Surveillance

  • On the left: the “new” Nokia cell phone. On the right: why they may be a HUGE commercial success. The phone on the left is a reboot of the Nokia 3310 model, “the most reliable phone ever made”. That article calls it “dumbphone” because… it should be, as its direct ancestor, a real, serious mobile phone. A mobile phone, that is, that: receives and makes phone calls, SMS and nothing more should be “nearly indestructible” (compared to modern “smartphones”, at least) wouldn’t know what to do with a Wi-Fi signal, no matter how strong but… has a battery that will last one month on one charge will connect even from the bottom of a cave, if there is a base station in a radius of 2 KM… costs only 59 Euros The screenshots on the right outline the excellent reasons why many people may want to buy that phone, or one like that, as soon as possible: switch to a phone like that and you will be able to hand over your phone without problems to any border guard, anywhere.
  • It looks like the UK Labour party will soon call for closer scrutiny of tech firms and their algorithms. If all goes well, it just won’t work, and that will the end of it. Otherwise, it will be really bad.After the 2016 Christmas break, a Labour’s industrial paper will call for suggestions on “how tech firms could be more closely supervised by government”. The algorithms, that is the formulas and rules used by those firms to run their services, are closely guarded trade secrets.
  • By now, you probably already know that Yahoo scanned customer emails for U.S. intelligence”, and if you haven’t you can read all the details in the previous link, or in many other places. Here, I only want to point out one thing, mainly but not only to software geeks, and to any organizations whose goal include promoting privacy: this whole Yahoo story is just one more perfect example that one of the most urgent things to do in the digital sphere is to give everybody their very own, personal email server, at the smallest possible cost.
  • Screenshot source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bKggZezZf2M FBI says that Apple must help them, because nobody else can do it, to unlock the iPhone used by San Bernardino shooter. The complete story is quite more complex than this one-sentence summary, but there is **one part of it that, as far as I can see has received almost zero *attention so far ():if the only entity in a given country who can actually monitor someone’s “private data and conversations” is ONE corporation, then who actually holds police power in that country, and is actually ruling it, is that corporation, not the official government.
  • Here are three critical quotes from an article about DeepFace, the Facebook automatic face recognition system, followed by my explanation of what they really mean (text in parentheses is my own synthesis or comment): “Appear in a photo taken at a protest march, a gay bar, or an abortion clinic, and your friends might recognize you. But a machine probably won’t - at least for now.
  • (this page is part of the Family Guide to Digital Freedom, 2007 edition. Please do read that introduction to know more about the Guide, especially if you mean to comment this page. Thanks) (continues from here) Is it legal to protect personal information? It is possible, in order to keep private any personal files you may have on your computer, to digitally encode them. In some countries, however, you could already be prosecuted if you don’t renounce this protection when the Police “ask” you to do so.