Category Archives: Error451

Error451: #12 (Efail w/ Micah Lee)

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This week, Bursts spoke with Micah Lee.  Micah is, according to his bio at The Intercept: ”

a computer security engineer and an open source software developer. He writes about technical topics like digital and operational security, encryption tools, whistleblowing, and hacking using language that everyone can understand, but without dumbing it down. An avid user of Qubes and Linux, he develops security tools such as OnionShare.”

Micah is kind enough in this conversation to break down the Efail scandal that rocked security-minded folks in mid-May.  A weakness in the way that many email clients handled PGP & S/MIME came to light months after it was discovered by a team of security investigators.  Micah explains how this encryption works, what was found out, safer approaches to encrypted messaging. We also talk a little about threat modeling and quantum computing.

Send encrypted text messages to Micah using Signal Messenger at (415) 964-1601.  Here’s a link to a cool article Micah published at The Intercept about a method of cheaply creating a second signal account, so you can give out a signal # without giving away your personal phone number.

Check out past episodes of Error451 and hit us up if you have ideas for segments or guests you’d like to hear from.  Check out our contact page!

featured track: “I Did It For The Kids But They’re Gonna PAY” by Spook Rat.

Error451: #11 (CLOUD Act)

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A change of plans: instead of airing the interview with comrades in Yogyakarta about May Day repression of anarchists there, we’re including that in the radio show for next Sunday.  So, instead, kick back with this new issue of #Error451 !

The CLOUD Act (Clarifying Lawful Overseas Use of Data Act) got passed by the U.S. Congress earlier this year and signed into law by President Trump.  It’s a revision of the 1986 Stored Communications Act.  Basically, it allows U.S. cops from local up to Federal to request data belonging to persons of interest that is stored on overseas servers from the private corporations or organizations storing it. If the U.S. executive makes an agreement with the foreign power where the data is stored, that power also gets a degree of access to the data of persons of interest to the overseas powers.  Basically, governments can more easily spy on folks around the world!

We talk a bit about the implications of the Act, how it came to pass and the types of practices and services folks can engage to help protect themselves from some of these government excesses.

Check out past episodes of Error451 and hit us up if you have ideas for segments or guests you’d like to hear from.  Check out our contact page!

featured track: “Bob Ross remixed by Symphony of Science’s John D. Boswell for PBS Digital Studios

Error451: #10 (Facebook and Cambridge Analytica)

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This week on Error451, William Budington and Bursts chat about the Facebook and Cambridge Analytica scandal.  We’ve seen Congressional hearings and M. Zuckerburg give testimony, we’ve seen punditry, we’ve seen evasion.

For the episode, the two chat about what’s going on with the hullabaloo and different solutions privacy advocates have proposed.

Check out past episodes of Error451 and hit us up if you have ideas for segments or guests you’d like to hear from.  Check out our contact page!

Error451: #09 (Facial Recognition Technology)

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This week’s installment of #error451 podcast, Bursts and William Budington speak about facial recognition technology.  We chat about how different methods are employed, scanning of social media by police and security forces, different methods used to avoid it such as camouflage, lights, makeup and masks, the Google Arts & Culture app comparing people’s selfies to the contents of art museums and more.

Check out past episodes of Error451 and hit us up if you have ideas for segments or guests you’d like to hear from.  Check out our contact page!

Error451: #08 (Are My Apps Listening To Me?)

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This week on Error451, William Budington and Bursts chat about eavesdropping by digital devices.  This conversation happened before the Cambridge Analytica & Facebook scandal, but covers some of the same material.

Do Facebook, Amazon, Google and other big data companies listen through your device to your conversations and target marketing at you based on your choices?  What tools do platforms like those mentioned above have and what are their interests in your real-life movements, the sites you visit, how long you stay on a page and where you go next?

In a past episode, we had spoken about Apps tracking us and communicating via mic and speaker in subsonic levels with advertising devices. More on specifically Cambridge Analytica and Facebook is coming to Error451 soon!

Check out past episodes of Error451 and hit us up if you have ideas for segments or guests you’d like to hear from.  Check out our contact page!

J20 Court Updates + Perspectives on the SESTA-FOSTA

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In this week’s episode of The Final Straw Radio, we have three segments on two subjects. This week there’ll be no Sean Swain segment due to technical difficulties, but we hope to be hearing his clarion call towards dancing around the ashes of swivelization next week.

In part one, I spoke with Friday, a former J20 defendant and a supporter of the remaining 59 facing charges. We talk about the arrests, the case so far, what we saw come out of the first trial group in November of last year and the upcoming trail date set for April 17th, 2018. On Monday and Tuesday, April 2nd and 3rd there will be a call-in campaign for the for U.S. Attorney Liu to #DropJ20 and on Tuesday, April 10th there is a call for a day of solidarity with the J20 defendants. More info on that can be found in this episodes show notes or up at defendj20resistance.org alongside printable pdf’s plus ideas for solidarity actions alongside the #’s and scripts for the call-in campaign.

In part two of this episode, we’ll be airing a statement from episode 24 of the Hotwire. Here, you’ll hear LX, an anarchist and sex worker in the Midwest, where they’ll talk about their perspectives about the impacts of the laws, as well as views of recent struggles among strippers in NYC, NOLA & RVA, tools sex workers have made for themselves to share information, as well as words of encouragement for sex workers and ways that non-sex-workers can offer solidarity . You can find a full transcript of what LX has to say, alongside the rest of the Hotwire episode which we recommend giving a gander and listen, at their website.

Following LX’s breakdown of the law and some of the views around it, you’ll hear William Budington in the inaugural episode of season 2 of the occasionally weekly tech podcast from an anarchist perspective, #error451. William (a tech expert and trainer who is employed at the Electronic Frontier Foundation) breaks down the development of SESTA (which has been folded into the now-passed FOSTA (or Fight Online Sex Trafficking)) ACT, which awaits Trumps signature. The bills posed as anti-sex or human trafficking laws, however William argues, as do many groups who fight against sex trafficking in the U.S. plus consensual sex workers and their advocates, that FOSTA will hurt adults engaging in erotic services and drive them into the shadows where they in fact face more dangers, that FOSTA will take tools from their hands in keeping safer, and that even the US Department of Justice has warned that the Act will making finding and prosecuting actual human traffickers much, much harder.

Though there’ll be some overlap in what is said between William and LX, we wanted to keep the two presentations intact.

A few links that both folks mentioned to pay attention to include: Tits And Sass ; SWOP ; Tech Dirt #157 ; Strippers organizing in NOLA ; Desiree Alliance ; Survive The Club ; An informative IGD article we pulled some links from with MORE INFO.

A quick announcement about former black panther and political prisoner, Herman Bell. Herman has been in prison for 45 years for the killing of two police officers during his time with the Black Liberation Army. He has expressed remorse for the killings and family members of one dead cops has expressed that they want Herman released. He has been granted parole to be released on April 17th but there has been a pushback by the Policeman’s Benevolent Association in NY state and they’ve been backed by Mayor deBlasio and Governor Cuomo in attempting to block Herman’s release. If you want to help press back, you can:

Here are THREE THINGS YOU CAN DO RIGHT NOW to keep the pressure on in support of Herman Bell::

  • CALL New York State Governor Cuomo’s Office NOW
    518-474-8390

  • EMAIL New York State Governor Cuomo’s Office
    https://www.governor.ny.gov/

    • Script for phone calls and emails:
      “Governor Cuomo, my name is __________and I am a resident of [New York State/other state/other country]. I support the Parole Board’s decision to release Herman Bell and urge you and the Board to stand by the decision. I also support the recent appointment of new Parole Board Commissioners, and the direction of the new parole regulations, which base release decisions more on who a person is today than on the nature of their crime committed years ago. Returning Herman to his friends and family will help the heal the many harms caused by crime and decades of incarceration. The Board’s decision was just, merciful and lawful, and it will benefit our communities and New York State as a whole.”

  • TWEET at Governor Cuomo: use the following sample tweet:
    “.@NYGovCuomo: stand by the Parole Board’s lawful & just decision to release Herman Bell. At 70 years old and after more than 40 years of incarceration, his release is overdue. #BringHermanHome.” 

Before we start, we want to share the great news that we can now be heard Mondays at 8pm on the airwaves of KRJF-LP on 92.3FM in Santa Rosa, California! Hella hello, buddies!! We also can be heard on air Sundays on WSFM-LP in Asheville (NC), Mondays on KWRK in Fairbanks (AK) and KWTF in Bodega Bay (CA), Tuesdays on KOWA-LP in Olympia (WA) and Sundays at WCRS in Columbus (OH). If you are hearing this show and want it up on your local airwaves, please consider visiting our website and clicking the Radio Broadcasting link for details and ideas about how you can make that happen. The more stations our free radio show airs on, the more people get to hear the voices we’re presenting.

We’d like to remind you that if you appreciate the Final Straw, you can show that appreciation by sharing this show with your friends (we are on most of the crappy social networks out there), by rating us on iTunes, by sending us an email or a letter with suggestions and feedback, and also by making a onetime donation via paypal or a recurring donation via Patreon. Your donations help us to pay for equipment and attend events like the upcoming A-Radio Gathering in Germany from which we’ll surely bring you voices you won’t hear anywhere else. Thanks and have a great week!

Error451: #07 (Borders and Devices)

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This week on error451, the occasionally-weekly tech podcast from an anarchist perspective brought to you by The Final Straw Radio, Bursts and William Budington chat about devices crossing the U.S. border.  Now, neither of us are lawyers and situations change according to laws, precedence and actual practice with border security, so consider these better practice suggestions. We talk about full disk encryption, cloud solutions, planning a trip, if some devices are more secure than others and safer-practices if you’ve lost control of your device.

William B suggests the Security Self-Defense series from the Electronic Frontier Foundation (which employs William) as a great, free resource for getting prepared for travel and other situations and keeping up on current developments in tech.

Error451: #06 (Cryptocurrencies, Nazis, Bailbloc & IRL Impacts)

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This week, Bursts was joined by Pat Boyle, a collective member at Unicorn Riot (more about them later in this post), radical independent media project.  We chatted about crypto-currency, Bitcoin in particular, technologies and strategies involved in the implementation of crypto-currency, recent comings to light of increased wealth coming via Bitcoin into the hands of far right racists and ecological impacts of crypto-mining.

As to the far right, we referenced an article from IdaVox and one from Mic.com, as well as the twitterbot @NeoNaziWallets that can be visited to track transactions with the bitcoin wallets of well-known white supremacists.

Chicago Mercantile Exchange trading of Bitcoin was brought up a few times, and it was just introduced to the Private, or secondary, Market of the NASDAQ.

An example of an interesting use of cryptocurrency ongoing against the prison industrial complex is the BailBloc project that is shared between the Bronx Freedom Fund and The New Inquiry.

Some great Unicorn Riot content that Pat & company have been releasing this year (an incomplete list):

  • Black Snake Killaz, full length documentary about resistance to the #DAPL;
  • Coverage from Greece & the G20 in Hamburg, Germany;
  • on the ground in Charlottesville, VA for Unite The Right;
    the processing of TONS of documentation of the UTR organizing on the (leaked) Discord chat platform;

Our interview last year with Unicorn Riot’s Pat Boyle and Wendy Parker; their appearance on Delete Your Account talking about their coverage of the Alt-Right.

track heard: Traffic by Babyland from their 1992 album, You Suck Crap.

Error451: #05 (Hidden Tracking In Common Android Apps)

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This week, William Budington chats with Bursts about the recent exposé published by Yael Grauer at The Intercept about research by Exodus and Yale Research Group leading to the findings that hundreds of common apps available from the Android Google Play Store contain clandestine tracking apps, allowing for the scooping up of the data a phone user gives off throughout their use of the device.  Ever wonder why a free flashlight app needs permission to access your microphone?  Here’s why!

We also chat a bit about F-Droid, a platform for free and open-source apps outside of the Play Store, many designed at increased transparency of device usage.

At one point, Bursts brings up criticisms aired about the F-Droid repository by Moxie Marlinspike, a founder of Open Whisper Systems, which makes the Signal App for free end-to-end encryption. William is kind enough to explain what the concerns come from and his views on the subject.

Like this show?  Rate us on I-Tunes or dop us an email, check out other Error451 episodes or our regular feature, The Final Straw Radio.

Oh, and you should know better than to be on social media, but if you are willfully ignorant, we are findable on fedbook, instagram and twitter.

 

Error451: #4 (Net Neutrality)

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This week on the occasionally-weekly tech podcast from The Final Straw, Error451, Bursts and guest William Budington, a tech security expert, talk about Net Neutrality.  The context is that it’s back in the news as FCC Chairman Ajit Pai appears to be pushing for the revocation of the 2015 FCC decision to declare the Internet a Title II public utility in U.S. law.  The upside of this is that access to un-inhindered Internet is then supposedly enshrined in the law as a public good.  The current make up of the court includes 3 Republicans (including Pai) and 2 Democrats, so if a vote happens in mid-December along party lines, the Title II status may be revoked, possibly allowing for tiered access, which would possibly allow internet service providers and comms giants who are the gatekeepers to the web to throttle access to lower-paying services or outright deny access to certain sites and services.

We chat about how Tiered Access looks in countries like Portugal, the very curious padding of at least 1.1 million online submissions to the FCC’s Open Comment period misrepresenting U.S. voters perspectives on Net Neutrality and the FCC’s apparent disinterest in investigating the stunt.

William suggests that one action listeners can take immediately, which sadly is far from a direct action is to lobby congresspeople to block the move by Chairman Pai and protect the Internet as it is. He suggests visiting BattleForTheNet.Com and petitioning the powers that be via their suggestions.  As far as a wider lense of what we might do to increase autonomy and integrity in our information technologies, William suggests listeners check out and start playing with Mesh Networking technologies.  Mentioned in the episode are People’s Open in Oakland, CA, USA & Friefunk in Germany