Private Internet Access shuts down VPN servers in Hong Kong due to new national security law

The Hong Kong VPN exit node will return as a geo-located region. Denver, CO, July 14th 2020 — Effective immediately, Private Internet Access (PIA) is wiping and shutting down our VPN servers located in Hong Kong in response to the new Chinese national security law foisted by fiat on Hong Kong. Private Internet Access, the … Continue reading “Private Internet Access shuts down VPN servers in Hong Kong due to new national security law”

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  • Jul 2, 2020
  • Caleb Chen
  • Governments, News, Privacy, Security,

HongKongers prepare for China and new national security law by scrubbing digital footprint

As China takes over Hong Kong with a new national security law, Hongkongers prepare by cleaning up their social media presence. Before, under the now demolished “one country, two systems” lie, people posted online with an expectation that freedom of expression would be respected. That may no longer be on the table now that China … Continue reading “HongKongers prepare for China and new national security law by scrubbing digital footprint”

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  • Jun 25, 2020
  • Glyn Moody
  • Governments, News, Privacy,

Top suppliers halt sales of facial recognition technology to the police – how much of a win is that really?

As this blog has noted, police forces around the world have been pushing for the routine deployment of real-time facial recognition technologies. It’s an attractive option for politicians. It offers the hope that more criminals will be arrested and convicted, and for a price that is constantly falling. As a result, it’s hard to win … Continue reading “Top suppliers halt sales of facial recognition technology to the police – how much of a win is that really?”

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  • May 13, 2020
  • Glyn Moody
  • Governments, News, Privacy,

Here’s how China has made mass surveillance a “killer application” for AI: will the US do the same?

It’s increasingly evident that the coronavirus pandemic will cause a radical re-shaping of many aspects of society, not least in the world of privacy. Many people are trying to discern the shape of that new world in the current evolving situation. An interesting analysis from Naomi Klein picks up on many themes that have appeared … Continue reading “Here’s how China has made mass surveillance a “killer application” for AI: will the US do the same?”

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  • Apr 8, 2020
  • Glyn Moody
  • Governments, Networking, News, Privacy, Security,

OK Zoomer: avoiding a privacy disaster in the post-coronavirus world

It would be an understatement to say that Covid-19 has affected practically every aspect of our lives, given the scale of the transformation. Its impact on privacy, too, is evident. Last week, this blog wrote about a rush by governments around the world to use smartphones to help enforce quarantines and carry out contact tracing. … Continue reading “OK Zoomer: avoiding a privacy disaster in the post-coronavirus world”

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  • Apr 3, 2020
  • Caleb Chen
  • Governments, Networking, News,

China’s “New IP” proposal to replace TCP/IP has a built in “shut up command” for censorship

The Chinese government and the Chinese telecommunications companies such as Huawei under its control are proposing a “New IP” addressing system for the internet to replace TCP/IP. The New IP system includes top-down checks and balances and such features as a “shut up command” that would allow a central controller to stop packets from being … Continue reading “China’s “New IP” proposal to replace TCP/IP has a built in “shut up command” for censorship”

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  • Mar 19, 2020
  • Glyn Moody
  • Governments, News, Open Source, Privacy, Programming,

As Covid-19 spreads around the globe, so does the idea of using smartphones to track everyone to help contact tracing

It seems extraordinary that it was only a month ago that this blog wrote about the new coronavirus, also called Covid-19. At that time, it was not yet clear whether it would turn into a full-blown pandemic. Now, there is no doubt on the matter. As that blog post reported, Covid-19 began in China, and … Continue reading “As Covid-19 spreads around the globe, so does the idea of using smartphones to track everyone to help contact tracing”

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  • Feb 21, 2020
  • Glyn Moody
  • Governments, News, Privacy,

Freedom of speech, surveillance and privacy in the time of coronavirus

The situation concerning the Covid-19 coronavirus is serious, although it is not yet clear whether it will develop into a pandemic affecting billions of people worldwide. The story so far touches on most of the central themes of this blog. For example, we know that the Chinese authorities wasted valuable time trying to suppress news … Continue reading “Freedom of speech, surveillance and privacy in the time of coronavirus”

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  • Feb 13, 2020
  • Glyn Moody
  • Governments, News, Privacy, Security,

What happens to privacy when China has personal data and the social graph of nearly everyone in the US?

The speech by US Attorney General William P. Barr hardly seems earth-shattering. But buried within its business-like announcement of the indictment of four Chinese military hackers, there is the following statement, which has huge implications for privacy: For years, we have witnessed China’s voracious appetite for the personal data of Americans, including the theft of … Continue reading “What happens to privacy when China has personal data and the social graph of nearly everyone in the US?”

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  • Jan 17, 2020
  • Glyn Moody
  • Governments, Privacy,

Police forces around the world continue to deploy facial recognition systems, despite no evidence of their utility

Last month, this blog wrote about governments around the world continuing to trial facial recognition systems, and the growing concerns this is provoking. There’s one area in particular where facial recognition systems are deployed: law enforcement. That’s hardly a surprise, since the legal system can only operate if it identifies alleged criminals that need to … Continue reading “Police forces around the world continue to deploy facial recognition systems, despite no evidence of their utility”

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  • Dec 27, 2019
  • Glyn Moody
  • Governments, News, Privacy,

What do you get if you put DNA and facial recognition together? Today, it’s China; tomorrow, maybe everywhere else

Two themes crop up again and again on this blog: facial recognition and DNA sequencing. Both technologies on their own are powerful, and steadily becoming greater threats to privacy. So what happens when they are put together? A story in the New York Times means we don’t have to guess, because China is already doing … Continue reading “What do you get if you put DNA and facial recognition together? Today, it’s China; tomorrow, maybe everywhere else”

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  • Dec 5, 2019
  • Glyn Moody
  • Governments, News, Privacy,

Roll-out of facial recognition by governments around the world accelerates as privacy experts sound the alarm

A year ago, this blog wrote about the spread of facial recognition systems, and the danger they represent to privacy. Since then, the roll-out has accelerated, as the technology becomes more accurate, and the products on offer become cheaper. Governments in particular see facial recognition as an easy way to check and control their populations. … Continue reading “Roll-out of facial recognition by governments around the world accelerates as privacy experts sound the alarm”

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  • Oct 17, 2019
  • Caleb Chen
  • Governments, News, Privacy,

Why Hong Kong protesters don’t just want privacy from China, they need it to survive

Hong Kong protesters are so adamant about covering their face and using the latest privacy apps on their smartphones because they understand what is at stake. China will never understand Hong Kong’s desire for freedom. At the government level, maybe some Chinese politicians are aware that what they’re selling the Chinese populace (both within Mainland … Continue reading “Why Hong Kong protesters don’t just want privacy from China, they need it to survive”

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  • Oct 14, 2019
  • Caleb Chen
  • Governments, News, Privacy, Security,

Starting December 1st, China’s new MLPS 2.0 cybersecurity laws will require submission of a facial scan to receive internet access

China’s new MLPS (Multi-level Protection of Information Security) 2.0 cybersecurity laws goes into full effect on December 1st, 2019 and will see all internet service providers (ISPs) and mobile data providers requiring facial scans to sign up for new service.  This means every new mobile phone number assigned in China will be associated with a … Continue reading “Starting December 1st, China’s new MLPS 2.0 cybersecurity laws will require submission of a facial scan to receive internet access”

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  • Oct 11, 2019
  • Glyn Moody
  • Governments, News, Privacy,

The Hong Kong protests reveal how our faces are becoming a key battleground for privacy and freedom

The protests in Hong Kong are much in the news. But for readers of this blog, there’s a particular reason why they are of interest. Mainland China is well known for its advanced and pervasive surveillance systems, and Hong Kong naturally shares many of its approaches. Protesting in the region therefore requires new skills in … Continue reading “The Hong Kong protests reveal how our faces are becoming a key battleground for privacy and freedom”

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