Opsec and #blacklivesmatter: How Trump Is Motivating Activists to Learn and Practice Digital Security

Linked by Paul Ciano

Cory Doctorow:

Networks are an important organizing tool, but they’re also a COINTELPRO dream: all the surveillance targets, neatly arrayed on a social graph, with their information cascades on display, pointing big arrows at the most effective activists, whose communications and movements are laid bare by the technologies they trust to help them reach and mobilize their comrades.

The question can’t be, “How do we organize without technology?” Because the answer is, “You can’t.” The answer has to be, “How do we adapt technology so that the liberty-enhancing parts are intact, while the liberty-removing parts are excised? Leaving technology behind won’t stop the state from using technology to track you — it just stops you from getting the benefits of networks for organizing and mobilizing.

How Purism avoids Vault 7 leaked threats “Dark Matter”

Linked by Paul Ciano

Todd Weaver, Purism:

What these threats continue to showcase is that EFI/UEFI is an ideal low-level backdoor to control a user’s device without their knowledge, and the leaked documents shows how widespread these threats are against any user running a EFI/UEFI BIOS.

Purism is working hard to make its products immune against these threats by designing its devices to be able to run coreboot instead EFI/UEFI. Purism also utilizes PureOS (a GNU/Linux based distribution that does not contain any mystery binaries), so the entire source code stack can be audited.

Continue reading How Purism avoids Vault 7 leaked threats “Dark Matter”

Hanover Police Department Obtains FAA Authorization to Fly Surveillance Drone

Linked by Paul Ciano

Kade Crockford, Privacy SOS:

The small town of Hanover, Massachusetts, population ~13,000, has become the first in the state to obtain a license from the FAA to fly a drone. According to media reports, the police and fire department plan to use it.

I’m curious to learn why the Hanover police department wants a drone, and how it plans to deploy it. Do the cops have a privacy policy describing what will happen to data produced by the drone? Will they get warrants before using it?

Apple Forces Recyclers to Shred All iPhones and MacBooks

Linked by Paul Ciano


Apple released its Environmental Responsibility Report Wednesday, an annual grandstanding effort that the company uses to position itself as a progressive, environmentally friendly company. Behind the scenes, though, the company undermines attempts to prolong the lifespan of its products.

Apple’s new moonshot plan is to make iPhones and computers entirely out of recycled materials by putting pressure on the recycling industry to innovate. But documents obtained by Motherboard using Freedom of Information requests show that Apple’s current practices prevent recyclers from doing the most environmentally friendly thing they could do: Salvage phones and computers from the scrap heap.

Continue reading Apple Forces Recyclers to Shred All iPhones and MacBooks