Borg at #UofR on Privacy

MP for north shore Montreal, Charmaine Borg, made a presentation at the UofR this morning.

Of the things she noted was that cell phones are tracking devices, and Canadians have no way to follow their information to know who has it.

Charmaine met Erin and said she had an important question for him. She instantly asked him the question Hoback did; it was funny.

Privacy contracts are not decipherable by some lawyers let alone teens.

Borg: it’s “extremely problematic” the Conservatives scrap a census as a “#privacy violation”, while using cyber back door to violate us.

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Take a Narrow Health Site Survey

This sort of survey isn’t going to make the best website possible for our country.

I found the survey easy to take, but the results will be skewed toward the menu options listed, instead of answering the question ask which was “where would I look for X”, which is “Google”. Making sure existing links continue to work forever, would be the best way to ensure material is locatable by the public.

People Are Not Pigeons

You needn’t go farther than the comment section of a UK rag to find the sort of people who are okay with torture devices beging designed into their buildings.

“Now I’m lying on the cold, hard ground.”

Some sick cities are dealing with homeless people as if they were pigeons crapping from the roof of Wrigley Field.

Now there may be a municipality crazy and cruel enough to install this 5 year old pay-bench idea.

PAY & SIT: the private bench (HD) from Fabian Brunsing on Vimeo.

ADDED:

#HeartBleed Bug is a Pun You Should Care About

Your passwords used on the Internet are likely known to bad people if you’ve recently logged into Yahoo, the CRA, or other popular websites. You should consider changing all of your passwords next week if you’ve used them on the Internet, in case they were exposed by an attack using the “heartbleed” bug. This flaw in OpenSSL security allows attackers to get a “heartbeat” response from affected servers, including your password in an unencrypted form.

With computer security, if you have high convenience, you’re likely experiencing a low level of security. So throw away those old passwords, and pick some new ones to use with different websites. The more passwords you have, the fewer sites you’ll lose access to if one password is learned by an attacker.

Kickstarter hacked

I signed up for KickStarter and didn’t even end up using it. Because I was lazy/human, I used a password I’d used on some other websites when creating my account there.

Kickstart hacked, personal info obtained.

So now I’ve had to go to a bunch of other websites and change the password I used on KickStarter to something else, in case the account thieves manage to brute-force solve the encrypted passwords they got from KickStarter.

Was I smart and used a unique password for each of the sites potentially affected? I’m human.

Blog Action Day 2013 – Human Rights #BAD13

On Friday I was invited to talk about blogging, on Regina’s community radio station CJTR. The show was Human Rights Radio by Jim and Gord, and we spent the hour going over what a blog is, why it’s useful to have one, and how it could be used to promote human rights. You can give a listen to it!

The second half of the show is on YouTube too, if you want to look at the ceiling for most of it:

Also, if you’re in Saskatchewan, check out the “Get Active with Amnesty” 2013 conference. I was a guest speaker for it last year when it was in Regina. This time it is in Moose Jaw.

This is the conference site.
And there is also a facebook event page you can use to invite friends.

Passwords Holding the Web Together

I noticed another person with a CIBC 2-factor authentication fob on their key chain last week. It displays a seemingly random number that actually only a special server knows, so if a password is stolen, so too must the fob containing the random number code that changes every minute. Without both the password, and the fob, a thief is unable to log into a stolen account.

Passwords make the Web work, so we can have ‘our’ stuff, and keep unwanted and very unwelcome people from viewing it and changing our own information. So a title like “Kill the Password: Why a String of Characters Can’t Protect Us Anymore” should be very, very concerning to people and businesses depending upon computers alike.

This Forbes headline caught my eye recently, and I have mixed feelings about it. “Kill the Password: Why a String of Characters Can’t Protect Us Anymore”. Is it going to work to keep computer information secure? My scepticism is sky-high following the Snowden leaks of NSA and related world spying agencies overstepping their constitutional bounds. Could we really design a technology where it’s secure enough to trust the government to implement it for us? I’d trust it only after an intelligent group of individuals who understand encryption very well, give it a thumbs-up. Someone who has worked with WikiLeaks, and works on an anonymous Web system called Tor is Jacob Appelbaum. If Jacob gave a system the thumbs up, or a thumbs down, I’d take his word for it. Even better, he could explain why a system works, or does not.

Is another security technology on the horizon going to change the Web almost overnight in a very drastic or revolutionary way? I wish I had the answers. Maybe the NSA has the answer already? We can’t trust them, however.