SurvivalBlog presents another edition of The Survivalist’s Odds ‘n Sods— a collection of news bits and pieces that are relevant to the modern survivalist and prepper from “JWR”. Our goal is to educate our readers, to help them to recognize emerging threats and to be better prepared for both disasters and negative societal trends. You can’t mitigate a risk if you haven’t first identified a risk. Today, we look at the now ubiquitous red light camera.
Browser Extensions are Stealing Data
By way of Peter X.: My browser, the spy: How extensions slurped up browsing histories from 4M users. The article begins:
“When we use browsers to make medical appointments, share tax returns with accountants, or access corporate intranets, we usually trust that the pages we access will remain private. DataSpii, a newly documented privacy issue in which millions of people’s browsing histories have been collected and exposed, shows just how much about us is revealed when that assumption is turned on its head.
DataSpii begins with browser extensions—available mostly for Chrome but in more limited cases for Firefox as well—that, by Google’s account, had as many as 4.1 million users. These extensions collected the URLs, webpage titles, and in some cases the embedded hyperlinks of every page that the browser user visited. Most of these collected Web histories were then published by a fee-based service called Nacho Analytics, which markets itself as “God mode for the Internet” and uses the tag line “See Anyone’s Analytics Account.”
Web histories may not sound especially sensitive, but a subset of the published links led to pages that are not protected by passwords—but only by a hard-to-guess sequence of characters (called tokens) included in the URL. Thus, the published links could allow viewers to access the content at these pages. (Security practitioners have long discouraged the publishing of sensitive information on pages that aren’t password protected, but the practice remains widespread.)”
Lies, Damn Lies, and Wikipedia Edits
Our own Editor At Large Michael Z. Williamson is prominently mentioned in this piece by Marta Hernandez: Lies, Damn Lies, and Wikipedia Edits. The article notes that some of these same trolls also campaigned successfully to get Mike Williamson banned from Facebook. Clearly, the lunatics have taken control of the asylum!
Persian Gulf War Drums
I had an interesting exchange of e-mails with Pat Cascio, discussing the recent events in the Persian Gulf. Pat suggested: “…the Iranians are pushing the limits.”
I agreed, but replied: “It may just be saber-rattling. I believe that the Iranian government realizes that the repercussions of starting a shooting war in the Gulf would be huge. They’ve already been living under trade sanctions since the early 1980s, and this has left their economy stuck in the backwaters. If they start ‘blowin’ stuff up’, then it would put them in so much trouble internationally that it would absolutely cripple their economy to the point of an endless depression or perhaps sparking a revolution.”
Russian FSB Massively Hacked
Reader Gregg P. spotted this over at Zero Hedge: Russia’s Spy Agency Hit In Massive Hack; 7.5 TB Of Data Stolen In ‘Largest Data Breach In History’. A snippet:
“Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB, formerly the KGB) was hit by a massive hack – after 7.5 terabytes of data was extracted from a major contractor.
The breach exposed several secret FSB projects, including efforts to de-anonymize the Tor browser, scrape social media, and help Russia to sever its internet from the rest of the world, according to Forbes.”
Oregon Man Fined $500 for Criticizing Red-Light Cameras
Web of Doorbell Cams Raises Privacy Fears
Reader DSV suggested this AP news article: Fast-growing web of doorbell cams raises privacy fears. Here is a pericope:
“But as more police agencies join with the company known as Ring, the partnerships are raising privacy concerns. Critics complain that the systems turn neighborhoods into places of constant surveillance and create suspicion that falls heavier on minorities. Police say the cameras can serve as a digital neighborhood watch.
Critics also say Ring, a subsidiary of Amazon, appears to be marketing its cameras by stirring up fear of crime at a time when it’s decreasing. Amazon’s promotional videos show people lurking around homes, and the company recently posted a job opening for a managing news editor to “deliver breaking crime news alerts to our neighbors.”
‘Amazon is profiting off of fear,’ said Chris Gilliard, an English professor at Michigan’s Macomb Community College and a prominent critic of Ring and other technology that he says can reinforce race barriers. Part of the strategy seems to be selling the cameras ‘where the fear of crime is more real than the actual existence of crime.'”