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Tag: Surveillance

Threat Modeling For Activists: Tips For Secure Organizing & Activism

Posted in Creative Commons, and Journalism

Threat modeling is a fancy term for “knowing how to protect yourself in different situations.”

The idea of “threat modeling” originated in the military before being adopted by security experts. While the field includes many advanced concepts that don’t interest us here, threat modeling can help us get a handle on our personal security choices. In an age of mass surveillance, choosing what steps to take can feel overwhelming. For a lot of people, it may be easier to do nothing at all than worry about protecting yourself online.

Unfortunately, even if you feel like “you’ve got nothing to hide,” many of us are still vulnerable: to government repression, to police brutality and surveillance, and to threats from fascist forces. Even if you’re completely safe, your social networks might be used to target other people close to you. You might not even be aware that someone near you is taking actions that make them a target for surveillance.

Reclaim Your Online Privacy: Alternatives To Facebook, Twitter & Google

Posted in Act Out!, Creative Commons, Journalism, and Video

Imagine a police state so bent on repressing dissent that people were targeted by the government just for visiting a web page or liking a page on Facebook?

This dystopian scenario isn’t science fiction, and it isn’t something happening in a far off country — it’s happening in the United States. No really, let’s take a look at a recent example: On an auspicious Friday the 13th in October, the federal government dropped its demand that Facebook turn over information about anyone who had simply “liked” a page dedicated to protesting Donald Trump’s inauguration. And while it wasn’t successful, this isn’t the first time the feds tried to target anyone who’d even looked up information on the massive January 20 protests.

While the government backed down when challenged by groups like the ACLU and cyberliberties watchdog Electronic Frontier Foundation, this was still a clear attempt to silence even the most basic forms of dissent and it’s almost certain we haven’t seen the last of this kind of thing. Keep in mind that dozens of people arrested for protesting the inauguration are STILL facing decades in prison, and we can only guess at the horrors the Cheeto Gestapo might have unleashed with access to even more information about Trump’s opponents.

And if you think this all sounds Orwellian, you are absolutely correct.

WikiLeaks’ Vault 7, Broadband Privacy With Black Tower Radio

Posted in Act Out!, Audio, Journalism, and Lee Camp

Last week, I made my monthly appearance on Black Tower Radio to discuss recent developments in online privacy. WikiLeaks’ Vault 7 release, which I discussed in a recent Act Out! script, left some people wondering if it’s now impossible to protect yourself from surveillance. In fact, there are still steps we can take to protect ourselves from most online threats.

Of course, a recent vote by Congress to repeal Obama-era FCC online privacy protections not only allows Internet Service Providers to sell our online browsing behavior to advertisers (and others), it shows how our elected representatives answer to their corporate donors, rather than to voters. Interest in Virtual Private Networks has sky-rocketed since the vote, but not all VPNs are created equal.

Resistance, Self-Care And Threat Modeling After Vault 7 With Katie Klabusich

Posted in Act Out!, Audio, Gonzo Notes, and Journalism

Katie and I talked about the difficulty of building a resistance against odds that can seem insurmountable using “How to survive Hurricane Donald,” the February 10 issue of Gonzo Notes, as a jumping off point. I also mentioned activist Liam Shea, the community activist who inspired me to write both “Hurricane Donald” and the following issue of Gonzo Notes, “Stay and fight fascism where you are.” Shea died tragically and unexpectedly in early February.

Local organizing is a theme I’ve been returning to frequently recently, and will probably keep talking about, because it seems so vital. Until there is another Occupy-style moment of national “rupture” — which, so far, hasn’t materialized via the Trump regime — the best we can do is strengthen our local communities and share the skills we have with each other.

Inspired by my script on “Vault 7” for Act Out! we closed with a discussion of what WikiLeaks’ latest release means for activists, and I explained why threat modeling means we can still fight back even when the government has access to terrifying mass surveillance tools.

The GOP Just Sold Your Internet Privacy To The Highest Bidder … Here’s How To Protect Yourself Online

Posted in Journalism, and Lee Camp

Republicans just voted to roll back FCC privacy protections that would have prevented your internet service provider from selling your private browsing history.

After passing the Senate earlier in the week, the House approved a measure on Tuesday which would allow broadband providers like AT&T, Spectrum or Comcast to sell your online data to marketers (as well as corporate and government spies).

The vote in both chambers was split along party lines, with the GOP voting in favor of selling your porn habits to just about anyone who cares to pay for them, including maybe future employers. Naturally, many of these legislators were also the recipient of large donations from the telecommunications industry.

What Vault 7 Means for You & How to Protect Yourself With Encryption

Posted in Act Out!, Austin, Creative Commons, Journalism, and Video

So, you may have heard: the CIA could be listening to your phone conversations, recording your Skype calls, and even spying on you through your TV.

The latest bombshell from WikiLeaks, code named “Vault 7,” revealed the Central Intelligence Agency’s secret tool box of technological exploits. This leak is terrifying, to be sure, but it also gives tech companies valuable new information about how to protect their users.

And for everyday activists on the Front Lines, there are some vital, and simple steps we can take to protect our allies and our plans from surveillance.

Now, we still don’t know who’s responsible for the Vault 7 leak, although WikiLeaks released a statement saying that the anonymous source, “wishes to initiate a public debate about the security, creation, use, proliferation and democratic control of cyberweapons.”

Much like Snowden hoped to do.