A new bipartisan bill will greatly expand the surveillance state by giving government the power to decrypt anything. Leo says that the Graham Blumenthal EARN IT Act will end any notion of privacy that we have. It's happened in Russia, Australia, Sweden, and now the US. It'll also be interesting how it will affect the new iPhone.
Jacob wants to know if paying electronically is secure. He doesn't like that it has a digital paper trail that people can see what he's spending his money on. Leo says that there's a fine line between the security of digital transactions and the privacy concerns that come with them. Leo also says that facial recognition and the prevalence of security cameras are a larger concern. The police can follow you everywhere using facial recognition and know where you are at all times. So he's more concerned with that.
Chris is looking to get security cameras. Should he go with Nest or Ring? Should he have a service? Rich says he has a combination of the two, but it depends on if he wants a managed solution. Rich says that there really isn't a need to have a managed solution. It's expensive from month to month. Chris can piece together his own solution and do just as good.
Britain passed the "Snooper's Charter," which is being claimed the most extreme surveillance law ever passed in a democracy. Current Prime Minister Theresa May introduced it before she was Prime Minister. She's tried two times to pass it, and after four years, it was passed on Wednesday by both houses of Parliament. The law will force internet service providers in Britain to record every internet customer's web history in real time for every place they visit. It discourages encryption. It gives law enforcement and intelligence agencies the power to hack into devices of any citizen.
Russian President Vladimir Putin signed anti-terrorism legislation, including increased electronic surveillance of Russian citizens. This effectively removes all privacy as telephone companies and internet providers will save and store private communications of its customers and make it available to the government upon request. Phone calls, text messages, and emails will be kept for 6 months, and all metadata will be kept for up to 3 years. This also will outlaw encryption.
An obscure committee wants to grant the government with more hacking abilities. It comes from the advisory committee on criminal rules for the Judicial Conference of the United States. The amendment would update Rule 41 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure.
Marley wants to put tracking software on her soon to be ex's iPhone. What program would be least likely to be detected? Leo says that the easiest way is to turn on Apple's Find My iPhone feature. It will give her the location of the phone. Can she listen to the calls and see keystrokes? Leo says that Apple makes it very hard to do that. She can jailbreak it, but that comes with a whole host of issues, including ethical ones. If she's logged into the same Apple ID, she could see what his text messages are.
Before the holidays, Congress slipped CISA, the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act, into a budget bill. It allows companies to share information with the Department of Homeland Security, FBI, and NSA. And more importantly, it prevents companies from being sued by consumers for sharing information.
Read more at wired.com.
Using the Paris attack to justify stepping up the intrusiveness of state surveillance, UK Prime Minister David Cameron is calling for and end to any communication that the government is unable to read with a simple warrant signed by the home secretary. Leo says that this can't happen. The US even tried to prevent strong encryption by classifying it as munitions, and it just didn't work because it's really easy to create strong encryption.
Po isn't thrilled about the trend of surveillance in this country and how easy it could be for them to listen in on cellphones. Leo says that the courts have held that metadata (where he is or who he's calling) isn't subject to a warrant. So the government can make a request for a "pen register," pay a fee and then they can know someone's exact whereabouts.