are talking about, this is going to be one of those things that just never goes away.

If for example, usenet posters thoght they had reason to slam AOL before, this is going to be years worth of amunition that AOL will not be allowed to forget for a very long time to come, if ever.

StopBadware.org says AOL’s free client software displayed characteristics consistent with “badware.”
The New York Times
By Tom Zeller Jr.
The New York Times
Published: August 28, 2006, 9:50 PM PDT
Dealing yet another blow to AOL, a leading software watchdog group warned users away from AOL’s free client software Monday on the ground that it displayed characteristics consistent with “badware.”

The term badware describes a wide array of downloadable applications that try to install extra components on a computer without clearly informing users of what they are or what they will do.

The group, StopBadware.org, posted an “open inquiry” into the AOL software Monday, meaning that a dialogue has been opened with the company and that a full “badware” designation is still pending.

The report, however, stated that the AOL client software, which provides subscribers with a suite of services, also installed extra software deceptively, altered the Web browser and other computer components without notifying the user, and did not uninstall completely, among other “badware behaviors.”

Similar characteristics are often found in pernicious forms of spyware and adware, often called malware. The StopBadware organization was founded in part to assist consumers in spotting shady software.  The group is run by the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard Law School and the Oxford Internet Institute of Oxford University.

PRIVACY HAS BECOME AN ANACHRONISM . . . NOT!

PRIVACY HAS BECOME AN ANACHRONISMI’ve been talking about sub dermal biochip implants for a decade and writing about it for 8 years.  Now the mainstream media is catching up and reporting VeriChip Corp., “one of the most aggressive marketers of radio frequency identification chips,” is trying to convince the Pentagon to insert the chips, known as RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) chips under the skin of the right arms of U.S. servicemen and servicewomen. Source – newswithviews.com

Look Up Christians! Things are getting closer than ever before. After reading the above, check out Revelation Chapter 13.

For those who aren’t Christians, it’s time to take a look at what’s going on in the world and give serious thought to getting right with God. Time’s runing out.

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