Category Archives for Privacy

Total Surveillance

Through the total insanity of the $19 billion purchase of WhatsApp, Facebook will be enabled to conduct total surveillance of users. FB will gain access to hundreds of millions of phone numbers, making data interpolation easier than ever. This is 1984 coming true. Private conversation will be monitored, analyzed and mined for the benefit of advertisers. And it will all be passed on to the NSA, who will have priority access to your most intimate family conversations.

The nightmare is about to be completed. The sheep are silently marching on when they should hear the knives whirring.

Another Stealth Move

Facebook is again ignoring and obviating users’ privacy settings by making every user searchable with the Graph Search Function. The sheep don’t care, as usual.

FB + NSA = Total Surveillance

The NSA augments data collected by total snooping of phone (1 billion records per day), email, GPS and other data with data sent by Facebook to the NSA:

The agency can augment the communications data with material from public, commercial and other sources, including bank codes, insurance information, Facebook profiles, passenger manifests, voter registration rolls and GPS location information, as well as property records and unspecified tax data, according to the documents. They do not indicate any restrictions on the use of such “enrichment” data, and several former senior Obama administration officials said the agency drew on it for both Americans and foreigners.

Now we total, perennial, persistent surveillance of everyone:

A top-secret document titled “Better Person Centric Analysis” describes how the agency looks for 94 “entity types,” including phone numbers, e-mail addresses and IP addresses. In addition, the N.S.A. correlates 164 “relationship types” to build social networks and what the agency calls “community of interest” profiles, using queries like “travelsWith, hasFather, sentForumMessage, employs.”

The scale is massive, the snooping yields about  60 records per U.S.-citizen per day:

The overall volume of metadata collected by the N.S.A. is reflected in the agency’s secret 2013 budget request to Congress. The budget document, disclosed by Mr. Snowden, shows that the agency is pouring money and manpower into creating a metadata repository capable of taking in 20 billion “record events” daily and making them available to N.S.A. analysts within 60 minutes.

Facebook and Kids

Kids risk being early targets of advertisers and governments, with no chance of every living in anonymity, thanks to pervasive face recognition:

Last week, Facebook updated its privacy policy again. It reads in part: “We are able to suggest that your friend tag you in a picture by scanning and comparing your friend’s pictures to information we’ve put together from your profile pictures and the other photos in which you’ve been tagged.” Essentially, this means that with each photo upload, Kate’s parents are, unwittingly, helping Facebook to merge her digital and real worlds. Algorithms will analyze the people around Kate, the references made to them in posts, and over time will determine Kate’s most likely inner circle.

The dumb sheep are leading their innocent offspring to the slaughter.

Tracking Riot

Before the NSA disclosures this seemed rather harmless, as Facebook data was supposedly more or less private, i.e. not readily available to the government. Turns out, now government spooks can track you anywhere, past, present and future, because Facebook and other services pass on real-time data to them:

The U.S. government can track where you are, who you’re with, what you look like, and where you’ll likely be next thanks to a tool created by defense contractor Raytheon.

The tool, called Riot, or rapid information overlay technology, looks at your Twitter, Facebook, Gowalla, and Foursquare to determine these different data points about you, according to the Guardian, which procured a video showing off Riot. It was created out of a partnership between the U.S. government and Raytheon, though the company says it has not been sold to anyone yet.


Based on your location data, Riot can create graphs that show not only where you check in, but how often, what days of the week, and what times you most frequent that place. In the video, a Raytheon employee Brian Urch used his colleague Nick as an example. He was able to see that Nick goes to the gym most often during June on Mondays at 6 a.m.


Facebook Deletes Anti-PRISM Rally Call

Obama_scan_scamFB has deleted a call for a rally against the NSA-led, Facebook-supported snooping program called PRISM in Germany and deleted the organizers’ account. So: Facebook gathers your data (including your entire browsing history), passes everything it knows about you and your friends to the government, and stifles any opposition against it in violation of free speech. If you’re not part of the sheep herd, it’s time to delete your account.

Here’s the organizers’ twitter account:

CIA in Facebook Privacy Settings

It’s CIA priority always with the new Facebook privacy settings:

Facebook CIA Privacy Settings


Facebook App Hell

One user experience with a Facebook app (Schoolfeed):

It is precisely these kinds of garbage tactics that app makers should avoid. Not only does it make me despise your service, it sheds ill light on Facebook, as well.

A user comments:

I got an e-mail from a friend today asking me how I know about her school from Japan.

Schoolfeed sent her a message UNDER MY NAME, about her school.

I have since found out that they’ve spammed several of my Facebook friends with messages UNDER MY NAME. I deleted my Schoolfeed account and will NEVER go to their site again. NONE of the messages showed up in my Facebook history so I have to laboriously go to each friend’s home page to find out if they got any messages from me.

Facebook are happy to make a buck and will never answer an email with complaints about these stealth app tactics.

The Social Graph Knows No Secrets

A scientific study into the implications of the social graph. It’s not the information you “share”, it’s the graph that reveals everything about you. Key quotes:

The increasing amount of personal information that can be gleaned by computer programs that track how people use Facebook has been revealed by an extensive academic study.

Such programs can discern undisclosed private information such as Facebook users’ sexuality, drug-use habits and even whether their parents separated when they were young, according to the study by the University of Cambridge academics.

In one of the biggest studies of its kind, scientists from the university’s psychometrics team and a Microsoft-funded research centre analyzed data from 58,000 Facebook users to predict traits and other information that were not provided in their profiles.

The algorithms were 88 per cent accurate in predicting male sexual orientation, 95 per cent for race and 80 per cent for religion and political leanings. Personality types and emotional stability were also predicted with accuracy ranging from 62-75 per cent.

Facebook declined to comment.

The study highlights growing concerns about social networks and how data trails can be mined for sensitive information, even when people attempt to keep information about themselves private. Less than 5 per cent of users predicted to be gay, for example, were connected with explicitly gay groups.

Michal Kosinksi, one of the report’s authors, told the Financial Times that the university’s techniques could easily be replicated by companies to infer personal attributes a person did not wish to share, such as sexual orientation or political views: “We used very simple and generic methods. Marketing companies and internet companies could spend much more time and resources, and hence get much higher accuracy than we did.”

FB Makes Most Hated List Again

Facebook is the top non-utility company and number four on the “10 Most Hated Companies in America List for 2012”.

Facebook has had customer satisfaction issues for some time, but recently did a particularly good job of alienating a portion of its nearly one billion members. According to the ACSI, Facebook is one of the most strongly disliked American companies, beaten out only by three public utilities companies. This comes in part from the company’s continuing user privacy concerns. Mark Zuckerberg’s company did not help itself in this regard in 2012, after it announced that it had the right to republish any and all photos in the accounts of its Instagram users.

Surely most of the sheep won’t mind getting shorn and Zuckerberg will continue to find new ways to shear them. Congrats!