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Government Privacy The Internet

Online, You're Being Watched At All Times; Act Accordingly. 299

An anonymous reader writes "Kaspersky Lab's Internet security expert Costin Raiu discusses internet surveillance claims that you should assume that you're being watched at all times. The article reports that Raiu conducts his online activities under the assumption that his movements are being monitored by government hackers. Raiu: 'I operate under the principle that my computer is owned by at least three governments' ... 'this is not meant as a scare tactic, but a rather as a statement of fact that should now be the default setting for everyone.'"
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Online, You're Being Watched At All Times; Act Accordingly.

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    • by Soulskill ( 1459 ) Works for Slashdot on Sunday February 09, 2014 @10:54PM (#46207205)

      We have plans to implement direct linking to comments. It's been on our to-do list since before the recent expansion of the beta test. It's one of several features we simply haven't had time to implement yet.

      Also, the way in which comments are displayed is still a work-in-progress as well. There will be improvements.

      • Re: (Score:2, Troll)

        So, you lied. That's an ALPHA, you fool.

        • Please be nice VortexCortex. I for one thank Soulskill for that response. And I thank you VortexCortex for a comment you made long ago about how we may possibly once again in the future be able to trust our computers (open source hardware designs shipped with the hardware, allowing users to do things such as compare power draw under simulation and reality to ensure extra hardware/software isn't running alongside the published design). And Soulskill, I'll take your word and start playing a little nicer.

      • by martas ( 1439879 )
        For what it's worth, there were aspects to beta that I really liked upon briefly looking at it, like a cleaner interface and more obvious "submission" link. If you reduce the whitespace and make commenting more robust, I'd be glad to switch. Also for what it's worth, I hope you guys aren't letting all the venomous hatred get to you. With the recent "Flappy Bird" mess, I've come to appreciate how much devs can be affected by unabashed user rage.
      • I appreciate the response, but I just don't think "we haven't had time to implement it yet" cuts it for important features which are working in the current UI. The obvious solution is to wait until there is feature parity, then start beta testing. So, while VortexCortex's response (http://yro.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=4771749&cid=46207371) could have been nicer, I'd say it's accurate. A UI replacement just isn't ready for beta testing before it has feature parity with what it's replacing. And it's f
        • by Wolfrider ( 856 )

          > A UI replacement just isn't ready for beta testing before it has feature parity with what it's replacing.

          --Please call up the Yahoo developers and shout this at them, they freaking ruined Yahoo email a few months ago. Kthxbai

  • I can see this being valid when banking or doing a search on 'ambassador reception' posting revenge sex photos about your ex, but what about when you're just being a dick in general? Should those recognized members of society care as well? Does the govt. have an anti-prick squad yet? You know, something besides the wonks looking for donkey punch culprits.
    • by Luckyo ( 1726890 )

      In pre-internet society, those things were curtailed very efficiently by peer pressure.

      Your case is actually one that is being argued against internet anonymity.

      • In pre-internet society, those things were curtailed very efficiently by peer pressure.

        Your case is actually one that is being argued against internet anonymity.

        I think you mean acrimony. That and you may have had entirely different peers than some of us :) Sorry about your lunch money...

        • by Luckyo ( 1726890 )

          I just didn't grow up a "US nerd", but a "Nordic nerd" (no lunch money needed - school lunches are free for all students up until university level) and I was also a guy who never scored less than 9 (4-10 scoring system) in PE. So I didn't have any of the problems most of you US nerds seem to have grown with, and I also seem to lack most of the insecurities which have their roots in that. I do get what you are saying though, and I still disagree. I think most people have strong destructive impulses, and inte

  • Dear NSA (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Nothing happened today to me personally, just for your records.

    Signed someone not important at all.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      You miss the point. It does not MATTER if you are "important" or not. Seriously consider the implications of a total surveillance state.

      • Re:Dear NSA (Score:5, Funny)

        by just_a_monkey ( 1004343 ) on Sunday February 09, 2014 @08:19PM (#46206399)

        Finally, we'll all be safe. Finally.

      • Re:Dear NSA (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Dunbal ( 464142 ) * on Sunday February 09, 2014 @08:19PM (#46206407)
        Exactly. It's not the fact that you may or may not be watched right now, it's the fact that everything you do and say can and will be used against you in the future whenever it's convenient, politically or otherwise. I keep quoting this, maybe one day people will actually realize what it means: "If you give me six lines written by the hand of the most honest of men, I will find something in them which will hang him." --Richelieu
        • As I suggest here: http://www.pdfernhout.net/on-d... [pdfernhout.net]
          "Our biggest advantage is that no one takes us seriously. :-)
                  And our second biggest advantage is that our communications are monitored, which provides a channel by which we can turn enemies into friends. :-)
                  And our third biggest advantage is we have no assets, and so are not a profitable target and have nothing serious to fight over amongst ourselves. :-)
                  Let's hope those advantages all hold true for a long time. :-) ...
              As I see it, there is a race going on. The race is between two trends. On the one hand, the internet can be used to profile and round up dissenters to the scarcity-based economic status quo (thus legitimate worries about privacy and something like TIA). On the other hand, the internet can be used to change the status quo in various ways (better designs, better science, stronger social networks advocating for things like a basic income, all supported by better structured arguments like with the Genoa II approach) to the point where there is abundance for all and rounding up dissenters to mainstream economics is a non-issue because material abundance is everywhere. So, as Bucky Fuller said, whether is will be Utopia or Oblivion will be a touch-and-go relay race to the very end. While I can't guarantee success at the second option of using the internet for abundance for all, I can guarantee that if we do nothing, the first option of using the internet to round up dissenters (or really, anybody who is different, like was done using IBM computers in WWII Germany) will probably prevail. So, I feel the global public really needs access to these sorts of sensemaking tools in an open source way, and the way to use them is not so much to "fight back" as to "transform and/or transcend the system". As Bucky Fuller said, you never change thing by fighting the old paradigm directly; you change things by inventing a new way that makes the old paradigm obsolete. ...
              As with that notion of "mutual security", the US intelligence community needs to look beyond seeing an intelligence tool as just something proprietary that gives a "friendly" analyst some advantage over an "unfriendly" analyst. Instead, the intelligence community could begin to see the potential for a free and open source intelligence tool as a way to promote "friendship" across the planet by dispelling some of the gloom of "want and ignorance" (see the scene in "A Christmas Carol" with Scrooge and a Christmas Spirit) that we still have all too much of around the planet. So, beyond supporting legitimate US intelligence needs (useful with their own closed sources of data), supporting a free and open source intelligence tool (and related open datasets) could become a strategic part of US (or other nation's) "diplomacy" and constructive outreach."

      • Re:Dear NSA (Score:5, Insightful)

        by c0lo ( 1497653 ) on Sunday February 09, 2014 @11:54PM (#46207517)

        You miss the point. It does not MATTER if you are "important" or not.
        Seriously consider the implications of a total surveillance state.

        As someone that grew under a totalitarian regime in Eastern Europe, I can tell you it's ugly like hell.
        It doesn't matter that:
        * then, you wouldn't know if the other person would snitch on you; and...
        * now you wouldn't know if the computer/phone of the other's person or the ones you own/use would snitch on you (might as well add the nowadays almost ubiquitous CCTV-es to equations, possibly all equipped tomorrow with microphones);
        in time - quite quickly - the entire fabric of society evolves to "by default, don't trust anyone".
        Can you imagine a life where, no matter what you do, you need to use "steganography" (even when talking face-to-face)? Well, this is how it is in a total surveillance state.

        What are the consequences, you ask? The most immediate and with the highest impact:
        * one is likely to spend enormous amount of effort in balancing between "getting a message across" and "flying under the radar" (expressing the message in an innocuous way).
        * the sense of community is broken down (can't build meaningful relations while in a permanent "don't trust" state of mind)
        Even letting aside the economy mismanagement, the two above alone would be just enough to explain why the former "communist" regimes failed: too much effort wasted in "being paranoid" by everybody and too less "organic social efficiency".

    • say you are a high schooler, you post some nudes, or send them to your boyfriend girlfriend.

      Now lets pretend its 30 years later and you want to run for office, well guess what the other party, or people who want to run against you in your own part will have access to that information to use against you.
      • If you're unashamed of your past (harmless) behaviour it's harder for people to "use it against you".
        • Re:Dear NSA (Score:5, Interesting)

          by tftp ( 111690 ) on Sunday February 09, 2014 @11:53PM (#46207513) Homepage

          If you're unashamed of your past (harmless) behaviour it's harder for people to "use it against you".

          This is not how it works. Not even close.

          Political operatives dig something up - often something entirely harmless, something that neither you nor any of normal people would even consider to be shameful - and they blow it up until it crushes you. Take, for example, "Dean Scream," or Swiftboating of Kerry, among many other. The defining characteristic of such attacks is that they are, generally, dishonest, and influence the uneducated audience, forcing the candidate to take defensive posture - which never helps. The attack itself may be an outright lie, or a lie constructed upon some foundation of a real event, or a real event that is completely misrepresented.

          Besides, a person who has nothing to be ashamed of in his past is either a saint or a narcissist. I am not aware of *anyone* who'd manage to live from cradle to grave without making an unfortunate mistake somewhere.

    • It's not what happened to you that matters. It matters who you know, how often you talk to them, and who they talk to. Someone else will decide what that leads them to believe about you.

  • Fuck Beta (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward

    The Slashdot content/comment quality is dropping fast.

    Also, Fuck Beta.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by buswolley ( 591500 )
      Beta is a government spying prevention program....Who could stand to look at people comments on the Beta site?

      FuckBeta. LongLiveAlpha.

  • BOYCOTT STARTS NOW (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Join the Slashcott --- 10 February through 17 February GMT, 2014

    Fuck Beta!

  • A Perfect Defense (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Jim Sadler ( 3430529 ) on Sunday February 09, 2014 @08:05PM (#46206313)
    Anyone accused of using a computer for illegal purposes now has a perfect defense. After all if credentialed experts believe that computers are controlled by the numerous people of several governments then there has to be hard proof that the doer was the one who took those actions on his PC.
  • Kaspersky is a horrid software. Hard to uninstall, lots of problems in a domain environment. We thankfull ditched it this year after multiple screwups last year including when client updates caused a significant precentange of machines to slow down or not talk to the network. Took them two months to fix that.

    So I am not surprised if he is admitting in a round-a-bout way, that they are hacked by the NSA. You load spyware into products, it causes problems - more bugs. I wouldn't be surprised.

  • and people who own the join offering it are the ones on the hook.

  • by DoninIN ( 115418 ) <don.middendorf@gmail.com> on Sunday February 09, 2014 @08:12PM (#46206369) Homepage
    We started off with at least the half hearted assumption that this was the case, then the web and the net went mainstream. Society assumed our paranoia was irrational and silly. It might have been for a bit, but it clearly wasn't in the long run. One of the assumptions we made in the interim and that many folks still make is that, "There aren't enough watchers to watch every one of us" or "They might have access to my e-mail, text and data but they don't have enough people to read each and every one of those things" because we the people society at large, just don't get technology, even those of us who do, Watson super-computing and the Google search algorithm can be applied to you and I our behavior associations and the possibility that we will do something bad in the future... BUT brothers and sisters nevermind that, think for a moment of the possibility that those in charge, or some of them, with access to the spying they might use this access to do something bad, like leak secret e-mails from a popular Governor, that show he closed a bridge, or those who work for him did, as some sort of act of dickery, and so we catch him lying about it, and thus remove the threat of him becoming president... Really... Don't tell me why he is in fact a dick.. he probably is, I could care less, the idea is those with access to the NSA cloud can decide who is in and who is out in terms of eligibility for admission to the public sphere.
    • those with access to the NSA cloud can decide who is in and who is out in terms of eligibility for admission to the public sphere

      Welcome to reality, please take your voting ballot and move to the second door on the right.

  • Yes well if we were all willful sheep who never question and always follow the herd, I'm sure some people would like that - it would make their job easy for them. Too bad some of those sheep just keep jumping the fence, huh?
  • by rts008 ( 812749 ) on Sunday February 09, 2014 @08:29PM (#46206477) Journal

    I've always treated 'online' the same as postcards.
    Anything else was/is naive, and this was apparent to anyone that actually understood networks, and 'online'.

    Where the problem stems from, is 'security solutions' being added in after the fact. It(the internet) was touted as 'the Information Highway' for a reason...it was.
    It was never touted as 'the Secure Information Highway', and when commercialization hit the 'Information Highway', that did not change.

    This subject(internet security) is the poster child of unintended consequences.

    There are ways of doing business/secure transactions with networks, but it seems no one wants to spend the effort or $$ required to do so.
    Until that attitude changes, this kind of 'news' will be a regular, ongoing event. Convenience will trump security anytime money is involved...look at history for supporting evidence.

  • FUCK BETA (Score:2, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward

    not even reading this article anymore jesus christ

  • by rueger ( 210566 ) on Sunday February 09, 2014 @08:50PM (#46206583) Homepage
    by emmagsachs (1024119) Alter Relationship on Sunday February 09, 2014 @12:58PM(#46205013) [slashdot.org] I have visited this website on a near-daily basis for over a decade. I have greatly benefited from its community, whether +5 Insightful or -1 Troll. It thus saddens me to watch Slashdot be changed into a bland, cookie-cutter news site, a la the present incarnations of Engadget and Digg. I am perhaps in the minority in this, but I kindly urge you to read this post, and others like it, and to consider joining the week-long Slashcott [slashcott.com] that begins on Feb 10th. I realize that posting off-topic comments such as this is disrupting the Slashdot experience for many of you, and I do apologize for it. But can you honestly say that the new Beta interface does not already disrupt Slashdot for all of us? These anti-Beta posts can quite rightly be viewed as "a series of shock slogans and mindless token tantrums", to borrow a phrase, but since we feel that we are ignored by Dice, this is the best that I, like many other slashdotters, could come up with.

    What company directs 25% of its users to a partially-working, not-ready-for-production website? Please realize that Beta will not have the features that we want, because they interfere with Dice's plans for Slashdot. Dice presents Slashdot to their advertisers as a "Social Media for B2B Technology" [slashdotmedia.com] platform. B2B - that's the reason Beta looks like a generic wordpress-based news site. To be sure, a large precentage of Slashdotters work in IT, but Slashdot is most certainly not a B2B site.

    Nevertheless, Dice is desperate to make money off of Slashdot, even at the cost of losing much of its current userbase. Turning Slashdot into a social platform for IT "decision makers" is a Haily Mary attempt to recoup the failed investment Dice made in buying Slashdot. As they have revealed in a press release [diceholdingsinc.com] detailing their performance in 2013, this acquisition has not lived up to their financial expectations:

    Slashdot Media was acquired to provide content and services that are important to technology professionals in their everyday work lives and to leverage that reach into the global technology community benefiting user engagement on the Dice.com site. The expected benefits have started to be realized at Dice.com. However, advertising revenue has declined over the past year and there is no improvement expected in the future financial performance of Slashdot Media's underlying advertising business. Therefore, $7.2 million of intangible assets and $6.3 million of goodwill related to Slashdot Media were reduced to zero.

    The new Beta interface is not the result of a superficial makeover. Keeping in mind that Dice felt confident enough to present it as the new face of Slashdot to 25% of its visitors, it is safe to say that the new commenting and moderation system is exactly how they intended it to be. It is a new design that deliberately cripples the one thing that makes Slashdot what it is today, viz. thebest commenting and moderation system online today. From the users' perspective, there is nothing wrong with Slashdot that demands gutting its foundations and dumping the one part of Slashdot we exactly like. As others have commented, this is an attempt to monetize /. at any any cost [slashdot.org], and its users be damned. Dice views its users, the ones who create the site [slashdot.org], as a passive audience. As such, it is interchangeable with its intended B2B crowd. We, the current users of Slashdot, are an obstacle in Dice's way.

    This is why they ignore the detailed feedback we have given them in the months since Beta was first revealed. This is also why they now disregard our grievances and complaints. Their claims of hearing us are a deliberate snow job. It is only pretense, since at the same time they openly admit that Classic will be cancelled soon [slashdot.org]:

    "Most importantly, we want
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by stackOVFL ( 1791898 )
      Guess I'll join you. See ya /.
  • by davecb ( 6526 ) <davec-b@rogers.com> on Sunday February 09, 2014 @08:51PM (#46206585) Homepage Journal

    This is a standard trope in every epic novel from middle-earth to outer space: the bad guys want you to hunker down. To hell with that!

    Smiert Spionam!

  • by TheloniousToady ( 3343045 ) on Sunday February 09, 2014 @09:16PM (#46206745)

    The article reports that Raiu conducts his online activities under the assumption that his movements are being monitored by government hackers.

    I recommend you begin to conduct all your online activities in such an empty, sugary sweet, and flavorless way that who have regularly surveilled you for years completely lose all interest in you and instead begin focusing their attention on other online targets. Let's call this strategy...I dunno..."Security by New Coke".

    • What you have said is interesting, however I am not yet convinced. I urge people to stay reasonable, and respect and honor their authorities.

      I think I've said this a thousand times, but it bears repeating; Moderation. Humility. Perseverance. Work hard and of course opportunity will come to you, sometime before you are 95 years old.

      Security is necessary, because those bad guys out there might not show us the respect and decency that our Security people do by treating us all like criminals. And no, I don't f

      • Darn, it looks like my circuitous slam on beta was a bit too subtle. I've been trying the artistic approach [slashdot.org] rather than the much more popular explicit/profane approach, which now seems a bit...shall we say..."overdone".

        That said, I think the New Coke analogy is apt. I remember when New Coke was first foisted on us. I felt that something which was "mine" (old Coke) had been stolen from me, even though it legally belonged to someone else, who had every right to withdraw their highly popular product from th

  • VPN services (Score:2, Offtopic)

    by neo8750 ( 566137 )
    So is there someone/place out there that runs checks on the VPN providers to be sure they arent just a honeypot ? If so where would one find such a place?
  • by kheldan ( 1460303 ) on Sunday February 09, 2014 @10:15PM (#46206997) Journal
    Turn off computer. Call and cancel internet service. Spend internet money on more books to read. /thread
    • 1. Computer has glued-in battery, can decide when it turns on or off with no obvious signs (other than generating heat, but full power isn't needed to spy)

      2. WWAN/cellular built into motherboard, doesn't need a paid account to spy on you

    • But All the local bookstores are now closed because of Amazon, that means I'll have to go to the public library and buy my books there. Wait, that means I'm using the Internet and I can't do that. I mean the UPS man will know what I've received packages, so he may be tracking me as well. Oh I can't check out books either because the Library is tracking me as well!

      The end of knowledge is upon us!

  • Fuck you, Uncle Sam! :-D
  • I'll do what I do and say what I say because I am who I am.

    And I don't give a rat's shiny fat ass whether the NSA or anyone else likes it or not. The NSA is just another potential hater. No big deal.

  • For example, I just drove 3 blocks to get some beer. I was seen by 1 traffic camera and several cameras at the store, and who knows how many other private cameras along the way. Think about it, even in your own neighborhood. As soon as you step out you door SMILE! You are on camera!
  • by Casandro ( 751346 ) on Monday February 10, 2014 @01:46AM (#46207905)

    A scared society is easy to control. If you are feeling constantly watched, you are less likely to start democratic processes.

    This change of behaviour is what governments want as it secures their place.

    Additionally it's not hackers who spy on people. They wouldn't do this as it conflicts with their moral beliefs. It's companies helping governments, and companies like Kaspersky.

    The statements of this company's CEO kinda sound like the wishlists of many governments.

    End to online anonymity, so political protest can be surveiled much more easily. (as was done with mobile phone users recently in the Ukraine)
    http://yro.slashdot.org/story/... [slashdot.org]

    Digital voting which is much easier to fake in a large scale way than democratic ways like pen and paper and impossible to check by the layperson.
    http://yro.slashdot.org/story/... [slashdot.org]

    And here he even advocates for "cyberwar", claiming that cyber weapons are somehow cleaner than traditional ones, completely ignoring the fact that such weapons mostly good against civilians as governments can easily have their own secure IT.
    http://it.slashdot.org/story/1... [slashdot.org]

  • Those of us raised by good parents have always felt that way. It's never been a problem.

  • This is far far beyond what we should just bear. Take the fucking government apart until they stop this behavior. Enough is enough.

  • Either hide everything or overload the systems by acting extremely suspiciously in everything you do?

  • If this is true which three Gubermints Owned Edward Snowden's PC?

No extensible language will be universal. -- T. Cheatham