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?

Cybersecurity for the People: How to Protect Your Privacy at a Protest

Linked by Paul Ciano

Micah Lee, Lauren Feeney:

Planning on going to a protest? You might not be aware that just by showing up, you can open yourself up to certain privacy risks — police often spy on protesters, and the smartphones they carry, and no matter how peaceful the demonstration, there’s always a chance that you could get detained or arrested, and your devices could get searched. Watch this video for tips on how to prepare your phone before you go to a protest, how to safely communicate with your friends and document the event, and what to do if you get detained or arrested.

1Blocker Adds Easy Page Element Hiding

Linked by Paul Ciano

John Voorhees, MacStories:

On iOS, 1Blocker made Federico’s list of ‘Must Have’ apps for 2015 in part because he could create custom rules with CSS overrides to hide individual elements on a webpage. That’s a powerful feature, but the developer of 1Blocker found that too many people didn’t want to be bothered inspecting webpages on a Mac and typing in a blocking rule manually. Other users simply weren’t comfortable with using Safari’s inspector.

1Blocker 1.3 for iOS solves this problem with an extension. From a webpage, all you have to do is tap the share button, pick the 1Blocker action extension, and then ‘Hide Page Element.’ 1Blocker reloads the page in the extension with toolbars on the top and bottom of the screen. Find something you want to hide and tap it. The element is outlined with a red dashed line and glows to indicate what you selected. Tapping the ‘Save’ button gives you a chance to hide another element or return to Safari.

Continue reading 1Blocker Adds Easy Page Element Hiding

Serious Privacy Risks Lie in the Path of Vehicle Automation

Linked by Paul Ciano


The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has proposed a new standard – a Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) – that details the messaging formats for communications between vehicles for future vehicle automation. While we raise concerns here, make no mistake: increased automation of land vehicles like cars and trucks holds great promise, from drastically reducing injuries and deaths in accidents to streamlining traffic in order to route vehicles in the most efficient ways possible. To do this, our vehicles will be increasingly talking to each other and to other infrastructure on the road such as traffic signals, signage, and lane boundaries in order to keep us safe. At the same time, in the race towards promising applications, we need to be careful that we don’t introduce features that may reduce the trust and freedom we have in our vehicles.