Injustice at the Border: How to Protect Your Data (Part 1)

If you follow this site, you most likely know that a large part of the content focuses on privacy and security. About 2 years ago, I said what I had to say on these subjects. From then on, I decided to simply continue linking to those who remained vigilant in these areas.

However, current events compel me to speak up once more.

Continue reading Injustice at the Border: How to Protect Your Data (Part 1)

Podcatcher Polygamy: Overcast

I walk about 11,000 steps a day. During these walks, Apple's AirPods and a solid lineup of podcasts are essential to me. I love podcasts, and for a long time, Shifty Jelly's Pocket Casts has been my go-to podcatcher solution.

I still think it's a great app, but I know it is not the only great podcatcher out there. All this time, I have continued to hear praise for Marco Arment's Overcast. I spend an enormous amount of time listening to podcasts, so if there was a chance to improve this experience, I felt that I should check it out.

Here's what happened.

Continue reading Podcatcher Polygamy: Overcast

DNA Could Be the Future of Data Storage

Linked by Paul Ciano

ResearchGate:

The world is churning out so much data that hard drives may not be able to keep up, leading researchers to look at DNA as a possible storage medium. DNA is ultra compact, and doesn’t degrade over time like cassettes and CDs. In a new study, Yaniv Erlich and Dina Zielinski demonstrate DNA’s full potential and reliability for storing data. The researchers wrote six files—a full computer operating system, a 1895 French film, an Amazon gift card, a computer virus, a Pioneer plaque, and a study by information theorist Claude Shannon—into 72,000 DNA strands, each 200 bases long. They then used sequencing technology to retrieve the data, and software to translate the genetic code back into binary. The files were recovered with no errors. We spoke with Erlich about the results, and what they mean for the future of data storage.

Via Six Colors.

Law Enforcement’s Secret “Super Search Engine” Amasses Trillions of Phone Records for Decades

Linked by Paul Ciano

EFF:

Although the government still hides too much information about a secret telephone records surveillance program known as Hemisphere, we have learned through EFF’s Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuits that police tout the massive database of private calls as “Google on Steroids” [pdf].

Hemisphere, which AT&T operates on behalf of federal, state, and local law enforcement, contains trillions of domestic and international phone call records dating back to 1987. AT&T adds roughly four billion phone records to Hemisphere each day [.pptx], including calls from non-AT&T customers that pass through the company’s switches.

The Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) and other federal, state and local police use Hemisphere to not only track when and who someone is calling, but to perform complicated traffic analysis that can dynamically map people’s social networks and physical locations. This even includes knowing when someone changes their phone number.

And federal officials often do it without first getting permission from a judge.