DHS is expanding its National Biometrics Database to Hold Details on More than 500 Million People, Including Many US Citizens

You think Big Brother isn’t watching YOU? Guess again. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security obviously is jealous of the way China tracks its own citizens. Now DHS is copying China’s methods.

A $95 million contract (!) has been awarded to Northrop Grumman that envisages two stages of implementation, reported here by Defense Daily:

“Increment 1 of HART is scheduled to take 18 months to complete and includes migrating the current biometric capabilities of IDENT [the current Automated Biometric Identification System used by the DHS]. These include storage and matching of fingerprint, face and iris images, as well as latent fingerprint matching, a new data architecture, and a new system development and testing environment. IDENT has limited face and iris matching capabilities.”

Also from an article in the Privacy News Online web site:

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Data Shredder for Mac 2017 Offers Military Grade Data Deletion

Miami-based security solutions company, ProtectStar today announced Data Shredder for Mac 2017, their new military grade data deletion tool for macOS computers. The app securely and efficiently deletes data using methods that meet and exceed government, military, and industry standards. Users simply drag-and-drop files, folders, or drives to the app and press the “Shred” button. Data Shredder then completely eliminates any chance for data reconstruction, even by government agencies.

Data Shredder for Mac 2017 sells for $19.90.

The new Data Shredder for Mac 2017 joins several other, related products that have been available from ProtectStar for some time, including:

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Online Security 101: Tips for Protecting Your Privacy from Hackers and Spies

Zack Whittaker has published an article that perhaps should be required reading for everyone before the purchase of their first computers. Whittaker writes:

“Privacy is what sets us apart from the animals. It’s also what sets many countries and citizens apart from dictatorships and despots. People often don’t think about their rights until they need them — whether it’s when they’re arrested at a protest or pulled over for a routine traffic stop.

“Surveillance is also a part of life, and it’s getting progressively more invasive. Government eavesdropping is increasing, carried out in wider secrecy, and it’s becoming far more localized.”

There is a lot more at: http://zd.net/2r78Q1Q.

5 Ways Your Security Is at Risk in the Office

Dan Price has written an article that I will suggest should be required reading for anyone who uses an employer’s computer(s). 5 Ways Your Security Is at Risk in the Office at http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/ways-security-at-risk-office outlines some risks you should be thinking about.

I especially agree with a recommendation near the end of the article: “don’t keep any personal data on your employer’s network.”

Again, the article is available at: http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/ways-security-at-risk-office.

Facial Recognition Database used by the FBI is Out of Control

Yes, Big Brother is closely watching you, me, and everyone else, as if we didn’t know that already.

The House oversight committee claims the FBI’s facial recognition database is out of control, noting that “no federal law controls this technology” and “no court decision limits it.” At last week’s House oversight committee hearing, politicians and privacy campaigners presented several “damning facts” about the databases. “About 80% of photos in the FBI’s network are non-criminal entries, including pictures from driver’s licenses and passports,” reports The Guardian. “The algorithms used to identify matches are inaccurate about 15% of the time, and are most likely to misidentify black people than white people.”

Details are available on The Guardian at: http://bit.ly/2mN5iDi.

Macintosh Users: Encrypt and Hide Your Private Files with Hider 2

If you have something you would like to keep secret, whether it is your income tax return, your bet list you give to your bookie, or your wife’s or girlfriend’s (or both!) sizes needed for Christmas gifts, Hider 2 is the application you need. It keeps your data locked up and protected with password protection. Nobody gets into the app or your data without your password. It also optionally hides your file(s) and folder(s) so that they are invisible to Macintosh Finder, Spotlight, and other Mac applications. Family members who share your computer or online spies who access it remotely will not find or decode files that have been encrypted and hidden with Hider 2.

In short, as mentioned on the application’s web site, “Hider 2 is the Fort Knox of digital storage. Anything and everything you hide with Hider 2 is tightly locked up and hidden, making it ultra-secure.”

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