COMPUTERS/INTERNET/SECURITY | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED


COMPUTERS/INTERNET/SECURITY

May 20 07:33

"ALARMING": FACEBOOK TEAMS UP WITH THINK-TANK FUNDED BY SAUDI ARABIA AND MILITARY CONTRACTORS TO "PROTECT" DEMOCRACY

In a new project Facebook insists is a completely objective and nonpartisan effort to root out what it deems "disinformation," the social media giant announced on Thursday that it is partnering with the Atlantic Council—a prominent Washington-based think-tank funded by Saudi Arabia, major oil companies, defense contractors, and Charles Koch—to prevent its platform from "being abused during elections."

May 19 11:44

Britain warned it must be prepared to launch cyber attacks on enemies or risk 'falling behind' in modern warfare

Britain must be prepared to launch cyber attacks on enemies or risk “falling behind” in modern warfare, the head of defence intelligence has warned.

Air Marshal Phil Osborn warned that online offensives could have “nationally crippling effects in minutes”, with the UK already being hit by hackers in Russia, North Korea and Iran.

“We can see numerous examples: unprecedented industrial espionage activity against the UK and allies, private security contractors being used in high-end capability warfare in Syria, cyber attacks against national infrastructure and reputation across Europe, information operations that attempt to pervert political process and frustrate the rule of law, and attempted assassinations,” he said in a lecture to the Royal United Services Institute for Defence and Security Studies (RUSI).

May 19 09:46

FACEBOOK ANNOUNCES PARTNERSHIP WITH THINK TANK CONNECTED TO NATO, MILITARY INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX

Facebook has announced a new partnership with the Atlantic Council, a think tank with close ties to the Military Industrial Complex and Defense Department.

On Thursday Facebook announced a new partnership with the Atlantic Council, a think tank which officially claims to provide a forum for international political, business, and intellectual leaders. The social media giant said the partnership is aimed at preventing Facebook from “being abused during elections.” The press release promotes Facebook’s efforts to fight fake news by using artificial intelligence, as well as working with outside experts and governments.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Translation: Facebook will, henceforward, be weaponizing all information on it, for the benefit of the DOD and military industrial complex.

If there was EVER a reason to run, not walk from, Facebook, it is this moment, in its evolution, to abandon it permanently.

May 18 17:27

Facebook Announces Partnership with Think Tank Connected to NATO, Military Industrial Complex

By Derrick Broze

On Thursday Facebook announced a new partnership with the Atlantic Council, a think tank which officially claims to provide a forum for international political, business, and intellectual leaders. The social media giant said the partnership is aimed at preventing Facebook from “being abused during elections.” The press release promotes Facebook’s efforts to fight fake news by using artificial intelligence, as well as working with outside experts and governments...

May 18 14:03

Rogue Spying Devices Found In U.S. States Cause Call For Concern

By Aaron Kesel

Rogue unknown cell-site simulators are being actively used in Washington, D.C., Maryland and Northern Virginia according to News4 I-Team who worked with a mobile security expert to determine the usage of the devices.

Last month, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security said it had seen activity in Washington, D.C., of what appear to be rogue surveillance devices that could be used to hijack cellphones, listen to calls and read texts...

May 18 11:16

Sacramento Residents Outraged By Secret Drone Program Spying on Neighborhood

By Nicholas West

A group of residents from Sacramento’s Land Park neighborhood are expressing their disgust with a secret drone program that has been exposed in the last month.

As reported by Sacramento’s CBS local affiliate, John Mattox was the first to notice a low-flying drone in the late-night and early morning hours hovering over his neighborhood...

May 18 08:10

Samsung mocks Apple again: This time it's poking fun at iPhone's throttling troubles

Samsung has released a new ad poking fun at the iPhone ahead of the launch of 128GB and 256GB editions of the Galaxy S9.

Samsung's marketers appear to figure that the most likely group of iPhone owners to upgrade to a Galaxy S9 instead of an iPhone X are iPhone 6 owners, who feel cheated by Apple's iPhone slowdown controversy.

The ad, which uses the same music as last year's creepy Notch guy ad, homes in on the performance of the iPhone 6, which constantly lets its owner down, causing her stress, suffering, and envy.

May 18 05:59

Google's disturbing vision of TOTAL data collection: Leaked video reveals a Black Mirror-style future in which technology could be used to control the behaviour of entire populations

Google already knows far more about you than you may realise.

Now, an internal Google video has leaked that provides an unnerving glimpse into how the firm could use that wealth on information to control your behaviour.

The video sets the scene for a Black Mirror-style future in which machines know your needs even before you do, and are able to manipulate you to follow their own agendas.

Google admits the video is 'disturbing', but stresses that it's simply a thought experiment.

However, with the misuse of private data at the forefront of people's minds following Facebook's Cambridge Analytica scandal, the concepts outlined in the footage are likely to raise concerns.

May 17 17:42

Experts warn new 'Superspectre' bug uses the chip flaw to gain access to 'all the secrets' stored on a machine

If you though the Spectre vulnerability was bad, look out - something even worse could be on the way.

Security researcher Yuriy Bulygin, who was until last year Intel's chief threat researcher, says hackers can exploit the infamous chip flaw to gain access to 'all the secrets' stored on a machine.

The new attack is able to use the Spectre flaw to access a computer's high level firmware, and get access to its most sensitive information.

'The firmware has access to basically all the secrets that are on that physical machine,' he told Bloomberg.

May 17 14:32

To ‘protect democracy,’ scandal-fearing Facebook teams up with ‘unbiased’ Atlantic Council

Would you like a think tank advocating acts of terrorism, war and suppression of the media working with Facebook to protect democracy and elections worldwide? If so, great news!

Facebook is “excited to launch a new partnership with the Atlantic Council, which has a stellar reputation looking at innovative solutions to hard problems,” Katie Harbath, Facebook’s director for global politics and government outreach, announced on Thursday.

“Experts” from the Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensic Research Lab (DFRL) will work closely with Facebook’s “security, policy and product teams” to offer “real-time insights and updates on emerging threats and disinformation campaigns from around the world,” Harbath added.

May 17 14:17

An Interview With Anonymous On OpRussia Against The Death Of Anonymity And Censoring Of Encryption

By Aaron Kesel

On May 10th, 2018, the hacktivist group Anonymous attacked the official website of Russia’s Federal Agency for International Cooperation (Rossotrudnichestvo) by hacking and defacing its subdomain against the ongoing censorship in the country, citing the recent ban on the encrypted messaging app Telegram...

May 17 10:58

Propaganda instead of truth: Lawyer tells RT how fake news becomes fake evidence in court

Producers of manipulative digital content are quite sophisticated and know many tricks that make forensic analysis of such images difficult, he said. For example, original content is usually uploaded from an anonymous account to social media before being distributed, which among other things strips metadata. Imbuing the “fake evidence” with credibility is a multi-staged process, during which first some purported expert vouches for it, then mainstream media pick it up and report it as fact, and only later does it make its way into a courtroom.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Here is a solution: Have such media adhere to the "chain of custody" rules that apply to physical evidence.

May 17 09:42

Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg agrees to meet senior EU politicians over concerns about company's practices

Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg has agreed to travel to Brussels to meet with senior European Parliament politicians behind closed doors to address their concerns about his company’s handling of personal data.

MEPs have long wanted to question the Silicon Valley CEO about Facebook’s data practices, with a particular interest in how the social network’s advert targeting might be affecting elections.

Mr Zuckerberg is expected to visit the EU capital as early as next week, though no specific date for his trip has yet been announced. He will meet with the leaders of the Parliament’s political groups, the so-called conference of presidents.

May 17 09:24

US cell carriers are selling access to your real-time phone location data

Four of the largest cell giants in the US are selling your real-time location data to a company that you've probably never heard about before.

In case you missed it, a senator last week sent a letter demanding the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) investigate why Securus, a prison technology company, can track any phone "within seconds" by using data obtained from the country's largest cell giants, including AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, and Sprint, through an intermediary, LocationSmart.

Yet little is known about how LocationSmart obtained the real-time location data on millions of Americans, how the required consent from cell user owners was obtained, and who else has access to the data.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Looks like the 4th Amendment to the Constitution, guaranteeing citizens of this country, has been well and truly flushed, courtesy of these practices by the Big 4 Telecoms. And this is on the heels of the following, very disturbing, story, again out of blacklistednews.com:

Hacker Breaches Securis, the company that helps cops track phones across the US

May 17 07:19

Three-hour outage renders Nest-equipped smart homes very dumb

Google's Nest went TITSUP* early this morning, causing headaches for users who have equipped their home with the expensive smart devices.

Owners of the kit were forced to manually adjust thermostats and unlock doors while the iOS, Android and web apps were inaccessible. The horror.

Nest's support orifice on Twitter confirmed there was an issue at 0430 BST after users reported being unable to operate alarms or locks via the app. It was a long three hours before the company confirmed that things were back up and running.

The outage affected multiple countries – users in the US, Canada and the Netherlands all reported problems.

May 17 04:52

GEORGIA POWER COMPANY LEASING LICENSE PLATE READERS TO POLICE DEPARTMENTS

It appears the police in Brookhaven, Georgia are not content with just having their own 'Operation Plugged In' cam-share program. What they have done is create one of the most disturbing corporate/police relationships I have had the displeasure of writing about.

May 17 04:39

U.S. CELL CARRIERS ARE SELLING ACCESS TO REAL-TIME PHONE LOCATION DATA

Four of the largest cell giants in the US are selling your real-time location data to a company that you’ve probably never heard about before.

May 16 16:07

Bitcoin could consume more electric energy than all of Austria before the end of the year, expert warns

In a paper published to the journal Joule, the researcher uses a new technique to assess the future of Bitcoin’s electric energy consumption.

Soon, the researcher says it will likely use up about half a percent of the world’s total consumption.

It might not sound like much, but with a minimum usage now estimated to be at 2.55 gigawatts, it means Bitcoin already uses nearly as much electricity as Ireland.

According to de Vries, a single transaction uses roughly the same amount of electricity as an average household in the Netherlands consumes in a whole month.

When it hits half a percent, it will be using as much as 7.7 gigawatts – or as much as Austria."

May 16 13:21

Craigslist personals shut down indefinitely due to recently passed ‘FOSTA’

The personals section of Craigslist was shut down indefinitely by its management on Thursday, a response to Congress’s passage of a law that holds websites liable for users who misuse personal ads.

That means no more “casual encounters” or “missed connections” (or anything under the “personals” umbrella) for anyone until much-further notice. It’s all just gone.

Here’s what it now reads when you try to click on any of the personals links:

US Congress just passed HR 1865, “FOSTA”, seeking to subject websites to criminal and civil liability when third parties (users) misuse online personals unlawfully.

Any tool or service can be misused. We can’t take such risk without jeopardizing all our other services, so we are regretfully taking craigslist personals offline. Hopefully we can bring them back some day.

To the millions of spouses, partners, and couples who met through craigslist, we wish you every happiness!

Crazy! This is really happening.

May 16 11:36

Bio-sensors that can track your EVERY move are tested in 'cyborg cows' ahead of being implanted in humans

'Cyborg cows' are being used to test tracking technology of the future.

A company named Livestock Labs has created a sensor that can be implanted under a bovine's skin to monitor its health and movements.

The idea is that farmers will have a way to easily monitor illness in livestock and quickly stop the spread of disease.

While the technology is currently being used in cows at a farm in Utah, Livestock Labs hopes to create similar implantable chips for humans.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

May 16 10:22

JOSHUA SCHULTE NAMED AS SUSPECT IN 'VAULT 7' LEAK OF CIA TOOLS TO WIKILEAKS, BUT CHARGED INSTEAD OVER CHILD PORN

Federal investigators believe a man who once worked for the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency is responsible for last year's massive leak of Top Secret CIA hacking tools, court documents reveal.

The suspect has been named as Joshua Adam Schulte, 29, who lived in New York, and is now in federal jail in Manhattan--not for the hack, but on child pornography charges.

Chat log found on Joshua Schulte's computer - feds say he's discussing how to keep child porn secret. I'm more interested in the CIA coder's comment about how encryption can be broken. Feds didn't need to break the encryption on his computer. They found password on his cellphone pic.twitter.com/eoRuQAnPhm

— Kim Zetter (@KimZetter) May 15, 2018
The government has filed no charges against Schulte in connection with the CIA leak. It's not clear why.

In court, Schulte's lawyer Jacob Kaplan said the FBI suspects his client was behind the leak of some 8,000 CIA documents to WikiLeaks in March, 2017.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

The answer as to why Schulte has not been charged with these leaks is simple; Wikileaks has now become considered a credible resource for average individuals to use, and is truth-centric; child porn is still considered to be ugly and horrific. By smearing him with the child porn, which he did apparently view, it is smearing Wikileaks by association, a very old trick of America's Deep State.

May 16 10:13

A DOZEN GOOGLERS QUIT OVER GOOGLE'S MILITARY DRONE CONTRACT

Google's "Project Maven" is supplying machine-learning tools to the Pentagon to support drone strikes; the project has been hugely divisive within Google, with employees pointing out that the company is wildly profitable and doesn't need to compromise on its ethics to keep its doors open; that the drone program is a system of extrajudicial killing far from the battlefield; and that the firm's long-term health depends on its ability to win and retain the trust of users around the world, which will be harder if Google becomes a de facto wing of the US military.

A dozen googlers have put their money where their mouths are, publicly resigning over the contract; 4,000 more googlers have signed an open letter to the company's CEO asking him to cancel the contract.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Google's reputation is already in tatters; looking at what it has done with its data, and the algorithms it uses to suppress certain ways of looking at issues, it is obvious that its leadership has the morals of a dead tree stump (and trust me, I WILL get letters from dead tree stumps on this!!)

May 16 10:05

HOMELAND SECURITY UNVEILS NEW CYBER SECURITY STRATEGY AMID THREATS

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security on Tuesday unveiled a new national strategy for addressing the growing number of cyber security risks as it works to assess them and reduce vulnerabilities.

“The cyber threat landscape is shifting in real-time, and we have reached a historic turning point,” DHS chief Kirstjen Nielsen said in a statement. “It is clear that our cyber adversaries can now threaten the very fabric of our republic itself.”

The announcement comes amid concerns about the security of the 2018 U.S. midterm congressional elections and numerous high-profile hacking of U.S. companies.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

With the NSA collectively impotent to break Mike's cryptographic challenge for them several years ago, I seriously doubt that this newfound "cybersecurity strategy" is going to have any meaningful results.

If the NSA was actually capable of doing its job, the malware/ransomwear that we are seeing attacking our computers with such dedicated regularity, would simply not exist.

And accompanying this article, also at blacklistednews.com, we find the following:

Hiding Information in Plain Site

May 16 09:29

I asked Apple for all my data. Here's what was sent back

Last week, I asked Apple to give me all the data it's collected on me since I first became a customer in 2010 with the purchase of my first iPhone. That was nearly a decade ago. As most tech companies have grown in size, they began collecting more and more data on users and customers -- even on non-users and non-customers.

The recent Cambridge Analytica scandal revealed just how much tech companies have on us -- enough to figure out who we might vote for at the ballot box, for example.

Apple? Not so much.

May 16 09:27

The coolest USB flash drive you can buy - Apricorn Aegis Secure Key 3z

The Aegis Secure Key 3z has you covered, making it the perfect USB flash drive for professionals and business users. Rather than relying on a software-based encryption solution, the Aegis Secure Key 3z features built-in hardware-based 256-bit AES XTS encryption (with FIPS 140-2 validation) that's totally cross-platform and OS agnostic - it'll work on Windows, Linux, Mac, Android, Chrome, embedded systems, in fact, anything that has a powered USB port and storage file system.

Physically, the Aegis Secure Key 3z is made from aluminum that's both tough and water- and dustproof, and features a durable polymer-coated keypad that's used to enter the passcode to unlock the drive. All the markings are laser-etched, with no stickers to fall off. All the internal components are protected with epoxy resin to prevent physical tampering.

This is a quality bit of kit.

May 16 07:30

WATCH THOUSANDS OF ROBOTS PACK GROCERIES IN A WAREHOUSE

Ocado robots zip around simultaneously filling orders without bumping into each other in this fascinating look at a modern warehouse.

May 15 17:58

A dozen Google employees quit over military drone project

Despite protests from employees, Google is still charging ahead with a Department of Defense collaboration to produce machine-learning software for drones. Google hasn't listened to a contingent of its employees that is unhappy with Google's involvement in the military-industrial complex, and now a report from Gizmodo says "about a dozen" employees have resigned over the issue.

The controversial program, called "Project Maven," sees Google applying its usual machine-learning and image-recognition expertise to millions of hours of drone footage collected by the military. The goal is to identify people and objects of interest. While a Google spokesperson says the program is "scoped for non-offensive purposes," a letter signed by almost 4,000 Google employees took issue with this assurance, saying, "The technology is being built for the military, and once it's delivered, it could easily be used to assist in [lethal] tasks."

May 15 17:56

White House eliminates top cyber adviser post

The Trump administration has eliminated the White House’s top cyber policy role, jettisoning a key position created during the Obama presidency to harmonize the government's overall approach to cybersecurity policy and digital warfare.

POLITICO first reported last week that John Bolton, President Donald Trump's new national security adviser, was maneuvering to cut the cyber coordinator role, in a move that many experts and former government officials criticized as a major step backward for federal cybersecurity policy.

May 15 17:53

FACEBOOK MAY BE CREATING A LESS-INFORMED ELECTORATE

A new study finds the more people rely on their Facebook feed for news, the less politically knowledgeable they are.

May 15 12:31

UK GOVERNMENT WILL DEPUTISE NEWSAGENTS TO COLLECT AND RETAIN IDENTITY DOCUMENTS FROM THE NATION'S PORNOGRAPHY VIEWERS

The UK public has spent years being fed a diet of ridiculous, empty promises about the government's capacity to find and block every adult site on the internet, then securely identify who is an adult, and only allow adults to look at adult content.

The fact that this is technologically infeasible and incredibly dangerous did nothing to dampen the ardour of opportunistic, cynical, technologically illiterate Conservative Members of Parliament, who have decreed that wanting it badly is sufficient to make it happen, and who responded to incontrovertible evidence of the plan's unworkability by doubling down on it, proposing to issue Britons unique, porn-browsing ID numbers (even as evidence of the plan's unworkability continues to mount).

May 15 12:30

VULNERABILITIES FOUND IN PGP-ENCRYPTED EMAILS, USERS URGED TO TAKE IMMEDIATE ACTION

A group of European security researchers have released a warning about a set of vulnerabilities affecting users of PGP and S/MIME. These vulnerabilities pose an immediate risk to those using these tools for email communication, including the potential exposure of the contents of past messages.

A group of European security researchers have released a warningabout a set of vulnerabilities affecting users of PGP and S/MIME. The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) says it has been in communication with the research team, and can confirm that these vulnerabilities pose an immediate risk to those using these tools for email communication, including the potential exposure of the contents of past messages.

The full details of the vulnerability will be published in a paper tomorrow (Tuesday, 15 May, at 3:00 a.m. EST, midnight Pacific).

May 15 11:07

POLICE USE SPYING DOORBELLS TO CREATE DIGITAL NEIGHBORHOOD WATCH NETWORKS

t seems like all I have been writing about lately, is how police are using cam-share programs to create city-wide surveillance networks.

When I first heard about 'Ring' a smart doorbell with a video camera, I didn't think much of it.

I mean how could the police state turn what appeared to be an innocuous smart device into another surveillance tool?

Enter Amazon, who recently purchased Ring for $1 billion dollars.

Fast forward a few months and Amazon announces that Ring is on a mission to work with law enforcement across the country.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

I can see that the original intent of the product was that of keeping people and families safe, but I can also see the potential for abuse of the product, big-time, if someone has a grudge against someone else, and wants very much to get them in trouble with the police.

May 15 10:56

FACEBOOK REVEALS IT REMOVED 2.5 MILLION PIECES OF "HATE SPEECH"

So, as part of its effort in showing the public "how much bad stuff is out there" here is what Facebook reported:

We took down 837 million pieces of spam in Q1 2018 — nearly 100% of which we found and flagged before anyone reported it; and
The key to fighting spam is taking down the fake accounts that spread it. In Q1, we disabled about 583 million fake accounts — most of which were disabled within minutes of registration. This is in addition to the millions of fake account attempts we prevent daily from ever registering with Facebook. Overall, we estimate that around 3 to 4% of the active Facebook accounts on the site during this time period were still fake.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

This is why we should be abandoning Facebook alltogether, and going to other social media formats which do not censor.

May 15 10:51

EFF WINS FINAL VICTORY OVER PODCASTING PATENT

Back in early 2013, the podcasting community was freaking out. A patent troll called Personal Audio LLC had sued comedian Adam Carolla and was threatening a bunch of smaller podcasters. Personal Audio claimed that the podcasters infringed U.S. Patent 8,112,504, which claims a “system for disseminating media content” in serialized episodes. EFF challenged the podcasting patent at the Patent Office in October 2013. We won that proceeding, and it was affirmed on appeal. Today, the Supreme Court rejectedPersonal Audio’s petition for review. The case is finally over.

We won this victory with the support of our community. More than one thousand people donated to EFF’s Save Podcasting campaign. We also asked the public to help us find prior art. We filed an inter partes review (IPR) petition that showed Personal Audio did not invent anything new, and that other people were podcasting years before Personal Audio first applied for a patent.

May 15 08:54

Facebook Reveals It Removed 2.5 Million Pieces Of "Hate Speech"

Facebook also reported that 85% of U.S. law enforcement data requests from July to December 2017 produced some data,

May 15 08:01

Intimate details of 3 MILLION Facebook users were exposed in a new data leak, including the results of personal psychological tests

Three million Facebook users had their most intimate details exposed, it has emerged, as a new data protection scandal hits the social network.

A popular personality app failed to provide adequate protection to the 'anonymous' data of participants, the latest of a string of security breaches.

The quiz, called myPersonality, collected highly sensitive data - including psychometric test results that reveal how neurotic or extrovert an individual may be.

Investigators found the information was poorly protected for four years and gaining access to it was relatively easy.

The myPersonality app has now been suspended as one of 200 Facebook has removed from its social network.

May 14 14:44

Decade-old Efail flaws can leak plaintext of PGP- and S/MIM-encrypted emails

Unfixed bugs in widely used email programs make it possible for attackers to obtain the plaintext of messages that are encrypted using the PGP and S/MIME standards, researchers said early Monday morning. The attacks assume that an attacker has possession of the encrypted emails and can trick either the original sender or one of the recipients into opening an invisible snippet of the intercepted message in a new email.

May 14 09:06

Do your kids think wi-fi is magic? Do you?

Many people don’t know that Wi-Fi (Wireless Frequency) is Wireless Radiation or Microwave Radiation – like what cooks food in a microwave oven.

In June 2008, the University of California, Irvine provided a statement about Wi-Fi safety concerns and research

May 14 07:35

Teen arrested after hacking into school grading system

A 16-year-old California boy has been suspended from his high school after hacking the grading system.

Surveillance video shows the moment armed officers and the secret service broke down the door to David Rotaro's home.

The 16-year-old admitted to our sister station KGO that he did hack into the Ygnacio Valley High School grading network.

"It was like stealing candy from a baby," Rotaro said.

May 14 06:56

Self-driving cars are dangerous, warns AI expert: Co-founder of Google's DeepMind claims current tests on public roads are irresponsible

The co-founder of Google's DeepMind has slammed self-driving cars for not being safe enough, saying current early tests on public roads are irresponsible.

Demis Hassabis has urged developers to be cautious with the new technology, saying it is difficult to prove systems are safe before putting them on public roads.

May 13 08:44

THIS NEW TOOL HELPS YOU TURN OFF FACEBOOK’S SURVEILLANCE AND RECLAIM SOME PRIVACY

TYPICALLY, AD CAMPAIGNS have the goal of getting people to do something. But the one launched today by the activist group Citizens Against Monopoly is instead intended to show how hard something is to do.

The campaign, called “I’m Not Your Product,” gives Facebook users a step-by-step guide to opting out of as much ad targeting and surveillance as possible. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg told Congress that users have “complete control” over advertising data, during two days of testimony related to the political consultancy Cambridge Analytica, which illicitly obtained information on 87 million Facebook users.

May 13 07:55

ARMY'S NEW WEAPON: SPECIAL GOGGLES ALLOW SOLDIERS TO SHOOT AROUND CORNERS

The United States Army recently awarded BAE Systems $97 Million in orders for new night vision goggles and thermal weapon sights for the Enhanced Night Vision Goggle III and Family of Weapon Sight-Individual (ENVG III/FWS-I) program. The all-in-one weapon sight system allows soldiers to acquire and eliminate enemy targets through a wireless connection that transmits the weapon’s crosshairs and surrounding imagery directly into the soldier’s goggles.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

How cyborgesque the soldiers in the picture appear.

I wish, and of course, I have no voice in this government whatsoever, as I am one of the many, peaceful voiceless, that the US government was spending a lot more of its money on true humanitarian, hard-won, good faith negotiations to avoid wars than investing in weapons like this.

May 12 09:59

NOT READY FOR PRIME TIME: UK LAW ENFORCEMENT FACIAL RECOGNITION SOFTWARE PRODUCING TONS OF FALSE POSITIVES

Law enforcement agencies have embraced facial recognition. And contractors have returned the embrace, offering up a variety of "solutions" that are long on promise, but short on accuracy. That hasn't stopped the mutual attraction, as government agencies are apparently willing to sacrifice people's lives and freedom during these extended beta tests.

The latest example of widespread failure comes from the UK, where the government's embrace of surveillance equipment far exceeds that of the United States. Matt Burgess of Wired obtained documents detailing the South Wales Police's deployment of automated facial recognition software. What's shown in the FOI docs should worry everyone who isn't part of UK law enforcement. (It should worry law enforcement as well, but strangely does not seem to bother them.)

Webmaster's Commentary: 

The number of false positives are horrific here; unless and until it gets a great deal better, police forces around the world should not be using this technology, period, end of discussion.

May 12 09:11

Smart office secrets: Alexa, Siri, and Google Assistant could hear commands the human ear can't

Researchers at several universities in the United States and China have developed a method of manipulating white noise to trick digital assistants into executing commands.

Called "adversarial audio," the trick involves creating "a special 'loss function' based on CTC [connectionist temporal classification] Loss that takes a desired transcription and an audio file as input, and returns a real number as output," said U.C. Berkeley PhD candidate Nicholas Carlini.

The manipulating recording is run through a process called gradient descent until the distortion is minimized but still effective at triggering a response from digital assistants like Siri, Alexa, and Google Assistant.

May 12 09:09

West Sacramento Launching Controversial Program Watching Public’s Social Media Posts

West Sacramento is the first city to launch a controversial new program that watches what people post about it online.

The pilot project gives city leaders a look at what’s trending in the city, whether it’s good or bad. It’s also creating privacy concerns around how the data is being used.

When a wave of mailbox thefts hit the city last year, people complained about it on social media, and West Sacramento was watching. City leaders were alerted to the community concerns by a new system.

May 11 13:49

EXPERTS SAY KEEP AMAZON’S ALEXA AWAY FROM YOUR KIDS

What’s the best way to keep adults from questioning the use of a deeply problematic product? Get them started when they’re too young to question anything. Amazon has a new addition to its line of voice-commanded artificial intelligence Alexa assistants, marketed for use by children as young as 5 years old, who can barely grasp a box of juice, let alone digital privacy. Now, a coalition of children’s privacy and psychology advocates are warning parents away from Amazon’s latest, cutest device, saying it could normalize surveillance and harm children’s mental development.

May 11 09:27

The Death Of Free Speech: Twitter Ramps Up 'Censorship' Of "Hate Facts"

"Using the excuse that people are posting 'hate facts', the social media outlet is just shutting down accounts that post any truth that doesn’t fare well for the liberal agenda."

May 11 09:04

Russia Probes Billion-Dollar Fraud Based on Testimony of Bitcoin Hacker - Source

Russia has opened a criminal inquiry into confessions by Alexander Vinnik, a Russian national held in a Greek jail at a US request related to money-laundering charges, a source privy to the matter told Sputnik.

"Vinnik wrote several confession letters to Russian law enforcement agencies, pleading guilty to crimes related to financial technologies. The Russian Interior Ministry’s investigative department has opened a criminal probe into several unknowns," the source familiar with the matter said.

May 11 06:58

Terrifying Black Mirror-style robots by Boston Dynamics can now CHASE you, climb stairs and even find their way around on their own

Incredible footage has revealed the terrifying capabilities of Black Mirror-style robots, branded 'future death machines'.

Boston Dynamics has posted two videos showing off the new skills of two of its advanced automatons.

In one, Atlas, a humanoid robot, can be seen jogging around a grassy field, before leaping over a log that's obstructing its path.

In the second, a SpotMini robo-dog navigates its way around an office building, climbing and descending a set of stairs with ease, all under its own direction.

May 11 06:55

Google's 'horrifying' human-sounding Duplex AI will now identify itself as a robot when making phone calls to humans after a massive backlash

Google has promised that its human-fooling AI assistant will 'warn people that it is fake.'

The AI, dubbed 'Duplex', enables its Google Assistant to make phone calls in real-time with humans.

Using a 'horrifyingly' life-like voice, Duplex can book a hair appointment, reserve a table, or schedule meet-ups with friends.

The system, however, has provoked massive amounts of criticism since it was unveiled on Tuesday.

Many claim it is unethical because it tricks humans into talking to a machine without them ever realising.

May 11 06:49

7 Chrome Extensions Spreading Through Facebook Caught Stealing Passwords

According to a report published by Radware, the malware operators are using copies of legitimate Google Chrome extensions and injecting a short obfuscated malicious script into them to bypass Google's extension validation checks.

...

Once installed, the extension executes a malicious JavaScript code that makes victims' computers part of a botnet.

...

Here's the name of all seven extensions masquerading as legitimate extensions:

Nigelify
PwnerLike
Alt-j
Fix-case
Divinity 2 Original Sin: Wiki Skill Popup
Keeprivate
iHabno

Although Google has removed all of the above-listed extensions, if you have installed any of them, you are advised to immediately uninstall it and change passwords for your Facebook, Instagram and as well as for other accounts where you are using the same credentials.

May 10 17:39

As voice assistants go mainstream, researchers warn of vulnerabilities

New research suggests that popular voice control platforms may be vulnerable to silent audio attacks that can be hidden within music or YouTube video -- and Apple, Google and Amazon aren't saying much in response.

May 10 17:36

Pretty sure Google's new talking AI just beat the Turing test

So that whole Turing test metric, wherein we gauge how human-like an AI system appears to be based on its ability to mimic our vocal affectations? At the 2018 I/O developers conference Tuesday, Google utterly dismantled it. The company did so by having its AI-driven Assistant book a reservation. On the phone. With a live, unsuspecting human on the other end of the line. And it worked flawlessly.

During the on-stage demonstration, Google played calls to a number of businesses, including a hair salon and a Chinese restaurant. At no point did either of the people on the other end of the line appear to suspect that the entity they were interacting with was a bot. And how could they when the Assistant would even throw in random "ums," "ahhs" and other verbal fillers people use when they're in the middle of a thought? According to the company, it's already generated hundreds of similar interactions over the course of the technology's development.

May 10 15:40

Swamp Drainage Update: Ex FCC Chairman Working AGAIN for Telecom Industry and Continuing to Promote Risky 5G and “Internet of Things” (IoT).

By B.N. Frank

Before being nominated and becoming FCC chairman in 2013, Tom Wheeler had a long history working for the Telecom Industry.

Even when Tom worked for the FCC, it seemed like he was working on behalf of the Telecom Industry instead of protecting the public...

May 10 15:34

Wanted that Windows 10 update but have an Intel SSD? Computer says no

The Windows 10 April 2018 Update is not proving to be the smoothest of installations for PCs containing certain Intel SSDs.

Systems with Intel 600p and Pro 6000p SSDs are experiencing crashes and users are finding themselves staring at a UEFI screen after rebooting. Microsoft has recommended afflicted users reinstall the previous version of Windows 10, 1709 (aka the Fall Creators Update). Redmond is also attempting to block the devices trying the update again.

The issue is an unspecified "known incompatibility" between the operating system and the SSDs, which were launched in 2016.

May 10 15:23

Federal Appeals Court in Virginia Rules Feds Cannot Search Electronic Devices Without Warrant

By Derrick Broze

On Wednesday a federal appeals court sided with the Fourth Amendment by ruling that U.S. border officials must have individualized suspicion of wrongdoing before attempting to search the cell phones and electronic devices of travelers. The decision is the latest in a series of court rulings which recognize that the rules which govern invasive searches of digital devices and data must be updated...

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