Tag: eavesdropping

Turn off your microphone – that web page may be listening

eavesdropping.jpgEveryone is become more and more aware of threats to their privacy, via their PCs. People are insulted when a big organization invades their online life – delivering access to more customized product and service advertisements just doesn’t cut it as an excuse anymore.

On that note, I don’t know what to make of this: Google is purportedly releasing a service that will listen to background noise in your workspace, and deliver relevant ads to you based on a fingerprint made of the noise.

Again, I just don’t know what to think here, at least for the outside world. Personally, I won’t be downloading any software that helps this process, and if it becomes a defacto standard for web pages, I’ll certainly be turning my microphone off (web page visit blocking at the router level notwithstanding).

***UPDATE***

I wonder if senior citizens, more aware than ever of internet security risks, use computer microphones.

Now there are two great ways to keep calls private

First, someone noted that Skype technology possessed pretty strong encryption. And while it is only a matter of time before folks crack Skype encryption (or Skype cracks from lawsuits), in the tech sector someone else is always finding a new and better way to do things.

Next up in the “protect your phone conversations” department – Zfone, the latest creation by PGP whiz Phil Zimmerman. Wired calls it “a pretty good way to to foil the NSA”, and coming from Zimmerman, I wouldn’t doubt it. PGP was on the ITAR list for a while, and if my memory serves me correctly, Mr. Zimmerman even got a bit of heat for creating PGP in the first place.

PGP has been available as a commercial app for sometime. I’ve been using it since my Windows 2000 days to secure disk data. Steal my laptop or backup drive and you’ll find it pretty much useless for anything other than hardware resale. It wouldn’t surprise me if Zfone is hardened the same way.

So much for all that wiretapping political rigmarole.
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