Zero tolerance for terror

Minister Jason Kenney joins Ezra to discuss pulling funding for an NGO that supports the terrorist organization Hamas.

This report aired on The Source January 10 2014.

Ezra Levant

Now the feared Caveman Chabal is a ‘currency fairy’

FRENCHMAN Sebastien Chabal used to be one of the most feared players in world rugby. And the tough second division Lyon forward has just been handed a three-week suspension for a punch that knocked out Agen’s Marc Giroud.

But the long-haired beast hardly looks scary in his new moonlighting role off the rugby field – dressed as a fairy for a currency conversion company’s TV advert.

Café Pacific – David Robie | Media freedom and transparency

Foreign Policy: The Panopticon Paradox

Foreign Policy examines the revelations concerning the National Security Agency’s extensive surveillance programs and considers the effect on privacy rights: While the NSA collects data against foreign intelligence threats generally, the type of data that effectively requires massive collection and storage of individual communications has been presented, for example by Gen. Keith Alexander, in terms of the [...]
Privacy Lives

‘Don’t abandon your East Timor responsibility,’ ANTI tells world

A journalist in a Timor-Leste Press Club t-shirt pays his respects with flowers at the Santa
Cruz tomb of Sebastiao Gomes whose killing by Indonesian soldiers
triggered the 1991 mourner protest and massacre. Photo: David Robie

A COALITION of 21 peace, social justice and human rights
advocacy NGOs has warned the international community not to ‘abandon their
responsibility” to prosecute serious
Café Pacific – David Robie | Media freedom and transparency

Dodging censorship to see The Act Of Killing

DRAFTHOUSE FILMS have announced their award-winning controversial, shocking and surreal film The Act Of Killing about the Indonesian anti-communist massacres in the 1965-66 purge – screened at the New Zealand International Film Festival last year – is now available on video on demand.

Winner of more than 50 awards internationally, appearing on more than 40 official critics’ top ten lists, and
Café Pacific – David Robie | Media freedom and transparency

Advice from the USG on securing yourself from surveillance

Sochi MapRussia’s Surveillance State | World Policy Institute

In March of 2013 the Bureau of Diplomatic Security at the US State Department issued a travel advisory for Americans planning to attend the 2014 winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.

As I blogged before, this is expected to be one of the most aggressively surveilled events ever.

The advice for cyber protection in the advisory is interesting:

Consider traveling with “clean” electronic devices—if you do not need the device, do not take it. Otherwise, essential devices should have all personal identifying information and sensitive files removed or “sanitized.” Devices with wireless connection capabilities should have the Wi-Fi turned off at all times. Do not check business or personal electronic devices with your luggage at the airport. … Do not connect to local ISPs at cafes, coffee shops, hotels, airports, or other local venues. … Change all your passwords before and after your trip. … Be sure to remove the battery from your Smartphone when not in use. Technology is commercially available that can geo-track your location and activate the microphone on your phone. Assume any electronic device you take can be exploited. … If you must utilize a phone during travel consider using a “burn phone” that uses a SIM card purchased locally with cash. Sanitize sensitive conversations as necessary.

Obviously this is not just good advice for attending the Olympics, but would also apply to China, or any other situation where it is important to protect your electronic information.

The ability to conduct sophisticated surveillance and cyber attack is widespread. If you are engaged in business that is a likely target of economic espionage, then you should be following these kinds of practices any time you travel anywhere, and perhaps even at home.

Lance Cottrell is the Founder and Chief Scientist of Anonymizer. Follow me on Facebook and Google+.

The Privacy Blog

Update: District Judge Upholds Government’s Right to Search Electronics at Border

To recap: There has been much discussion of the privacy and civil liberties implications of electronic searches and seizures at the US border. In 2008, while I was a visiting scholar at the ACLU’s Technology and Liberty Program, I worked on a project concerning searches and seizures of US citizens’ and their electronic devices by Border Patrol agents [...]
Privacy Lives

Washington Post: Americans uneasy about surveillance but often use snooping tools

The Washington Post reports on results from a poll that it conducted concerning Americans’ attitudes toward surveillance and privacy: Amid this year’s revelations about the federal government’s vast apparatus for tracking the movements and communications of people worldwide, Americans are uneasy with the extent of surveillance yet often use snooping tools in their own lives, a [...]
Privacy Lives

NSA’s TAO — Leaked catalog of tools and techniques

NSA’s TAO — Dark Reading

The Internet has been buzzing with reports of the recently leaked NSA exploits, backdoors, and hacking / surveillance tools. The linked article is good example.

None of this should be news to anyone paying attention. Many similar hacking tools are available from vendors at conferences like BlackHat and DefCon.

We all know that zero-day exploits exist, and things like Stuxnet clearly show that governments collect them.

Intentionally introducing compromised crypto into the commercial stream has a long history, perhaps best demonstrated by the continued sales of Enigma machines to national governments long after it had been cracked by the US and others.

This reminds me of a quote I posted back in March. Brian Snow, former NSA Information Assurance Director said “Your cyber systems continue to function and serve you not due to the expertise of your security staff but solely due to the sufferance of your opponents.”

One can focus on making this difficult, but none of us should be under the illusion that we can make it impossible. If you have something that absolutely must be protected, and upon which your life or liberty depends, then you need to be taking drastic steps, including total air gaps.

For the rest of your activities, you can use email encryption, disk encryption, VPNs, and other tools to make it as difficult as possible for any adversary to easily vacuum up your information.

If you are of special interest, you may be individually targeted, in which case you should expect your opponent to succeed. Otherwise, someone hacking your computer, or planting a radio enabled USB dongle on your computer is the least of your worries. Your cell phone and social media activities are already hemorrhaging information.

Lance Cottrell is the Founder and Chief Scientist of Anonymizer. Follow me on Facebook and Google+.

The Privacy Blog


Did you hear about Santa and his reindeer’s landing on top of the Outhouse? Santa looks around for a moment, then hollered “No, No, Rudolph. I said the Baylor’s house on Spring Street.”