Posts tagged "Privacy Expert"
NSA Angry Birds are Stalking You
So you’ve had a rough day at the office. You plop down on your couch with a cold beverage nearby, ready to let the day go. You have twenty minutes until your chicken pot pie dings, and the thought of chicken reminds you of, well… Angry Birds. Harmless fun. NOT!
While you may be enjoying a mindless game, somewhere far off in cyber land others are just beginning to work very hard. WHO THEY ARE: advertising companies and intelligence agencies alike. WHAT THEY ARE DOING TO YOU: gathering all of the most personal data off of your mobile device: everything from your name, age, sex, location, and perhaps even your political alignment or sexual orientation—and lots more!
Dictionary.com has chosen its “word of the year”. Thank the etymological gods it’s not selfie, twerk or hashtag. No, this year’s most relevant, most searched word is:
Call me geeky, but this is happy news to privacy experts, because it raises consciousness that this stuff (your right to keep certain information to your self) actually matters.
And consciousness has definitely been raised in 2013:
- Data security and privacy experts everywhere should thank Edward Snowden for exposing the NSA surveillance programs that monitor every American’s phone calls, Facebook posts and emails for signs of terrorism (and any other data they care to intercept).
- Thanks to SnapChat for making deleted photos recoverable (despite claims they disappear).
- Additional kudos to Google Glass for raising awareness on how easy it is to capture intellectual property as criminals videotape their way through Fortune 500 offices, record ATM PIN numbers of the bank customer in front of them and deploy instant facial recognition software in a variety of social engineering schemes.
Today’s Burning Question for online privacy expert John Sileo:
“Who is the bigger spy, the NSA or Google?”
I thought that was a really fascinating question. Of course, it comes because in the last couple of months the NSA has been outed by Edward Snowden, the former NSA employee. The NSA (National Security Agency) has been spying on our phone calls- who we’re calling and when, our emails- who we’re emailing and what about, and even our social media posts.
The latest scandal is called “Muscular”. Somehow, the NSA has gotten between the transmissions of Google and Yahoo. In other words, the NSA has been “sniffing” the emails going back and forth between the two largest email providers in the US and this has angered the tech giants like Google, Yahoo, and Facebook.
By Mike Spinney, HoGo (Document Protection Simplified)
John Sileo is a kindred spirit when it comes to fighting the good fight against data breach and identity theft. I met John about seven years ago when we were both part of a joint project to raise awareness over the issue of physical document protection and we’ve been friends ever since. I admire what John does to help make people more aware of their personal risk and take steps to prevent identify theft. A two-time victim of identify theft, John has refused to wallow in his victimization and instead has become a privacy expert in his own right and taken his powerful, personal message to audiences around the world raising identity theft prevention awareness as one of the issues premiere speakers.
What makes a privacy expert nervous? Glimpsing the size of the iceberg under the surface. When National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden became a whistle blower earlier this year, I think we all knew we were really just seeing the tip of the iceberg about exactly how much information the NSA was gathering on the average American citizen. And it was a pretty large tip to start with.
Here’s a reminder of what started the whole thing. Snowden provided reporters at The Guardian and The Washington Post with top-secret documents detailing two NSA surveillance programs being carried out by the U.S. Government, all without the average voter’s knowledge. One gathers hundreds of millions of U.S. phone records and the second allows the government to access nine U.S. Internet companies to gather all domestic Internet usage (so they are tapping pieces of your phone calls and emails, in other words). The intent of each program respectively is to use meta-data (information about the numbers being called, length of call, etc., but not the conversation itself, as far as we know) to detect links to known terrorist targets abroad and to detect suspicious behavior (by monitoring emails, texts, social media posts, instant messaging, chat rooms, etc.) that begins overseas. As a privacy expert, I understand the need to detect connections among terrorists; the troubling part is the scope of the information being gathered.