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Government Privacy Games

The Spy In Our Living Room 148

An anonymous reader writes "Ben Kuchera at Polygon ponders the surveillance capabilities of our gaming consoles in light of recent NSA and GCHQ revelations. 'Xbox One Kinect can see in the dark. It can keep a moving human being in focus without motors. It knows how to isolate voices from background noise. The privacy implications of having a device that originally couldn't be removed pointed at your living room at all times was always kind of scary, and that fear has been at least partially justified.' Kuchera, like many of us, habitually disconnects cameras and microphones not currently in use. But he also feels a sense of inevitability about the whole thing: 'If the government wants this information they're going to get it, no matter what we do with our gaming consoles. It's important to pay attention to what our government is doing, but this issue is much bigger than our gaming consoles, and we open ourselves up to much greater forms of intrusion on a daily basis.'"
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The Spy In Our Living Room

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  • 1984 (Score:5, Interesting)

    by slapout ( 93640 ) on Friday February 28, 2014 @06:51PM (#46371519)

    Reminds me of the TVs in "1984".

    • Re:1984 (Score:4, Insightful)

      by EvilSS ( 557649 ) on Friday February 28, 2014 @07:39PM (#46371959)
      TV's of 1984 or 2014? Some new smart TV's have cameras and mics for Skype, Microphones in the remotes for voice. My LG can snap screenshots from the mobile phone app, newer models can stream video. It knows what you watch and can (and was, without notification) send that info home. Screw the consoles, the TVs themselves may be monitoring us.
    • "I'm sorry Dave, I can't let you do that. Great job in that last round of bowling though." []

      • by rtb61 ( 674572 )

        All indications are it is worse than that, "Dave, um, you broke the law, they say I will have to report you unless you do all of the following, report on your neighbours, attend the 'right' political rallies and functions and vote the right way'. "Dave a new list of instruction will be provided to you regularly and you will obey else you will be prosecuted for a range of crimes and sentenced to extended imprisonment, we have the selectively edited evidence, we know when you did not have a alibi and how the

    • by zerro ( 1820876 )

      In Kapitalist Amerika, TV watches YOU!

    • Re:1984 (Score:5, Interesting)

      by memnock ( 466995 ) on Friday February 28, 2014 @09:45PM (#46372811)

      ... But he also feels a sense of inevitability about the whole thing: 'If the government wants this information they're going to get it, no matter what we do with our gaming consoles. ...

      Sure, if you keep thinking it's okay to keep your mouth shut and roll over. I suppose though that at least he is writing about this and spreading the word, so he's not just keeping his mouth shut.

      But the way he makes it seem like a foregone conclusion to me just doesn't sit well with me.

  • by erroneus ( 253617 ) on Friday February 28, 2014 @06:56PM (#46371561) Homepage

    What if I put an XBox360 in a locked room with no windows, turned it on with a kinect camera pointing at a sign which threatens a top political figure. If someone acts on it, how would they justify their actions? Legally it would be extremely questionable and ultimately, it would not be a threat as much as it would be a trap for the government to fall into. After all, discovery would result in all manner of details which should enter public record. ...or I could disappear into a puff of darkness.

    • by rmdingler ( 1955220 ) on Friday February 28, 2014 @07:01PM (#46371613) Journal

      What if I put an XBox360 in a locked room with no windows, turned it on with a kinect camera pointing at a sign which threatens a top political figure. If someone acts on it, how would they justify their actions? Legally it would be extremely questionable and ultimately, it would not be a threat as much as it would be a trap for the government to fall into. After all, discovery would result in all manner of details which should enter public record. ...or I could disappear into a puff of darkness.

      It would be one hell of an entertaining story for your cellmate in Guantanamo.

      • Anything they can do with an xbox they can do with a cell phone / laptop as well. I just bought one of these: []

        discrete static cling covers for your glass-front equipment. you can still peel off when you want to facetime or whatever, then put them back.

        I don't know how to muffle the microphones when I'm not using them, does anybody have ideas?

        • How about just unplugging the sh!t?

          • What, opening the phone, voiding the warranty and unplugging the camera(s) from the board (or possibly cutting the traces)? Or do you mean pulling the phone's battery?
          • the thing is sometimes I want to facetime with my family. its the other times that I don't want to be watched.

        • by Holi ( 250190 )

          turn your phone off. I mean if your that paranoid.

          • would I be cray-cray if I put a sticker over the cameraphone? is that something that nutso people do? should I be alarmed that I think this is a reasonable thing to do? I ask for your real opinion. Ever since there was a tv there were people who were convinced that it was watching them and listening to them. I'm sure each one of them thought it was a reasonable belief.

            • would I be cray-cray if I put a sticker over the cameraphone? is that something that nutso people do? should I be alarmed that I think this is a reasonable thing to do?

              In short, yes. While it is certainly within the realms of possibility that it could be used to spy on you, it's so tremendously unlikely to happen that it's not worth worrying about. At present, anyway. And really, what does someone actually get out of looking through your phone's camera? 99% of the time, it'd just be a very dark extreme closeup of the inside of your pocket, and the rest of the time split between an extreme closeup of your ear while you talk and your face as you giggle at the latest cat vid

              • by s.petry ( 762400 )
                Nope, temperature and motion sensors could be used to tell people want to watch the camera. The microphone is a different issue but sensors and GPS would still let them know when to start looking at you. Sensors have been in phones for a long time, as has been the ability for your phone to broadcast sensor information even when you believe the phone is turned "off".
                • Fine, then they know exactly when to look at an extreme closeup of your ear or your face as you giggle at the latest cat video.

                  More seriously, if they have the capability of doing that, then they'd also be able to monitor actual voice conversations and text messages, which are much greater concerns than them being able to get a look at you.

                  • by s.petry ( 762400 )

                    Apologies for the delayed response on this one. They already do know when to monitor voice and chat, and they already capture that information. The sensors in phones are very advanced, and can be used for either good or bad deeds. I know this from working at a very large telecom company where they used sensor data in a good way, mostly. Some of the programs they were working on before I left, I found objectionable. FWIW, I don't work there any longer and let them know how I felt about those programs

                    • Less delayed than my previous response was, so no worries.

                      Interesting insight, of course, but all kind of besides the point. The point is that, if the actual conversations can be monitored (whether or not the phone is smart), then worrying about them looking through the camera is worrying about the wrong thing.

                    • by s.petry ( 762400 )
                      I believe this is faulty logic. If you have a camera and microphone both can be used for spying on you. Taking away the microphone does not take away the camera and visa versa. It's not one or the other, it's both and should be treated as both. Sensors can help them pinpoint which is the best to use at any given time (give or take communications time to/from the towers)
            • Only if you think it would give you more battery life. A little faraday bag would be better. DIY with duct tape and foil.

              • obv a faraday pouch wouldn't work because they could still take pictures when it is being used i.e. for text messaging. also then it wouldn't be able to receive calls. also when the phone can't connect to a signal it goes on this crazy search which burns batteries, so a faraday pouch wouldn't work. so it goes back to is it something that cray cray people do?

                • I guess it depends what you're trying to do which upon further contemplation would be to retain the use of the camera and mic when you want to but disable them at all other times. I would say that if you're that concerned to cover the camera then the microphone should be deemed a greater threat. Audio might not give as much info but it would always be available. And once you're at that train of thought, then what about integrated GPS? Sure, any cellphone could be triangulated via cell towers but GPS would b

                  • You're right, I'm hosed on gps and cell tower pings no matter what. Apple has the find my friends and find my. iPhone apps that track me presumably only with my pwd, but obv the NSA's house words are "no more secrets" so it doesn't matter.

                    Probably the best thing that I can do is get a case designed to cover the camera and muffle the mic to the extent possible until I decide to use it. Probably would also avoid the tinfoil hat stares I will get with the sticker over the camera. Also, the case would block the

                  • sorry for multiple replies, maybe it will be helpful to build this info in one place. Here's how to kibosh the mike on your macbook.

                    to kill in hardware: For unibody macbook pros the microphone is connected to the logic board but not soldered on, so if you have iron nuts you can actually just unplug it. you give up the convenience of FaceTime chats or dictation without plugging in an external mike, but if you care then you care:

                    then if you get one of these it's convenient to

        • In Post Freedom Amerika, cell phone butt dials you?

    • by PraiseBob ( 1923958 ) on Friday February 28, 2014 @07:08PM (#46371671)
      This is the entire point of parallel construction. They can't or won't reveal how they are monitoring you secretly. Instead they can claim that you were acting suspicious based on something else you've done which has nominally taken place in some kind of public space. Then they get a warrant based on that, and "find" the threats you are making, and charge you with that too.
      • All these fancy words for LIES. This is conspiracy against the American people and the people who push the documents instructing law enforcement to do that need to be tried for treason.

        Yeah I am aware of the parallel construction bit. That's why we need to trap some LEOs with it.

    • Legality? What does that matter any more? That will be decided in a secret court anyway.

      . . . and no, the secret court is not going to inform you how it decided, either.

      • Everyone is guilty of something, most infractions just go unnoticed by the legal system. The law now merely takes the stance that you are guilty unless you're worth enough to be excused as innocent. No, the police state will not tell you how they came by their evidence, it was constructed by making laws against nature itself.

        I mean, just imagine it: Organisms, made of trillions of nearly identical sub-units, that are subject to Copyrights! Never mind that sharing information is the foundation of our speci

    • by kuhnto ( 1904624 )
      Along this same line of thought, why doesn't somewone setup a long term experiment and wireshark all the data that is coming out of the new xbox? Lets see what is being sent out or not. True, it will most likely be encrypted, but at least some traffic analysis woud be interesting. And large bursts of data? Any activity when someone walks in?
    • What if I put an XBox360 in a locked room with no windows, turned it on with a kinect camera pointing at a sign which threatens a top political figure.

      Ten bucks if you try it right now and post the video.

      Legally it would be extremely questionable

      Oh, I'm sure that's gonna stop the NSA. Shall we find out?

    • The NSA was never here, we just happened to be passing a sniffer patrol unit infront of your house, the dog barked so we got a warrant, didn't find any drugs after we broke down the door, but we did find one hell of a sign.

  • by mbone ( 558574 )

    'If the government wants this information they're going to get it, no matter what we do with our gaming consoles.

    More pernicious BS I have never heard. By the same token, there is no reason to use either door-locks or condoms.

    BTW, I do not have a Kinect and have covers on all web-enabled cameras, including the one in my laptop.

    • The door lock analogy works best, I think: if there is something really valuable in the house, a door lock won't stop a thief, but for an average house a good lock could make it not worth the effort. Likewise, if my government (the Netherlands has a population of almost 17 million) can afford to spy on a thousand people, I won't be among them, but if they can afford to spy on a million people, I might be. So if you want privacy, make sure mass spying does not become too easy.

      • Re:BS (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Altrag ( 195300 ) on Saturday March 01, 2014 @03:03AM (#46374153)

        The door lock analogy has been broken with things like PRISM now verified to exist.

        The analogy is now more along the lines of every door lock being built to allow a single planet-wide master key and employing millions of people to rummage through your things every couple of hours to see if you've added anything they don't like (note: not necessarily illegal!) to your list of possessions.

        The problem though isn't that they're going to find something and come after you right now -- everyone's got something they should hide (whether they think so or not) and there's not enough agents in the world to nail every person out there.

        The problem is that they'll find something and store it away so that IF they ever decide to come after you for any reason in the future, they'll have something on you. I mean sure the filters will be looking for absolutely blatantly obvious stuff like Googling for a bunch of bomb ingredients consecutively (needs to have a plausible justification for its existence) but for the most part, the real goal is just to dig up dirt on everyone so that nobody can ever be completely free from fear of prosecution and/or blackmail.

  • Last I checked the way kinect works is it basically shines an infrared light that you can't see but the cameras can. It uses this light to illuminate things. BTW, your cell phone's camera can also see in infrared. (As can the sensor on the Wii.)
    • by JStyle ( 833234 )

      Note that the wii sensor bar is only infrared LEDs. The camera is in the wii remote itself. It is also shielded by a infrared filter, so not much visible light makes it in there. Footage would be nearly useless as the remotes are generally pointed at the TV or flailing about.

      • Footage would be nearly useless as the remotes are generally pointed at the TV or flailing about.

        That and the Wii Remote firmware summarizes the picture from its 128x96 pixel IR camera into the positions and sizes of the four largest bright spots anyway.

      • An image taken in IR is as good as the resolution of the camera. Of course, some details important details will be missing, but many ordinary photographs also miss important details.

      • Note that the wii sensor bar is only infrared LEDs. The camera is in the wii remote itself. It is also shielded by a infrared filter, so not much visible light makes it in there. Footage would be nearly useless as the remotes are generally pointed at the TV or flailing about.

        There is a reason most cameras have IR filters.
        A camera that is designed to see in the IR can almost
        see through clothing. Same with some flash situations
        as a celeb or two has discovered.

        Given the nature of TLA alterations to hardware, camera modifications
        to gaming consoles, laptops and more are to be expected where
        technology makes it possible.

        Light switches, smoke and CO detectors, wireless devices including routers
        can all be hacked. Little protects my WiFi router update code from being
        spoofed when it

      • Footage would be nearly useless as the remotes are generally pointed at the TV or flailing about.

        There are techniques for producing high-quality still imagery from video and position data. Better yet, there are techniques for producing 3d imagery from the same.

  • Our kid's XBox is not connected to any network. It really is as simple as that.
    • by koan ( 80826 )

      That you know of.

    • We also didn't allow cameras in our daughter's room or other private rooms in the house.

    • Why do you assume that non networked devices don't surveil you? Logging is all that's required, especially if said log can be stored in a place inaccessible to users.
      • Why do you assume that non networked devices don't surveil you?

        But if it's powered off and or air-gapped, who is going to collect it and how?

        When my XBox 360 isn't in use, the Kinect is powered down. When it isn't connected to the internet (which it never is, and never will be), there's no mechanism for someone to get anything from it.

        The XBone insists it is always connected to the internet (last I heard) and I'm not sure I trust that when the deice is off it isn't still recording -- many people pretty muc

    • by Marrow ( 195242 )

      What makes you think the wireless adapter is really turned off?

      • by Altrag ( 195300 )

        Most wireless routers list all connected clients, so there's that. I'm sure somebody in the world would have noted it by now if that was the case.

        I'd counter myself with "how do you know there isn't a hidden cellular receiver in there?" but by the same logic as above -- there's plenty of hardware hackers in the world and I'm sure someone would have noticed it by now were that the case. (And even if it was hidden in an otherwise-innocuous looking black blob that the hardware hackers might overlook, there a

        • by Marrow ( 195242 )

          The device could be listening for a invitation to create an ad-hoc network. That invitation could even come from a hacked access point or device. Could be that they already own your router or appleTV or roku or printer in order to be able to reach out and get your xbox too.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    If you don't want your game console to spy on you, don't own one. There are plenty of other gaming options.

    What's that you say? Cool kids need to own consoles to be cool kids? Guess what, kids? Big Brother is cool! Big Brother loves you! Big Brother wants to fuck you up the ass, and the best part is, you want to enjoy it! Idiots.

  • by dtjohnson ( 102237 ) on Friday February 28, 2014 @07:02PM (#46371625)
    The landline telephones in the old USSR didn't hang up when the user put the handset back in the cradle and so people routinely put a pillow over them.
  • I have a computer which doesn't really shut down fully, but rather has one of those motherboards that will keep powered up enough to charge USB devices etc.
    It's annoying as the PSU also has a bit of a whine from either the capacitors or transformers.

    My solution is an old single-outlet power-bar which has an on/off button. It plugs into the regular power-bar, and then the computer plugs into it. When I'm not using the computer, I just turn off the juice at the bar.

    For those worried about other electronic dev

  • Fuel (Score:4, Informative)

    by gmuslera ( 3436 ) on Friday February 28, 2014 @07:20PM (#46371775) Homepage Journal

    If you think that is bad enough that the government is doing it, think that in fact the ones doing it is the people of the government, the same ones that spied the conversation between US soldiers and their fiancees/wives [] when they were at Afganistan, and shared between themselves the hottest parts.

    Probably the biggest repository of child porn of the world is in NSA servers for their "investigative" use. And we are speaking about people that have power over you and your family.

    • by s.petry ( 762400 )
      This is exactly why you don't want Governments doing _anything_ illegal. The intention for the DEA to buy cocaine might be to bust a dealer, but the risk for agents to abuse or resell the cocaine for personal gain now exists. Allowing parallel construction so that a special case can be busted means that it will also be used for vindictive purposes. What we have lost is accountability within our Government, and the requirement for the Government to enforce their own Constitution against themselves.
  • It can't do shit if it is unplugged
  • by koan ( 80826 )

    'If the government wants this information they're going to get it, no matter what we do with our gaming consoles.

    Stop using them.

    • by Zuato ( 1024033 )

      What about our cell phones that have cameras on both sides with microphones and GPS? We're freaking out over a Kinect sensor when the NSA is more likely to go after your smart phone than a Kinect sensor because it can gather more data from that device than a video game console could ever provide.

  • 1 - Don't support products that spy
    2 - unplug when not in use.

    • by Zuato ( 1024033 )

      1) Smartphones - are we going to ditch those since they can provide more information to the NSA/Government than an Xbox Kinect can?
      2) I'd gladly unplug (turn off - still no guarantee since my Nexus 5 has a sealed battery) my smartphone, but since I'm expected to carry it for work (stipend) I can't exactly turn it off.

      • by nurb432 ( 527695 )

        My smartphone doesn't come from this country. I really doubt that the NSA has hooks into it.

        Tape over the camera works for your 'work phone'.

  • by sexconker ( 1179573 ) on Friday February 28, 2014 @07:25PM (#46371837)

    Ben Kuchera is a fucking tool who has no business writing about anything. The same goes for Polygon.
    Kuchera was one of the assmunches on the front lines defending MS's initial DRM and always-online schemes for the XBOX One.

    His opinions were so bad and so obviously paid-for that he got kicked out of Penny Arcade for shit like this [] (I think they pulled it down because it was so bad) and this [] .
    Penny fucking Arcade realized how shitty he was, Yes, that Penny Arcade. The one run by the no-standards shills that did an instant 180 from gamers to tools once MS started paying them. The PA that bullies its own fans and offers a kickstarter to remove ads from their massively-profitable website, with stretch goals to remove more ads, but still not all the ads.

    Ben Kuchera's internet fame was spawned from PA, and he became such an insufferable goon that even PA realized he needed to be cut loose. He shat around Arse Technica for a while and now he's shitting it up at Polygon.

    We all know games "journalism" is about one of the most laughable things ever, but Kuchera and Polygon represent the fucking highest echelon of shilling, shit-flinging, and all around douchebaggery. There is zero integrity involved with Polygon as a whole and with Kuchera as a person. You shouldn't simply distrust their reviews, news, opinions, etc., you should actively trust it to be complete and utter paid-for horseshit.

    • Kuchera sucks. Got it. Polygon sucks. Check. What about the actual article topic?
    • So there is no privacy concern here? Cause I was worried there for a bit.

    • by s.petry ( 762400 ) on Saturday March 01, 2014 @01:06AM (#46373753)

      I don't mean rant in a negative light exactly, but that you are behaving similar to what you are complaining about. The Article is about how game consoles can monitor people, which does not have positive consequences for society and citizens. This writer and source is not the first to cover the topic, just the most recent. Spending 4 paragraphs telling everyone how bad the author and source without mention of the topic distracts from the article and topic.

      Welcome to the game, if you were not playing intentionally you just became a sucker. If you were playing intentionally, well, go find a sand box and pound some.

      People have been concerned about Xbox One and it's always on sensor arrays designed for spying. There was a recent report in the Guardian telling us that GCHQ used it to spy on people in Xbox360. There is no reason to believe that the latest will be used any differently, and no reason to believe that what GCHQ does also happens at the NSA, CIA, FBI, DHS, etc...

      My family is smart enough to have boycotted all versions of the MS consoles. Yeah, we have owned PS2 through PS4 and some people have concerns with those. Most Sony PS concerns relate to the old Sony root kit issues however, and not some always on spytech filming and recording your every move.

      If people want a fix to the solution, start boycotting. Remember that a boycott is not just not purchasing something, but actively persuading others to not purchase that same thing. It will take a lot to force change, because there are all these nice back door payments to companies so that they do the wrong thing (yet another Snowden/Guardian piece you should read).

      • by pnutjam ( 523990 )
        per current us law, I'm not sure a warrant would be necessary if MS decided to open up the Kinect to a government agency. You have already entrusted the data to a third party.

        This issue really needs to be addressed, especially with cell phones.
  • Don't buy a console.

  • ... morons.

    Nowhere can this clearly be seen more than in the videogame industry, with the rise of STEAM DRM and the gullible people who lap it all up while gaming history (games you can own, modify, and not be spied on, watched, datamined) is going down in flames. Console players are among the most stupid on the planet, so videogame consoles would be an easy in for any government wanting to spy on its citizens.

    The planet is just filled with stupid illiterate fucks who breed and pay for this shit because t

  • This possibility is why I don't OWN an X-Box One and why my existing gaming console ( which lacks a video camera and microphone ) is isolated to its own VLAN on my home network. For that matter, all the phones are on their own VLAN, the gaming console on another, the alarm system a third. I don't allow them to talk to anything other than the internet or ( in the case of the phones ) each other.

    Don't really want the X-Box camera watching me when I walk through the house, the mic picking up my conversations
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Originally the Xbox One required a CALIBRATED Kinect 2 sensor bar to be active at all times, and instructed ALL game developers, especially those with no need for ANY Kinect functionality in the main gameplay, to constantly check the functioning status of the Kinect 2, and to demand that users 'recalibrated' the Kinect, if it identified blockage of the sensors (like tape, or pointing Kinect at a wall).

    Originally the Xbox One required a permanent connection to the Internet. The reason for these two requireme

  • ...through the house going "WOO WOOOO WOOOOO!" every time I get out of the shower, I would not begrudge them the spectacle.

  • If the government wants this information they're going to get it, no matter what we do with our gaming consoles

    I refuse to own a gaming console which is required to be connected to the internet.

    I disconnected my XBox 360 when it started showing me ads, and since I don't play games online or use it to stream videos, I have no use for a game console which requires the internet -- especially if we have to treat the privacy implications as inevitable.

    I'll give up gaming before I put an always connected camera i

    • SNES, PS1, Gamecube etc. Or roll your own with Linux. Nobody is forcing anyone to buy these devices. Free Will, it's a bitch.

  • Another reason I'm missing a proper "power off" switch on many devices, besides the residual power use (wastes power, so wastes my money). One that physically, not electronically, breaks the power supply to the device. More and more of our devices do not have an "off" switch any more, it's really a "stand-by" switch. Of course that's convenient, as it's always listening for you to press the remote control "on" button for it to spring to life, it also means many other functions can be kept working secretly.


  • by mattr ( 78516 ) <> on Saturday March 01, 2014 @12:13AM (#46373523) Homepage Journal

    Matrix multiplication means picking up where multiple factors can be combined to produce a high score. It can analyze threat = capability x intent. I think this approach can be used as much by the individual trying to get a handle on reality (multiply news by what you know is possible) as by a massive organization (crunch data streams to find exploitable juicy bits).
    If you think this way you will be paranoid. But, if you just want to imagine where things can go if they get even worse than they are now, say if unlimited resources are deployed by utterly immoral actors, it can be useful.
    For example, without formal training I came up with the above threat equation. After typing the equation into Google, it turns out that it is correct and part of formal risk/threat assessment calculations. I figure that's because it is common sense. []

    Capability matrix:
    Look. The entire data stream starting from the time a Kinect is plugged into electrical power can be automatically saved forever in a quiet data center.
    XBox+Kinect is a very powerful listening device because of its smarts. It can download a program or search parameters and seek high-quality data, such as a conversation with a certain person's name in it, and filter it before sending it upstream. It can also compress a raw feed and gradually upload it over time.
    So if anyone ever does something criminal or suggestive, like maybe your child has a party and someone does drugs in the living room, that data can be silently tagged and stored without any human's knowledge.
    Any of your computers, or any computer ever in your vicinity throughout your daily life, or the lives of other people, can do the same thing. Just silently record at all times. There are too many ways it can be done in software. Free apps, buggy malware, browsers..
    All phones, networked hardware, your car's On-Star navigation system and black box, can be additional channels.

    Intent matrix:
    Years later, if someone wants to find something on you they just make a mining query.
    Queries can ultimately matrix multiply all locations x all channels x all individuals x all conversations files or positioning data.
    Such as any conversation that mentions a target name or keyword ever held in front of anybody's XBox, personal laptop, tablet, wall phone, mobile phone, desk at work in any company. If you ignore any difficulty associated with processing/telecom/power/time capacity you will understand that rather than simply being "overheard" it is like you are leading your life by crawling over a jungle-gym moving from one data capture point to another. Your life over time and space, and those of all people with whom you interact, together become an immense transparent crystal object that can be observed at one's convenience from any angle.

    Matrix Product: (exploitable output, or the threat)
    Forget trying to end-run around the NSA, there is no point. But worry about other actors.
    The U.S. data will be privately owned and controlled by other actors.
    Any big company or country has a chance at subverting these streams and building their own global capacity.
    A criminal organization could pressure a Verizon sysadmin.
    The captured data does not have to go to court. It can be shown to someone else, or to you in order to embarrass you into tilting you towards a given course of action, for example if a target was shown video capturing an infidelity. The actor can dial in any degree of formality, truth or fairness.
    Data that might have saved you (such as data proving innocence or entrapment) can be deleted, ignored, or modified in whatever private data center it is stored.
    Parallel construction means all of this dark activity, a dark war against humanity, can be kept in the dark, but leveraged when some other expedient is selected.

    Once you or someone many steps removed who you don't even know has been targeted or an annotation has been made

  • I love this, from TFA:

    and that fear has been at least partially justified.'

    that's equivocation....very harmful equivocation

    Kinect's design is *evil* and to require critics to meet such a large burden of proof is inconsistent, illogical, and harmful to our industry

    let me be clear...the 'fear' of Capitalist Big Brother is not "partially justified" it is absolutely a full realized FACT

    to analyze the issue, claim expertise, then to equivocate in such a manner is **wrong**

    it hurts our industry in untold ways, g

  • by Trax3001BBS ( 2368736 ) on Saturday March 01, 2014 @01:45AM (#46373899) Homepage Journal

    And that's just too bad as I'd love to bash MS and their Xbox. -PS4 future owner.

    I just purchased a SAMSUNG UN32F6300AFXZA is it 120Hz or not being a running question? I use it as a 32" monitor, and it has one hell of a display []

    This HDTV is decked out, WiFi and hardwired, lots of things to keep one occupied, even has it's own web browser, Voice commands, Turn on , Turn off (I guess), and, "Gestures" it reads your body language or maybe just your hand, and face recognition. What you might not see, is my reluctance to set it up to just a SamSung account.

    As usual I read the ToS's and the privacy policy of the system when I set it up;( It's required reading or else you just click on ok and continue) It mentions the privacy policy in passing (a link) in the ToS's, When you enter the "Smart Hub" area your shown another privacy policy (previous link) that shows this HDTV is one hell of a data miner, what's collected is placed in a data base, kept and based as per South Korea laws (jurisdiction).

    Why would it do this? It's for the "S Recommendation", "Find something good to watch. Simply click the recommend button on the remote to get instant recommended shows that are on now". (from link above)

    Cause it should know who you are and what you like; if you've had this HDTV 6 months or more it should know you and your sister apart, or a request to "show me something dirty" could go horribly wrong.

    A person with this set up in their place would most likely have it linked to the Lan, A Web cam setup to read gestures and face recognition, a microphone turned on for the voice commands. All the requirements of an Xbox plus more (the constant Internet connection) while not required to be connected all the time, most likely once it's set-up it will stay in that configuration.

    I've looked and can't find a ToS or Privacy policy easily. I just know what I read and have blocked at the router level for two reasons. I use it as a monitor and don't need it as an 240Hz LCD HDTV, my Panasonic 600Hz Plasma HDTV takes care of that feature poking fun at refresh rates and the big lie) - The second reason is Samsung tries to access and work with your FaceBook account and if you don't have one, highly suggest you get one. Facebook being a third party would have access to all of SamSung's data on you (no basis for that, would seem a given so to me).

    I really would like to read the ToS again I positive it's against Samsung's ToS to watch pornography on this HDTV. :}

    To opt out:
    (Samsung may need to ask you to provide follow-up information in the order to duly process an E-mail request).

"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts." -- Bertrand Russell