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June 21, 2002

The other day I was

The other day I was woken up by a low-flying helicopter moving slowly over
the boats in the anchorage with a large camera mounted underneath it as it
gradually photographed all the vessels. Big brother is watching you, even in
Spain. At least it's not as bad as in the US, where even before the twin
towers disappeared, we found that our movements with the boat were always
closely monitored. Boat names would often be discreetly recorded in
anchorages, and bridge personnel would track our movements when we passed
by.

November 27, 2002

Danish P2P Users get Billed

According to this story, the Danish anti-piracy organisation has been monitoring users of file sharing networks and has begun sending bills of up to $14,000 to Danish users who have allegedly been downloading copyright material.

It seems particularly worrying that Denmark is taking a global lead in monitoring and punishing internet users on the rather weak evidence of file names being downloaded. It also fails to take into account whether the user already has a right to the material, whether the material is in fact the files they think it may be, and who was using the internet connection at the time. I also wonder why Denmark, which has no major media companies, is taking action like this. Most worrying, however, is the implication that we should not expect to have privacy online, and that Big Brother is watching everything that we do. Do we all have to log on through anonymous proxies to keep our privacy?

Now what's that just come in the post...?

Continue reading "Danish P2P Users get Billed" »

January 16, 2003

Safe Computing and GPS Jamming

Ten reasons why we should all change to secure computing alternatives in 2003...

Your computer at work may contain snoopware courtesy of your boss. Using an anonymizer service or your own proxy server can keep your boss from second-guessing your use of company time.

Windows XP is full of security holes that make life easier for those who would snoop on you. Time to get off the Microsoft bandwagon and switch to Linux, FreeBSD, or Mac OS-X. God knows what horrors the NSA will stick into the next version of Windows.

Phrack has an interesting article on GPS jamming - yet another good reason why we need the European Galileo system rather than relying on the USA for our positioning needs.

November 5, 2003

US installs airport fingerprint scanners

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The public got its first look Tuesday at fingerprinting and photo equipment that will be installed at 115 airports and 14 seaports to check identities of millions of foreign visitors.

The equipment, which goes into use Jan. 5, will allow inspectors to check identities of visitors against those on terrorist watch lists.

The system consists of a small box that digitally scans fingerprints and a spherical computer camera that snaps pictures. It will be used for the estimated 24 million foreigners traveling on tourist, business and student visas who enter through an airport or seaport.

So it looks like they'll then have a database with photographs and fingerprints of everyone who visits the country. That's bound to put a few more people off visiting the land of the free.

August 15, 2004

Big Brother Awards

Privacy International's have announced their Big Brother Awards for UK government organisations and companies doing the most to invade personal privacy. The winners include the Department of Transport for their EVI (electronic vehicle identification) programme in which cars will report their location and traffic offences including speeding back to their centre instantly, the Office of National Statistics for their Citizen Information Project, and British Gas.

Lloyds TSB won a runner-up prize for threatening to close customer's bank accounts unless they reported to the bank with photographic ID to prove their identity. But who can blame them with so many terrorists around?