Category Archives: Surveillance

Error451 #14: Leap Encryption Access Project on VPNs & Psuedonymity

Leap Encryption Access Project

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This week, we’d like to share a conversation had a little bit ago with Kali Kaneko, from LEAP.  Leap Encryption Access Project, like pEp featured in our prior Error451 interview, is an open-source project meant to ease… access to encryption (and it’s a project).  At a point in the past, LEAP had an interest in shifting paradigm of email but is now focusing mainly on distribution, upkeep, and improvement of it’s VPN service, Bitmask.  Bitmask is partnering with Riseup Black and Calyx (and hopefully other trustworthy projects) to expand access to free, psuedonymized web traffic with ease.

Here’re a few links Kali sent my way for sharing and further investigation:

The song for this episode was “Crashing The System” by ¡Tchkung! from the album Post World Handbook.

 

A Jailhouse Lawyer Speaks About #PrisonStrike 2018

A Jailhouse Lawyer Speaks About #PrisonStrike 2018

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This week, we feature three segments. First, we’ll feature a statement about recent doxing of a number of anti-racists in the Asheville area by far-right keyboard warriors.

After that, we feature an interview with Dee, an anonymous incarcerated organizer affiliated with Jailhouse Lawyers Speak. In this conversation we ask about the effectiveness of the #August21 2018 Nationwide Prisoner Strike, the push to move prisoners under storm threat as these increase under climate change, repression and changes in response to the strike, mail limitations in PA prisons, standardization of increased security in Ohio, outside support and organizing, critiques of the methods of NPS2018, and more. Check our show notes for links to more info concerning the strike.

If prisoners want to communicate with and/or join JLS, Dee suggests in some words near the end of the show that they reach out to:

Jailhouse Lawyers Speak
P.O. Box 1076
Knightdale, NC 27545

And you can find JLS on fedbook or twitter to keep up with their organizing

Hambach Forest Updates

In our final section of the show, you’ll hear a report by audio comrades in Germany about the recent resistance to the destruction of the Hambach Forest by authorities. The clearing of the ancient forest is to create the largest open-pit lignite coal mine in Europe on behalf of the corporation RWE, which sells to Netherlands, Germany & the UK. Lignite has a carbon content of around 60-70%, has a low energy yield, and is responsible for 1/3 of CO2 emissions in Germany. This segment shows up in the November 2018 episode of B(A)DNews, Angry Voices from Around The World from the A-Radio Network, of which we’re a proud member. Keep an eye on our podcast stream and website for a link to this episode coming out in the next couple of days.

Local Doxxings

Within the last week, over 15 people were doxxed by white supremacists in our community. Here is most of a collective statement released a day or two after the fact by some of those folks:

They’ve targeted more than twenty people they believe are involved in anti-racist organizing in North Carolina. They’ve posted information such as our home addresses, places of work, family members, license plates, social media profiles–whatever information they could find. They seem to be fixating on trans and nonbinary people in particular, and delight in trying to deadname and misgender us whenever possible. Some of us, and some of our family members, have received harassing messages.

They wrote about us like it’s some big secret that we oppose fascism, that we oppose racism, that we oppose all forms of bigotry and oppression. It’s not a secret. We weren’t hiding. We are not ashamed.

This isn’t a plea for sympathy. Our friends and immediate community have been amazing. Rather, this is a message to let you know that if you ever find yourself targeted by neo-Nazis and the far right, you are not alone. None of us need to face this rising tide of fascist scum alone. We have each other.

Robert Bowers, the Pittsburgh Synagogue shooter, actively and publicly chatted with alt-right trolls who had doxxed anti-racist activists. He even discussed violence against anti-racists in our region. This is probably a good time to think seriously about your online security and that of your family members and friends. But staying safe isn’t just a matter of changing your Facebook settings or making your Instagram private. It’s a matter of us showing up for each other. Of us not letting them intimidate us, not letting them isolate us. Not letting them stop us from our work. Especially when the work is stopping fascism.

To read the full statement, you can visit https://ashevillesolidarity.tumblr.com/ , where you can also see a list of bands and businesses which have been included in the current harassment. And of course, there are ways to donate and send support!

For an article about this (released just as our radio show was airing), including a statement by Firestorm Books contextualizing the specific harassment they’ve received, you can visit The Asheville Blade, which you can donate to here! To support Firestorm Books, our local anarchist community space and bookstore, you can join their Community Sustainer’s Program or leave them a positive review on Facebook, Yelp, wherever you can.

Additionally, for a really excellent walk through of how to help prevent this kind of thing happening to you or your crew, you can visit the Smiling Face Collective guide to preventing doxxing. This site can be easily adapted into an interactive workshop, because let’s face it, wiping your presence off the internet is a tedious, upsetting, and grueling process which is designed to wear you down. It’s always better to do this in groups! You can write to us about your experiences with internet hygiene, good, bad, or whatever, at tfsradioshow@protonmail.com

Rural Organizing Against Racism Benefit

For those in the Western NC area, there will be a Fall Fundraiser to benefit rural organizing and resilience on Friday November 30th at 6pm at the Marshall Container Co. which is located at 10 South Main Street, Marshall, NC. The event will center around a cornbread and chili dinner and will include several surprise musical guests!

Support Anti-Fascist Protestors in Philly

And finally, if you are in the position to donate to those injured yesterday fighting the Proud Boys in Philly and elsewhere, you can go to this rally.org page. Remember that if you donate to do so anonymously!

. … . ..

Playlist here.

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!

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: #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: #3 (GPS safer practices)

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In perfect timing for holiday driving many will be doing in the U.S., we’re releasing episode 3 of Error451, The Final Straw’s occasionally weekly tech security podcast with William Budington. This episode is about GPS navigation on mobile devices and ways to use it without disclosing your information to service providers.

Oh, hand here’s a link to one of those Motherboard chat logs about Mr. Robot.

If you have ideas for topics you’d like to hear discussed or researched, send us an email at thefinalstrawradio@riseup.net.