Category Archive: Technology development

The world’s most powerful human rights data initiative is unveiled

 By Simon Davies This article outlines a powerful new indexing platform for human rights, fundamental freedoms and civil society data. The Index will enable the assigning of unique and highly specific reference codes to billions of items of data ranging from audio and visual material to reports, articles, blogs, forums and research material. It will  substantially …

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‘Scrambled X’: a scheme to thwart government surveillance of sensitive online payments

In the final of a two-part series, Simon Davies outlines a scheme that could bring an end to government snooping on sensitive online transactions, including financial support for political and human rights campaigns. In the first part of this series I outlined a common security gap for companies that offer secure products and services. Specifically, …

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Silent Circle’s dangerous security gap – and a challenge for all such developers

In the first of a two-part series, Simon Davies explains the vulnerability of secure communications services such as Silent Circle. Part two will examine one possible solution. During recent publicity for the new privacy-themed Blackphone device, you might have noticed references to Edward Snowden’s recommendation that people should use a communications system called Silent Circle …

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Google takes a dangerous stride from your head to your home

By Simon Davies Odds are that the next big swoon for tech journalists will be the Internet enabled smart home, whose clever interconnected devices could eventually outwit even the most street-smart homeowner. So when market leader Nest Labs this week announced that it was opening up its “conscious home” platform to developers, most media commentators …

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A letter from the future warns of the true privacy dystopia

By Simon Davies To understand the value of our rights, it’s important to get a glimpse of what life in the future might be like without them. This is a letter from the future that tells us what life in 2044 might look like – and why we should think carefully about the path we …

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Telegram becomes the New Cool of messaging as millions of users abandon WhatsApp over privacy concerns

 By Simon Davies In one of the most persuasive displays ever of the market power of consumer privacy, Facebook’s recent $19BN acquisition of the popular messaging app WhatsApp appears to have been given the thumbs-down by millions of users. While it may be too early to produce a conclusive analysis, there are solid indications that …

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As anti-Google protests turn nasty, privacy campaigners need to ponder the ethics of law-breaking

Simon Davies Recent international outcry over the NSA’s transgressions has taken a noteworthy turn. Over the past few weeks, Google has been the target of increasingly vicious public protests over both its complicity in the activity of the security agencies and its role in the global corrosion of privacy. These are not peaceful demonstrations. Activists …

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How a hacker congress in Hamburg shows that activism is the new political currency

By Simon Davies It became one of the most magnificent misjudgments of recent British political history. In October the notorious UK satirist and comic Russell Brand tapped the national psyche with a passionate call for a “revolution” of the political system – and then in the space of ten minutes spectacularly detonated his credibility. According …

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The world’s most dangerous mobile phone spying app just moved into the tablet and iPad market

By Simon Davies The evolution of GPS and the smart-phone market has spawned a macabre industry of surveillance apps designed to be covertly installed onto the cellphones of vulnerable employees, business associates, partners and children. Products such as Flexispy and Mobile Spy – allegedly used by hundreds of thousands of voyeurs – are chiefly marketed …

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An exciting new Periodic Table reveals the elements of surveillance

By Simon Davies Getting to grips with how the world ended up under a blanket of extensive surveillance can be a challenge, even for the experts. Surveillance is now so deeply embedded in our societies and legal systems that understanding its causes is a full-time task. With this in mind Privacy Surgeon is pleased to …

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