18 August 2018

BlackBerry another dodgy corporation defrauding customers and shareholders

When you mention the BlackBerry brand name to people apart from a common response of "are they still around?", it could conjure up thoughts of secure communications of yesteryear.

After all the POTUS (President Of The United States), Barack Obama had one, so it's got to be secure right?

EVEN in the colony called Australia, MPs were issued BlackBerrys where the phones were work-centric with security policies in action.

This had the unfortunate effect of hindering the politicians from playing games and social media distractions during business hours of course, where Apple and Google based operating system phones were installed in order to support the 'needs' of the politicians, to the dismay of the IT support crowd who actually knew a thing or two about security.

Once upon a time RIM (Research In Motion) founded by a Greek engineer Michael Lazaridis,  later becoming BlackBerry was king of the mobile telecommunications world due to new technology enabling email to its mobile devices via proprietary communications which were even operational during a mobile network blackout which proved invaluable to its users during certain scenarios. 

Let's just forget the 4 day global BlackBerry outage where RIM lost $54 million, oops!

The rise and fall of BlackBerry has been a topic of a few books, where its spectacular rise, share value, corporate restructure has escaped the watchful eyes of consumer watchdogs where this is another topic altogether.

Today BlackBerry is no longer a company that actually manufactures telecommunications devices, where that was outsourced to TCL, but rather a company providing services through software solutions in other directions, under the current CEO John Chen.

New BlackBerry mobile phones are being promoted as secure and private by Chen no doubt in order for the company to regain its share value, which in itself is nothing wrong with that, if it were factually true.

The back end software in conjunction with the phone operating system that made BlackBerry legendary for its secure communications was laid to rest in the first quarter of 2015 in its final version with BlackBerry 10 Operating System, where as recently as April 2018 a device software upgrade was rolled out to users.

By late 2015, the marketing 'gurus' at BlackBerry then released a phone model called Priv, where the slogan used was Privilege and Privacy, no doubt riding on the successful communications platform of yesteryear.

The 'problem' with that is the new phone or device as Blackberry refers to it, is that it runs Google's Android operating system which is contrary to the user's privacy or so called security despite whatever the settings may be for each individual alleged action of blocking services or restricting access to hardware or software.

For a corporation to allude that privacy or security for that matter is intact with the use of Google's operating system is just plain and simple false advertising, an action that should be resolved in the courts.

Has BlackBerry escaped with a huge corporate swindle?

See also article from 17 August 2018 by abc.net.au of the headline:

Google clarifies how it tracks a user's location even if they turn the setting off

Key points:
  • Google tweaks help page describing how its "Location History" works
  • An investigation found some Google apps stored user location with the setting off
  • The privacy issue affects iPhone and Android users

After coming under fire from critics, Google has clarified how it tracks users even if they've disabled a "Location History" setting.

The search giant has revised a help page that incorrectly said turning off that setting would stop the tracking.

After an investigation from the Associated Press revealed many Google services store your location data even if you've used a privacy setting that says they won't, Google updated the page to clarify that "some data may be saved". But it has not changed the location-tracking practice.

Previously, the help page had stated:
"… with Location History off, the places you go are no longer stored."
The page now states:
"This setting does not affect other location services on your device" and acknowledges that "some location data may be saved as part of your activity on other services, like Search and Maps."
In a statement, Google said: "We have been updating the explanatory language about Location History to make it more consistent and clear across our platforms and help centers."

Wait. Google tracked me even if I told it not to?


Lots of Google apps use your location information, which it stores in a "timeline" (basically a picture of your daily travels) handled by a setting called Location History.

The AP found some Google apps stored time-stamped data without asking you and if you turned Location History off.

Google said to stop it from saving location makers, you had to turn off a second setting called "Web and App Activity" that was enabled by default.

If you turned Location History off but left Web and App Activity on, Google only stopped adding to your "timeline". It did not stop Google's collection of other location markers.

You can delete those markers by hand, but you need to do every one individually.

To test this, Princeton postdoctoral researcher Gunes Acar carried an Android phone with Location History off and shared the data with AP.

He was tracked:
  • On two train trips to New York
  • On visits to The High Line park, Chelsea Market, Hell's Kitchen, Central Park and Harlem
  • To his home address.

You can see a map of the data here.

It wasn't just Google Maps either

Things like automatic weather updates on Android phones pinpoint your rough location.

And the AP found that even doing a Google search for something that had nothing to do with location — like "chocolate chip cookies" or "kids science kits" — pinpointed your precise latitude and longitude and saved it to your Google account.

This happened to you if your phone ran on Google's Android operating system or if you're an iPhone user who uses Google for maps or search.

Here's what Princeton computer scientist and former chief technologist for the Federal Communication Commission's enforcement bureau Jonathan Mayer said about the practice before Google changed its help page:
"If you're going to allow users to turn off something called 'Location History', then all the places where you maintain location history should be turned off," Mr Mayer said.
"That seems like a pretty straightforward position to have."
Google confirms external apps scan your emails
Here's which apps do it and how to check if you're affected

Google offers a more accurate description of how it tracks you, but it's out of the way

A popup appears when you "pause" Location History on your Google account webpage. There the company notes: "Some location data may be saved as part of your activity on other Google services, like Search and Maps."

Google offers additional information in a popup that appears if you re-activate the Web & App Activity setting — an uncommon action for many users, since this setting is on by default.

That popup states that, when active, the setting, "saves the things you do on Google sites, apps, and services … and associated information, like location".

Warnings when you're about to turn Location History off via Android and iPhone device settings are more difficult to interpret.

On Android, the popup explains: "Places you go with your devices will stop being added to your Location History map."

On the iPhone, it simply reads: "None of your Google apps will be able to store location data in Location History."

Here's how to stop Google tracking you

Fair warning, doing any of these will affect several Google services and devices.

Things like maps, the Google Assistant or the Google Home either won't work at all or will have their functionality severely reduced.

For any device:
  • Fire up your browser and go to myactivity.google.com. Sign into Google if you haven't already. On the upper left drop-down menu, go to "Activity Controls." Turn off both "Web & App Activity" and "Location History." That should prevent precise location markers from being stored to your Google account.
For iOS devices:
  • If you use Google Maps, adjust your location setting to "While Using" the app; this will prevent the app from accessing your location when it's not active. Go to Settings - Privacy - Location Services and from there select Google Maps to make the adjustment.
  • In the Safari web browser, consider using a search engine other than Google. Under Settings - Safari - Search Engine, you can find other options like Bing or DuckDuckGo. You can turn location off while browsing by going to Settings - Privacy - Location Services - Safari Websites, and turn this to "Never". (This still won't prevent advertisers from knowing your rough location based on IP address on any website.)
  • You can also turn Location Services off to the device almost completely, from Settings - Privacy - Location Services.
For Android devices:
  • Under the main settings icon click on "Security & location." Scroll down to the "Privacy" heading. Tap "Location". You can toggle it off for the entire device.
  • Use "App-level permissions" to turn off access to various apps. Unlike the iPhone, there is no setting for "While Using". You cannot turn off Google Play services, which supplies your location to other apps if you leave that service on.
  • Sign in as a "guest" on your Android device by swiping down from top and tapping the downward-facing caret, then again on the torso icon. Be aware of which services you sign in on, like Chrome.

14 August 2018

Police state laws, a long time in the planning

Migration has not always been a good thing for the people of Australia.

Just take a look at what happened in 1788, where at the end of the day, say 230 years later it hasn't been quite so prosperous for the Indigenous Australians, but rather very prosperous for the invading forces under the guise of this machine called the honourable crown.

Why 'honourable'?

Because everyone representing the crown is labelled as honourable, you know like Mr. Barnaby Joyce, or a judge that let out a paedophile to rape children again and again.

With regards to today's migration, there is something at play called PRS (Problem Reaction Solution) that has been in action for quite some time here on this land.

A good way to start this off is by having deliberately no screening process in force, where you import 'low quality' people, people of low morals and ethics, people who have little intentions of causing no harm to their fellow man or woman but rather steal from them or break into their homes with the intention of causing violent criminal actions, from which ever continent, nation or religious background where you know they will cause harm to the general population of Australia.

Let's put aside the 'good' people that also come from these places.

What you (as the people in government) do then, is deny the 'problem' i.e. the orchestrated action that you have created , where eventually you concede having the brilliant plan of introducing new laws, that enhance the police state on the general population.

Apparently the Australian people live under a Constitutional monarchy, in a democracy which this itself can be fiercely debated for quite some time, but in reality one could call this place a corporatocracy, fascist or authoritarian state or even a dictatorship.

With every new law being put into circulation, the people's privacy and whatever alleged freedoms they think they may have are been taken away from them, by the 'problems' deliberately created by the people in government.

We should all be aware how the dodgy Egyptian government shut down its telecommunications network in order to stop people from protesting against the corrupt people in government.

Austerity is coming to Australia, where they're just setting it all up so that you'll be screwed over without any ability to act on it.

Don't forget this is all - "good for the economy"

13 August 2018

Gov agencies to use new data on who's using your phone

Data is the new gold / crude [oil], where you are the product.


Since the early days of Australia, the administration keeps fairly detailed documents on the inhabitants of the colony, where promissory notes were born, but that's another story altogether.

The major difference being that in the early days the paper trail was very costly and slow for the administration. 

The first era of computing, while still costly (not that it actually mattered, as the tax slaves were paying for their own surveillance), enabled central databases to be used and accessed by the authorities, speeding up the information flow throughout the agencies.

As technology progressed so did the data storage capacity on each individual.

With the entry of GSM technology into the public arena, a new level of surveillance was reached where the phone user could be tracked to within a reasonably accurate area, something that the general population was blissfully unaware of  where this data was originally stored exclusively within the telecommunications community, available to law enforcement upon request.

As mobile phone technology matured more and more electronics were crammed into the humble mobile communicating device where today the following censors are installed as seen in graphic below.

With the new sensors in place such as proximity, accelerometer, gyroscope and light sensor new logarithms are being used to identify individuals (front camera, biometric login aside) from the behaviour logged by the user's phone.

The general population within Australia, are able to be very easily administered by the authorities from a small population perspective and their willingness to use the latest data gathering devices such as smart phones.

Together with other devices specifically designed to monitor the user, such as credit cards, public transport and road toll ticketing systems,  smart meters, Google Home,  Amazon Alexa, data logging new vehicles and now the rollout of IoT (Internet of Things) the authorities of this [penal] colony most likely know more about you than you do yourself (oops Minority Report 'conspiracy theory').

While many people may not have had a say or even been conned into a smart meter being installed, even though at law it was not mandatory for the 'customer' to accept the smart electricity meter or you may not have a choice of an alternative public transport ticketing system,  you do have a choice to not use a credit card in many transactions and you do have a choice as to use the latest smart phone or a 3G 'dumb' phone.

Most people choose to use a smartphone, as they have justified its use for 'convenience' where the ultimate price you pay is with your private and confidential data which is gathered and then later sold.

Also don't forget your 'reward' (like a good little puppy) points for handing over your data when purchasing on credit cards

Ultimately it's you who is handing over 'your' phone data on a silver plate to them.

Will you pay the jolly rogering price of $1800 for a new Samsung phone so that you can be monitored more easily?

12 August 2018

Australian people's response to Romania's government corruption

One thing that true blue, fair dinkum (dinki-di) Australians will never have on the wogs, oops sorry politically incorrect term used (will one be gaoled to a more formal setting?), 'Europeans' is the zest and oomph they possess, maybe as a result of centuries of border shifting.

It seems that the 'administration' of the colony we call Australia have stitched up the general population with an alternate reality or distraction, where the focus is on data consumption via social media, 'reality tv' (as opposed to reality), blind consumerism, because of the new government slogan 'it's good for the economy'  and the classic government approved favourite of footy and alcohol consumption.

One can sure put forward the very plausible argument that the people in the Australian Government are more corrupt than the mutts in Romania, but it seems that all 'Aussies' are interested in is ... 'da foody' (spewed out incoherently in a thick bogan accent).

Some things will just never change.

Australian Government: 1

Richmond supporters : 0

(Disclaimer: Not all 'Aussie's don't; care/act)