Timing is everything in the process of conception. Ovulation is the right time for conception. What is ovulation exactly? Ovulation is the process during which a mature follicle in the ovary of a woman is ready to release a matured egg. So in short the days before ovulation and the day of ovulation are important […]
Greenpeace campaigners Dimitry Litvinov and Arctic Sunrise skipper
Peter Willcox (right)
outside a St Petersburg immigration office. Photo: Moscow Times
By YEKATERINA KRAVTSOVA of the Moscow Times
AS THE last Greenpeace activist detained in the Arctic 30 protest received notification today that he was cleared of all charges under a recently passed amnesty, several other international
Café Pacific – David Robie | Media freedom and transparency
Built-in cameras that can transmit online, which can be on desktop and laptop computers, are supposed to warn users that they’re on with a light next to the camera. However, the Washington Post reports that new research from Johns Hopkins University shows that some webcams’ lights can be disabled so that a person doesn’t know [...]
A GROUP of Balinese show off some Christmas cheer outside their store in the urban neighbourhood of Tuban, near Ngurah Rai international airport – named after an independence revolutionary hero. Images are in David Robie’s Bali 2013 gallery.
Merry Christmas to all our loyal Café Pacific readers … and have a good year in 2014.
On Monday, Dec 16, during final exams, someone sent an email to Harvard University administrators saying that there were bombs in two of four named buildings on campus. The threat was a hoax to get out of final exams. The sender used TOR and Guerrilla Mail, a disposable email address service, to hide his identity.
Despite that, police quickly identified Eldo Kim, he confessed, and was arrested. So, why did the privacy tools fail?
According to the FBI affidavit, the lead came from Harvard University, which was able to determine that Mr. Kim had accessed TOR from the university wireless network shortly before and while the emails were being sent.
This is really a case of classic police work. A bomb threat during finals is very likely to be from a student trying to avoid the tests. A student trying to avoid a test is unlikely to have the discipline to find and use a remote network. Therefor, the one or hand full of students using TOR at the time of the email are the most likely suspects…. and it turns out that they are right.
This case provides some important lessons to the rest of use who are trying to protect our identities for less illegal reasons.
First, clearly the Harvard Wireless network is being actively monitored and logged. It is reasonable to assume that your ISP or government might be monitoring your activities. One way to reduce correlations of your activity is to use privacy tools all the time, not just when you need them. This provides plausible deniability.
After all, if you never use such services, except for ten minutes exactly when some message was sent, and you are a likely suspect, then the circumstantial evidence is very strong. If you are using them 24/7, then the overlap says nothing.
Second, if Mr. Kim used anonymous email, how did they know he used TOR to access the email service? Because GuerrillaMail embeds the sending IP address in every outgoing email. The service only hides your email address, not your IP. In this case, they must have embedded the IP address of the exit TOR node. Even if they had not embedded the IP, GuerrillaMail keep logs which would have been available to the FBI with a warrant.
The lesson here is to look closely at your privacy tools, and to understand what they do protect and what they don’t.
The most important takeaway is that there is no privacy tool which will let you turn it on and turn off your brain. You always need to be thinking about what you are hiding, from whom, and how much effort they are likely to expend in finding you.
If you are hiding your IP address to get a better price on airline tickets, the threat is very low across the board. If you make terrorist threats, it is very hard to stay hidden afterwards.
TechCrunch has a nice article on the location tracking of Android based devices.
It is an “opt in” thing, but I suspect that most people are robo-approving all the questions they are asked when they are trying to get their new phones or tablets set up for the first time.
In this case, you may have given Google permission to track and maintain high resolution location information on you. That information is used to discover where you live and work, to improve weather, travel, and traffic information.
If you follow this link, you can see a track of your activities for up to the last 30 days. Really cool in a very frightening way.
As you gather with family and friends this Thanksgiving, please pause for a minute to express your thanks for the bounty of blessings we all enjoy.
America is a land of abundance, prosperity, and hope and we should not take for granted the things that make our country great: a firm foundation of freedom, justice, and equality; a belief in democracy and the rule of law; and our fundamental rights to gather, speak, and worship freely.
May those of us who sit down to a Thanksgiving meal this year, also take a moment to give thanks for all of the good things and many blessing in our lives!
To our faithful readers,
May your Thanksgiving be blessed!
~ Freedom of Speech Staff
FREEDOM OF SPEECH
I’m taking time off for the holidays. Posting will resume in early January.
This is episode 15 of the Privacy Blog Podcast for December, 2013
In this episode I talk about:
How people are tracking the biggest ever theft of Bitcoins
A keylogger that has compromised 2 million accounts
Why a majority of Turks may be at risk of identity theft
How an anonymous bomb hoaxer got caught
A demonstration of activating iSight cameras without the indicator light
and finally, some thoughts on staying safe this holiday season.
The following employees and council members of the City of New Albany receive their names on our Freedom Of Speech’s “Naughty List” for 2013:
Stan Robison Jr.
Shame on each and everyone of you for what you are doing to the citizens and taxpayers of the City of New Albany!
2015 is NOT that far away…..
FREEDOM OF SPEECH