“Distinction between state surveillance and private surveillance is, to my mind, totally overstated.” – Cory Doctorow
Cory Doctorow – science fiction author, journalist and co-editor of the blog Boing Boing – joins New America’s Peter Singer and Passcode’s Sara Sorcher to talk about society’s “peak indifference” to the Surveillance State, what policies could stand in the way of a future Internet utopia, whether young people actually care about their privacy online, and what a future world war might look like in the 2020s.
Dan Kaufman, director of DARPA’s Information Innovation Office, chats about funding “moonshot” projects to help the military beef up its digital defenses, the risks that come with the burgeoning Internet of Things, and what it’s like to work in an office with robots in the lobby.
Canada and its spying partners exploited weaknesses in one of the world’s most popular mobile browsers and planned to hack into smartphones via links to Google and Samsung app stores, a top secret document obtained by CBC News shows.
The 2012 document shows that the surveillance agencies exploited the weaknesses in certain mobile apps in pursuit of their national security interests, but it appears they didn’t alert the companies or the public to these weaknesses. That potentially put millions of users in danger of their data being accessed by other governments’ agencies, hackers or criminals.
A WOMAN AT a gym tells her friend she pays rent higher than $2,000 a month. An ex-Microsoft employee describes his work as an artist to a woman he’s interviewing to be his assistant—he makes paintings and body casts, as well as something to do with infrared light that’s hard to discern from his foreign accent. Another man describes his gay lover’s unusual sexual fetish, which involves engaging in fake fistfights, “like we were doing a scene from Batman Returns.”
These conversations—apparently real ones, whose participants had no knowledge an eavesdropper might be listening—were recorded and published by the NSA. Well, actually no, not the NSA, but an anonymous group of anti-NSA protestors claiming to be contractors of the intelligence agency and launching a new “pilot program” in New York City on its behalf. That spoof of a pilot program, as the prankster provocateurs describe and document in videos on their website, involves planting micro-cassette recorders under tables and benches around New York city, retrieving the tapes and embedding the resulting audio on their website: Wearealwayslistening.com.
It doesn’t take an NSA spymaster to snoop on your digital doings. Thanks to a free software program, distributed by police departments all around the country, any creep with a basic knowledge of the Internet could be monitoring your children’s online activities.