Big Brother


NSA Finalizes $6.7 Billion in Classified Tech Contracts

 

23rd Oct 2018

After two years, the NSA finished rebidding its “Groundbreaker” program and is beginning work on a secretive new set of communications contracts.

The National Security Agency is quietly beginning work on a new series of three communications contracts valued at $6.7 billion.

Details are sparse because the classified contracts—collectively called Greenway—were secretly awarded to telecommunications giant AT&T and defense contractors General Dynamics and ManTech International over the past year. Redacted legal documents following a protest of one of the contracts in March indicate the NSA’s goal is to “technically evolve” its IT environment.

NSA’s Greenway program is a continuation of its classified Groundbreaker program, which dates back to then-NSA Director Michael Hayden’s decision to outsource the agency’s IT operations to industry.

At the time, Hayden said the contract would allow NSA to “refocus assets on the agency’s core missions of providing foreign signals intelligence and protecting U.S. national security-related information systems by turning over several information technology infrastructure services for industry’s purview.”

NSA awarded the first $5 billion Groundbreaker contract in 2001 to a joint alliance of contractors called the Eagle Alliance, led by Computer Science Corp., which became CSRA. The same Eagle Alliance companies, which included Northrop Grumman, held the business for well over a decade before the NSA decided to break the Groundbreaker program up into smaller pieces, resulting in Greenway.

 

 

 

 

source/Read more: https://www.nextgov.com/it-modernization/2018/10/nsa-finalizes-67-billion-classified-tech-contracts/152165/

Facebook bans Infowars for using ‘hate speech’ as Apple removes Alex Jones’ podcasts

4th August 2018

Facebook has shut down InfoWars’ page saying the conservative news outlet used hate speech. An editor at the website says the social media giant failed to tell it what the offending posts were.

InfoWars Editor-at-large Paul Joseph Watson said in a tweet that the account has been “permanently banned” for “unspecified” hate speech. Visitors to InfoWars page are now greeted with a message saying: “Sorry, this content isn’t available right now”.

Describing the development as a “chilling precedent for free speech,” Watson said that Facebook did not tell the media organization what the offending posts were.

“To all other conservative news outlets – you are next. The great censorship purge has truly begun,” he wrote.

Facebook said in a blog post on Monday that it was banning four of the pages belonging to Infowars founder Alex Jones for repeatedly uploading content in breach of the social network’s community standards.

The company said that when it deletes content, the removal counts as a strike against the person that uploaded it. It added that the reason for removing Jones’ pages was not related to concerns over false news.

“All four Pages have been unpublished for repeated violations of Community Standards and accumulating too many strikes,” Facebook explained.

“While much of the discussion around Infowars has been related to false news, which is a serious issue that we are working to address by demoting links marked wrong by fact checkers and suggesting additional content, none of the violations that spurred today’s removals were related to this.”

Jones is being sued by parents of the Sandy Hook school shooting for claiming that the attack was a hoax. Late last month the parents slammed Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg for failing to protect them from harassment by conspiracy theorists.

The development comes after Apple removed Jones’ daily podcasts from its podcast directory.

“Apple does not tolerate hate speech, and we have clear guidelines that creators and developers must follow to ensure we provide a safe environment for all of our users,” an Apple spokesperson told BuzzFeed News.

“Podcasts that violate these guidelines are removed from our directory making them no longer searchable or available for download or streaming. We believe in representing a wide range of views, so long as people are respectful to those with differing opinions.”

Apple Podcasts is arguably the most important platform in the podcasting industry. It drives a substantial amount of traffic to the podcasts it features on its homepage or in its charts.

 

 source/read more: :https://www.rt.com/usa/435217-infowars-banned-facebook-apple/

Google Plans to Launch Censored Search Engine in China, Leaked Documents Reveal

1st Aug 2018

Google is planning to launch a censored version of its search engine in China that will blacklist websites and search terms about human rights, democracy, religion, and peaceful protest, The Intercept can reveal.

The project – code-named Dragonfly – has been underway since spring of last year, and accelerated following a December 2017 meeting between Google’s CEO Sundar Pichai and a top Chinese government official, according to internal Google documents and people familiar with the plans.

Teams of programmers and engineers at Google have created a custom Android app, different versions of which have been named “Maotai” and “Longfei.” The app has already been demonstrated to the Chinese government; the finalized version could be launched in the next six to nine months, pending approval from Chinese officials.

The planned move represents a dramatic shift in Google’s policy on China and will mark the first time in almost a decade that the internet giant has operated its search engine in the country.

Google’s search service cannot currently be accessed by most internet users in China because it is blocked by the country’s so-called Great Firewall. The app Google is building for China will comply with the country’s strict censorship laws, restricting access to content that Xi Jinping’s Communist Party regime deems unfavorable.

The search app will “blacklist sensitive queries.”

The Chinese government blocks information on the internet about political opponents, free speech, sex, news, and academic studies. It bans websites about the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre, for instance, and references to “anticommunism” and “dissidents.”

 

 

 

source/read more: https://theintercept.com/2018/08/01/google-china-search-engine-censorship/

Twitter hires academics to monitor its ‘health’ and combat hate speech

1st Aug 2018

Twitter has hired academics from institutions including Oxford University to help it combat “intolerant discourse” and monitor the “health” of the social network.

The firm is working with social psychology Professor Miles Hewstone and John Gallacher, along with Dr Marc Heerdink from the University of Amsterdam, to study the spread of hate speech.

The move is part of Twitter’s aim to create algorithms that better distinguish between hate speech and conversations that break the “norms of politeness”.

 

source/read more: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/2018/07/30/twitter-hires-academics-monitor-healthand-combat-hate-speech/

Japan’s police eye AI to control crowds at Tokyo Games

1st Aug 2018

An experiment using an artificial intelligence system to estimate the number of spectators and their movements was conducted during the annual Sumida River Fireworks Festival in Tokyo by the Metropolitan Police Department and Panasonic.

The MPD and the major electronics maker will analyze the data collected on Sunday at the festival’s venues, and examine whether the system could be utilized at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics.

MPD vehicles equipped with Panasonic cameras were stationed at two major crossings near the venues, and monitors nearby counted the number of people in designated areas and made estimations about which direction they would take.

The MPD and Panasonic will continue operating the system at major events and other occasions to equip the AI with more data. They are hoping to utilize the system for crowd control at the Tokyo Games.

They are also considering using it to prevent terrorism at the Games, by detecting suspicious individuals moving differently from other people and suspicious objects left abandoned.

“There are many venues at the Tokyo Olympics, so efficient security management is a task we need to deal with,” said a senior MPD official. “We want to proactively utilize the latest technologies by joining hands with the private sector.”

 

 

 

source/read more: https://www.lmtonline.com/news/article/Japan-s-police-eye-AI-to-control-crowds-at-Tokyo-13116087.php

My Health Record: the Government wants to access your data until 30 years after you die

16th July 2018

Unless you opt-out by mid-October, the Federal Government will create an online record of your health details that it can access for the rest of your life and beyond – even if you ask for it to be deleted.

The Federal Government has budgeted more than $370 million to make digital health records for all Australians by the end of the year.

But privacy advocates are warning people to opt out of the database and IT specialists say it’s impossible to completely safeguard the information.

Every Australian will soon have a My Health Record — an online summary of their health information — unless they opt out over the next three months.

From Monday, Australians will have until October 15 to tell the Government they don’t want one. Otherwise, a record will automatically be created.

The project aims to give patients and doctors access to timely medical information — test results, referral letters and organ donation information, for starters — but there are concerns about the safety of some of our most personal, sensitive data.

We asked for your questions about the project on social media, and they ranged from police access to the platform’s cybersecurity.

The ABC sat down with Tim Kelsey, the head of the Australian Digital Health Agency (ADHA) and the man in charge of the initiative, to get them answered.

The way the record works

As a patient, how can I know if my My Health Record information is being maintained by my doctor?

You can choose to opt out and have no My Health Record.

But once you have one, doctors can upload health information into it unless you ask them not to.

When you see a doctor, you can discuss adding (or not) documents such as an overview of your health, a summary of prescribed medications and referral letters.

Remember, it’s not a comprehensive picture of your health — it will only contain what you and your doctors choose to upload, and will depend on the quality of those records.

When you first access the system, you’ll be asked to decide whether you want two years of Medicare Benefits Schedule, Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme, Australian Immunisation Register, and Australian Organ Donor Register data to be uploaded.

But if your doctor accesses your record first before you make the selection yourself, this data will be uploaded automatically — unless you’ve opted to have no record at all.

If you want, you can delete or restrict access to those documents later.

Not all Australian hospitals and health services are connected to My Health Record yet, so that’s something to check during your next visit.

When I get a prescription, how do I know whether I need to ask to make an update to my My Health Record? Does this vary by provider?

Doctors can upload information about prescribed medications, but as discussed above, it’s worth discussing this each time you see your doctor.

What happens to your My Health Record after you die?

My Health Record information will be held for 30 years after your death. If that date isn’t known, then it’s kept for 130 years after your birth.

Will any private health insurance companies have access?

Insurers shouldn’t be able to access your record — it’s reserved for people who work for a registered healthcare provider and who are authorised to provide you with care.

There are plans to use aggregated, anonymised My Health Record data for research and other purposes — this is known as “secondary use”.

“My Health Record information can be used for research and public health purposes in either a de-identified form, or in an identified form if the use is expressly consented to by the consumer,” a Department of Health spokesperson said.

Currently, users of the platform can tick a box on the web portal to opt out of secondary use.

Secondary uses must be of public benefit and cannot be “solely” commercial, and insurance agencies will not be allowed to participate.

However, “the impact of this exclusion” will be considered when the Department of Health’s framework governing secondary use of My Health Record data is reviewed, according to the framework document.

Australian organisations (and some overseas, in certain circumstances), including Australian pharmaceutical companies, will be able to apply to access My Health Record data for approved secondary purposes.

“We don’t expect any data to flow until 2020,” Mr Kelsey added.

The opt-out period

How can I opt out?

There are three key ways:

  • By visiting www.myhealthrecord.gov.au and opting out using the online portal.
  • Over the phone by calling 1800 723 471.
  • Or on paper by completing a form and returning it by mail. Forms will be available in 2,385 rural and remote Australia Post outlets, through 146 Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations and in 136 prisons.

What happens to the people who end up with a My Health Record, and then decide to opt out?

If you don’t opt out between July 16 and October 15, then a record will be automatically created for you.

After October 15, there will be a “one-month reconciliation period” before new My Health Records are registered. These new records will be created mid-November.

You can then cancel that record, but the data it contained will still exist (although inaccessible to you or health providers) until 30 years after your death.

Is a record automatically generated if a doctor uploads a document during the opt-out period, even if you did not create one yourself?

According to the ADHA, doctors can’t upload any clinical documents to the My Health Record system unless the patient record exists.

What about children who aren’t born yet — can they opt out?

After the opt-out period, newly eligible healthcare recipients, such as immigrants to Australia and parents of newborn children, will be given the chance to elect not to have a My Health Record as part of their Medicare registration.

Protection of your data

Which service provider will manage the infrastructure to ensure it isn’t vulnerable to a cyber-attack?

The platform was built by the technology provider Accenture, however the ADHA is starting discussions about “re-platforming” it.

Independent third parties audit the system’s security and undertake penetration testing, according to Mr Kelsey, but security experts warn that it’s impossible to make any online database entirely bullet proof.

Remember too, that documents created or downloaded by your doctors may be stored in their local IT system too and depend on that system’s security.

If a doctor downloads files from My Health Record, what’s to stop her from sharing those files within the practice?

By default, your online documents will be accessible to your healthcare providers.

If you have privacy concerns, you can log onto My Health Record and restrict who sees it:

  • You can set a Record Access Code and give it only to healthcare professionals you want to access your record.
  • If you want to restrict certain documents, you can set a Limited Document Access Code.

These controls may be overridden in an emergency.

As mentioned above, if a document is removed from the My Health Record system, it’s beyond the reach of your access controls.

If a GP were to allow another staff member to access a record, what is the potential punishment?

If someone accesses your My Health Record without legal authorisation and the person “knows or is reckless to that fact”, criminal and civil penalties may apply.

Where can users see information about who has accessed their record?

My Health Record users will be able to see who has looked at their record by checking its access history online.

They’ll be able to see when it was accessed, which organisation accessed it and what was done — documents being added, modified or removed, for example — but not the individual doctor who accessed it.

You can also set up an email or SMS alert for when a healthcare organisation accesses your record for the first time.

The privacy commissioner recommends checking regularly for unexpected or unauthorised access. You can call the ADHA on 1800 723 471 if you think something’s gone wrong.

Several apps can connect to My Health Record. How will the ADHA ensure they are secure?

Apps such as Healthi and Health Engine, which recently ran into trouble, are authorised by the ADHA to “show” people their health record.

According to Mr Kelsey, third party app developers can only display your My Health Record — “at the moment, it’s view-only” — and cannot store that data.

OPT OUT HERE: 1800 723 471.  https://optout.myhealthrecord.gov.au/pext/optoutextweb/views/getStarted.xhtml

 

source/read more: http://www.abc.net.au/radio/programs/am/my-health-record-data-access-for-30-years-after-death/9989172

and

http://www.abc.net.au/news/science/2018-07-15/my-health-record-questions-answers-security-privacy-police/9959622

 

New road signs can detect mobile phones are being used in vehicles

 

11th july 2018

Road signs that know when a mobile phone is being used in a moving vehicle are being installed in Norfolk, in a bid to tackle usage behind the wheel.

The system, which can tell the difference between active phone calls and other activities based on the strength of a signal and how long it lasts, flashes up a red warning signal to drivers when it detects a call.

The technology cannot yet log number plates or be used to help catch offending drivers, but it is hoped it will act as a deterrent.

Holding a phone while driving was outlawed in the UK in 2003 but 23% of people admitted to taking a call in last year’s RAC Report on Motoring.

Inspector Jonathan Chapman from Norfolk Roads Policing said: “This scheme is a good example of how we can work with local authorities to make using a mobile phone whilst driving as socially unacceptable as drink or drug-driving.

“Any scheme which prevents this kind of behaviour is welcomed. Using a mobile phone at the wheel is one of the fatal four road offences which can have devastating consequences if it causes a fatal or serious collision.

“We will be using the information provided by Norfolk County Council’s road safety team to help us target drivers in the future but the message is simple – leave your phone alone whilst you’re behind the wheel.”

Norfolk County Council’s road safety team have worked with speed and warning sign specialists Westcotec on deploying the next-level signs, which are a first for UK roads.

The system is able to simultaneously detect bluetooth signals so that anyone legally in a call via their car’s speakers is not wrongly issued a warning.

Although the signs are unable to log offending number plates, such a feature is being considered for development in the future. There is also no facility for the signs to record footage.

For now, a counter will keep track of phone usage on the road to help authorities understand driver habits.

Diane Steiner, deputy director of public health said: “Our priority in public health is to make Norfolk a healthy and safe place to live and the new technology enables us to provide a reminder to drivers who may be using their handset whilst driving.

 

 

 

 

 

source:http://home.bt.com/tech-gadgets/tech-news/new-road-signs-can-detect-mobile-phones-are-being-used-in-vehicles-11364282956723

Welfare recipients to undergo face scan in order to get payments

2nd July 2018

A NEW controversial system may soon see welfare recipients required to have their face scanned and analysed before they can access their payments.

The system, which will also affect people trying access Medicare and childcare subsidies, age pension and pay tax online, is part of a new biometric security program that is set to begin in October.

Under the new strategy those trying to access these government services will be required to take photo to create a myGov ID, which will then be checked against driver’s licences and passports to confirm their identity.

Human Services Minister Michael Keenan has hopes the plan will see Australia become a world leader in “digital government” by 2025.

When fully rolled out the digital identity solution will allow users access to almost any government agency through one single portal, with the trial allowing 100,000 people to apply for a Tax File number online.

Currently applicants have to fill in a form online, print it out and take it to the post office so their identification can be verified.

But the introduction of the new system is causing some concern over the privacy of those taking part.

IT security expert Troy Hunt, who runs the website haveibeenpwned.com, told news.com.au that a biometric system — like the one proposed — wasn’t without its faults.

“One of the problems is we want to be able to access things in a secure fashion but passwords aren’t really great for doing that because a lot of us tend to use the same one for everything,” he said.

“Biometrics can be better in this aspect but on the flip side it is information that can’t really be changed if there is a security breach.”

Mr Hunt said that once a database is built up of this biometric data then there was the possibility it could be used for reasons other than it’s intended purpose. For example having a scan of people’s faces on file could make it easier to identify or track people through security camera.

He said it was up to the government to prove to Australians that the system wasn’t going to be abused.

“What we want to see from the Australian government is transparency about how this system is being used and where the information is going,” Mr Hunt said.

“They need to convince us that we can be confident in this system and trust them [with] this kind of data.”

The new system will be implemented on a voluntary basis but those who refuse to take part won’t be able to access government services online.

This means they will have to queue up at Centrelink to access these services in person.

For those who do use the new system they have been assured that their digital face image will be deleted as soon as it is checked against the other identifying documents they provided.

A media release published on Mr Keenan’s website states that “privacy and security will be at the heart of any of the changes we plan to make”.

“Consultation will also be vital with both industry and relevant interest groups to ensure we deliver services that people will want to use and also trust,” the statement reads

 

 

 

source/read more: https://www.news.com.au/technology/online/security/welfare-recipients-to-undergo-face-scan-in-order-to-get-payments/news-story/9ca653201454c0f64c5b331a36564cf5