If you thought 2017 was a bad year for privacy and security, well 2018 ain’t getting any better:
1. Another day, another Intel ME flaw (requires physical access though):
Researcher finds another security flaw in Intel management firmware [Updated] | Ars Technica
2. Expanded IC surveillance is about to be granted in the “Heimatland” (translation - Homeland; what is with this creepy PR term anyhow?):
House Fails to Protect Americans from Unconstitutional NSA Surveillance | Electronic Frontier Foundation
- Endorses nearly all warrantless searches of databases containing Americans’ communications collected under Section 702.
- Provides a narrow and seemingly useless warrant requirement that applies only for searches in some later-stage criminal investigations, a circumstance which the FBI itself has said almost never happens.
- Allows for the restarting of “about” collection, an invasive type of surveillance that the NSA ended last year after being criticized by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court for privacy violations.
- Sunsets in six years, delaying Congress’ best opportunity to debate the limits NSA surveillance.
Short version: still collect everything all the time, conveniently allow parallel construction by LE, and enable targeting of anyone you don’t like or who gets a bit uppity, since you have an electronic time-machine in the form of data centers.
3. Facial recognition goes fully retail:
Short version: restaurants, pizza joints, Walmart et al. are now going to let the unthinking muppets (the same kind that use Apple Face ID and religiously use Facebook) to pay via confirmation of facial scans. Of course, you’ll also be scanned (and tagged) against your will, whether or not you like it, allowing for fine-grained tracking.
This is called surveillance creep folks. Given the hand-in-glove relationship between government and capitalists, you can be assured 100% that this will feed the surveillance matrix over time, because “national security” ™.
So, on top of stealing our browsing histories / communications, tracking financial purchases, mapping personal networks, calculating movements in vehicles, following GPS locations with smartphones etc, they now want to use our digital photos against our will, by leveraging the blanket camera networks that exist in the retail space with facial recognition?
Who thinks it’s reasonable that every time you gorge yourself on KFC or buy a six-pack of shitter rolls at the local mart, data bits get flipped in a data center somewhere, all because an algorithm identified you with 98.5% probability?
Somebody find me another planet to live on…