The CIA’s Secret History in 12 Million Pages Is Now Online

Here is a bit of reading that ay interest you: the CIA is finally putting 12 million declassified pages on the web for all to see. The documents were released under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) act. You can view them at https://www.cia.gov/library/readingroom/document-type/crest.

The online site contains millions of documents, which date from the 1940s to 1990s and are wide-ranging, covering everything from Nazi war crimes to mind-control experiments to the role the CIA played in overthrowing governments in Chile and Iran.

The records were declassified under a 1995 executive order issued by then-President Bill Clinton. His order made public secret government documents at least 25 years old that were also of “historical value.” In 2000 the CIA finally complied — at least with the letter of the law — by providing access at the National Archives. Examining the documents required a personal visit.

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The Photocopier in Your Office May Be the Biggest Security Problem You Have

Does your company keep sensitive data — Social Security numbers, credit reports, account numbers, health records, or business secrets? If so, then you’ve probably instituted safeguards to protect that information, whether it’s stored in computers or on paper. That’s not only good business, but may be required by law. However, your company may be unknowingly exposing the same information to hackers and thieves worldwide.

If the data on your copiers gets into the wrong hands, it could lead to fraud and identity theft. Many people do not realize that information from many modern copiers is easily hacked.

You can read more in the Federal Trade Commission’s article, Copier Data Security: A Guide for Businesses, at https://goo.gl/pXQ6On.

Notorious iPhone Hackers Get Hacked

Cellebrite, an Israeli firm that supplies “forensics tools” to agencies around the world, including US law enforcement, appears to have suffered a serious hack. Among other things, the hacked data reportedly shows that the Israeli firm has been selling its technology to regimes known for their human rights abuses, including Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, and Russia.

The company is best known for its rumored involvement in helping the FBI crack the San Bernandino shooter’s iPhone.

Details may be found at: https://goo.gl/sAFspg.

Onion Browser (Tor) for iOS is Now Free

The Onion Browser allows for privacy when surfing the Web with your iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch. It is an iOS app that is loosely similar to the popular Tor browser that is available for Windows, Macintosh, and Linux. The app has always been popular but recently exploded to thousands of downloads recorded every day. The results of the recent US presidential election might have had something to do with this decision.

Now the web browser is available to everyone free of charge.

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NSA Loosens Its Privacy Rules

national_security_agencyAs the privacy and civil liberty community braces for Donald Trump’s impending control of US intelligence agencies like the NSA, the Justice Department has signed off on new rules to let the NSA share more of its unfiltered intelligence with its fellow agencies—including those with a domestic law enforcement agenda.

The rules allow the agency to loosen the standards for what raw surveillance data it can hand off to the other 16 American intelligence agencies, which include not only the CIA and military intelligence branches, but also the FBI and the Drug Enforcement Administration.

In short, your private information just became even less private than it ever was before. This is happening as most of the European countries are INCREASING the controls on privacy of personal information.

Details may be found at https://goo.gl/AIzHTQ.

Use BitMessage for Secure Messages

Normal email is not secure! With the thousands of malevolent hackers around the world and the rise of widespread government monitoring programs, a secure email service is needed by many individuals, corporations, and others.

A number of companies offer secure versions of email services for additional fees, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. The one drawback of all of them is that the user is dependent on the company that writes the software and provides the service. Do you trust the company’s security? Is their software really secure?

I suspect the answer is “Yes” to both of those questions although I do not know of any method of proving it. Without such assurance, a provable secure alternative that does not depend on any company or any other person for security is a very attractive offering.

One alternative is to use a service that does not depend on email companies, does not use the normal email networks, and uses open source software that is available for security examinations by anyone. It is also immune to most big tech companies’ outages that disrupt email or other messaging services due to software bugs or network failures. In addition, it is invisible to the prying eyes of hackers or government spies. Finally, it appears to be 100% legal, at least for now.

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