Tag Archives: Smart phones

The Insecurity Industry, by Edward Snowden

Your phone is watching you, hearing you, retransmitting your data, and recording your movements. What a great technology, huh? From Edward Snowden at edwardsnowden.substack.com:

 

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The first thing I do when I get a new phone is take it apart. I don’t do this to satisfy a tinkerer’s urge, or out of political principle, but simply because it is unsafe to operate. Fixing the hardware, which is to say surgically removing the two or three tiny microphones hidden inside, is only the first step of an arduous process, and yet even after days of these DIY security improvements, my smartphone will remain the most dangerous item I possess.

The microphones inside my actual phone, prepped for surgery


Prior to this week’s Pegasus Project, a global reporting effort by major newspapers to expose the fatal consequences of the NSO Group—the new private-sector face of an out-of-control Insecurity Industry—most smartphone manufacturers along with much of the world press collectively rolled their eyes at me whenever I publicly identified a fresh-out-of-the-box iPhone as a potentially lethal threat.

Despite years of reporting that implicated the NSO Group’s for-profit hacking of phones in the deaths and detentions of journalists and human rights defenders; despite years of reporting that smartphone operating systems were riddled with catastrophic security flaws (a circumstance aggravated by their code having been written in aging programming languages that have long been regarded as unsafe); and despite years of reporting that even when everything works as intended, the mobile ecosystem is a dystopian hellscape of end-user monitoring and outright end-user manipulation, it is still hard for many people to accept that something that feels good may not in fact be good. Over the last eight years I’ve often felt like someone trying to convince their one friend who refuses to grow up to quit smoking and cut back on the booze—meanwhile, the magazine ads still say “Nine of Ten Doctors Smoke iPhones!” and “Unsecured Mobile Browsing is Refreshing!”

In my infinite optimism, however, I can’t help but regard the arrival of the Pegasus Project as a turning-point—a well-researched, exhaustively-sourced, and frankly crazy-making story about a “winged” “Trojan Horse” infection named “Pegasus” that basically turns the phone in your pocket into an all-powerful tracking device that can be turned on or off, remotely, unbeknownst to you, the pocket’s owner.   

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Man Who Carries Smartphone Everywhere He Goes Worried Government Might Track Him Through Vaccine

From The Babylon Bee:

PHOENIX, AZ—Local man Greg Chandler is worried that the government might put a tracking device in the vaccine.

He expressed his concerns on social media, furiously typing on his smartphone, which he carries literally everywhere he goes. The device is always either in his pocket, in his car, or in his hands. He says he’s lucky he had it on him today, so that he could warn his social media followers of the government’s sinister plan to track his every move.

“The government is putting tiny tracking microchips in the vaccine, and they can spy on you no matter where you go! Don’t fall for this!” he wrote on the Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram apps. “We must stand up and say enough is enough! Big brother is watching you!”

He then recorded a short video rant which he posted to TikTok and checked in at the restaurant he was meeting some friends at.

At publishing time, the NSA agent watching Chandler through his smartphone’s front-facing camera had denied the man’s claims that the vaccine has any sort of tracking device in it.

https://babylonbee.com/news/the-government-can-track-you-through-the-vaccine-says-man-who-has-carried-around-smartphone-since-2009

Alarming NYT Op-Ed Reveals “Disturbing” Secretive Surveillance State Powered By Your Phone’s Location Services, by Tyler Durden

Your smart phone data is not anonymous, and you are being tracked. From Tyler Durden at zerohedge.com:

Millions of Americans are walking around with phones that have, unknowingly, created one of the most disturbing and unintentional “surveillance states” to ever exist. 

A explosive new opinion piece in the NY Times aims to demonstrate that detailed smartphone tracking is far more ubiquitous than many think, despite the ongoing claims by companies that people’s data is “anonymous”.

Paul Ohm, a law professor and privacy researcher at the Georgetown University Law Center, said that describing location data as anonymous is “a completely false claim that has been debunked in multiple studies.”

He added: “Really precise, longitudinal geolocation information is absolutely impossible to anonymize. D.N.A. is probably the only thing that’s harder to anonymize than precise geolocation information.”

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