It seems as though a Baltimore police officer forgot about one key feature of his bodycam: the fact that it saves the previous 30 seconds of video recorded before the camera is activated. Most bodycams record and dump constantly. The moment it’s activated, the 30 seconds preceding the activation become part of the recording.
What was apparently inadvertently captured by the camera was the officer planting drugs in a can and hiding them in an alley. All three officers then retreat to the sidewalk outside the alley before heading back in to “discover” the drug stash.
It’s going to be much harder to view the full web in Russia before the year is out. President Putin has signed a law that, as of November 1st, bans technology which lets you access banned websites, including virtual private networks and proxies. Internet providers will have to block websites hosting these tools. The measure is ostensibly meant to curb extremist content, but that’s just pretext — this is really about preventing Russians from seeing content that might be critical of Putin, not to mention communicating in secret.
In Xinjiang, China, citizens are being forced to install a targeted surveillance mobile app called Jingwang. Additionally, the government has set up random checkpoints on the streets to check whether the spyware is properly installed on your smartphone. On July 10th, mobile phone users in the region received a notification letting them know that they had 10 days to download and install the Jingwang spyware. Failure to install the app is punishable by up to 10 days imprisonment, according to the notice. According to the government, the spyware app has benign functions.
Privacy International is particularly concerned that suspicion of membership of the Gülen movement is based on the use of encryption, specifically a freely available messaging service called Bylock which the government claims is the communication tool of choice for Gülen supporters and was used to organise the coup. There is very little information about Bylock; it is not widely known among security experts or outside of Turkey, it is no longer available from any app store and its origins and developer are something of a mystery.
Privacy International @ Medium » Encryption At The Centre Of Mass Arrests: One Year On From Turkey’s Failed Coup »
New Zealand airport customs agents force thousands of travelers every year to hand over the passwords for their devices, in some cases inspecting files and even copying the data for the government.
“Scottish comedian and YouTuber Markus Meechan, better known as Count Dankula, is facing a year in prison for recording and uploading a video where he taught his girlfriend’s pet dog how to “seig heil” on command. As Heat Street reported earlier this year the viral video did not amuse Scottish police, prompting his arrest.” (…)
“On Wednesday, Meechan posted an update about his case. “Legal aid application was rejected,” he posted on Twitter. ‘I’m fucked.'”
US authorities intercepted and recorded millions of phone calls last year under a single wiretap order, authorized as part of a narcotics investigation.
The wiretap order authorized an unknown government agency to carry out real-time intercepts of 3.29 million cell phone conversations over a two-month period at some point during 2016, after the order was applied for in late 2015.
I just read an interesting piece at Bloomberg: The Hackers Russia-Proofing Germany’s Elections »
It’s about the German Chaos Computer Club – CCC – and its fight for a free, open democratic society with a free flow of information. At the end, member Jan Krissler is quoted saying…
»All the stuff will happen in the end.«
He then adds »Maybe I’m too skeptical about our influence.«
The looming questions. Are they winning? Are we losing? If so, what will the consequences be? Is it already too late to fight Big Brother?
For decades I have in one way or another been into politics and communication. One thing that I have learned is that you must be ridiculously persistent. You will be fed up repeating the same arguments over and over again – to people who are not interested or do not want to understand. They will ignore you, they will laugh at you and they will fight you.
Then you win. It has been done before. When the Internet stopped ACTA is one of a number of very real victories in the EU. It’s all about leaving your comfort zone – and give what it takes to win. Again. And again.
Because we must! A modern, slightly superstitious, politicized, high-tech Big Brother state will be insufferable. Orwell, meet Kafka.
This is about the power balance between citizens and the state. This is about upholding fundamental human rights. This is – ultimately – about democracy. And it is for real.
Bigbrotherism tends to be irreversible. When mass surveillance is in place, it is very hard to undo and will inevitably be followed by more. When civil rights are restricted, they might be lost forever. And we have absolutely no idea about who will be in power in the future. But it’s highly likely that – sooner or later – it will be some pretty nasty people. (As if today’s politicians aren’t scary enough.) Please, do not leave them tools of oppression and total control.
So, losing is not an option.
To win, I believe that we must stand on strong and unrestrainable principles. The UN, EU, and Council of Europe declarations on human rights. The fundamental pillars and the deeper values of liberal democracy. What the Germans (who learned the hard way, twice) call »Rechtstaat«. Division of power. Openness.
It must be commonly known that there is an ongoing battle, where peaceful activists passionately are defending democracy – and politicians and bureaucrats are trying to restrict it. This image must be reflected in the media and in the public mind.
Remember that action is the most powerful way to communicate – and necessary for anything to happen at all.
Trying to repress Democracy must come at an extremely high political price. If we don’t draw a red line, our overlords will find that there are, actually, no real limits to their power. (And having power over others does unfortunate things to people.)
Fight fair, endure, stand on a few exceptionally strong principles – and you will eventually win.
Finally, we cannot have all these different fights over and over again. This must come to some sort of horizontal, binding resurrection of privacy, civil rights and freedom of information.
(And whatever you do, do not allow politicians to »modernize« our existing human rights conventions. These should be very imposing and inconvenient obstacles – to prevent governments from doing whatever they want.)
Take this fight to national politics. Confront politicians and their functionaries. Give the media a wake-up-call. And let’s make all of this an Issue at the European elections – as much of today’s Bigbroterism originates in the EU.
May the Force be with you.
A new law allowing the German police to hack into mobile phones for even minor crimes, is expected to be passed by the German parliament this week [update: the law has now been passed]. Currently, the use of a “Staatstrojaner” – government trojan – is only permitted in order to prevent future terrorist attacks. Under the new law, the authorities will be allowed to implant surveillance malware to help secure convictions for over 70 types of crime. These include serious ones such as genocide, treason and murder, but also less serious crimes such as money counterfeiting, vehicle theft, computer fraud, rigged sports betting and tax evasion. Two kinds of trojans will be available. The first allows the authorities to eavesdrop on calls made with the mobile phone, whether using standard telephony or VoIP, while the second gives access to all information held on the device.
The Russian police have arrested Tor node operator Dmitry Bogatov. They charged him with terrorism offense and the reason for this, as they claim, is the connection between his IP address and a series of posts allegedly inciting dissent and disorder.