27 Aug 2010

Apple Invent 'Traitorware'

The custodians of the well-designed brushed-metal prisons that are Apple products not only want the power to disable your property, but also to spy on you.

If there was ever a reason to have control over the technology in your pocket, this would be it:

"Essentially, Apple's patent provides for a device to investigate a user's identity, ostensibly to determine if and when that user is "unauthorized," or, in other words, stolen. More specifically, the technology would allow Apple to record the voice of the device's user, take a photo of the device's user's current location or even detect and record the heartbeat of the device's user. Once an unauthorized user is identified, Apple could wipe the device and remotely store the user's "sensitive data." Apple's patent application suggests it may use the technology not just to limit "unauthorized" uses of its phones but also shut down the phone if and when it has been stolen.

However, Apple's new technology would do much more. This patented device enables Apple to secretly collect, store and potentially use sensitive biometric information about you. This is dangerous in two ways: First, it is far more than what is needed just to protect you against a lost or stolen phone. It's extremely privacy-invasive and it puts you at great risk if Apple's data on you are compromised. But it's not only the biometric data that are a concern. Second, Apple's technology includes various types of usage monitoring — also very privacy-invasive. This patented process could be used to retaliate against you if you jailbreak or tinker with your device in ways that Apple views as "unauthorized" even if it is perfectly legal under copyright law."

Says the Electronic Frontier Foundation. They conclude:

"This patent is downright creepy and invasive — certainly far more than would be needed to respond to the possible loss of a phone. Spyware, and its new cousin traitorware, will hurt customers and companies alike — Apple should shelve this idea before it backfires on both it and its customers."

The Gift That Keeps On Giving

The best leaks seem to come from the CIA Red Cell which "has been charged by the Director of Intelligence with taking a pronounced "out-of-the-box" approach that will provoke thought and offer an alternative viewpoint on the full range of analytic issues."

This one about winning the propaganda war in Europe in relation to the Afghan war is quite fun. Its amazing that such simplistic viewpoints are considered at senior level. The one about the US exporting terrorism covers points about how US citizens freedoms make them appealing for foreign terrorist groups:

"If the US were seen as an exporter of terrorism, foreign partners may be less willing to
cooperate with the United States on extrajudicial activities, including detention, transfer,
and interrogation of suspects in third party countries."

Maybe they're not willing to be helpful because they don't like 'extrajudicial activities' such as rendition and torture. Just a thought.

20 Aug 2010

Manhattan Mosque

"We've been building Ground Zeros next to mosques since 2003..."

Utter pricks.

10 Aug 2010

Mike Mullen

US big cheese accuses someone of having blood on their hands. Stop Press.

3 Aug 2010

“This is an outstanding example of India-UK defence and industrial partnership..."

"...and this agreement will bring significant economic benefits to both our countries.”

David Cameron said after India agreed to pay £700m for hawk training jets (they're the ones we used to sell to Indonesia to help crush those pesky East Timorese). The 'economics benefits' Dave speaks of is actually to secure just 200 jobs in the UK. £3.5m per job.

CAAT speaks:

*The deal goes against the UK government's own arms export guidelines, which stipulate that arms exports should only go to countries not involved in ongoing conflicts. Figures show that at least 1500 people were killed in regional conflicts in Assam, Manipur and Kashmir in 2008.

*We should be exporting goods that would help alleviate such high levels of poverty instead of goods that only benefit a small number of multi-national corporations with morally dubious records such as BAE.

2 Aug 2010