Article 43

 

Privacy And Rights

Thursday, August 20, 2020

Toyota’s Connected Car

image: toyota phone home

New Toyotas will upload data to AWS to help create custom insurance premiums based on driver behaviour
Connected car vision has been in first gear for years, cloudy scale could jump-start plans

By Simon Sharwood, APAC Editor
The Register
August 18, 2020

Toyota has expanded its collaboration with Amazon Web Services in ways that will see many of its models upload performance data into the Amazonian cloud to expand the services the auto-maker offers to drivers and fleet owners.

Toyota already operates a “Mobility Services Platform” that it says helps it to” develop, deploy, and manage the next generation of data-driven mobility services for driver and passenger safety, security, comfort, and convenience.”

That data comes from a device called the “Data Communication Module” (DCM) that Toyota fits into many models in Japan, the USA and China.

Toyota reckons “the data could turn into new contextual services such as car share, rideshare, full-service lease, and new corporate and consumer services such as proactive vehicle maintenance notifications and driving behavior-based insurance.”

The company has touted that vision since at least the year 2016, but precious little evidence of it turning into products is available.

Which may be why Toyota has signed with AWS for not just cloud tech but also professional services.

The two companies say their joint efforts “will help build a foundation for streamlined and secure data sharing throughout the company and accelerate its move toward CASE (Connected, Autonomous/Automated, Shared and Electric) mobility technologies.”

Neither party has specified just which bits of the AWS cloud Toyota will take for a spin but it seems sensible to suggest the auto-maker is going to need lots of storage and analytics capabilities, making AWS S3 and Kinesis likely candidates for a test drive.

Whatever Toyota uses, prepare for privacy ponderings because while cheaper car insurance sounds lovely, having an insurer source driving data from a manufacturer has plenty of potential pitfalls.

SOURCE

COMMENTS

Posted by Elvis on 08/20/20 •
Section Privacy And Rights • Section Broadband Privacy
View (0) comment(s) or add a new one
Printable viewLink to this article
Home

Sunday, August 16, 2020

Shadow Gate

image: shadowgate

INFOWARS reporter MILLIE WEAVER was just ARRESTED moments before releasing her new documentary on Shadowgate/Obamagate… AFTER Millie was arrested, one of the other whistleblowers involved, TORE, released it anyways.
- NOX and Friends, August 15, 2020

Back in 2006 we found out AT&T PUT ALL ITS INTERNET TRAFFIC INTO A SPLITTER AND SENT ONE OF THOSE FEEDS TO THE NSA:

AT&T provided National Security Agency eavesdroppers with full access to its customers phone calls, and shunted its customers’ internet traffic to DATA-MINING EQUIPMENT installed in a secret room in its San Francisco switching center, according to a former AT&T worker cooperating in the Electronic Frontier Foundations lawsuit against the company

The next year AT&T LET US KNOW IT CAN SHARE OUR PHONE RECORDS WITH WHOEVER THEY PLEASE:

The new privacy policy basically lets AT&T do anything it wants with your information. (Remember, according to the company, its its information.) The specific claim is that AT&T can do whatever it wants with your/its data “to protect [the companys] legitimate business interests.”

To back it up, government started SHREDDING PEOPLES’ PRIVACY RIGHTS:

The new law gives the attorney general or the director of national intelligence the authority to APPROVE SURVEILLANCE of suspected terrorists overseas.

Over the years things have gotten much worse regarding privacy and rights.

Take PRISM FOR EXAMPLE:

This program, code-named PRISM, allowed the NSA and FBI to tap directly into the servers of major U.S. Internet companies such as Google, Apple, Microsoft, Facebook and AOL.

Then came Assange and WIKILEAKS, followed by SNOWDEN and all the stuff his whistle blowing revealed:

Some people take Snowden at face value. Others simply cannot believe a 29 year old could have stolen so many documents from the most advanced spying agency on Earth without getting caught or being secretly sanctioned to do so.

The theory is that it was a NWO (New World Order) tactic to intimidate the public by letting them know they are surveilled slaves and that there’s nothing they can do about it. Then, after the initial shock and explosion, this became a drip-drip-drip disclosure of just how egregiously your privacy and rights are being violated, with the subliminal message that youd better be afraid, because you’re being monitored 24/7.

Who owns The Intercept? First Look Media, owned by Pierre Omidyar, a rich oligarch who founded eBay. So now, the entire trove of leaked NSA documents are in the hands of a private billionaire, probably never to see the light of day again. Was this the plan from the start?

It looks like we don’t just have a internet feed going to the NSA. We got another going to CORPORATE AMERICA.

IF YOU CAN BELIEVE IT this new documentary “Shadow Gate” [ ONLINE | DOWNLOAD ] picks up where SNOWDEN LEFT OFF:

Weaver also claimed these contractors were responsible for creating the fake news in mainstream media. She alleged that the “shadow government” was responsible for spurring the recent nationwide protests and promoting the defund the police movement.

Weaver goes on to accuse Republicans and Democrats of working together in a plot to bring down President Trump. Both parties are equally guilty of covering up what should turn out to be an even bigger scandal.

Shadow Gate: the tactical and operational role the shadow government played behind the scenes carrying out the coup against President Trump. We’re going to be looking behind the puppets at who the real puppet master, string-pullers are.

---

Shadow Gate documentary released after “Millennial Millie” Weaver gets arrested
There are a lot of questions surrounding what’s going on, but one thing is certain: THE DOCUMENTARY is a must watch.

By Scott Boyd
NOQ Report
August 15, 2020

Independent journalist ”MILLENIAL MILLIE” Weaver and her husband were arrested at their home yesterday just prior to the release of their documentary. TORE SAYS, one of the main sources in the documentary, released the video on her YouTube channel, seen above.

Very little has been reported about the arrests, but her name trended on Twitter and HER GOFUNDME PAGE collected well more than the goal for her emergency legal fund. Here’s the VIDEO OF HER ARREST.

According to MEAWW:

In a shocking piece of news, investigative reporter Millie Weaver and her husband were arrested at their home. The arrest comes in the wake of her documentary release on the topic of the US “shadow government” which was all set to be screened on YouTube as she had teased in her last tweet. While there seems to be no confirmation as to why she was taken by the officers, a string of speculative theories seem to have popped up on social media.

Born on February 6, 1991, in San Bernardino, California, United States, Weaver was an aspiring actress and singer who went on to be a political activist and reporter. She is a mother to a four-year-old son and a nine-month-old daughter, as per a report from YHStars.com. Not just that, the same report says that the 29-year-old was named as one Newsmax’s “30 Most Influential Republicans Under 30.”

On August 11, 2020, she posted the trailer with the caption: The ObamaGate scandal only scratches the surface. This may the biggest whistleblowing event to date. Official Trailer - Shadow Gate. After the shocking news, the tweet went viral with over 7,000 retweets and 8,000 likes in a few hours. The narration in the trailer says, “Both parties are equally guilty in what should turn out to be an even bigger scandal.” Shadow Gate the tactical and operational role the shadow government played behind the scenes carrying out the coup against President Trump. The trailer also detailed that the documentary would detail who the real puppetmasters and string-pullers are.

This video is a must-watch. Millie Weaver takes us all down the rabbit hole of Deep State corruption that is far worse than weve seen in the past. The timing of her arrest cant be a coincidence.

SOURCE

Posted by Elvis on 08/16/20 •
Section Revelations • Section Privacy And Rights • Section Broadband Privacy • Section Dying America
View (0) comment(s) or add a new one
Printable viewLink to this article
Home

Saturday, August 08, 2020

Splinternet

image: splinternet

One of the unifying themes I seek to emphasize here is the importance of the Internet and the many media that feed into it as the most influential shaper of current events. When are we being played by experts in psyops and deception and when are we dealing with spontaneous developments that could not have been planned or spun to advance predetermined political agendas? What is the role of the Internet?
- Battle for the Internet, June 8, 2020, American Herald Tribune

Is the US about to split the internet?

By James Clayton - North America technology reporter
BBC
August 7, 2020

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says he wants a “clean” internet.

What he means by that is he wants to remove Chinese influence, and Chinese companies, from the internet in the US.

But critics believe this will bolster a worrying movement towards the breaking up of the global internet.

The so called “splinternet” is generally used when talking about China, and more recently Russia.

The idea is that there’s nothing inherent or pre-ordained about the internet being global.

For governments that want to control what people see on the internet, it makes sense to take ownership of it.

The GREAT FIREWALL OF CHINA is the best example of a nation putting up the internet equivalent of a wall around itself. You won’t find a Google search engine or Facebook in China.

What people didn’t expect was that the US might follow China’s lead.

Yet critics believe that is the corollary of Mr Pompeo’s statement on Thursday.

Mr Pompeo said he wanted to remove “untrusted” applications from US mobile app stores.

“People’s Republic of China apps threaten our privacy, proliferate viruses, and spread propaganda and disinformation,” he said.

The first question that sprang to mind was: what are the Chinese apps that Mr Pompeo does trust? The assumption is very much that he’s talking about ALL Chinese apps.

“It’s shocking,” says Alan Woodward, a security expert based at the University of Surrey. “This is the Balkanisation of the internet happening in front of our eyes.

“The US government has for a long time criticised other countries for controlling access to the internet and now we see the Americans doing the same thing.”

That might be a slight exaggeration. Mr Pompeo’s reasons for “cleaning” the US network of Chinese companies is very different to authoritarian government’s desire to control what is said online.

But it’s true that if Mr Pompeo were to go down this road, it would be reversing decades of US cyber-policy.

If there is one country that has championed a free internet, based on the constitutional tenets of free speech, it is America.

President Donald Trump’s administration has taken a different approach though, in part because of the legitimate security concerns that some Chinese companies operating in the US raise.

WeChat warning

Alex Stamos, former chief security officer at Facebook, told me that much-mentioned TikTok was just the tip of the iceberg in terms of Chinese apps to worry about.

“TikTok isn’t even in my top 10,” he told me.

The app Mr Stamos suggests the US should be more wary of is Tencent’s WeChat.

“WeChat is one of the most popular messaging apps in the world - people run companies on We Chat, they have incredibly sensitive information.”

Mr Pompeo has also namechecked WeChat as a potential future target.

It’s hard not to view this through the prism of the US elections in November. Mr Trump’s anti-China rhetoric isn’t limited to tech.

Policy or posture?

So is this a policy position - or simply posture?

Mr Trump may also of course lose in November. The Democrats would probably take a more moderate position on Chinese tech.

But, as it stands, Mr Trump’s vision of the US internet - an internet in the main free of China - makes it a far more divided place.

The great irony is that the internet would then look a lot more like China’s vision.

Just look at TikTok itself. If Microsoft does buy the US arm there will be three TikToks.

A TikTok in China (called Douyin). A rest of the world TikTok. And a TikTok in the US.

Could that be a model for the future of the internet?

SOURCE

Posted by Elvis on 08/08/20 •
Section Privacy And Rights • Section Broadband Privacy
View (0) comment(s) or add a new one
Printable viewLink to this article
Home

Monday, March 09, 2020

DNS Tunneling

image: cybercrime

How Hackers Use DNS Tunneling to Own Your Network

By Ron Lifinski, Cyber Security Researcher
Cynet
October 22, 2018

DNS Tunneling

Most organizations have a firewall that acts as a filter between their sensitive internal networks and the threatening global Internet. DNS tunneling has been around for a while.  But it continues to cost companies and has seen hackers invest more time and effort developing tools.  A recent study[1] found that DNS attacks in the UK alone have risen 105% in the past year.  DNS tunneling is attractivehackers can get any data in and out of your internal network while bypassing most firewalls. Whether it֒s used to command and control (C&C) compromised systems, leak sensitive data outside, or to tunnel inside your closed network, DNS Tunneling poses a substantial risk to your organization. Heres everything you need to know about the attack, the tools and how to stop it.

Introduction

DNS tunneling has been around since the early 2000s, when NSTX[2] an easy to use tool has been published to the masses. Since then there was a clear trend - tighter firewall security led to more widespread DNS tunneling. By 2011 it had already been used by malware such as Morto[3] and Feederbot[4] for C&C, and by the popular malicious payload for point-of-sale systems FrameworkPOS[5] for credit card exfiltration.

Why It’s a Problem

DNS was originally made for name resolution and not for data transfer, so its often not seen as a malicious communications and data exfiltration threat. Because DNS is a well-established and trusted protocol, hackers know that organizations rarely analyze DNS packets for malicious activity. DNS has less attention and most organizations focus resources on analyzing web or email traffic where they believe attacks often take place. In reality, diligent endpoint monitoring is required to find and prevent DNS tunneling.

Furthermore, tunneling toolkits have become an industry and are wildly available on the Internet, so hackers don’t really need technical sophistication to implement DNS tunneling attacks.

Common Abuse Cases (and the tools that make them possible)

Malware command and control (C&C) Malware can use DNS Tunneling to receive commands from its control servers, and upload data to the internet without opening a single TCP/UDP connection to an external server. Tools like DNSCAT2 are made specifically used for C&C purposes.

Create a “firewall bypassing tunnel” - DNS Tunneling allows an attacker to place himself into the internal network by creating a complete tunnel. Tools like IODINE allow you to create a common network between devices by creating a full IPv4 tunnel.

Bypass captive portals for paid Wi-Fi A lot of captive portal systems allow all DNS traffic out, so it’s possible to tunnel IP traffic without paying a fee. Some commercial services even provide a server-side tunnel as a service. Tools like YOUR-FREEDOM are made specifically for escaping captive portals.

How It Works

image: dns tunnel

The attacker acquires a domain, for example, evilsite.com.

The attacker configures the domains name servers to his own DNS server.

The attacker delegates a subdomain, such as “tun.evilsite.com” and configures his machine as the subdomain’s authoritative DNS server.

Any DNS request made by the victim to “{data}.tun.evilsite.com” will end up reaching the attacker’s machine.

The attacker’s machine encodes a response that will get routed back to the victim’s machine.

A bidirectional data transfer channel is achieved using a DNS tunneling tool.

References

[1] www dot infosecurity-magazine.com/news/dns-attack-costs-soar-105-in-uk

[2] thomer dot com/howtos/nstx.html

[3] www dot symantec.com/connect/blogs/morto-worm-sets-dns-record

[4] chrisdietri dot ch/post/feederbot-botnet-using-dns-command-and-control/

[5] www dot gdatasoftware.com/blog/2014/10/23942-new-frameworkpos-variant-exfiltrates-data-via-dns-requests

[6] github dot com/iagox86/dnscat

[7] github dot com/yarrick/iodine

[8] heyoka dot sourceforge.net/

SOURCE

Posted by Elvis on 03/09/20 •
Section Privacy And Rights • Section Broadband Privacy
View (0) comment(s) or add a new one
Printable viewLink to this article
Home

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

The Age of Surveillance Capitalism

snooping pc

You Are Now Remotely Controlled

By Shoshana Zuboff
NY Times
January 24, 2020

The debate on privacy and law at the Federal Trade Commission was unusually heated that day. Tech industry executives argued that they were capable of regulating themselves and that government intervention would be “costly and counterproductive.” Civil libertarians warned that the companies data capabilities posed “an unprecedented threat” to individual freedom. One observed, “We have to decide what human beings are in the electronic age. Are we just going to be chattel for commerce?” A commissioner asked, “Where should we draw the line?” The year was 1997.

The line was never drawn, and the executives got their way. Twenty-three years later the evidence is in. The fruit of that victory was a new economic logic that I call “surveillance capitalism.” Its success depends upon one-way-mirror operations engineered for our ignorance and wrapped in a fog of misdirection, euphemism and mendacity. It rooted and flourished in the new spaces of the internet, once celebrated by surveillance capitalists as THE WORLD’S LARGEST UNGOVERNED SPACE”. But power fills a void, and those once wild spaces are no longer ungoverned. Instead, they are owned and operated by private surveillance capital and governed by its iron laws.

The rise of surveillance capitalism over the last two decades went largely unchallenged. “Digital” was fast, we were told, and stragglers would be left behind. It’s not surprising that so many of us rushed to follow the bustling White Rabbit down his tunnel into a promised digital Wonderland where, like Alice, we fell prey to delusion. In Wonderland, we celebrated the new digital services as free, but now we see that the surveillance capitalists behind those services regard us as the free commodity. We thought that we search Google, but now we understand that Google searches us. We assumed that we use social media to connect, but we learned that connection is how social media uses us. We barely questioned why our new TV or mattress had a privacy policy, but we’ve begun to understand that “privacy policies” are actually surveillance policies.

And like our forebears who named the automobile “horseless carriage” because they could not reckon with its true dimension, we regarded the internet platforms as “bulletin boards” where anyone could pin a note. Congress cemented this delusion in a statute, SECTION 230 of the 1996 Communications Decency Act, absolving those companies of the obligations that adhere to “publishers” or even to “speakers.”

Only repeated crises have taught us that these platforms are not bulletin boards but hyper-velocity global bloodstreams into which anyone may introduce a dangerous virus without a vaccine. This is how Facebook’s chief executive, Mark Zuckerberg, could legally REFUSE to remove a faked video of Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and later DOUBLE DOWN on this decision, announcing that political advertising would not be subject to fact-checking.

All of these delusions rest on the most treacherous hallucination of them all: the belief that privacy is private. We have imagined that we can choose our degree of privacy with an individual calculation in which a bit of personal information is traded for valued services a reasonable quid pro quo. For example, when Delta Air Lines piloted a biometric data system at the Atlanta airport, the company REPORTED that of nearly 25,000 customers who traveled there each week, 98 percent opted into the process, noting that the facial recognition option is saving an average of two seconds for each customer at boarding, or nine minutes when boarding a wide body aircraft.”

In fact the rapid development of facial recognition systems reveals the public consequences of this supposedly private choice. Surveillance capitalists have demanded the right to take our faces wherever they appear - on a city street or a Facebook page. The Financial Times reported that a Microsoft facial recognition training database of 10 million images plucked from the internet without anyone’s knowledge and supposedly limited to academic research was employed by companies like IBM and state agencies that included the United States and Chinese military. Among these were two Chinese suppliers of equipment to officials in Xinjiang, where members of the Uighur community live in open-air prisons under perpetual surveillance by facial recognition systems.

Privacy is not private, because the effectiveness of THESE and OTHER private or public surveillance and control systems depends upon the pieces of ourselves that we give up - or that are secretly stolen from us.

Our digital century was to have been democracy’s Golden Age. Instead, we enter its third decade marked by a stark new form of social inequality best understood as גepistemic inequality. It recalls a pre-Gutenberg era of extreme asymmetries of knowledge and the power that accrues to such knowledge, as the tech giants seize control of information and learning itself. The delusion of Ӕprivacy as private was crafted to breed and feed this unanticipated social divide. Surveillance capitalists exploit the widening inequity of knowledge for the sake of profits. They manipulate the economy, our society and even our lives with impunity, endangering not just individual privacy but democracy itself. Distracted by our delusions, we failed to notice this bloodless coup from above.

The belief that privacy is private has left us careening toward a future that we did not choose, because it failed to reckon with the profound distinction between a society that insists upon sovereign individual rights and one that lives by the social relations of the one-way mirror. The lesson is that privacy is public - it is a collective good that is and morally inseparable from the values of human autonomy and self-determination upon which privacy depends and without which a democratic society logically is unimaginable.

Still, the winds appear to have finally shifted. A fragile new awareness is dawning as we claw our way back up the rabbit hole toward home. Surveillance capitalists are fast because they seek neither genuine consent nor consensus. They rely on psychic numbing and messages of inevitability to conjure the helplessness, resignation and confusion that paralyze their prey. Democracy is slow, and that’s a good thing. Its pace reflects the tens of millions of conversations that occur in families, among neighbors, co-workers and friends, within communities, cities and states, gradually stirring the sleeping giant of democracy to action.

These conversations are occurring now, and there are many indications that lawmakers are ready to join and to lead. This third decade is likely to decide our fate. Will we make the digital future better, or will it make us worse? Will it be a place that we can call home?

Epistemic inequality is not based on what we can earn but rather on what we can learn. It is defined as unequal access to learning imposed by private commercial mechanisms of information capture, production, analysis and sales. It is best exemplified in the fast-growing abyss between what we know and what is known about us.

Twentieth-century industrial society was organized around the “division of labor,” and it followed that the struggle for economic equality would shape the politics of that time. Our digital century shifts society’s coordinates from a division of labor to a division of learning, and it follows that the struggle over access to knowledge and the power conferred by such knowledge will shape the politics of our time.

The new centrality of epistemic inequality signals a power shift from the ownership of the means of production, which defined the politics of the 20th century, to the ownership of the production of meaning. The challenges of epistemic justice and epistemic rights in this new era are summarized in three essential questions about knowledge, authority and power: Who knows? Who decides who knows? Who decides who decides who knows?

During the last two decades, the leading surveillance capitalists Google, later followed by Facebook, Amazon and Microsoft - helped to drive this societal transformation while simultaneously ensuring their ascendance to the pinnacle of the epistemic hierarchy. They operated in the shadows to amass huge knowledge monopolies by taking without asking, a maneuver that every child recognizes as theft. Surveillance capitalism begins by unilaterally staking a claim to private human experience as free raw material for translation into behavioral data. Our lives are rendered as data flows.

Early on, it was discovered that, unknown to users, even data freely given harbors rich predictive signals, a surplus that is more than what is required for service improvement. It isn’t only what you post online, but whether you use exclamation points or the color saturation of your photos; not just where you walk but the stoop of your shoulders; not just the identity of your face but the emotional states conveyed by your “microexpressions;” not just what you like but the pattern of likes across engagements. Soon this behavioral surplus was secretly hunted and captured, claimed as proprietary data.

The data are conveyed through complex supply chains of devices, tracking and monitoring software, and ECOSYSTEMS OF APPS and COMPANIES that specialize in niche data flows captured in secret. For example, TESTING BY THE WALL STREET JOURNAL SHOWED that Facebook receives heart rate data from the Instant Heart Rate: HR Monitor, menstrual cycle data from the Flo Period & Ovulation Tracker, and data that reveal interest in real estate properties from Realtor.com - all of it without the users’ knowledge.

These data flows empty into surveillance capitalists; computational factories, called “artificial intelligence,” where they are manufactured into behavioral predictions that are about us, but they are not for us. Instead, they are sold to business customers in a new kind of market that trades exclusively in human futures. Certainty in human affairs is the lifeblood of these markets, where surveillance capitalists compete on the quality of their predictions. This is a new form of trade that birthed some of the richest and most powerful companies in history.

In order to achieve their objectives, the leading surveillance capitalists sought to establish UNRIVALED DOMINANCE over the 99.9 PERCENT of the world’s information now rendered in digital formats that they helped to create. Surveillance capital has built most of the world’s LARGEST COMPUTER NETWORKS, data centers, populations of servers, undersea transmission cables, ADVANCED MICROCHIPS, and frontier machine intelligence, igniting AN ARMS RACE FOR THE 10,000 or so specialists on the planet who know how to coax knowledge from these vast new data continents.

With Google in the lead, the top surveillance capitalists seek to control labor markets in critical expertise, including data science and ANIMAL RESEARCH, elbowing out competitors such as start-ups, universities, high schools, municipalities, established corporations in other industries and less wealthy countries. In 2016, 57 percent of American computer science Ph.D. graduates took jobs in industry, while only 11 percent became tenure-track faculty members. It’s not just an American problem. In Britain, university administrators CONTEMPLATE a “missing generation” of data scientists. A Canadian scientist laments, “the power, the expertise, the data are all concentrated in the hands of a few companies.”

Google created the first insanely lucrative markets to trade in human futures, what we now know as online targeted advertising, based on their predictions of which ads users would click. Between 2000, when the new economic logic was just emerging, and 2004, when the company went public, revenues increased by 3,590 percent. This startling number represents the “surveillance dividend.” It quickly reset the bar for investors, eventually driving start-ups, apps developers and established companies to shift their business models toward surveillance capitalism. The promise of a fast track to outsized revenues from selling human futures drove this migration first to Facebook, then through the tech sector and now throughout the rest of the economy to industries as disparate as insurance, retail, finance, education, health care, real estate, entertainment and every product that begins with the word “smart” or service touted as “personalized.”

Even Ford, the birthplace of the 20th-century mass production economy, is on the trail of the surveillance dividend, proposing to meet the challenge of slumping car sales by reimagining Ford vehicles as a TRANSPORTATION OPERATING SYSTEM. As one analyst put it, Ford “could make a fortune monetizing data. They won’t need engineers, factories or dealers to do it. It’s almost pure profit.”

Surveillance capitalismҔs economic imperatives were refined in the competition to sell certainty. Early on it was clear that machine intelligence must feed on volumes of data, compelling economies of scale in data extraction. Eventually it was understood that volume is necessary but not sufficient. The best algorithms also require varieties of data economies of scope. This realization helped drive the җmobile revolution sending users into the real world armed with cameras, computers, gyroscopes and microphones packed inside their smart new phones. In the competition for scope, surveillance capitalists want your home and what you say and do within its walls. They want your car, your medical conditions, and the shows you stream; your location as well as all the streets and buildings in your path and all the behavior of all the people in your city. They want your voice and what you eat and what you buy; your childrenӔs play time and their schooling; your brain waves and your bloodstream. Nothing is exempt.

Unequal knowledge about us produces unequal power over us, and so epistemic inequality widens to include the distance between what we can do and what can be done to us. Data scientists describe this as the shift from monitoring to actuation, in which a critical mass of knowledge about a machine system enables the remote control of that system. Now people have become targets for remote control, as surveillance capitalists discovered that the most predictive data come from intervening in behavior to tune, herd and modify action in the direction of commercial objectives. This third imperative, economies of action,ғ has become an arena of intense experimentation. We are learning how to writethe music,ԓ one scientist said, and then we let the music make them dance.ԓ

This new power to make them danceԓ does not employ soldiers to threaten terror and murder. It arrives carrying a cappuccino, not a gun. It is a new instrumentarianԓ power that works its will through the medium of ubiquitous digital instrumentation to manipulate subliminal cues, psychologically target communications, impose default choice architectures, trigger social comparison dynamics and levy rewards and punishments all of it aimed at remotely tuning, herding and modifying human behavior in the direction of profitable outcomes and always engineered to preserve usersԗ ignorance.

We saw predictive knowledge morphing into instrumentarian power in Facebooks contagion experiments published in 2012 and 2014, when it planted subliminal cues and manipulated social comparisons on its pages, first to influence users to vote in midterm elections and later to make people feel sadder or happier. Facebook researchers celebrated the success of these experiments noting two key findings: that it was possible to manipulate online cues to influence real world behavior and feelings, and that this could be accomplished while successfully bypassing usersҒ awareness.

In 2016, the Google-incubated augmented reality game, Pokmon Go, tested economies of action on the streets. Game players did not know that they were pawns in the real game of behavior modification for profit, as the rewards and punishments of hunting imaginary creatures were used to herd people to the McDonalds, Starbucks and local pizza joints that were paying the company for ҩғfootfall, in exactly the same way that online advertisers pay for ԓclick through to their websites.

In 2017, a leaked Facebook documentacquired by The Australian exposed the corporationԒs interest in applying psychological insightsӔ from internal Facebook dataӔ to modify user behavior. The targets were 6.4 million young Australians and New Zealanders. By monitoring posts, pictures, interactions and internet activity in real time,Ӕ the executives wrote, Facebook can work out when young people feel ӑstressed, ґdefeated, ґoverwhelmed, ґanxious, ґnervous, ґstupid, ґsilly, ґuseless and a ґfailure.Ҕ This depth of information, they explained, allows Facebook to pinpoint the time frame during which a young person needs a confidence boostӔ and is most vulnerable to a specific configuration of subliminal cues and triggers. The data are then used to match each emotional phase with appropriate ad messaging for the maximum probability of guaranteed sales.

Facebook denied these practices, though a former product manager accused the company of lying through its teeth.Ӕ The fact is that in the absence of corporate transparency and democratic oversight, epistemic inequality rules. They know. They decide who knows. They decide who decides.

The public’s intolerable knowledge disadvantage is deepened by surveillance capitalists’ perfection of mass communications as gaslighting. Two examples are illustrative. On April 30, 2019 Mark Zuckerberg made a dramatic announcement at the company’
s annual developer conference, declaring, “The future is private.” A few weeks later, a Facebook litigator appeared before a federal district judge in California to thwart a user lawsuit over privacy invasion, arguing that the very act of using Facebook negates any reasonable expectation of privacy ԓas a matter of law. In May 2019 Sundar Pichai, chief executive of Google, wrote in The Times of his corporationsԒs commitment to the principle that privacy cannot be a luxury good.Ӕ Five months later Google contractors were found offering $5 gift cards to homeless people of color in an Atlanta park in return for a facial scan.

Facebooks denial invites even more scrutiny in light of another leaked company documentappearing in 2018. The confidential report offers rare insight into the heart of FacebookҒs computational factory, where a prediction engineӔ runs on a machine intelligence platform that ingests trillions of data points every day, trains thousands of modelsӔ and then deploys them to the server fleet for live predictions.Ӕ Facebook notes that its prediction serviceӔ produces more than 6 million predictions per second.Ӕ But to what purpose?

In its report, the company makes clear that these extraordinary capabilities are dedicated to meeting its corporate customers ғcore business challenges with procedures that link prediction, microtargeting, intervention and behavior modification. For example, a Facebook service called ԓloyalty prediction is touted for its ability to plumb proprietary behavioral surplus to predict individuals who are ԓat risk of shifting their brand allegiance and alerting advertisers to intervene promptly with targeted messages designed to stabilize loyalty just in time to alter the course of the future.

That year a young man named Christopher Wylie turned whistle-blower on his former employer, a political consultancy known as Cambridge Analytica. ԓWe exploited Facebook to harvest millions of peoples profiles,Ҕ Wylie admitted, and built models to exploit what we knew about them and target their inner demons.Ӕ Mr. Wylie characterized those techniques as information warfare,Ӕ correctly assessing that such shadow wars are built on asymmetries of knowledge and the power it affords. Less clear to the public or lawmakers was that the political firms strategies of secret invasion and conquest employed surveillance capitalismҒs standard operating procedures to which billions of innocent usersӔ are routinely subjected each day. Mr. Wylie described this mirroring process, as he followed a trail that was already cut and marked. Cambridge Analyticas real innovation was to pivot the whole undertaking from commercial to political objectives.

In other words, Cambridge Analytica was the parasite, and surveillance capitalism was the host. Thanks to its epistemic dominance, surveillance capitalism provided the behavioral data that exposed the targets for assault. Its methods of behavioral microtargeting and behavioral modification became the weapons. And it was surveillance capitalism’s lack of accountability for content on its platform afforded by Section 230 that provided the opportunity for the stealth attacks designed to trigger the inner demons of unsuspecting citizens.

Its not just that epistemic inequality leaves us utterly vulnerable to the attacks of actors like Cambridge Analytica. The larger and more disturbing point is that surveillance capitalism has turned epistemic inequality into a defining condition of our societies, normalizing information warfare as a chronic feature of our daily reality prosecuted by the very corporations upon which we depend for effective social participation. They have the knowledge, the machines, the science and the scientists, the secrets and the lies. All privacy now rests with them, leaving us with few means of defense from these marauding data invaders. Without law, we scramble to hide in our own lives, while our children debate encryption strategies around the dinner table and students wear masks to public protests as protection from facial recognition systems built with our family photos.

In the absence of new declarations of epistemic rights and legislation, surveillance capitalism threatens to remake society as it unmakes democracy. From below, it undermines human agency, usurping privacy, diminishing autonomy and depriving individuals of the right to combat. From above, epistemic inequality and injustice are fundamentally incompatible with the aspirations of a democratic people.

We know that surveillance capitalists work in the shadows, but what they do there and the knowledge they accrue are unknown to us. They have the means to know everything about us, but we can know little about them. Their knowledge of us is not for us. Instead, our futures are sold for othersҒ profits. Since that Federal Trade Commission meeting in 1997, the line was never drawn, and people did become chattel for commerce. Another destructive delusion is that this outcome was inevitable an unavoidable consequence of convenience-enhancing digital technologies. The truth is that surveillance capitalism hijacked the digital medium. There was nothing inevitable about it.

American lawmakers have been reluctant to take on these challenges for many reasons. One is an unwritten policy of דsurveillance exceptionalism forged in the aftermath of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, when the governmentԒs concerns shifted from online privacy protections to a new zeal for total information awareness.Ӕ In that political environment the fledgling surveillance capabilities emerging from Silicon Valley appeared to hold great promise.

Surveillance capitalists have also defended themselves with lobbying and forms of propaganda intended to undermine and intimidate lawmakers, confounding judgment and freezing action. These have received relatively little scrutiny compared to the damage they do. Consider two examples:

The first is the assertion that democracy threatens prosperity and innovation. Former Google chief executive Eric Schmidt explained in 2011, we took the position of “hands off” the internet. You know, “leave us alone.” The government can make regulatory mistakes that can slow this whole thing down, and we see that and we worry about it. This propaganda is recycled from the Gilded Age barons, whom we now call “robbers.” They insisted that there was no need for law when one had the law of survival of the fittest,” the “laws of capital” and the “law of supply and demand.”

Paradoxically, surveillance capital does not appear to drive innovation. A promising new era of economic research shows the critical role that government and democratic governance have played in innovation and suggests a lack of innovation in big tech companies like Google. Surveillance capitalism’s information dominance is not dedicated to the urgent challenges of carbon-free energy, eliminating hunger, curing cancers, ridding the oceans of plastic or flooding the world with well paid, smart, loving teachers and doctors. Instead, we see a frontier operation run by geniuses with vast capital and computational power that is furiously dedicated to the lucrative science and economics of human prediction for profit.

The second form of propaganda is the argument that the success of the leading surveillance capitalist firms reflects the real value they bring to people. But data from the demand side suggest that surveillance capitalism is better understood as a market failure. Instead of a close alignment of supply and demand, people use these services because they have no comparable alternatives and because they are ignorant of surveillance capitalism’s shadow operations and their consequences. Pew Research Center recently reported that 81 percent of Americans believe the potential risks of companies’ data collection outweigh the benefits, suggesting that corporate success depends upon coercion and obfuscation rather than meeting peoples real needs.

In his prizewinning history of regulation, the historian Thomas McCraw delivers a warning. Across the centuries regulators failed when they did not frame strategies appropriate to the particular industries they were regulating. Existing privacy and antitrust laws are vital but neither will be wholly adequate to the new challenges of reversing epistemic inequality.

These contests of the 21st century demand a framework of epistemic rights enshrined in law and subject to democratic governance. Such rights would interrupt data supply chains by safeguarding the boundaries of human experience before they come under assault from the forces of datafication. The choice to turn any aspect of oneӔs life into data must belong to individuals by virtue of their rights in a democratic society. This means, for example, that companies cannot claim the right to your face, or use your face as free raw material for analysis, or own and sell any computational products that derive from your face. The conversation on epistemic rights has already begun, reflected in a pathbreaking report from Amnesty International.

On the demand side, we can outlaw human futures markets and thus eliminate the financial incentives that sustain the surveillance dividend. This is not a radical prospect. For example, societies outlaw markets that trade in human organs, babies and slaves. In each case, we recognize that such markets are both morally repugnant and produce predictably violent consequences. Human futures markets can be shown to produce equally predictable outcomes that challenge human freedom and undermine democracy. Like subprime mortgages and fossil fuel investments, surveillance assets will become the new toxic assets.

In support of a new competitive landscape, lawmakers will need to champion new forms of collective action, just as nearly a century ago legal protections for the rights to organize, to strike and to bargain collectively united lawmakers and workers in curbing the powers of monopoly capitalists. Lawmakers must seek alliances with citizens who are deeply concerned over the unchecked power of the surveillance capitalists and with workers who seek fair wages and reasonable security in defiance of the precarious employment conditions that define the surveillance economy.

Anything made by humans can be unmade by humans. Surveillance capitalism is young, barely 20 years in the making, but democracy is old, rooted in generations of hope and contest.

Surveillance capitalists are rich and powerful, but they are not invulnerable. They have an Achilles heel: fear. They fear lawmakers who do not fear them. They fear citizens who demand a new road forward as they insist on new answers to old questions: Who will know? Who will decide who knows? Who will decide who decides? Who will writethe music, and who will dance?

Shoshana Zuboff (@ShoshanaZuboff) is professor emerita at Harvard Business School and the author of “The Age of Surveillance Capitalism.”

The Times is committed to publishing a diversity of letters to the editor. We’d like to hear what you think about this or any of our articles. Here are some tips. And here’s our email: .

Follow @privacyproject on Twitter and The New York Times Opinion Section on Facebook and Instagram.

SOURCE

Posted by Elvis on 01/28/20 •
Section Privacy And Rights • Section Dying America
View (0) comment(s) or add a new one
Printable viewLink to this article
Home
Page 1 of 71 pages  1 2 3 >  Last »

Statistics

Total page hits 9999958
Page rendered in 4.0037 seconds
40 queries executed
Debug mode is off
Total Entries: 3275
Total Comments: 337
Most Recent Entry: 11/24/2020 12:34 pm
Most Recent Comment on: 01/02/2016 09:13 pm
Total Logged in members: 0
Total guests: 12
Total anonymous users: 0
The most visitors ever was 172 on 12/25/2019 07:40 am


Email Us

Home

Members:
Login | Register
Resumes | Members

In memory of the layed off workers of AT&T

Today's Diversion

Life's challenges are not supposed to paralyze you, they're supposed to help you discover who you are. - Anonymous

Search


Advanced Search

Sections

Calendar

December 2020
S M T W T F S
    1 2 3 4 5
6 7 8 9 10 11 12
13 14 15 16 17 18 19
20 21 22 23 24 25 26
27 28 29 30 31    

Must Read

Most recent entries

RSS Feeds

Today's News

ARS Technica

External Links

Elvis Picks

BLS and FRED Pages

Favorites

All Posts

Archives

RSS


Creative Commons License


Support Bloggers' Rights