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Thu Feb 6, 2014, 09:35 AM

Selling Your Secrets: The Invisible World of Software Backdoors and Bounty Hunters


from TomDispatch:




Selling Your Secrets
The Invisible World of Software Backdoors and Bounty Hunters

By Pratap Chatterjee


Imagine that you could wander unseen through a city, sneaking into houses and offices of your choosing at any time, day or night. Imagine that, once inside, you could observe everything happening, unnoticed by others -- from the combinations used to secure bank safes to the clandestine rendezvous of lovers. Imagine also that you have the ability to silently record everybodyís actions, whether they are at work or play without leaving a trace. Such omniscience could, of course, make you rich, but perhaps more important, it could make you very powerful.

That scenario out of some futuristic sci-fi novel is, in fact, almost reality right now. After all, globalization and the Internet have connected all our lives in a single, seamless virtual city where everything is accessible at the tap of a finger. We store our money in online vaults; we conduct most of our conversations and often get from place to place with the help of our mobile devices. Almost everything that we do in the digital realm is recorded and lives on forever in a computer memory that, with the right software and the correct passwords, can be accessed by others, whether you want them to or not.

Now -- one more moment of imagining -- what if every one of your transactions in that world was infiltrated? What if the government had paid developers to put trapdoors and secret passages into the structures that are being built in this new digital world to connect all of us all the time? What if they had locksmiths on call to help create master keys for all the rooms? And what if they could pay bounty hunters to stalk us and build profiles of our lives and secrets to use against us?

Well, check your imagination at the door, because this is indeed the brave new dystopian world that the U.S. government is building, according to the latest revelations from the treasure trove of documents released by National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden. ......................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.tomdispatch.com/post/175803/tomgram%3A_pratap_chatterjee%2C_the_wild_west_of_surveillance/#more



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Reply Selling Your Secrets: The Invisible World of Software Backdoors and Bounty Hunters (Original post)
marmar Feb 2014 OP
dixiegrrrrl Feb 2014 #1
riderinthestorm Feb 2014 #2
dixiegrrrrl Feb 2014 #3
cui bono Feb 2014 #4
dixiegrrrrl Feb 2014 #5

Response to marmar (Original post)

Thu Feb 6, 2014, 11:55 AM

1. You come upo with the most interesting posts..

I do appreciate it.

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Thu Feb 6, 2014, 12:09 PM

2. Its to keep us safe from terrorists doncha know. For our own good. And will never be abused

 

Carl Bernstein said so....





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Response to marmar (Original post)

Thu Feb 6, 2014, 12:54 PM

3. aaaahhh...........a suggested solution:

So in a world where, increasingly, nothing is private, nothing is simply yours, what is an Internet user to do?

As a start, there is an alternative to most major software programs for word processing, spreadsheets, and layout and design -- the use of free and open source software like Linux and Open Office, where the underlying code is freely available to be examined for hacks and flaws. (Think of it this way: if the NSA cut a deal with Apple to copy everything on your iPhone, you would never know.
If you bought an open-source phone -- not an easy thing to do -- that sort of thing would be quickly spotted.)
You can also use encrypted browsers like Tor and search engines like Duck Duck Go that donít store your data.


That is reassuring.

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Response to dixiegrrrrl (Reply #3)

Fri Feb 7, 2014, 07:28 AM

4. If you get an Android phone you can root it and flash a custom ROM.

Pretty sure the devs would know/find if the OS was going to allow anything like that. They clean out all the bloat and add lots of features.

However, I think some of this stuff that's going on is hardware based, so is there a way for them to do something without software on our electronics?

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Response to cui bono (Reply #4)

Fri Feb 7, 2014, 11:21 AM

5. I barely understand how they are spying on us

and get lost in the details of software and etc.
All I know is they are working harder at snooping than we are at blocking the snooping.

I used to worry they would attack the internet.
Now it seems they are happy as hell for us to be on it because they can look over our shoulder.

Pirate Bay is supposed to be coming out with a snoop proof browser soon....I am eagerly waiting.

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