Is your TV spying on YOU? It sounds like science fiction but many new TVs can watch you – telling advertisers your favourite shows or even filming you on the sofa. And there’s no off switch!

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2513592/Is-TV-spying-YOU.html

You are sitting in bed in your pyjamas, drinking a cup of cocoa. A loved one lies next to you, watching late-night television. Pillow talk is exchanged. An alarm clock is set. Eventually the lights are turned out.

Earlier, you sat on the living-room sofa eating supper, before loading the dishwasher and heading upstairs.

You have, in other words, just enjoyed a perfectly normal night, in a perfectly normal home. The curtains are drawn, the central heating turned up. It’s cosy, relaxing and, above all, completely private. Or so you thought.

The truth turns out to be quite the opposite. For on the other side of the world, people you didn’t know existed are keeping a beady eye on your every move.

These characters can see what clothes you have been wearing and what food you’ve eaten. They heard every word you said, and logged every TV show you watched. Some are criminals, others work for major corporations. And now they know your most intimate secrets.

It may sound like a plot summary for a futuristic science-fiction movie. But real-life versions of this Orwellian scenario are being played out every day in towns and cities across the globe — and in most cases the victims have no idea.

At fault is a common electronic device invented nearly a century ago and found in almost every modern household: the domestic television set.

Put simply, our TVs have started spying on us.

 

France quizzes Ikea execs over spying

France quizzes Ikea execs over spying

Versailles, France – Two executives at IKEA France were being questioned by police Monday as part of a probe into allegations the company illegally used police files to spy on staff and customers, a judicial source said.

Stefan Vanoverbeke, IKEA France’s CEO, and CFO Dariusz Rychert were formally detained for questioning by police in Versailles on Monday morning, the source told AFP.

The questioning was expected to last until late Monday, the source said.

The company’s former CEO, Jean-Louis Baillot, was also being questioned, a police source said separately.

IKEA representatives confirmed the questioning was taking place but refused to comment further.

French prosecutors launched a criminal probe in April 2012 following allegations that IKEA paid for illegal access to secret police files to gain information about employees and clients.

Keen to repair its reputation, IKEA France subsequently fired four employees, launched an internal inquiry and established a code  of conduct to avoid a repeat of the scandal.

The questioning follows police seizures at the company’s headquarters in the Paris suburbs earlier this month.

Several people have been charged in connection with the case, including IKEA France’s former risk management head Jean-Francois Paris.

Four civilian police employees have also been charged and are suspected of having been paid by IKEA in exchange for confidential police files.

Media reports have said sources were paid about 80 euros ($110) in each case to hand over files from the police STIC file system, which tracks millions of names and personal information about criminals, victims and even witnesses.

Reports alleged IKEA France requested information on its own employees, including union members, the owners of certain car registrations and names associated with a list of mobile phone numbers.

In one case the company allegedly asked for personal information  on a customer who was suing it for 4,000 euros.

The police probe in Versailles followed a complaint filed by labour unions.

Sapa-AFP

Businesses and governments worldwide seek to evade NSA spying

Businesses and governments worldwide seek to evade NSA spying

Private telecom providers, businesses and governments are increasingly compelled to move or reinforce web operations following disclosures of the NSA’s mass internet surveillance programs made by whistleblower Edward Snowden.

Brazil is set to vote on the creation of a cyber-security system to thwart  National Security Agency espionage of Brazilian government  systems. US surveillance led by the NSA had infiltrated the  highest levels of Brazil’s administration.

The largest telecom provider in Germany, the formerly-state-run  Deutsche Telekom, is seeking to keep their service in-country, out of the  reach of foreign spying.

But much smaller internet companies are also feeling the need,  based on customer demand and common sense, to move their servers  out of the reach of the NSA and the United States’ partners in  global surveillance, Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the UK –   the “Five Eyes.”

Encrypted-communications provider Unseen, for instance, has  recently moved its servers and bank accounts from the US to  Iceland, based on the NSA’s vast reach and the Nordic country’s  commitment to privacy rights.

Want to Evade NSA Spying? Don’t Connect to the Internet

Want to Evade NSA Spying? Don’t Connect to the Internet

Since I started working with Snowden’s documents, I have been using a number of tools to try to stay secure from the NSA. The advice I shared included using Tor, preferring certain cryptography over others, and using public-domain encryption wherever possible.

I also recommended using an air gap, which physically isolates a computer or local network of computers from the internet. (The name comes from the literal gap of air between the computer and the internet; the word predates wireless networks.)

But this is more complicated than it sounds, and requires explanation.

Since we know that computers connected to the internet are vulnerable to outside hacking, an air gap should protect against those attacks. There are a lot of systems that use — or should use — air gaps: classified military networks, nuclear power plant controls, medical equipment, avionics, and so on.

Osama Bin Laden used one. I hope human rights organizations in repressive countries are doing the same.

Air gaps might be conceptually simple, but they’re hard to maintain in practice. The truth is that nobody wants a computer that never receives files from the internet and never sends files out into the internet. What they want is a computer that’s not directly connected to the internet, albeit with some secure way of moving files on and off.

But every time a file moves back or forth, there’s the potential for attack.

And air gaps have been breached. Stuxnet was a U.S. and Israeli military-grade piece of malware that attacked the Natanz nuclear plant in Iran. It successfully jumped the air gap and penetrated the Natanz network. Another piece of malware named agent.btz, probably Chinese in origin, successfully jumped the air gap protecting U.S. military networks.

How much influence can the UN have over online spying?

“Brazil has 100 percent inconvenience, 0 percent security, and 0 percent privacy.”

  by       –    Sept 25 2013, 4:17am +0300

UNITED NATIONS—It’s not everyday that the Peace of Westphalia, which ended the Thirty Years War in mid-17th century Europe, is invoked when it comes to Internet policy.

But Estonian President Toomas Hendrik Ilves did just that in a Monday keynote address at a side event as part of the United Nations General Assembly, which is currently underway this week in New York. President Ilves said that while the Peace of Westphalia—which dictated that countries (mostly) respect each others’ sovereign boundaries—may have historically applied in physical space, this concept no longer applies when it comes to the online world.

“Cyberspace has no borders. Countries face the import of potentially disruptive liberal ideas of open societies,” he said. “The means of expression, transparency, and accountability empowered by a Google search, a YouTube video, or a tweet, and these are direct threats to a restrictive political system; the World Wide Web turns them into domestic threats to the regime.”

“We must choose between two paths—either we can change the nature of the Internet by acceding to a Westphalian regulatory structure of Internet governance, or we can change the world.”

Ilves spoke before a group of around 60 people and participated in a panel discussion on the theme of “A Secure and Free Internet,” which was hosted by the Permanent Estonian Mission to the United Nations. (Full disclosure: I participated on this panel discussion and my flight to New York was paid for by the Estonian government. President Ilves has also had nice things to say about my 2011 book, The Internet of Elsewhere.)

Estonia, a post-Soviet country that regained its independence in 1991, has become a tech powerhouse in recent years. It is the home of Skype, its citizens have digital ID cards (which power its online voting system), it has a burgeoning startup scene, and it is the home of the NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence. Ilves used his own country as a repeated example of positive Internet policy, where security and privacy do not inherently conflict with one another.

The Estonian president closed his 10 minute address by noting that the UN could “play a role in promoting dialogue among Member States on Internet freedom and security, and in defending Internet Freedom as part of its Human Rights agenda.”