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Tag: tech


Increasing numbers of ‘terror suspects’ are being arrested on the basis of online and CCTV surveillance data. Authorities claim they act in the public interest, but does this intense surveillance keep us safer?

“I woke up to pounding on my door”, says Andrej Holm, a sociologist from the Humboldt University. In what felt like a scene from a movie, he was taken from his Berlin home by armed men after a systematic monitoring of his academic research deemed him the probable leader of a militant group. After 30 days in solitary confinement, he was released without charges. Across Western Europe and the USA, surveillance of civilians has become a major business. With one camera for every 14 people in London and drones being used by police to track individuals, the threat of living in a Big Brother state is becoming a reality. At an annual conference of hackers, keynote speaker Jacob Appelbaum asserts, “to be free of suspicion is the most important right to be truly free”. But with most people having a limited understanding of this world of cyber surveillance and how to protect ourselves, are our basic freedoms already being lost?

(Source: Boing Boing)


Malware aficionado Daniel White collects vintage computer viruses, infects his machines and records the results for his Youtube channel.

“This channel’s main purpose is to entertain users with the effects of (mainly older) pieces of malware, while educating them as to how they work. No, I will not send you any malware shown in any video, regardless of whether it is considered “harmless” or not. Malware is not a toy and additionally, it is against the YouTube terms of service to distribute it.”

Via Nerdcore.

I don’t know why I find this (hacking etc.) as interesting as I do. Perhaps it’s because I can’t shake the idea that when a computer becomes an indispensable extension of one’s mind, an extension of one’s identity, these kind of acts can become a form of psychic burglary. How easily a stranger on the other side of the world can whisper occult words into the hallows of your home and in the course of breaking your machines, erase pieces of you. Pieces that you just might not ever be able to recover.

Bytes to vapor. Ghosthood. Removal from the system.

And then, of course, there are the dinks who just want to spray paint day glow slogans all over the walls and shit in your bed while watching your filing cabinets burn.

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Hound Dog Bug Detector And Phone Sweep Unit, 1950’s/1960’s

The Hound Dog Bug Detector And Phone Sweep was state of the art portable countermeasures for the 1960’s. If you owned a set, almost every detective agency in town wanted to see it and “barrow them.” They were made by R. B. Clifton and cost what would be about $2000.00 for the set by today’s standards. The Hound Dog was a portable RF bug detector which is shown on the left. The Phone Sweep was a tone sweeper that would let you remotely sweep a phone to turn on any hidden microphones which the unit could then detect. This was state-of-the-art countermeasures for the 1960’s. There were many countermeasures services that offered remote tone sweeping of telephone lines in these days. There were some agencies that even offered monthly remote tone phone sweeping services for a monthly fee.

Via Spy & Private-Eye Museum.

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According to some reports, over 740 police officers were injured in the violent riots that broke out on May Day, 1952 in Tokyo, Japan. Many police officers were injured while simply trying to take photographs of the protesters and as a result, authorities demanded a camera that would be easy to aim without raising it to the eye. The Mamiya “Fast Action Camera” was their answer. Thirty units were delivered to Osaka police headquarters in 1954 but in the trails surrounding the riots concern was raised that the Fast Action Cameras could be confused with real weapons, frightening future subjects with unpredictable results (ie. hurling stones at the photographers), and thusly, the whole idea was scrapped and the pistol cameras were never put into any real on-the-street use.

One of these turned up on E-Bay a few years ago – the asking price? $25,000. (Via)

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