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Friday, November 21, 2014

Journalist Are Under Attack

In his latest Intercept piece Glenn Greenwald considers the recent defeat of the Senate's USA Freedom Act.

 He remarks that governments "don't walk around trying to figure out how to limit their own power." 

Instead of appealing to an allegedly irrelevant Congress Greenwald advocates utilizing the power of consumer demand to address the failings of cyber security.

 Specifically he argues that companies care about their bottom line and that the trend of customers refusing to tolerate insecure products will force companies to protect user privacy, implement encryption, etc. 

All told Greenwald's argument is very telling: that society can rely on corporate interests for protection.

 Is it true that representative government is a lost cause and that lawmakers would never knowingly yield authority? 

There are people who think that advising citizens to devolve into consumers is a dubious proposition.

Human rights charity Amnesty International has released Detekt, a tool that finds and removes known government spyware programs. 

Describing the free software as the first of its kind, Amnesty commissioned the tool from prominent German computer security researcher and open source advocate Claudio Guarnieri, aka 'nex

While acknowledging that the only sure way to prevent government surveillance of huge dragnets of individuals is legislation, Marek Marczynski of Amnesty nevertheless called the tool (downloadable here) a useful countermeasure versus spooks.

 According to the app's instructions, it operates similarly to popular malware or virus removal suites, though systems must be disconnected from the Internet prior to it scanning.

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